Monday, 6 January 2014

New Year Thoughts for the PM

The next election looms ever larger, and as we inch closer the intensity of the focus on how to Conservative Party might win an overall majority can only increase. Already we have been faced with the grim statistical realities uncovered by Lord Ashcroft regarding the drift away from my party towards UKIP and the stark choices we must make to prevent Labour from wreaking further havoc on our economy and society.

I have therefore used the Christmas period to reflect on how we might achieve a Parliamentary majority and the following five suggestions might help.

Firstly, European renegotiations; it is nearly a year since the Prime Minister’s bold expression of a new approach to European Politics – renegotiation followed by a referendum. Since then frustratingly, little detail has emerged and I believe it is essential that we define the “red lines” far more clearly and immigration must figure at the top of that list. In addition I would like to see the Prime Minister take personal charge of the creation of those red lines and of the programme for renegotiation, not least because I believe this is the only way we will achieve the necessary drive both for a successful repatriation of powers and a far more acceptable settlement to present to the electorate.

Secondly, carbon reduction; we must adopt a much more sensible approach to the business of carbon reduction recognising that Huhne’s legacy creates a financial millstone around the necks of British businesses and adds to the difficulties of competing on the global stage. Our current approach is undermining confidence and risks damaging the emerging recovery. The myth of renewable energies has been comprehensively highlighted, and we need to both sizably lengthen the timetable for carbon reduction, allow innovation the space to develop superior technologies for decarbonisation and place the emphasis on the conservation of resources.

Thirdly, Small Businesses; the importance of these engines of growth in Britain’s business sector cannot be overstated, but the government needs to act decisively to allow them to achieve more by pursuing an aggressive approach to deregulation. Businesses employing fewer than five employees must be excluded from the ever-more intrusive parental leave regulations, and we should exclude new start-ups and micro-businesses from much of the red-tape that already inhibits them. We must do all we can to allow small business to succeed; the government has made a fair start but we must do more.

Fourthly, transport infrastructure; we need to be more energetic on vital infrastructure projects such as High-Speed 2 and improved air transport capacity. I would like to see all Conservative MPs adopt the vision and courage previously adopted by those forerunners of the industrial revolution who paved the way for Britain’s success and had the foresight to lay down the transport infrastructure which we benefit from today. Indeed Telford, Brunel & Watt would be turning in their graves if they heard some of the comments made by so-called Conservatives on this issue. We need to make an early decision about increased runway capacity, and we need to recognise the current capacity crisis on our most important national rail corridor. To renege on our responsibilities now would be to hamper the wellbeing of future generations. Much of the preparatory work on HS2 has been undertaken, but the argument has not been comprehensively won. All Conservatives worth their salt would see that it is.

Fifthly, home ownership; I want to see that the Governor of the Bank of England understands that home ownership is a natural aspiration for Britons, and the suggested overheating in the housing market may be a phenomena based upon the south and south-east alone. I applaud the Government’s efforts to help first time buyers onto the housing ladder, and I suggest that Governor Carney would benefit from a few days away from the City to appreciate how much “help-to-buy” is valued by those buying homes. He might even like to take the curmudgeonly Liberal Democrat ministers from London constituencies with him for the benefit of their knowledge.

The polls might suggest we have a mountain to climb, but these five points could make a big difference to our outlook and prospects. It is easy to forget what the coalition has had to deal with so far, but the next 18 months must be about something bigger and must be about the creation of a Conservative agenda capable of winning outright victory at the next general election. The future wellbeing of our children could well depend upon it.

11 comments:

  1. THE FOLLOWING 5 SUGGESTIONS MAY HELP:-

    1. THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY CANNOT WIN THE MAY 2015 GENERAL ELECTION OUTRIGHT
    2. NOR CAN THE OTHER PARTIES - BOTH LABOUR AND THE LIB-DEMS ARE STRUGGLING
    3. THE ONLY PARTY GROWING IN NUMBERS IS UKIP (DOUBLE THE LIB-DEMS)
    4. OBVIOUSLY THE NEXT PARLIAMENT WILL BE ANOTHER COALITION
    5. REPLACE CAMERON AND STRIKE A DEAL WITH UKIP

    HERE IS AN ENTERTAINING ARTICLE OF 1,622 WORDS SAYING MUCH THE SAME THING……..

