Anyway, that is all very lovely but what I wanted to focus on is the policies that Iain lists, because they highlight extremely well why the Tories are in the shit (even if it's only as far as political anoraks are concerned).
It is untrue to say that the Conservatives are 'policy light'. There are plenty of individual, eye catching policies which resonate with the electorate. It's just that we seem to have lost sight of what they are. Here's a quick reminder of some of them...
- Introduction of border police and a cap on immigration
We have a fucking border police, Iain—have you not noticed the jack-booted UK Border Agency guards wandering every airport? And a cap on immigration...? Don't make me fucking laugh.
Look, putting aside my personal beliefs on immigration, none of the above is new, radical or even achievable. A few months ago, we were subject to the unedifying spectacle of Tory, Labour and LibDim representatives all vying to outdo the BNP in the nastiness and draconian nature of their immigration policies—it made me ashamed to be British, frankly. And at least Griffin's policies are based on honest bigotry, rather than mealy-mouthed spite based on political advantage.
And not one of the Big Three's representatives dared to mention that we can do absolutely fuck all about immigration from the EU countries.
For fuck's sake, we don't want minimum wage slaves from Bulgaria—we want highly skilled migrants from the Anglosphere.
Instead, the Warsi, Huhne and Straw regaled us all with how they were going to punish, threaten, lock up and deport those same highly skilled, English-speaking migrants that we actually want in this country.
This is not just the politics of spite: it is the politics of total bloody stupidity.
- A two year freeze on council tax
I'm sorry... You what?
The Tories keep telling us that they want to devolve power downwards and outwards from Westminster: they believe in "localism" we are told. So just exactly how the fuck can a policy of "localism" be reconciled with dictating to councils how they should raise their money?
The Tories have got a real problem here, you see. Right now, Council Tax only raises about 25% (some £25 billion) of council spending—and yet, according to endless TPA reports, Council Tax is possibly the most loathed way of raising money.
Now, localism isn't going to work whilst central government controls 75% of the funding. But if the government left councils to raise their own cash, the Council Tax would go through the roof. This would be massively unpopular, even if Westminster dropped other taxes substantially to compensate.
The only other realistic option would be to allow councils to collect money through a Local Sales Tax (or some other surcharge)—something that I know Douglas Carswell supports—but any measure like this would be seized upon by Labour and the lefty media alike as "Tories introducing a new tax on hard-working families! Shock, horror!"
- Abolish ID cards and roll back the big brother state
Well, yes: this is good. But remember how long it took to drag from the Tories a commitment to abolishing the National Identity Register as well as the cards? And, as for other civil liberties issues, we have heard not a peep from Cameron about some of the other disgustingly illiberal laws that NuLabour have passed, which leads me to ask—does David Cameron define civil liberties in the same way that I do?
I'm pretty fucking certain that he does not.
- Reduce the number of MPs by 10% and cut the cost of politics
Yes, yes: this is all very well—and we could certainly reduce the number of MPs by half, as far as I am concerned—but not only is this posturing (how are you going to reduce the cost of politics?), it's also pretty pointless.
I mean, seriously, the entirety of Westminster costs us something like £0.5 billion a year: yes, that's a fairly big wodge of cash but, in the context of nearly £680 billion of government spending, it's fucking peanuts. And I am more interested in how Cameron is going to reduce that big fucking number, not the tiny number—and the Tories seem to be somewhat vague on this much bigger issue.
- Allow parents to create their own schools
I have written thousands of words about the Tory Education policy, so I shall summarise. Letting parents run schools is all very well, but it does appear that the Conservatives do not intend to let anyone make a profit from doing so. This is bolstered by the fact that a profit-making company is currently not allowed to run and own a school—and the Tories have shown no desire to change this.
But, worse, the Tories just don't seem to understand why schools should be privatised. The whole point is that schools should compete against one another but this is going to be difficult when a Conservative government will keep tight control not only of the subjects on the curriculum but also how that curriculum is taught, c.f. their ludicrous insistence that everyone must be taught to read using phonics.
