Thursday, 25 March 2010

Clever Darling

"Alistair Darling has conceded that if Labour is re-elected public spending cuts will be "tougher and deeper" than those implemented by Margaret Thatcher."

Bad news, obviously. And hardly likely the sort of stance one might hope for from a Labour party.

But, isn't it very smart? First off, it's such bad news it is likely to believed. Secondly it lowers expectations, making clear the likelihood of a particularly austere next parliament, or two, or three.

But most importantly it suggests even Labour's supposedly free-spending agenda is going to hurt more than Thatcher's early 80s phase did. Why is that clever? Because the Tory opposition want to cut much more deeply and swiftly - that's their whole schtick. Even people tempted to vote Tory will surely be frightened by the idea of mandating cuts worse than those for which Margaret Thatcher became so hated (and still is)....... Nobody would generally consider Thatcher as free-spending and profligate, and those are the Tory criticisms of the Labour plan.

Can the Tories get elected on a program that's considerably "worse than Thatcher"? Hard to believe. So, a very clever move, Darling.

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