Saturday, April 17, 2010

LibDem Love-Bombers Cause Chaos

LibDem stock is rising on the back of Cocky Clegg's single TV performance. Old Tucker Campbell has returned to fan the flames. The love-bombing is a flash in the pan. But will normal service be resumed shortly?

The media is lovin' it. Partly because public schoolboy Clegg is loved by the media luvvies and part of the media class. And partly because the underdog makes a far better story.

And so the debate on the debate rages on. Fuelled by the latest swathe of opinion polls. Reporting of that debate resulted in a feeding frenzy with smug LibDems happy to be in the limelight and New Labour happy to big up Windbag Clegg to bury the bad news of Boring Brown.

Little Nick with his novelty act was crowned king of the show. Voodoo polls showed viewers were wowed by his performance. The media bigged up Clegg's big day with hyped-up Clegg mania. Part and parcel of bigging up the big event. Now the election is 'wide open' and there's 'everything to play for', making for a more exciting election storyline.

The TV 'debate' wasn't a game changer but the media reporting may be. The resulting chaos would be as much the fault of a fawning media chasing a story and headlines as it would an electorate sucked in by all the spin.

The skullduggery and spin of the Mandy and Campbell double act were quick off the mark in the debate spin. All part of the plan to take the heat off Brown and his dire performance. Talk up Clegg to bury dismal Brown's disaster.

But the Orange Party is now even more bemused. There's naive talk of "a three horse race", as if LibDems, with a current 63 seats, could somehow pull off mission impossible.

Tories are still winning. New Labour is still losing. The New Labour in-built electoral advantage means the result will be a Tory or New Labour seat victory. LibDems will scrape along the bottom, lucky to scrape by with 60 odd seats.

But it is exactly that hung parliament which makes the Calamity Clegg mania that more dangerous. Holding the balance of power without the mandate of being the single largest party.

There's something "exciting" happening in politics, declared smug Clegg, making the most of his bounce.

But the Orange Party suspects the Clegg bounce will be short-lived despite all the media hype, unless there's a seismic wave which keeps the LibDem bandwagon rolling. The old Tucker is trying his hardest to keep up pressure.

Adam Thorn at The News of the World notes how Campbell is up to his old Tucker tricks working the post debate spin "trying to dictate the media agenda while making you all believe he’s retired from frontline politics." New Labour ministers were trotting out the line Brown won on ‘substance’ and Clegg on ‘style’. Classic Mandy/Campbell spewed out by Blair-prop Johnson within minutes of the close of play.

Classic Campbell but all credit to him, if the media is daft enough to be duped and swallow that crap. The aim is to sear it on a gullible public mind and brand the nations with bullshit as part of the spin.

And it worked. Post debate dissection showed little serious reporting of how Brown bombed. Instead it was love-bombing Clegg and the old hung parliament narrative all the way.

Talk of a hung parliament suites beaten New Labour down to a tee. Spinning away during the phoney election campaign spurred on by a few dodgy polls but then finally dying a death. Now son of hung parliament is back to haunt the headlines, airways and twitchy money markets.

The media, which has whipped up Cleggmania, now owes it to voters big time. Resorting to reporting opinion polls is lazy journalism. Wishy-washy LibDems and Windbag Clegg's potty policies should be put under the same scrutiny as the media has given to the two main Westminster parties, instead off letting them get away with fudge and waffle.

Tories have their own cross to bear with UKIP and Euroboy Clegg makes an easy target. Despite the false snuggles and spin Brown, like all true Labour Party members, hisses the word 'Liberal' between gritted teeth.

LibDems, Social Democrats, New Labour have become interchangeable 'progressives'. Mix red, blue and yellow and you get brown. But New Labour has to wake up to the fact that it is the darn 'Liberals' who are the real thorn in the side of the Labour Party. Always have been, always will.

Top picture: Peter Brookes, The Times


Friday, April 16, 2010

Worm's Eye View Of That Debate

The debate about the debate rages on. Wind-bag Clegg has been crowned king of the show. But behind the media hype, a worm's eye view reveals a very different impression.

