Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How to Harvest Former Labour Votes

Thanks to Auntie Flo for alerting me to this comment left on the BBC Have Your Say website.


"Blimey, read this from the latest BBC Have Your Say on the abolition of the 10% tax band:"Message to Cameron: I don't like you or your party but I dislike Labour far more. To get my vote just remind me that Brown doubled my taxes at the very time I could least afford them.Then remind me I was ineligible for every single government payout after a lifetime of moderate employment. Finally remind me that I queued with scruffy foreign nationals who were guided towards those handouts denied to me. There are 2.2million of me, all with a vote if you want it Cameron.T....., UK"


There' a real lesson in this comment for Conservative campaign strategists. Margaret Thatcher had similar messages in 1979.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

We who work and earn enough to be comfortable without being trapped in Browns web of benefits only want to hear some simple things from Cameron:

I will stop pandering to feckin lefty liberals from London

I will get the police off their arses to investigate crimes that actually affect the population. That does not include people doing 80 on an empty motorway, pensioners who can't pay council tax, shopkeepers fighting off muggers, a dad defending his property or anyone who chooses to protest against the government

I will drop tax for the average worker

I will reduce legislation

I will stop wasting taxpayers money on pet projects

I will put more responsibility on the individual and get H&S to back off and stop nannying

I will realise I work for you and if I wish to claim a penny in expenses I must produce a receipt like you.

It's not complex and it's not extreme but it is what people want to get.

Adrian Yalland said...

but will these be outnumbered by Labour's client state - the non-jobbers, the civil service, the BBC, the ranks of those on benefits.....all of whom fear the prospects of a Tory Government and the prospect that they might have to get of their arses and get a real job!

Watch how Gordo will play the election - resurrecting the fear of the nasty party!

asquith said...

"I queued with scruffy foreign nationals who were guided towards those handouts denied to me"

And they're taking our jobs, and houses! BAN THIS SICK FILTH NOW!

Sugar Free said...

Agreed.

I wrote something similar on the spectator site.

I am a Conservative. I feel I share the same frustration with many Conservative voters, regarding the current Tory party style when criticising the government. Remember back to Blair, with the 'weak, weak, weak' rant at John Major...I might not have liked his political thinking, but he was not the sort to feel embarrassed about sticking the knife into opponents he felt were failing...

But then, when I think about it, I wonder if the current Conservative front bench REALLY want to see Brown collapse now...

Ask yourself, honestly, without bias, to name what 'achievements' Brown would be remembered for as PM if he was to leave tomorrow. It's difficult to think of one (apart from gifting power to the Conservatives)... I just think they are biding their time, letting him make mistake after mistake... he is a dead man walking, but they want him still to be there IF he leaves calling an election until summer 2010. Balls or Miliband would be joke replacements if he decided to go early, but I still think they would have more chance of winning the next general election, than Jonah Brown...he has assumed that role which John Major sadly gained, for his rivals, he is now a figure of fun. He used to get me so annoyed in speeches, PMQs etc, with his arrogance, despite his obvious incompetence... now, I love seeing him being in the public eye as you just know there is going to be another blunder...

Anonymous said...

The extent of the reaction on this BBC site is amazing - over 5000 comments in a few days.
As you say, a huge pool of discontent which Cameron & Co need to persuade. If they care enough to post, maybe they care enough to vote..

dougal said...

Much as Conservative voters may not like it, Cameron is following the right path.

I have a young Labour activist friend who swooned over Blair, allegedly loves to pay her income tax, absolutely wanted to have the State directing everything in her life and yet, in the last couple of weeks, has found a few scales dropping from her eyes. She'll still vote Labour at the next election, because she is a committed Party member, but if even devotees are now getting depressed about their Party and its Leader, you can bet a lot more 'ordinary' voters will actively change sides as Brown's actions hit them personally.

Anonymous said...

As a non-Tory, I must admit that this could be a very successful approach.

There is a demographic out there, and I am one, which is made up of childless singles or couples who earn moderate incomes. We get nothing from the Government, and seem to have to pay ever higher taxes for people who are having children they cannot afford, to give free bus transport to young people who shout abuse at us and threaten us, and to provide translation services so that immigrants who cannot speak English can claim benefits (that last one is esp mad!!!).

All this, and if your young without rich parents then you're paying off massive university fees, saving up for a deposit on stupidly expensive homes, and waving goodbye to any kind of state pension.

I am slowly beginning to realise the truth of that phrase about a conservative being a liberal mugged by reality. I am not there yet, but give it time...

wrinkled weasel said...