    Lord Ashcroft's big bucket of cold water to douse Tory optimism

    By Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer 5 January 2014

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/05/lord-ashcroft-poll-dowses-tories-optimism#start-of-comments

    37% DEFECTORS FROM THE TORY PARTY………..IS THAT A RECORD?

    "An overall Conservative majority looks as elusive as it has throughout the parliament. To win one, the polling here shows, the Tories need to win the votes of everyone who supported them last time, plus everyone who is even prepared to think about doing so next time. Unfortunately, a lot of people in the first group are not currently in the second."

    As I mention from time to time, no Conservative prime minister has increased his party's share of the vote at a general election since Sir Anthony Eden's victory in 1955. It is true that history offers similarly dismaying warnings to Labour about its prospects. No leader of the opposition has had such low personal ratings as Ed Miliband and gone on to become prime minister. Every opposition party that has won an election has topped 50% in the polls at some time over the course of the preceding parliament and Labour hasn't come close. These are anxiety-inducing precedents for Labour, but it is the Tories we are talking about today.

    A lot of Tories had begun the new year in a more positive frame of mind about the state of play. They have been growing in confidence that a combination of economic recovery and Labour's weaknesses would put them on a trajectory to victory in 17 months' time. Lord Ashcroft chucks a big bucket of chilly water over that Tory optimism. This is especially so because he breaks down the results in a way that neatly explains why it is such a challenge for the Tories to create a winning coalition of voters.

    The Tory peer segments what he calls "the Conservative Universe" into four groups. There are those he labels the Loyalists, people who voted Tory in 2010 and would do so again in an election tomorrow. There are the Joiners, people who did not vote Tory last time but say they probably will do next time. There are the Defectors, people who voted Tory last time but say they will not do so next time. Finally, there is a group called the Considerers. These are people who didn't vote Tory last time and wouldn't do so tomorrow, but might be lured over by David Cameron because they don't rule out supporting the Conservatives in the future.

    The contrasting sizes of these groups tells its own story. By far the biggest of them – just over a third at 37% – are the Defectors. Less than one in five of those who have abandoned the Tories has switched to Labour or the Lib Dems. That is a measure of Labour failure. Labour is doing badly at taking voters directly from the Tories, a major drag on Labour's prospects that Ed Miliband would be sensible to address this year.

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  2. Continued.............

    Those who have deserted the Conservatives since the last election are considerably more numerous than those who have stuck with or been attracted by the party. The number of Joiners is 6%. The Considerers are smaller still at just 3%. In short, the numbers moving into the Tory column don't come near to compensating for those leaving it. As Lord Ashcroft correctly concludes, to have any hope of winning a parliamentary majority, the Tories must keep all the Loyalists and Joiners, convince all the Considerers and win back all of the many Defectors.

    David Cameron's people do not like this message at all. Since they got wind of it, they have been deploying lines of argument to diss the Ashcroft poll.

    It is – as you may have guessed – Ukip that has captured the bulk of those voters who have turned away from the Tories. More than half of the Defectors are currently saying they will vote for the Farageists at the next election. There is some potentially consoling news for the Tories from this Ashcroft poll. Not all the Defectors are irretrievably lost to the Conservatives. More than half of the Defectors say they want a Tory government after the next election, which will encourage Tory election planners to hope that they might scare some of them back with the slogan: "Vote Farage, Get Miliband."

    Elements of the Tory right will be encouraged in their belief, deepened by fears of losses in this year's Euro-elections, that what voters really yearn for is what they like to call "proper Conservative government". Their formula for getting back voters lost to Nigel Farage or tempted by him is to strike more postures imitative of Ukip. Moderate Tories fear that Mr Cameron has already lurched too far in that direction. It is highly debatable whether it will work anyway. Even if imitation does appeal to some of the Ukip-inclined Defectors (37%), chasing after them is highly likely to repel the more centrist Joiners (6%) and Considerers (3%). PEOPLE WILL PREFER THE ORIGINAL TO THE COPY - QUITE RIGHT TOO BARROSO!

    This is the strategic conundrum that has faced the Tories for a long time now and it will become more vexed in the next 12 months. The Ashcroft poll underlines how far away they are from finding a way to resolve it.

