You don’t rule well by trying to divide a society

There’s a lot of class war rhetoric around in this election. There are some who seem to think you can make the poor rich by making the rich poor. There are certainly many who speak divisively about society, seeking to set poor against the better off, as if their interests were incompatible.

I have spoken and written before against austerity. I want greater prosperity for all. I want tax cuts for all to help bring it about. I want people at all income levels to keep more of the money they earn, and to pay more tax when they earn more money. Cutting tax rates, and lifting some people out of income tax and some capital taxes altogether is one of the best ways of stimulating more enterprise, more activity and more prosperity.

The Conservatives are not the party of the rich as endlessly stated in Labour and Lib Dem caricatures. We want the rich to pay more tax, and think the best way to bring that about is to set rates that mean they will stay and pay, and rates which encourage them to venture more with their money, employ more people, contribute more to our economy. We want everyone who can work to have the chance of a job. We want everyone in a job to have opportunity for promotion, training, higher pay.

You do not rule well by seeking to divide society, and by thinking that differences of income are of all consuming importance. You rule well by enforcing a fair law equally on everyone. You rule well by ensuring the many can aspire to better jobs, higher incomes, better homes, and by looking after those who cannot manage.

The danger is we spend too much time arguing how to divide the cake up, and far too little time and effort thinking how to bake a larger cake. Some want to break the country up, setting rich parts against less well off parts. Some want people to depend more on the public sector. I want to see policies which promote better training and education, more people setting up their own business and working for themselves, more small businesses expanding, more people owning property and other assets.


  1. alte fritz
    April 16, 2015

    Could not agree more. Labour is getting away with no responsibility for its part in the crisis. Their acquittal plays to this rather nasty divide and rule theme.

    1. Hope
      April 16, 2015

      JR, do you mean the sort of division where massive house building is taking place without local priority clause? eU people parachuted in and given local school places before local people born and brought up in ther area. Thousands have not achieved their first place choice for primary school today, who should they thank,Cameron?

      Perhaps you mean the sort of division where English students go to Scottish universities to find they pay uni sixty tuition costs and get a life time of debt compared to Scottish and EU students who pay nothing. This ought to be obvious because Ming Campball Lib DemMP is the chancellor at St Andrews and presides over awarding the degrees! Not only is the English student and taxpayer disadvantaged but it is paying for our EU competitors to have an advantage at job interviews as well.

      Perhaps you mean child allowance taken from English citizens while EU citizens claim for their children without em setting foot in the country! This sort of division?

      Perhaps you mean British citizens waiting in world Health Service queues while people around the world given free health care. Will the govt provide free health care travel insurance for British citizens travelling the world? If not is this not divisive?
      Perhaps all of these FrEE service ought to be added to the overseas aid bill to get a true reflection of what the Tories are costing us.

      Only the Tory could allow this division.

    2. Richard1
      April 16, 2015

      I agree. The biggest lie in this campaign is the Labour claim – never challenged by BBc interviewers, even Andrew Neil – that Labour bore no responsibility for the Crisis and Great Recession. The Labour line / lie is ‘Lehman didn’t go bust because Labour ‘invested’ in schools / hospitals’ etc. if Labour hadn’t taken the Uk into the crisis with a big structural deficit the Uks public finances would be in a much better state than they now are. The monetary and regulatory policies which led to an explosion in the riskiness of the UK banking sector were the fault of Labour. They must be made to take the blame for the disaster they caused, and those who held power at the time – like Miliband and Balls – must be allowed back.

  2. JoeSoap
    April 16, 2015

    It can equally be said that you are trying to divide a society into domiciled/non-domiciled who both live and work here but only one group pays taxes on worldwide income and capital gains. The same can be said for companies, SME s pay the full whack on worldwide sales whilst larger companies with the ability to transfer profits overseas do not.

