David Cameron’s and the Conservative Party’s failure to position themselves where Labour was in 2006 would have been cause for concern. With the Government struggling to keep the faith of the people, it would be indeed worrying for the Conservatives if they were not ahead.
Labour is a demoralised shambles. For all the claims of ‘a week being a long time in politics’ there will be no clawing back. Economically, everyone says it is going to get worse. What with this, the ghastly porcine Lords affairs and the Jacqui Smith homes ‘arrangement’, it is not looking good. Damage limitation is what is called for, as one Labour MP admitted: ‘We need to give ourselves a less steep mountain to climb back up.’
The Tories are aware of the fight the Government will put up. Labour will mobilise, albeit temporarily. The thought of losing to an old Etonian is unbearable and that is what will bring the party together.
It is hard for Cameron to get a detailed message across. People are worried about their jobs and mortgages; they are focused on the Government rather than the opposition, which is understandable.
This week’s offering of ‘radical decentralisation of local government’ (stay awake at the back) is their take on localisation. It all makes sense – transparency, accountability and reforming the dusty Masonic town halls in Britain. The proposed two-year freeze on council tax will be appealing, but how many heard this message?
Making local councils sexy is a tough call. They are the ultimate turn-off, smug Dick Turpins who take cash to irregularly empty your wheelie bin. We only pay attention when councillors do something News of the World-worthy like dressing up as Nelson Mandela, banning nativity plays or sleeping with each other.
Most interesting was the suggestion that the 12 largest cities outside London will be allowed their very own Boris. Crikey.
Tara Hamilton-Miller is a political adviser and formerly worked for the Conservative Party press team