Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Thursday, 8 January 2009

What We Need Is Leadership & Courage

There's a great article by Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph arguing the case for some radicalism in Conservative party economic policy.

Remarking on the death of Alan Walters (economics adviser to Margaret Thatcher and guru of monetary policy) Heffer laments the lack of a modern-day equivalent within the Cameron team, and he puts a compelling case for appointing one. Cameron, he claims, surrounds himself with the soft options of yes-men and cosy consensus, and is doing so at precisely the time that leadership and courage are most needed.

Whilst praising Monday’s announcement to abolish taxes on savings for those on the standard tax rate, Heffer says it is hugely inadequate and a mere pinprick in the policies of ever-expanding spend and tax which Gordon Brown has inflicted on us. What is needed is spending cuts and the accompanying reduction in taxes for both people and companies.

The problem is that this would take guts. The counter-argument, that at times like this the government should be increasing spending to boost investment, is seductive to many; utterly fallacious, but seductive nonetheless. Heffer argues that the electorate blames the government for the recession, is “appalled” by the debt mountain and “infuriated” by the fact that the private sector is bearing the brunt of it all. I’m not so sure about that, and to do the right thing now risks playing a less popular tune. But the key is that it IS the right thing to do - to cut government spending and start handing the money back to whom it belongs.

Throughout the late ‘seventies Margaret Thatcher repeatedly locked herself away with the likes of Walters, Keith Joseph and Nick Ridley. Together they hatched the ideas of the New Right through which budgets were eventually balanced and long-held, long-in-the-tooth State interventionist doctrines were swept away. Heffer is dead right when he says that right now we need a similar “moment of courage”. I would love to think that in twenty years time we will look back, and see this as the point at which David Cameron embraced the principles of lion-hearted leadership and started to develop the economic revolution we need so much. But I just cannot see it happening.

Heffer’s article is here.


old and angry said...

Cameron needs to grow a pair of Balls immediately.
The prize is there for the taking, but he just doesen't get it!
Or is he just too comfortable in opposition?

TBRRob said...

The thing is Cameron can win this argument.He just doesn't seem to want to have it.

Anonymous said...


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