“A weak currency arises from a weak economy which in turn is the result of a weak Government” – Gordon Brown.
Edmund Conway, on p 21 of today’s Telegraph, quotes Brown when he criticised the Tories in 1992 at the time of the disastrous Major/Clarke/Lament era…
Brown was right to say this then, and the quote is even more apposite today.
It’s just a pity he didn’t live by it, and has made even bigger mistakes than the Tories did then.
The official figures released today show two consecutive quarters of economic decline or contraction.
Which will stop the ‘downturn’ lie …
… But also remind us what a sorry state Brown has got us in.
The BBC is reporting that, as well as unemployment reaching 1.92 million in November (which means it’s well over 2 million, now), the ‘downturn’* (its infantile name for the ‘recession’ – just like parents use the word ‘pee’) is ‘hitting women harder’, according to a report from the TUC, which found that:
the redundancy rate among women had risen by 2.3%, almost double the rate for men, since last year.
It said more women were in work and more households depended on a woman’s wage than in previous downturns.
It also found many job losses were occurring in retail and hospitality, where more women than men work.
The study, published ahead of Wednesday’s unemployment figures which are expected to show another big rise in the jobless total, also found women now earn more than men in a fifth of couples.
The Labour Government has been panicking, saving men’s jobs in automotive in its marginal seats, but is missing the wood for the trees. It’s ignoring women’s jobs which it just lets go without even a fear for the economic, social, or political consequences.
Remember, it was the ladies (e.g. Worcester women) who largely voted Blair in.
While in the latest Times/IPSOS-Mori opinion poll, 45% would vote Tory compared to 31% Labour, only 28% of women said they’d vote Labour, while 43% plumped for the Conservatives.
Men have now caught up with women in the big 5% swing from Labour to the Conservatives, but it is women who are ‘hardest hit’ – and, in households where the woman fears for her job and doesn’t expect any help from the Government – the man (and the kids) will suffer too. Men say: mess with our women and we won’t vote for you either.
* Which the BBC will upgrade to ‘recession’ this Friday when the growth figures are released.
The Conservative lead over Labour remains at 7 percentage points (Con 41%, Lab 34%, LD, 15%). Hat tip: Conservative Home. However, as I observed earlier today, Brown may be about to make two “excessive” policy risks by printing money and cutting taxes. Actually, the tax cut would be welcome, but would alas dent the Tories’ opinion poll standing.
Because there is a Labour threat — Brown winning a majority or hanging Parliament in a ‘snap’ general election — which means more disastrous Brownian (dis)economics and the grim prospect of a second Brown term.
The Tories’ two looming strategic errors, therefore, are:-
(1) They fail to propose an income tax cut before Brown does. The Conservatives have promised to elimiate lower rate tax on savings (interest on wealth) as opposed to reducing taxes on income tax (earned income) — not very egalitarian. As a result, they would lose credibility further (as it is clear that Cameron will not replace his mate Osborne), and may even gift Brown an opinion poll lead — if he appears to be more in tune with the people. Which Brownian (dis)economics can never be, though it might seem so at the time — after all, these good mortgage deals nowadays for the wine-bibbing “chattering classes” make them just luv Labour.
(2) They bring into the Shadow Cabinet the vilest proponent of europhilia, Ken Clarke.* Just because Labour has woken Mandelson from his coffin does not mean that the Conservatives should wheel in Clarke. This would inevitably create a UKIP bounce that would not only be disastrous for the Tories (and a boon for Labour) in the forthcoming European elections — but would spill over into the forthcoming general election. Cameron is already weak on Europe (i.e. EPP-ED) and bringing back Clarke, a throwback from the Major régime, could split the Tories but would certainly drive Eurosceptic voters away from them in droves.
Therefore, the Conservatives need to propose to cut income tax as well as keeping Ken Clarke on the back benches where he belongs — to see off the Labour threat. Otherwise, there will be a Tory leadership election within the next 18 months if they let Labour back in or gift them a hung parliament.
- Alistair Darling
- animal welfare
- Bank of England buffoons
- Child A
- general election
- Gordon Brown
- gun crime
- intellectual idiocy
- Jacqui Smith
- Labour Party
- Northern Ireland
- older people
- opinion polls
- public sector
- Reg Empty
- Rhys Jones
- Royal Mail
- Shannon Matthews
- social breakdown
- social services