The 2008 Conservative Party Conference has kicked off. And I’m not liking the tone: it sounds more like New Labour than decent responsibilities-led Toryism.
I don’t want shadow chancellor George Osbourne telling me his government will do ‘everything in its power’ to help victims of the credit crunch. As we’ve learned under a decade of spendthrift wastrels Blair and Brown, ‘do everything in its power’ translates as ‘take everything in your wallet’.
I want the next Tory-led government to understand it can’t solve everything, that the solution to every problem is not further legislation, that making progress means cheerleading for the wealth-creating and hardworking more than the weak and the workshy. I want a government that pushes for individual responsibility, and when economic corrections happen, to let them happen, and let bad banks die so that good banks can bubble to the surface.
In short, I don’t want just different government: I want less government. And I’m concerned Cameron and Osbourne won’t deliver.
Permeating Osbourne’s speech is the damn same gorge-and-gush, soak-the-middle-class mentality that drove New Labour to turn a huge fiscal surplus when it came to power into a stunning deficit… and, through its breathtaking incompetence, do so during an era of global economic growth and rising tax take. It’s all Labourites ever do: feed an addiction to spending. The Conservatives, on Day One, don’t appear to be promising anything different. Worrying, worrying.