Posted by: John | May 25, 2010

Let’s stop being scared of the future

So we made the decision – the poker cards are in our hands and we have a long game to play. We are coalition partners in a Liberal Conservative government so let’s make the most of it. To my mind it has three defining characteristics:

1. To act in the national interest for the long term

2. To act aggressively both in terms of the harsh economic realities and the need for political reform that that entails

3. To have a tone that is `one nation` rather than just spin and power grabbing

To quote one Guardian CIF responder to an article by that chief tricoteur Polly Toynbee:

What’s the alternaitve to cuts then Polly, keep spending like a crack addict with a stolen credit card, create a client base of voters in the public sector?

There is no alchemy here. Labour ruined the country and got voted out.
Osbourne et al KNOW they will be banished from political life for 20 years after what they have done to reduce our deficit.

They Know that they could continue and the rich would get richer and they would be very popular with the elite.
They are doing this for the little guy.
they are liberal Conservatives.
they believe in the national interest, not their own.
Labour had lost this clarity. They would do anything to cling to power, but it is the National interests that matter.

You are being completely unrealistic and it is your out of date I’m all right Jack type of politics that have got us into this mess. You are part of the rich, liberal elite that forgot about the poor.

Now we’ve done such a deal (and the only one on the table) instead of worriedly thinking about how we’re now going to win local elections let’s create our own narrative as we did so brilliantly for the last election.

We’ve come too far to give up now.

This Government has the sense to tell it like it is. This is a BIG SHIFT in politics from six weeks ago. Then it was `don’t mention the deficit` – now it’s a case of Lawsian cold turkey. That has to be matched with robust defences and savaging of the opposition record.

At a social function at the weekend with many left-of-centre voters I was goaded about `will you be joining Labour now?` and `all those cuts  you’re going to have to make`. I had a few answers that anybody could use.

1. It’s only by beating down on the deficit that we can help vulnerable people in the future

2. Without addressing the deficit our chances for long-term prosperity are negligible

3. Why should one set of childless taxpayers subsidise another set with a labour-election bribe (child trust fund)? What’s the point of giving in one hand a benefit that’s being taken in the other due to a huge deficit?

4. Labour `progressive`? Progressively more authoritatian, more financially inept with more snouts in the trough

5. Always say that this is Labour’s deficit – no one elses. Use terms like `we’re shovelling the shit that Labour were too cowardly to shovel themselves`

6. Oh and if I’m right this WILL be a more progressive government than Labour – what’s progressive about a lack of affordable housing, about ducking the financial decisions so that the low-waged suffer. What’s progressive about filling out more forms when you can have a real tax cut?

So come on Lib Dems – we’ve thrown the dice – let’s make sure we play the poker game for all it’s worth.

We’re the ones doing the things for the good of the nation – we’re brave enough to put our necks on the line – let’s not beat ourselves up about it and get out there fighting our corner.

Remember who put this Government there – younger people who were fed up with lack of economic opportunity, the low-earning singles and couples who were locked out of Labour’s benefit system and the pensioners who were fed up with tiny interest rates due to Labour’s incompetence.

These people want us to come out fighting with a punchy side-swiping vernacular.

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