Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Dave New World?

Well, first things first. Despite the lack of raised voices or blood on the carpet, as a conference speech, it wasn’t bad at all. Comparatively few digs at the opposition, some well-judged bits of tummy-tickling for the delegates… if anything, this was the ‘quiet man’ speech, that Ian Duncan Smith wanted to but failed to deliver.

This was all ‘Trust the People Dave’ comparing himself against Brown the meddling micro-manager. It was mercifully shorn of the revivalist hyperbole that scarred the Prime Minister’s address to the Labour conference last week. But Dave does buzz-words too… I counted at least 40 references to ‘change’, 20 ‘freedoms’ (Mel Gibson would be proud), and 10 mentions each for ‘responsibility’ and ‘family’. Even the references to restricting immigration and pulling out of the European Convention on Human Rights were couched in such a way as to appeal to the faithful, without alienating swing voters.

There were 4 ‘It’s time’s (the SNP creative team will be having him electronically tagged for that). Also, which was it? A ‘new world of freedom’, or a ‘new world of insecurity’? And what to make of the double use of ‘You can get it if you really want’ towards the end? Is he a closet Jimmy Cliff fan? Or is his confidence such that he really does believe that the harder they come, the harder they fall?

So what was there for Scotland? Not a lot. Apart from mocking briefly Gordon Brown’s pronunciation of Bournemouth, Scotland didn’t rate a single mention. Nothing on how the Tories might react to the ‘English question’. Further powers, freedoms, responsibilities – all to be entrusted to the lowliest English local authority, but not, apparently, to Holyrood. But then again, as we all know, with just one MP north of the border, it’s not Scotland he needs to win if he’s to become Prime Minister.

Anyway, the coverage tomorrow will mostly be concerned with one thing – does this make it more or less likely that Brown will call an election? Up until last week, I was prepared to say that he wouldn’t go for it – that it was a ploy to discomfit the Tories and nothing more. Not now – Brown would probably edge it over Cameron right now for the affections of Mr & Mrs Middle England, but on the strength of today’s performance from Cameron, I can’t see that position surviving indefinitely.

I heard the analogy used at the weekend that Brown was now like the pilot who was half way down the runway, whom if he didn’t take off, was going to be in considerable difficulties. It’s certainly better than comparing him to the ‘Grand Old Duke of York’. But then, once they were neither up nor down, didn’t they all sing ‘Rule Britannia’ afterwards? The Prime Minister might actually quite like that idea, now I think about it.


Tom said...

The Scottish sample from the Yougov poll on tonight's Channel 4 news although small show the SNP and Labour neck and neck. Not what Gordon would want to hear.

Dougthedug said...

For a UK election Scotland may not be that important to Gordon.

The 2005 English results last time were:

Party Seats %Seats %Vote
Consr 194 36.67 35.74
Labour 286 54.06 35.46

With the percentage of the vote neck and neck in England, Labour still managed to get 92 seats more than the Conservatives. Even with the Lib-Dems getting 47 seats in England, Labour still had a majority. There will be changes with the electoral boundary changes but it looks like the Lib-Dems are losing votes to Labour so they may win more seats there.

Even if it came down to a 50/50 seat split in Scotland between Labour and the SNP, good English results would see Gordon in.

A good result in Scotland for the SNP would be great and even better if it took out a few Labour cabinet members but it may not be that important in the UK results for this election or Gordon's chance for another five years in power. That's not to say that the impact of a good SNP result will not have a knock on effect for future elections.

Personally I don't think Gordon's got the bottle for an election but I may be proved wrong after the weekend.

Richard Thomson said...

Cheers, Tom. I feel a post coming on... :-)

Anonymous said...

Independant ?

Is Devolution an EU Diversion aimed at Dividing and Conquering Great Britain....

If so could you Blog and Email these links before we are All toast.
Note how none of this has ever appeared in the Press or on the News.
Europe Sold out for oil

Richard Thomson said...

"Is Devolution an EU Diversion aimed at Dividing and Conquering Great Britain...."

Hardly :-)