Dashing Dave, Grisly Gordon or the other one? X Factor without the X factor. Jim'll Fix It for little Nick.

Smug Clegg certainly made an impression on the fawning media class. But then he was already points ahead just by being allowed to show up at the show. The novelty act didn't disappoint. According to voodoo polls, viewers were wowed by Cocky Clegg's performance. Rushed out post debate polls sent the media in a spin.

But a poll 'worm' crawling along, showing who's making an impression with highs and lows told a different story. ITN's second-by-second 'Worm' graph, monitoring the reactions of a special panel of voters, revealed who they thought was winning and losing.

Clegg wooed the worm when he hit on greedy MPs but dived on benefit cuts. Cameron struck a chord over immigration and school discipline, sending the worm into orbit.

But it was Brown's miserable performance which sticks in the worm's mind. Even when starting to speak the worm took a nose-dive. Brown's pet subject of the economy was a real turn-off.

Surprisingly ITV reports the button-pushing panel called it for Calamity Clegg. But the worm had turned, showing Cameron statesman-like with more high positives than Clegg and certainly more than Brown who plunged into negatives at the drop of a droned sentence.

US-sytle politics were over-hyped and over here. Heavily trailed to make sure of a sure fire hit. Broadcasters had pulled out all the stops.

But moderator Stewart looked overwhelmed. This first debate was on domestic issues, yet Brown was allowed to drone on about foreign policy and why he's fighting a war in Afghanistan. Brown misled viewers again with tractor stats which didn't stack up but lies were left unchallenged.

If the Orange Party heard Brown love-bomb Clegg with "I agree with Nick" once it must have been uttered a dozen times. A cheap triangulation trick at its most bare-faced.

And what on earth were the old Tuckers doing in the thick of it in the spin room while the worm was turning? Cameron was cut off in full flow. Clegg was given more close-up airtime than either Cameron or Brown. The two main Westminster party leaders were left with no choice but to stand by and let Clegg slag them off.

The debates have been put together by committee and it showed. A stuffy format thrashed out between spin doctors and broadcasters. That suited Boring Brown down to a tee.

But UK voters have a very short election span and a very short viewing span. Viewers are used to the razzmatazz of big, slick shows. Instead they got an old fashioned set in soft, safe pastel. A bit of sparkle would not have gone amiss.

But draping the set with the colours of three Westminster parties reinforced the stranglehold of Westminster-centred politics.

Behind the hype, the media class seems to have ignored the point that voters are chosing an MP in a constituency, not a head of state, prime minister or leader of a political party.

Time and again moderator Stewart turned to the camera to tell viewers the next question didn't apply to Scotland ... Wales … Northern Ireland. And then proceeded to carry on regardless, looking tiny on the studio floor in front of the podiums.

The 'prime ministerial' debate screwed Scottish nationalists and ignored devolved issues. The 'leader's' debate was a sham, when the UK election winner forms a government. Leaders and prime ministers can change at the drop of a coup.

Much was made beforehand of 'nervous' leaders to crank up the tension. Politicians were born begging to hog the limelight. Three accomplished public speakers, well used to ducking and diving and thinking on their feet. They loved all 90 minutes.

No gaffes, one-liners or put-downs to stick with viewers. But a few carefully scripted soundbites, fed to Brown beforehand from spinners, stuck out like a sore thumb. The worm was not impressed.

But as the worm crawled along, showing fag-end Brown down in the dumps and Dave on his uppers, the media class had already declared Clegg the winner.

The media was bound to big up Clegg's big day with hyped-up Clegg mania. Part and parcel of bigging up the big event. Mandy spin will also talk up Clegg to bury dismal Brown's disaster. One debate down. Two to go. The Orange Party prefers a good Paxo stuffing any day.

UPDATE 1.59pm: A revised ITV/ComRes post debate poll now puts Tories on 35%, Labour 28% and LibDems 24%. A far cry from the original raw poll putting LibDems on - 35%.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lights! Camera! Inaction!

