Alan Duncan contradicts Henley Conservative by-election campaign

Oh dear. Not really the best of starts to the Henley Conservative campaign. First there was David Cameron having to tell the local party what to do regarding selections after the pleas of John Maples were rebuffed. Then the BBC reported how the local Conservative Party was split over their Henley selection.

And now: Conservative Shadow Business Secretary Alan Duncan has contradicated what the Conservatives are telling people locally.

You see, one of their local messages is, “Local Conservatives have called for Gordon Brown to perform another Budget U-turn, by ditching his planned road tax increases” (source: Henley Conservatives website), but this morning Alan Duncan told Sky TV something rather different:

Alan Duncan said the Tories would not be in a position to reverse the road tax because Mr Brown has left no money in the kitty. “We ought to be in a position where there is a lot of money in the kitty, but we are not.

 “We are in a position where we have no power to alleviate the pain because there is nothing in the kitty.  Gordon Brown has over spent and borrowed and he is highly culpable for that. (Source: Politics Home).

And indeed Conservative Home has headlined this story, “Alan Duncan says there’s no money in the kitty to reverse the road tax.”

Not a happy start to a campaign really having a senior MP going on TV and contradicting one of your key local campaign messages is it? (And imagine quite how some Conservative bloggers would react if the roles were reversed…)

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15 Comments

  • Which part of “LOCAL Conservatives” do you have trouble with understanding?

    Isn’t it a widely held LibDem principle that LOCAL parties can hold policy positions that go further than the national policy?

    Or is this another example of LibDem hypocrisy as they panis in the face of a resurgent Conservative party?

    And with your over emphasis on the Conservatives Mark you just provide the ammunition to tell voters that the LibDems are ambivalent about Labour and would help keep them in power.

    Just the tonic for a Winchester by-election. 🙂

  • Oddly I find myself in agreement with Chris Paul on how the LibDems obsession with negative politics just exposes their policy vacumn.

  • Brilliant. “Say No to the LibDems Toll Tax”.

    Coming to a leaflet near you in Henley. Sequel also planned for Winchester.

    Byeee.

  • “I want to see the environmental cost of fuel to be [sic] reflected at the pump – we have to see if this is a sustainable way of getting people out of their cars and on to public transport.”

    Wouldn’t it be better to see if it is a sustainable way [etc] before saying you want to do it? Sometimes it’s very difficult to see the logic of Clegg’s pronouncements.

    Has it struck anyone that just driving up the cost of petrol is going to hit poor people in rural areas very hard? No doubt the response of many of them to Clegg would be “what public transport?”

    Trying to compensate them by reducing the basic rate of income tax seems to be falling into the same mistake that Brown and Darling have made over the abolition of the 10p band. Wouldn’t it be better if the money went into improving public transport?

  • Richard Church 1st Jun '08 - 7:13pm

    There is a difference between having local variations in policy based upon local circumstances, but road tax is a national tax.

    Unless of course, Henley Tories are proposing to have locally variable road taxes, now that would be interesting to administer.

    Trouble is with the Nu-Tories is no one knows what they stand for.

    Whatever hapopened to ‘vote blue, go green’?

  • Readers with long memories will recall that in the mid 1980s the then Conservative Government toyed with relaxing the Green Belt. This would have facilitated the creation of a number of new commuter towns along the M40 just outisde Oxford (and quite a few equally nasty developments elsewhere in the Home Counties). The offence this caused to Tory voters (including a lot of rich ones) ensured that the policy never got off the ground.

    Then there was the 1970s proposal to extend the M40 across Ot Moor (a rare piece of fen that the Anglo-Saxons never got round to draining). Not only that, but it would have gone straight through semi-natural ancient oak and hazel woodland near Stanton St John, and would have obliterated the Grade 1 listed Beckley Hall. A public inquiry stopped this environmental and cultural horror. Unchecked, the Heath government would simply have waved it through.

  • BTW, Clifton Hampden really is built on a “cliff”!

  • If you approach Ewelme by car from Watlington you will see some of our political opponents campaigning on either side fo the road. (joke)

  • There’s no contradiction in saying that these tax rises should not go ahead but that – two years down the line when the money has already been committed and spent – that it would be very difficult to reverse them

  • “I want to see the environmental cost of fuel to be [sic] reflected at the pump – we have to see if this is a sustainable way of getting people out of their cars and on to public transport.”

    Apparently the Lib Dems have unveiled a new transport policy document today, based on road pricing:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/jun/03/liberaldemocrats.transport

    It seems the plan is to cut fuel duty, so I don’t know what on earth that was about environmental cost being reflected “at the pump”. Did Clegg “misspeak” again?

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