Friday, July 05, 2013

"Life's better under the Conservatives, don't let Labour ruin it"

Leading Conservative commentators have been banging on about the Party's 2015 positioning for sometime. It's basically "Life's better under the Conservatives. Don't let Labour ruin it." The first part of the slogan does have to be  a bit credible. Real green shoots would probably do. Then the tactics will be able to concentrate entirely on the second part - the attack on Labour. It has the following elements:

  • Labour will increase your taxes, the "Tax bombshell"
  • Labour is in the hands of the Trades Unions
  • Labour will deny us a referendum on the EU
  • Labour will let in too many immigrants - again
  • Labour got us in this mess in the first place 
  • Labour's leadership can't be trusted 
  • Labour is led by a fruitcake

The final tactic underpins all the others. Ed M will be personally associated with all of these assertions and no doubt Mr Crosby is building thick files to "prove" the points. Kinnock failed because he could be called a Welsh windbag. Tabloid stuff but effective. The fact that he had transformed Labour into a credible prospective Government cut no ice. He had to settle for being the John the Baptist for Blair - that had to be reward enough.

If Labour had a leader with an ounce of Blair's charisma the Tories hopes would be zero. But they don't. Ed M is intelligent and decent and relates well to people in public fora once he's put his (usually dreadful) formal speech away. But as a brand he's a problem. People don't quite know what to make to him. He's not posh, like Cameron, but he hardly looks or sounds like a horny-handed son of toil. Like Cameron he's never had a proper job. Unlike Cameron you can prove he has a nasty side (the fratricide). He runs behind his Party in the polls - Cameron usually runs ahead of his.

The Tory negative campaigning for the 2015 election has begun already. It won't be pleasant - you don't hire Lynton Crosby if you want principled politics. Whether it will succeed we will see. The great British public doesn't like being taken for fools!


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