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I followed with interest the speech of Sir John Butterfill, which started very well. It was particularly good when he was demolishing the Liberal Democrat case for a local income tax, which he did with considerable skill and accuracy. Unfortunately, he spoiled the good effect by veering in the last minute of his speech into a return to the poll tax. It is one of the extraordinary features of today's Conservative party that it remains absolutely wedded to the belief that if it could get itself back to where it was in the 1980s, all would be well. Political parties that are obsessed with the past rarely command the confidence of the public. Thinking that it can find a solution to local government finance by going back to the kind of principles that generated the poll tax seems to be a delusion that is sadly typical of today's Conservative party.