We might as well get used to the Royals – they’re not going anywhere, any time soon

December 4, 2012 10:40 am

If you’ve been living on the moon for the last twenty-four hours, you may just not know about the royal baby. The news has predictably sand-blasted UK news schedules and obscured the traditional staples of murders, celebs and, quite possibly, a third World War (I didn’t catch the later bulletins).

And, at these times, we in the Labour party tend to separate into two camps: the die-hard republicans on the one side, scowling from the sidelines at those gushing over the happy couple; and the royalists, including practically any politician with any kind of career aspiration, on the other.

Why is that? Because it is pretty well-understood that you could hardly be a republican and become Prime Minister (not to mention that your chances of becoming a Privy Councillor, that title reserved for senior politicians, are really not very good at all). You either bite your tongue against your republican instincts, or say goodbye to serious political advancement. That is the realpolitik.

The republicans in our midst, at these times, tend also to gain the miserabilist mantle of a Scrooge at Christmas; the Smiths fans of the political world (now, happily, all pretty much officially Labour, thanks to Johnny Marr’s lifetime ban on David Cameron).

Thing is, I feel for those frustrated souls, in that they really do have a point. It’s completely, utterly unjustifiable for Britain’s unwritten constitution to allow people to end up in positions of power – albeit limited power – simply because of an accident of birth. It’s just wrong.

But I can’t go along with their absolutism, either. We are where we are. The Queen is not a bad old stick, and she takes her job pretty seriously. She’s been around long enough to know a lot about a lot of things, and it’s kind of useful to have some kind of continuity when you’ve a job as hard as being Prime Minister. If that makes me an evil bourgeois sell-out, so be it.

Then there are the strange flag-waving types, usually to be found in the Tory party, but of whom we still have a few. No offence, but I can’t get excited about royal news, aside from a vague historical and cultural interest. Sorry.

Mind you, this one is rather different from all the previous babies: thanks to some constitutional changes about the primogeniture thing, we now know who our next-but-two monarch will almost certainly be, while they are still a foetus. Odd. Not even remotely formed, and already their entire life mapped out for them. At least earlier royal babies had the decency to wait for the moment of their birth (or at least, an echo scan) to decide their future. And you’ve got to feel a bit sorry for the kids, really: no choice for them about who they’re going to be. Gilded cage and all that.

So, I find myself, perhaps like a few other comrades, in a strange centre ground: neither a Royalist nor a Roundhead, but not really wanting the situation to change, either. A sort of Civil War fence sitter, shot by both sides. Why? It really comes down to practicalities.

Let’s suppose that one day the extremely unlikely scenario, of a republican-leaning Labour Party getting elected, happens. It would then need to dedicate probably a whole parliamentary term, or more, to the project of making Britain into a republic, to dismantling the monarchical structures like the C of E, setting up the constitution for a President, and turning the royals into commoners. It would require a huge effort (and probably a massive consultation about how it should be done, to avoid alienating the entire population). All other projects would surely be secondary to this one; it would inevitably be the one thing the government would be remembered for: ending a couple of thousand years of history. An aghast, pro-Royal press would very likely set to work to destroy the Labour party for a generation. And heaven knows how much it would all cost.

And, at the end of it all, what would have changed if we pulled it off? Would we be freer? Would we be even…different in any way? Call me sceptical, but I find it hard to believe. Are the French or the Americans, or the Germans, with their republics, so vastly superior to the British? Not really. All our countries have their positives and negatives. We’re a bit odd, but so what? And, in the meantime, all our plans to reform education, to create a better health service, to look after the vulnerable, all those things which voters place their trust in Labour to do, well, they’d just have to take a back seat.

There is, of course, one exception to this case. Politics is a highly reactive business, whatever we like to kid ourselves. Big things only happen when something else big happens.

The monarchy, as French and Russian history has ably shown us, will likely expire only at a point when there ascends to the throne a monarch so dire, so unspeakably awful, that people will be lining the streets with republican placards, if not pitchforks (and sometimes, as Edward VIII could have testified, not even then). It really doesn’t look that likely in the near future. Y’see, these days the royals are mostly rather nice, telegenic and popular. Even Charlie seems to get quite a good press these days, and even if not, the truth is that he’s unlikely to be King for very long (if at all).

