Monday, 15 October 2007


I blame Margaret Thatcher. The moment she accepted Gordon Brown’s invitation to visit Downing Street, a Tory revival was on the cards. The message it sent out to voters was that she’s been cast so far out into the political darkness by Cameron & Co that maybe the Conservatives really have changed. And of Gordon Brown, it suggested a willingness to pull any stunt, try any trick to upset the Tory applecart. Even sipping with Satan herself.

In that context, pinching a few Tory politicians as advisors and adopting a few (more) Tory policies as Labour’s own hasn’t spoken so much of a ‘big tent’ or a ‘new politics’ as of a shabby hucksterism. The weekend opinion polls giving the Conservatives their biggest lead since Black Wednesday are a reflection of what people think of that sort of too-tricky-by-half cynicism.

Listening to one-time ‘Red’ Dawn Primarolo trying to get around questioning on the election-that-didn’t-happen on Radio 4 yesterday with the argument that the government was focusing on ‘the issues people really care about’ (in this case, obesity) was plain embarrassing.

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