Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Where's the message?

It’s a sad feature of Nu-politics that those politicians who are most rational and practical have the least chance of preferment into Cabinet.

Take John Redwood for example, who has been at the forefront on the blogosphere in exposing the real cost of Labour’s economic reflation attempts. And in warning of where these enormous costs for the nation will lead.

Perhaps I should balance that statement by saying that the irrational have little chance of preferment either. (No I didn’t mention David Davis.)

On the Tory side we are left with a largely uninspiring cabal who are required always to be on message. Even K. Clark seems to have accepted this rigour.

The problem is there seems to be very little message being sent. And those charged with sending what there is make little impact.

Perhaps the negative criticisms in the media of the Tory front men over the last few days, reflect the forced absence of the Party’s leader.

Without Cameron’s presence the Tory message seems to disappear altogether. Helped inordinately by the BBC, who seem to have assumed for the past two weeks that all Tories have been off the field.

Perhaps once Cameron is fully back to speed, he will have something more important to raise than the cost of the TV licence. (Or is his licence freeze a backhander at the BBC’s ignoring his players?)

But I suspect the run-up to the general election will be much like that of 1997. Namely, a youthful alternative to the incumbent leader, promising change, but without describing much of what change means.

Given the results of the more radical Tory election approaches in 2001 and 2005, copying Labour’s 1997 air-headed tactics might seem the best bet.

But the nation is now in so much deeper mire than ever it was even under John Major.

Surely a party expecting not too distantly to assume power can find some message to attack Brown with that creates a lasting impact.

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