    THE ANSWER HAS BEEN OBVIOUS FOR 18 MONTHS NOW………….CAMERON HAS TO GO!

    BUT PLEASE.............DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT MS MAY!


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  3. A SIMILAR ARTICLE FROM THE DAILY MAIL

    PETER, VOTERS WON’T BACK DAVE BECAUSE HE IS A LOSER – HE FAILED LAST TIME AND HE WILL FAIL AGAIN IF GIVEN A CHANCE!

    ‘Voters won't back Dave if his troops act like losers’

    By Peter McKay
    PUBLISHED: 21:31, 5 January 2014 | UPDATED: 00:38, 6 January 2014

    Wealthy, boat-rocking Tory peer Lord Ashcroft begins 2014 as he ended 2013 - casting doubt on David Cameron's hopes of winning an overall majority at the 2015 General Election.

    Old Moneybags says a new poll he's paid for indicates that 'the Tories need to win the votes of everyone who supported them last time, plus everyone who is even prepared to think about doing so next time'. Adding: 'Unfortunately, a lot of people in the first group are not currently in the second.'

    So, with Labour leading the Tories by six points, is Ed Miliband headed for No 10? 'No, he's not even close,' says Cameron adviser Andrew Cooper, who, making a distinction between Labour's poll ratings and Miliband's, points out: 'No leader of the Opposition has ever gone on to become Prime Minister with ratings anywhere near as bad as Ed Miliband's.'

    Andrew Rawnsley of The (Labour-supporting) Observer mentions another Miliband minus: 'Every Opposition party that has won an election has topped 50 per cent in the polls at some time over the course of the preceding Parliament, and Labour hasn't come close.'

    Ashcroft doesn't care for Cameron, or the PM's electoral guru Lynton Crosby. He would like to see Dave replaced by a Tory more to his liking. The likeliest current contenders: Home Secretary Theresa May and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

    If the polls get worse for his party, an increasing number of its MPs - those in marginal seats - might clamour for a new leader, perceived as being able to give them a better chance.

    Optimism is usually more attractive than pessimism. Voters sometimes punish the over-confident but they're more likely to desert those behaving like losers.

    The introduction by the Coalition Government of fixed, five-year parliaments should mean that - barring rare confidence votes sweeping a party out of office - normal political life can proceed without politicians fearing sudden loss of office.

    Yet fear seems to have grown rather than subsided with the five-year parliament.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/debatesearch/article-2534260/PETER-MCKAY-Voters-wont-Dave-troops-act-like-losers.html#ixzz2pf36bZDV
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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  4. 5 New Year Thoughts for the PM

    1. There will never be any powers of worth repatriated to the UK and your promise of an EU Referendum is NOT to be trusted.

    2. A sensible approach to carbon reduction from Windmill Dave – LOL

    3. SME need red tape to be cut but you & this coalition have increased it

    4. All transport infrastructure projects have been safely kicked into the long grass until after May 2015

    5. House prices increased through-out the UK by 8.4% last year, those who were helped to buy have just made it more difficult for those following on behind them. The ONLY way to solve the problem of unaffordable homes is to BUILD MORE!

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  5. THE MOST OVERWHELMING THOUGHT FOR 2014 IS BYE BYE CAMERON!!!!!

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  6. AND HELLO BORIS!!!

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  7. THE SCAREMONGERING OF THE ELECTORATE STARTED IN ERNEST WITH THE NEW YEAR!


    A POSTCARD DROPPED THROUGH MY LETTER-BOX THE OTHER DAY PROCLAIMING,

    ‘317,023 JOBS IN THE EAST MIDLANDS RELY ON BRITAIN’S MEMBERSHIP OF THE EUROPEAN UNION’

    How many jobs in your town or area depend on membership of Europe? Find out with our interactive map

    Myths Busted! Don’t be taken in by scare tactics! See our myths busted section and find out for yourself.

    Things you may not know …. That membership brings Britain.

    From ‘Love-jobs.LOVE-EUROPE.ORG’………………..B. Markham, East Midlands, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

    A PARTICULARLY NASTY BIT OF WORK………………

    WHAT RUBBISH!!!

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  8. TOSSING the POSTCARD from BILL NEWTON-DUN MEP, (published & promoted by B.MARKHAM for the EAST MIDLANDS LIB-DEMS) IN THE RECYCLING BIN – ITS NATURAL HOME- I find this article by Nile Gardiner in the Daily Telegraph more to my liking.