So, republicans, don’t hold your breath, because the truth is that you aren’t going to get your way any time soon. In fact decades, if not centuries, are likely to pass.

But, you know, maybe that’s not such a bad thing, either.

Rob Marchant is an activist and former Labour Party manager who blogs at The Centre Left

  • davidch

    the old girl always pitches up on time , sober and knowing her lines and what more can one ask for in a head of state ?

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      That is possibly one of the most “pithy” and accurate comments on LL of this year!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001116515833 Michael Carey

    What an odd argument. Why not advocate the gradual removal of powers from the monarchy? A decline in public spending on the monarchy? Why is the choice between the status quo and a republic in one parliament?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Graeme-Hancocks/1156294498 Graeme Hancocks

    I am already bored to sobs by the story. Although I wish the couple well – as I would do any couple about to have a baby – I do not get the brown-nosing sychophancy of it all. I cannot get how people find it remotely interesting. Idiotic and deeply boring.

    • AlanGiles

      Me, too. The poor woman has morning sickness, as do so many in her condition, but not only has she had to be hospitalised the media seem to think it deserves to be at the top of the headlines.

      I feel much like Graeme: I’d have the Queen any day over President Blair or President Cameron etc, but the days of forelock touching are long gone.

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      I must admit I don’t get excited about it myself. The issue is, though, do we care about it enough to make a massive political diversion to change things?

      • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.blott Matthew Blott

        Quite frankly given the sycophantic swill that’s been served up by press and politicians for decades I’m surprised 20 per cent of the population declare themselves republicans – that’s a pretty healthy minority given the circumstances. And it suggests that if people such as yourself were prepared to make the case against the monarchy – instead of spouting the usual tripe that it has served us well over the years – us republicans might start to get somewhere.

        • Sagaris

          #Matthew, I couldn’t agree more particularly as this particular royal family originated from Germany!

          Right, got to be hospitalised for severe sickness/nausea…. something to do with the news.

          By the way, sorry, I’m not a troll, I just haven’t posted in years.

      • Dave Postles

        OTOH, the point is a question of principle: the institution of the monarchy reinforces and confirms privilege. Even if there is no practical prospect of the abolition of the monarchy, we can still observe the principle that it is abhorrent for an egalitarian society – whether you regard that as miserabilist (is that a neologism?) or otherwise (although, in fact, there’s plenty of humour in taking the piss out of the royals, as Private Eye and Steve Bell have demonstrated).

  • aracataca

    All this vomit inducing old rubbish about the Royal baby is to take our minds off the fact that we have no power and no wealth and that we continue to be at the mercy of a capitalism that is red in both tooth and claw.It is a particularly useful story at this time because Osborne is about to engage in another round of handouts to the rich and hardships for the poor in his Autumn statement tomorrow. It is enough to make one sick.

    Of course if we were actually sick we wouldn’t be able to afford to stay in the exclusive private hospital where Kate currently resides (paid for of course out of public funds).

  • aracataca

    All this vomit inducing old rubbish about the Royal baby is to take our minds off the fact that we have no power and no wealth and that we continue to be at the mercy of a capitalism that is red in both tooth and claw.It is a particularly useful story at this time because Osborne is about to engage in another round of handouts to the rich and hardships for the poor in his Autumn statement tomorrow. It is enough to make one sick.

    Of course if we were actually sick we wouldn’t be able to afford to stay in the exclusive private hospital where Kate currently resides (paid for of course out of public funds).

    • Hugh

      Is it paid for out of public funds?

      • aracataca

        Not heard of the Civil List?

        • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

          It’s here, and seems to imply that yes they are, although it’s slightly fuzzy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_list#Present_day

          In any event, there will be no Civil List from 2013, it will be replaced by the Sovereign Support Grant, which I rather like – it makes it sound like she’s “on benefits”.

          • aracataca

            I like the sound of that too Rob.

