My old mucker Nick Watt has helped with another interesting insight into Tory tax policy formulation.
Buried in a Guardian story about the decision to hire M and C Saatchi to work alongside Airbrush Posters PLC in their interesting (ie fraught) new joint venture is a line related to the most elusive issue in UK politics – what the Tories would actually do.
It says that ‘senior sources’ have briefed the website ConservativeHome that shadow chancellor George Osborne has a ‘wheeze’ lined up to repeal the proposed National Insurance rise.
Two interesting things to comment upon here. One is the apparent new journalistic formulation that you can report ‘senior sources’ (never junior, you may have noticed) even if those unnamed voices are speaking anonymously to a rival media organisation, which means that in a secondary report you are unlikely to know their identity, and thus their reliability.
But more noteworthy is the ‘wheeze’ element.
I’ve often felt about David Cameron, George Osborne and the rest of their set that one day they were just sitting around at Dave’s gaff, flicking through Smythson’s posh products catalogues, a bit bored with their various roles in life, and one of them said ‘listen chaps, don’t you think it would be great to run a country? Think what fun we’d all have.’
According to junior and possibly totally unreliable sources, at a newspaper group lunch recently, DC said, in answer to the question why he wanted to be PM … ‘I think I’d be quite good at it.’
All fits the bill, n’est-ce pas? Wants the job, not quite sure what he wants to do with it though.
Quite a wheeze though. Golly, yes.
* Buy The Blair Years online and raise cash for Labour http://www.alastaircampbell.org/bookshop.php.