Where are the real values of our two main political parties?

Last week our two main political parties lost their marbles. Labour decided to spend, spend, spend and the Tories to listen, listen, listen.

Last week our two main political parties lost their marbles. Labour

decided to spend, spend, spend and the Tories to listen, listen,

listen.



Neither will be the same again. Within the space of 24 hours, New Labour

cast to the four winds its carefully nurtured reputation for prudence

and the Conservatives, their long-esteemed ideological security. From

now on their presentation will be more complicated, their message more

confused.



Indeed, we have already seen that with Tony Blair desperately trying to

claim that, in chucking billions at health, education and welfare, they

have calculated the risks and can afford it and with William Hague

protesting that, while in listening mode, the Conservatives have no

intention of surrendering their core beliefs.



You have to ask yourself what they put in the water in Whitehall and

Westminster these days. After all, Labour won the election by

appropriating Thatcher policies wholesale and convincing the nation that

their spendthrift days were over and the Tories lost it, not because

they had the wrong philosophy, but because they had become an

embarrassing rabble. Now Labour is battling to convince us that it is

not on the usual Old Labour financial slide and the Conservatives to

persuade us that they still know what they stand for.



I can see why the Tories want to register with the two million-plus

voters who witheld their support at the last election, ensuring a Labour

landslide, that they are of humble and contrite heart. But the way to do

that is not to hawk themselves around the country as an itinerant

listening post, especially when the successful practice of politics has

always required a keen ear, but to demonstrate a new unity, a new

appetite for office and an old enthusiasm for Conservative principles

which Labour has lost after only 14 months.



It is conceivable that the Tories will get away with their PR pose in

the touchy-feely world bequeathed to us by Diana, Princess of Wales

Labour has increased their chances of doing so by the sheer rashness of

their spending plans which has had even their media slaves sucking at

their teeth.



It matters not, from my presentational point of view, that they will

actually spend another pounds 57 billion on health, education and

welfare over the next three years. I’m sure, as Ann Widdecombe claims,

that there’s a lot of hype and double and even treble counting in it.

Never trust the Treasury. The point is that Messrs Blair and Brown want

us to believe they are chucking vast riches at the public sector just

when the economic outlook is clouding over. This profligacy with their

one outstanding new PR asset - financial prudence - frankly grieves me.

I can only conclude their early success has gone fatally to their heads.



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