  3. Roy Grainger
    April 16, 2015

    Labour make the ridiculous mistake of assuming that the super-rich are just going to pay up, so their projection of the revenue raised by removing non-dom tax status or putting up the top rate of income tax assumes those people will just sit here any pay up. They won’t. The rich are a moving target. It is odd Labour don’t realise this, they are Euro-enthusiasts so must know about freedom of movement. The rich are a moving target, my part of London is full of French people who have moved to avoid the high taxes there, they could all just as easily move to Dublin. It is somewhat the same for companies, I imagine Labour would put up corporation tax too.

  4. formula57
    April 16, 2015

    Sound sentiments but one measure that promotes the notion that “You rule well by enforcing a fair law equally on everyone” (and that also facilitates the baking of a larger cake) would be to tackle the non-domicile outrage.

    For once, and perhaps it is the only time we will see it, Miliband has a sound and fair policy (he does not intend as his announcement suggested to abolish tax concessions for temporary residents of a few years standing, some at least of whom may benefit the UK by being here) that would strip away non-domicle status from those, often UK citizens and de facto permanent residents, who somehow can claim it, perhaps only bccause their fathers were non-domiciled.

  5. rick hamilton
    April 16, 2015

    Exactly the point I tried to make in a previous post. Where is the party that has a plan to increase the tax take by making the cake bigger and the percentage they grab from us smaller?

    Where is the party capable of promoting high-tech R&D and restoring the UK to being a world-leading manufacturer? Which party leaders have qualifications and experience in science and technology?

    I am tired of being told by arts graduates how they intend to waste our money on social engineering instead of real engineering of which they know absolutely nothing.

    1. Edward2
      April 16, 2015

      Excellent point, well made rick.
      The whole election campaign so far has been lacking plans on how to actually increase the overall wealth of the nation.
      Spending is easy.
      At the same time some political parties are attacking those that try to increase the overall wealth of the nation.
      There is enough spending by the State (£742 billion) to achieve far more effect towards those areas that need it.
      Its a failure of priorities rather than a lack of funds.

  6. Narrow Shoulders
    April 16, 2015

    You rule weell by enforcing a fair law equally on everyone .

    Mr Redwood I agree with your post but suggest your party might like to practice what you preach.

  7. Ian wragg
    April 16, 2015

    I don’t want the rich to more tax. I want government to stop wasting what you already get. I was listening to that idiot Clogg this morning telling us how he would raise this tax and that tax
    No mention of reducing immigration which is crippling our public services
    Just tax tax tax. I see the housing market has come to a grinding halt after Millipede bangs on about his mansion tax.
    2 more power stations closing because they are uneconomic on frequency control.
    Welcome to third world Britain.

    1. fedupsouthener
      April 16, 2015

      Yes Ian, regarding your last paragraph. This is happening on a large scale in Germany too. Third world Europe at this rate.

  8. alan jutson
    April 16, 2015

    Your post this morning is correct, such a shame that nearly all political Party’s want to bribe voters with their someone else’s (taxpayers) money.

    People and politicians have to get used to the fact that the World is not a completely fair and equal place.

    The simple fact is, if you are offered large amounts of money and services for doing absolutely nothing, when you are capable of making a contribution, then many people will simply accept that offer, and do nothing to contribute in return.

    When you are working hard and paying most of your earnings to someone else, then the encouragement to work even harder or longer to pay ever more into the system is lost.

    Such is the way our society has gone in the last few decades.

  9. eeyore
    April 16, 2015

    Class hatred is as odious as race hatred. Odd, isn’t it, that the most ferocious class warriors tend to be those who pride themselves most complacently on their own superb moral superiority?

    The top one per cent of earners pay enough tax to fund the entire NHS. I think that stumping up on that scale, with resigned good grace, as nearly all rich people do, is a noble thing. Frankly, I’d like to see it recognised in the honours system. Imagine the howls from Johnnie Socialist if that were seriously proposed!

    Many Conservatives look the other way when the rich are abused. Perhaps they can’t find the arguments, or perhaps the courage. So thank you, Mr Redwood, for this wise, brave and eloquent post.

  10. petermartin2001
    April 16, 2015

    There are some who seem to think you can make the poor rich by making the rich poor.

    Maybe, but there are also those who seem to think you can make the rich richer by making the poor poorer. That may be true but is equally wrong.

