Whilst I was in CCHQ on Thursday I picked up a new Conservative campaign newsletter entitled ‘change’. A pdf copy
of the four page newspaper can be accessed here. [I was in CCHQ to meet Francis Maude about my US fact-finding trip – I thought FM handled his extensive range of interviews yesterday about the Tory lenders with great skill btw.]
I was impressed with the newspaper although it was, perhaps, a little wordy. Some of the commitments were a refutation of the idea that the Tories had become a policy-free zone. Here were five that – with fleshing out – could become important (although not uncontroversial) parts of the next Tory manifesto:
- Opposition to ID cards: "They do not prevent terrorist attacks and the £14 billion it will cost to introduce ID cards by 2013 could be better spent on things that we know will work, like boosting the police, security services and armed forces."
- Help for first-time buyers: An "ambitious plan" is promised to young families who are stretched "to financial breaking point to get on the property ladder."
- No war without a vote: "Is it right that we go to war without Parliament voting on it? Our new Democracy Task Force will consider whether the centuries-old power of the Royal Prerogative, used by ministers to declare war, sign international treaties and make public appointments, should be reformed to ensure MPs are consulted first."
- Police reform: New powers to "sack bad officers" and "real local accountability to give communities control over policing".
- Childcare: "I want to make the support provided by the childcare tax credit simpler and much more user-friendly. Then we must expand the range of good, affordable childcare. The government should not be seeking a monopoly in the provision of childcare or nursery places." (DC)
Also in the newspaper is a personals section: