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Comments

GS

Good analysis. So let's get the Tory spokesmen and women out and about in the media telling the world what they think about these subjects and what they're going to do about them.

SpudHead

So Cameron's head cheerleader sees a lot of problems, but how are the tories going to solve these problems? It's one thing to get people to be anti-Labour, but so far Louise, after weeks of your articles, I've yet to find a reason to vote FOR your tories.

Serf

Louise

I agree with your analysis on every single issue. I have just one problem. How does a man with this level of incompetence lead us in the polls?

Before anyone blames David Cameron, Gordon Brown is so bad, that the Devil himself should be able to win an election against him. Yet otherwise intelligent people, accept Gordon's lies and spin as gospel.

Annabel Herriott

And there is now a knife proofing available to be fitted inside SCHOOL BLAZERS!!!!!
That says it all.

The Huntsman

Louise is right to focus, in part, upon the situation in Scotland which we neglect at our peril if trying to understand Brown's mind.

The SNP is on a roll at the moment and that roll shows no sign of coming to an end just yet. Indeed it is possible to begin to ask the question: has there been a permanent seismic shift in Scottish politics?

Whatever the answer to that question is and whatever the good auguries are south of the border, Scotland presents a political maelstrom at the moment. GB may be about to hand-pick the next Crony Labour Leader in Scotland, but faces a possible meltdown in Labour seats in favour of the SNP.

To be a Scots Labour MP is to have some certainty of preferment unless you are a true maverick or serial refusenik. No fewer than four Scots MPs are members of the Cabinet (Brown, Darling, Browne, Alexander), seven are members of the government outside the Cabinet, four act as Parliamentary Private Secretaries (and so are being groomed for possible government membership) four chair Common’s committees and finally another fourteen are members of committees. So with eleven government members plus twenty two others who are on committees, no less than 33 of Labour’s forty Scottish MPs are part of the frontline.

These people are not going to let GB risk an election where many of them on the current figures might be swept not just from office but also from Parliament.

In addition is GB going to want to go into an election fighting against two referenda at once? This is particularly so in Scotland where the SNP are making the running (and so control the agenda) and Labour are constantly having to play 'catch-up'. Instead of fighting the election on the grounds of the economy, the NHS, education and all those nice safe Labour comfort foods, he will find himself in what would almost certainly he a highly charged cat & dog fight over independence which might in time begin to dominate UK National politics as well, where there is also a referendum issue.

Remember also that GB has a yellow streak in him (witness the failed coup against Vanity Blair). Given these uncertainties does he have the guts to cut and run only two years (of a possible five) into a Parliament? And given this statistic the public may well ask why, noting his continuing majority in the Commons, we are being put to the expense and inconvenience of a GE so soon.

For all its size Scotland is a major factor in our politics at this very moment.

On a slightly different note, it must be assumed that Des Browne is giving a lot of his time to his Scottish part-time job. Given that he is also supposed to be running two of Blair's wars, one of which is seeing one of the highest casualty rates since the spring of 1945, ought the party now to be getting on Browne and Brown's back about the part-time nature of these posts in a big way?

Tony Makara

Gordon Brown is sitting on a timebomb. The debt fuelled growth that he has encouraged carries serious inflationary pressures which are only being held in check by the strength of sterling.

The dilemma Gordon Brown faces is that in a debt fuelled economy plagued with inflation, raising interest rates will not work to quell inflation because the raised interest will created a further demand for more money than already exists, just like a pay demand, except that unlike a pay demand, the inflationary demand for more money than already exists will feed through the entire country. Gordon Brown ought to have allowed the economy to expand and contract naturally in line with market forces, but instead he has encouraged debt fuelled growth to make the government look good.

The thing bailing Gordon Brown out is the strong pound, however since july the pound has lost 3.5% against the dollar, 2% against the Euro and 7% against the Yen. So the decline of sterling is beginning to gain momentum, that is why Gordon Brown is likely to to go the country as early as October, before the pound begins to nose dive and unleashes those pent up inflationary demons.

Treacle

All the while we are behind in the polls Gordon Brown has the option to call a General Election and we will have to stay at 'actions stations', with much long term rebuilding work once again in limbo.

The excellent state of affairs for Gordon Brown comes after the equivalent of just an opening salvo which sent the Party into a tail spin.

The voluntary Party has understandably reacted with exasperation at the sight of its previously smug 'we know best' leadership running round like tarts in a nightclub raid at the first whiff of grapeshot and is understandably miffed at then getting a lecture from the same people about how THEY (the membership)shouldn't panic!!

'Call me Dave' has set the course we are following and has rejected calls to adjust the message - it's now up to him to prove his mettle and LEAD.

No more Huskies, No more Rwanda No more navel gazing about change, just get up and fight or clear off.

Scotty

"On a slightly different note, it must be assumed that Des Browne is giving a lot of his time to his Scottish part-time job. Given that he is also supposed to be running two of Blair's wars, one of which is seeing one of the highest casualty rates since the spring of 1945, ought the party now to be getting on Browne and Brown's back about the part-time nature of these posts in a big way?"

