Friday, July 27, 2007

 

No Early Escape for Dave's Problems in Sight

I'm sorry, but I've always found schadenfreude impossible to resist and the latest Channel 4 Yougov poll brings further grief for poor old Dave; and all this in spite of the fact that Gordon- as is the prerogative of all governments- has indeed stolen the Tories' policy on a 'national border force' It's odd how polls six months ago showed Gordon faring so badly in comparisons with Cameron when the reverse is now very much the case:

'it showed only 28% believed Mr Cameron was "serious and trustworthy", while 39% disagreed. Mr Brown scored 49% and 28% respectively. Just 22% of voters thought Mr Cameron was in control of his party, and 52% believed he was not. In comparison, 62% thought Mr Brown was in control of Labour and 16% disagreed

Small wonder than that with private polls showing an 8 point lead for Brown, that a recent meeting of Labour's top brains should have discussed election plans together with possible manifesto outlines. Especially when the best economic advice now rules out another rate increase by the bank of England this year. Why then, this 'collapse in the popularity of David Cameron'?

Geoffrey Wheatcroft rather confirms my own musings in this blog when he suggests that Dave, with his 'eye catching initiatives' is following the Blair template too slavishly. He argues that 'Cameron and his claque have been in adoring thrall to Blair':

The opposition front bench includes, after all, Michael Gove, who not long ago wrote: "I can't fight my feelings any more: I love Tony ... as a right-wing polemicist, all I can say looking at Mr Blair now is, what's not to like?"

An astonishing confession of hero worship there from the lugubrious Michael. But Wheatcroft reserves his real-and in my view justified- venom for the Conservatives' recently appointed 'director of communications', Andy Coulson who:

used to adorn the Sun with Andy Coulson's Bizarre, a showbiz column trashy even by tabloid standards, and then edited the News of the World - a smut sheet rather than a newspaper, in case Cameron has never looked at it - before losing his job in the wake of a phone-bugging scandal. And this man, who makes Alastair Campbell seem a cross between CP Scott and Hugo Young, will now be the public voice of Toryism.

In his recent meting with the 1922 Committee he called for 'discipline' and for the party to 'hold its nerve'. Oh boy, it's going to need to. Oh, and I nearly forgot to add: in 1945, on this very day Labour won 390 seats to the Conservatives' 195.

Comments:
I remember the 1945 election very well (though not as a voter). There were two large columns on the front of the town hall in Albert Square Manchester, one bearing a cartoon of Atlee, and the other Churchill. How we cheered as Clem's went up and up.
 
I liked Wheatcroft's piece and as you may remember I predicted something very similar more than 7 months ago.

Cameron's other issue is the lack of quality in his team. We got so used to the Blair / Brown tensions that we forget how well hidden or controlled they were in the mid-90's. At that time as well as taking a shine to Blair the public repsected the rest of the Shadow Cabinet too - even opponents recognised the commitment and desire of the likes of Brown, Straw & Blunkett.

Even as a supporter I couldn't with a straight face claim anything like the same status, quality or even profile for the Tory front bench.

And Osbourne would be first out the door in my book....
 
Liam
Good to hear from you again. Yes, your post back in 2006 was prescient indeed. I agree Dave's team is not that impressive- he's lost most of the old guard apart from Hague who shapes up as a far better leader than Cameron. Oddly, I've met Osbourne and was quite impressed by him.
 
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