Of taxing issues and Boris

It is all very well for the Conservatives to boast during the general election campaign that they are the party of lower taxes.
1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA
1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA

But they will surely be not so crass on this issue as they were at the last general election. In their manifesto then, they promised there would be no taxation, VAT or national insurance increases during the entirety of that Parliament, which was expected to run until 2020.

This statement tied the hands of the Chancellor of the Exchequer behind his back, and gravely curtailed his freedom of movement.

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Now, of course, this act of folly has come back to haunt them as the new campaign gets under way. How on earth would they know about the state of the economy during the following years which might precipitate a tax increase? Now the Prime Minister and her colleagues are doing their best to fob off with non-answers probing questions from their opponents about whether there will be tax rises during the coming Parliament. They will be hounded on this issue from now until June 8.

Meanwhile, I see that some do-gooding busybodies have been imploring the Prime Minister to keep the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson out of sight during the campaign because, they claim, he will cost the Conservatives votes if he is allowed to roam free.

Bunkum and balderdash! Boris Johnson is one of the very few politicians at Westminster who is actually listened to by the electorate. He is funny, and unlike almost all his colleagues does not speak in political riddles.

It is good to know that those who ordain these things have taken no notice of the faint-hearted and will allow Boris a free rein during the campaign. Good for them!

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- The British Communist Party thinks Jeremy Corbyn is the bees’ knees – they so admire him they will not be fielding any candidates in the campaign for the first time for nearly a century. But this situation may not appeal to traditional Labour voters. Many of them will find the idea of Labour hand-in-glove with the Communists quite abhorrent. It has yet to be seen whether the Communists’ stance will help or hinder Labour’s campaign.