Comments: Stand up for proper tax cuts, timid Tories

The Tories should get one thing into their heads: "It's not the economy, stupid. It's Tony Blair."

The Tories and Lib. Dems. are not going to win the election. The best they can hope for is a hung parliament and Tony Blair's resignation.

They won't achieve even that by talking about taxes or central government mismanagement. Their only hope is to make this a single-issue campaign, "Blair must go", and positively encourage tactical voting.

In fact, the real opposition to the Blair government is neither of the political parties - it's the media.

If the newspapers had any sense they would identify the 180 most vulnerable Labour seats and tell the people in those constituencies how to vote to remove their worthless Labour MP.

So, come on David - can't you see the headline: "It's The Sunday Times wot won it" ?

Posted by David Sandiford at January 23, 2005 11:16 AM

Fair point, although our own poll today shows that Tony Blair, while undoubtedly badly tarnished on trust, gets higher ratings than Michael Howard.

Posted by David Smith at January 23, 2005 03:38 PM

Brown may have got the figures of the macroeconomy up to scratch, but only by advocating stealth taxes and sneeky tactics altering these figures.For example, the majority of the low unemployment figures are due to public sector employment in bureucratic areas.Also, he has lowered the criteria for disability benefit thus reducing the level of of unemployed and increasing government expenditure on these individuals.

Posted by james camp at January 23, 2005 03:56 PM

"gets higher ratings than Michael Howard."

But this is a facetious question - Howard cant be assessed on trust because no one has any evidence about whether he does keep his promises - he'd have to be in office before the public could honestly assess him.

Posted by giles at January 23, 2005 07:16 PM

"gets higher ratings than Michael Howard."

Fortunately we can all sleep safe in our beds in the knowledge that Michael Howard, or “Dracula”, will never become PM. If Mr. Howard really wanted to help the Tories and the country he would step down in favour of Ken Clarke – the only leader that could win votes for the Tories.

But this election isn’t about political parties. The choice is between (a) a Blair government that can exploit a large majority to further erode parliamentary democracy and (b) a Blair government restrained by a small majority (with the outside chance of Blair’s eventual resignation).

For those of us who prefer option b, we need to vote tactically. But only the media have the resources and the incentive to identify the seats where tactical voting can matter. In fact, the media have a duty to inform the public.

So unless the Sunday Times wants an even more boring election than the last one, I hope they’ll tell us the seats where tactical voting counts.

Posted by David Sandiford at January 24, 2005 06:09 AM

Clarke's an affable incompetent just like TB - I cant see why anyone would vote for him in preference to Blair.

Posted by Giles at January 25, 2005 03:29 AM

So Bliar wants to make it easier for first time buyers to get on the property ladder.A good start would be to reduce bureaucracy with respect to planning permissions and actually entice Prescott off his sofa and into brokering deals for formerly public owned land to become housing developments.Another advantagous thing to do would be to reduce stamp duty and increase the rate at which it kicks in in line with average earnings growth.What is your view on this issue Mr. Smith?

Posted by James Camp at January 25, 2005 10:56 PM

I was worried when John Prescott's response to the Barker review on housing supply was that the government was already taking action to correct the problem. This latest gimmick has done nothing to ease that worry. If anything, the planning regime is getting worse.

Posted by David Smith at January 26, 2005 03:34 PM
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