        • Hugh

          The Civil List is largely to pay for staffing and travel, so I suspect this isn’t paid for by it. And in any case it’s a set amount determined in advanced (unlike MPs expenses)- so this would represent no extra expenditure. But, yes, the future head of state is probably considerably better off than you – as in most other countries.

          • aracataca

            Fact is you don’t know, do you?

          • Hugh

            No, that’s why I asked. I was under the impression, given your claim, that you might. Apparently not.

          • aracataca

            Actually we do. See Rob’s remarks below.

            Anyway the main point is that she’s in a private hospital – no slumming it a NHS hospital for her- while the media provide us with wall to wall drivel about a Royal baby and the rest of us contemplate a further dose of misery to be delivered tomorrow by Boy George.
            To purloin a phrase from Johnny Rotten:’There’s no future in England’s dreaming’ – sums it up for me.

          • Hugh

            The bit where he links to wikipedia and says it’s “slightly fuzzy” or the bit where he says it’s not really possible to say whether we’re talking about public funds or his own?
            I’m not sure even if I was a republican I could quite manage to be outraged by the fact that the future queen has gone to a private hospital for treatment.

          • Hugh

            The bit where he links to wikipedia and says it’s “slightly fuzzy” or the bit where he says it’s not really possible to say whether we’re talking about public funds or his own?
            I’m not sure even if I was a republican I could quite manage to be outraged by the fact that the future queen has gone to a private hospital for treatment.

      • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

        I’m not sure we can easily tell which funds are their own and which public. But they are on the Civil List, as far as I know. So it’s a fair point.

        • Hugh

          No, I’m not sure we can easily tell either – and actually, I’m not convinced William and Kate are “on the Civil list”: isn’t that in fact just paid to the Queen and Prince Phillip? And it makes a difference whether this would come from the tax payer directly – unless you want to argue that any public sector employee using private healthcare is “paying for it out of public funds”.

          By aracataca’s reasoning I’m struggling to see how a head of state anywhere in the world pays for anything except out of public funds; the situation would be exactly the same if we had a republic, which makes the complaint meaningless.

          • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

            Well, according to the above, it’s physically paid to the Queen, but then she deals with everyone else’s expenses from it. It’s all in the Wikipedia piece. The reason I think their expenses are covered is because it specifically excludes them from the list of minor royals who are paid for by parliamentary annuity. So I think they are effectively “on” the List, that is, they receive monies from it, albeit administered by HM.

            Your point, however. about a President being paid out of public funds anyway is a fair one.

          • PaulHalsall

            I think the children of the Prince of Wales are paid for by the revenues of the Duchy of Lancaster rather than the Civil List properly speaking.

          • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

            I think you might mean the Duchy of Cornwall, but if that’s true it’s an interesting point.

          • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

            I think you might mean the Duchy of Cornwall, but if that’s true it’s an interesting point.

  • Dave Postles

    To quote Steve Bell: ‘Sixty years on benefits and has never signed on.’

  • Frank Furter

    Has there been a case in modern times when a monarchy has been abolished in a peaceful decision of the citizens? I cannot think of one. The nearest was in Australia but that failed (in essence because the idea of a politician as head of state was too awful to contemplate). When the Queen dies, there will be a seamless transition to Charles. Could you contemplate somehow deposing him in the time of mourning? Then everyone will get worked up in anticipation of the Coronation. After which Charles would be in situ. Would there be a referendum in anticipation of abolishing the Monarchy after Charles? No King Wills or Queen Kate – what chance of that referendum approving abolition?

    • Frank Furter

      Whilst the counter arguements of Italy, Greece, and Ireland are strictly correct in the way I posed the question, each of these cases arose after major violent turbulence: Italy after WW2, Greece after the Colonels, and Ireland as an aftermath and final resolution of the Civil war. The only case that seems to arise in a true environment of peace is that of Iceland – which I concede does seem to meet the criteria.

  • Guest

    I’m not so sure – politics is extremely volatile and change is often unexpected. With the number of royal scandals recently, and the rise of anti-monarchy groups, republicanism seems to be becoming a more and more realistic prospect.

