Saturday, July 25, 2009

I'll be nation's hate figure, says top Tory Philip Hammond.

With Labour, Barack Obama, and most of the western world attempting to spend their way out of recession, the Tories have wasted no time in letting us all know that they intend to do things differently. They intend to get out of recession the way Tories always want to get out of recession: by cutting public services.

Punishing the working class is simply what the Tories are best at; indeed, Philip Hammond, the shadow Treasury chief secretary, seems to almost be looking forward to the approbation which will be heading his way.

Hammond, destined to be the man to rein in public spending if the Tories gain power, also concedes he is "likely to become a great figure to pin up on the dartboard, and throw darts at. I am sure there will be short-term pain and brickbats."
It's the Margaret Thatcher complex which all Tories seek to emulate. They see her as the lady who dispensed the medicine which the country needed. We might have hated her, but, the logic goes, she turned things around and got the country back on it's feet.

And that is the role which Philip Hammond appears to be preparing himself for.
Hammond also discloses that the Conservatives may try to speed up the Labour timetable to reduce the deficit, and intends to place most of the burden for that deficit reduction on spending cuts, because the current level of projected debt in relation to GDP – about 56% – is unsustainable. He also says he is worried that there are not enough civil servants in Whitehall with experience of cutting services. "There are a lot of civil servants in key posts who have never had to deal with the spending restraint … likely to be required now," he says.
The country is sleep walking towards the next Tory government. And no-one can accuse Hammond of not being honest about the role he sees for himself.

He is positively salivating at the chance to hack away at public services. Anyone who remembers the eighties will remember the hardship which these buggers inflicted upon millions of working class families.

Hammond is letting us know that they want into power to do exactly the same thing again.
Hammond urges voters to give the Conservatives a big majority so a new government can act boldly to cut the public debt, warning that the public finances are in such a state "the worst outcome for Britain would be an unclear political result at the election".
No-one can say that they haven't been warned. The Nasty party of the eighties are back with the "Bambi" figure of Cameron at the front, but, as Hammond is making abundantly clear, they have the exact same agenda as their hero: Thatcher.

They are actually looking forward to being hated as they slash public services. Hammond has done us the favour of being honest about what he intends to do. The question now is: is anyone listening?

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