    Nile Gardiner is a Washington-based foreign affairs analyst and political commentator. A former aide to Margaret Thatcher, Gardiner has served as a foreign policy adviser to two US presidential campaigns. He appears frequently on American and British television, including Fox News Channel, BBC, and Fox Business Network.

    IGNORE THE SCAREMONGERING: America (& BRITAIN) would be better off if Britain left the EU

    Would a British exit from the EU harm Britain’s partnership with the United States, and weaken the Special Relationship? DOES THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP EXIST? HAS IT EVER EXISTED?

    I expect that the US angle will be hammered on heavily by the pro-EU lobby in advance of the planned 2017 UK referendum, even among those who care little about the Anglo-American alliance. There has been a loud and consistent drumbeat from Washington over the past year, with warnings from the White House, State Department, and the US Embassy in London that a Britain outside of the EU would be against US interests.

    The level of American intervention in what is essentially an internal British debate is unprecedented, as is the hectoring, lecturing tone. This is also an American administration (LEFT) with a level of enthusiasm for the European Project that could rival that of Jose Manuel Barroso himself (LEFT & LEFT SOME MORE).

    On Capitol Hill, however, some Members of Congress strike a different tone to that of the White House when it comes to the future of Europe. On his recent visit to London, Senator Marco Rubio delivered a refreshing message, telling his audience (as my Telegraph colleague Tim Stanley noted in an excellent piece last December):

    As for Britain’s role in Europe, that should be a matter for the British people to decide and your American partners should respect whatever decision you make. Our alliance, our partnership, and our affection for your nation will continue regardless of the road you choose.

    This is a view shared by many in the US Senate and House of Representatives, who believe that it is up to the British people to decide their own future, and that the Special Relationship will continue to thrive if Britain leaves the EU. There hasn’t been any polling conducted yet on American views on a British EU referendum, but I would be surprised if a majority of Americans did not share the sentiments of Senator Rubio on the subject. After all, self-determination and national sovereignty are hugely important principles for the American people.

    Waving all the scaremongering rhetoric aside, there is every reason to think that the United States will actually be better off with Britain outside of the EU. An independent Britain freed from the shackles of European Union regulations and endless interference from Brussels can only result in a stronger partner for the United States on the world stage. In fact the biggest threat to the Special Relationship is the European Project itself, exemplified by the grandiose dreams of a European superstate, advanced by the European Commission and its allies in Berlin and Paris. Nothing could be worse for America than a Britain that was unable to act independently, straitjacketed by a forced common foreign and security policy.

    Continued............

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  9. .........................


    *AT LAST - THE IMPORTANT BIT*

    Free to set its own trade agenda outside of the EU’s common trade policy, Britain would inevitably sign a free trade agreement with the United States, as well as a host of economic powers, from India and Brazil to the Anglosphere (COMMONWEALTH) nations of Canada and Australia. The sheer weight of trade and investment between the US and UK would make an Anglo-American trade partnership a global powerhouse. Britain is the largest foreign direct investor in the United States, with a cumulative investment of $487 billion, according to a new report by the Congressional Research Service. In addition, the US is the top source of FDI stock in the UK, with over £200 billion of UK-based investments (25 percent of UK total stock).

    Far from being isolated in the world, Britain outside of the European Union would be in a prime position to strengthen its role as a key global leader, with an even stronger alliance with the United States and the Anglosphere at its heart. Americans should, and I believe will, embrace a self-confident United Kingdom that reasserts its freedom and sovereignty in Europe, while rejecting the path of EU decline.

    LEFT WING SHACKLES TIGHTENED BY CONLIBLAB...........ARE NOT WORKING!

    VOTE UKIP

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  10. I don't believe it - my Victor Meldrew moment.

    Another smarmy leaflet has just dropped through my letterbox.

    This one is the work of Michael Ellis MP for Northampton North Conservatives and is entitled, ‘Helping families with energy costs – A simple guide to help you save money’.

    ‘Our’ hero is coming to the rescue of all local families struggling to bear the ever increasing energy costs with all manner of useful tips such as, ‘Turn off and turn down’ – thank you but I don’t want to turn my lights off particularly when I go out otherwise our home will be burgled. Neither do I wish to wash dishes at 30 degrees or cut down on the size of my shower head thank you very much! Nor do I wish to go back to using a hot water bottle, thank you again!

    We have already done most of the obvious energy & money saving things such as loft and cavity wall insulation, we have up-graded our double glazing and our boiler, replaced all our lighting with LED and shopped around for a competitive supplier.

    Quite frankly most of us know NOW why energy costs are so high: – it’s the collective fault of UK governments (CONLIBLAB). They have all failed to put sufficient government investment into energy infrastructure for decades putting this country at the mercy of foreign suppliers for much of our future energy requirements.

    When the UK energy industry suppliers had reduced to just a handful, so government started imposing ridiculous green levies. Forcing the big 6 energy companies to collect the taxes on the government’s behalf so consumers who didn’t bother to find out the facts for themselves thought that ‘greedy’ energy companies were ripping them off.

    The leaflet does inform families that only 6% of their energy bill goes in profit to the energy companies against 14% in tax to the government – a fact that they were trying hard to hide not long ago but have now admitted to since many people have become aware of the truth – and now the U-turning Tories are claiming, ‘we’re cutting green taxes’.

    I’ll give you one guess where this leaflet is going…………that’s right - next to its coalition partner!


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  11. TORY MP NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION:

    I MUST DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE PARTY’S LEADERSHIP…………….


    Sorry Dave, storms aren't down to climate change: Met Office rubbishes Cameron's assertions over recent bad weather

    • Prime Minister said the conditions were a result of global warming
    • But weather service said there was no evidence to support assertion
    • Statement came as forecasters said rain would ease off this weekend

    By Tamara Cohen and Ben Spencer, Daily Mail, PUBLISHED:9 January 2014


    TOP COMMENTS:

    Tom, London, 4 hours ago
    Just a laughable attempt to try to justify "Green Taxes"

    bigben, london, 48 minutes ago
    The green tax is going to be used to pay MP's their 11% increase. They should not get anything and we need climate change in Westminster whereby people are in it for the country and not for themselves. We are definitely not in it together.

    WELL SAID - WE DO NEED CLIMATE CHANGE IN WESTMINSTER!

    VOTE UKIP

    Syd, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 6 hours ago
    Is there anything that this man says that is EVER true? Just like ALL politicians, they're either ignorant or liars.

    Andie Mann, London, United Kingdom, 5 hours ago
    The unthinking things this man says are shockingly indicative of his pedestrian level of intelligence, understanding and experience. For example, his comment supporting 'team' Nigella Lawson in the middle of a court case that resulted in the judge rebuking him. Saying that, milliband and clegg are no better. They are all a bunch of school prefects playing monopoly with a real country and shouldn't yet be holding such high office.

    Fiona, Northampton, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago
    Well said, another day passes and yet again Cameron says something embarrassing - when will this country elect someone who isn't a total incompetent? AND IF THE GUTLESS TORY MPS DON’T DO SOMETHING ABOUT HIM THEY WILL ALL BE OUT AS WELL

    Charles, London, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago
    Fiona....it’s a bad habit people have, at least a lot of them do, by voting as they have always done because to do something different is risky...its a case of "ooohhhh nnooo I CAN'T do THAT! Then complain when they get exactly the same as they had!

    Jess Temminit, Henfield, United Kingdom, 3 hours ago
    Cameron HAS to back the global warming scam because it has produced another stream of taxation. To knock this farce on the head would mean the government having to admit to obtaining money by false pretences. So for the sake of 'egg on faces' we're all forced to live in a make believe world.

    eeuunn S, Barrow in Furness, 4 hours ago
    "stormiest month since 1969"......................in other words, 1969 was worse, so it's taken 45 years for the so-called climate change to wreak havoc or to put it another way, it was worse 45 years ago....climate change.........next week, it will be freezing and we are having an ice age.......in the name of climate change.......anything to fleece us for fuel and energy, nothing more.

    JAMES, LEEDS, United Kingdom, 6 hours ago
    Why say SORRY everyone knows this man is a FOOL

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2536834/Sorry-Dave-storms-arent-climate-change-Met-Office-rubbishes-Camerons-assertions-recent-bad-weather.html#ixzz2pzV0VhHQ
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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