Thursday, July 26, 2007

Heffer back to the future on Tax, also likes Gordon Brown

Simon Heffer has never been elected to anything as far a I know. Now that is not a complete disqualification to comment on the political process, but you can't help thinking if he had actually spent any time talking to actual voters than he wouldn't spout such bilge. His latest piece in the Telegraph is interesting in two regards; firstly he's impressed Gordon Brown, calling him a 'formidable force' among other things. This is couched in more in sorrow than in anger terms, but basically it reflects that Simon's desire to bash David Cameron far outweighs any attempt to present a, you know, Conservative, analysis of Gordon Brown. Simon's battle is for the soul of the Right, not for the country. What matters Britain when the true faith is in danger? Later on, we get some real insight into what is going on:
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.


Ted Foan said...

Just latched on to your blog via your recent Iain Dale comment.

Excellent piece on the Hefferlump. He and Daley seem to specialise in these perverse pieces on "Dave" purely to undermine any positive effect he has had on moving the Tories to the centre ground so we can actually win rather than coming close.

I'm older than them and can clearly see the reason why we need to change perceptions. What does the Hefferlump want? John Redwood to say that single mothers living on council estates should not receive preferential treatment for council housing? Norman Tebbitt to say "get on your bike" (which he never actually said)?

I'm beginning to think that the Torygraph is running a subliminal campaign for a secret party that has yet to declare its existence!

By the way, many years ago I read the Guardian, was a member of CND and voted Liberal (only once!) but I never smoked pot!

Steve Horgan said...

I have a lot of time for Janet Daley, though I don't agree with her a lot of the time. Simon Heffer's current employment as a political columnist in a serious newspaper is, however, inexplicable. It's not just his views, but the absence of insight that is astonishing. I can find better political analysis in most saloon bars.