03 October 2007

Tories 'Bricking It': Cameron puts Eton before Country.

Don't believe Cameron when he says 'call that election', he has to say that - he has no choice. Brown has certainly allowed the Tories a week long party political broadcast just before an election (if he calls it) and I would be surprised if all this Tory propaganda in the media hasn't given the Tories a boost, but in an election campaign with more equal coverage, Brown's reasuring leadership skills will win people back over to Labour. Not enough people trust David Cameron to run this country - the Tories cannot even muster enough (22% of electorate?) to 'win' under this undemocratic electoral system.

Of course not every policy Cameron and...
the Tories say is wrong (they possibly have some good things to say on the compensation culture that prevents school trips and anonymity for accused teachers. I suspect these are fairly minor points in practise. Brown should look into them but they are certainly not election losing issues). It would be hard for any political party (even the Tories) to be wrong on everything. But their fundamental philosophy of tax cuts, public service cuts, road and airport expansion that costs the environment and bigotry towards minorities is unchanged and makes them unsuitable (and hopefuly unelectable) in this social democratic country whatever media support they have. We only have to look at local Tory councils for evidence of what they really stand for (hidden beneath their spin).

The Tories have done a lot of talking about forming policies but little in the way of actually putting any forward for scrutiny. They are policy lite and they go into this election with a (proud?) admission that their manifesto will be smaller than even the ridiculously vague and policy lite 2005 manifesto. This shows they are not serious about governing and their panicky unaffordable tax cut 'giveaway' shows (like the council tax cut and pension boost in 2005) that they do not expect to have to carry forward any of these policies. I think the best they are hoping for is to put a big enough dent in Labour's lead to prevent an autumn poll which they are terrified of (despite the public show of bravado at their conference). They almost certainly are too late to stop an election which is pretty much certain to happen on November 1st.

While Brown has allowed them to have some week long publicity for their policies, it also gives Labour plenty of time to show how full of holes their proposals are and how regressive they are. All the independent thinktanks say that the Tories' figures do not come even close to adding up (up to £3bn short) and we all know it will mean cuts to frontline services and a redistribution from poor to wealthy (typical Tory stuff that pleases their core vote) that few in the electorate would like to see.

Thanks to Lord Ashcroft's millions, the Tories are doing better in the marginals than the opinion polls suggest but I doubt this will save them from defeat. On the record I would predict that the Tories might pick up a few marginal seats in the South East and London but do very badly elsewhere, losing seats in the North and possibly the Midlands. The Lib dems could lose more than 20 seats (sadly mostly to the Tories) but overall Labour should have a decent majority to allow Brown to follow a more radical agenda with a full term infront of him. Whatever you think of a November election, it will be good for business and the electorate to have destabilising election hysteria put to bed, especially if global economic conditions are tighter in the next year or so. The government needs to be able to think more long term without the worry of short term electoral considerations skewing what decisions they can take. This will be good for the country.

One can also hope that the manifesto being put together by Ed Miliband will include some eye catching constitutional and electoral reforms. Including them in a manifesto will allow a mandate to carry out these reforms more quickly. It is doubtful full PR will be on the agenda but AV for Westminster and PR for the Lords is a real possibility and this progress should be wholeheartedly supported as a first step towards the PR goal.

Overall, yes Mr Cameron - you may know what a good education is like but you have no idea how to solve Britain's problems. And yes, you can play poker, but your bluff is going to be well and truly exposed, roll on the November 1st election.

1 comment:

  1. I agree on this one. DC has been looking for the right time to pounce and found there isn't one. He preaches a bit about returning to 'core values' and getting strong on immigration, but he has not given the details, it's just rhetoric.

    He needs to follow up on these pledges.

    I don't think DC is a bad leader but he's not a very good one either. Weak leadership has plagued the Tories for a while.