Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tories: a case of premature congratulation?

Andrew Rawnsley made four good points in his Observer column.

One: "For a government at the midterm of a third term, Labour's poll ratings are really not at all bad. The main traffic in votes has been between the Tories and the Lib Dems".

Two: "...Gordon Brown's reputation has taken a severe hit. But he is still well ahead of David Cameron when pollsters ask who would make the best Prime Minister".

Three: "He needs to prove that he can be a good governor. That means spending less time obsessing over how he can wrong-foot his opponents and much more time thinking about how he can put the country right. That demands more statesmanship and less gamesmanship". Or less gimmickry, as I have argued before.

Four: "As for the Tories, sensible members of their frontbench know that their party would be foolish to get drunk on the idea that Labour is now doomed. It is only a fortnight since the Tories were trembling before polls putting them more than 10 points behind. A lot of senior Tories think they have had a lucky escape..." There will probably not be an election until 2009 and as Jackie Ashley said in yesterday's Guardian " ...if a week is a long time in politics, then how long is a couple of years?" Cameron and Osborne seems overly prone to premature congratulation...

With eerie premonition Ashley also mused: "There's something piquant about the fact that Brown's best friend in politics outside Labour is the man who could decide his future: by stepping down, Campbell could well revive his party, and with it Labour's poll ratings..." Well, now it has happened; although of course Ming did not go for that reason. It takes the heat off Gordon for the moment at least. The Tories cannot bellow about the election that wasn't endlessly...and to lie about how they would have welcomed an election a few weeks ago (when is someone going to point out that Cameron is no less duplicitous on this score than Brown?).


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