I think you should be looking at legacies.

The Thatcher legacy was freedom from union tyranny and respect abroad.

The Bliar/Brown legacy is international ignominy and public sector spending that will bring the country to it's knees. (oh and I forgot the Iraq war.)

Yes ordinary people are suffering but they are too stupid to realise what is going down. It will take a lot to make them see it. Perhaps when their credit card maxes out they will start to wonder?

Cath said...

Sounds like a classic BNP voter.......

dozzy said...

For what it's worth, I noticed that posting on the BBC Have Your Say and thought exactly the same thing. I hope the Conservative strategists will indeed take note.

Anonymous said...

Oppossed the minimum wage

Plan to scrap tax credits

voted against increasing benefits accross the board.

The 10p tax plan was announced over 12 months ago, for Cambo to suddenly jump on a Labour band wagon declaring his love for the working classes is hilarious/

He will fight for these people tooth and nail....errrr hasnrt been for the past 12 months...stop kidding yourselves

Anonymous said...

I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope that Dave is just keeping his powder dry. Otherwise the future is bleak.

Dave H said...

My biggest fear is that Labour will mull over their dismal ratings for a while, then reach the conclusion that the public just think they're stale after 11 years in power.

To counter this perception, a headline-grabbing package of major legislation and/or reforms will be annonced to persuade us they're still fizzing with new ideas. This may regain them some political initiative.

Trouble is, all of said measures will naturally be A) rushed into operation and B) utterly ill-conceived in the first place (like so much else from this lot). The resulting pig's breakfast will create nothing but long-term suffering.

Before the next general election, the nation will benefit from as much government inaction as possible.

verity said...

Sugar Free - I don't think there is any clever plan to let Brown slit his own throat. David Cameron is an incompetent leader who constantly misjudges the issues and the concerns of the electorate, and he is not a Conservative. He is a member of the international nomenklatura, and anyone with any illusions that he would stop the EU from swallowing us whole is wrong. The PMship of the UK is now but a stepping stone to an immensely lucrative international - or, depending on how you regard the EU - supranational career.

Cameron is as policy-free as Brown and has the intellectual weight of a May fly. He is protected by his money and his background from the disintegration of his country. He doesn't seem to mind us being swamped by "immigrants" from an alien and hostile culture. They don't live in his neighbourhood. It doesn't bother him that the EU is now legislating for us. He was rude to Mr Bush to send a signal to the nomenklatura in Brussels that he is one of them. Not a Special Relationship kind of guy.

I have absolute contempt for him. Unless they get a real man in as the head of the party, I will not vote Tory, for the first time in my life. And my parents were also staunch Conservatives. But just now, there is no Conservative party to vote for.

Anonymous said...

"There' a real lesson in this comment for Conservative campaign strategists."

What lesson? Play on xenophobia rather than explaining why it's wrong. Or the real lesson that in spite of it all, a lot of voters don't like the Tories and that that will turn round and bite them on on the a** if they try Thatcherism in Government again.

Newmania said...

Good old Auntie Flo , one of the very best. The other group of people who have every right to be mad as hell are pensioners .

Asquith its not a question of taking anything ,this country belongs to the people of it. Its like a club , you pay in and you are owed back. People who have worked here their whole lives did not do so for the benefit of foreigners imported for the purposes of eradicating national loyalty and disrupting rooted communities. I appreciate as a Liberal you are unable to tell the difference between a country and a car park but trust me there is one .

The Liberal Party are indifferent to the National interest and that is why they are small Party obsessed with luxury trivia. The Liberals would have lost the war ,not defended the Falklands and currently would rather side with any tin pot dictator going than support America (or Boris ). To be a member of this Party is to be one of a spineless collection of cowards who scamper of in their flip flops at the first sign of trouble.

It is a badge of shame .

Newmania said...

PS Well said on that King Cnut Tristan, I read his silly nonsense on the train last night and disturbed my fellow workers with involuntary guffaws.

There should be a warning

( PPS I loved his allusion to leafy salubrious Croydon…Oi reckon ‘e don’t get out there a lot somehow.)

Adrian Yalland said...

Cameron's strategy has to be to build a progressive alliance of people amongst the lower and middle classes who (a) have a social conscience, (b) are not overly authoritarian, (c) rely on the public sector for all/most of their social provision, (d) are not hugely wealthy, and show them how under Labour their good will has been abused, their interests have not been furthered, their taxes have paid for poorer services, and that whatever they thought Labour stood for under Blair has now evaporated.

