Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Cameron, Jackart and DK on Tax

Jackart is enthused by Cameron's promise to shrink the state:

"Calle Me "Dave" Cameron has just secured my vote. Writing in the Telegraph:

"It is why we are pledged to share the proceeds of economic growth between public services and lower taxes, thereby ensuring that over time the state takes a smaller share of national wealth."

If that is not a commitment to lower taxes, I don't know what is."

I don't know why he thinks this is new. It has been exactly the same pledge since the leadership election expressed in almost identical terms. It is significantly different to the Labour party's expansion of the state's share of national income. It is the reason why someone interested in lower taxes should be voting Conservative.

He then goes on to get a little... exuberant... in his rejection of the UKIP:

"You UKIP lot are an accessory to rape. Useful idiots helping our Cyclopean chancellor in his quest for total dominance."

Nice. This, rather predictably, got a reaction. Two parts of DKs response stand out:

"One vague promise to reduce taxes in a article designed to reassure the right of the party in a right wing paper does not a firm committment make."

The commitment is actually quite clear and unambiguous. It is imprecise thanks to the sensitivity of good fiscal policy to context. Also, it is a commitment that has been made repeatedly by both Cameron and Osborne on all manner of platforms.

"What is the Tory problem with UKIP? UKIP are promising the things that the Tories used to promise. They are therefore garnering the support of a great many traditional Tories. Why are you surprised or, as seems more fair, outraged?"

Members of UKIP all faced a choice between trying to convince the rank and file Conservatives who could then change the leadership or setting up a separate party and trying to electorally blackmail us into changing policy. That they chose the latter option upsets Conservatives because it is an insult to our collective intelligence. It implies not just that we are wrong but that we are so incapable of being convinced of the right course of action that rational argument amongst allies has to be replaced by party political open warfare.

Conservatives also see, as Jackart makes clear, the UKIP doing its best to increase the chances of a Labour government. If the UKIP is as successful as in Nigel Farage's wet dreams the result will be a more statist, more pro-EU, Labour government in place of the Conservatives. It is entirely understandable that the possibility conservative government will be sacrificed on the altar of uncompromising radicalism angers Conservatives.


Jackart said...

I know this isn't new, but it is newly unambiguous, and I think the first time he's mentioned shrinking the share of tax taken by the state so explicitly.

DK wanted detailed policy, which I think has more psephological downside than upside. That's why UKIP wants to see it!

Jens Winton said...

When people start refer to us as being accessories to rape, it is rather sad, as it shows a total bankruptcy of argument. Why the Conservatives should feel upset if some among them choose to go elsewhere, baffles me. Was it not Mr. Cameron's wish to be rid of them? So what's the problem if they call his bluff? And come over to us? Will UKIP be Mr. Cameron's Clause 4? Or is it more complicated than that? Why is Mr. Cameron now making belated noises of being a Thatcher boy when he used to apologise for her policies? And was the Conservatives the ONLY party that lost seats by margins smaller than the UKIP vote? Take a look at other parties that suffered similar losses in 2005.