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!