>I haven’t written anything for a long time here for various reasons, mostly because the onrushing academic year has taken up a fair chunk of my time but I thought that I’d jot down some thoughts about yesterday’s events.
The build-up to Gordon Brown‘s last conference speech before the election claimed that this would need to be ‘the speech of his life’. I’m not sure that it was, but it was encouraging in its willingness to bend. What was hilarious was hearing George Pascoe-Watson, the (Super Soaraway) Sun‘s political editor, whining that his paper’s switch from supporting Labour to the conservatives was becasue the paper was “reflecting the views of its readership”, when we all know that the single reader whose views it reflects is the 70-something US-resident one of indeterminate nationaility who actually owns it. The hypocrisy was nauseating.
Thursday’s Question Time on the BBC was even more queasily and unintentionally hilarious. David Starkey really does need to remove the broom handle from his jacksie because right now he is so tight-arsed about Brown. Yeah, we get it it Dave: you don’t like him. Shut up, the record’s a bit dull now.
It looks like the choice next year is an invidious one: a Brown-led Labour at the helm during a recession, which is never good. Having said that, they can make captial out of any recovery that might happen. It worked for Major in 1992; the Cameron-led Conservatives with a mostly anonymous front bench, a shadow chancellor who is most likely pout of his depth (Norman Lamont, anyone?) and a leader who deals in dead-eyed, bland, moon-faced platitudes and whose only ‘real’ experience is as a PR man at Carlton TV; or perhaps the Liberal Democrats, led by, well…um, whatisname. Clegg’s attempted repositioning of the party has been less than successful and has sent them flailing desperately out to the right, where they will struggle to steal any Tory votes that were more floating than not.
Although the press have made their minds up that Brown will be out on his ear come My 2010, I seriously think we could be heading for a hung parliament. Unlike 1997, where the party in office were also deeply unpopular, however much Cameron tries, I simply don’t see any great enthusiasm for the opposition either. The other major problem is that since 1997, the media landscape has change immeasureably. Where once the Sun could have claimed to be a piotal infulence on the electorate, it (like a lot of the printed media) is playing a much more peripheral role in proceedings. It may like to think it’s still puching like a heavyweight but the rather more proasic reality is somewhat different.