He thens needs to court the wealth creators in this country (especially the non doms and the entrepreneurs) with tax incentives designed to raise investment in the economy and in people.

The small-business sector and the self employed should also be targetted, as should the rural vote - but with different messages based around cutting back on red tape (and actually showing how he would achieve it).

He has to take a stand against our 'chav culture' which celebrates lawlessness and under achievement, despises legal authority, celebrates wanton abandon, alcohol and drug abuse, and spawns generations of people who have no concept of the need to take responsibility for their actions, because the state will always pick up the tab.

So - give people back their freedom. Reinstill law and order and a sense of discipline amongst our young people. Get the state out of hair on things where it has no place to be. Start thinking about where public expenditure savings can be made, and tax cuts implemented, and most of all, start showing how a Tory Government would improve public services!

Labour today stands for ratcheting back the Thatcher reforms, and making things ever more centralised, bureaucratic, remote, statist, corporate and expensive. Whereas in the 70's it was the Unions which caused the malaise, today it is the Government itself. The Government has become the enemy of the people and its freedoms.

What Brown wishes to create is a European style social democracy without the benefits of us actually having a European culture to underpin it.

For all his pretend 'Britishness' he doesn't seem to like the anglo-saxon economic or cultural model this country has. He wants to destroy it in favour of some unproven myth that a better world can be created by him micromanaging every aspect of every person's life.

He needs to learn, the less governments 'does', the more people do, and the better things will be.

captain cupcake said...

I am sure the correspondent is not alone. Labour has managed to alienate many natural supporters.

It is a real achievement to make them prefer the Tories, but that is what they have managed to do.

Anonymous said...

The question is will the Labour MPs stand their ground?

Consider that 5.3 million is rather a large number of aggrieved folk.

Robbing poor Peter to pay poor Paul is hardly a traditional Labour Party stance.

JuliaM said...

"I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope that Dave is just keeping his powder dry. Otherwise the future is bleak."

It's possible he has no powder...

"David Cameron is an incompetent leader who constantly misjudges the issues and the concerns of the electorate, and he is not a Conservative."

I agree. Why did he not raise objections to the 10p plan when it was announced? He's a spineless opportunist who wants power for its own sake. Just like Blair....

Sugar Free said...

Verity - I don't know if there is, I said I hoped there was. It would make sense though. Look at things like Questiontime. The Conservative Party must be media savvy enough to know that at a time when Brown is looking like the worst PM ever, you don't put Caroline Spelman on the BBCs primetime political programme. You put a big hitter. Someone like William Hague who would help the audience continue to laugh at our hapless 'leader' while still having the ability to state strongly, where they are going wrong AND what the Conservatives would do differently. It's no good to just sneer from the sidelines. They are the official opposition, it's their duty to put the boot in, forget being courageous, forget parliamentary politeness...this guy is harming this country, and to just play the political game, without any bite, is almost as bad as Brown and his incompetent bunch of seasoned neck-saving escapees.

Honestly, I ask again, ask yourself, what would Brown's legacy be if he left tomorrow? He has had a while in the job...now is not a time for sound bites, but he must already be feeling the hand of history on his shoulder... hopefully it's holding a very sharp knife!

If it’s a plan, and they are just readying themselves for summer 2010 (he won’t call an election before then I suggest!)…I will be able to accept the next two years of more and more and more blunders, Brown cannot really hurt me, although he can certainly hurt this Great nation… but… it will all be worth it if the Conservatives suffer a landslide victory, summer 2010 will be one big national street party…I also look forward to seeing Brown have a Prescott-esque ‘fight’ with a disgruntled member of the public…

verity said...

Juliam - "It's possible he has no powder." Garçon! I'd like to buy that lady a drink!

Cameron isn't driven by ideals or a desire to serve. He is driven by a desire to elevate himself. His only job was as a PR man for a television company, for God's sake! What is he doing heading up a great political party? He has no vision beyond transparent publicity stunts.

He has no great love of his country and is content to see it disintegrate in a jumbled up jigsaw puzzle of British laws and EU "directives" and the fascist HRA that forces a once-free country to accept that we cannot deport the dross of the universe. Has he once mentioned derogating from the HRA? Are you kidding? It's too popular with the kingmakers in Brussels.

Clearly, asking him to project a vision of Britain that would appeal to longing Conservative voters is like writing a message on water.

He makes me sick.

Adrian Yalland said...

Verity - Harsh on Cameron even by your normal warm and fluffy standards.

