Thursday, October 01, 2009


Narratives for General Election Emerging from the Fog

Well, I thought Gordon's speech a let down but had few expectations of any stirring oratory. Andrew Neil and a few others seemed to think the promise of a referendum on the AV voting sytem was a move towards PR but, as all politics students know, AV is not proportional and such a system in 1997 would have given Labour an even bigger majority, (which is possibly why Brown has come to accept it as harmless). But it won't change our relentless slide towards defeat Gordon! PR would have been the 'game changer' and he's let the moment pass... as we knew he would.

He also bottled out of including the section on allowing a TV debate with other party leaders but we read this morning that, according to Lord Peter, he will take this route. Very sensible as he has no choice, as the rank outsider. Mind you polls today show Labour have reduced the polling gap by six points, nearly a half. Cameron won't be worried as this is just the usual post conference bounce- recall that it was the Tory's bounce in 2007 which scuppered the 'snap' election idea Gordon was so keen on.

But the 2010 election campaign is now clearly under way and we can just about discern the outlines of what the parties are going to say. Labour will say:

'We have hugely improved public services, presided over an expanding economy and then took the right decisions when things went wrong (through no fault of our own). This means we are to be trusted with the economy and while the Tories would have caused disaster through inaction, their determination to cut services and shrink government will cause widespread suffering and snuff out the frail economic recovery'- Vote Labour!

The Tories will say:

'Labour have messed up the economy, wasted billions on ill run public services and borrowed far too much money for the future of the nation's finances. We will impose across the board savings, eliminate huge amounts of wasted spending and allow the economy to grow back into health. Vote Conservative!'

Which sounds more credible? Obviously I think the former, but Gordon has so devalued his partry's brand, people just stop listening asd soon as he starts to speak. He could have the arguments used to such good effect by Major in the not disimilar situation of 1992, but he has even less ability to project them even than the Tories' infamously 'Grey Man'.

Well it might not be so bad for Labour, Brown will leave once we lose. that way he will go into the darkness, my worry is of course Blair will pop up or the bride of Blair, she did say she was going to help Brown did she not.
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