It would seem that he is busy changing his press statements from a couple of months ago to more accurately reflect Brown's changing mood regarding more devolved power now the SNP are in control in Holyrood.
It is obvious that he has been discussing this with Brown while they engineer a coronation for their favoured heir to McConnell.
Alas, there is no sign that he or his boss are discussing the deteriorating situation in Iraq or Afghanistan for our soldiers in the front line, although he has managed to send out a soothing statement for the press to counter the criticism and campaign being launched by BAFF and the RBL.

He is beginning to remind me of Comical Ali with his spin and ability to change the message as soon as the political wind changes direction. Just compare his statements on Scottish matters over the last couple of months, they are beyond parody. But his automatic need to issue regurgitated statements that everything is under control and progress being made in Iraq and Afghanistan are becoming meaningless in the face of the raising heavy toll of casualties being suffered by the armed forces.
Brown's judgement should be seriously questioned when he makes the position of Defence Minister a part time job at this time, incredible stupid and a slap in the face to the men and women who already feel this government does care or value them!

Ken Stevens

West Lothian Question and EU seem to be the only two areas where the Tories could demonstrate clear water from Labour.

Make a positive move towards resolving the constitutional imbalance between England and Scotland (and ditto re Wales. NI perhaps a different circumstance but at least stop mollycoddling a population somewhat less than that of West Yorkshire).

Entrench EUscepticism in your policy armoury.

Ken Stevens

The Huntsman | August 16, 09:56 AM

As an addendum to your survey of the emerging significance of the Scottish scene in UK politics, whatever one thinks about aspirations for independence, isn't Alex Salmond a remarkable chappie?

Won by a whisker without an overall majority yet is firmly leading the agenda. Transpose the situation to Westminster and it would be a hung parliament, a weak & ineffectual government and a rerun election not too long afterwards.

Where is our version of Wee Eck - in any southern party?

The Huntsman

I agree with Ken Stevens: so far he has been remarkably sure-footed and is clearly working to a well-thought out plan of 'death by a thousand cuts' for the Union, which I call "salami-slicing" on my blog.

Apart from the odd minor blip his troops seem to be well-disciplined, as you might imagine with a party tasting power for the first time. How long that will last, especially if a referendum comes sooner rather than later and is badly lost by the SNP, we shall see.

He is also in the 'smiling assassin' class of politicians: he always manages to look cheerful and personable even when he is trashing the opposition. I have a feeling, though, that he is not a man to cross.

The Tories in Scotland have become used to opposition, but Labour is almost comatose after the humiliation of loss of power. GB's Crony replacement will have a major job if she is to reinvigorate them but at the moment they resemble the proverbial decapitated chickens, save that they are not even running about much.

Jay

Back to Louise's article - excellent precis of the nightmare that everyday life in England has become for many people. We want to see more Tory shadow cabinet members much more often in the press, on TV, on the radio, everywhere, arguing these points and highlighting that Conservatives DO have answers to these problems. Where are you lot?

Just as long as it's not Redwood. Please don't argue for more airports and roads. Not good timing, or indeed a good idea.

Scotty

"He is also in the 'smiling assassin' class of politicians: he always manages to look cheerful and personable even when he is trashing the opposition. I have a feeling, though, that he is not a man to cross."

You are right, in fact he is not that popular in his own party which might surprise you. But like Labour back in the early 90's his party were savvy enough to recognise their chance and the leader that would deliver it, all they needed to do was become very focused, motivated and disciplined. Make no bones about it, the SNP's present success should be shared equally with the leadership and a very effective grass roots organisation.

David Sergeant

"I agree with your analysis on every single issue. I have just one problem. How does a man with this level of incompetence lead us in the polls?"

I would sggest it started going wrong over grammar schools. Voters arn't keen on them but the childish hysteria demonstrated by senior Tories suggested to voters this lot would have trouble running anything. The, substantially dishonest, anti Cameron hysteria in the supposedly Tory Telegraph would confirm that view to readers who were once Tory voters but had lost their enthusiasm. Then Swire demonstrated how silly and disconected from reality senior Tories are. This would have particularly reflected on Eton educated Cameron. (Remember the opinion poll which showed Brown miles ahead over peoples concerns?) IDS came out with support for marriage and with the subsequent enthusiasm people saw it as a swing to the right as a result of grammar schools, and now we have Redwood.

I would point out that many Tories claimed, quite wrongly that there was a U turn over grammar schools. What message does that send? And while we are at it Swire could have extracted himself from the museum mess if he had any political competance, but like most senior Tories he hasn't.

Stephen Tolkinghorne

"It's one thing to get people to be anti-Labour, but so far Louise, after weeks of your articles, I've yet to find a reason to vote FOR your tories."

Hear, hear !

Yet Another Anon

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