Friday, December 23, 2005

Oliver Letwin to change his name to Oliver Letlose.

UK: The Tories have been a party since they kicked out Thatcher who stands for everything and stands for nothing. David Cameron's new policy chief lets loose with talk that moves the party to the left in many areas including embracing the idea of Socialism . The Telegraph who had the interview with "Letlose" rips into him in their leader.

"Commendably, Mr Letwin holds his ground on academic selection, which is shaping up to be the defining policy argument of this parliament. But in other areas, far from opening up a policy debate, he seems to be closing options down. The party will no longer, it seems, seek to limit mass immigration. In health and education, there will be "spending" as well as "restructuring" - and the "restructuring" will be considerably less thorough than that promised by the party at the 2005 election. The prospect of a flat tax, held out by George Osborne over the summer, is no longer. Instead, taxes should be "redistributive". In one sense, Mr Letwin is merely stating the obvious when he says "we do … and we should redistribute money". It is, however, a naive choice of word, with overtones of the belief that national wealth is a fixed and limited sum, to be divvied up "fairly" by the government. In fact - as Mr Letwin himself recognises - wealth is dynamic, not stagnant, and the most pressing task is to ensure that the cake grows, not to alter the size of the slices. It is deplorable that so many Britons live in poverty - whether that poverty be the material deprivation still suffered by a few, or the idleness endured by many more. From a party point of view, it is also unfortunate that, as Mr Letwin says, so many people think the Tory party does not care about these people. The way to demonstrate compassion, however, is not to echo the obsolete consensus that has delivered such tragedy. Britain has enjoyed redistribution on a vast scale since 1997, yet the degree of income inequality has remained unchanged. Unless radical reform is undertaken in the public services, more money and more people will be sucked out of the productive and into the unproductive sectors of the economy. The economic consequences of Gordon Brown are becoming apparent, and will be glaringly obvious by the time of the next election: it behoves Messrs Letwin and Cameron to prepare for a battle, not a surrender."
David Cameron realizes this may be a bit too much.
"....Mr Letwin, who is conducting a series of 18-month reviews for the Conservative Party, seemed to signal an important doctrinal shift when he told a newspaper that "inequality matters" and that "it should be an aim to narrow the gap between rich and poor." But a spokesman for Mr Cameron said that Mr Letwin had been misinterpreted - and that he simply meant to say that Conservatives would be focused on helping the poor, without regard to the rich. Traditionally, the Labour Party was concerned with the redistribution of wealth and inequality - regarding the taxation of the rich as a main means of helping the poor. Conservatives argued that inequality does not matter - and it is a decoy in the battle against deprivation where only the welfare of the poor should matter. But Mr Letwin signalled a fundamental shift yesterday. "Of course, inequality matters. Of course, it should be an aim to narrow the gap between rich and poor. It is more than a matter of safety nets." And on redistribution, he said: "We do redistribute money, and we should redistribute money... The government should move to reduce what would otherwise mean intolerable inequality." Mr Blair has never used such language, fearing it would spark fears of a revival of Old Labour and punitive tax levels. Mr Cameron's spokesman said Mr Letwin had simply meant to focus on Tory plans to empower the poor. "He was really saying there is a way to get people out of poverty and the cycle of dependency," he said."
The Tories can win when they act like the conservatives they are supposed to be and selling their ideas to the public as the best. Moving to the same area as Labour fools no one. Why vote for an imitation when you can trust the original.

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