Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Conviction Politics

By their critics shall ye know them

As you may know, the Grun has recently teamed up with IsHeStillHere? Prezza to launch an all-out attack on the TaxPayers' Alliance.

The Grun accuses the TPA of being a front for the Tory Party, and having a tax exile director. Prez accuses the TPA of being a front for the Tory Party, and eating all the pies.

The truth about the "tax-exile director" is explained by TPA chief exec Matthew Elliott here. In reality, he is Matthew's father-in-law, a retired teacher who now lives with his French wife in France and pays French taxes (which are actually higher than ours).

As for the TPA being a front for the Tory Party, Grun and Prez are stuck in the age of analogue party politics.

The TPA is not about the grubby business of getting one or other party elected to Westminster. The TPA is about something much more fundamental - it is about what used to be called conviction politics. The conviction that - whoever is in power at Westminster - Britain needs lower taxes and smaller better government. As Matthew E puts it:
"We believe in lower taxes, reformed public services and better value for taxpayers' money. We are open about being of the centre-right... But the idea that that puts us in cahoots with the Tories is laughable. You only have to read ConservativeHome to see how many grassroots supporters feel that the Tories have strayed from that agenda. I doubt that George Osborne appreciated our criticism of the Conservatives for matching Labour's spending plans or supporting the new 50p income tax rate."

The fact that the TPA is now attracting so much heat from the old left is gratifying. It is a good measure of our impact.

And for those of us who were in despair about the wibbly Tories ever breaking away from what had become known as the "New Labour settlement" on tax and spend, the TPA has brought hope. It has shown once again just what can be achieved if you've got enough conviction.

1 comment:

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