It is hard to meet a Tory MP who will not say privately that the Government is wasting epic amounts of public money, and that there is scope for huge spending and tax cuts without harming public services. Mr Cameron cannot bring himself to say that either. Yet these are central issues that should enable him to connect to millions.
For the uninitiated I will translate: a Conservative MP or two has sounded off at Simon, who has obligingly rehearsed their mutterings for the newspaper-reading public. No names of course; that would be bad form in Simon's world. The point itself is, of course, nonsense. The 'central issues' are the ones that the Conservative Party is talking about, the loss of control of our borders, the failing welfare system, family breakdown, the resurrected EU constitution and so on. Of course taxes are too high and of course there is government waste, but how do you run with that argument? You cannot promise to cut taxes come what may, because the economy might not let you when you finally come to power some time in the future. You can point out how money can be saved, and the Party is doing just that, but connecting that directly to people's wallets can only be done in the actual run-up to an election because then is when you have some idea of the real numbers. If the Conservatives did what Simon wanted then they would just sound vacuous, and of course the Labour Party would like nothing better than to portray the Opposition as savage cutters of public services.
It is actually quite difficult to work out where Simon is coming from politically. Right now he seems content enough that Labour are up in the polls, and I think there is a clue there. Mrs. Thatcher described them a 'false squires', Tories who supposedly harked back to bygone days, but who had really intellectually surrendered to socialism and considered their duty to manage an orderly surrender to the ideology of the Left. I reckon she had Simon's number.