Showing posts with label Brogan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brogan. Show all posts

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Tories Dying On Their Knees?

In the Telegraph today we have Brogan warning that the Tory party is in danger of dying on its knees:
Ministers are becoming more pessimistic, devoting an increasing amount of time – quite naturally – to considering which way they would jump in a post-election leadership contest that grows ever more likely. Even more fearful are those in marginal seats, some of whom have already thrown in the towel and are planning for life after defeat.
It's astute of him to eventually notice I guess given that it has been a process in place since the early '90s. But thankfully we have the paid Daily Telegraph's Deputy Editor to point out the obvious.

The Tories of course have never won an outright election victory since the passing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. That combined with the ERM crisis precipitated a collapse in membership and donations from which they have never recovered. Even under Cameron's leadership membership numbers has officially halved - the true figure strongly rumoured to be below the 100,000 mark.

Brogan is naturally concerned that the Tories will lose the next election. First up is a variation of the theme "we're not getting our message across":
First, he must make the economic case that, in his words, the job is not done. That is why Mr Osborne struck what must be the right note in an interview on Sunday with Andrew Marr, speaking about the need to reduce both taxes and the cost of government. He believed, he said, in “the affordable state”. That message to the country must be coupled, however, with one to his colleagues. He has to convince his own side that he and David Cameron are worth following from now until polling day
The apparent good news on the economy is not leading to optimisim within the Tory party regarding winning in 2015, which Brogan writes with puzzlement:
Given how well things are going relative to expectations less than a year ago, the pessimism I have encountered in recent days is striking. A number of top-half Cabinet ministers tell me they now expect to lose power in 2015. Middle-rankers mutter the same. It is difficult to find Conservatives willing to say privately that they will still be in power after polling day.
Then what follows is frustration articulated in the form of analysis by Brogan of the reasons why; conflicting, incoherent and confused tactics of the Tory party over economic strategy. Thus he supports a return to the core economic strategy when Osborne delivers his Autumn Statement 2013 on Thursday:
The Chancellor’s aides insist that the dirty work of defusing the Labour threat has been done, and that Thursday will represent a clean return to the core Tory strategy. Now he just has to persuade his own side of that.
In other words, Brogan is using, without explicitly saying it, the old standby of; "it's the economy stupid". This was a phrase coined by Clinton campaign during his successful 1992 presidential campaign against sitting president George H. W. Bush. The problem is it's one of those phrases and subsequent election strategies that is often rolled out lazily but doesn't actually always translate into election wins, particularly in this country.

This fallacy is evident in 1992 when Major won the election against the backdrop of one of the worst recessions of the 20th century. Conversley five years later the Tories lost by a humiliating margin, despite much improvement in the economy - Major campaigned on the theme "Britain's booming, don't let Labour ruin it". When Brown was told of the economic legacy the Tories handed over he allegedly retorted; "what do you want me to do? Send them a thank you card?"

In 2005 as far as Labour was concerned:
..."it was the economy, stupid". By standing shoulder to shoulder with Blair, Brown, the chancellor and heir apparent, helped Labour to a third term by highlighting Labour's economic achievements - low unemployment, low interest rates, decent economic growth.
Yet Labour lost 94 seats, a loss of seats attributed largely to Blair taking us to war in Iraq. And then we come to 2010. The Tories were unable to win despite the dire state of the economy, yet it wasn't the economy and the banking crisis that did Brown in, it was the "election that never was".

Thus it's clear to see that there are many other factors in elections, and party's fortunes than the economy but that doesn't stop Brogan taking comfort in resolving the Tories' lack of a coherent message over economic matters to win in 2015.

Not once does he acknowledge other possible reasons for the Tories' collapse such as; cast iron, gay marriage, humiliation by the Chinese, the veto that never was, failed immigration promises, lies on the Norway option, HS2, a three-line whip imposed on his party against an EU referendum only to change his mind and promise one he cannot deliver on, trying to take us to war in Syria, flip-flopping on green policy, VAT on pasties, the electoral disaster that was the PCC elections, escalating fuel bills - the list is endless, not bad for a party that hasn't even served a full five year term yet.

But cocooned in bubble wrap Brogan is either unwilling to acknowledge or unaware of the fundamental problems. Not that Labour is any better either. A more accurate headline would be "Parliament is dying on its knees?

But then I'm only a humble blogger and Brogan is Deputy Editor of the Telegraph so what do I know?

Friday, 25 November 2011

What To Believe?

The Euro crisis naturally is rumbling on, and in the Noddygraph we have this from Benedict Brogan predicting Euro armageddon but don't panic 'call me Dave' is (sort of) on the case:
The Economist, with its cover of a euro coming down in flames, asks "Is this really the end?" and answers that, basically, yes it is. A senior minister explained to me a few days ago that contingency planning is now well under way, and takes in both preparations at home for a shock on the banks and work with consulates and embassies abroad, specifically in the eurozone, to anticipate social and banking disruption when it all goes wrong.
See, now I have a dilemma with this report. On the one hand Government ministers would be bloody stupid if they weren't conjuring up contingency plans for a Euro collapse, yet on the other hand they are bloody stupid. And to top it off Benedict Brogan is an apologist for Dave, whose 'lack of talents' knows no bounds. So what to make of it? One gets the feeling, that I've expressed before on here, that groundwork is being prepared for the blame game.

The reality seems pretty clear; the Euro crisis is coming to a conclusion, despite the EU rhetoric. The fundamental differences between German and France have not been resolved yet the 'record' has not changed for months, so one is inclined to accept this final paragraph from Brogan:
The betting in Team Dave seems to be that the game is as good as up for the single currency. "It's in our interests that they keep playing for time because that gives us more time to prepare," the minister told me. Anyone who has any kind of exposure to the euro – a euro mortgage for example, or a euro account, or euro contracts – should be taking advice now on how to mitigate the risk: politicians in the eurozone have their heads in the sand, and won't admit that behind the scenes officials across europe are scrambling to fill the sandbags while there is still time.
But then we remember that Mr Brogan writes crap like this and this and this. So what to believe? Probably like a broken watch which is still right twice a day, Brogan may have it correct this time, but if so, that instils another rather large concern - we're facing the biggest mass sovereign default in history, so if Cameron is really organising the sandbagging, then God help us.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Could UKIP win their first seat?

Benedict Brogan has highlighted an interesting article in the Evening Standard which features an interview with the Speaker's wife.

John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, holds the safe Tory seat of Buckingham, and by tradition the mainstream parties don’t stand against the Speaker.

Usually minority parties don't pose a significant problem to the Speaker's seat, however at the next election it is my view that Bercow is rather vulnerable to Nigel Farage's UKIP challenge.

There have been persistent rumours that Bercow was poised to cross the floor to the Labour Party, his election as the Speaker was largely due to Labour MP's votes and so subsequently he lacks the trust of the Tories.

Added to that, Bercow's wife has announced that she will stand for Labour in the local elections, she then compounds the problem by criticising Cameron in the Evening Standard article:
He’s just a merchant of spin. I think he’s really an archetypal Tory. He favours the interests of the few over the mainstream majority

I would imagine that the fine folk of Buckinghamshire are not going to be happy.

More and more Nigel Farage's decision to stand against the Speaker is looking like a shrewd move.

One line in the article intrigued me though:
But now it's time for her "skeletons", as she puts it. Deep breath.

I can't help wondering whether this is a damage limitation exercise and that she was tipped off about an 'exposure' before Sunday's newspapers.