Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

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Oh how we laughed

And then we cried.

Before Dave became PM and formed the “Brokeback Coalition” with made-in-Brussels Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats had their annual conference first in the season before the grown-up parties spoke to the public at their respective get-togethers. At the Yellow Peril conference it was common for loony policies to be announced such as banning the sale of goldfish at village fairs and introducing a Mansion Tax.

I remember when Vince Cable announced he was going to invent a new tax on mansions and we laughed our socks off and enjoyed the light entertainment of another Liberal Democrat conference as we packed our bags for our own conference.

But laughing has turned to crying as the Mansion Tax is now being taken seriously by Chancellor George Osborne. It would see owners of properties valued over a certain amount, say £1 million, being clobbered with an additional tax for having the audacity of owning a home, which has only rocketed in value because of the ineptitude of the last Labour Government who deliberately allowed house building to stop to cause a house price boom and therefore mask their economic failure (the rest, as they say, is history).

I think Lord Tebbit puts it quite well in today’s Sun:

“I’ve got a bigger house than most people. That’s partly because I need it to house two carers to look after my wife. 

“Should I be taxed then on the basis that I live in a mansion? I wouldn’t need such a big house if my wife wasn’t nearly murdered.”


I’m all for the rich paying their way but taxing them until the pips squeak is not the way to bring growth back to our stagnant economy. Cutting tax has been proven to do that, as Nigel Lawson showed, but that was when we had a proper Conservative government.

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Cheers or cries: what will it be Mr Cameron?

Tomorrow, when he makes a statement on last week’s EU Summit to the House of Commons, the Prime Minister, has the opportunity to build on his magnificent decision to veto Merkozy’s plans for a Treaty which would have enacted crippling regulation on 10% of our economy and risked the jobs of millions of British people, or he can throw it all away by snuggling back up to Nick Clegg.

David Cameron needs to remember his Party are the senior Party and Nick Clegg’s yellow peril are the political pygmies of the Commons. They will put limos before principle any day of the week (Vince Cable has already backtracked from his Observer interview with Will Hutton where he threatened to resign). I remember saying the same thing to Cllr Liz Harsant when the Conservative Party was in coalition with the Liberal Democrats in Ipswich (although special responsibility allowances were enough to keep them placated). Basically, the Prime Minister can almost do anything and the Liberal Democrats won’t budge an inch from the Government benches.

Now with that in mind, David Cameron must not unravel the victory he took against the bully boys of Europe in the early hours of Friday morning by appeasing the Liberal Democrats. Let them let off steam in the wings, for sure, but don’t acknowledge their screams for a moment. If his rhetoric during his Commons statement continues to talk about always putting Britain first then he will sail through his statement with the sounds of cheers and ruffling of order papers in his ears. Because this time, we know he means it.

If he backtracks and ramps up the Europhile rhetoric then the Liberal Democrats will be wiped out by the country sooner than he thinks.