New Tory ad backfires

A new Conservative party poster appeared to be backfiring last night as media commentators attacked the ad and a new spoof site was set up to parody the campaign

A new Conservative party poster appeared to be backfiring last night with a range of media commentators attacking the ad and a new spoof site set up to parody the campaign.

Trailed on Conservative Home yesterday, a new posted outlining that, “Now Gordon wants £20,000 when you die” will appear at 18 sites nationwide. But writing on the Spectator’s Coffee House blog, Peter Hoskin describes the poster as “disingenuous”:

Andy Burnham this morning denied the death tax claim with the words, “The Guardian story suggests a £20,000 flat levy. I’m not currently considering that as a lead option for reform.” Sure, the Health Secretary has left himself some wiggle room – he could still introduce the levy.  But the fact remains that the death tax isn’t current Labour policy.  It may never be.  And it’s disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

On, Alex Stevenson writes that Andrew Lansley’s decision to push the death tax line even after Burnham’s statement was “only a flimsy covering over the scare tactics so keenly seized on by the opposition.” On Sky’s Boulton & Co. Miranda Richardson says, “It seems a somewhat wishy-washy basis on which to campaign.”

Clifford Singer, the man behind the viral MyDavidCameron spoof poster site, quickly launched a MyToryTombstone site. An online generator will be in place soon but in the meantime, the graphically skilled can email their posters to [email protected].

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37 Responses to “New Tory ad backfires”

  1. Luke

    RT @leftfootfwd: Picture exclusive: The Nasty Party is back – new Tory ad backfires

  2. Ben Cooper

    RT @leftfootfwd: Picture exclusive: The Nasty Party is back – new Tory ad backfires #mytorytombstone

  3. John Booth

    The Tories are in trouble when even their puppets at the Spectator are calling them out on their bullshit. This is just like 2005 all over again…

  4. John Booth

    And why are they trying to sound all Tea Party with all their bullshit about “death panels”…. “death taxes”??????? FUCK OFF TORIES

  5. Will Straw

    Will Straw

    Thanks for the comments, John. But, even though this is enough to make you spit blood, please keep it civil!

  6. Martin Johnston

    RT @leftfootfwd: Picture exclusive: The Nasty Party is back – new Tory ad backfires

  7. John Booth

    Sorry, Will – I just think that the poster is crying out for a certain four-letter word to replace RIP in front of OFF on it.. please feel free to edit out the expletives in my comments.

  8. Will Straw

    The Nasty Party is Back RT @Kevin_Maguire: Broon to Cam: "They are the same old Tories." Used that a few times myself!

  9. Simon Ware

    RT @leftfootfwd: Picture exclusive: The Nasty Party is back – new Tory ad backfires

  10. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by leftfootfwd: Picture exclusive: The Nasty Party is back – new Tory ad backfires

  11. Roger

    So what about the Tory policy that wants us to somehow find £8,000 when we are 65 or face the very real probability of having your house and possessions sold off to pay for your long-term care.

    Given that most of us find it quite impossible to visualise our deaths death duties are hardly going to be a big vote-swinger – but having to find a large wodge of cash at retirement is another matter altogether.

  12. willie Sullivan

    RT @wdjstraw: The Nasty Party is Back RT @Kevin_Maguire: Broon to Cam: "They are the same old Tories." Used that a few times myself!

  13. Anon E Mouse

    Roger – As I understand it that £7000 is an insurance for retirement – most people will have that available from their pension.

    Regarding Brown stealing £20,000 when people are dead is it just me that finds that obscene?

    Taxed your whole life on everything to provide duck houses and moats and porno movies for MP’s and then they tax you when you’re dead. Great.

    Why do the left still feel the urge to “Squeeze the rich until the pips squeak”?

    Why do you want to give more of your money to these morons in power, Labour or Tory?

  14. Roger

    Are you covering the Tory fake student story ?

    I’ve recently had to attend multiple Tory policy speeches and observed a number of their young campaign workers in action – and if as looks probable they have taken to strategically seating them behind Cameron for photos these ones had to make major efforts to scruff themselves up – upper middle class Tory Boys and Girls could hardly look that bad without making a special trip to Oxfam.

