A more positive politics?

At a time when the full extent of Labour’s politics of hatred is revealed, let me say something positive about others toiling in the political vineyard.

For some time I have admired the work of the Taxpayers Alliance. They have brought to life the dusty subject of public spending. They are helping us win the argument that there is a lot of waste and unwanted spending in the figures. They have got people interested in the public sector rich list, the tip of the iceberg of excess.

Yesterday it was good to appear alongside their comments in a full page written by the Sunday Times on just how you could start to get to grips with over spending. Cuts do not have to be taxing. Indeed, I could find a lot of cuts that would be popular.

It was also good to see George Osborne, on a day when Labour were out to hurt him, getting on with the job of explaining how he would want to change public service management and delivery, so we could do more for less. It was good to see the Sunday Times helping lead an important debate that the Chancellor should be having with his colleagues, to start to curb the gross deficit which will leave us all with our children in huge debt for years to come.

Positive politics is about creating or joining a coalition for change, and supporting each other. Labour’s politics is based on the politics of dislike. They seek to create or exaggerate divisions between themselves and the rest. They seek to call everyone who disagrees with them a “Tory”, and to paint the “Tories” in the worst possible light, falsely claiming we came into politics to cut essential public services to the poor to give tax cuts to the mega rich. As we can now see they also run dirty tricks departments to try to character assassinate any Conservative who is effective at putting over an alternative view the public might like to hear or vote for.

Conservatives – and other opponents of this government – have to get better at helping each other and supporting each other. We must not allow our discourse to be dragged down into the gutter of Labour’s politics, or to fall for their wish to divide and rule.

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17 Comments

  1. Josh
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    I always thought that Labour should be glad for the existence of a Conservative Party. Afterall, historically, Tory governments always clean up the mess left by stupid socialist utopian ideas. And then when they get to work, Labour spins that the Tories are hurting the country and that Labour are better prepared to fix it. It nearly failed until the Chameleon entered in 1994. But thank heavens he spared us 10 years of Gordon Brown

    • chris southern
      Posted April 13, 2009 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Josh, we weren’t spared ten years of gordon, he was the chancellor remember. The person who set up this financial mess.

      • Josh
        Posted April 13, 2009 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Okay. I take back my statement. But can you imagine 12 years of PM Brown as opposed to 2?

        • chris southern
          Posted April 13, 2009 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          That thought alone requires a change of underwear! lol

  2. Ian Jones
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Trouble is cuts mean cutting someone’s job (even if its not needed) or cutting back on the pay of the public sector where they feel they have only just caught up with the private sector.

    These will only be seen negatively even if in reality it is better for the country.

    If you want to really understand the Labour spending model then you need to know its economists. This group “calculate” the social benefit of policies in “monetary” terms using economic models with no basis other than to support the policy. Understand and chage this and the whole support for the spending in certain areas collapses and the real economic value can be calculated.

    Get some accountants in rather than the economists who as we all know blew the economy up in the first place!!!

    • Freddy
      Posted April 14, 2009 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      “…cutting back on the pay of the public sector where they feel they have only just caught up with the private sector.”

      If the public sector wants to be paid the same as the private sector in the good times, then they must accept the same pain in the bad times. This includes pay cuts and widespread redundancies. Anything else is trying to have your cake and eat it.

    • Freddy
      Posted April 14, 2009 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      More generally, I would have thought that there must be some electoral mileage in going on about “public sector fat cats”. This will only get stronger as the recession begins to bite.

      Although, it’s possible that I’m displaying my political naivety here, as the Tories must want to try to get some of those very same fat cats to vote for them. Here, turkey …

  3. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Well John, they ( labour) have been at this for over 10 years and it is only now that the truth of what they are realy like is comming out.
    Not from the media but from Bloggers.

    Most of the media led by the BBC have turned a blind eye to what Labour have been up to, becaused many of them have been caught up in the labour spin/gravy train.

    It is only on your blog that we have been given a clear picture about the recession.

    The media have a lot to answer for for letting Labour get away with so much for so long.

    • mikestallard
      Posted April 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      I have just come over from Labour List where the mood is DIRE! Why, they ask, cannot we have some left wing blogging like the right wing?
      And, over here, I can think of two outstanding Europe sites which honestly answer questions (Bruges Group and Open Europe); we also have the Taxpayers Alliance and Ian Dale. Can I count Archbishop Cranmer and Dan Hannan too?
      This blog is really good: it shines a spotlight on the dark interior of the economy, which even I can now begin to understand! (I think!)
      All these blogs and sites I go on daily, and what fun they are.
      The Telegraph comment is excellent too. And I respect the Daily Mail because, when all the others seemed to be selling out to New Labour, it remained steadfastly against, and that was well before the Iraq War.

      Reply: thanks for that. Our sites work because we have something to say, and expose the spin and lies.

  4. Richard
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I think cutting ‘waste’ in the public sector would be an excellent job for Sir Fred Goodwin – and a way for him to ‘give something back’ to the nation.
    I also think he might quite enjoy it – and he is well qualified.
    Can he be sounded out ?

  5. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Labour is incapable of change, particularly with Brown in charge. He has deliberately surrounded himself with people who will use any device to destroy their opponents. The actions of organisations reflect the will of its leader. Labour is not sorry for the smear campaign that McBride, Draper and others were planning – just that it has been found out. The Conservatives must certainly present a clear, decisive and positive alternative to the malfeasant Labour party. But beware, the end of dirty tricks will not end as long as Brown is Labour leader.

  6. Jim Pearson
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I enjoy your Blog because you are “Positive” in your politics for the most part. It is a shame Labour can’t follow this idea, but your right they do have an “Us ‘n Them” attitude. I hope should you get to power that the Conservatives don’t drop into these area’s, particulary if you remain in power for concurrent terms. They do cheapen politics, especially at a time of low confidence in Politicans of all hues. Please keep up the good work.

  7. Neil Craig
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    If over 50% of the economy is government spending government is bound to have too much power. It is inevitable it will attract lobbyists & special interests like flies & that decisions will be taken for political edging into personally useful edging into clearly corrupt reasons. It does not require that MPs be more easily bribed than most of the electors, indeed for the system to work at all they must average less corrupt. The fault is the system not the individuals & the answer is to cut the size of government.

  8. mikestallard
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Should the Prime Minister write letters to Mrs Cameron and Mrs Osborne?
    You mean he hasn’t already?
    Strewth, if one of my minions had sent e mails like those on Guido Fawkes to one of my neighbour’s wives, I should have been straight round to their houses with HUGE bunches of flowers yesterday!

    • Johnny Norfolk
      Posted April 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Yes any NORMAL person would.

      • alan jutson
        Posted April 13, 2009 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Remember you are talking about the Labour Party.

        If they bought some flowers they would first have to make sure:
        They were from an environmentally sound source.
        The workers would need to comply with Health and Safety and the Company would need to produce risk assessments and method statements for the task.
        They would have to be picked by workers whom the Company had checked were not illegal immigrants (inspections of passports the norm).
        That the workers were being paid the minimum wage or above.
        That the wrapping paper was able to be recycled.
        That that were delivered in an electric car by someone who was on the new deal.

        Oh I almost forgot, PAYMENT ON EXPENSES

  9. A. Sedgwick
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Why are political advisers on the state payroll?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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