Wednesday, November 19, 2008

From ConHome, 'One-third (sic) of Tory members expect election within six months'

If there is to be an election within the next 12 months or so, which I doubt, we should not already be giving up trying to win it!

Yes, we've squandered the large leads over the summer and Labour appear to be gaining significant ground, but it is worth bearing in mind that the recession has not hit home with the electorate just yet. The PM is still basking in the supposed glory of being master of the financial bailout universe. There is a strong possibility that Brown will suffer once unemployment mounts up and the economy contracts more.

It's also worth bearing in mind that the bank bailout is not having its desired affect - the government may have to implement some sort of ultra-socialist lending approval mechanism if the situation doesn't improve. That could prove politically disastrous.

On the other side of the argument, however, is the 1992 election. Labour enjoyed considerable poll leads during the 87-92 parliament, but mostly because Labour was not trusted with the economy (and appeared triumphalist and complacent), they lost the election during a Tory recession.

If we are not bold, and choose not to formulate straightforward policies which the electorate understand and whose benefits are appreciable, we will lose. At the moment, it appears as if we are unwilling to help people through the recession because there is 'no money left' with which to do so. This is nonsense. There's plenty of money to be saved. The electorate understands that Labour has squandered millions of hard-earned taxpayers' money, so now is the time to put that right.

During a downturn such as this one, sacrifices have to be made. If that sacrifice is public spending, so be it. We must not allow the absurd statist consensus of the bloated public sector to prevail over the coming years.

Words of recession

'Fixing the roof when the sun is shining'

'This is a serious time for serious people'

'Boom to bust'

'Borrowing bombshell'

'Tax cuts are not just for Christmas'

I'm FED UP of hearing these phrases. We are completely failing to land any blows on Brown at the moment. He's getting away with everything - a devaluation of the pound, massive borrowing, enormous waste, bureaucracy, complacency, lies, smugness, incompetence - I could go on - and yet we, the Conservative Party, persist in using these lame soundbites to persuade a recession-doomed electorate that we are the best Party to deal with the current climate.

It appears that leading politicians have no faith that what might be considered economic 'jargon' is comprehensible by the public at large. Instead, we prefer to regurgitate weak and ineffective soundbites which best befit the language of the playground.

This is no time for weasel words.

Oh, there's another one.

I'm continually irked by Dave and George's approach on the economy. Until yesterday, DC looked ridiculous by continuing to abide by the pretence that the Tories would match Labour's future spending plans. We must be able to offer considerable tax cuts now, but not by borrowing - but by CUTTING. The electorate cannot continue to have it both ways. In times like these, if they want more money in their pockets, they should have to sacrifice something else. There is no doubt that there is money to be saved in the NHS, and we should not shirk from our responsibility to say so. The NHS is not sacred. The NHS is not the ONLY welfare solution. The NHS is wasteful, bloated and unaccountable.

We have, frankly, looked silly throughout the duration of this crisis. And the longer it goes on, the more opportunity we have to look more silly. Where are the big guns? Where is Ken Clarke? If we were so confident Labour would destroy the economy then why is the Shadow Chancellorship lumbered with such a lightweight? George Osborne comes across as an amateur, with little clue of how to handle events, and appears to suffer complete lack of nouse, lack of judgement and inability to attack the government properly. He still sounds shrill and is open to complete ridicule, allegedly considerable intellect notwithstanding.

I am in a state of utter despair. Our 'motherhood and apple pie' policies have been completely overtaken by events. The latest poll indicates that Labour would be the largest party in the House of Commons in the event of a general election. This is a disaster. If they win a fourth term, the consequences are unthinkably grave for the country and our Party. We need to get back to scoring consistent double-digit leads, given that, with the possibility of a 2009 election around the corner, Labour lies about 'cuts' will probably gain favour with some of the electorate. We therefore need a big lead going into any campaign in order to protect it.

We must also remember the lessons of 1992. Before that election, it was unprecedented for a Party which was behind in the polls at the beginning of a campaign to emerge victorious on polling day. That precedent has been set. We must never let the attack die down.

I have never despised Gordon Brown more than I do at this very moment - trouble is, I have never doubted the opposition's ability to win more than I do now.