Friday, 8 May 2009

The Tory Manifesto - Preamble

So over the next few days I am writing the Tory manifesto. Well, my version of it anyway. Here goes: the preamble.

In general terms, frankly, it matters little who wins the next election, presumably in June 2010. Why? Well, whoever wins - assuming NuLab actually still has a chance - they are going to have to carry out exactly the same policies: significant tax increases concurrent with massive public sector spending cuts. There simply is no other option. None. Null. Zero.

But Dave's problem is demonstrated by a meeting I had this week with a client of mine. He's a property guy. Big cheese. Rich. Very. Always voted Tory. Good potential as a party donor actually. His view: "Well Cameron will win so he doesn't need my vote. But anyway why would I vote for him? I have no idea what he stands for or what he actually will do once in Government. All I've heard is this soft Left, hug a hoodie, green, global warming crap."

All the good poll results have been because NuLab is in terminal decline and ripping itself apart, not because Dave has laid out anything even slightly compelling. And there is the rub. By being a 'New Conservative', Dave has confused us proles as to what he and his party are now all about.

So his conundrum is this: how to raise taxes but not alienate his trad Tories voters whilst cutting spending and not alienating those he needs either not to turn out for Labour or the Lib Dems or to attract to vote Tory once more. Putting aside for now that he of course also needs some 'blue meat' for his tribal vote, I think he has to target three groups:

1. The 'stay-at-home' Labour voters
2. The 'stay-at-home Lib Dems
3. The genuine floaters

He needs the stay-at-home Labs, now so revolted and embarrassed by their current Government, to be so pissed off they...well...stay at home.

He needs the stay-at-home Lib Dems to feel that (a) Dave may not be so bad after all and (b) to realise that to get rid of Labour they need to...well... stay at home.

And he needs the genuine floaters, also pissed off with NuLab, to at least see something attractive about his agenda and therefore give him the benefit of the doubt.

Until now, Dave's strategy has been to stay tight lipped about future policies, agendas, manifesto commitments etc until an election is imminent so that the desperate NuLab attack dogs have little time to savage him. But the time is fast approaching when Dave needs to say something about what he is all about and what he will do.

Hence, my Tory manifesto....

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