You are in office, but not in power, Prime Minister. You have to go

I didn’t see that election result coming, although if I had used some foresight, I would have done.

I made a number of predictions about Labour marginals before Theresa May launched the Conservative manifesto. Until then, I firmly believe that all was well. The campaign wasn’t very good at that point, however, there was time for improvement.

After the manifesto was launched, the wheels came off. Theresa May couldn’t even admit she had performed a U-turn on the so-called “dementia tax”. The campaign was too presidential. Saying “me and my team” is not only an incorrect use of English grammar, it also makes Theresa May look self-centred. Continue reading “You are in office, but not in power, Prime Minister. You have to go”

Now is the time for Conservatives to hold their nerve

A general election campaign wouldn’t be the same if the Conservative Party didn’t have a wobble. The Thursday a week before election day in 1987 was known as “Wobbly Thursday”. A rogue poll in the Daily Telegraph showed the Conservative lead down to just four points. Panic ensued. A week later, Margaret Thatcher secured a third term in office with a majority of 102.

There is a trend in the polls at the moment which appears to show Labour closing the gap. This is hardly surprising. I don’t think anyone seriously thought that the Conservatives were twenty points ahead. But although I don’t think that the Conservatives will get 400+ seats (something I thought highly likely a month ago), I do think it is still possible that they will gain an extra 50 seats. Something around that figure would give Theresa May a landslide 100+ seat majority.

I’ve come to this conclusion for two main reasons. Continue reading “Now is the time for Conservatives to hold their nerve”

Corbyn is popular with many voters because they don’t have to pay (directly)

“Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavours to live at the expense of everybody else.” Those words by Frédéric Bastiat, a French economist, were uttered almost two hundred years’ ago. I am sure that he didn’t ponder too much, if at all, about what life would be like in 2017, yet his words should be resonating throughout this general election campaign.

In many ways, Labour has been clever with its taxation plans. If Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister, he plans to increase taxes on those earning above £80,000 a year. That’s less than 5 per cent of UK incomes. In other words, it doesn’t affect more than 95 per cent of the electorate. It’s very easy to be in favour of tax increases when you don’t have to pay. Continue reading “Corbyn is popular with many voters because they don’t have to pay (directly)”

Is the Conservative Party trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

I was looking through some old articles I had written before the 2010 general election. Although we now have a Conservative Prime Minister, and taking into account that all of the main party leaders have changed and Labour should be a basket case under Jeremy Corbyn, it’s amazing how so many of the issues covered in the article are still relevant today.

Immigration is still a major issue. The current Government is still nowhere near eliminating the deficit – and Government debt is now not far off double what it was in 2010. Theresa May still pursues many of the anti-libertarian policies we saw under Labour in the Blair/Brown years. Economically, the Conservative Party is moving in a leftwards direction under May, and even more so rejects free market policies in favour of state intervention.

Back in February 2010, I thought there would be a hung Parliament, and I couldn’t say which party would be the largest.

At this general election, I would be shocked if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister, but the cock-up over the so-called ‘dementia tax’, coupled with what is in general a very disappointing manifesto, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Conservatives are doing everything they can to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Continue reading “Is the Conservative Party trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?”

Theresa May’s hubris could cost her dearly

Have you ever been to one of those meetings where everyone is told to come up with their ideas to solve a particular problem? People start coming up with solutions off the top of their heads. Most ideas are stupid, but occasionally someone comes up with something that sounds great. It is then discussed in depth. After this process you are either left with something workable, or you have spotted holes in the plan that mean it wasn’t that great an idea after all.

Something like this should have happened when the Conservative Party was formulating its manifesto. If it had, the new social care proposals wouldn’t have made the final cut.

I am not alone in thinking that the solution put forward in the Conservative manifesto has merit, but having thought about it, and having talked to others about it, I can see it is a non-starter. Continue reading “Theresa May’s hubris could cost her dearly”