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Archive for the ‘campaign’ Category

Been reading a few hand-wringing blogposts around and about reinforcing the idea that after that truly appalling rant at the weird, “Citizen UK” rally, Brown had somehow found his voice at the eleventh hour. Of course, it’s in the nature of the media that these things become self-reinforcing narratives leading, usually at breakneck speed, to some sort of settled view or consensus, however totally detached from the truth – or reality – it might be. In fact, you could argue that the general election battle is a battle not just for a vote, but to influence that mercurial, flowing media narrative and try to alter, if you like, the course of the discourse – so to speak.

So in one sense – this sense – one could say that Brown sort of succeeded. He has shifted the narrative slightly – maybe – with the BBC on this morning’s Today programme being willing accomplices, typically, or even the initiators of this latest little change of tack. But we know that the whole narrative, whichever way it is leaning, is generally nonsense anyway; that the reality is rather different, regardless of whether it influences people’s minds or not.
The reality is that Brown, with his back against the wall and his campaign leaders pulling in three different directions, telling their own voters to vote for other parties (David Blackburn was pretty amusing on this in the morning), has decided unsurprisingly to get all atavistic on our butts; to go back to the old irrational, deceitful, Tory-hating, prehistoric Balls-Brown fake dividing line that Mandelson and Darling worked so hard to move away from and onto less toxic, less risky ground. They tried to decontaminate brand Brown. It seems they failed.
But they at least could see the bigger picture that concerns the whole future of Labour. I figure they calculated that if they allowed Brown to lie about phantom Tory cuts/ equally phantom Labour spending, won the election and then proceeded to cut everything in sight having been ordered to by the IMF, they would lose the next election (which would probably come soon afterwards anyway) by a country mile, be truly obliterated this time by a livid electorate, and secure 25 years of Tory government into the bargain without David Cameron even having to break sweat.
So, the upshot is that, despite the direction in which the media narrative is currently veering, apparently and irrelevantly, the fact is that Brown has got it disastrously wrong. He’s not only reverted to type (who could have doubted that he wouldn’t – that’s all he is, after all), but he’s actually going to lose the election on the back of it too, so we can skip the brief period of the total turmoil of a Labour government winning on a lie and collapsing within months as the economy tears itself apart and move straight onto the Tories.
All in all, the couple of more rational members of the former Labour cabinet must be tearing their collective hair out (that doesn’t include Liam Byrne, naturally) gnashing their teeth and generally wailing a lot. Thanks to Gordon Brown, the whole, elegantly triangulated (and exquisitely dishonest rather than brutally deceitful) Mandelsonian election campaign strategy has now totally imploded and will suck the party down with it.
As I’ve said before, they only have themselves to blame. They could have removed Brown a long time ago. Hell, they never should have taken the piss out of the electorate by giving the auld wrecker a coronation in the first place. But that’s all history now, and so is Labour. The one silver lining is that if there is any justice left in this world, or, indeed, sense left in this country, then even if Labour aren’t kicked into third place and kicked into touch for a generation – even if they manage by some miracle to keep Cameron down to a minority government – Brown will be gone.
Even I, ever the optimist who still firmly believes in the clear Tory triumph – if by some horrible, perverted twist of fate I’m wrong, even I would happily settle just for the end of Brown if I can’t have anything else. That outcome would be by no means satisfying, or even satisfactory, but it’d be one hell of a relief.

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See what happens if you’re at work and you leave the blogs alone for a couple of hours? You miss something really big.

In this case, the sight of Calamity Gord “loose”, as Sir Humphrey might say “in the building” (or, rather, the country) and the subsequent trail of devastation ending in a rail crash that follows soon after.
It’s not so much Brown’s rudeness and two-faced ‘pretending to care’ high/heavy handedness with, in this case, an everyday voter just like you or me (well, not like me actually. She is – or maybe come to think of it ‘was’ – a Labour voter until Brown branded her a ‘bigot’ behind her back), it’s the rock-solid inevitability that if Brown is involved, no matter what it is, wherever it is, something is going to go horribly, horribly wrong.
But this time, Brown has really done it. It’s his and his party’s whole future that he’s finally, permanently sabotaged. Poetic justice that is good for at least one, vital thing: this country’s future.
The other parties will be wondering why they’ve bothered to expend so much time and money on elaborate campaigns and manifestos when all they had to do was sit back and watch the auld wrecker single-handedly alienate nine tenths of the voting public, two thirds of his own party and comprehensively depth charge any hope he might have entertained of becoming a legitimate prime minister. Oh, hang on, I remember why they bothered (especially the Tories) – not because they feel any particular entitlement to power, as with the Labourist Brownite inner circle, but because they genuinely care about righting Brown-Labour’s wrongs.
One thing this latest Brown cockup is bad for, though, and extremely irritatingly, is that Brown and his ilk are, as Iain Dale has said, pushing ordinary white working class Labour supporters straight into the arms of the nationalist socialists, the BNP: one final piece of Brownian sabotage for which he should never be forgiven, even in retirement – or death.
It’s that serious; he’s been that bad.

