Coffee House

#ToryBingo could still benefit the Conservatives

22 March 2014

4:45 PM

22 March 2014

4:45 PM

Isabel and Sebastian are right: #ToryBingo is embarrassing. The advert was crass to the point of being idiotic. The use of the word ‘they’ rather than ‘you’ to describe ‘hardworking people’ was sloppy. The episode has taken some of the gloss off an otherwise shiny Budget. It is, emphatically, bad PR.

That said; I don’t imagine that the Tories will be too displeased by the furore. #ToryBingo has given a huge amount of exposure to two Budget measures that would otherwise have been buried beneath the pension announcement: the Tories have cut tax on bingo and duty on beer. Neither of those measures is going to turn the next election in the Tories’ favour; but, beside the increases in the personal allowance and the effort to control council tax over the last 4 years, it creates an impression that the Tories are on the side of working people on middle-to-low income.

Speaking as as a basic-rate taxpayer in no danger of the fiscal drag (though not I regret as a Bingo player), I have to say that the pension announcement means little to me because my pension is so vanishingly small – enough to buy a toy Lamborghini, perhaps, but not much else. A very long working life stretches out before me and, to be honest, the prospect isn’t much fun. A pint of beer with friends every now and then is one of the things that I enjoy.


Do I feel patronised by the beer duty cut? Hell yes. But I feel patronised by more or less everything politicians say: from the ‘hardworking people’ mantra of the ‘out of touch’ Tories, to the Labour Party’s maddening presumption that it represents my best interests by virtue of nothing other than its illustrious history. A plague on both your houses, I say.

But, of course, petulance can never be a policy for someone in my financial position; I need to find a way of bettering myself. Unless and until wages outstrip inflation (and I’m sceptical that, in my job and with my skills, they will), my best hope is that my taxes are cut.

This is why politics matters to me – and this is why I’m quite happy to be patronised by #ToryBingo: the Tories are keeping my taxes down. I have a little more disposable income now than I did in 2010 – not much, but a little. Sure, the government could do more, much more – especially to VAT, property taxes and energy bills. But what, on the other hand, is the Labour Party proposing to do to my tax bill?

This week’s Budget gave me a very clear indication. The public finances are still a mess. The Labour Party can countenance neither spending cuts nor significant money saving reforms to public services – Ed Miliband couldn’t even respond to the Budget that was delivered. What am I, a low-to-middle income earner, supposed to make of this performance? There’s only one conclusion: Labour will raise taxes. They’ll raise everyone’s taxes and make lots of noise about ‘bankers’; but, when I think about it, I really don’t care about bankers and their bonuses: the only thing that matters is my tax bill.

If the Tories can transmit this relatively simple message to the millions of voters who are in my financial position, then Ed Miliband will lose. And, on the evidence of this week, he deserves to lose.

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Show comments
  • Cyril Sneer

    It raised a laugh with me, but what was a bigger laugh was seeing The Millipeed stumble and bluff his way through his budget speech.

  • Kitty MLB

    I am utterly of this entire bingo nonsence and the
    fact that bored journalists and incompetent lefties
    are still trying to make somethingof it.
    This was an excellent and progressive budget
    by a chancellor who not only has grown into his
    job but has been proved right. IT is seen as a successful
    budget, Labour have nothingto offer and utterly pointless.

  • David Webb

    Well, I can’t vote Conservative – UKIP will get my vote – but, yes, Labour will double the council tax and raise income tax bills for the low-paid. Their spending plans will require a higher contribution from the low-paid. Phew! The quango queens’ pension contributions will be safe under Miliband. NHS Trust bosses will not have to slum it on £100,000 under Miliband. Such people’s livelihoods are a vital frontline service. Not that Cameron has done anything at all to pare back the embezzlement in the upper echelons of the public sector.

  • HookesLaw

    I cannot believe that you are still going on about a no consequence internet ad.

    • Two Bob

      You had better believe it you nasty little man.

