Tory manifesto fails against ‘progressive conservative’ tests

The Conservative manifesto falls short against "twelve tests" set by Progressive Conservatives. It contains only 3 of the tests. The Labour manifesto has 5.

The Conservative manifesto falls short against “twelve tests” set by the ‘Progressive Conservatism’ project at the Demos think tank. The Tory document contains only three of the tests compared to five in the Labour manifesto. Gordon Brown said yesterday, “The future will be progressive or Conservative but it will not be both.”

Of the twelve tests, the Conservative manifesto includes:

• plans to “introduce a pupil premium – extra funding for children from disadvantaged backgrounds”;

• a pledge to “keep the EU’s doors open to those countries, including turkey, that wish to join, conditional on the rigorous application of the accession criteria”;

• proposals to “replace the existing, invisible and unaccountable police authorities and make the police accountable to a directly-elected individual who will set policing priorities for local communities”;

A generous interpretation might also include the Tory proposals to “publish all items of spending over £25,000 online” but the Demos pledge called for all public spending to be published online.

The Labour manifesto contains the Turkey pledge but goes further by:

• freezing inheritance tax thresholds until 2014-15 rather than raising the threshold to £1 million;

• ruling out marriage tax breaks like the Tories proposal to “recognise marriage and civil partnerships in the tax system”;

• promising a free vote in Parliament on reducing the voting age to 16; and

• increasing frontline spending on childcare.

‘Progressive conservative’ proposals featuring in neither manifesto include tolling all motorways, replacing A-Levels with the International Baccalaureate, abolishing child benefit for families earning over £50,000; and capitalising housing benefit.

Writing for Left Foot Forward last year, the head of the project Jonty Olliff-Cooper said:

“In his victory speech in 1997 Tony Blair announced he had been elected as New Labour and would govern as New Labour. Cameron aspires to be elected as a progressive conservative. The Progressive Conservatism Project intends to make sure he is held to his promise to govern as one as well.”

Like this article? Left Foot Forward relies on support from readers to sustain our progressive journalism. Can you become a supporter for £5 a month?

8 Responses to “Tory manifesto fails against ‘progressive conservative’ tests”

  1. Jessica Asato

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tory manifesto fails against 'progressive conservative' tests

  2. Will Straw

    @danieltwoods Dont forget they're 'progressive conservative' priorities incl ending universality of child benefit

  3. topsy_top20k_en

    Tory manifesto fails against 'progressive conservative' tests

  4. Mr. Sensible

    “proposals to “replace the existing, invisible and unaccountable police authorities and make the police accountable to a directly-elected individual who will set policing priorities”

    I do not agree with this idea; we cannot politicize the police service. I think the current arrangement where local councillors, who are already elected can sit on this authority works. My view is I think shared by ACPO.

    As for the Tory manifesto, frankly, what a load of rubbish.

    I have already demonstrated where I don’t think professionals always know best.

    And where are working people going to find the time to run these schools ETC? I still think the best education system is 1 run by the local council in the common interest.

    Triggering referenda on an issue if 5% of people want it? What on earth? What do we put MPs, Councillors ETC in charge for? And how long would that take?

    Vetoing high council tax increases? Again, what on Earth? I think we’ve seen the effect of Tory pledges on council tax here in Notts.

    Again, as I say what do we put people in to political office to do? Make decisions!

    What utter rubbish this all is.

  5. Mr. Sensible

    I mean, we are a representative democracy.

    We elect people to make decisions on council tax ETC.

    I think that, in a representative democracy, the public services we use should be run by those we elect, with input from service users and professionals.

    But I don’t see how this DIY manifesto as Nick Clegg correctly puts it would work.

  6. Mr. Sensible

    And another thing…

    The Tories talk about “cleaning up politics”, but their agenda of “cutting the cost of politics” just fiddles round the edges.

    What is cutting the number of MPs going to do? Apart, that is, from increasing the workload on those who are left and thus probably having to increase their wages.

  7. Kasch Wilder

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tory manifesto fails against 'progressive conservative' tests

Leave a Reply