Thursday 15 January 2009

The Do-Nothing Party

The current Labour jibe against the Tories.

And I must admit I’ve been worried that they have not been getting to grips with the economic situation.

But last week I went to hear William Hague speak to a group of people in Tynemouth (some party activists and many with opposing views) but all connected in some way with the economy and/or supporting people. The purpose was to present (at the same time as six other shadow ministers around the country) the practical initiatives the party wanted implemented, and to establish from those present other ideas to feed back. The weather was gorgeous and the view from the conference room over the Priory was fantastic. But I still listened.

He didn’t raise my obsession, a bad bank, but there were a lot of practical ideas. Some:
- Raise pensioners personal allowance
- Stop house repossession for non-mortgage debt
- Cut National Insurance to cut employment costs
- Create tax break for new jobs (since copied)
- Create a loan guarantee scheme (part copied)

The guy sitting next to me, employed in the third sector, said he was not a natural conservative but he was impressed a) at the practicability of some of the ideas and b) with the desire to consult.

I came away encouraged that the party is starting to come out with coherent and practical ideas to sort out the economy: it doesn’t really matter if they are picked up by the Government because implementing them will improve matters.

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