Posted by: secretperson | September 25, 2008

Localist Tories Launch Book

(hat-tip Devil’s Kitchen)

Daniel Hannan MEP and Douglas Carswell MP have launched a book entitled The Plan: Twelve Months to Renew Britain.

Following on from their good work with Direct Democracy these two Conservatives have written a manifesto for one parliamentary session, outlining exactly the acts that could be introduced to transform democracy and accountability in the UK.

Steps include leaving the EU for a purely trading agreement, personal health accounts, a version of school vouchers, welfare to be run locally, Swiss-style popular referenda and locally elected Sheriffs to set policing priorities.

I am a regular reader of Hannan’s blog, and may have to start reading Carswell’s more often. I agree with a lot of what they say (though we differ in that I would apply their localist policies in England, not Britain/UK).

There is no doubt in my mind that our political system is stale and unresponsive, easily swayed by vested interests, and when I look at elections I feel I have little choice. If the Conservatives adapted these policies I would join them straight away, let alone vote for them. But as it is they are simply the best of a bad bunch of two who might win.

I haven’t read the book yet, but the principles seem sound, lowering the level power is exercised at at every oppurtunity, and ultimately towards the individual. It allows a more pick and choose approach to politics, rather than having to choose an entire manifesto for one central party. I might agree with UKIP on Europe, the Lib Dems on electoral reform and the Tories on education. More localism would allow me to vote, or take my money to, the system I want for education, health etc without requiring a whole package that suits me. I could instigate a referendum on an English parliament, or against ID cards. All in all it sounds a good idea.

I hope right now someone is sending David Cameron a copy of this book.



  1. The only things Cameron would be interested in are the attacks on welfare – not corporate welfare, mind, he’s yet to condemned Brown’s support for the Bush bailout of Wall St. We can assume that he’d do the same – as would Brown…

    The Tories best hope is a hung parliament and a minority Labour government. Seriously, the ruling class won’t back Cameron at the next election because it will mean the end of the British state – the Scots will vote for independence and Wales and N. Ireland will surely follow.

  2. “The Tories best hope is a hung parliament and a minority Labour government.”

    I don’t understand your point Charlie, best hope for what?

    I think with the polls the way they were before the Labour conference they were on for a big majority. And if they have a good conference they should be back on for that again.

    Personally I just want to see the back of Brown.

  3. As I said, the ruling class won’t want the breakup of the UK which will inevitably result from a Tory landslide. So, I expect that there will be intense media pressure on the Tories come election time.

    Brown may be gone by the next election, which would eat into the Tory lead. Aside from the media campaign against Cameron (who says he doesn’t want to be the first PM of England) and the post-Brown bounce, there’s the question of what the Tories would do to revive the economy.

    Cameron has refused to join with the Anglican leaders in condemning the greed of City speculators – despite his shadow home secretary calling on us to be proud of our Christian heritage – and says he doesn’t think you can make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.

    In other words, we have the myth of trickle-down economics – tax cuts guaranteed for the corporations, but not for those on low and middle incomes.

    As Newsnight’s polling of the Lib-Dems conference by Frankie Luntz showed, floating voters like the “tax cuts for workers, tax hikes for the rich” message.

    If Cameron is to sustain his party’s lead, he’s got to make it clear that in the downturn he’ll be on the side of ordinary people. But as his shadow cabinet is stuffed with millionaires, himself included, it’s unlikely to wash…

  4. Well, an interesting prediction, but I’d wait till after the conference. They’re going to have to re-think their economic policy. That terrible phrase “sharing the proceeds of growth” doesn’t work with zero or negative growth.

    Brown and Darling have promised more borrowing and more tax. OK, they call it investment, but that’s the message. The Lib-Dems have favoured tax cuts for everyone, no extra on the top rate the rich. The floating voter may favour higher taxes for the rich to fund tax cuts for the poorer, but no-one is offering that.

    I’ll reserve my judgement till after the conference. They can’t get away with saying nothing anymore, or following Labour spending plans. The economy will be the big issue, and they are going to need a position.

    Personally raising thresholds would seem a good way to cut taxes and help the poorest most.

  5. Brown &co haven’t been so stupid as to promise a rise in taxation! Though I wouldn’t put it past them… More borrowing wouldn’t necessitate immediate tax rises, but with the bad debt picked up from Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley…

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