Monday, November 28, 2005

Platitudes Vs Policy

On R4 Today this morning, John Humphrys almost used the Tyler Opposites Test on DC- would anyone seriously argue the opposite to anything he said?

Anatole Kaletsky picks up the same point. He has had private discussions with both leadership candidates, and says of DC:

'Consider the statement ....that David Cameron has repeated almost verbatim in his campaign speeches and public debates: ... the promise to “share fairly the fruits of economic growth between lower taxes and strengthened public services”... If such platitudinous ambiguities were really the essence of the New Tory credo, the rejuvenated party would find itself supporting not just Tony Blair, but also Gordon Brown, in almost everything they did or said.'

Kaletsky contrasts this to the Davis approach:

'The Davis position on tax and spending ...comes up with commitments that are much more clear-cut...the steady build-up of 1 per cent economies would allow Davis to deliver his promise of a tax cut of roughly equivalent to 4 per cent of GDP, or £40 billion, at the end of a four-year parliament. ...waste, inefficiency and over-manning are rife in the public sector and if government productivity could only be raised to levels that are taken for granted in private industry, achieving a target of 1 per cent savings each year should not be impossible, even while services are improved. This is an attractive argument, but one which has been made by every opposition politician in every country in every age.'

Which is fair comment. But with Davis, we know what the priorities would be, and we know how he would seek to deliver. With Cameron, neither we nor Kaletsky have any idea.


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