  15. Roger

    Anon – actually check the figures on pensions you’ll find a lot fewer will have £8,000 in spare cash at retirement than you imagine.

    And there is no £20,000 death levy proposal – the govt have denied it and in any case that option is something which is functionally the same as the Tory £8,000 levy that you mis-characterise as ‘insurance’ (you can in fact buy real lump-sum insurance for these purposes and the premiums being actually set according to sound insurance principles it will cost you much, much more than £8,000).

    There is actually a real problem here – the average 65-year old will cost somebody on average £30,000 in residential, nursing and home care costs before they die, paying it themselves beggars many families, real insurance is too costly and if the state has to pay it will cost vast amounts as baby boomers like myself hit retirement and start exerting our infinite sense of entitlement rather than admitting what selfish shits we’ve been all our lives and heading quietly for the suicide booths.

    Like the Republicans in the US the Tories are so obsessed with winning power and cutting taxes for the rich that they are systematically denying the real long-term problems of dealing with a rapidly ageing society in favour of lies and half-lies about tax and deficits.

  16. Roger

    Oh and on the ‘backfiring’ – to be realistic the critical Spectator Coffee House blog you cite will be read by at best hundreds of people almost all of whom are either going to vote Tory or for some loony fascist or racist party anyway.

    Maybe a few other of the more principled Tory bloggers might take the same line – in which case you are talking maybe the odd thousand or two of similarly already committed readers – not one of whom will vote against Cameron because of it.

    A big poster at 18 well-chosen urban sites will be seen by tens of thousands.

    And if our calling them on their lies gets it into the daily papers or the TV news it will be seen by tens of millions.

    They are in a can’t really lose situation here.

  17. Alan W

    As far as I’m concerned, the government can tax me as much as they like after I’m dead. I won’t mind really.

  18. Anon E Mouse

    Roger – The government have denied it. And? They denied they smeared David Kelly’s character and he killed himself because of it. They denied Gordon Brown briefed against Tony Blair until that got rumbled. This government are a bunch of creeps who wouldn’t know the truth if it jumped up and bit them.

    Besides which it’s one of the options in their own Green Paper – they may rule out the option but then why put it in?

    Andy Burnham has just said they won’t do it on Radio 4 but I lost all confidence in him when he cried about his wife leaving him to the fees office when they queried his expenses.

    The Tories are going to win power because of the useless way Labour has governed us under Gordon Brown – to see Cambell nearly weeping on Andrew Marr on Sunday when 600,000 Iraqi’s lie dead from his George Bush supporting war was truly breathtaking.

    Finally if Labour put things in a Green Paper don’t be surprised if people reply to it. I can’t stand Cameron – too public schoolboy for me – but I like Gordon Brown even less and I didn’t mention the Spectator Coffee Blog.

  19. Anon E Mouse

    Alan W – You’d rather give your money to this government than to any loved ones you have?

    Do you care more about Brown and his cronies than say any charities?

    You’re not related to an MP by any chance?

  20. Roger

    Anon – this is rather like one of those ‘and another thing’ arguments that former girlfriends seemed so fond of deploying when I contradicted whatever it was that set them:

    ‘OK so maybe you’ve got your glib little answer on the £20,000 but why should I believe you when you killed poor David Kelly and lied about your expenses – and what about those 600,000 dead Iraqis and that you always leave the toilet seat up and the washing machine door open’

    If you really want to talk about the options in the Green Paper first look up what ‘Green Paper’ actually means and how its different to a ‘White Paper’.

    Secondly read the whole bloody Green Paper and the responses by experts like Lord Lipsey – who is generally one of the government’s most vociferous critics but described it as ‘excellent’ (Hansard 26 November)

    When you actually understand what the problems are and that over the next few decades somebody somewhere is going to have to find vast sums of money to endlessly prolong the miserable half-lives of baby boomers like myself then come back and talk to us about it.

    And thirdly wise up to the fact that if you want to win an adult argument turning it into a repetitive litany of ‘all the things I really, really, really hate about you…’ never works.

  21. Stefan Baskerville

    RT @wdjstraw: The Nasty Party is Back RT @Kevin_Maguire: Broon to Cam: "They are the same old Tories."