      • HookesLaw

        Why? Some terrible oversight in the use of the worf ‘they’ – which in terms of how the line scans is no oversighjt at all. Indeed I do not see how ‘you’ makes any difference and no doubt if it had been ‘we’ that bwould nhave been treated the same way.
        The truth is the shock horror is entirely manufactured. And two polls tomorrow give the Labour lead down to 1 point.

      • HookesLaw

        You clearly did not like my reply so you had to add a bit of bile.
        The only nasties are the odiouus racists from UKIP. They do not deserve 1% of the nations vote.

        • southerner

          Yes being offensive whilst knowing nothing about your target should be your personal preserve eh Hooky?

          • HookesLaw

            I find it disgusdting and offensive that Farage is going round making racism respectable. I find it traitorous that thick kippers want to split the right wing vote and let in Europhile labour. I am forming a view that kippers have been nobbled – latest poll shows them running third in the Euro elections.

            • Kitty MLB

              How bizarre that you can use the word traitorous. Maybe if someone behaved
              a little differently, stayed loyal to
              the principles of his party instead
              of following his own agenda..
              Another party is just filing a gap which
              has become vacant.
              Although I strangely agree with you In
              regards to letting Labour back in,
              anyone who allows that is committing
              high treason.

  • Two Bob

    bingobingo land….

  • Agrippina

    That’s right just worry about the taxes never mind the stream of immigrants lowering salaries and our standard of living.

    Here in Cambs, Chatteris to be precise, two vegetable packing plants has had a worker die and 17 are infected with TB, but don’t worry, let us continue to welcome all workers from faraway lands without any health checks etc.

    • rubyduck

      The independent nation state, watertight compartments, bulwarks against pandemic. Time we got a realistic grip.

  • BigAl

    Spot on. Labour will raise taxes for everyone

  • Hexhamgeezer

    I like card bingo. Does that count?

  • LadyDingDong

    They not we, we not they, you not us, us not you – whatever had been written the media and labtard would have found something to pick at like a boy with a scab. This was a good Tory budget; get over yourselves for Christ’s sake.

    • HookesLaw

      I notice that the latest twitter storm is directed at the referee who sent off the wrong player. The ones involved were both coloured so now he is a racist.
      People want to cross the road to take offence.
      Labour have nothing to say – so it shows the economy hass recovered and Osborne’s plans were the right ones all along.

  • Tron

    I thought the Left’s reaction to the Bingo ad showed their sneering attitude to the Beer and Bingo class.
    They think Labour putting the tax up on beer and Conservatives reducing it doesn’t matter to people. That shows how out of touch the Leftie Twitter crowd are.

    • telemachus

      SOME SAY it was all going so well until the Tories produced that Beer and Bingo poster that looked like something out of Viz comic advert. Either way, both prospective candidates for Thurrock’s two constituency were not impressed by chancellor’s George Osborne’s budget.
      South Basildon and East Thurrock candidate, Mike Le Surf said: “A poor budget. The Tories and their Lib Dem pals are totally out of touch with the people of South Basildon and East Thurrock who are facing a cost of living crisis.
      “The truth behind Osborne’s “smoke and mirrors” routine is that residents are worse off now than they were in 2010 with rising energy bills, rail fares and food costs.
      A Labour government in 2015 will freeze energy bills, cut business rates and scrap the bedroom tax. Real answers to real issues.”
      Thurrock candidate, Polly Billington said: “The reality is that George Osborne seems to be oblivious to the type of lives that most people are living and they are really struggling. These living standards have been going down for the last 44 months.
      “Their worries are not being met by this budget. VAT has knocked out many benefits for hard working people. There should have been a bankers bonus tax and that could have meant we could have put into a jobs guarantee.
      “The reality is that the jobs figures mask people on zero hours, who do not have the full dignity of full employment.”

      • HookesLaw

        You have had to delve deep for that bit of cut and paste. How humbling.

        • telemachus

          Delve deep in pursuit of the enemy
          This is not a game

          • Fergus Pickering

            No, tele. A game is often amusing. You are grindingly boring