The first paragraph of the BBC News 24's article on John Redwood's proposal to save £14bn by cutting Red Tape reads: Tory leader David Cameron is looking at plans to cut £14bn in red tape and regulation for UK businesses. Sounds good so far? Unfortunately the article goes on to rubbish the proposal with comments from Labour Cabinet Minister Andy Burnham, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable and a spokesman for the TUC. They even said the Confederation of British Industry only cautiously welcomed the proposals.
This is strange. I'm sure that these are good proposals. We are as a nation constantly complaining of Red Tape, ridiculous health and safety regimes and I'm damn sure we would like to see the back of the poorly thought out HIPs scheme. The proposal also said it would look into the working time regulations. Why then, are these proposals being portrayed as something that would be bad for the country? We could save businesses £14bn and cut through all that rubbish that infuriates us and complicates our work.
The answer is that Labour are making a better job of manipulating the media. The Conservatives have had several opportunities to criticise Labour since Brown came into power, but they have failed to drive the criticism home. Floods, Foot and Mouth, and employing very unfriendly medical professionals who were turned down in Australia for not meeting the required standard. Brown has made massive cock-ups in the past: pensions and gold sales are two beauties. The man should be unpopular with the public but according to the media he is turning into some kind of people's hero.
We need to stop playing the nice guy and use the media to its full potential. I don't mean spin and I don't mean dirty tricks, there is no need when Labour are already handing us all the ammunition we need. It's time to attack. We have missed some real opportunities to make the public realise how poor Labour are at running this country. If an October election is called, it's going to be touch and go whether we can make the public realise that a Conservative government is the best and only option. We cannot afford to let Labour off the hook anymore.