Friday, October 04, 2013

Land of hope is Tory. Duh.

He may not move the voters, but Ed Miliband has certainly rattled David Cameron's cage. The PM name checked Labour no fewer than 25 times in his address to the Tory conference yesterday in Manchester. He mentioned Ukip not once and only referred to the Liberal Democrats as an albatross around the Tory neck. So, why has Ed got under Tory skins?

Well, obviously Milband's taking on the energy companies has annoyed the Tories because it is rather popular, as was a fair amount of Labour's new "red" agenda. Hitting property developers and energy monopolies and shifting taxation from small businesses to big ones is hardly striking at the roots of capitalism. This is the kind of policy agenda that some Conservatives used to rather favour - supporting the little man, the small business against powerful vested interests.

One Nation conservatism of the type Harold MacMillan largely invented and Michael Heseltine still advocates today was all about raising the living standards of the many and curbing the privileges of the few. It was about building houses, promoting welfare and extending economic activity to the 'regions'. It wasn't about rejecting Europe, victimising the unemployed and pandering to the prejudices of voters in the South East of England.

You only needed to look at the huge blue banners draped around the conference centre in Manchester to get the message: "Immigration Down. Crime Down. Welfare Down. Taxes Down". Mrs Thatcher would have been proud to discover that her legacy was so secure in the age of "liberal" Conservatism. Behind the emolient face of David Cameron, the Conservatives have defaulted to their true blue roots. This is a party tacking rapidly to the right.

David Cameron, we are told, is now planning to cut housing and possibly other benefits from unemployed people under the age of 25. This is a draconian extension of the welfare cap that has proved so successful for the Conservatives. He has committed his party to an in/out referendum on membership of Europe, a "go home" policy on immigration and a form of hair shirt fiscal conservatism by promising extending public sector cuts to 2020 in order to replace the deficit with a budget surplus. If he is serious, this would involve truly heroic spending reductions, since the Coalition has already failed in its original 2010 pledge to eliminate the deficit by 2015.

One thing we can be sure of: there won't be another Liberal-Tory coalition after the next general election on this showing. This was the week that Cameron promised to liberate his party from the Liberal Democrats by unveiling a programme that could never be adopted even by Nick Clegg. The useful idiots, as many Tories regard the Libdems, have served their purpose and can be disposed of, apparently.

Mind you, the Liberal Democrats left a poison pill at the heart of the coalition by successfully blocking boundary reform for the 2015 general election. The existing political map broadly favours Labour, and Ed Miliband only needs a little over 36% of the vote to get a parliamentary majority, while David Cameron needs to secure over 40%. This looks like very very big ask for a party that that has little representation in Scotland, the north of England or Wales.

And this was hardly a speech that is likely to appeal to voters north of the border. It felt at times like the speech of the leader of a different country - Londonia perhaps. It was all about free schools, HS2, immigration controls, NHS reforms - the kind of issues that appeal to the home counties but are largely irrelevant in Scotland. The PM made the obligatory appeal to Scots not to leave the UK, but you got the impression that it would be no big thing if they did. It would certainly make it easier for the Tories to win elections without all those Scottish Labour MPs.

But that is for the future, and right now, Cameron is facing an election in 18 months time 10% down in the opinion polls and with a dangerously narrow electoral base. Does the PM know something that we don't? What is the secret element in the Tory programme that will allow them to dispense with the Liberal Democrats and win an outright majority at the next general election?

Well, clearly Red Ed is part of it. 'Old Labour, New Danger', as the slogan might put it of Ed Miliband, paraphasing the 1997 slogan against Tony Blair's New Labour. Indeed, the Tories have been reminding journalists of the Sun's 1992 front page: "If Neil Kinnock wins the election, will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights". This time, they say, Ed Miliband is offering to turn the lights off himself, thanks to his "socialist" energy policy.

Labour were gleeful that Ed Miliband's spat with the Daily Mail for saying that his father, Ralph "hated Britain", had stolen the front pages from David Cameron's speech and all but eclipsed the Tory conference. But the Conservatives clearly think that a price worth paying for throwing the spotlight on a Labour leader they believe has no chance of becoming prime minister.  Their reading of the focus groups is that the British voters have already made up their minds that Ed Miliband is a goofy loser, the 'wrong' Miliband and that any focus on his personality can only benefit Cameron.

There is something in this of course. Ed Miliband certainly hasn't 'sealed the deal' with English voters, or even Scottish voters despite promoting the kind of agenda that might be thought to appeal to Scots. His problem is that he doesn't look prime ministerial to most people. He is clearly intelligent, confident, imaginative and quite brave in taking on not only Rupert Murdoch, but also the Daily Mail, but he doesn't yet have the demeanour of a statesman.

The Tories also believe that they have successfully hung the blame for the financial crash firmly around Labour's neck. Labour's "casino economy", Cameron called it in a savage passage that we will hear again and again over the next 18 months: "The biggest budget deficit in our peacetime history", he said of Labour's legacy. "The deepest recession since the Second World War. Millions coming here from overseas while millions of British people were left on welfare. The richest paying lower tax rates than their cleaners. Unsustainable debt-fuelled banks booming - while manufacturing withered away".

