Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The tax debate

Well, it's Tuesday morning and I am in the press office discussing the final arrangements for the tax debate which starts in 5 min.

Well, I'm in the conference hall now and ?ince has just spoken. I like the joke about Evan's amendment taking the popular bits out! Good one Vince.

And now we have the revolutionary communist party of Canterbury speaking on their amendments and the speaker is as about as interesting as watching concrete. I think this one will be lost comfortably!

Arnie Gibbons up now. Like the joke about Vince, economists and accountants. But sorry Arnie, don't agree with your claim that this is simply an improvement.

Okay, so now its Tony Vickers, the man who took up a great deal of my time when I wrote that best seller "Planing Policy Paper - Planning for the 21st 9entury" - but he is a believer in a shift to taxing wealth and here he is arguing against the 50p amendment. Well done Tony - I'll listen with interest any time now to one of your talks about land value taxation!

Cathy Bakewell now up to speak in favour as well. She's a big knob in rural South West England so is a useful friend to have on board. It's not rip-roaring however.

So here we have Dr Anne Morrison speaking against green taxes. I think she may be in a bit of a minority here. And she's just linked this to the 50p rate.

Steve Webb up now. This should be interesting as we know he is backing the motion unamended. A good joke about David Laws being left wing. The pakage is highly redistributive he says. Well done lad! Support the motion unamended he says. I think we are winning.

One minute interventions now and the guest appearance from a power cut which fortunately it lasted for only a few seconds. But I did have sudden fears that everything was going to grind to a halt because of lack of power.

We are having a few too many one minuters who are pro 50p but 5uncan /reenland from 9amden has just put in a good point about LIT over 150K.

Another good intervention, this time from Mike Ash (But I did persuade him to put in to. speak).

Seems now the one minuters are coming out more against the 50p rate.

Good one from Tessa Munt. A really good intervention.

The applause is getting louder against 50p. And I'm getting a good feeling about this.

Mike Williams up now. Chair of the working group. So I guess he'll not be supporting the amendment. A bit dull but very worthy.

A guy called John. Beanse up now but up next is Julia Goldsworthy. This guy has just waved about my tax focus. It was me wot rit that!

JG - getting the line in about representing a poor area which will not gain from the 50p rate.

She's getting loud applause.

I'm still hoping John Shipley is going to be called.

Gareth Epps up now. I wonder which way he will swing!? He's on about logic gaps. Errr what? He's losing it. The audience are not responding to his jokes. But he's just had some good applause.

An attempt for a reference back has just been laughed out. If I had been the person attempting it I would have been embarrassed.

Jonathan Marks up now. He asked me a couple of hours ago if he thought he would be called. I told him to be ready. And he's scoring some good points. Devastating!

Richard Burt has just got up in support of the 50p amendment saying this is not a referendum on Ming. What better way to focus attention on the fact that many see it precisely as that.

Sal Brinton up now, one of the stars of my focus and there to undermine 50p. This is a really powerful speech. Good stuff.

David Rendell up there now. He's Evan's last hope. And he is giving a good reasoned argument for 50p. He will swing some waverers the wrong way. He was good, very good.

Paul Holmes up now, another left winger, but speaking against the amendment. We need him to counteract the last speech.

This is good good good. He is putting a solid case. We'll win back the waverers with this. He is giving the knock out blow!

Phil Willis there now. And he's backing the 50p rate. He's a good speaker and he can put some ra ra into the debate. But he's effectively just conceded defeat. Still, he will grab some ofthe waverers. Nd he's getting good applause. Warning bells are ringing.

Malcolm Bruce up now as the author of the original 50p policy but there to speak against it now. He will be worthy but not ra ra. But it will be very pointed. 50p - a radical virility symbol. I like that!

Revolutionary communists of Canterbury now up to summate. Moving rapidly on......

Feeling now we have this in the bag.

Evan up now. He has started well with some self deprecating jokes! But his argument is too complicated. He is however presenting his case well. He's getting a lot of applause.

Chris Huhne up now. We need a real knock out blow now. And he's giving it, well sort of. But I reckon we've got it the 50p is going into the history books.

Amendment 1 vote - massively defeated

No 2 likewise

And 50p - we've got it by about 3 to 1

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1 comment:

Valerie said...

Thanks for all that - much appreciated by those of us who aren't there.

Excellent news.