Election fever is gripping the nations. Or a slight snuffle. But broadcasters are pulling out all the stops so viewers don't get cold feet. The first stage-managed 'debate' is set to go live on prime-time TV. Over hyped and over here. Heavily trailed to make sure of a sure fire hit.

Bored, angry, frustrated with the election? Stuck with terrestrial TV? Flick over to BBCI and C4 for fusty old houses, BBC2 for fusty old museums - or ITV for fusty old Brown.

Taking centre stage tonight are the two main Westminster party leaders, limbering up for the battle of the podiums with Windbag Clegg happy to get a look in and slag off the other two.

The TV debates will be a resounding success. Broadcasting hype will see to that. Huge effort has gone into the build up. It just needs Dimblebore to set the scene of the “historic” day.

The debates have been put together by committee and it shows. A stuffy format thrashed out between spin doctors and broadcasters behind closed doors. A ninety minutes showdown. Then two more in coming weeks. The agony.

Importing US-style politics comes with caveats. US presidential 'debates' are essential. The election campaign goes on forever. Voters are being asked to chose between presidential rivals for POTUS. Something is needed to liven it up.

But UK voters have a very short election span. Voters are chosing an MP in a constituency, not a head of state, prime minister or leader of a political party. One debate may well be an exciting novelty. But only one. With the same format, the other two will be a boring waste of space.

Nervous leaders? All three are accomplished public speakers. Well used to ducking and diving and thinking on their feet in the live TV spectacle of the commons PMQs bear pit every week.

A 'prime ministerial' debate to screw the Scottish nationalists and ignore devolved issues A 'leader's' debate when the UK election winner forms a government. Leaders and PMs can be booted out mid flow.

A 'prime ministerial' debate when Nowhere Man Clegg doesn't stand a chance of making it as PM but a fawning media class will crown Cocky Clegg king of the show.

All the hyped-up hung parliament nonsense has gone to 'kingmaker' Clegg's head, now taking centre stage in the studio. Or rather stage left or stage right, with Dave playing piggy in the middle.

The media is bigging up Clegg's big day. Part and parcel of bigging up the big event. But fed-up election weary voters already feel angry and let down by the same old politics and politicians. A TV studio draped in red, blue and yellow reinforces the stranglehold of Westminster-centred politics.

It's the gaffes, one-liners and put-down zingers which will stick with the viewer. And the carefully scripted soundbites fed to the politicians beforehand from gag-writers and spinners.

US presidential debates had memorable moments played over and over again on prime time TV.

Tricky Dicky in a sweat. Regan forgetting his lines. Bush Snr looking at his watch. Gore ready to punch the daylights out of Bush Jnr. McCain refusing to look Obama in the eye. Blair caught out like a rabbit in the headlights. (The last one's made up).

Blair ducked out of a ding-dong with Major. Not surprising. Memorable moments were game-changers in the presidential races. Little chance of that happening over here.

Cut-aways and reaction shots to liven up live TV? Tuckers will be working the crowds in a crowded spin-room. Cut-aways to someone nodding sagely, shaking with rage or picking their nose are as much part of the controlled spin.

No follow-ups from the 'moderator'. No audience reaction. No questions targeted at a particular party leader. No chance to ask Brown why he keeps lying. No chance to ask Dave if he's a slick salesman. No chance to ask Clegg what he's doing there. The Orange Party prefers a good dose of Paxo stuffing any day.

But what to wear? Dark sober suits look good on telly as Nixon found to his cost. But a tie? Clegg's yellow streak is a no-brainer but Dave and Broon could clash with both having a bit of a penchant for purple.

Dashing Dave, Grisly Gordon or the other one? X Factor eat your heart out. An instant opinion poll will declare a 'winner'. A survey will give verdicts on performances. A poll 'worm' will crawl along showing who's making an impression with highs and lows.

Viewers will be looking for blood on the studio floor. Broadcasters looking for something to set the airwaves alight. Party leaders looking for their lines. Old Tuckers high in the gallery looking for the right shots and cuts when it looks too painful.

