Friday, October 09, 2009

Garbo Dissects the Tory Conference -Wardman Wire

If the Labour party conference was expected to be a disaster but in the end turned out just about alright, you might say the expectation for the Tory conference were very high, but the results have been very similar to their counterparts. This week has been just about alright for the Tories, nothing like the barnstorming affair we might have expected but certainly not a disaster either.
Things kicked off in the traditional manner – a row over Europe. This is a debate that will run and run and will continue to plague the Tories. It is not a so much a matter that the Tories are split or wrong or anything else. It is more that they simply do not have a coherent policy. They want to change Europe but at the same time do not want to be part of it. They want a referendum on Lisbon, but at the same time won’t commit to one. They have a leader who knows that Britain needs Europe but a party who does not want to be dictated to by it. It is a problem that has only been slightly eased by the Irish yes vote, but only very slightly.

Then came the cuts talk. As I wrote yesterday, Osborne should be applauded for taking the bull by the horns. But it has not pleased much of the party faithful. David Cameron’s suggestion that if the deficit has not been scratched by cuts, then taxes will have to rise. Well Osborne’s announcements tackled just 12% of one year’s deficit over a five year period. That sounds like tax rises are on the way then. It has been said before – if the Conservatives are not the party of low taxation, then what are they? It is an honest and tough approach, and the polls suggest they have not been too harmed by it just yet. But it has provided the government with plenty of ammunition and very probably upset grassroots supporters and a few floating voters alike.

Continues here and here

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