The other day Peter Hoskin wrote:
The more I think about it, the more sure I am that there is no contradiction between promising to cut taxes and aiming to win Labour seats. As one of the commenters says, tax cuts are attractive to people on low incomes who are struggling to make ends meet.
Nick Clegg's declaration that the Lib Dems will now concentrate on snaring 50 paticularly vulnerable Labour seats at the next election ... is a puzzling one.
... the potential's there for Clegg's new tactic to further divide the party, and perhaps even weaken their election efforts. You see, this is the same Nick Clegg who sold the Lib Dems as "tax-cutting" party only a couple of weeks ago - one assumes in an effort to nab votes from the Tories. But now the priority is nabbing votes from Labour, and Clegg will surely have to take his party leftwards in order to achieve that.
Of course, the sizeable Lib Dem left will be delighted. But - as James Kirkup writes over at Three Line Whip - the right-leaning elements of the party will be less than amused. The general feeling, though, will be confusion: "Which direction is Clegg taking us in? Where will we be next week?"
And another commenter is right when he says:
I think the claims about confusion etc say more about the prejudices of the author of this piece than about the actual events they are reporting on.Those prejudices seem to be rooted in an outdated class-war view of politics. The Tories favour low taxes and low spending, which is good for their class. Labour promises high taxes and high spending, which is good for its people.
Presumably Hoskin believes that David Cameron's leadership is a sort of con trick designed to persuade enough Labour voters to vote against their own interests to allow a Conservative government back into power. It is not a very edifying view of politics.
Thoughtful Conservatives and Liberal Democrats realise that statist solutions are hugely expensive and hopelessly inefficient, and that the burden of paying for them falls upon people who can ill afford it.
One difference between them is that Lib Dems want to ease that burden on the poor, while the Conservatives are far more interested in cutting tax for the wealthy.