A progressive alliance?

Some Labour and Lib dem figures are talking of a “progressive alliance” to prevent a Conservative government. This alliance seems to mean

1. Spending well beyond our means and borrowing huge sums – why is it progressive to borrow money from poorer Chinese to pursue an unsustainable level of spending? Why is it caring to ignore the warning signs and to court a Greek style market led change of policy? Why is putting us all, rich and poor, into debt a good thing to do?

2. Telling people cutting Trident will save us £100 billion and thus take care of the deficit. The truth is that there are no plans to spend anything on missile and warhead renewal in the next Parliament, even assuming a 5 year one. The decision on warheads can be taken near to or even after the election after this one. The earlier decision is over whether to replace the current four submarines. No-one has yet even decided whether three or four are needed. If new boats are ordered, the serious spending only begins from 2014. Trident is not a pot of gold which we can save any time soon. The Lib Dem vague alternative of cruise missile launched or aircraft delivered nuclear weapons would cost substantial sums as it would be an entirely new system for the UK,but that too would fall after the current deficit crisis has been played out.

3. Whipping up fear amongst users of current health and education services that they will be cut damagingly if a Conservative government were elected, despite the clear denials of the Conservative leadership. Is it progressive to create worry amongst the most vulnerable, whose services are not at threat?

Promoted by Christine HIll on behalf of John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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13 Comments

  1. THE ESSEX GIRLS
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    We’re all certainly highlighting plenty of ammo for DC and Co to fire back at the Lib-Dem ‘fairies at the bottom of the garden’!

    Here’s today’s contribution from we gals. We have to say this is such a nice change from donning our white stilettos and visiting the hairdressers to have our hair bleached!

    THE FINAL DEBATE – Tuesday’s contribution

    More suggested points and phrases to connect with the voters:

    * “From Day 1 I’d not be the Conservative leader – I’d be the British Prime Minister representing all of you.”

    * Talk about ‘Good old British common’ ie common sense.

    * Forget ‘The big society’. Say what it means…’Smaller government’ or ‘getting government off your back’

    * “You won’t hear me boasting about how much of your money we’re spending like Labour has for 13 years. It’s not what you spend, it’s the way that you spend it. That’s what gets results!”

    * Schools. “Our aim is to offer your kids an Independent school style education paid for by the state”

    * Try expressions like ‘Bob’s your uncle’; ‘Oh come off it’; ‘Hark at him’; ‘Taking the mickey’; ‘Lovely Jubbly’; ie expressions you’d hear down the pub.

    * And please cut out the ‘actuallys’ (posh) and ‘you knows’ (diffident)

    GOVERNMENT WASTE really winds voters up. And it’s waste not frontline jobs and services the Tories will cut. There are some stonking current examples just reported such :

    * The Foreign Office logo change. An £80,000 design consultant resulting in just a slightly different typeface and a very costly re-print of stationery across the world!

    * The Quango board put into the perfectly well-run Gamecare charity at an additional cost to the taxpayer of one and a quarter million pounds. The charity was running perfectly well by volunteers for virtually nothing before Labour parachuted in some favourite well-paid quangocrats!

    * The enormous BBC air and taxi fares bills and gravy trainloads to Glastonbury and other events. (figures needed – real figures really resonate!)

    *And quote some of the ridiculous non-jobs still being advertised in the Guardian every week of the year.

    * And the extremely well paid Quango bosses with zero relevant experience, like those responsible for the recent air chaos.

    IN SHORT “ We’ll cut out all the things that might in different times be quite nice to do and do just what we NEED to do until we’ve balanced the books again. Just like you’ve probably done in your own family or business.”

  2. Think Defence
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    We had a look at the Liberal Democrats position on Trident here
    http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2010/04/a-cheaper-d

    and there is also some very good analysis here
    http://jedibeeftrix.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/brit

  3. Chris Hammond
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Please, please, please ask David Cameron to stress these points on Thursday? So many people are believing the LibDem 'promises' at face value and trusting that their numbers add up, when most seem to be as ephemeral as the 'savings' on Trident when you actually look at them.