    The main way of making the poor poorer is to let the economy stagnate as it has since 2008. Not just in the UK but in the EZ too. Of course it’s much worse there. But there seems to be a perverse determination, by all mainstream parties, to copy the failed contractionary policies which we’ve seen in Europe rather than the more successful expansionary economic policies that have pulled the US out of recession. Not perfectly but better than anyone else.

    We’ve all heard the bigger cake argument but who’s baked the bigger cake? The Keynesian USA or the Monetarist EZ?

    Why copy failure rather than success?

    1. Edward2
      April 17, 2015

      Increasing the money supply in the USA isn’t Keynesian, neither is manipulating the dollar exchange rate versus China to its own trading advantage.
      The 50% cheaper energy compared to Europe (partly due to fracking) helped too.

  11. agricola
    April 16, 2015

    Yes Labour have reverted to class warfare, but sadly the leadership of your party do not suggest that people should think differently . However I look at both Labour and Conservative and realise how both are so distant from the aspirations of the electorate.

    I get the impression that they are going through the motions at this election knowing full well that they will only gain power through some form of coalition, at which point all their election promises will have to be dropped in order to achieve power. At this point the electorate will be left behind yet again.

    I tend to agree with Stephen Glover who says that the UKIP manifesto is the one that comes nearest to the aspirations of the British electorate, but that despite their share of the vote it will not be reflected in members in the next parliament. All other manifestos are either conspicuous for ignoring the pressing questions that face us or are totally away with the fairies. In fact the UKIP manifesto is the only one to offer a credible financial plan.

    Why do the three main parties fail on Immigration, Defence, HS2, EU Membership, Education, English Votes for English matters. I would suggest it is because they hold the UK electorate in contempt. On the one key question of a referendum in 2015 they remain silent despite being repeatedly told by the Brussels hierarchy that there is no chance of any renegotiation before 2020 if ever. On this you politicians have failed the electorate and you will reap the result, being forever damned by history.

  12. libertarian
    April 16, 2015

    Unfortunately John we get the politicians we deserve.

    Our electorate consists of too many people who think that If you’re wealthy you must have taken it from someone else. There are far too many people who never think about what the cause and effects are they just buy into every cliche and soundbite. That is because our media for the most part is absolutely awful . Lazy, deceitful totally lacking any form of real independent journalism. Churn, click bait and partisan opinion is all you get.

    Example the height of media interest in this election

    Photo’s of Ed M picking his nose and a critique of UKIP manifesto that concentrated on a photoshop background picture of some books.

    We need democracy in order to change things and we don’t have a democratic election system in this county. Thats why we get what we get.

  13. oldtimer
    April 16, 2015

    You also need more honesty from the politicians who seek to be in government. A very good example of what not to do was given by Mr Clegg this morning in an interview on the BBC Breakfast programme.

    Not for the first time he muddled up the (annual) deficit with the (national) debt saying his plan is “to clear the debt” by the end of the next parliament and “to wipe the slate clean” for the next generation. Either he still does not comprehend or understand the difference between the deficit and the debt – this is the most charitable view – or he does comprehend and understand it but wants to deceive his listeners. The BBC interviewer presumably does not understand the difference because she did not pick him up on it.

    Mr Clegg has form. You have called him out on his lie about the “loss of 3 million jobs” if the UK left the EU. He and his party are not to be trusted.

  14. MJ
    April 16, 2015

    what happened to

    why isn’t it in date order on your front page?

    1. stred
      April 16, 2015

      Judging from the few comments, this policy seems to have gone down like a lead balloon with the majority, who don’t qualify for social housing and will finish up paying for the generous discounts.

  15. Dr Dan H.
    April 16, 2015

    One way to look at this is to look at the recent history, and see what has worked in the past and what has not worked. The Labour governments prior to the Thatcher Tory administration tried high taxes on those with high income as a way to redistributing wealth. They also tried to closely integrate their government with industry by giving the trades unions a large say in how government was run.

    Neither policy was particularly successful, the former because tax dodging was so rife and the latter because trades union activists are by their very nature forced into a limited view of the world.

