"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Hague & Osborne: Spring Conference

Here's a short extract with the main points of Hague's speech, full transcript here

Wordle: Hague's speech to Conference
  • We will cut the spending that cannot go on and the borrowing that leads to ruin.
  • We will help the hard-pressed taxpayer, by freezing council tax for two years, abolishing stamp duty for most first time buyers, and helping small businesses.
  • If we can, we will spare millions of working people Labour’s extra tax on jobs due next year.
  • We will create a culture of saving instead of a culture of debt, helping people to stay in the home they worked all their lives to pay for, and removing millions of middle-income people from the inheritance tax they should never have been expected to pay.
  • We will reform welfare, create more apprenticeships, make sure new regulations mean the end of old ones, fund more university places this year and scrap a large slice of expensive quangos. 
  • We will make Britain the most family friendly country in Europe.
  • We’ll back the NHS, which matters more to families than anything else.
  • We will strengthen communities by the biggest transfer of power this country has ever seen to councils and communities to decide on what is built, what is spent, what is saved and what is preserved in their city, town and village.
  • We will bring to education the galvanising effect of new schools in the state sector but not run by the state and a long overdue emphasis on discipline and standards for all.
  • We will give our public sector workers the biggest opportunity they have ever had to run things themselves, as they know best.
  • Where Labour have refused to control immigration we will properly control it.
  • Where they betrayed democracy by refusing a referendum we will build a referendum whenever the powers of the voters are given away into our law.
  • Where they have presided over the greatest disillusionment with politics and government in centuries we will reduce our own salaries as ministers, cut the size and cost of parliament, make the House of Commons more democratic let everyone see how their taxpayers’ money is spent – and demonstrate that people can have faith in their leaders again.

Extract from a terrific, well-received speech from Osborne:
Wordle: Osborne's speech to Conference

So we have a plan of action.
  • Within days of coming to office I will create an independent Office for Budget Responsibility.
  • No more hiding PFI and pension liabilities off the balance sheet.
  • No more dodgy growth forecasts.
  • No more fiddled Treasury figures.
  • That’s our pledge.
  • For the first time, taxpayers will have a proper, independent set of the nation’s accounts.
  • Within 50 days of coming to office we will hold an emergency budget.  This will set out overall spending levels. And it will include measures that will make a start this year in reducing the deficit.
  • I have set out in more detail than any Shadow Chancellor before me examples of the spending decisions we will take.
  • We will impose a cap of £50,000 on the highest public sector pensions.
  • We will freeze for one year public sector pay, but not for the lowest paid million.
  • We will stop handing out tax credits to people earning more than £50,000 and cut child trust funds for the better off.
  • We will have a review to bring forward the rise in the pension age so that in our ageing society our children are not left to pay off the debts of their parents.
  • We will lead by example by cutting the House of Commons by 10% and cut the salaries and perks of Ministers.
  • And we will - with international agreement - introduce a new bank tax to stop ordinary taxpayers underwriting the risks taken by super rich bankers.
All this, I have made clear because I wanted people to see that there are politicians who prepared to take difficult decisions

And I want people to know that we are all in this together.

So David Cameron’s Conservative Party will not cut pension credits or winter fuel payments or free TV licenses and bus passes.

The pension age changes we make mean David Cameron’s Conservative Party can afford a more generous state pension.

David Cameron’s Conservative Party will not cut the NHS budget.

David Cameron and the Conservative Party will not balance the budget on the backs of the poorest.

What Philip and I will do is cut the chronic waste, the quangos and the tiers of bureaucracy that hold our public services back.

Because we must rebalance the British economy away from an unsustainable reliance on excessive debt and a bloated government, and towards the small businesses, the wealth-creating entrepreneurs and innovation of the British people on whom this nation’s future depends.

Full transcript here

Meanwhile, on the BBC/Sky/ITV/radio news, a footballer has apparently refused to shake the hand of another footballer.


  1. A few things stuck in my craw today:

    * Public-Private partnerships (fascism we've come to know);
    * Smart meters - Labour's (UN's actually) measures repackaged;
    * Ken Clarke's recent visit to the EU - was it to OK some of the thinks in his speech?

    I remain sceptical, GV!

  2. Me too Fausty but I can't bear the thought of another Labour government :-( It will be the death of the country. Osborne's speech was good - stuffed with Conservative economic principles - and should have encouraged many of the grassroots.

    I suppose it comes down to three options: re-elect Brown & Co and watch the country sink faster than a sinky thing in a whirpool; vote Con, revive the economy and slow the pace of absorption into the EU; or, just go for broke and vote UKIP/BNP/Libertarian/English Democrat/Other. What it needs, above all else, is a mass turnout to vote.


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