  • PaulHalsall

    I suppose I am a Burkean socialist. I prefer an evolving constitution to the literalism of American constitutionalists; I like the way the judiciary works independently of the executive and legislature; I rather like the Church of England for its basic moderation and its wonderful music and architecture; and I like the monarchy for its continuity.

    None of that prevents me wanting a radical redistribution of wealth; a strong welfare net; and looking forward to the day when the lesbian daughter of William and Kate marries her girlfriend in Westminster Abbey and the next heir is concieved using a turkey baster.

    Continuity and change – that is what makes Britain – and long may it last.

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      I think I mostly agree with that. I agree with the incremental change and unwritten constitution thing – I certainly don’t understand the candle many comrades seem to hold for a Bill of Rights. Look what the right to bear arms did for the US.

  • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

    I’m not sure how that can be backed up. Poll ratings in support of the Monarchy are remarkably consistent in the mid 70s, with recent polls showing support as high as 80%. Support for a Republic rarely gets higher than the low teens at very best, and there’s no trend at all to suggest republicanism is on the rise. If anything, quite the opposite.

    • http://joelpearce.wordpress.com/ Joel Pearce

      Poll ratings are high but no higher than usual (if you look at yearly averages to ignore fluctuations)

      • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

        So we agree that poll ratings for the Monarchy are high. So where is your evidence that ‘republicanism seems to be becoming a more and more realistic prospect.’?

        • http://joelpearce.wordpress.com/ Joel Pearce

          Support for the monarchy is consistent. As is shown by increasing membership of republic, support is increasing. All I’m saying is that it’s becoming a more realistic prospect… not that we’re going to abolish the monarchy overnight!

        • http://joelpearce.wordpress.com/ Joel Pearce

          Support for the monarchy is consistent. As is shown by increasing membership of republic, support is increasing. All I’m saying is that it’s becoming a more realistic prospect… not that we’re going to abolish the monarchy overnight!

        • http://joelpearce.wordpress.com/ Joel Pearce

          Support for the monarchy is consistent. As is shown by increasing membership of republic, support is increasing. All I’m saying is that it’s becoming a more realistic prospect… not that we’re going to abolish the monarchy overnight!

        • http://joelpearce.wordpress.com/ Joel Pearce

          Support for the monarchy is consistent. As is shown by increasing membership of republic, support is increasing. All I’m saying is that it’s becoming a more realistic prospect… not that we’re going to abolish the monarchy overnight!

        • http://joelpearce.wordpress.com/ Joel Pearce

          Support for the monarchy is consistent. As is shown by increasing membership of republic, support is increasing. All I’m saying is that it’s becoming a more realistic prospect… not that we’re going to abolish the monarchy overnight!

        • http://joelpearce.wordpress.com/ Joel Pearce

          Support for the monarchy is consistent. As is shown by increasing membership of republic, support is increasing. All I’m saying is that it’s becoming a more realistic prospect… not that we’re going to abolish the monarchy overnight!

        • http://joelpearce.wordpress.com/ Joel Pearce

          Support for the monarchy is consistent. As is shown by increasing membership of republic, support is increasing. All I’m saying is that it’s becoming a more realistic prospect… not that we’re going to abolish the monarchy overnight!

        • http://joelpearce.wordpress.com/ Joel Pearce

          Support for the monarchy is consistent. As is shown by increasing membership of republic, support is increasing. All I’m saying is that it’s becoming a more realistic prospect… not that we’re going to abolish the monarchy overnight!

          • Hugh

            How many members of Republic are there this year compared to last?

          • http://joelpearce.wordpress.com/ Joel Pearce

            Went from 10,000 in 2010 to 25,000 in 2012. If that’s taken as a reflection of general support for republicanism, it’s increased by 150%.

          • http://joelpearce.wordpress.com/ Joel Pearce

            Went from 10,000 in 2010 to 25,000 in 2012. If that’s taken as a reflection of general support for republicanism, it’s increased by 150%.

          • Hugh

            How many members of Republic are there this year compared to last?