    Left-wingers routinely slander Thatcher’s government for being the party of the rich; in truth lauding her system might be a better policy, as she extracted far more tax from the rich than the old Labour system ever did, simply by dint of taking a slimmer slice and making tortuous schemes to avoid taxation a waste of time.

  16. Bert Young
    April 16, 2015

    I agree that you can rule well if you make the laws ; those that make the laws must have the consent of the people and be elected by them . Unfortunately this is not the case with our relationship with the EU . There are so many conditions forced on us by the EU that require adherence without consent and , as far as I am concerned , this is entirely unacceptable .

    Waiting for a referendum as far away as 2017 is also unacceptable . Juncker has strongly indicated he will not agree to any concessions during his tenure of office ; although it is not his decision that will count on this matter , nevertheless he will create a resistance making any new relationship negotiated impossible before 2019 . I don’t believe the public will accept this .

  17. Mitchel
    April 16, 2015

    Allister Heath in today’s DT : “This is the election where the social engineers finally triumphed”.The most telling comment on the party manifestos so far.

  18. CdBrux
    April 16, 2015

    It would be nice to see a little less corporatism and get the feeling that the ordinary person has more of a chance to succeed. I think there is a perception, rightly or wrongly, that things are stacked a little too much in favour of the larger corporations and especially those who can get themselves in a position to influence policy.

    So lets bake the larger cake but ensure all that deserve have a chance to eat it according to their talents and energies and what they can bring to the party. And lets celebrate those who succeed, as long as they do so lawfully and with good grace.

  19. Kevin Lohse
    April 16, 2015

    Dear John. The problem of rich against poor is also that the Left think that the cake is already too big and should be reduced in size, together with the number of people who want a slice. The more extreme want to return to a pre-industrial existence with a tenth of the population, while espousing uncontrolled immigration. These false and pernicious beliefs come from accepting the Malthusian, millennialist view that Human progress is doomed to failure and the humanity is a curse upon the Earth. The Tory party unfortunately subscribes to this view by its promotion of inadequate energy sources and ambivalent attitude towards fracking.

    1. stred
      April 16, 2015

      The Green Party even wants to reduce the population of pet rabbits, by denying them cages and consequent protection from foxes.

  20. Iain Gill
    April 16, 2015

    Most of the class based prejudice comes from the public school output, and is subjected on the rest of us. That is the reality. And I speak as someone retaining my working class accent, despite my education etc, I have been subjected to extreme prejudice time and time again throughout my life from the public school crowd. If this prejudice was against my colour or race the perpetrators would be in court under various race relations legislation, as it is this stuff is not even frowned upon by polite society. That is the reality most of us see every day. So your wish for class neutral views is not likely to go anywhere. If you said you wanted a genuine meritocracy where everyone is treated according to merit, then yea maybe you would get support. If you spoke out against the most obvious class based prejudice in the media then again you may get support.
    While we are talking about it, let’s remember the mortgaged classes have been heavily subsidised in recent years. The social housing tenants are massively subsidised already, and it seems you want to give them subsidised house purchase too. Where is the speaking out for the many problems faced by private tenants? Not heard you analyse or comment on their problems. The conservative party just seems to want to tax them to subsidise all other types of housing. It’s this exactly the “rule by dividing society” you claim to be against.
    Lots of motherhood and apple-pie in what you have said. The reality is people cannot get on when they are swamped by immigration. They cannot get on when they are forced to live in social housing far away from any potential jobs market for their skills. They cannot get on when they are forced to go to a sink school. On these issues none of the parties have got a joined up set of policies to fix.

  21. Kenneth
    April 16, 2015

    Socialists have a terrible record of divisive policies and attitudes:

    – rich v poor – as pointed out in this blog post
    – male v female – e.g. all-female shortlists
    – black v white – I have never met anyone who is either black or white (they are many shades). However the left wing media tend to refer to them as opposites
    – workers v bosses


  22. Cliff. Wokingham.
    April 16, 2015

    Perhaps our party leader should also think that he cannot lead the party effectively by dividing its core vote and insulting them…..Just a thought.