  22. Henry


    I was baffled as to why the Tory boys (& girls) behind Cameron looked so bored. Aren’t they meant to clap & look excited or something? Admittedly his delivery of the speech left something to be desired, as well as the content, but that’s not the point…

    Maybe they were uncomfortable wearing ‘normal’ clothes.

  23. Roger

    And another thing from myself.

    The Tory proposal is to take £8,000 from you at 65 and give you free social care in return.

    The option fromn the Green paper they are pretending is Labour policy might take £20,000 off you when you die in exchange for a right to free social care.

    Here’s something – if you open up Excel, put in £8,000 and calculate compound interest at say 5% for 20 years (which is roughly what your life expectancy is at 65) – you get £20,212.

    So by not keeping that £8,000 and investing it in an annuity you are depriving your loved ones of exactly the same amount of unearned income that a £20k inheritance levy would ‘take away’ from them.

    So the Green Paper option if somebody had the guts to implement it would give you a right to free social care and recoup the cost from the estates of those who can afford it when they die.

    The Tory proposal effectively just gives unfeasibly cheap long term care insurance to those who can spare £8,000 at retirement and makes the taxpayer cover the huge difference between that sum and actual costs averaging £30,000 – while doing nothing at all for everyone else.

    Of the two the Green Paper proposal is in fact the most fiscally and actuarially sound – which is why genuine experts like Lipsey think it is the better idea.

  24. Roger


    They do look bored – sitting staring at someone’s expensively-suited back, listening to talking points you’ve already heard multiple times before and idly wondering whether all your chums are going to make terrible fun of you when they see how crap you look in the picture does that to you.

    And of course if they were real students at least one would be yawning, two texting and another trying to do the demon horns sign behind Call Me Dave’s head.

    And I don’t know about you but I’ve helped arrange many, many rooms for meetings of all types and sizes and never put a whole bunch of seats behind a speaker like that.

  25. Henry

    Hmm, you’d think with all that money, they’d know how to arrange this kind of thing. Still, even Cameron sounded bored delivering his cheap litttle lines.

  26. Anon E Mouse

    Roger – My point is that although you obviously trust this government I most certainly don’t – I’m in the majority by the way.

    It seems you believe that this government can spend your money better than you can and you want to pay more tax to them – I don’t. I’m in the majority by the way.

    No matter how rude you choose to be, the result at the election will be the same and even as a Labour voter I fully understand why Brown is so unpopular.

    If, as I presume you must do, believe Labour’s chances are better served by offering to increase taxes on the population then I have to disagree with you.

    Instead of Labour keep messing around with these silly gimmicks they were just honest with the public it would do them far more good.

    You know as well as I do that this “long term care for the elderly” is about as credible as Gordon Brown answering a question directly – this current incarnation of Labour needs to be wiped off the political map and a new one can rise from the ashes.

    Gordon Brown should have retired for the benefit of the party before the electorate retires him in a couple of months time. It’s just over.

  27. Liz McShane

    Anon – re Gordon Brown, public opinion is shifting slightly in his favour as the election looms and people start to realise that the prospect of a Tory Government under Cameron & Osborne et al is not such an attractive option…..

    Check out the latest thread on LFF- here is an excerpt from a link on it to Polling UK’s latest analysis..

    “Now Gordon Brown’s likeability has increased to 35% (up 6), compared to Labour on 38% (down 1). Cameron’s likeability stands at 45% (down 9), his party 39% (down 3). Not surprisingly given the Conservative lead in the polls has gone from 20 points to 8, Brown is seen as more likeable and Cameron less so than in 2008. However, the shift really does seem to be in how the leaders are seen – how much people like the parties they lead has moved much less.”

  28. Anon E Mouse

    Liz – Regarding our last conversation, did you hear today that Gordon Browns “masterful” handling of the economy has resulted in the largest manufacturing decline in Britain since records began in 1948?

    I digress.

    Just because my favourite blog, LFF, says it’s true doesn’t make it necessarily so – let’s not forget Will’s defence of Gordon Brown (mistakenly) claiming Spain was in the G20.

