From the Guardian:
More than 250,000 annual rail season-ticket holders could save an average of £400 over the next five years after David Cameron pledged that the Tories would freeze regulated fares in real terms.
In a consumer-friendly announcement designed to boost Tory fortunes amid flagging poll ratings, the prime minister will say on Friday that regulated rail fares would only be able to rise in line with the retail price index (RPI).
The prime minister will also seek to revive his 2010 election “big society” campaign theme by offering workers employed by companies with a staff of at least 250 people the right to three days of paid leave to volunteer.
“This is the clearest demonstration of the big society in action – and I’m proud it’s a Conservative government that will deliver it,” Cameron said in an echo of the language he used during the 2010 election campaign.This is dreadful. It's not that Cameron is trying to bribe the voters - he's a politician and all politicians do that - but that he thinks we're so cheap that offering us measly £400 spread over 5 years (about £1.50 a week) will do it. Look, Dave, we have principles. If we're going to sell them, it should be for at least a fiver.
And the return to the bemusingly muddled 'big society' concept - the Michael Gove 'inspired' idea that almost lost the Tories the 2010 election against the back drop of Iraq, the expenses scandal, ID cards, Gordon Brown and the crash - is utterly, utterly baffling.
If you listen, I think you can hear the sound of the Conservatives barrel of ideas being scraped, vigorously.