07 March 2012

Quote of the day

I say!  This is definitely not the sort of thing one expects to read in The Telegraph (here):
I have no problem whatsoever with Cameron's £4 million plus property portfolio, nor to Gideon "Despicable" Osborne's vast wallpaper inheritance, nor yet to Nick Clegg's estimated £1.9 million net worth; still less do [I] have any issue with the fact that they were all superbly educated at Eton, St Paul's and Westminster. But what I do seriously object to is the effect this cushion of comfort has on their policy-making. As [Nadine] Dorries correctly observes – and no matter how many ludicrous photo shoots Cameron arranges in order to be caught shopping at the fish counter of his local supermarket for sea bass, just like all the ordinary folk do – Cameron and Osborne (and, though she didn't mention him, Clegg) simply have no idea how badly this recession is treating those struggling middle class families who constitute their core vote.
Dorries is also right about this: they really do not care.
As far as Cameron is concerned, the only problem with his wealth and entitlement has to do with negative image. That's why he did his best to bury Horsegate, why he persists in being so embarrassed by that Bullingdon photograph and why he has been so slow in defusing Gordon Brown's time bomb, the 50p upper band tax rate. For Cameron (as you'd expect from a PR man) it's all about surface, about perception, not about doing the right thing. He could easily, very early on, have made the simple case that needlessly high tax rates cause revenues to fall not rise and that they jeopardise economic growth and deter mobile entrepreneurs from setting up shop in Britain. But he didn't because he couldn't bear the idea of the Conservatives being tarred as the party of the superrich.
But the Conservatives ARE the party of the super-rich. Not because David Cameron went to Eton or has an incredibly rich father-in-law or because Osborne goes on yachting-n-birch-twig-flagellation cruises with Russian oligarchs, but because this is the effect their policies are having.

Ooh-err ...


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