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All this talk of coalitions, especially what I think is the outrageous idea of Lib-Con pact – it’s dishonest, stupid and is starting to annoy me. The Tories must aim for outright victory in the general election and nothing else. Entertaining speculation of hung parliaments can lead to a self-fulfilling prophesy. They should leave all that nonsense to the desperate, collapsing Labourists, the fantasist Cleggians and the media, for whom this trope maintains audience interest and nowt else.

On the subject, I thought this Sunday Times leader was rather witty, and pretty telling too, in its own way:

What would coalition government be like in Britain? We’ve had no real experience of so-called unity government since the second world war, so it might help to consider how coalition would work in other areas of British life.
Take Arsenal, facing yet another trophy-free season in the Premier League. Wouldn’t they be so much more successful in coalition with Tottenham, their deadly rivals? Footballers are professionals, or so they always insist. Somehow they’d make Arsenal Hotspur work on the pitch.
As in politics, it’s the grassroots support that’s the problem: like expecting Richard Dawkins and the Pope to collaborate on a revision of the Gospels. Would a merger between Oasis and Blur have produced anything other than a punch-up? Would you watch French & Pace, or would you prefer Hale & Saunders? Get used to it, because this is what we can look forward to in the coming months: the politics of Ant & Stacey. Or Gavin & Dec. Marks & Q, B & Spencer, Morecambe and Fry …

Do any other unlikely, bizarre or unnatural coalitions spring to anyone’s mind? How about cats and dogs. What would that produce? A dot? A dat? A cog??

Point being, Britain can well do without a government of Conservative Democrats, or whatever other mutant, non-viable political organism that might emerge from a split vote and deadlock. If there is no decision on May 6th, the answer is not a coaltion with small parties with small shares of the vote and a small number of seats wielding disproportionate amounts of influence. The answer is another election. We believe in strong, decisive government in this country, not the kind of stitch-up, back room compromises of 1974, that led to stagflation, union militancy, the collapse of the pound, bankruptcy and a humiliating bailout by the IMF.

There’s a simple way to skip that false step and miss out those lost years of drifting and decay this time around.

Vote Conservative on May 6th. Simples!

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A lame one liner from Brown in the debate was the first sign that Labour’s campaign troglodytes have, quite simply – and completely – lost the plot. I’ve seen this image on a couple of blogs now this evening. I dismissed it, though, thinking it must be just another Toryish blogger agitprop spoof. Not so. A little trip to Labour.org reveals that, yes, believe it or not (and I still can’t believe it), it’s for real.

Brown said during the EU bit of the debate: “They’ll turn Great Britain into Little Britain”. Just another pathetic, throwaway Brownist soundbite and, as always, instantly forgettable. You would think.

But no. Know this: it wasn’t just a prepared line for Brown to chuck in. It’s part of what looks like a new, concerted campaign tactic, with the diabolically unethical picture below as its visual support:

This was published hours before the debate. Given the hideousness of the image, not least because of Cameron’s experience as a father caring for a severely disabled son (now sadly deceased), but also its exploitation generally of disability for cynical political purposes, it’s just incomprehensibly sick – and the Labour party must be held to account for it. Severely.

You have to ask, what kind of thought processes are at work in the creation of a thing as brutally horrible as this? Damaged ones, I would say. Very damaged.

Did Brown not know about this either? He said the line in the debate, so one should conclude that, just like with his leaflet smear campaign against the Tories and the SNP, he knew full well about it.

That alone should be enough to bury him in totally justified, universal condemnation.

And I thought we’d seen the worst of him, the lowest.

Not yet, it seems.

=Update=
And…pulled. Don’t expect we’ll be seeing that particular line of attack again from the corrupt Labourists (a couple of whom were stupid enough to leave comments here). Good, but the harm to what’s left of their reputations – and to the disabled – has been done. The grim last gasps of a heartless regime, and party, rotten to the core.

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Yesterday, we were greeted with the second morning in a row of that nauseating LibDum father and son double act (the Cable and Clegg show) on the BBC. Full coverage of two very dull press conferences. Today, it was the turn of the Marx (as in Karl) brothers: Mandy, Balls & Burnham. The BBC provided them with as much live airtime as they wanted to spread what I can only call, having read (bits of) the Conservative manifesto (it was free!), outright, barefaced, scurrilous, amoral, wickedly misleading lies. From start to finish, you had the three of these strangers to reality, let alone the truth, dishing out scaremongering propaganda that simply wasn’t true. None of it. Nada. Not a thing. Labour’s dirty tricks are big news for the BBC.

