If George Osborne had said
"Pensioners, especially wealthy ones have enjoyed privileged tax treatment for a long time, and I'm levelling it out a bit, "intergenerational fairness" and all that..."or...
"VAT harmonisation of Ambient food is necessary to comply with an EU directive"The budget would be about the big cut in taxes for the low-paid, not "granny taxes" and pasties.. Notice how when Cameron said.
"Yes, of course I meet party donors, you morons. Here's the list"the story died? If Francis Maude had said,
"look there's going to be a strike. Me saying this is going to cause Short-term Chaos, but we will be more resilient if we've all got full tanks and it will be worth it when "Red Len" takes his boys out on strike".No-one would have minded - how do you prepare for a fuel tanker strike but by increasing the storage level, and the biggest store of fuel in the country by far is the tanks on everyone's drive. It's just this was very badly done, and catastrophically poorly prepared for. The whole thing appeared accidental. A bit of planning would have seen a warning sent to the fuel companies to increase stocks, maybe a week before. This would have leaked, leading to a steadier run on fuel, perhaps one our supply chain could cope with, before the final announcement that you should all fill up (when most people already had), and maybe have a bit of fuel in the Garage. The panic would be smaller, fewer pumps would have run dry and the Government would appear to have been in control of the situation. Red Len would have been able to cause much less pain.
The Government should have no need to announce that you don't "decant" fuel next to an open flame. If they had used the word "decant" they would have been accused of being "out of touch".
Tories are not MEANT to be liked. But they are meant to be trusted and respected for competence. And if you try to pull the wool over people's eyes, they don't like it. People DO notice if you lie to them. And it means they don't notice the good you're doing.
I broadly agree with much of this Government's agenda. I think the fiscal policy is about right. I think the NHS reforms make a great deal of sense. The welfare & education reforms especially could transform the country over the next 20 years into something far, far better. Those two policies are reason alone to support the Government. Big picture, this Government could well leave the country very, very much better than it found it.
But the media management, the day-to-day dirty business of politics, the message management of this Government is simply catastrophically inept. And that's a job for the Party Chairman. They need a top-flight politician for the Job. Warsi has to go.