The way to make this message cut through would be to go against type. So, for example, Cameron should emphasise that he’ll clamp down on tax avoidance rather than majoring on welfare abuse. (Naturally, Labour should do this the other way around) The obvious, and probably insurmountable, difficulty with this approach is that the tax status of at least one key Tory figure is uncertain. Just to compound the problem, the press would have a field day going through the list of Tory donors to find those who didn’t match up to the new policy.
What should worry the Tories, though, is that a post-defeat Labour party might pick up this banner; it is quite easy to image either James Purnell or Jon Cruddas adopting this message. The Tories, who expect —as one told Matt—to ‘be the most unpopular government in memory by the end of our first six months’, would face a real problem if the Labour opposition tapped into recession rage. The party would be well advised to do everything it can to get there first.