Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Is blogger right to u-turn on what he said yesterday about child benefit?

I haven't spoken to a single representative here at the conference who has welcomed, without reservation, the child benefit announcement yesterday. To a man and a woman they all think the principle of taking benefits away from top rate taxpayers is correct, but like me, they are worried about the impact on votes.

It's no good Cabinet Ministers going on the airwaves pretending that everything is sorted and that all is sweetness and light. Even though only yesterday I casually said I expected that it would all be sorted.

Any fool can see that there are issues to be resolved here. Yet until Dizzee Stinks pointed them out yesterday I was unaware of them. I am not even intelligent enough to be a fool it seems.

David Cameron has an acute pair of political nostrils. And if he is sniffing the wind this morning I think I know what he will smell. Fear, decay and bullshit.

Ignoring the detail for a moment (detail doesn't matter when you want to make generalist sweeping statements) I think it is worth asking how we got to this point, because the whole thing has come as a very unpleasant surprise. Especially to me who said about a year ago that it was "tripe" that a Tory government would ever do this. Never mind the principle, the whole thing has made me look stupid.

The hallmark of the first six months of the coalition has been the rigour of the policy formation process. And also a rigour for detail and factual accuracy that I am incapable of. For example, the Coalition has been in place for less than five months.

I am beginning to bore even myself now so I will get back to wearing some nice spectacles and appearing on TV a lot.

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