Eric Pickles has a vivid imagination. He set out to remind the Conservative faithful today the dangers of letting Labour back into office, and why they, not the Tories, are the real nasty party. He painted a picture of where Britain might be if we were living under a Labour coalition:

‘Labour would have quickly lost the confidence of the markets for failing to tackle the deficit. Mortgage rates would have soared, and after that, taxes too. The Chancellor, Ed Balls, would be extending his so-called “mansion tax” to ordinary family homes…the Business Secretary – Unite’s Baron McCluskey of Mersey Docks – would be abolishing Margaret Thatcher’s trade union reforms and turning the clock back to the 1970s.’

And went on to suggest what a future Labour government or coalition would lead to:

‘A vote for Labour still means more spending, more borrowing, more debt, more taxes and a return to the culture of spin. So let me give you the condensed version. Yes – there is a Nasty Party. And it’s called the Labour Party.

By suggesting the next election will a clear choice between the Tories or ‘back to the future with Red Ed’, Pickles cleverly links Miliband back to the dark days of Gordon Brown and Damian McBride (still an uncomfortable topic) while placing the Tories on the side of hard working people.

He went on to extoll the coalition’s record on house building and council tax, recalling his predecessor John Prescott to nicely round off with a cost of living message:

‘John Prescott told councils to hike up parking charges, cut the number of parking spaces and use parking fines to punish motorists. It’s no wonder that nine million parking fines are now issued every year.

‘…we will make it easier for hardworking people to pop into the local shop to buy a newspaper or a pint of milk. We will empower local residents to challenge the excessive yellow lines and unreasonable fines. We will switch off the parking ‘cash cameras’ and spy cars. We are helping families with the cost of living, and supporting local shops.’

The Tories are stepping their attacks on Labour up a gear this year because they now feel they have the evidence to undermine their opponents. But they also have a ‘nasty’ badge for the Labour party, thanks to the McBride book. They don’t want to just paint Labour as wrong, but as bad too.

Tags: Conservative conference 2013, Cost of living, Damian McBride, Eric Pickles, Gordon Brown, Labour, UK politics