  23. Bill
    April 16, 2015

    Agree. The vision for a good society should include science and commerce as drivers for wealth and then a safety net for the poor and needy, and room for charities alongside state provision. What we have instead is a constant bureaucratisation of Britain and a pandering to creeping unionisation.

    I worked for a university in the UK recently and was put through an induction program. To my amazement the induction morning was treated as an opportunity for signing people up to Unison. They had a whole display stand and were giving away goodies to try to entice people to join. No other unions or interest groups were represented. You might have been forgiven for thinking the university existed for the benefit of the unions rather than to carry out teaching and research.

  24. fedupsouthener
    April 16, 2015

    John, you talk about not wanting divisions between rich and poor. How is it then that the policy on renewables does just this? It makes the poor pay for the energy the rich use by way of subsidies for solar and wind. People who do not have the money to put solar panels on their roofs are subsidising those that can afford to. This should never have been the case. People should be happy they are getting their energy for free and not want subsidies for it which is paid for by everyone else. I really object to having to pay for my neighbour’s energy. We know we want to move soon so buying solar panels is not a good option for us and anyway, I would not be happy receiving subsidies from others. Same with wind farms. The wealthy landowners receive large amounts of money to have turbines on their land. So much that they are all scrambling to get on the bandwagon while it lasts. This policy is divisive and is pushing more of the poor into fuel poverty.

  25. Atlas
    April 16, 2015

    Talking about ‘a divided society’ How about the Conservatives repealing some/all of the PC legislation which stops people saying what they are thinking? Trevor Philips hasa lot to answer for in this regard, as he himself admitted on a Channel 4 TV programme a few weelks ago.

    1. Atlas
      April 16, 2015

      Sorry for the typos.

  26. bigneil
    April 16, 2015

    Dividing the cake up? – – Quite simple in Mr Cameron’s eyes. Him, his buddies and the bankers get the cake, the rest of us get the crumbs.

    1. Bazman
      April 16, 2015

      Rats in charge of the cheese never give out a fair share.

      1. Mondeo Man
        April 17, 2015

        So that’s why the West has an obesity epidemic, is it, Bazman ?

        1. Bazman
          April 18, 2015

          Are implying that because a large number of the por consume to many calories in particular the poor they are all rich. This was an argument of the USSR funnily enough.

  27. Bob
    April 16, 2015

    Mr Redwood,

    Your party set up the new opt-in pension scheme putting the burden on employers large and small to set up and pensions for their employees.

    Since many people tend to move around from one job to another they are going to end up with lots of fragmented pension accounts.

    I don’t see how this helps the employer or the employee.

    It would have been better for the individual to open a pension account and allow the employer to make the contributions into the account and when the individual moves on to another job they simply give the account number to the new employer to do the same, that would save businesses a lot of admin work, the individual would end up with a less fragmented pension and they will learn something about self responsibility.

    ps. If the individual wanted to open multiple pensions or transfer to new providers that would be their prerogative.

  28. Bob
    April 16, 2015

    “You don’t rule well by trying to divide a society”

    Interesting that you use the word “rule”. I always think of the govt more as a temporary administration that are in office as long as the electorate are satisfied with their performance. It should be the electorate that “rule”, but due to the flawed electoral system and the polarisation in the country created by the divide and rule strategy of the “rulers” we have been condemned to a bi-party system where the two parties take it in turn to [do what they do].

  29. ian
    April 16, 2015

    All you worry about is big business, everything is done for them what ever they want that’s government policy. 72 million people in the country by 2030 for big business that government policy house price going up three fold in that time that government policy, full employment on min wages that’s government policy 15 million or more on min wage by 2030, spending going up all the time and all that money going through big business hands and paying no tax that government policy. War that’s government policy, food banks that’s government policy

  30. margaret brandreth-j
    April 16, 2015

    Yes part of the success is not measuring success , but carrying on doing and trying ( with sensible apron strings on the budget). If you look at what others are earning it is always relative and not always related to effort intelligence capability etc , but you have to deal with it.I mean there are rich morons and poor geniuses.

