Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Mandy's Smoking Gun

The divide between Cameron's Conservatives and Brown's Old for New Labour became clearer today as the two Parties square up for the general election. The power behind the throne, Lord Mandelson, is working overtime preparing the groundwork. 

Time and again Cameron rammed home Thatcher's housewife message of thrift while at the same time condemning borrowing Brown and relentlessly attacking the government's miserable failed economic policies.

Yet within all that talk was the clearest call for a general election - the clearest indicator yet that the Tory Party believes an election is just round the corner. And strategically for the Conservatives it makes sense to make that call now.

Today's push poll in the Times is reported by many as showing the gap between the Parties is narrowing with a four-point Tory lead.

If the government is so good for the country and with the economy it should be riding high in the popularity stakes. But as yet it isn't. That's despite the monumental propaganda exercise over the leaked PBR, Queen's Speech and Mandelson's efforts to portray Brown as the saviour of the world. Only crafty Balls has managed to capture the high ground over Baby P. 

Yesterday's commons vote on the Harman motion was a turning point for the Tories. A parliamentary issue had degenerated into a tribal political squabble, as the government kicked the Green inquiry, stuffed anyway with its own supporters, into touch. 

But there were only four votes in it despite the heavy handed pressure from the whips. That brought gasps from the Tory benches. That was too close for comfort for the government. Now both Parties know it doesn't take much to tip backbench Labour MPs over the edge.

Today's silly little smokescreen over cigarettes saw a bemused health secretary, Alan Johnson, trying taking some credit for the watered down line on smoking but behind him and every minister these days lurks the shadowy hand of the king of the castle - Lord Mandleson, stepping in from the shadows to protect small businesses.

Mandy's charm offensive knows no bounds. He's the small businessman's friend but only as long as it helps capture that crucial middle vote which traditionally sways to the Tories. 

Conservatives know the economy is Brown's Achilles Heel. They'll continue to drive home their message as the country sinks deeper into recession with dreadful consequences in the real world economy.

Westminster is starting to go over all Christmasy. In the New Year Brown begins his meet the people tour of the country, the long-awaited Iraq troop withdrawal begins, followed by the visit by then president Obama in April, as government spinners try their best to capture the media and convince voters. 

The Orange Party was formed in May as an independent voice in the dying days of the New Labour Project, knowing that it probably had just one year left to live, to May/June 2009. But that was before the return of the charming Mandleson.


1 comment:

Rob Atkins said...

It's only gullible journalists who don't do their homework who believe a single word the Dishonorable M'Lord Mandelson says.

He is neither New Labour nor Old Labour. He has become very, very rich, largely at taxpayers' expense, because he is a grasping opportunist who will say or do whatever he needs to, to get or hold onto power.

Why are journalists so much in his thrall ? He is the best argument I know of for an elected House of Lords.