24 April 2009

Portillo’s words are ringing in my ears

Firstly Cameron did very well on Today this morning.  He rightly side-stepped the 50p tax issue:

I think it’s a mistake…it’s bad for Britain”, but added “it’s going to have to take it’s place in the queue of tax rises we want to get rid of.

Excellent and well said.  He has avoided the telegraphed trap that Brown set for him on Budget Day.

He also dealt brilliantly with the issue of when the Tories would set out detailed spending plans:

When it comes to the next election we will set out in detail more plans. The problem with the view ahead is the Chancellor’s forecasts, which we think are junk.

However, the most important part of the 08.10 slot wasn't the Cameron interview, but the piece by Michael Portillo (included in the Cameron link), “Is it time for Cameron to get radical?”.  This is key:

And what about the Chancellor's new 50 pence top rate of tax? If Cameron promises to scrap it, Brown will sneer that he wants only to protect the Tories' rich friends.

But if he doesn't make that pledge, supporters will wonder what's the point in having a Conservative government?

And since Cameron, like Thatcher, surely thinks high taxes bad and wrong, isn't it only honest to say so?

There is Cameron's dilemma. Is it time to abandon his cherished centre ground and become a radical?

Well, while he thinks that one through, he'll be careful not to be misled by fuzzy and inaccurate memories of Margaret Thatcher.

She put winning office for the first time above all else. Before that first election win she was moderate to a fault.

But after three terms in office, that's not exactly how the world remembers her.

Absolutely.  An impeccably well timed intervention. I trust the Cameron will write the words I have highlighted on his shaving mirror, for that is the way to win the election.

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  1. Interesting post Howard, I didn't listen to radio this morning. I hope he's writing them on his mirror as I type, believe me.

  2. wonderfulforhisageApril 24, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    Yep, spin and deceipt is the way forward.
    Ends obviously do justify means in this case 'cause I'm so unarguably right.

    Anyway, everybody else is doing it.

    That reminds me, I wonder if I could claim the Chateaux in France as a second home. There must be an EU angle there somewhere.