    Despite the enjoyment of seeing Guido with a “D” on his hat that pleasure was unfortunately short lived.

    Also a Climate “expert” on this site has made an awful lot of frankly outlandish claims regarding the future of the planet so I’ll reserve judgement on the 35% bit but I’m sure that at her worst Thatcher never reached such unpopularity although I stand to be corrected.

    Either way with Labour down another 1% and once again acting in a totally reactive manner to Cameron who is setting the agenda it still is an impossible task.

  29. Tyler

    Um….at PMQs today Brown hardly denied the £20,000 death tax.

    Then Kerry McCarthy tweeted it was amonsth a rnage of options Labour are looking at.


  30. Roger

    Anon – I don’t trust this government – I positively detest Blair, Brown, Mandelson and the whole New Labour project (although not necessarily for all the standard left-wing reasons).

    The difference is that while after 13 mostly wasted years New Labour’s feeble reformism is nothing if not a known quantity, the Conservatives are exponentially worse in every possible respect.

    Again read the documents – there is now more than enough at the Conservative website and those of Tory thinktanks like Policy Exchange to tell us that we’re facing a radical assault on the fundamental principles of the welfare state.

    And how many times do I have to repeat that a range of options in a Green Paper is not a policy – in fact the most important element in the social care bill going through the Lords now was not even listed as an option in the Green Paper and in important respects is incompatible with it – but that didn’t stop Gordon from bouncing it on us at the conference,

  31. Liz McShane

    Anon – re manufacturing, yes it is unfortunately in decline but you can’t pin all the blame at GB’s door, I think the rot set in a few years back with Mrs T’s over-zealous desire to make Britain a financial services-led economy at the expense of other key/traditional sectors.

    Re the poll ratings that I referred to – LFF is merely reporting them from another source (have another read of the thread) – they are not LFF’s original data.

  32. Richard Blogger

    @Roger 3:22 pm

    The Tory proposal is to take £8,000 from you at 65 and give you free social care in return.

    NO NO NO, that is NOT what they are suggesting. The policuy is very simple, and here are their words exactly:

    “we will allow everyone – on retirement – to protect their homes from being sold to fund residential care costs by paying a one-off insurance premium of £8,000.”

    The point is that they will only pay for residential care. So at retirement you hand over £8K and if you need to go into a residential home or a nursing home then the insurance company will pay. The problem is two-fold, firstly, people want to live in their own homes, and want to stay there as long as possible, but the Tories have no plan to pay for that. Consequently, social commentators say that the Tories plan will mean that when people get infirm and need help in their home, they will have the option of paying for help themselves, or going into residential care. Not the sort of option most people will want to make. The other problem is the cost, as has been mentioned upthread. Residential care costs on average £18K per year, nursing home care costs £25K per year. The Tories have not explained how a £8K premium will pay for that level of care (and remember, because of the other point I made – people going into care before they need to – they will live longer in residential care). The insurance companies are not interested in the idea, and a Tory government will not want to fund it.So it seems that the Tories are promising something that they cannot deliver.

  33. Anon E Mouse

    Richard Blogger – Long time no posts dude – where you been?

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  35. Roger

    Richard – of course you are right and I was over-generalising by using ‘free social care’ in the loosest rhetorical sense.

    In fact neither the Tory £8,000 at retirement nor the Green Paper £20,000
    at death option would cover the whole range of possible social care costs.

    My point was from the POV of people whose primary interest is in getting hold of as much of their parent’s estate as possible (and why the fuck should we care about the views of such people?) both proposals will ‘cost’ on average the same (i.e. estates will be worth about £20k less than they would have been worth by the time of death).

    And as you say the Tory proposal is not a good deal in itself and I am personally sure from past experience working for a company that sold long term care insurance that neither insurers nor most retirees will touch this with a bargepole – unless there is some incentive for them the Tories have not yet told us about.

    The Green Paper option while also imperfect does at least make some attempt to cover the real average costs and by considering whether it needs to be mandatory or not addresses the well-documented refusal of virtually everyone who is nearing or past retirement to face the unfaceable.

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  37. Joe

    You bastards just don’t get it do you!

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