I simply don’t understand why the Conservatives allowed the two policies that were dropped today to have even been floated. I could tell they were absolutely hopeless months ago.
I think the problem lies in the fact that we are passing from a period of `social democracy by stealth` to one of `liberal conservatism` yet we have yet to decide who the winners or losers are.
While Labour were essentially beholden to various interest groups and scaling up the `benefits culture` so that Ed Miliband can describe the `squeezed middle` as, well, everyone who isn’t on a small fixed income and especially those at the top of the tree many felt that it didn’t actually do what it was supposed to do – ie create a progressive society. What it DID DO is entrench a culture of `high social demands without the requisite taxation`.
What the Coalition needs to do is be very clear about who it feels should be the long-term winners and losers in a `liberal conservative society`. Make no mistake Ed Miliband can’t say who will be because He won’t do the things that will bring about a social democratic society.
Most realise for that world to exist would require much higher taxes for those on low incomes, stringent benefit reform, lower house prices and a more conformist society (though the recently won civil liberties can be kept).
I would argue that Liberal Conservatism is about rewarding those that work, save and invest in their homes, jobs or businesses. It’s about creating a fairer prosperous liberal society which funds a strong state for those that genuinely can’t and strong services for those that can. It’s defining those that can’t and those that can that is still being worked out.
Labour pretend that these choices don’t exist while in reality if you pander to those at the top rungs of the ladder you end up with single childless people on about 14k subsidising Tony Blair.
The `10% rule` didn’t dovetail with any of these `liberal conservative` values:
a) It penalises those that can’t
b) It was unpragmatic
c) It’s unfair
It’s also bad politics. That’s where the forestry issue came in. Again, really bad politics that didn’t appease those with the hard questions and to be honest haven’t the Government got enough on their plate at the moment?