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A taxing inheritance...

Andrew Neil | 10:38 UK time, Monday, 29 September 2008

cameron203x300blog.jpgThe Tories are in confident mood in Birmingham, though trying hard not to show it. Party managers have told them not to look or sound cocky or arrogant, and they're doing their best (though it's difficult for some).

The recent Brown bounce in the polls has produced some doubts at the back of their minds but they hope Birmingham will produce a bounce of their own. Almost every Tory I speak to is quietly certain their party will form the next government.

Party leaders are anxious to convince us they are ready for government. When I interviewed David Cameron yesterday for today's show, he was anxious to appear the epitome of Tory sound money, even promising to establish a new quango to keep him honest when it comes to spending and debt. The Tories now realise that if they do come to power they will inherit an ocean of red ink and that is concentrating minds: whoever wins the next election will have almost no room for tax cuts or spending increases. Indeed, the markets may demand they give priority to cutting the debt (which next year alone could increase by a record £100bn).

This morning I push Mr Cameron on his approach to tax and spend - there are still many unanswered questions - and, sticking with our economic theme, we'll have live and uninterrupted coverage of Shadow Chancellor's George Osborne's speech. Last year he pulled a huge rabbit out the hat in the shape of his abolition of inheritance tax for all but the biggest estates. Let's see what's in his hat in this new era of austerity.

Also this morning another conference star - Boris Johnson. The London mayor will be joining me live. Let me know what you'd like me to ask him.

And if all that isn't enough we'll also have Lady Thatcher's favourite advertising guru Tim Bell, who will be giving us his view on just how effective the Cameron brand has become.

So do join us live at 11.30 on BBC-2 for the Daily Politics Conference special. Don't forget we want your views on all the stories that are making the news so email us at daily.politics@bbc.co.uk.


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