Again and again, the Tories demonstrate that they just don't understand the fundamental principles underpinning their policies: they seem to be casting around for examples that work (which is a good thing) but then implementing them in such a way that one is lead to believe that they don't understand why they work (which is a fucking awful thing).
- Restore the link between pensions and earnings
What? How? Are the Tories going to interfere in private pensions? Even if this is applied only to the state pension, how the living fuck are they going to pay for this? Have they even thought about it? Because there is no National Insurance fund: pensions are paid out of current earnings (once again, yes, it's a massive £110 billion per annum Ponzi scheme).
- Repatriate powers from Europe
For fuck's sake...
Yes, this would be lovely. But we have yet to hear what powers Spam is going to repatriate; we also have no idea as to how he intends to repatriate said powers. The other powers in the EU have made it quite clear that they are not amenable to renegotiating any treaties, so how exactly does Spam think that he's going to "repatriate" powers?
I would like to think that he would announce that he is taking back all the powers he wants, stick two fingers up at the fuckers and shout "so fucking sue me, cunts!" but I can't see the Buttered New Potato doing that—can you?
- Stop Labour's NI rise which is a tax on jobs
Yes, this is a good idea. But what if it's already in place by the time that the Tories get in—will they reduce it when they get in? Or will they just wibble on about how it's a time of crisis in the public finances but, hey, we'll reduce it just as soon as we're running a surplus again...?
- Cut business taxes to encourage new small business start-ups
Yes, good. By how much? And when? And will it only be reduced on "new small business start-ups"? How new? How small? I vaguely seem to remember slapping this idea at the time that it was released but I can't recall the details right now.
- Gove [sic] householders more rights to defend themselves against burglars
Yes, I approve of this in theory—but I guarantee that it will be so woven about with caveats that the nett effect will be minimal. And any benefits will probably be challenged under the Human Rights Act, or some such bullshit.
- Abolition of Inheritance tax for everyone except millionaires
Yeah, fine, whatever. This is just another example of the Tories utterly lacking backbone: Inheritance Tax raises about £4 billion a year which is, in the wider context, less than fuck-all—why not just abolish the tax completely? You'd probably save £4 billion in sacking the thousands of probate officers, for fuck's sake.
So, if these are the Tories "individual, eye catching policies which resonate with the electorate" then, frankly, I can see why the stupid, spineless bastards are only 2% ahead in the polls. This is a lead almost as pathetic as Cameron himself.
We're all fucked.
UPDATE: Obnoxio the Clown analyses—not kindly—the latest Tory announcements on the NHS.
No. No. No. Just fucking NO!
National fucking campaigns are what we fucking have right now with Labour. How the cunting fuck can you be claiming to promote localism with national campaigns, devolution with orders from central government and radicalism when your spurting out the same old tired shit policies that we've seen from Labour for the last fucking decade?A Conservative Government will work with business to draw up new ‘responsibility deals’ designed to prevent irresponsible activities and extend restrictions on unsuitable marketing to children throughout the media. We will introduce a clearer system of alcohol labelling which allows people to compare the amount they drink with other people, mandate the display of ‘guideline daily amounts’ on food packaging, and encourage restaurants and bars to publish more dietary information for their customers.
Aahhhh ... that will be the new focus on libertarianism from the Cuntservatives: nudging combined with hectoring, nannying and fucking outright bullying, which is completely fucking different from what Labour have been doing for the last 13 years, oh yes.
Let me briefly sum up the policy: more rule by technocrats, more interference in your private life justified by the same old make-up statistics, and more fucking over of anyone or anything who happens to think that all of this shit is none of the government's fucking business.
For a detailed fucking slap of the six latest initiatives from the Conservatives, you could do a lot worse than reading this spirited take-down of the Tory bullshit from UK Libertarian.