Yes, he is all the things you despise - likes his soundbytes, is media savvy, looks closely at the polls rather than reverting back to his ideological compass...blah blah blah.

But, he understand, as all sensible politicians do, that electoral politics is a compramise. He is saying just enough to win over floating voters, at the risk of perhaps annoying those who are committed to voting Tory because there is no-where else for them to go.

Instead of judging him in opposition, perhaps we should wait and see what he does in office.

I do believe he is a Conservative - but there are many strands of conservative thinking, and he drawn inspiration from many sources. He is certianly socially liberal, economically leans to the right, and believes in the family as the bedrock of 'society', and he is sceptical of what the state can really achieve. sounds pretty Tory to me!

Whilst part of me would like to see him banging the drum for a smaller state and lower taxes, I suspect it would give ammo to the left who will use it to scare Labour's client state! Therefore, better he keep his powder dry - just as Thatcher did. She never said anything major about her plans until she was in office - mostly because she didn't have them until she was in office.

I think that he should be looking over a two-term parliament!

I don't however see any evidence that he is looking to beyond Westminster for a EU political career. Perhaps, as you would say, you could show where these views are based on factual evidence!

verity said...

Sugar Free - Thank you for your thoughtful response. I am in accord with most of your points.

Here are two on which we differ: PMQs. Dave is Mr Jolly Boating Weather. Jolly good sport. Have a bit of fun with your opponent, dontcha know, but don't, for heaven's sake, humiliate him. It's not cricket. It is this jolly sporting flaw that led him to command a standing ovation for the most wicked PM ever to govern our country. He lost me for good at that moment.

The other point on which I disagree with you is, if he ever gets in, Cameron will change little except some tweaks round the edges because he is part of the nomenklatura. He began sucking up to the EU and distancing himself from our great ally, the United States, the minute he became leader. Dave is not a Conservative, any more than Blair was a Labourite. They both selected what the judged the best route to success. No belief system. Just pragmatic. Cameron proudly proclaimed himself the heir to Blair, don't forget, and in this, he told the truth.

wrinkled weasel said...

Newmania said

"this country belongs to the people of it. Its like a club , you pay in and you are owed back. People who have worked here their whole lives did not do so for the benefit of foreigners imported for the purposes of eradicating national loyalty and disrupting rooted communities"

Absolutely precisely. Rousseau observed that the ruler/ruled relationship is secured by covenants. Nulab has gone down the road of despotism and broken the covenants between those who pay for this and those who spend it on our behalf.

Labour has spent the last decade believing it had something akin to a divine right, though in their case it was not God in charge but relativism and belief in nothingism; a monopoly of truth laid upon a vacuum of morality.

The backbone of this country is being broken while the Government peddles its liberal existentialist claptrap, while at the same time pursuing the most arrogant, the most morally unjustified agressive foreign policy since the nineteenth century.

Historians will view this shame with some bafflement. How could a nation allow itself to come to this, they will think.

Anonymous said...

Can you see Dave as a populist?
He's most at home amongst Notting Hill ecomentalists.
Big gains for the BNP! : )

John said...

There is indeed a message here and as yet its not being heard...

One of the biggest problems with the recent lost Tory elections was too much energy expended in those final two weeks and not enough before hand. Hague, IDS and Howard spent months making nice soothing noises (like Cameron appears to be doing) and then lit up just before the elections. Too late in my opinion.

Frankly, the Conservatives have two years to turn the electorate... they shouldn't be wasting time on being nice. The current Government is slow, clumsy and wounded, now is the time to attack.

hatfield girl said...

'He is saying just enough to win over floating voters, at the risk of perhaps annoying those who are committed to voting Tory because there is no-where else for them to go.'

But Adrian Y, there is somewhere else for them to go, and they are going in their hundreds of thousands, and being replaced by another voter base incoming.

Rush-is-Right said...

Why did he not raise objections to the 10p plan when it was announced?

Actually, I think he (or Osbourne at any rate) did. Note that it took a day or so for anyone to notice that, typically, Gormless Gordon had tucked the bad news away in the small print of the press announcements issued after the budget speech but, once it was spotted what GG had been up to, then the point was made.

I think it's all worked out pretty well. Labour MPs, never the most intelligent or numerate bunch of poeple, only noticed what was happening when the voters started writing in complaining about their April pay deductions. And now it's too late to do anyting about it.

The new PAYE codes and tax tables have gone out, they can't change any of that very easily. It's going to have to wait at least a year, a year during which people are going to be complaining like hell.

It couldn't have happened to a more deserving bunch. Quite laughable.

