In the last year, Labour Ministers (and some of their media friends) have tried to make the Tory shadow cabinet out to be "policy-lite". In truth conservative supporters know that the party has been carrying out in depth policy reviews for the last couple of years. There has been a reluctance to announce Conservative policy resulting from these reviews in the fear that they will be stolen by a desperate Labour government, short of ideas, and out of touch with the people. Last year's Conservative conference is a prime example, most of the policy announced in George Osborne's speech, soon became Labour party policy.
Apparently a poll by PoliticsHomes PHI100 (Britain's most authoritative survey of inside and expert political opinion) shows (according to Andrew Rawnsley) that the "Tory Conference Will Be Policy Lite". I'm sorry, but this is just another dodgy poll from politicshome. The four choices put to the panel of 100 experts can only lead to the "policy lite" conclusion. Have a look at the poll, if it were a ladder, several important rungs would be missing. The choices given to the experts go in the following order: How many policies will be announced at the Conservative conference: a) very little, b) not a lot, c) a little, and d) a lot. Can you see the missing rungs? The choices jump from "a little" to "a lot" in one very large step. What happened to "a reasonable amount" or "several, but not loads"?
I'm expecting some great policies coming out of this conference. We will see a united front on all the main problems currently facing the nation - the economy, law and order, health and education. I expect to see immigration become a question not just of sensible control, but of much needed integration. I also hope that the party will see the "Green issue" as the majority of the public see it - it would be nice to be environmentally responsible, but only if we can afford it. Our first priority must be to ensure we have an energy supply which is secure, affordable and of a sufficient capacity.
While Gordon Brown is promising vote winning, neck saving and expensive policies, some of our elderly will be at severe risk this winter. Policies like helping kids get on the Internet are nice to have - but helping our elderly pay their energy bills this winter is a MUST HAVE. We must cut spending on "nice to have" New Labour policies (like ID Cards and Data bases) and divert the money to "must have" policies - whilst at the same time trying reducing national debt - and eventually (it may take years), affordable tax cuts.
I'm looking forward to a great Tory conference.