by Stephen Tall on December 28, 2009
And verily did David Cameron spake forth unto the multitude of political journalists desperate for Bank Holiday copy, and lo he did utter his New Year platitude:
Let’s be honest that whether you’re Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrat, you’re motivated by pretty much the same progressive aims: a country that is safer, fairer, greener and where opportunity is more equal. It’s how to achieve these aims that we disagree about – and indeed between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats there is a lot less disagreement than there used to be.
Mr Cameron is, we understand, preparing this January to launch a veritable blizzard of policy announcements – his statement above appears to be paving the way for the Tories to reject their current manifesto, and in its place adopt a large number of Liberal Democrat policies.
Let’s rejoice at that news!
For this means that the Tories will be entering the next general election committed to:
- cutting income tax for the poorest in society rather than cutting inheritance tax for millionaires
- retaining the Human Rights Act
- helping children according to the state of poverty they live in and not discriminating against the 2.3m unmarried couples in the UK
- capping public sector pay increases at £400, rather than freezing pay for all public sector workers
- reversing his immature decision to pull-out of the right-wing EPP alliance (the party of Merkel and Sarkozy) in the European Parliament and instead align with an unstable and oddball fringe of homophobes and extremists
- clamp down on expenses abuses within his own shadow cabinet, instead of letting friends like George Osborne and Michael Gove off the hook for ‘flipping’ their second homes and profiting by tens of thousands of pounds
- understand that localism means decentralising power to local people and local councils – not pledging that a Tory government would step in to freeze Council Tax
- commit to genuine reform of Parliament – ending the scandal of Westminster’s safe seats culture – by supporting proportional representation
- understand that government spending cuts in the middle of a recession are a recipe for disaster, and suggest that his choice for Chancellor, George Osborne, spend more than 40% of his time on the economy
- recognise that the EU makes Britain safer by dropping opposition to the European Arrest Warrant, which has slashed extradition times across the EU from an average of 18 months to just 43 days ensuring 335 dangerous criminals were not freed
- realise there’s more to being green than hugging huskies in the Arctic, and support Lib Dem proposal to increase taxes on pollution to pay for tax cuts for the poor
To be honest, before David “let sunshine win the day” Cameron delivered his New Year message of cooperation, I had little expectation that the Tories would be able to support these kind of policies.
But now the Tory leader has confirmed there are few disagreements between our respective progressive parties I shall await with eager anticipation Mr Cameron making clear exactly where the Tories stand on the issues above before the next general election.