So what have the last seven day’s taught us?
First, the Tories remain obsessed by tax cuts, even if this means ditching their whole economic policy about starting to tackle the budget deficit now. Cutting the tax paid by the better-off is for them far more important than protecting the vital public services used by the many – so cutting the inheritance tax for a few thousand of their richest supporters remains the corner-stone of their economic policy. And now George Osborne has told us that, rather than make a start on reducing the deficit now (economic madness though that was, given the fragility of the recovery), their allegedly paramount core principle of policy will take second place to cutting National Insurance.
Second, the Tories are backed by powerful business interests – 23 business leaders (many of whom turned out to be Tory donors, or in one case a Tory peer) wrote a letter to the Daily Telegraph backing George Osborne.
Third, the Tories say one thing in public and another in private – Chris Grayling was happy to undermine the Tories’ supposedly gay-friendly new image when he thought he was amongst friends (speaking at a Conservative think tank).
Yes, same old Tories ……