Four highlights of David Cameron’s interview with Fraser Nelson in The Spectator:
Who is Tamzin Lightwater?: "There is one
question Cameron wants to ask of The Spectator: the true identity of
Tamzin Lightwater, our mole in his headquarters. Her weekly diary is a
rich source of real insider gossip — such as their horror when they
found they may have dispatched Cameron to a Norwegian glacier that is
expanding rather than contracting."
The long road ahead: "I am going around telling excited groups of Conservatives that we won’t win on 40 per cent, we need 43 per cent or 44 per cent, which would be the biggest swing since the war apart from 1997. We need to win over 120 seats. Wipe out a third of the Lib Dems. Win back seats in Scotland. It’s a big task, and that’s why I’m not slowing down."
Renewal of Toryism – not oppositionalism – is priority number one: "He divides his critics into two camps. ‘One says, “Why aren’t you attacking the government harder and shouting more?” The other says, “What about the core Tory themes of crime and immigration?”’ He has one answer for both. ‘We must think to ourselves, what is the big task we face as a party? To drive a failing government even further down the polls, or is it actually to broaden the appeal of the Conservative party and explain to people the positive and exciting things we would do and get our own poll rating up? To me it’s the second, obviously.’"
Taxing Tories: "Tax rises have outpaced growth and now consume 43 per cent of Britain’s national wealth — a tax burden which has overtaken Germany’s and is on course soon to become the highest ever imposed on mainland Britain. But, startlingly, Cameron accepts that this figure could rise even higher under his government before he gets around to reducing it. ‘We could inherit an economy that is shrinking rather than growing,’ he says. ‘So if the economy is shrinking, you may find that the share [of the economy consumed by the government] will be going up.’ This is a remarkable admission and one, perhaps, that he could make only in the wake of electoral success; for all his claims to be a tax-cutter by temperament, the Conservative leader is saying explicitly that a government led by him might have to take a greater chunk of our money."
Matthew Elliott of the TaxPayers’ Alliance has reacted strongly to this section of Mr Cameron’s interview:
“The tax burden is at its highest ever level. Politicians in London don’t seem to understand that it is really hurting ordinary families and choking small businesses. Tackling this burden should be a top priority for any new government and taxpayers will be looking to politicians to respond to this agenda before they decide how to cast their vote at the next election.”