Cuts, cuts and more cuts


Our regular visitors (not seeking Lily Allen) will have noticed my absence from this blog for some while. On the domestic politics front, the period of my absence has been filled exclusively with an extremely dull story which is rapidly becoming the tactical equivalent of the Charge of the Light Brigade for the Labour Party. Ever since Andrew Lansley carelessly made mention of cuts in a typically off-message interview, Gordon has clung to this diamond as his way out of electoral oblivion.

Indeed this initially seemed like a great strategy. After all, Labour has long thrived on the image as the party of public services by portraying the Tories as ruthless cutters of all things virtuous. As any Wimbledon champion will tell you, however, if you play to your opponent’s weakness for long enough, it soon becomes their strength. And so it is with this story. Every interview with a Government minister now appears like the latest round in a form of Cabinet bingo. Each interviewee attempts to include the phrase “10% Tory cuts” in interviews barely related at all to public spending levels. Better still, nobody seems to make the connection between 10% spending cuts and out very own disastrous abolition of the 10% tax rate. Genius!

Meanwhile, the Tories are able to appear as the party which is being honest with the electorate about the state of the economy. We all know cuts are coming, so attempting to create a false distinction between us and the Tories about the extent of those cuts offends the intelligence of the public. Lets front us and shift the debate to the balance of spending between the departments and objectives. This is a debate where we have a good story to tell and can expose the dangerous and regressive cuts which the Tories are planning.


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