  31. ian
    April 16, 2015

    oh sorry about that writing today I had a moment.

  32. Jon
    April 16, 2015

    John I’d have a nuanced disagreement on the assumption of “There are some who seem to think you can make the poor rich by making the rich poor.”

    I would say it’s about motives. When the web became properly functional say 15 plus years ago commenting and blogging online grew and there was a short time in the very late 1990’s to Labour’s struggle within, old Labour against New Labour, Brownites against Blairites. Occasionally I went onto their websites, I think one was Red Labour but a long time ago.

    The posters were often MP’s and advisers, names we know. They had pseudonyms but you quickly saw who they were when they were congratulated for their MP speech at the UCL etc that was on the news.

    The old Labour Brownites hated the aspirational message of the Blairites, the message that the working class character of Harry Enfield the plasterer earning more money they rounded on. Their issue and the relevance to this comment is that they posted comments that if the working class and poor earned more and got aspirational they would loose their seats and their core message of being for the poor working classes.

    The naivety of them posting these discussions was of course deleted when they realised the potential fall out of it. So I would say it’s not that they want to raid the rich (which many of them are) to give to the poor but to keep the poor where they are so they can plug the same message and retain their seat.

  33. Aatif Ahmad
    April 16, 2015

    How many assets have you created politician?

  34. Bazman
    April 16, 2015

    Maybe you could try and defend the absence of David Cameron on the election debate tonight on BBC 1 tonight? He could not justify the divided society he created and his easily seen sense of entitlement from him and his top down government that is why.
    Any tin foil hat comments on the BBC are always good for a laugh from any of the usual spider writing commentators on this site.

    1. Edward2
      April 16, 2015

      Well here I am Baz!
      This was a debate between all the minor parties plus Ed.
      If I were Ed I would have left them to it.
      Just a few seats between them all.

      1. Bazman
        April 18, 2015

        Then why did Cameron send his minions to comment? They had no right to do so if they saw no relevance to the debate. Comments on my stopping of free speech are irrelevant. The had their chance to make all the speech and choose not to take it.
        What it does show is that the Tories need to be ousted and spider writing defence of the Tories stance to hide from their abysmal record which is now laughably promising the earth to the average person adds to it.

        1. Edward2
          April 18, 2015

          Well you will have the chance on May 7th Baz to return a Labour Govt which will bring perfection to this land as they did last time.

          1. Bazman
            April 19, 2015

            At least they will put the average person first and no an elite few and this is where the Tories are losing the argument relying on the trickle down effect as ever which most see as a lie which it is.
            Syphoning off money to an elite few whilst telling us that giving money to the poor and making the rich less wealthy will not help anyone. Robin Hood in reverse. Now telling us how much they will spend, but not where they will get the money from which will be cuts to benefits and services for the average person. An increase in the minimum wage will not help this and most low paid do not make enough to pay tax so tax cuts for them will be of no use especially when VAT will be raised. Lies and fantasy from charlatans to attack the poor even further to reduce their living standards and availability of housing. If anyone deserves to loose the election it is the Tories.

            Reply The opposite of the truth as, so often. The last government taxed the rich more and took many low income earners out of tax altogether, as well as creating the conditions for 2m new jobs

    2. Mondeo Man
      April 17, 2015

      Bazman – Having watched last nights leaders’ debate I note that your point of view is very well represented – on the panel (outnumbering mine 4-1) and, as Nigel Farage pointed out, in the audience too.

      My point of view represents around 14% of the population (probably more if the Eurosceptic core of the Tory party vote is taken into consideration – more than The Greens and LibDems combined) and yet it will barely get represented more than a couple of seats in Parliament.

      Why are you such an angry man ?

      We’re having it your way.

      In comparison to you we ‘spider writers’ are the model of patience, tolerance and calm reasoning.

      We have never resorted to violence against the left as the left has against us.

      1. Mondeo Man
        April 17, 2015

        Bazman – to that comment I should clarify that the core of the Eurosceptic Tory vote are those who are deluded enough to think that their vote will not be twisted into a mandate for ever closer EU union and a rigged referendum (if it ever happens.)

