Firstly, can I say that Damian McBride & Dolly Draper thoroughly deserve the kicking that they have been getting, particularly from Guido and Ian Dale. McBride deserves what happened to him. His job in particular is to present a positive face of the government, not to try and destroy anyone who disagrees with you, even those on your own side. You know what they say, those who live by the spin, die by the spin.
What has been somewhat missed by everyone on the blogosphere, and those willing to criticise the blogosphere from the sidelines (not mentioning Iain McWhirter, but… damn), is how much this has exposed the gaping lack of ideas in this government.
From what we are led to believe, the next Westminster election is to be a dirty campaign, with all sorts of muck being thrown at the Tories. And the class issue being thrown up, with the Conservative leadership being accused of being toffs. Not that New Labour don’t have their own toffs, Shawn Woodward, the member for St Helens South even has his own butler.
This is not the behaviour of a government full of ideas. In fact this is a government with no vision, other than to stay in power. It is laughable to hear “senior figures” mutter about Brown’s performance, warning him that he is going to lose the next election. Too late, he already has. My own opinion is that he lost it over the Pre-Budget report. Rather than cut taxes’, particularly aiming those cuts at low earners, Brown and Darling instead chose to cut VAT. A cut on taxes which is only of use if you have money, which the country is short of. Genius.
What the New Labour hierarchy should be worried about is the scale of the defeat, after all it’s not that long ago that the polls were showing a projected Conservative majority of over 100 (the current polls show a projected majority in the 40’s). In this regard, Events, Dear Boy might be on to something with his assertion that June will be key for Brown.
What this also exposes is Brown’s leadership skills. Or a lack of. Rather than drag the story out for 6 days now, he should have made a statement on Saturday. Something along the lines of sorry for the offence caused by my members of staff… I am appalled at what went on in the name of the prime minister… essentially act contrite and emphasise that he took action when he discovered what was happening (Which assumes Brown knew nothing, maybe he didn’t, maybe he did. There is no evidence for the former). This is only the lates in a long line of bad decisions Brown has made.
However much trouble Brown is in, there is one thing which might save him. Cameron is not really the most convincing candidate for PM. When the election comes, it’ll be a really difficult choice between a poor prime minister, and the self confessed “heir to Blair”, who even has his own version of Allistair Campbell lined up. Alternatively, i could describe the next election as do nothing versus all talk and no trousers.