Conservative Diary

« Guardian and Independent ignore Kaminski's rebuttal of smears against him | Main | Alan Duncan caught on secret video saying that MPs are treated like "s**t" »

Peter Mandelson's six attacks

Picture 3 The Mirror tells us that "David Cameron is being stalked by killer slime."  I wondered - like Paul D - if the newspaper was referring to the Labour attack dogs but apparently it's rotting seaweed near the Cameron family's beachside holiday.

Attack dog Peter Mandelson put in an atrocious performance on this morning's Today programme - constantly wanting to talk about the Conservatives rather than defend his own government's record.  He has also written an article for The Guardian attacking George Osborne.  It does seem personal between the two men.  The article contains what I suspect are going to be the main attack lines from Labour against the Conservatives.  I could identify six forms of assault:

  1. "To be a progressive is to believe that we can make a better society and improve the conditions of individual lives by acting together... Osborne doesn't believe this and couldn't speak about it with conviction." This is crude personal abuse. How does Mandelson know what George Osborne believes?
  2. "Osborne simply defines progressive to mean whatever the Tories believe this month." This is the Tories are constantly changing their beliefs attack. We tried it against Blair in 1997 and it didn't wash. Voters don't mind politicians whose views have genuinely evolved. The Cameroons have been remarkably consistent in pursuing their gentler, greener Conservatism since 2005.
  3. "Their talk of public sector reform – which has never been more vital – is simply code for cuts." This is Brown's discredited the-Tories-are-cutters line.  And Labour won't cut?  Voters aren't stupid.
  4. "How progressive is a policy on inheritance tax that would favour the very wealthy with a substantial tax cut?"  The Tories are still the friends of the rich and powerful attack.  I think this hurts a little but Labour need to be careful about the Tories-are-Toffs tactic.  They overplayed that card in Crewe and Nantwich.
  5. "The Tories' instinctive belief that the ultimate arbiter of most human interactions should be the market hardly fits with a century of progressive thought, much of which has focused on humanising the market and globalisation, rather than just letting it rip."  The Tories are the party of uncontrolled market capitalism?  George Osborne believes that his strong emphasis on reform of financial regulation will inoculate the Conservatives on this one.
  6. "From the benches of the European parliament, where the Tories sit alongside a motley collection of far rightists, nationalists and homophobes, their claim to carry the torch of progressive politics looks like a bad joke... Most of the Tory party identify themselves as being to the right of their new leaders." Behind the smiley Cameron is the Loony Right.  My own view is this is Labour's strongest line (although unfair) but it won't be enough to save Labour from a big defeat. 
Tim Montgomerie


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.