As the polls plummet…the knives come out for Cameron….
Alex Smith, writing on LabourList, summarises what has been a good series of recent polls for the Labour Party. Unquestionably the next election is one that hangs in the balance and is there to be won or lost. Behind the headline figures though and the obvious lift they give for Labour what I find interesting is the reaction of Conservative comment.
Conservative Home criticises Cameron for sounding an ‘uncertain trumpet’ over cutting the deficit. Certainly, Cameron’s speech at the Davos summit was less hawkish than was indicated by the interviews he gave beforehand; he was forced to at least nod in the direction of reality and economic sense. Conservative Home (and one would imagine also the Conservative right also) does not bend as easily under pressure;
Spending cuts need to be extensive and immediate. A new government needs to convince the markets that we will get a grip on the budget deficit or we will – as Cameron regularly warns – go the way of Greece. We also need to get the pain out of the way as quickly as possible.
All of this makes you wonder what will happen if the Conservatives do fail to win an outright majority. Cameron will be surrounded by steely eyed Thatcherites in the form of the new intake of Conservative PPC’s and be confronted by an activist base whose great expectations will have been dissappointed.
Even the old guard feels alienated by the ‘Cameron machine’;
“When David Cameron and George Osborne move between their suite of offices at the eastern end of the parliamentary estate and the Commons chamber they do so with a pomp that would not embarrass a medieval monarch. A crowd of attendants accompanies them, constantly changing positions but never disrupting the order: staffer, Cameron, staffer, Osborne, staffer. The party moves through the corridors at breakneck speed, heads thrown back, staring into the middle distance rather than looking around at their colleagues. This display certainly succeeds in getting them noticed. But to the Tory MPs whom they march past without even a glance, the whole procession symbolises not power but the remoteness and arrogance of those who are running the party.”
Meanwhile, ‘Big Beasts’ like David Davis stay outside the ruling circle; prowling dangerously in the undergrowth ready to pounce should Cameron falter. realistically, I expect the Conservative right to put Cameron on probation however don’t count on it lasting long……