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Tomdaylight
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The main reason for the growth in food banks is because people didn't know about them before. And part of the reason for that is because Labour banned them from giving leaflets to Job Centres - because they thought it would embarrass the Labour government if word got out. And sure enough, Ed Miliband is doing his best to try to embarrass the Tory government that overturned this ban. It doesn't wash with me, but it is sad that the Labour Party is once again using the poorest in our society as a political football.
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This is absolutely right. The criticism has given Cameron an opportunity to demonstrate that while he is not beholden to every voice in his party, he will listen to them. Who's to say that without the criticism we'd have seen the outcome we did on Friday? Certainly the Lib Dems seem to think it has made a difference.
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I think a referendum is redundant at this point... Britain's relationship with the EU is only travelling in one direction!
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Just in time for Christmas!
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Okay. Are Lib Dem backbenchers subject to the same standards? They're not, you say? The President and Deputy Leader of the party go off ranting about cabinet ministers? Some of their own ministers publicly rant about coalition policy? Well I never!!!
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When you say "EU members" we're probably talking here about the people who are acting as representatives of EU states. Whereas I expect the respective peoples would, if ever given the choice, prefer Cameron's stated vision of a "flexible network" to Merkozy's "rigid bloc"...
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No thanks. Requiring transparency yes, requiring compulsory registration no. This is pure protectionism.
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Interesting that editors of rival magazines have been completely ignored...
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Dreadful logic. For one thing, a cut in the top rate is supposed to be self-funding; that is the whole point. For another, cutting aid to the world's poorest so the nation's highest earners would make us look like the monsters the left loves to paint us as. There are cases for doing both - good, comprehensive cases that show how cuts to both could benefit *everyone* - but it is the height of political foolishness to link the two together in such an offhanded manner.
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Would you also apply this to MPs when the whip is withdrawn? Nice idea in theory, but it wouldn't work in practice. MPs need the constitutional freedom to think for themselves, on behalf of their constituents - over and above any party loyalty. Anyway the system as it stands has one major built-in disadvantage to defecting, as exemplified by Quentin Davies' sad example. You run the risk of losing all your friends in politics, and not making any new ones to make up for it. You could easily be remembered as a short-lived minister who won his post by betraying his own party - quite a hollow reward in my mind.
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He will have to abolish it eventually for the reasons I laid out above. Given it was (supposedly) introduced as a 'temporary' measure, the longer Osborne leaves it, the worse it looks for the Tories.
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Is this a spoof? Regarding your four reasons for trusting Cameron, Osborne and Hague: I will concede that the first reason, that they have sound judgement. (Albeit, as Iain Martin reminded us yesterday, this sound judgement usually arises only after a three year delay.) I suppose I cannot deny your second reason, that they are courageous. (The most feeble election campaign in history, the slowest and smallest cuts programme imaginable, a disproportionately pro-Lib Dem coalition, ceding the terms of debate to Labour - all brave, ambitious decisions I'm sure.) I will wholeheartedly agree with the third reason that they are all profoundly patriotic (even if Cameron will sometimes refer to the English as Little Englanders, cede powers to the EU when we're not looking, and publicly belittle our standing in the world). And as for your fourth and final reason, that they are "in possession of the facts"... I've got to wonder what it is they aren't telling us.
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Didn't know micros could claim back. What I suggested could, I assume, help reduce said "messing around".
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Judging by the mock-ups, Hague could pull it off. Helps him look cerebral.
Toggle Commented Nov 14, 2011 on Cameron's close shave at thetorydiary
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"In response to such an account of Mr Cameron's electoral difficulties, some of the belly-achers become positively Bennite. David Cameron lost because he was not offering proper Toryism. He should have campaigned on scrapping the 50p rate and no ring-fencing for the NHS. If that had been the Tory platform, it is just possible that Gordon Brown might still be Prime Minister." Complete and utter nonsense. Nobody is suggesting he should have campaigned on such a platform, because everybody recognises your statement of the obvious. However: the 50p rate is economically illiterate, and there is a strong case for saying that bringing it back to 40p (where the rich still pays substantially more than anyone else) would mean everyone else would be required to pay less tax and receive more from their public services (and the economy in general). Nobody in the government is making this case, at least publicly, because the government is scared of making a complicated argument. This is of course something they could be doing now they're in the first half of a term, rather than approaching a general election as you preposterously suggest. The challenge is to make the message about such a change being of benefit to the masses more than to the rich, and then hammer that message in relentlessly. The NHS ring-fencing was recognised as an unaffordable promise early on and given that Labour was even ruling it out themselves the promise should probably have never been made. By defining himself around that message Cameron runs the risk of coming across as a promise-breaker. But worse, in defining public services by the amount of taxpayers' money poured into them, the Tories have been dancing to Gordon Brown's tune - when before, with the "more for less" stuff, Cameron showed so much promise of doing otherwise. Nobody, anywhere, is saying either of these examples are "quick fixes" that would get the economy booming again. Trying to fix the economy at all is like trying to rotate Blackpool Tower 45 degrees using only a hammer and a screwdriver. But holding onto failed policies like 50p tax is like trying to do all that with a ball and chain attached to your foot. Pointless and irresponsible. And it's treating the voters like they're idiots who can't be persuaded of anything. Timing is everything in politics, and the time to make these arguments is now.
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In that case you might as well give up on point 5 because the role of Party Chairman will remain neutered for as long as George Osborne remains at the top.
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George Osborne. He should have been in that role from the beginning. If it's presented as a 'beefing up' of the role then it shouldn't be seen as a demotion.
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The Lib Dems supposedly believe in free markets too, and given the byzantine legislative structure left behind by the previous government he has a pressing need to deregulate.
Toggle Commented Oct 31, 2011 on Capitalism is in danger at thetorydiary
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I think in order to appeal, the Conservatives have to talk about something very close to the webmaster's heart: morality. We have to show that we have the moral centre, and that when it comes to moral self-righteousness, we have got Labour beat. Because we do stand on the moral highground, but we don't always seem to believe it, and we certainly don't shout about it...
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Most despicably, Labour doesn't even have a Plan B, or even any intention of having one. We know this because they cancelled the Comprehensive Spending Review, and now claim that they don't have the resources to plan an alternative budget. Liars and hypocrites the lot of them. I wish the Tories would point these things out but they seem keener to repeat failed slogans again and again...
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I can't think of a single thing he's actually achieved (good or bad) in his own department.
Toggle Commented Oct 28, 2011 on Capitalism is in danger at thetorydiary
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And we need a Business Secretary who isn't against capitalism altogether.
Toggle Commented Oct 28, 2011 on Capitalism is in danger at thetorydiary
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