Does two U-turns in two days mean you have come full circle or are you going round in circles?

Does a second U-turn in two days mean that few other sacred cows might be slaughtered to appeal to middle England...?

I was unsurprised, as I am sure many were, when we suddenly heard that a million pounds no longer buys you a mansion and so the Lib Dems decided that only ‘mansions’ over £2 Million would be subject to the dreaded tax.

All those former Bullingdon members on the Tory front bench were no doubt off to the estate agents to see if they would be subject to Vince’s Toff Tax. 

But, why has there been a second U-turn in two days, on the issue of an ‘in-out’ referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU?

If there really is ‘no public appetite’ for it, according to Sir Menzies Campbell, then why was there an ‘appetite’ for it when the Lib Dems proposed a referendum on the European constitution originally. Why was there not ‘an appetite’ for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, but why did the Lib Dem leadership believe there was ever ‘an appetite’ for an ‘in-out’ referendum?

The problem appears to be that in one case the Lib Dems think they would lose votes and in the second they would lose the vote.

On the issue of the ‘Mansion Tax’ I suspect that MPs in the South East and London are the ones pointing out this will cost them votes.  This is probably not true because I suspect anyone that can afford a £1 Million house is just as unlikely to vote Lib Dem as one in a £2 Million one.

But, I also suspect that Nick Clegg knows that the Tories will be forced through internal, and external, pressure to move to a position of accepting a referendum on whether the UK stays in the EU. When that day comes the Lib Dems will not want to have to support it, in the knowledge that the vote may well be lost.

It makes you wonder what else might end up on the bonfire of the manifestos before the election starts.


Cameron could sack Osborne according to the Evening Standard…


They may look like 'Bullingdon Buddies' here, but Cameron might sack Osborne!

One of the key things that we Liberal Democrats have been hanging on to is that Vince Cable is the most competent, and knowledgeable, of the Shadow Chancellors.

I had always assumed that the ties of The Bullingdon Club had prevented David Cameron considering getting rid of his friend George Osborne.

But, according to today’s Evening Standard he would:

He said: “Absolutely; I’ve done so before with other colleagues and I will do so again. One of the most difficult parts of the job is colleague management.

“And moving people in and out of the shadow cabinet is very difficult, but it absolutely has to be done. You must not dodge it, you must not duck it.”

He continued, citing Osborne’s surprising survival of the yachtgate scandal as, “not because he is a friend, not because we are godfathers to each other’s children, but because he is the right person to do the job”.

The Tory leader added: “I know he knows that, if that was not the case, he would not be there.”

Please Dave, don’t sack him, he may be a total liability but it would cause too much of a fuss and make your party more electable. Ken Clarke would be a terrible replacement.

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Why George Osborne just doesn’t get it…

George Osborne - we're not all in it together

George Osborne - we're not all in it together

‘We’re all in this together,’ claims George Osborne, something I would always be careful not to claim if I was a Tory grandee.

Any sensible person assessing the economic situation in the UK at the moment is aware that there are only two ways out of the debt the UK has built up to survive, and that is to cut services now or to do it more gradually.

Some would say, as Gordon Brown has before, that cuts are not necessary, but even he seems to have now accepted that this is not credible.

The problem I have, on the economy, is whether we should trust George Osborne, Gordon Brown or even Vince Cable. 

The issue I find most irritating is whether he actually understands the dripping irony of his words when he says, ‘we’re all in this together’?

Unlike him, I am not the heir to a multi-million pound (or should it be Euro) inheritance or an Irish baronetcy. Nor did I attend St Paul’s school nor did I join the Bullingdon club whilst at Oxford.  The capacity of George (nee Gideon) to grasp the needs and aspirations of the majority of the British people having had such a privileged upbringing seems questionable at best and laughable at worst.

Today he had the perfect opportunity to abandon the Conservative Party’s commitment  to scrap Inheritance Tax for the wealthiest people in Britain, he didn’t. I wonder why not? It would seem that we clearly aren’t all in it together really.

The Conservatives are speaking the language of the majority but they still speak merely for the minority.