From the TUC

Conservatives and public spending: it’s pretty weak stuff

27 Apr 2009, by Guest in Economics, Politics, Public services

I don’t deny that the Tories seem to be on to a political winner with their very tough line on public spending (it’s hard not to be when the country’s media has lined up behind you).  But a read of David Cameron’s much hyped “age of austerity” speech at the Conservative Spring Conference makes one wonder at their general policy direction and messaging.  It’s astoundingly thin stuff not least because it stretches credulity to breaking point. 

The overall message is “yes, we will make deep cuts in spending but we can also deliver better service quality because wikipedia, the Swedish education system and a small social care scheme in Southwark manage to”.  I’m not kidding – that’s it.  Don’t believe me? Here’s a direct quote:

Sweden’s education department. Southwark Circle. Wikipedia. They’re all delivering more for less. If they can do it, why can’t our government?

With stuff this weak, Cameron is at risk of becoming Thatcher without brains.  Thatcherism may have been wrong but at least she had monetarist theory to explain why she was cutting and she had a clear vision of the type of economy she wanted to create.  Cameron has neither of those things just a desire to cut because it strikes a chord with the focus groups and plays well with the right wing press. It may win votes but where it goes after that is anyone’s guess.

7 Responses to Conservatives and public spending: it’s pretty weak stuff

  1. Robert
    Apr 27th 2009, 2:24 pm

    Your right of course your right, but we have a Labour party which is almost dead has nothing left to offer, or a Tory party that will do what it always does stuff us, what do we do, well for me I’ve had enough of New Labour it’s time to go, and because Labour is dead, New Labour has taken over I shall not be voting New Labour again. bye

  2. johninnit

    John
    Apr 27th 2009, 3:03 pm

    Well, Cameron has the evidence to back him up on the Wikipedia claim. He achieved a tremendous 8.9% cut in the overall age of Titian after all… http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/feb/12/gordon-brown-david-cameron-titian

  3. The politics of austerity | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    Apr 27th 2009, 5:24 pm

    […] noted – it is going to make people ask hard questions about what the Conservatives will cut. As Adam has already said, there is a distinct lack of detail so far. Cutting the pay of the board of […]

  4. Louise Stanley
    Apr 28th 2009, 4:48 pm

    Cameron is a spin doctor, not a government man. He will find it very difficult to actually put anything meaningful forward. His idea that he will get into government first and then plan a manifesto suggests he doesn’t understand what exactly people vote for.

    I’m a floating voter – I floated back to the Tories last time – but I’ve floated back since Brown’s been in.

  5. Robert
    Apr 28th 2009, 5:23 pm

    And New labour is what, do not forget the Labour leader stopped the low taxation of the 10p tax fiasco. he has made this country into a cheap world of report your neigbour.

    If this is a labour government then I rather have a Tory one .

    Whether Labour like it or not they dreamed of a Thatcher world took Thatcher policies, and then saw the world collapse and blamed everyone and everything except himself, Brown is a problem a serious problem.

    I’ve been Labour for 44 years I do not float, not until now.

  6. Public spending debate: the UK economy will be left behind if this continues | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    Apr 30th 2009, 9:28 pm

    […] has very rapidly become dominated by an obsession with cutting state spending.  Not only has Cameron made the notion of swingeing cuts to reduce public debt his sole offer to the electorate, David […]

  7. Robert
    May 7th 2009, 7:01 am

    Sorry folks after a long long time I’ve left the Labour party, because in the end we live in a world of new Labour welfare cuts, benefits cuts sale of Royal mail closure of post offices the NHS being sold off in chunks. Whats left for the bloody Tories to do, labours done it.