And hack Phil Page and hackette Polly Filler will be looking to fill columns and columns with endless copy on a debate about the debate.

The Orange Party's advice is to get down to the pub, stumble back with a take-away, slump on the sofa and shout at the telly. Used to work a treat.

But it beats watching another documentary on global warming. A good old ding-dong? PMQs delivered that every week when Brown could be bothered to turn up. But in a contrived, antiseptic studio setting with stifling rules? We'll see.

Top two pictures: Private Eye. Cartoon: Matt, Daily Telegraph


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Little Party Too Big For Its Boots

A little manifesto from the little party for the little people. Trust the LimpDems to come up with a booklet full of bits and bobs. A little fish in a big pond. Bless.

Sixties shlock band The Cleggies have re-released an old single hoping to make it big in the hit parade with a "serious" manifesto voters can "trust". Yeah, sure, whatever.

Where's the vision? At least with Tory and New Labour voters now have a stark choice between 'nanny state knows best' and 'power to the people'.

All the hyped-up hung parliament nonsense has gone to Cocky 'kingmaker' Clegg's head.

The Orange Party noted yesterday how confused weary voters could get a clue on the main parties by looking at the manifesto covers, which reveal a real choice.

New Labour selling false hope and dreams like cornflakes. A Party packaged up like a cereal packet with the nanny state at the heart of the book of dreams.

A massive gamble from the Tories with a stunningly simple but dreadfully dull message from the Dave Party. Gambling on voters to put trust in him with big questions about the "big society" not big government.

LibDems have lots of coloured lines. Kinda sums it up really. And a hotchpotch slogan. Looks like someone was playing around with lots of messages and pressed the print button by mistake.

LimpDems just don't get it. Few people actually vote LibDem out of choice and any sense of tribal loyalty. They vote because they don't know where else to turn as an alternative, without a by-your-leave for what they really stand for.

Bored, angry and frustrated, voters turn to a yellow streak, not because they believe in the cause but out of frustration with the London-based stranglehold of the two main parties in the House of Shame.

But the media class has talked up the LibDems as a major player and the Cleggies are happy to go along with it, bigging up themselves.

LibDems should take a leaf out of the book of other minority parties hoping to break the London-centric Westminster stranglehold. People who feel angry and let down by the same old politics.

Celtic nationalist parties Plaid and SNP have fire in their bellies and leaders who talk with conviction and passion. Parties which chime with a public distaste for the Westminster elite.

Public school-boy Clegg cannot do that. He's part of the Westminster crowd and part of the problem not the solution.

Plaid and the SNP launched their Westminster bids with barley a nod from the London-based media - yet minority Clegg is all over the big media like a rash.

Plaid launched a pan-UK agenda. Scrap trident. Pull troops out Afghanistan. Raise the state pension. Tackle the deficit. Schools, hospitals, jobs and pensioners. Clear bold platforms taking the fight to the traditional enemy - the Labour Party.

Many LibDems wear their hearts on their sleeves and command respect. There's the bearded one - and the other one. But still cannot shake off the image of a parochial party and the issues politics of dog shit and cracked pavements.

The Orange Party believes struggling inside the Limps is a real party struggling to get out. But with Euroboy Clegg they blew it. Now even smug Saint Vince's halo is beginning to slip.

Windbag Clegg is not given house room by the main party leaders. Cameron ignores him. Brown gives him a condescending look of distain.

But the broadcast media is bound to big up Clegg's big day after investing everything in a 'prime ministerial debate'. But Clegg doesn't stand a cat in hell's chance of becoming 'prime minister' and LimpDems are on the road to nowhere with Calamity Clegg and his potty policies in charge.

Smug LibDems want to be a big fish in a little pond. But voters turning their backs on the two main Westminster parties have plenty of parties and independents from which to chose.

Wishy-washy Limps are left swimming around like little fishes in a big pond, picking on the scraps from other parties which take their fancy in the hope of picking off a few straggling voters.

Top picture: Private Eye


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Manifesto Covers Reveal Real Choice

Confused weary voters bogged down with election nitty-gritty can now use manifesto covers as a quick guide to which rocky road to go down. Not what party you want but what kind of country you want.

