Channel 4 grate raw Conservative nerves……..
Channel 4 must be pretty pleased with themselves; they managed to attract a storm of Conservative ire by running a story about an email from a Conservative lobbyist which called the Conservative campaign ‘shambolic’. Iain Dale quickly waded-in:
I’m sorry, but Cathy Newman’s so-called Exclusive on Channel 4 News tonight is pretty lame.
Meanwhile, the head of Conservative press operation, Henry Macrory, treated his Twitter followers to a retweet of the email’s author’s more colourful thoughts. A major news story breaks and this is how the head of press responds. Peter Bingle, the author of the email, must feel completely vindicated in his words.
Both Dale and Macrory have made the story less about the contents of the email and more about the reaction from Conservatives. It says it all; it tells us that the insistence that confidence in the Conservative camp is collapsing is essentially true. No doubt this will be refuted but Conservatives who do have to ask themselves how something they disparaged as being ‘non-news’ unleashed such a outburst of fury.
They should be out-of-sight but aren’t and to cap it all tonight’s episode shows how drastically the media narrative has turned 360 degrees against the Conservatives. So, what are they going to do? Early signs are that they are returning to the ‘core vote’ strategy that has failed them so spectacularly for over a decade now.
Ironically, the Conservatives are probably facing a bigger political crisis than they were on the eve of the 1997 wipeout. Back then they were expected to lose; for sure, the scale was devastating but nonetheless it was possible to deal with because it was expected. If they fail to win the next election (a failure to win is a failure to win a workable, outright majority) then it will probably bring a premature end to the career of David Cameron and the rise of the Conservative right, probably under Daniel Hannan. A repeat of what happened to Labour following 1992 looks unlikely; a more radical moderniserthan Cameron has no discernible power base as proved by the regular surveys of Conservative activists and PPC’s.
So much is at stake in the next election; certainly the future of the Conservative Party is one of things….