Happy New Year! I'm back. I hope you all enjoyed your consumerist holiday frenzy.
I've once again been beaten by Polly Toynbee in most of the argument I was planning to make on this point, but here goes;
So the Tories now share the same objectives as us? On Social Justice, International Aid and Green issues they talk left of centre.
If this is true (and forgive me for being unbelieving about Cameron's Damascian change from advocating right wing policies just a few months back), then this is good news.
The Tories are just playing catch up with us. This is a huge victory for New Labour. The Tories can NEVER be as green or redistributive as us, their record is awful. If they decide to match us, we can always go one step further and call their bluff. Why vote for a Tory party copying Labour when you can have the real thing. If Cameron is just going to copy New Labour policies, what is the point of him?
A recent green survey suggested that not only are the Tory's policies the worst of any party in the UK, they are the worst of any party in Europe. They consistently vote against things like the climate change levy and oppose improvements in public transport. Their 'green' solutions are building more roads and scrapping the congestion charge. This is the opposite of environmental, so I await their policy commitment on this with relish.
As for social justice and reducing inequality, the Tories are asking a lot for anyone to believe they really mean this. Which party fought tooth and nail against the minimum wage and has opposed every increase? Yes, you guessed it! Only Labour can be trusted to keep increasing the minimum wage above the rate of inflation, like they have since they introduced it.
Also, everyone knows the Tories are going to spend less than us on public services. Who relies on public provision the most? The poorest. Any cuts here goes against the Tories claims on social justice. Cameron's only policy here is regressive - discriminating against single parents in favour of wealthier married parents with tax breaks. This is old Thatcherite prejudice coming through again.
Remember Thatcherite/Reaganomic 'trickle down' economics? I would suggest that is what Oliver Letwin thinks will reduce inequality. It didn't work under Thatcher and it won't work under Cameron either.
International Aid - does anybody trust the Tories on this? Bob Geldof refused to sit on their committee and I await his verdict on their policy change. The Tories could not stomach to be better than Labour on this and I can't wait for Geldof to point this out. Lets see them promise to match Labour's and the UN's target of 0.7% of GDP. I doubt very much a party that wants to cut taxation will do this. They reduced aid last time they were in government.
Saying all that, its great to see we are winning the argument. Come on Cameron, lets see how far you are willing to drag your party kicking and screaming into the 20th century (sadly not the 21st). The more you talk of moving to the left, the better for us.