WARNING - This is a partisan post - born of anger. Lets go back to the beginning. I'm one of those politicians who had to think about which political party I was most aligned with philosophically before becoming actively involved. No family tradition or politically motivated friends. Throughout my Local Government and Quango careers I was 'Independent'. When I was young, my inherent pride in being a Welshman led me to vote Plaid Cymru - instinctive rather than based on any judgement. But when I did think about which political party to join, I concluded that I was and always had been an instinctive Conservative.
Amongst the reasons that I consider myself 'Conservative' is a belief that the private sector delivers services more cost effectively than the state. In my opinion, it follows that I also believe in the state as a strong regulator. Private sector provision of social services with light regulation will not deliver social justice. I was in conversation with Wales Older People's Commissioner last night about provision of care for the elderly, the senile and other dependent people. The issue was how to provide best care. My opinion, (and I emphasise it was my opinion) was that when the public sector delivers the care itself (and also regulates the delivery) abuse, inefficiency and a terrible waste of money are likely to follow close behind. You see, my opinion is based not on some ideology, but on good service delivery.
Anyway, all of this is by way of introduction to my comments on David Cameron's hugely important statement yesterday that a future Conservative Government will not be tied to Labour's future spending plans. The Labour response has been predictable. Jeremy Paxman's sneering last night was verging on the repugnant. I've no idea what this will do to our popular support - but personally, I'm extremely pleased. My background as a small businessman instilled into me a suspicion of entering into debts that I wasn't sure how I would repay. The depth of my personal contempt for the financial systems that have wreaked such havoc with our economy is unmeasurable. My disbelief that so many people believe that Gordon Brown, the main architect of this havoc in Britain (also the individual who b*****ed up the regulatory system) should be thought by many to be the man to sort it out is equally unmeasurable - but it is the case. A good friend, (not political but aware) told me yesterday how she thought Brown was doing a good job. It was a genuine opinion from someone neither Labour nor Conservative. And the opinion polls seem to moving in Labour's direction.
But I wonder what will be the position after Xmas. A good friend of mine in financial services has been made redundant today, which has inspired this post. Others close to me are also expecting to lose their jobs - young able people whose dreams are going to be drowned in a sea of worry. I'm suspicious of the proposed £30 billion reduction in the tax burden that we expect on Monday, but my real worry about this is that there will be no route map outlining how and when it's going to be repaid. I'm not just pleased by David Cameron's announcement yesterday. I'm proud that my party leader has decided to face down the gamblers, the spinners and the spendthrifts, and stand up to the bullies that govern us in order to save our economy from disaster.