Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Cameron's Woes Multiply

Oh Dear, I wonder if the wheels are not ever so slightly coming off Dave's wagon at Bournemouth? Maybe soon it'll resemble the shambles we all used to know and love under its former leaders(see cartoon). Since I wrote my post on the 'mountain' he had to climb two days ago, that summit seems to have ascended appreciably.

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?

Wishful thinking on your part I fear. I am not a Dave fan. But can you really see Brown beating Cameron? No chance. They look certs, which no doubt explains the column inches on most lefty blogs. Of course the police have to go through the motions and balance their inquiry, but everyone in the know will tell you that it is Lord Levy who will end up in court. And Iain Dale is hardly going to rock the party is he? And yes there are many members who would like tax cuts. But to confuse this with Tory electoral prospects is naive and wishful. They look like a Government now for the first time. Bye bye labour...
Michael How nice to hear from you again:
'They look like a government now' I wonder who sounds most 'naive and wishful'...?
Hardly, I shall not vote for them. But Cameron looks a potential PM in a way that IDS, Howard and Hague did not. And the British public obviously see that. And then there is the Brown factor. Even the most myopic can see that he has much less voter appeal than Blair. I see the bookmakers have shortened them to 1/2, and they rarely get it wrong on these things. The only unknown is what he will do when he gets there. I fear the worst in that regard. But you can forget Labour and Brown, he is a lame duck.
1. Agree Cameron looks more a potential PM than the others you mention.
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.
It won't matter how hard Brown works. Politics has changed. 15 years down the line, people won't vote for a man with even less charisma than John Major. Cameron will whip him in an election campaign. And the Scots issue will be raised, and rightly so.

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.
Counting chickens again, Michael. Wishful thinking indeed. The more Camneron is exposed... the more exposed he will be. He was truly, truly vacuous this morning on the Today programme, despite getting the lightest grilling I can ever remember a Party leader having to take. Brown will come across as dour... in fact I think the Party have decided to play to that as a strength (note his, "I am more interested in the Artic Circle than the Artic Monkeys" last week. When compared to an old Etonian spiv car salesman, the public will be asked "Who would you trust in a crisis?" and not even Daily Mail readers are likely to say, "I'll have the frothy feel-good crap, please."
I have never said any such thing. Where is this in The Guardian?
It's in the 'Today on the web' page 2 of today's issue.
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...'
I have now taken the quotations off my post as this seems to be the fairest course.
Always worth checking those Guardian snippets. They once credited my blog with saying exactly the opposite of what I had posted on the basis that someone in the comments had contradicted me.
Cameron is vacuous I agree. But he has clearly been well coached in the media arts and makes most interviews look very easy. The problem with Dave is that most people probably would buy a second hand of him. Thus with Blair and Dave the British electorate have truly got what they deserved. But like it or not, you don't have to be a political visionary to see which way the wind is blowing here.
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