Update 16 May
I'm going to Crewe. Here's something for the weekend.
Hat tip 4wd.
Update 14 May
Others 54 Labour 0 - luckily someone was keeping score over at the Grauniad. Labour's tax reversal is being dubbed the Crewe Cut. If only they could have put the bribe directly in the voters back-pockets, but I suppose the logic is that if you spray enough money around some of it will hit the mark. It seems that when Mervyn King said yesterday that we were at the end of the nice decade, he may have been right in more ways than one.
Update 13 May
Labour's managed it again. A party on the brink of bankruptcy has managed to spend a few billion on an a by-election. It's wholly irresponsible.
Tax cuts + increased borrowing = pre by-election bribe.
However, it would be hypocritical of me not to welcome the small (for now temporary) increase in personal allowances. I hope one day that extracting payroll taxes from people dependent on benefits - making them slaves of the state - will come to be seen as an absurd historical aberration & this panicked move by the government certainly shifts the political debate to the right. As the legendary free marketeer Mart Laar once reminded me in a speech, a highly effective way to reduce public spending is to starve the beast.
Visited the area today and apart from the preponderance of Tory posters that sums it up. I go into more detail here, where the good councillor host is bored and will not be taking further ridicule (everyone was laughing at him). Amusingly, the said councillor refers to this extraordinary article by the sub-standard Tim Hames where he sweetly urges the Tories to limit their majority at the next General Election.
Hames rightly gets a hammering in the comments, but I take especial issue with this quote.
'Conservatives... should instinctively support Mr Brown's (10p tax) reform.'
I know a lot of Conservatives and I know of not one who applauds Brown's tax trick. Apart from its regressive impact, no Tories would favour making the benefit trap even deeper which is one of the obvious side-effects of the doubling of tax on the lowest paid. A passing reader might mistake Hames for a simpleton, but I take the view that he is also a Labour sycophant trying and failing to dress up favours to the Great Leader as political commentary - he certainly has form. Guido is looking for dead tree targets. Hames is a nice juicy piece of low-hanging fruit.