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Today is a great day to be a Tory - My Thoughts Today
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Today is a great day to be a Tory
Boris is the new Mayor of London.
We have 11 seats on the GLA.
We now control 12 additional councils with 256 new councillors.
Labour was beaten into third place behind the Liberal Democrats.

Gordon Brown may not be a dead duck Prime Minister yet, but the label has been will be following him for the foreseeable future, and dissent in Labour's ranks will become increasingly difficult to contain. His one consolation must be that Ken Livingstone's share of the vote in London proves that when Labour concentrates on its core constituency and campaigns with conviction it can still poll respectably, but as Gordon seems to have lost touch with that constituency it's unlikely that he can easily reverse his current difficulties.

On a personal note I was glad that Ken still managed to gather respectable support. Whilst I rarely agree with him on partisan issues, I believe he is dedicated to what he sees as London's best interests and I voted for him in two successive elections because I believed he was the best candidate: and let's face it, the ease with which he defeated Steve Norris suggests that many other Tories across the capital felt the same way. I hope that he will work with Boris on those areas where his commitment has proven invaluable during his time as Mayor, but even if he chooses not to I doubt this will be the last that we see of Ken in political life.

today I am mostly: elated

6 opinions or participate
savantfoxt From: savantfoxt Date: May 3rd, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
I thought the Tories were certain to win until Boris was announced as their candidate, I still have doubts as to his competency but he'll have good people around him to do the actual work, i'm sure.
The Conservatives now have an opportunity to show what kind of changes they might make countrywide before a general election by using London as a template and showcase for their ideas which could help them enormously.
I think Ken had simply been there too long and issues like the congestion charge proved too contraversial to sustain him.

Brown is looking like a second Major as I thought, a lame duck PM who is actually managing the country quite well but is hamstrung by a global economic slowdown, the legacy of his predecessor and his own decisions while Chancellor (borrowing money at the wrong time).
To win a general election he has to make some bold moves, something he is unable to do due to lack of money and his pragmatic style. As with Ken, the voters want to know 'what have you done for me lately' and the answer is 'nothing, really'.

I still don't like Cameron much tho, he's far too establishment and populist for my tastes but he's strong and has his party behind him so he might persuade me when he shows his hand of policies (he's being very coy much like McCain in the US, content to reveal little as he watches his opponants flounder). Currently i'm leaning in a Liberal direction and hoping for a hung parliament until I get a clearer idea of what the three would do to improve this country.

Good luck with Boris!
feyeleanor From: feyeleanor Date: May 4th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
Well even if he doesn't live up to my expectations, at least he should make things interesting ;)

The situation in the US with McCain's coy strategy are quite fascinating: in a sense McCain's campaigning as if he's the opposition candidate whilst Clinton and Obama are fighting to look Presidential. My gut feeling is that that will cost the Democrats in the polls and that McCain has a much better chance of winning than could have been expected for a Republican after Bush's two terms.

The Tories are starting to be more forthcoming on issues other than taxation (which only a complete moron would get drawn on when in opposition). George Osborne just has to keep focusing on the mantra of 'no major changes in spending priorities' and 'more efficient delivery' and Labour is left with very little to attack - although as we move closer to a general election they'll do their best to find such opportunities. I think most of the swing voters that New Labour built it's power on realise that tax cuts will be necessary if the country's economic problems are to be tackled, but they still feel that guilt over public spending that Tony Blair so brilliantly instilled during his period as leader of the opposition and don't want it out in the open.

There's still a certain amount of internal tension inside the Tory party though between the hard-right Thatcherites who want a clear commitment to tax cuts and the one nation lobby that provides Cameron's power base. There's also a growing sense that the time has come to resurrect the West Lothian problem, although that will doubtless subside if Labour has the guts to ditch Brown and choose a new leader from an English constituency. Europe however continues to be a deep division and depending on which way the mood of the country goes that could spell serious trouble: mind you with immigration and food prices on the agenda there could be greater receptivity to Euroscepticism than in recent years.

Still, I wouldn't yet say that the next election will definitely go Cameron's way as a lot can happen in a year or two. Then again, Brown is on the ropes and will need to pull off something spectacular if he wants to reverse the situation. Unfortunately imagination has never been his strong suit, and whilst he keeps the fuel escalator in place he drives prices up across the entire economy in ways that primarily damage Labour's traditional core vote. He also has to worry about protest votes translating into greater visibility for the BNP and other extremist parties.

None of this would be a problem if he had the swing-voter friendly manner of Tony Blair, but he doesn't and Cameron's fluffier old Etonian public persona has historically appealed to the country when times were perceived as tough. I don't know if it will play as well in 21st century Britain, which is far more ethnically and culturally diverse, but I wouldn't discount it as a factor either.

Of course what's most likely to prevent a successful leadership challenge against Brown is the very thing that will probably lose him the next election: his reputation for exacting detail. Very few Labour MPs have the kind of numerate background required to understand his fiscal policies, which in large part explains why they've supported eleven years of increasing wealth gap, spiralling public sector borrowing and spending supported by the highest overall level of taxation in the developed world, and the most complex system of taxation. He's blinded them and the country with science - which the electorate is now starting to perceive as an almighty con - and because of that they're ill-prepared to consider a less technocratic alternative.

All in all, not an easy time to be a Labour election strategist :)
gothbabe From: gothbabe Date: May 3rd, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
I'm also v glad to have Boris in. I've heard the least he's going to do is lower the congestion charge ; )
feyeleanor From: feyeleanor Date: May 3rd, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
Although that will lose him a big chunk of income...
gothbabe From: gothbabe Date: May 4th, 2008 09:33 am (UTC) (permanent link)
I'm not bothered. Never thought it was fair. ; )
feyeleanor From: feyeleanor Date: May 4th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
Well no taxes are fair ;)
6 opinions or participate