          • Hugh

            How many members of Republic are there this year compared to last?

    • http://joelpearce.wordpress.com/ Joel Pearce

      Poll ratings are high but no higher than usual (if you look at yearly averages to ignore fluctuations)

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    I think that’s about as far from the truth as you could get. There was period in the 90s where the Royals went through a really rocky patch with public opinion – culminating in the fiasco over Diana’s death. I think now it’s quite the opposite, as Jonathan points out.

    • http://joelpearce.wordpress.com/ Joel Pearce

      But they were issues of royal image not substance. With the recent realisation that the royals have far more political influence than is portrayed, do you not think there has been more scandal about the threat to democracy that the monarchy poses?

      • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

        No.

      • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

        No.

      • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

        No.

    • http://joelpearce.wordpress.com/ Joel Pearce

      But they were issues of royal image not substance. With the recent realisation that the royals have far more political influence than is portrayed, do you not think there has been more scandal about the threat to democracy that the monarchy poses?

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    I largely agree – hence my point about it only changing when people get so fed up that they start putting heads on spikes. Don’t see that happening soon.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    After Steve Bell’s odious cartoon the other week, have to say I no longer find him remotely funny, if I ever did.

    • Dave Postles

      If you could be a tad vaguer, I might understand which ‘odious’ cartoon you found repugnant. I suspect that at the time you found Gillray’s ‘John Bull bombarding the bum boats’ equally distasteful, but satire continues.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    Well, there already is a decline in spending, which has been going on for many years. You are right that it could take more than one parliament, but with regard to removing powers, if you favour an incremental approach how exactly would you go about it? You have to have something to replace the monarchy with, you can’t just make the PM head of the C of E. Anyway, if you try and do it by stealth it’ll still be there centuries later, because each step will be fought. I think it’s Big Bang or nothing, personally.

    • Dave Postles

      ‘you can’t just make the PM head of the C of E.’
      You just disestablish the CofE and then abolish royal assent – there’s the start.

    • Redshift1

      Royal Yacht got scrapped by Brown and rightly so.

      I think the prospect of a King Charles trying to manipulate politics to protect his own landed interests might give good reason to reassess ownership of those lands as well.

      The question of the CofE being headed up by our head of state is also increasingly contentious, even if it isn’t leading to all-out republican thought on the matter. Scrapping the 26 bishops in the house of lords would be one step in the right direction on that matter, but we are still left with the central problem. The monarchy could be given the choice of head of state or head of Church of England. That’d be interesting to say the least….

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    Quite. More than I can say for a few politicians.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    Oh, but I agree with you about the abhorrence, Dave. It’s just that there are so many more important things to care about which are less trouble to change.

  • Hugh

    That number of royal scandals recently being how many exactly?

  • jonlansman

    For me, the most urgent things are to (i) legalise republicanism by ending any requirement to swear an oath of allegiance, (ii) end the royal prerogative. Both are an affront to democracy.

    The first matters because MPs and other elected representatives, members of the clergy, judiciary, police service and armed forces and new citizens should be entitled to support the abolition of an inherited political institution and not be required to swear allegiance to it.

    The second matters because, whether the monarch does (arguably) have some residual power (as in the formation of a government, giving assent to a bill or in the prorogation of parliament) or whether the prerogative merely provides the basis for action by ministers, the royal prerogative reduces accountability to parliament.

  • aracataca

    Has there been a case in modern times when a monarchy has been abolished in a peaceful decision of the citizens?

    Of course monarchies have been abolished peacefully- for example in Ireland in 1937 where a new Republican constitution was approved by plebiscite.

    In the cases where monarchies have been abolished through violence- that was the case (more often than not) because populaces were driven to violence by the obstinacy, greed and violence of monarchs themselves.

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      Ok, but I’m not sure you can say that Ireland breaking free of the British monarchy is something which has been “peaceful”, given the twenty years which preceded 1937.

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      Ok, but I’m not sure you can say that Ireland breaking free of the British monarchy is something which has been “peaceful”, given the twenty years which preceded 1937.

