So I was flattered to return this evening to the mail containing a personalised leaflet from our Conservative MP, addressed to me: "Jonathan Lord, Securing Britain's future for Quintus Slide". Lord, whose claims to admission to the human race include having worked in advertising and been deputy leader of that paragon of probity, Westminster Council, is unable to present any positive message or worthwhile reasons to vote for him and his bunch of moribund fantasists.
The Tories in this election are clearly majoring on the politics of fear. There is an astounding graphic entitled "the choice at the General Election", which has one-third devoted to the alleged merits of "David Cameron and the Conservatives:. These include:
- The deficit down - which is a dubious claim, particularly since it is now significantly higher than his Chancellor projected when slashing the state in 2010
- Income tax cut - the only rate that has been cut is from 50% to 45%, doubtless helpful to someone like Lord but not to the majority of the population. The increase in the personal allowance was a Liberal Democrat policy Cameron implemented, as he claimed, "over his dead body", which might have been a price worth paying
- More jobs - without any comment on whether said jobs are full-time, part-time, zero hours, paying the minimum wage or productive
- New businesses - an intriguing claim, which is probably not shared by those whose old businesses went to the wall during the recession
- Spending up - clearly he hasn't bothered reading or understanding his own party's manifesto, with unfunded commitments here, there and everywhere
- Higher taxes - another canard which the Tory sheep bleat whenever there is the faintest whiff of opposition spending commitments. Higher taxes might be a good thing, if they fund public services, reduce the deficit and redistribute wealth from the parasites to the majority
- More debt - which doesn't square with the Tory manifesto, nor is it necessarily a bad thing if the economy grows faster than the rate of debt increase
- Jobs lost - unlikely to be his, although one can but dream.
No mention anywhere of opportunity, constitutional reform, Europe or housing - issues that might interest people. Instead of which he parades the Tory dog whistles of cottage hospitals and support for the armed forces. Dissecting the semiotics of the Tories in Surrey is hardly rewarding.