Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The split that doesn't exist... but does play in our favour

If one was to use the newspapers and the mainstream media as their means for getting news as it is really is then the line today is that Conservative Party is massively split on tax. If you read the Telegraph it's Cameron and Osbourne's "most serious challenge". Readers of The Times are told its a "revolt" but the paper makes it sound more like schism. Whilst the BBC plays up it's significance on repeat.

The thing is, there isn't really a split when you look at it honestly. On the one hand you have those saying they want tax cuts, period. On the other hand you have those who say they want tax cuts, but only when they can be sure they can deliver them. The disagreement is not, in fact, over tax at all. The disagreement is over the cautiousness of the approach we should take toward that desired tax cutting end. As I said yesterday, I consider the latter a genuinely conservative position rather than the former.

Whilst the split doesn't really exist, the media's decision to play this up as Cameron against the Old Guard works in our favour. After all, as a party we don't have a Clause IV to have a "moment" around. But we do have the perceived battleground of tax policy which the media, thaqnks to their obsession with talking about splits in political parties, are making far more significant than it actually is.

You couldn't ask for better media coverage really when it comes to enforcing a perception of change and renewal amongst the wider electorate.


Anonymous said...

Exactly right


Regards from a would-be Labour voter.

Benedict White said...

Dave, we will get you signed up as a card carrying conservative soon....

Dizzy, I agree. Mind you I got so annoyed about it I wrote this yesterday:

The mantra is of course economic stability before tax cuts. Would any one vote for someone who said tax cuts before economic stability? I think not.

Anonymous said...

Where Mr. Cameron and his team are going wrong is failing to get to grips with the "vision thing", to quote George Bush Snr. It is all very well being unwilling to be pegged down on details of taxation policy 3 years probably before the next election. However, in doing so they are coming across as evasive and inconsistent- just like New Labour. To ape the present administration's fiscal policies now when the public is belatedly realising how much of taxpayers' money is wasted is folly. It should not be beyond the wit of the Shadow Chancellor to restate the Conservative Party's principles regarding the moral case for lower taxation and size and role of the state clearly and without ambiguity - provided he still believes in them, of course.

Anonymous said...

Agree. It's a manufactured split for the purposes of Tory propaganda. Which is moreorless why I've ignored the story on my blog.

Richard Bailey said...

Very correct, Dizzy. I have to say I went as far as to actually call it Cameron's Clause 4 on my blog yesterday.