Tories have finally cottoned on that they could lose the election

In a week when prime Minister Gordon Brown has been mocked and ridiculed for his ‘bully boy’ ways and parodied in the Taiwan news - the Tories face the prospect that they could actually lose the election and their change of stance to put the focus squarely on a choice between Cameron and Brown and 6 ‘principles or pledges’ may well reflect that ‘reality’.  It won’t be good breakfast reading for Cameron (or Osbore) that YouGov shows the Tory lead cut to just 2 points.  If that lead is reflected in the polls Labour will be the largest party but with no overall majority.

Gordon Brown on course to win election

Sunday Times: GORDON BROWN is on course to remain prime minister after the general election as a new Sunday Times poll reveals that Labour is now just two points behind the Tories. The YouGov survey places David Cameron’s Conservatives on 37%, as against 35% for Labour — the closest gap between the parties in more than two years. It means Labour is heading for a total of 317 seats, nine short of an overall majority, with the Tories languishing on a total of just 263 MPs. Such an outcome would mean Brown could stay in office and deny Cameron the keys to No 10. The poll result presents the Conservative leader with one of the greatest challenges of his leadership today as he makes the keynote speech to his party’s spring forum.

Perhaps rather more worrying for the Tories is that they appear to be saddled by Osbore – who is not revealing any  talent for ideas or communication. Simon Heffer, writing in The telegraph, puts the boot in with…..

The madness of Little George Osborne

Simon Heffer finds the Shadow Chancellor’s recent bout of lunatic posturing irksome. Heffer writes: “George Osborne is becoming a real problem. He gave a lecture on the economy earlier this week whose message I found incomprehensible. There will be cuts, he said. Good. But Dave Cameron, his boss, said shortly beforehand that there had better not be “swingeing” cuts. When is a cut not a cut? What makes a cut, if it be a cut, swingeing?

Heffer then places the ball in front of the posts, runs up and kicks… “What most annoyed me about Little George, though, was the despairing way in which I heard him announce on Radio 4 on Wednesday that “we” would have to “get” the salaries of bankers “down”. I concede that a couple of banks are largely owned by the taxpayer. However, most aren’t: and none totally is. So why does George feel it is his place, like some member of the Socialist Workers’ Party, to call for bankers to be paid less? Since when was the Conservative Party, should it win power, planning to Sovietise our economy in a fashion that would allow it to control bankers’ pay? And even if it were, what does it think this idiotic and unpleasantly illiberal move would achieve?

While I am no great fan of bankers getting paid vast amounts of money, the realpolitik is that unless every major economy in the world acts in concert on banker’s salaries , bonuses et al – the market will rule and the very high reward structure for banks will have to remain. Political posturing is fun for a while but then the harsh ays of reality kick in.  If Britain a banking sector, let alone one of the most effectrive in the world, we can’t control what the banks do in terms of rewards to the top people who make the money.

Heffer also suggests that Darling would do well to suspend the plan to tax at 50p.  This is a sensible proposal.  Economist will punch each other out of the way to get into a TV studio and claim that taxing at 50p will not raise a great deal of money and will simply cause those who do create wealth to find a more generous tax regime.  Lowering taxes, they say, is the way forward and is likely to raise more tax revenue in the medium term.

I do not relish five years with Gordon Brown as leader.  I do not relish five years with a Labour government which continues to erode civil liberties.  I do not relish five years of a Labour government which permits 20,000 council workers to enter homes without a warrant.

I do relish Labour choosing a new leader, getting rid of tired, dead wood, and trying to build a party to reflect a ‘future fair for all’ and which has a long hard look at geopolitics to see whether we really need to play policeman with America in the future, whether we need to continue, long term, in getting involved in long protracted and expensive military engagements overseas when policy might be better focused and directed on our own defence and relations with Europe and the Commonwealth.  Why… we may even be able to negotiate a sensible solution with Argentina on the Falklands to ensure the islanders are free and all benefit should oil be found?!  Good grief…. that sort of thinking won’t do at all… Sun readers will be coughing into their cornflakes at that idea.

It does seem that the weight of professional world opinion is with Labour in terms of the solution to the deficit and Darling does seem to be getting stronger – hopefully too strong for Brown, should he win, to parachute Ed Balls or any other acolyte into Number 11.

I don’t suppose Brown is vulnerable in his constituency?  Where is Alex Salmond when you need him?!  I suspect the Tory bloggers and twitterers will be a bit quiet this morning while they get their spinning jennies out to cast their ‘silk’ later in the day!

14 thoughts on “Tories have finally cottoned on that they could lose the election

  1. The only policies that I find (from canvassing on the doorsteps in South East Cambridgeshire) that the Tories are identified with are egging the Government on in Afghanistan – Tories were always more unthinkingly gung-ho – and repealing the Hunting Act.