I didn’t have time to wait for the Q/A section. Was there one? Or has the BBC finally given up even the pretence of impartiality now and decided to allow any attacks on the Tories, however perfidious and, in this case, outrageously smearing, in some cases personally, to go unchallenged altogether? It’s a fair question and the answer to it, if the past two mornings of its coverage are any evidence, is disturbing.

Don’t get me started on the Today programme. Suffice to say, its editors appear to be attempting to maintain some kind of ‘balance’ – by at least allowing a few, you know, Conservatives actually to answer the critics wheeled on, conveyor belt-style to trash policies, especially good ones. But the agenda is crystal clear. Treat the Tories like they’ve been in power for thirteen years – and treat Labour like the official opposition. Clever. But a nightmare to listen to and watch, a sign of how corrupt and contaminated the BBC really is, and bad news for the Conservative party.

Even I’m beginning to think that the political bias of the BBC, ever-more flagrant, and the hard-nosed commercial agenda of Sky/Murdoch (hung parliaments sell papers and boost viewing figures) is beginning to influence the direction of this general election campaign. If these factors influence the outcome, then the outcome will be meaningless and the country will have been betrayed. That much is at stake so wouldn’t it be nice to hear a little more complaining from the big boy bloggers from now on, too? Or don’t they care?

If you think I’m exaggerating, just ask yourself this question: where is the BBC’s coverage of a Tory press conference? If there isn’t any coverage in the next few days, maybe then people will begin to realise what is happening; it’s not just tinfoilhattery on my part.

I’m assuming the Tories have planned a few press conferences. They have, haven’t they? Well, if they haven’t, they damn well should!

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Not too young, just too stupid

The Spectator earlier added something rather juicy to the moron Labour PPC who’s made a total tweeting twat of himself on Twitter.

Gordon Brown is heading to Scotland today and it is hard to see how he can avoid the story of the Labour candidate for Moray and his Tweets. Forget Stuart MacLennan’s foul language, it’s the mindset that his messages reveal that is truly shocking. Take this one from July 8th:“God this fairtrade, organic banana is shit. Can I have a slave-grown, chemically enhanced, genetically modified one please?”

If Labour leave this candidate in place, then they’ll be saying that they think talking about wanting a ‘slave-grown’ banana is acceptable.

This scandal is embarrassing for Labour. A whole slew of senior Labour figures were following MacLennan on Twitter including Sarah Brown, Ed Balls, John Prescott, the Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy and Labour’s Twitter Tsar Kerry McCarthy, although I haven’t been able to establish whether any of them were following MacLennan when the Tweets in question were made.

It most certainly is embarrassing for Twitter-obsessed Labour. And surely it’ll make seriously uncomfortable reading for Brown – at least publicly. I strongly suspect this Stuart Maclennan clown is cut from the same cloth as the bullying, smearing, lying Labour leader, however. So in private, no-doubt Brown will wonder what all the fuss is about.

But that won’t stop Brown dropping him like a radioactive turd if this gains any more airtime, though.

So bye bye political career before it’s started then, Stuart Maclennan. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke. You won’t be missed.

Update:
Thanks to Adam Collyer for pointing this out to me: he’s gone!

That was fast, as in ‘feet don’t touch the ground’ fast.

The next thing is for the Tories to force Brown to make a statement. I want to know if he made the decision to force the stupid boy to resign, or if he will distance himself from it all, just like he did with Draper/McBride. Slightly different case, I know, but the same kind of amoral mindset at work.

Labour’s nasty true colours need to be revealed at every opportunity for all the world to see.

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The Spectator is claiming that this, first heckle of the general election campaign made Gordon Brown look absolutely terrible in completely blanking it. It could “reverberate across the campaign” their man says. Of course, I agree. But having looked at the video, I can’t help wondering whether it was a setup. It conveniently refers to state school choices, a key Tory policy pledge (and an excellent one).
What do you think?
If genuine, and I hope it is, then it is very damaging for Brown after what has been, so I glean from the blogs, and from what I saw of his last, awful, pmqs, a pretty appalling day for him already. On the other hand, if the heroic heckler is shown to have any links with the Conservative party whatsoever, rather than being purely a parent severely hacked-off with Brown and his disastrous government, then it will backfire badly.
On balance, it probably is an honest and spontaneous outburst (we shall see), in which case the Speccy is right and it provides yet another reason to vote Conservative – to right yet another Labour wrong.

So Cameron has a perfect record today, and is campaigning with furious energy. Well done him. Only 29 more perfect days to go and he’s there. Hard work!

Update:
Well, on Ben Butterworth’s, (henceforth known as ‘The Heckler’), nice blog, he is at pains to point this out: “I’m a floating voter, always have been” and that there’s no “political angle”.

Good on him, and I apologise for my suspicious mind 😉 (His site traffic must have gone through the roof!)

This has been a terrible day for Gordon Brown and Labour. Which means it’s been a great day for everyone else! Excellent.

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