Posted by: John | October 6, 2009

The real battle of ideas is between Lib Dems and Tory

It’s clear from last week’s `shopping-list` Brown speech that Labour (apart from Mandy) has given up the intellectual ghost. We await the November PBR though people who are neutral about these things regard Labour as a dying government that happen to have the keys of office.

Most political pundits regard marginal places such as Gravesham as de facto Tory seats now as do many of their current Labour incumbents. So the only question left is `will it be a Tory majority or NOC`.

Yes, we have to be at the vanguard of change. Eyes will start looking at the ways of cutting expenditure and whether or not its fair.

We have to keep on saying that the Tory way is unsustainable

1. Politically unsustainable – what is the point of cutting the number of MPs if you don’t cut the number of ministers? If you don’t meaningfully give power away from the centre? If you don’t restrict the role of WHITEHALL. How are we to spread economic wealth to the regions to even them up with London/SE?

2. Socially unsustainable – what is the point of targetting those on benefits if you don’t raise the threshold to at least £10,000 (and drop plans for the IHT changes that go above £1m)?

3. Economically unsustainable – what is the view of government – is it that people should work longer (less vacancies) or is there a way that the Economy can grow to soak up the unemployment?

There’s little we can do in our non-target seats. In our target seats or where we have a strong local presence it’s DIFFERENT. In the sort of places I work there’s less enthusiasm for the Conservatives (I always try and find the hidden support) and really waning support for Labour and growing support for us (including erstwhile non-voters).

If I was Gordon Brown I’d go to the country after the November PBR – if you’re going to lose why give the opposition enough rope to hang yourself? If not it’s just prolonged agony with the opposition terriers snapping around your heels yapping out tough questions and policies in a world in which Labour has no control.

If he doesn’t call a December election – go to the nearest target seat and help out there or if you can’t help out good local campaigners wanting to take that local seat in May/June.

For the Lib Dems we need to force the issue with the Tories putting forward even more of OUR own home truths and policies.

That means the 10k threshold – no holding back on that one – say it loudly and often. Making life simpler and fairer for those working on low and middle incomes.

That means saying that there can be no proper economic recovery without the meaningful giving away of power from Whitehall to the localities.

That means giving tough answers about things that might give people `pain`.

Honesty now repays dividends – make sure you work your way to the best-placed constituency/ward in your area and help the Lib Dems break open the electoral bank.

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