You cannot judge a book by looking at its cover. Really? The choice is vividly brought to life in the covers of the two main parties' manifestos. 'Nanny state knows best' or 'people power'.

Much has been made of New Labour's manifesto cover. A retro look, harking back to political posters of a bygone era or a Soviet utopia.

The Orange Party doesn't agree. The images of sunshine and cornfields is more subliminal. Selling false hope and dreams like cornflakes. A Party packaged up like a cereal packet.

A Blair witches brew of all style and no substance. A meaningless manifesto full of false hope to fool voters. That brings back memories of the US presidential campaign. And Obama lampooned as a slick soap star superstar salesman, selling a soap powder dream.

New Labour's book of dreams had at its heart the nanny state. There to help a mindless public where 'Big Government' knows best.

The Tories dark blue hardback book launched today has a sober message in a traditional typeface: "Invitation to join the government of Britain." Stunningly simple, dreadfully dull and a massive gamble.

Between the covers of any manifesto is a vision driven by a leader. Whether that is the Broons or Cameroons. And at last clear dividing lines are emerging - each setting out their 'vision' for the future.

An elected government is just one part of the mixture of competing yet symbiotic elements which make up the amorphous mass of the state. But as the Orange Party has noted before, 13 years in power breeds arrogance. And a government which believes it is the state.

Many voters feel hard pressed to get a cigarette paper between the two main parties when it boils down to policies. Now a debt-ticking time bomb is ticking away in a dire economy leaving little real room for manoeuvre.

But a chasm has opened up. A real difference. A real choice. Instead of selling soap power or cornflakes, Dave's big questions are about the "big society" not big government.

Political parties need to up their game if the election isn't going to end as one big turn off. The election will be won by the politicians who can find a simple, honest way to connect with voters and chime with what they are thinking and worried about.

But after 13 years, the best the Party of Failure could come up with was a mindless exercise from a broken party with broken promises they didn't even keep from last time around.

Freshly scrubbed-up Dave has a promise of his own. But gambling on voters to put trust in him. Between the covers, the Tory manifesto paints a fresh picture of power handed down to voters. Delivering on a promise is the task facing any leader. Time will tell if this is Phoney Blair hype from a slick Party salesman.

But votes have become more savvy. Not because of a dramatic rise in clever people but because time and again a decade of New Labour's failure and disaster has come back to haunt them in the full glare of publicity.

The economic mess, a mad PC world, nanny knows best, big over-bearing government, squandered billions and a 'broken Britain' - the list goes on. But 'broken Britain' can only be fixed if people are given the chance to, er, fix it.

Fixing it in today's Sun, are four ex-New Labour advisers who've been at the sharp end of the scandal of waste, revealing "How Labour blew our billions of taxpayers cash". Schools, the military, the NHS and public sector are flagged up as a 'wasted opportunity' disappearing down the black-hole of useless initiatives and a target-setting culture.

Jones on wasteful and ridiculous public sector "non-jobs". Kerr on the target-setting NHS culture that has "come to infiltrate all aspects of the NHS". Kemp on the MoD's "breathtaking saga of waste and incompetence". Woodhead on "bloated, bureaucratic and bungling world of state education."

"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country," was Kennedy's call to the US, echoed now in the offering from the Dave Party. And that poses the question of what kind of country you want to live in and want for your children.

It took a decade for the country to sink into the current mess. It will take a decade to crawl out of it. In a couple of week's time voters will decide whether to join Dave on a rocky road to recovery or swallow lashings of Brown sauce.

Bottom graphic: The Sun


Monday, April 12, 2010

Brown Launches Blair Witch Project

A meaningless manifesto from flagging, failed New Labour is launched with a fanfare today, full of false hope to fool voters. A Blair witches brew of all style and no substance. Short on ideas and long on wind.

13 years and this is the best the Party of Failure can come up with. 100 odd pages of fudge and NewLabourspeak. 'Pledges' which have a hollow ring to them. Nothing realistic which captures the mood of voters. A manifesto which would allow New Labour to get away with anything that takes its fancy.

