Here is some of what Gordon Brown said today:
"We are weathering the storm; now is no time to turn back.
"We will hold to our course. And we will complete this mission. We have got through this storm together but there are still substantial risks ahead.
"There will be bumps in the road. And I believe the only way to overcome them is by displaying the same strength and resolve as we did during the crisis."
He then (with a straight face) declared that he had the “character” to lead Britain to economic recovery and attacked the Tories for planning to cut spending and bring us back into recession.
I am glad Gordon Brown mentioned his character because it comes up time and time again and two things are immediately and resoundingly evident to everybody not wearing a red rosette (and too many that do).
1. Gordon Brown is an indecisive bottler, incapable of making tough decisions. In fact, I would suspect that he has problems taking the not so grand decisions also. So he has surrounded himself with bullies and blowhards who by being vocal and aggressive to others have fooled the dim-witted PM into believing that they are decision makers who can compensate for and disguise his own failings.
2. Gordon Brown is prepared to put The Labour Party, The EU and himself before the general welfare of the UK. He is a selfish man in the midst of constructing what he likes to call a new system of world governance and never once have people been consulted. History will not view Gordon Brown kindly, nor should it.
Clearly his attribution asymmetry is way-off if the bullying allegations are to be believed, which I think the overwhelming majority of people do. In success, people will naturally attribute success to their own abilities and talents, but in failure we look to attribute this to external factors and bad luck. Other peoples fortune is down to their good luck and others failure are down to their mistakes. So when the debt bubble that Gordon Brown helped to create came crashing down it was all the fault of the American Sub-prime market. When the expenses scandal broke it was the fault of the Conservatives 1983 legislation and a retired pensioner. When he inherited a golden economy borne out of the backbreaking labour of the Conservatives self employment revolution he stood at the dispatch box and proclaimed to have ended “boom and bust”.
If the election is decided on Gordon Browns Character there will be a funeral for the Labour Party on 7th May.
It is telling that despite everybody in the country being very aware of Gordon Brown and Labours failures that the Conservatives are not 30 points clear and that we are not talking about the Liberal Democrats assuming the mantle as the new second party of the UK. I have written before of my dislike and distrust for the Conservatives new direction.
Janet Daley has been having one of those tediously boring back and forth’s with Danny Finkelstein that generally is not interesting to anybody but those involved, however this one may have (finally) reached an interesting conclusion vis-à-vis the modern Conservative Party. The Tory modernisers it would seem have been hired from the New Labour School of misdirection. They seized upon some polling which suggested that Conservative Policy on Immigration during the 2005 election was deemed popular or welcomed in the polls, but only when those being questioned did not know that it was a conservative policy. When the Conservative brand or Tory name used, people disassociated with it. This was of course to do with the BBC witch (or Warlock?) hunt on Michael Howard and the BBCs rather successful attempts to show all Conservatives as bigots.
When telepromterless Cameron landed in CCHQ sans tie and pin-stripped suit the “modernisers” took the Immigration Polling and used it as the basis for the need to “detoxify” the brand. Thus ensued photo shoots with Huskies, policy meetings with Bob Geldof, and explains why Cameron was in East Africa whilst his Witney Constituency was under water. The Party was hijacked by the policy wonks on the basis of a poll that showed that if the BBC’s editorial policy is biased and vindictive enough the Toris wil flinch; clearly the BBC has too much control over the TV News arena in the UK. So instead of picking a fight with their mates at the BBC Cameron the new team were given their own dodgy dossier of research (also done by the BBC) that showed that people don’t know or care about things like “back benchers” they don’t even know what terms like that would mean. They care about gay weddings and Eastenders and thus the Conservatives need to modernise and use pollsters and rock stars in their policy formulation, and stop relying on voters and party members to tell them what they want. Janet edges us to the conclusion that therefore as a result we now have a Conservative Party fit for the post democratic era. Not as she says because the whole conservative brand was tarnished, but simply because of the public view on Immegration after the BBC assault.
The problems of course begin with and end with So What? This would have been useful information two years ago or even a year ago, but with Cameron tight lipped on policy back then there would have been hardly any concern from the grass-roots. It is the emergence of Team Dave’s direction and the recent u-turns and revisions that have planted the red-toryistic concerns in voters’ minds. So it doesn’t really matter so much now how the Conservative Party got where it is today there is an election in six weeks. The decision needs to be whether to vote for it or not. The perplexing question is having taken the Conservative Party away from conservative voters, will a Tory Win be used as confirmation of the new Tory Brand and strategy thus abandoning Conservative voters for at least a generation or would a defeat or hung parliament force the party to where the Conservative Grass-roots are?
There are some in the Conservative Party that are just now realising why Tony Blair won in 1997 and are determined to use their new found knowledge in an election in 2010. It is only because there is an empty suit in 10 Downing Street that they are not being spanked completely in the polls. Tony Blair would have turned the polls already – he would have done it a year ago and we would be into a fourth Labour term.
In the absence any Conservatism from the Conservative Party and in despair at Labour the voters are seemingly looking for a do over. We are not getting the options we want or need so we are engineering a hung Parliament as a vote of no confidence in both Labour and the Conservatives and we are hoping one or both will come out the other side and start listening to what people are asking for. We need and want a severe reduction in the size of the state and of our overall tax burden, we want our finance put in order, we want a tax break to make the cost of living in this poorly governed country easier, we want fuel bills to go down not up, we want to smoke in the pub and we want government to concentrate on governing, rather than what I put in my wheelie bin.
For the benefit of David Cameron’s aides I have translated this message into some graphs that may be confused with polling data and therefore can be slipped into the radar as a hint to the current Tory Leadership about where their current problems lie.