Miliband is clearly too afraid to wield the knife himself so is having to make over-the-top pledges of loyalty while pundits, backbenchers, donors, activists and supporters grow restless. Miliband needs either a credible stalking horse to come out or for Charles Clarke to organise a round-robin letter (along the lines of the Tom Watson letter to Blair) sent to No. 10 . Jack Straw putting on the grey suit and going to see Brown looks unlikely today, maybe the offer of a deputy premiership for him will be required. Maybe Miliband, like Portillo, just doesn’t have the balls…
- Sir Robert Atkins
- Christopher Beazely
- John Bowis
- Philip Bushill-Matthews
- Martin Callanan
- Den Dover
- James Elles
- Malcolm Harbour
- Caroline Jackson
- Timothy Kirkhope
- John Purvis
- Struan Stevenson
- Robert Sturdy
ConservativeHome is campaigning to make Tory MEPs more accountable, this issue will be used by them to leverage against Europhile nativists. Cameron would do well to order the MEPs to be transparent about their expenses before the breakdown with the grassroots becomes total. Else the suspicion will grow that something shady is going on with these MEPs…
Paul Mason, Newsnight’s shop steward, could barely contain his excitement last night reporting the prospect of a battered Brown introducing higher taxes on high earners, windfall corporate taxes and the expected soon to be announced “equality agenda” – in other words leveling down. This will be kamikaze left-wing stuff. Britain is already sliding down the economic competitiveness league, the Irish are welcoming FTSE 100 companies making the taxodus from HMRC’s demands. Gordon will now be weighing up a shift leftwards, to shore up his position within the party, giving some red meat to the activists and pundits like Polly Toynbee. It will be a change of policy direction based entirely on self -preservation.
He could survive the party conference whatever the polls by promising a left-wing lurch…
A claret enhanced co-conspirator emails:
I am sure you will be delighted to learn that one of the highlights of the Crewe campaign was seeing Quentin Davies canvassing the streets of Crewe on Tuesday. In his immaculate Saville Row suit he looked both uncomfortable and ridiculous as he banged doors in Oxford Street – an area of Crewe which bears zero resemblance to its London namesake.
I particularly enjoyed drawing my car up beside him and shouting “Labour Toff” – which was met with a bemused grin somewhat akin to that of someone feeling the effects of perhaps 2 bottles of claret at lunch!
Skipping along behind him was little Ben Bradshaw – who with his numerous Labour badges and neat little back-pack bore a remarkable resemblance to some sort of serial trainspotter.
Quentin, it is too late to go back…
Somebody has made a right prick of Gary Kasparov…
Failed spectacularly – Labour areas did not get out to vote they stayed at home, resulting in a 17% net swing to the Tories. What Guido would describe as the “Maguire Manifesto” was tried out in Crewe. Just as Kevin Maguire talks down to his Mirror readers about “Tory toffs” and tries to divide “them and us” on a class basis, Labour tried to motivate the core vote with an appeal that is just dated. Even if it was as they now claim an attempt to inject humour into the campaign, the time for potent class-based politics is past, most people in the twenty-first century perceive themselves as middle-class. Using the language and imagery of the Beano’s Lord Snooty might appeal to kids, but voters know when they are being patronised. That strategy has now been tested to destruction against Boris and Timpson, it won’t work against Cameron either. So what appeal can Gordon offer voters?
The tipping point is now past, Labour is tired and has run out of ideas and public support. There is nothing they can do in government to turn that around. Taking policies from their opponents won’t work. Gordon is a big part of the problem, he can’t be the face of the change the voters want. The choice facing Labour now is to lose a general election catastrophically under Gordon, or find a more appealing fresher face like Miliband, Purnell or Johnson and lose by a lesser margin. If they lose catastrophically the party could swing to the left after a general election to Cruddas or McDonnell – condemning them to decades of opposition.
The Labour Left is blaming New Labour policies and pushing for a leftward shift. The younger heirs to Blair know this, they may not want to take the helm now, however if they don’t, the Labour Party might be finished off by the left-wing. Gordon is on course to destroy New Labour as an electoral force…
UPDATE : Luke Akehurst points out that if Labour lose badly, never mind catastrophically, Cruddas and McDonnell will almost certainly lose their seats. How amusing.