And this is off-topic but it made me laugh.

Anonymous said...

Adrian Yelland, close but not bang on the money. Cameron has yet to convince the UPPER and UPPER MIDDLE classes who (as you put it) "a) have a social conscience, (b) are not overly authoritarian" to vote Tory.

61% of them did in 1992. It was down to 38% in 1997 BUT has declined even further in 2001 and 2005.

These ABs are well off, want politicians who promise to help the poor, would be happy to pay a bit more tax to fulfil their duty of care towards society.

But they're also gay, or coloured, or single parents. They live in multicultural areas. They read the Times. They do not respond well to a Tory Party always pandering to the likes of Verity always frothing about "the evil EUSSR" and how Cameron isn't a "real Conservative". The last thing they want is Verity's idea of what real Conservatism is!

Dave said...

Iain the day anyone takes seriously a post on HYS is a very grim day indeed.

John M Ward said...

Newmania @ 2.52 "Leafy salubrious Croydon"? Hmm. There are some trees in some of the nicer roads in nearby Wallington...

I worked at Lunar House (Immigration Dept) for several years, and in all my wanderings never really anywhere I would call "leafy", so I think your guffaws on the train were well justified.

Auntie Flo' said...

Newmania said:

this country belongs to the people of it...People who have worked here their whole lives did not do so for the benefit of foreigners imported for the purposes of eradicating national loyalty and disrupting rooted communities.


Well said, newmania and thank you for your kind words. However, I can't let you off with your characterisation of all Liberals as flip flop wearing traitors.

You know as well as I do that many centre right liberals who've deserted the Liberal party to support Cameron bear no resemblance to your stereotype.

Chris Paul said...

Bloody obvious sock puppet Iain.

A person describing themselves thusly would remember the tax rates and the pain from the Thatcher/Major years.

They would not want any return to that. This is simply not credible. It's clearly a Tory whizz kid on amphetamines. Or Grant Shapps.

verity said...

Chris Paul, you are so plodding and predictable that sometimes I snooze off between your sentences.

Vienna Woods said...

“….remind me that I queued with scruffy foreign nationals who were guided towards those handouts denied to me…”
Yes, and that is something being experienced across the whole of former Western Europe. I am a British citizen living in Austria and recently I had to visit the social security office in Vienna regarding my pension entitlement. It’s a big office, but was heaving with dirty scruffy foreigners and stank like a cesspit. By the time my number was called I felt physically sick and the lady dealing with my case was thankful that I spoke good German. She related to me the dreadful stress of working at this office trying to handle the hoards of deliberately false claimants milking the system for all its worth. Believe it or not, they have armed security guards actually stationed in the office to prevent assaults on the staff and even with this I was forced to run the gauntlet of leering Turks and the violent, arrogant Serbs.
My journey to and from the Social Security Office by tram was uneventful, but during the whole journey of some 40 minutes I never once heard a single word of German.
It brought me to the realization that what has taken place over the last five years is tantamount to an ‘invasion’ which no West European country wants, nor can afford. The EU’s idiotic open-border policy has been an ill thought out and badly executed policy which should be reversed immediately and politicians should start listening to their own citizens instead of ignoring the situation in the hopes it will cure itself.
As for criminality, the houses of two of my colleagues have been burgled during the last week and yesterday the Polizei caught the Latvian gang who had been active for the last three months. Last Saturday, just two kilometers from my house, the Polizei shot one Romanian dead and wounded two others that had traveled across Europe posing as police officers with a flashing blue light on their stolen Alfa and robbing drivers. Just like the UK, there is now an investigation as to the shoot out as no guns were found in the Alfa. Why is it that our liberal laws seem to be anti-citizen and pro-criminal? Judging by the 400+ responses of support for the police officers in the local on-line press, the authorities should be wondering if the laws are an ass!

Stephen Glenn said...

What a joy it will be that the Lib Dems will be able to follow after the Conservative campaigners reminding voters of that to remind them that the Tories have already say they'll be unable to reduce taxes at any point within the next parliament.

Isn't 2015 the latest estimate Iain?

Anonymous said...

Adrian Yalland said...

"all of whom fear the prospects of a Tory Government and the prospect that they might have to get of their arses and get a real job!"

I know this is a toughie for ignorant tories but most of the unemployed want jobs, especially reasonable jobs with reasonable wages.

The reason they don't have them is because the liblabcons all support rich employers giving the jobs to cheap foreign labour.

Newmania said...

Oops sorry Flo I didn't think you would be watching ...ahem ahem .. I may have got carried away