  4. Ian
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    We had a look at the Liberal Democrats position on Trident here
    http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2010/04/a-cheaper-d

    and there is also some very good analysis here
    http://jedibeeftrix.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/brit

  5. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    In his Final Statement on Thursday he must say:

    "At the moment you have Gordon Brown as your unelected Prime Minister. This is a man who even his own party have tried to get rid of, a man who has led us into the worst debt crisis in our history.

    And you have Nick Clegg – who, if he gets enough votes – will tell Labour to ditch Gordon Brown and put someone in as Prime Minister acceptable to him! And he calls this democracy! A vote for the Liberal Democrats will mean Nick Clegg will appoint the next Labour Prime Minister.

    If YOU want to CHOOSE your own Prime Minister and you've had enough of New Labour's empty promises and debt, you need to vote Conservative. Don't risk letting Nick Clegg choose the next Prime Minister on his own.

  6. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    So how to prevent the "progressive alliance"?

    In the economic debate, David Cameron must bring out the fact that failure to deal with the deficit will have truly appalling consequences, both in terms of debt interest and accumulated debt. Labour and LibDem policies are broadly similar. Read Liam Halligan in Telegraph newspapers for the long term consequences – it will make your hair stand on end.

    After the final debate, it is negative campaigning time. LibDem weaknesses are:
    – European policy
    – Immigratoin policy
    – Nick Clegg's activities while working as an EU lobbyist

    Labour weaknesses are:
    – Gordon Brown's personal responsibility for much of the "World Recession" that he keeps using as an excuse
    – The utterly stagnant future that he is lining up for this country
    – His inability to stop spending money that he hasn't got

    I simply refuse to accept that that 57% of the electorate has centre left opinions. There is ample scope for final week swing.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted April 27, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      I think at least 57% of the electorate has centre left opinions – if one assumes that 'centre left' means wanting a government that provides good public services and encourages enterprise and personal responsibility.

      It strikes me these days that – the incredibly stupid inheritance tax proposal aside – the Conservatives, Labour and Liberals occupy the same middle ground.

      The difference, surely, must be in delivery of those services. Not it is a question of competence and efficiency rather than favouring one sector of society over another.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted April 29, 2010 at 2:22 am | Permalink

        Where do you this idea from that the Labour and LibDem parties encourage enterprise and personal responsibility?

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted April 29, 2010 at 2:53 am | Permalink

        To follow this up, I looked up party shares of the vote in all the post war elections:
        – Whenever the Lab + Lib/LibDem vote has been less the 54%, the Conservatives have won
        – Whenever the Lab + Lib/LibDem vote has been more than 55%, Labour has formed the government

  7. BillyB
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    What exactly does progressive politics mean anyway?

  8. ManicBeancounter
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the Conservatives should start talking about proportionality. Labour seem to have totally lost any sense of proportion when
    1. They talk about less than cuts of 0.5% of GDP sending the UK back into recession when most of that will due to not replacing leavers.
    2. When Gordon Brown is angry about other parties proposed Cuts in child Tax Credits and trust funds, that would hit the wealthier families. Or Ed Balls saying it was a "mistake to ghettoise the welfare state".
    3. They attack the Conservatives innovative education policies, that could push up standards, because of potential minor budget cuts in LEAs that lost pupils. http://manicbeancounter.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/

    Until last Autumn they refused to discuss how to tackle the £70bn structural deficit they created in the boom years, instead parroting on about “Labour Investment v. Tory Cuts”. They then refused to have a full spending review until after the election.
    They have further refused to answer your questions, Mr Redwood, on the big questions of the banks and the deficit.

    So the charge should be that Labour lack proportionality. As such they are not qualified to govern.

  9. Socrates
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    When I was a candidate, I can remember you telling me that in that election there were three issues, the Economy, the Economy,and the Economy.

    Any "progressive coalition" will be initially incapable of the sort of decisive and painful action which is sadly going to be necessary and it won't be long before they are given the Greek treatment by the markets.

    By the time that it has been forced to face reality, it will have no credibility left – so it may well not matter that they have brought in PR because they will struggle to get any support. The sad result will be that the extremists will have been given new and dangerous credibility. I think that was the sort of background that led to the rise of Hitler.

    To paraphrase the old saying, the road to Hell is paved with moderate intentions!

  10. cheap ghd
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    The difference, surely, must be in delivery of those services. Not it is a question of competence and efficiency rather than favouring one sector of society over another.

  • 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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