In yesterday’s by-election in Crewe and Nantwich the Conservatives took control. There is little doubt that the electors wanted to give Gordon Brown a ‘good hiding’ which is understandable and being a Socialist I have little affection for our leader.
However, he is getting the blame for fast rising fuel and food prices, products over which he has little control. To gain popular support he could reduce the fuel duty by, let us say, 50p per litre but this wouldn’t slow the increases and would leave a huge hole in the State finances which would have to be filled by other taxes and so back to square one. So what could he do? Well, he could get us out of the mess, created by his predecessor, in Iraq & Afghanistan and also reduce our military to purely defensive numbers. This would save many billions of Pounds. He could cancel the totally useless Trident replacement programme and save at least £65billion on current estimates and impose a ‘windfall tax on the oil companies whose profits are rising exponentially, not through any extra endevour but due to market prices. Scope there then to ease the pain, particularly for rural voters who have no choice at all other than to drive.
It’s all too easy to forget life under the Conservatives and Margaret Thatcher, so let’s hope this kick up the backside is just that and not translated into a General Election victory for ‘New Tory’.