Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The 80s are back! Fire up the Raleigh Grifter Dave!

Only a couple of months ago, Tim Montgomerie wrote a piece for Comment is Free, claiming that
it is Policy Exchange that wins the gold medal as the leading supplier of personnel to Project Cameron... PX's influence extends far beyond the drafting and promotion of policy blueprints. Remembering the old dictum that "staff is policy".... many of the individuals who are now leading members of Team Boris and of Team Cameron have passed through PX's care

So when Policy Exchange issues a report, people have a habit of taking note.

Even when David Cameron tells us that
Policy Exchange had "nothing to do with the Conservative party".
Particularly when it proposes scrapping regeneration budgets for northern cities and spending the money on new housing in Oxford, Cambridge and around London. How that would tie in with the NIMBYism of the Tories and their objections to building new homes for families isn't really explained. The report proposes that some of the regeneration budget should be spent on persuading the good folks of Sunderland, Liverpool or anywhere else north of Watford to get on their bikes and move to where the good times are. Truly Tebbit's spirit lives on in the modern Tory Party!

While the Tories have been swift to distance themselves from this nutty report - released on the same day that Cameron was dragging himself round marginal seats in the north in the vague hope of attracting a few more votes - there is a major warning sounded at the start for all those of us outside the blessed south east:

Nor is a change of government likely to continue supporting regeneration policy. Ministers in the current Labour Cabinet overwhelmingly represent inner city areas. A future Cabinet, perhaps more representative of suburbs and the wealthy South East, may not have the same commitment to high levels of regeneration funding,

It readily admits that for all the weasel words spoken, the Tories are the same as they ever were. They won't give a damn about the poorer slices of society or anywhere outside the leafy suburbs that doesn't have a good hunt. Their people didn't live in Manchester or Newcastle or Sunderland - and they don't live there now. If Cameron walks into Number 10, then it will be disastrous for the people who don't live in his charmed circle of privately-educated, monied residents of the South East.

You have been warned.

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