With relish the BBC reported: "The party will try to convince voters it has the ideas and energy for a fourth term in government." Fat chance.

A mindless exercise from a broken party with broken promises they didn't even keep from last time around. Beaten Brown's secret plan to win back voters with a rabbit pulled out of a hat turned out to be mangy old Blair rat.

Driving the campaign, unelected Lord Mandy gave the game away: “This is the next logical step from what Tony Blair oversaw ... we’re tailoring services to the individual and taking on parts of the public services that may have been failing.” And Brown, with Imperial Purple tie, has taken a leaf out of Phoney Blair's book.

A mindless mixture of all style and no substance for sheep easily duped and too scared to face up to reality, living in La-La-Land in the cosy sham New Labour bubble.

Why should anyone believe Porkie Brown's lies dressed up as promises? Why after 13 years at the top of the tree, has it taken up until now to get a grip on the real world? Where are the policies which will set the election world alight? Where's the plans to reduce Borrowing Brown's massive debt?

A weighty tomb has been produced to try to fool some of the people some of the time, harking back to the bad old Blair days with a nod to the 'future fair'.

But faced with current projections of a Tory majority, finally putting paid to yesterday news of a hyped hung parliament, there's no chance the manifesto of Blair hype from the fag-end government will see the light of day.

Still they can't get it right. Yet more of Blair's pet public service reform "driving improvements in public services". Straight out of the Blair Witch Project handbook of hype.

Blair's hospital foundation trusts? Try telling that to people of Mid Staffordshire, with policies killing patients. The root cause of failure was endless New Labour imposed targets and a Trust obsessed with slashing staff costs.

A headline grabbing pledge not to raise income tax - previously broken - flies in the face of one of New Labour's central planks, paving the way for a whole raft of VAT and stealth taxes sneaked in through the backdoor.

A pledge to make migrant workers in public sector jobs up to scratch in English, splashed in The Times, is at odds with EU rulings over the free movement of a pan-EU workforce. And begs the question why has it taken so long?

A 'Cadbury Law' to restrict takeovers of UK firms on 'public interest grounds' to protect workers thrown on the scrap heap from predatory asset-stripping foreign firms. A tad too late for those now facing the dole.

13 years in power. 13 years of squandered billions and wasted opportunities down the drain. Manufacturing on its knees, people worried sick about jobs and the cost of goods and services. Driven mad in PC world and 'broken Britain' with the mill stone of a national debt burden carried around for generations to come.

A manifesto half the size and twice as tough may have stood half a chance. But who in their right mind is going to wade through such a thick book of dreams? But that's not the point. Day one of week two in the Ladybird Book of Election Spin - try to capture and control a compliant media by pouring on the bullshit and Brown sauce.

There's probably more tucked away. But the Orange Party, like weary voters, cannot be arsed. Today marks an historic day for the Broonites and the Blairites. With parliament dissolved they are now no longer MPs. Time to count the damage inflicted by over a decade of disaster and failure.

Family-man Dave tomorrow, freshly scrubbed up with a manifesto written on more than the back of an envelope. Honesty and trust? Authenticity versus artificiality. Key battlegrounds in the election 2010 road show.

Bottom graphic: Burningourmoney


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hyped Hung Parliament Yesterday's News

Leading pollsters have looked into their crystal balls and predicted a Tory victory, blowing a hyped-up hung parliament out of the water as yesterday's news. What will the chattering classes find to talk about?

The Orange Party never bought into the 'hung parliament' hype. Spun by a political and media elite, giving the polling industry something to get its teeth into. Now even the pollsters don't believe their own polls. You can't make it up.

But clutching at straws suits the failed, flagging New Labour faithful and gives Cocky Clegg a chance to play kingmaker on Fantasy Island. And gives Tories a rocket up the backside.

'Tories set to romp home' doesn't sell newspapers. 'Everything to play for' and 'everything up for grabs', makes for more exciting reading.

