Saturday, 19 March 2016

Iain Duncan Smith

My radar has been sufficiently off that I did not see the IDS resignation coming. But I was baffled at how the Chancellor twice (first was Working Tax Credit) has utterly misread what "We'll all in this together means". It now seems entirely possible that a period of deep Tory division will follow. So for the benefit of friends (and I mean friends) as diverse (sincerely meant too) as Brian Bennison, Guy Opperman and Douglas Fox (and many others)), I shall try to set out what I make of the last 24 hours. "We're all in this together" is the litmus test. Regular readers will know I hate labels and I am not keen when people use vilifying langauge about their opponents, one case being when all Tories are simply derided as vile. The reality as with the Labour party is nowhere near as simple. What I want from good government should be capable of being offered by all sensible people. I am impressed by government which can properly defend national interests anywhere, which can live up to the demands of world leadership which having a UN Permanent Security Council seat demands. At home I value politicians who genuinely will share pain (redistributive economics do not worry me (not to make us all the same but certainly to ensure that the extremes of wealth and poverty are outlawed)). Good business and growth are at the heart of prosperity, but with a growing elderly population, we are all in this together suggests soaring social justice bills for decades to come. These bills a wealthy country can afford. The wealthy should rejoice at living in a nation where they can so readily through taxation support these services and in another jibe at current Tory attitudes (so the schools) the best way to deliver many of these things is through strongly resourced and democratically accountable local authorities. Today the Tory party is divided about far more than just Europe, I hope those within it will think carefully about the way ahead, They need to hold as all politicians often should a very diverse hand, for instance I maintain two seemingly divergent strands, in people's own lives libertarianism draws me (theocracy frightens me) but I also strongly feel that the best of the British character which draws on many influences should be rooted in understanding our Christian heritage.

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