It is pretty rich for the Conservatives to blame Labour for the banking crisis, at the very moment they are trying to block banking reform in Europe and defending bank bonuses. Arguably, the casino economy dates from Margaret Thatcher's deregulation of banking in the 1980s. But there is enough truth in the charge that Gordon Brown helped let the bankers loose by his "light touch" regulation in the City of London to make it stick for many voters. 

"Land of hope is Tory" said the PM echoing the last night of the Proms. Well, not in Scotland. But at least no one can say that there is nothing to choose between the Westminster parties. And it looks like the 2015 general election campaign has begun.


Voyance gratuite par mail said...

Thank you so much for sharing interesting and all items are incredible blog is really helpful for always love to read your message and we hope to come next and then there are also positive article.

Julia said...

After read a couple of the articles on your web site today, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my bookmark web site list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my site too and let me know your opinion.
voyance mail gratuite
voyance gratuitement

voyance par mail gratuite said...

This post is worthy of appreciation, looking forward to more exciting!

Voyance mail said...

Un site adorable que je viens de découvrir par hasard, bravo !!
voyance amour

voyance gratuite mail said...

This is a really good read for me. Must agree that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw. Thanks for posting this informative article.

voyance en ligne gratuite said...

Hello, I really love what you do I wonder how I could have missed your blog

voyance gratuite serieuse said...

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free.

rosy123 said...

Your blog is really great, I come over every day and each time I find something that suits me
voyance gratuite en ligne

voyance par mail said...

Hello there, You’ve done a great job. I will certainly digg it and for my part suggest to my friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.

voyance gratuite said...

Hello, I love your blog it's really nice
continued like that for the rest of it is really perfect believe me.

lin said...

C'est interessant de trouver comme ce genre de postes.
voyance gratuite par mail

rosy123 said...

Bravo pour le blog et vos articles.

voyance gratuite par mail

viajes de marruecos said...

I find your blog by chance and i like it a lot.

rosy123 said...

Vos partages me plaient beaucoup! C'est super!!!
voyance gratuite

rosy123 said...

Merci pour tout ce travail que cela représente et pour tout le plaisir que j’y trouve

voyance gratuitement par mail

khizi said...

Get all the news off ipl primer league live score ball by ball commentary.About ipl primer league 2017.ipl 2017 schedule
Royal Challengers Banglore RCB Team squad 2017
Kings XI Punjab team squad 2017
Indian premier league ipl 2017
Delhi Daredevils team squad 2017
2017 Indian Premier League
Gujrati Lions Squad 2017

rosi said...

Merci pour tout ce travail que cela représente et pour tout le plaisir que j’y trouve
voyance couple gratuite mail

voyance par mail gratuit said...

Grâce à vous, j'ai pu apprendre beaucoup de choses intéressantes. J'espère en apprendre encore.

rosy123 said...

Franchement vous êtes formidable d'avoir fait un site pareil
voyance gratuite immediate

rosy123 said...

Mille mercis pour tout.
Tu es incroyable, mille bisous pour toi.
voyance email

Nelson Alarm said...

Great post. I really enjoyed reading everything you post. I hope you will share more.

Unknown said...

Un petit pour vous dire que votre blog est super!
voyance email

rosi said...

votre site et vos créations sont magnifiques j'adore merci

voyance mail gratuit en ligne

rosi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rosi said...

votre site et vos créations sont magnifiques j'adore merci

voyance en ligne

rosi said...

Très bon blog et merci d'en faire profiter.
voyance mail rapide

Asfand said...

Nice work.
Check Out these amazing Latest RUGS

rosy123 said...

Un petit pour vous dire que votre blog est super!
voyance mail rapide

Moonlight Bedding said...

Great Content. Really appreciable. Thanks for sharing Mink Blankets

Cricky said...

Thanks for sharing this .. Please check out these links that is related to the psl 2020 schedule, updates, news and more.
Here you can find the latest updates and the updated schedule, news, fixtures, and the other teams and squad information. Pakistan super league is the biggest event that will be happening in february 2020 in pakistan. Sportszilla provides you the latest information about the psl 2020 teams squad the captains names, and the other points tables and the other players category list.
Psl schedule 2020 pdf
Psl 2020 schedule pdf
Psl schedule 2020
Psl 2020 schedule
Psl 2020 live streaming
Psl live streaming 2020
Crichd live
psl schedule 2020 venue
psl schedule 2020 squad
psl schedule 2020 time table
psl schedule 2020 download

Unknown said...

Check T20 World Cup Schedule 2020 to know about the latest updates, venue, time table and more about this cricket tournament.

rosy123 said...

J’ai passé un bon moments et j en ai eue plein les yeux!!!
consultation voyance gratuite

Multimeter said...

Watch Pinoyflix Pinoy Tambayan Watch all your favorite Pinoy Lambingan And Lambingan for free. Pinoy Entertainment shows Pinoy news shows, Pinoy Tv Drama replay, Pinoy Teleserye Replay, Pinoy Tv, Pinoy Channel, Tambayan At Lambingan, Pinoy Entertainment Replays.Pinoytambayan

Watch Pinoy TV, Pinoy Tambayan website to watch all Pinoy Lambingan, Teleserye Replay shows of Pinoy Channel Online