Monday, 5 April 2010

Darling must continue to stand firm over NI

The Chancellor has shown impressive resilience over the past 10 days as business leaders, trade unions, journalists and economists have attacked his plan to increase NI contributions for employers and employees alike.

The Government messaging over this period has been consistent; despite the pressure he (Darling) must be under to give the public a carrot to accompany this stick.

When any organisation decides to make a change which could have a negative effect on some of its audiences, it is of vital importance that decisions are made and stuck to. Only then can the conviction behind the messaging penetrate a hostile debate.

In politics, however, it is often all to easy to flip-flop and backtrack. The public are wary of New Labour especially for this - characterised in the genius first episode of The Thick of It.

So, as sceptical voters look for truth behind the spin can the Chancellor's resilience appeal more to voters searching for honest decisions on reducing deficits, than even respected businessmen like Sir Stuart Rose?

If I were the opposition parties I would carefully look at how voters react to the brickbats heading Mr Darling's way as the public are proving difficult to predict in this, the recession election - hence the ever changing polls, as reliable as a builder's free estimate.

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