Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Nasty Party's leader is Definitely Losing it

PMQs is often dismissed as no more than an oportunity for both sides to raise the morale of their troops. And of course, it is but it's also offers an interesting insight into the minds of its chief protagonists. Miliband to me seems much more confident now that he has Cameron 'on the run' (to use Dave's his own phrase). Personal ratings of Dave have plummeted while Ed's have risen dramatically; even Labour ratings of the economy have shifted hugely in Labour's favour. The key issue today was Christine Lagarde's report on the UK economy.

Back in 2010 the IMF echoed the enthusiastic buzz created by the Rose Garden euphoria, hailing the basis for a 'sustainable recovery. Two yewars later there is no euphoria- the recovery has not arrived,nor is it even idenitifiable as a speck on the horizon. 'Risks are large and clearly tilted on the downside' says this serious minded institution. It calls for a whole range of 'policies to bolster demand'. Labour has leapt on this claiming vindication for its critique and prescriptions for action. Cameron has alternatively seized on the few words of support offered by fluent and charming Lagarde; however, she is nothing if not a superb diplomat, who is inevitably not going to embarass her hosts with swingeing criticisms in public. Inevitably Osborne and Cameron are hugging to themselves those predicatably soothing words of approbation but as they are so predictable the words of criticism must be regarded asmuch more significant.

And where does this leave Dave? With the economy tanking, his Coalition creaking, Jeremy Hunt walking on ice and opinion polls tolling out a message of possible defeat, Cameron's famously short temper is beginning to evince,for his supporters, a worrying volatility. His MPs cheered when he waspishly called Ed Balls a 'muttering idiot' but even they must know their boss is rattled.

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