Tipping Tories to win is the Sunday sport in today's Independent on Sunday. In the 'Poll of the Pollsters', the experts tell it how it is.

Andrew Hawkins, ComRes: Con majority 32. Ben Page, Ipsos-MORI: Con 25 seats short of overall majority. Andrew Cooper, Populus: Con majority of 10+. Peter Kellner, YouGov: Con majority 20-30. Robert Salvoni, Harris Interactive: Con majority 2-10. Andy Morris, Angus Reid: Con majority 40-50. Martin Boon, ICM Research: Con majority 20. Johnny Heald, Opinion Research Business: Con majority 40+.

Apart from Page at Ipsos-Mori, all predict a Tory majority. Both Kellner and Heald sum up the state of play. According to Kellner: "The public don't want Gordon Brown but have shown no enthusiasm for David Cameron." Or to put it another way from Heald: "The desire to remove Gordon Brown is clearly stronger than the wish to elect the Tories."

As week one of the 'election campaign' drew to a close, a consensus began to emerge with Cameroons 1, Broons 0.

Bottling Brown missed the boat, leaving it too late by up to three years. Porkie Brown's lies have come back to haunt him. Dollops of Brown sauce leave a bad taste. Voters are bored and frustrated. But SamCam comes across as nice. Phil Page is moonlighting from Private Eye filling pages with the latest Poll with a Twist.

One double digit Tory poll lead is a fluke. Two a trend. Three, a movement with momentum. The latest slew of polls show Tories nudging towards the magic double digit lead needed for assured victory. Poll predictions based on a misleading uniform national swing from a small sample takes no account of the battle in the marginals where the election will be won. But current projections point to a Tory majority.

The ICM poll in today's NoW shows marginal polling's shameful spin at its best. A "random sample of 1,001 adults ... across the 96 political constituencies ... currently held by Labour where the Conservatives require a swing of between 4% and 10% to win the seat." A poll based on around 10 people from each constituency. Marginals salami-sliced then some ignored to spin only part of the battleground.

The Orange Party noted last week, no wonder voters are bored. Endless polls. Endless shots of Brown moving from safe house to safe house in a sham stage-managed show with the public as props. But behind the smiley faces, New Labour is fighting like ferrets in a sack ready for a post Brown bloodbath.

"Voters tell Brown and Cameron: Stop lying to us!", shouts today's IoS, puffing up Wind-bag Clegg. And just to make the point, the opening intro paragraph is repeated twice. IoS subs, eh?

The Orange Party feels the mood of voters will decide this election. Real people want to shout about real issues. That boils down to jobs and immigration, beating their brows in mad PC world over 'broken Britain'. But they are denied the chance.

Instead it is the political and media class which is setting the agenda. In the tit-for-tat spats, facts and figures are buried in meaningless fudge. Only gaffes and cock-ups grab attention with the disgrace of a New Labour mailshot to cancer patients today taking centre stage.

The dark dismal days of austerity would have suited grumpy, tired old New Labour. But instead they played the politics of false hope and optimism too early, leaving Honest Osborne to take the flak and tell it how it is.

Now it's spring. The season of change. The 'hungry months' are coming to end. The birds are singing. The daffs are out - all a little late due to global cooling. Dave is capturing the mood with a spring in his step with a neat line in Gap clothing to close the gap.

What have voters to look forward to? A weighty tomb of a New Labour manifesto of all Blair style and no substance on Monday which could be cut down to half the size and made twice as tough. Family man Dave's offering on Tuesday on more that the back of an envelope.

The presidential circus of a 'prime ministerial debate' billed as a UK TV first on Thursday. Outpourings from the political intelligentsia on how they performed at show time. But viewers want blood. The cut of the jib, who makes a gaffe and who breaks out into a sweat.

And without that hung parliament spin, pointless Clegg's presence would be pointless.

UPDATE 2.30pm Ben Page at Ipsos-Mori, the odd one out in the 'poll of pollsters', points out at UKpolling that his quote in the IoS was based on current survey figures. His personal view? Same as the rest - a Tory majority.