New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Election 2024
5 January 2010

Attack lines that could hurt Brown and Cameron

Lib Dem leader hones campaign technique

By Jon Bernstein

As my colleague Samira Shackle notes elsewhere, Nick Clegg’s media double-whammy this morning did little to move on the story of possible post-election deal-making.

In neither his appearance on Radio 4’s Today programme nor his authored piece in the Times did the Liberal Democrat leader choose to be any clearer on which way he would jump in the event of a hung parliament.

But what his newspaper column did provide was a neat attack on both Labour and the Conservatives and their claims to be progressive. The lines are worth repeating because we will hear them again and again during the unofficial and official election campaign.

 

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

1. “Mr Brown has created a tax system where the poorest pay a higher proportion of their income in taxes than the rich.”

This is the theme David Cameron warmed to during his party conference speech last October. Indeed, he sounded at his most impassioned — and won his most sustained ovation — during a passage that opened like this:

In Gordon Brown’s Britain, if you’re a single mother with two kids earning £150 a week, the withdrawal of benefits and the additional taxes mean that for every extra pound you earn, you keep just four pence.

Expect more of this from both Cameron and Clegg.

 

2. “Mr Cameron’s top priority is tax cuts for millionaires.”

The Tories’ commitment to raise the inheritance-tax threshold inspired Gordon Brown’s best one-liner of 2009:

This must be the only tax change in history where the people proposing it — the leader of the opposition and the shadow chancellor — will know by name almost all of the potential beneficiaries.

As George Eaton wrote yesterday, inheritance tax could yet become politically toxic for the Tories, and not just because the revenue-recouping windfall tax on non-domiciles may not add up.

Both major parties had better ensure that their rebuttal units are working hard to combat these attacks.

Follow the New Statesman team on Twitter

Content from our partners
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors
How the apprenticeship levy helps small businesses to transform their workforce
How to reform the apprenticeship levy