        Voting tactically ? Done that. Got the T shirt.

  35. Wokingham mums
    April 16, 2015

    Just think. Ed won , because where was Dave & Nick who is saying Dave won’t let hm. UKIP, labour Collation, if Ed offers EU referendum?

    1. Mondeo Man
      April 17, 2015

      Wokingham Mum – I was rather upset that the other panelists were allowed to get away with the tired accusations of racism.

      We Ukippers are not xenophobes. We are claustrophobes.

      The country is full.

      I wonder what Dr Redwood makes of Nigel Farage’s claim that the housing crisis is an issue of excessive demand for limited supply – owing to an extra 300,000 people a year arriving.

      It seems we cannot make such an obvious claim without being accused of criminality. That is to be accused of the offence of inciting race hatred.

      Well call the police then. Otherwise it’s not racism.

      It is every citizen’s moral and legal duty to presume innocence of criminality until proven otherwise in a court of law.

      They should press charges or shut up.

      It is grossly dishonest of them to resort to “You’re racist” every time the obvious is mentioned. And thank God Nigel Farage is brave enough to do it.

      I honestly fear for his safety.

      Such as the Daily Mail and David Cameron (and the other party leaders) are the one’s who have truly incited hatred. As we see from Bazman – the people who really hate are on the Left.

  36. JoeSoap
    April 16, 2015

    and you don’t win a TV debate by not turning up!

    1. alan jutson
      April 17, 2015

      Whilst I agree that you usually do not win a debate by not turning up to defend your corner, I thought those who did turn up last night showed how far they were all removed from reality.

      Farage was the only one who was grounded with his financial arguments, but you could see that he got so frustrated with all of the other money tree contestants, and the audience, that even he lost the plot completely at one stage.

      Amazing the showing of the absolute loathing (bordering on hatred) of the Conservative Party, when the Coalition have already been borrowing over £500 billion more than we can afford over the last 5 years, and it still appears not to be enough to satisfy the others by a mile.

      They all say they want a balanced economy, but it appears they do not have a clue how to do very simple mathematics in order to get it.

      Very worrying times given this is the best of the rest. !

      1. JoeSoap
        April 17, 2015

        Yes but the absence of an incumbent at an important Hustings always gives the impression of arrogance.

    2. Narrow Shoulders
      April 17, 2015

      True but when your opponents are able to quote abstracts and are not held to account for their own records (Labour 13 years, SnP current administration) you are more likely to lose.

      The only speaker who quoted potential future figures was Farage everyone else was in fantasy land while appearing compassionate. That’s our money they want to spend.

      Farage blundered by accusing the audience of being too left wing. He needs to attract more disaffected Labour voters to his cause and distancing himself from the left will not achieve this, he needs to be more inclusive of his target audience. He would have found more sympathy by accusing the studio audience of being pious establishment figures.

      The worm really demonstrated the truth that the audience was comprised of right-on worthies.

      Mr Cameron was well out of it.

  37. ian
    April 17, 2015

    I have come to the realization that big business net contribution to government spending this year will be 52 billion pounds apart from business rates, leaving small business and the people to pick the 700 billion pounds.

    Also I think I am taking lead in the election with none votes leading, I am going for outright win,

  38. Kenneth R Moore
    April 17, 2015

    I want tax cuts for all to help bring it about. I want people at all income levels to keep more of the money they earn, and to pay more tax when they earn more money.

    JR will you please accept your time in the Conservative party is over – you do not belong there in a party of Blair copycats. All we have heard is how much more money the Conservatives are planning to spend …without any concrete plan on how to pay for it all. Your agenda cannot be delivered within a culture where more spending is seen as the solution for all problems.

    Presumably your leaders are relying on upbeat growth forecasts – we know how accurate past predictions have been!….If the OBR was really worth it’s salt the deficit would have been eliminated by now.

    Your party should have the courage to make the case for lower spending and greater efficiency – your party has done next to nothing to tackle low productivity.

    Keeping NHS spending flat, eradicating more back office costs and employing more on the front line are all quite possible with the political will in place…

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