Yesterday the party officials kindly sent me their latest views and summaries of statements by front bench spokesmen, to read before appearing on Any Questions.
I was pleased to see in the document an emerging view that an incoming Conservative government will not necessarily keep to future Labour spending plans. The more out of touch with financial reality Labour’s plans become, the more important it is that the alternative offers something better.
Conservatives have to have courage. Labour always lie, and say we want to cut schools and hospitals. I know of no elected Conservative who has ever wanted to do that. None of us came into politics to give our constituents worse education or health services. We do need to tell the public that there are many other expenditures undertaken by this government that are wasteful of undesirable, starting with ID cards and unelected regional government.
The official party line includes the following – the wish to save money on:
“The cost of social failure. Family breakdown, unemployment, durg and alcohol addiction – these social problems rack up the biggest bills for government, so we’ve got to get them down.
“The cost of unrteformed public services. Massive top-down state monopolies cost more and deliver less, so we need to improve the running of public services through more choice, competition and non state collective provision.
“The cost of bureraucracy itself. All bureaucracies have an inbuilt tendency to grow, so we need to call a halt to the wasteful spending and inefficiency we have seen under Labour”
Exactly. Conservatives have to show they can deliver more for less. That should not be difficult when you look at the rambling Labour public sector, with its armies of box tickers and management consultants, and its fields of quangos and state owned banks.