Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Party conferences - a clear win for Labour

The problem is this. It was true that Tony Blair disguised lack of political depth with outstanding communications skills. He was shallow, he had, if you analysed, it no beliefs to speak of at all. After 13 years in the wilderness he wanted power. Everything else was subordinate to this. Cameron also wanted power. Everything was going for him. Brown was  by a country mile more discredited in 2010 than Major had been in 1997. (Unfairly in my view, but that's another story). And yet Cameron goofed in 2010. Nick Clegg had a good campaign and the combination of his Media-driven appeal and Cameron's campaigning failure (allied with the natural predisposition of sufficient electors still to favour Labour) gave us a hung Parliament. This was not voted for. Anymore than the Coalition was. 

Cameron was humiliated  by his failure in 2010. He assumed, not wholly unreasonably, that his lack of depth wasn't really a problem - it hadn't been for Blair. But he had little going for him in 2010 so he failed to win an election that (say) David Davis would have walked. Now three plus years on he cannot persuade anyone that he is on top of anything. The Cameroons are a strange tribe - leaderless and without any credible figures. It is quite possible that they are extinct.

So what about Cameron's conference speech? If you peel back the platitudes there's nothing really there. WTF (as the social media abbreviation has it) does Dave believe in ? I'm pretty sure that the only answer is "I've no idea". Simplistic motherhood words. A saccharin look back at a Thatcher. The usual descent into jingoism. The Lynton Crosby sound bites that attempts to link the Conservatives with "Hard-Working" suggesting that Labour supporters are lazy shirkers. 

It was not a disastrous Conference season for the Tories, but it wasn't very good. Labour and Ed Miliband did well, helped by Paul Dacre's malignancy. But British politics is entering a period where Labour can be the only winners. Right of Centre politics is in a mess. UKIP, a preposterous pressure group of no substance at all, is bad enough. But the Eurosceptic Right of the Tory Party are the real villains. It is they who are the real block to progress. Cameron is an ineffective leader but at least, so far as one can tell, he is a One Nation Tory. 


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