Listening to a clip of Gordon Browns speech on the news last night where he cried out about how the Conservatives will:
"cut, cut and cut again"
I was struck how I immediately associated this line and it's venom with that of a crook crying out innocently:
"But M'Lud, the less I rob people, the less money I have feed myself and my habits"
IT'S NOT YOUR MONEY GORDON!
The Labour Party have successfully linked tax levels in the mind of the electorate with public sector performance. But tax revenues a phenomenally higher than they were in 1997, and have with just a few blips steadily grown in real terms since the end of the Second World War. It is not Public Sector performance that has increased, it is it's size. When Labour, as it is doing is shutting regional hospitals, military facilities and post offices it becomes hard anyway to win an argument that people can hear you shouting for your cause, but see you killing services yourself.
There are very few people who want more taxes, and probably even fewer who think the public sector should continue to grow unabated. This weeks budget will I suspect survive the test of time... in that it will be held up to future economic & politics students as what not to do when your economy is in decline. Everybody can see it was targeted to hurt the Conservative Party, not designed to help people. When this happens, as it has, and the levers of power are being set against opponents instead set to help people and do what is best for the country and the people that live there you have tyranny. The fact that the Treasury apparently views the IMF as an acceptable route to borrow more money to continue growing the state is a sorry example of just how poorly we are being governed.
So for once I think the Conservatives are on to a winner by keeping quiet for a bit. As I say, the link in the electorates mind was there previously between tax and performance, but as people look around at the country today, I do not think that link is recognised now. Additionally there is no way they can forecast or plan to do anything until the damage can be analysed for a position of Government. If Labour try to define this as an electoral battleground, they will be soundly beaten. And if a future Labour opposition can not face up to this, they could well be in turmoil for quite some time, and the party that prided itself on solidarity will need to make some key ideological decisions quickly, or this could be their fault line.
I am 29, I earn an OK salary, I am not in the current higher tax band. I will be saddled for at least the rest of my working life with the burdens being imposed by this government. These burdens and state expansions have not been decided in Parliament; they were decided in Whitehall and in Brussels. As I have been dragooned into working until retirement to help pay this off, I will spend the rest of my whole life writing and arguing against socialism in the UK and Europe.