Friday, July 18, 2008

Spectator Coffee House: Reading the Nu-Lab Tea Leaves

(Written yesterday, posted today.)

It's young James Forsyth, picking up habitual Brown-roaster John Rentoul, and his latest Indy screed, and it's here. Doom and gloom, gloom and doom.

But as I've said before going into the small print of the Populus poll of ten days or so ago we find that asked which party of government they hoped for after the next election, respondents - even many highly dissatified with Brown's government - polled 44% for Labour, and 42% for Tory. A damned close run thing as Wellington may have said after facing down and overcoming his Waterloo.

About a quarter of those intending to vote don't know or won't say in that self same poll. And a third of those who did say say they may well change.

The same sort of detail emerges from delving in other polls. Though that one was of course a good bit better for Labour than the Populus one before and I make no apologies for sticking with that.

How did Kinnock lose and Major win is the study that's needed just now. Was it by hurling green neophytes in at the deep end? James Purnell is the one spotted and promoted by Rentoul. Smart. But not yet cracked the "faking sincerity" as recommended by F Howerd Esq. And others. Or by being resolute with a reasonably experienced, albeit dull and relatively big-beast-less, line up? Better than the much more chirpy and personable, human even, Kinnock had to offer after more than a decade in opposition?

Rentoul begins with an allusion to Major. Even pointing out that Brown has been less offensive and BETTER on Foreign Policy. But sadly he doesn't follow through to look forward. It doesn't answer my question but it's interesting so here is the NY Times take on Major's post-resurrection 1995 re-shuffle. Big beasts back. Which is arguably where things started to go wrong.

"There is just a split second between the past and the future, with the present squashed in between" is a from memory mis-quote from a classic movie. Which one? And does the past really indicate that the youth team should be sent out to tackle the "charismatic" "memory man" "call me Dave" Cameron?

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