Thursday, 25 February 2010

Hannan launches British tea party ... the great cause of the unpopular populists

The Tory right is getting a British Tea Party movement off the ground this Saturday.

Its being organised by the Freedom Association, perhaps making Hannan heir to Norris McWhirter of "Norris on the spot" Record Breakers fame.

And so the battle to be Britain's Sarah Palin is joined in earnest, with Hannan moving decisively to rein in the early lead taken by The Spectator's Fraser Nelson and ConservativeHome's Tim Montgomerie.

Might it be time for a British Palinwatch on the political blogosphere to help keep score?

As we will no doubt hear again and again, its a good moment for an anti-tax revolt.

After all, the 2010 British Social Attitudes survey shows public support for tax cuts and spending cuts has doubled since 1997, from 4% to 8%.

Public support for increasing taxation and public spending is now at its lowest level since the early 1980s. 39% support this, down from 62% in 1997. Only 8% support cuts. The most popular view, held by 50%, is that spending and taxation levels should stay as they are.

It will be a long hard road to Libertopia, even if those who gather on Saturday may understimate that, but perhaps the Tory revolutionaries do realise that their real battle will be with their own leadership.

And perhaps the launch of the tea party should also prompt fiscal conservatives on the right to take on the fiscally ludicrous "oppose all tax rises" fundamentalism of the Taxpayers' Alliance and their allies.

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