By Paul Goodman
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He writes in his column in this morning's Guardian:
"That was one among several moves that suggested Osborne's ear was finely
tuned to the Conservative Home frequency. Its favoured groups did well,
whether motorists rewarded with the cancellation of a 3p rise in fuel
duty – the headline move designed to win tabloid cheers – or the elderly
given a 2.5% rise in the state pension."
"Motorists" is fair enough.
But "the elderly"?
Tim Montgomerie supports "extra council tax
bands for larger properties and a special tax on the sale of large properties"
Peter Hoskin backs plans for "the Winter Fuel Allowance, free bus passes, free prescriptions and free
TV licenses for the over 75s) to be terminated for better-off pensioners".
And I've made the same point, saying "young people are getting a raw deal", argued for more housebuilding on greenfield sites, and urged radical reform to pensions and healthcare.
We don't treat offending the Conservative electoral base as a machismo test.
But we are at least as willing to criticise right-wing vested interests as the Guardian, say, is willing to confront left-wing ones.
We gave up on Polly Toynbee long ago. But we haven't lost all hope in Jonathan. Please try harder next time.