  • James Patterson

    I am a Republican in the Labour Party. However, I am of the view that major constitutional modernisation requires a broad cross-party consensus. Like you, I can’t see that happening anytime soon.
    As a Republican, I try not to shove my views down other people’s throats. However, royalists do. The BBC have long abandoned any pretence at neutrality. This is what raises my Republican hackles.
    Interestingly, membership of the pressure group, Republic tripled during the Jubilee. I think a lot of people, in the Labour Party, would be more agnostic about the royals if they weren’t so over-exposed.

  • PaulHalsall

    Yes, in Italy and Greece, monarchy was abolished by simple referendums. Iceland also became a a republic fairly peaceably in 1949.

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      I’m not sure Greece is a great example. Hugely turbulent history, vacillating between monarchy and republic for quite a while. And if I’m not wrong, the final fall of monarchy was by military coup. Where did the referendum come from, exactly?

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      I’m not sure Greece is a great example. Hugely turbulent history, vacillating between monarchy and republic for quite a while. And if I’m not wrong, the final fall of monarchy was by military coup. Where did the referendum come from, exactly?

  • timsharp1

    I think Labour (and I am a member) are very ambivalent about this issue.
    We want Labour elected and don’t want to appear to appear to be unelectable at the same time monarchy (even its constitutional version) runs absolutely against the kind of democratic socialism which I believe most Labour supporters would support as a guiding principle.
    Where this contribution fails is that it buys into some myths around the monarchy. Firstly the monarchy is not massively popular it is (a) hyped by the media as press fodder and (b) is of very little relevance to the majority of the population. I suggest that the position of the vast majority of people to the monarchy is that it is an issue of acquiesnce. There are a small number of avid monarchists and a small number of campaigning Republicans whose numbers ratchet up every time the Royal Family are thrust down our collective throats.
    The article stereotypes Republicans – most Republicans I know are very normal politically engaged democrats who know how to party. I’m also a Republic member and most of our board are composed of very bright twenty and thirty somethings who are great company.
    The monarchy is an issue to be treated seriously as it is (a) an example of how a very privileged group of people maintain their influence over the workings of the country (b) an example of exactly the kind of thing that the average Labour supporter would find deeply offensive about the way the UK is run. (c) Doesn’t impact votes anything like as much as politicians imagine.
    Why are we still paying out millions for a group of aristrocrats to provide our head of state service ?

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    What you mean is you have a minority view, which you’re frustrated that not everyone else shares.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant
  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant
  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant
  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    Jon, I think we (and most people) agree on the arguments. What we don’t agree on is the cost-benefit analysis.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    Jon, I think we (and most people) agree on the arguments. What we don’t agree on is the cost-benefit analysis.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    Jon, I think we (and most people) agree on the arguments. What we don’t agree on is the cost-benefit analysis.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    So, it’s an argument which doesn’t really bode well for peaceful transitions to a republic. And much more likely is probably that they don’t happen at all.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    So, it’s an argument which doesn’t really bode well for peaceful transitions to a republic. And much more likely is probably that they don’t happen at all.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    So, it’s an argument which doesn’t really bode well for peaceful transitions to a republic. And much more likely is probably that they don’t happen at all.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    Hm. Do you think the millions of adherents of the C of E might not have something to say about that, Dave?

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    Hm. Do you think the millions of adherents of the C of E might not have something to say about that, Dave?

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    Hm. Do you think the millions of adherents of the C of E might not have something to say about that, Dave?

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    Cameron’s Tax Cut is a Tax Con – but it’ll be popular, and highlights Labour’s missed opportunity

    David Cameron’s conference speech today was well-delivered, punchy and memorable. It had a clear top line to grab the evening news headlines, and his populist tax cuts will be the overwhelming focus of tomorrow’s front pages. This was cheese to Miliband’s chalk. Whilst the Labour leader appeared to lack energy last week, and his headline announcement leaked in advance (and wasn’t sufficiently headline-grabbing to grab headlines), Cameron was surprisingly pumped up, energetic and forceful. He was also doling out policy like […]

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