  2. Very well, thanks, and even I am amazed at the amount of hostility being expressed in the streets and the doorsteps towards ‘the present lot’ (meaning all of the present lots). It’s going to be difficult to restore trust in Parliament, but it must be done.

  3. Geoffrey – it is essential to restore trust and confidence in Parliament – most important organisation/entity in the country…. especially if Parliament has greater power over PMs and runaway Ministers.

  4. Bendy Girl – They are quite right not to comment on that – Osborne is not responsible for his brother.

    I certainly would not refer to that in connection with Osbore for that reason.

  5. 1. There will be “cuts” no matter who wins the election. That is a “given” of the present dire straits that we are in.

    2. “What makes a cut, if it be a cut, swingeing?” Well, I suppose that “size” matters! The only argument is about whose cuts will be the kindest.

    3. We don’t need the Tories to “Sovietise” anything. We have Labour for that with its innate tendency to centralise control and over regulate.

    4. I entirely agree about the bankers. Without concerted international action they will continue to be “masters of the universe”.

    5. For the reasons given, I agree re the 50p tax proposal.

    6. “I do not relish five years with Gordon Brown as leader. I do not relish five years with a Labour government which continues to erode civil liberties. I do not relish five years of a Labour government which permits 20,000 council workers to enter homes without a warrant.”

    Absolutely right. However, an accurate survey of the process of diminution of civil rights will show (a) that the Tories have played more than a minor role in the process – e.g. right to silence etc. and (b) it is the ELECTED House which has done more to reduce the rights of those who voted them in than the UNELECTED House.

    7. Absolutely agree about ditching Brown. [Dare I say it, Hoon got this one right]! However, it is utterly dishonest to fight an election with Leader A and then, if Leader A wins (or even secures the largest number of seats) to dump him for Leader B. Don’t the downtrodden proletariat have a right to know who will become PM and expect that person to be there for some time?

    8. Absolutely agree re foreign policy. As I feel a bit brave this afternoon – (we won at footie this morning) – I would withdraw from being a permanent security council member; stop being world policeman and, yes, we should negotiate a settlement with Argentina and there is no reason why such a settlement could not be beneficial to all concerned.

    9. I have long thought that this election would be a “damned close run thing” and I warned the local blue rinses of this about a year ago only to be met with cries of derision! For all their massive unpopularity, the Tories do not seem to be “connecting” with the minds of the ordinary voters. IF Labour end up being the largest party in the Commons then I guess that this would suit the Lib Dems more than if the Tories were the largest party. History shows that the Lib Dems have not naturally and instinctively supported the Tories. My God! I could almost conclude here that Labour being the largest party but governing only with Lib Dem support might not be such a bad outcome after all !

  6. Obiter J – I am waiting to hear what Cameron says this afternoon… without notes!

    I do wonder sometimes whether a national government might work – and on that note, I suppose I had better phone the Doctor to see if I need more of those ‘pills’…

  7. I have a computer file entitled ‘Silly Old Blogger.’ I keep in it my various blog contributions and postings. I am a blogger. I suppose that sometimes I come across as a bit silly. It is certain that I am old – well, relatively old, at any rate.

    Why I am saying this? Well, because I have been watching David Cameron do his ‘without-notes’ performance at Brighton. He did it well, the speaking without notes bit, that is, but I fear that he said nothing of substance, which is what many of us expected.

    But what else made this silly old blogger feel slightly uneasy? Why, it was because the performance was done on a Sunday. When I was a Conservative campaigner way back when, we never campaigned on a Sunday. It just wasn’t done. I never go out campaigning on a Sunday now. And I still feel uneasy at the idea of anybody campaigning and preaching politics on a Sunday, one day of the week when we can all do without it. (Yes, I know, such as the Andrew Marr show is on TV on Sundays, but we have the on/off switch if we want to use it).

    So, Mr Cameron may have ‘performed’ very well but, sadly, he crossed a line for me and for many that should not be crossed. I will not cross it, ever.

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  9. How condesending of you to presume that we in Scotland want Salmond, he is a disaster quite like Cameron…..both of them full of hot air, good at promising but cannot deliver.
    I can vouch along with many people in Fife, and myself from Gordon’s constuency is the reason we keep electing him is he is a damned fine MP and a man with a good heart, a great brain and one helleva drive and determination to get the UK on its feet! Why don’t you come visit Kirkcaldy and see exactly how we feel about this fine leader! We live in a great town where the crime rate is next to nothing…..only 5 murders in 08/09 in the whole of Fife which has over 362,000 people living there. We are a great community and thats what he believes in for the UK.

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