Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Cameron's Woes Multiply
1. It was Higher Anyway: for this point I'm indebted to Cassilis's comment on yesterday's post in which he points out that while Blair had to overturn the accumulated weight of a century's history, Cameron merely has to make an adjustment, to tack back to a liberal tradition which was only interupted by Thatcher just three decades ago.
2. Party Funding I: we learn today that Scotland Yard detectives will interview all 13 of those who lent £16m to the party before the last election. So far the scandal has only lapped at the feet of Labour officials and politicians; now a wave appears to have engulfed the Tories too.
3. Party Funding II: We learn from the same article that, as well as Inspector Knacker investigating, the Electoral Commission will look into those shady organizations feeding cash into the Tory Party. They used to have a number of 'front' bodies which did this and stoutly opposed any transparency. Now the Constituency Campaigning Services and the Midlands Industrial Council, which feed funds into marginal constituencies, are being checked out. The Conservatives seem divided over whether these bodies are part of their movement or not: Conservative HQ says they are not; Cameron says they are; Hague says they are both. So that's cleared up then.
4. Fringe/MPs Revolt over Tax Cuts: We learn also that up to a half of Conservative MPs want an up front commitment to tax cuts instead of the Osborne 'stability first' approach. Edward Leigh, influential chair of the Public Accounts Committee, warned that the party is one of 'lower taxes or it is nothing'. John Redwood's pamphlet of yesterday weighs in on this side, not to mention that hoary old warhorse, Norman Tebbitt, raucously acclaimed for the same message at a fringe meeting.
5. Green Air Flights Plan DefeatedActivists defeated the new command's assertion that cheap flights are a 'false economy' by 57 per cent to 43, despite a procession of environmentally sound advisers arguing in favour.
Come back Hague, IDS and Howard, all is forgiven?
'They look like a government now' I wonder who sounds most 'naive and wishful'...?
2. Bookies do get it wrong; my gambling journo friend woke me up last election night in US Nov 2004 to say: 'Kerry's got it- the bookies say so, and they know you know'. I went to sleep happy and then turned on the radio in the morning...
3.As for Brown, don't underestimate him; he's been in the game a long time and has waited so long for his day in the sun, he's going to work very hard to make it more than just a day.
The bottom line is that though Blair achieved very little in ten years, he was a master of the media age - a teflon like quality that history will probably admire in a strange way. The change will boost the Tories even more, and I imagine the left will come out in more mutinous mood than ever when they discover that New Labour lives on in the guise of the Dour One.
As for Kerry. If the bookies got that wrong then they were foolish, and I hope they lost a fortune. Whispers on election night are notoriously unreliable - Gore and Nixon have been among the losers here. I had money on Bush on the spread index, so I was doubly delighted that night. The American people seemed to be reasonably happy too.
Have now checked your blog and Guardian have quoted a comment on one of your posts- someone whose signature is 'Urbani'. Sorry, just assumed it was your words when Guardian used the quote- perhaps they should have prefaced use with 'comment on etc...'
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