Monday, June 25, 2007

A lesson in losing

I have to say I find it rather amusing that, as Cameron languishes behind Brown in the polls, Labour "elect" the most vacuous non-entity, Harriet Harman to the position of deputy leader.

Starting with Harman - I have no doubt that the principle reason for her election is that she was calculated to do the least damage. After ten years of Prescott, Labour has had enough of "personality" and "character" (i.e. ignorant thug) in the position and have so gone for the least worst option. So the Labour party have gone for the most inoffensive person they could find - and by doing so have confirmed that they expect Labour to revolve around a single strong personality in the shape of Gordon Brown.

On the point of the polls, it has long been suggested that Cameron's "success" in making his party more electable over the last eighteen months was characterised by his lead in opinion polls - but that never seemed to make sense to me. Cameron's lead always appeared to owe more to the fact that disaffected Labour voters were switching to the Lib Dems than the Conservatives. Cameron enjoyed a percentage or two increase, but nothing much more than any of his predecessors. The lead was mostly down to the percentage points Labour had lost than those the Tories had gained.

Now that Blair is all but gone, those voters are now saying they will vote Labour once more - and the Lib Dems are seen to lose out, but, again, no gain for the Tories.

This underlines, for me, the myth that moving to the "centre ground" would pay dividends for the Tories. The centre ground long ceased to be anywhere near the centre and is well to the left in territory occupied by Labour and the Lib Dems - who have pretty much sewn up all available votes between them. The people in this well to the left of centre political arena are never very likely to vote for the Tories and so abandoning the traditional principles that went to make up the Tory party - and still does at grass roots - amounted to nothing less than suicide.

Cameron has effectively conceded the arguments. He has all but said that Labour are right and that the old Tory arguments are wrong - but by doing so he has gained precisely nothing. In stark contrast, he has lost virtually everything. Instead of sticking to the principles of conservatism and winning the arguments, he has conceded the moral high ground and marched his party down to meet the enemy in their camp - where they wait to destroy him.

1 comment:

Praguetory said...

You might just be right.