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Archive for the ‘campaigning’ 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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…for New Labour under first Blair, then Brown, to ruin Britain. It’s worth watching this again just to remind yourself why you’re not voting for Labour – and why you shouldn’t risk voting for the Liberal Democrats.

The only party that can be trusted to make a start on rescuing the British economy, and securing genuine recovery, is the Conservative party.

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Outstanding. In every way. Powerful and thought-provoking and, of course, all true – something the Labour/Libdum campaigns can’t boast. I hope this one makes its way onto the telly.
The Spectator has blogged on this already, having been ringside at its launch about an hour ago. Peter Hoskin of that esteemed organ writes:

It was a good nine minutes long, and might as well have been titled The Downfall of New Labour. The opening shots were of Blair and Brown in 97: “a new dawn,” and all that. But Blair’s image soon faded to black-and-white, and we were bombarded with a montage of headlines, quotes and images which highlighted the failures of the Labour years. 10p tax. Falling education standards. MRSA. The misdemeanours of Peter Mandelson. Defence spending. Purnell’s resignation. Gillian Duffy. Even Manish Sood’s comments today. Depending on your disposition, it was all gorily nostalgic stuff. Negative, yes. But quite powerful nonetheless.

Speaking afterwards, and in response to questions, Jeremy Hunt was keen to emphasise two things: that a (tactical) vote for the Lib Dems could mean five more years of this, and that the Tories also have a positive message. The latter point is undeniable – as demonstrated by Cameron’s contract with voters this week. But it’s striking that the party has chosen to round out its campaign with an all-out assault on Brown and his compatriots. Deep down, you suspect, they always knew he was their biggest asset.

Yes, but there’s also nothing like telling it like it is. People are crying out for honesty – and, yes, for change. Show me someone who really believes that with five more years of the wrecker and divider Brown, or with Labour’s little, yellow mini-me bruvvas and sistas, the Illiberal Democrats, you will get change and I’ll show you either a liar or an activist or a fool (or all of the above rolled into one).

Whatever the impact of this broadcast will depend on its circulation, of course. But if it were to be widely seen, then I think it would have a big effect on polling, but not because, as Hoskin suggests, Brown is the Tories’ biggest asset, 13 years of Labour dishonesty and failure is.

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Seems to me that just about all the polls, dodgy or not, are showing that the Conservatives are pulling ahead. But the Angus Reid one (and they’re the most trustworthy pollster, we are led to believe by some) today in the Express, should send shockwaves through the Labour party. It is Labour’s worst poll since 1918 and, if repeated, would represent the eclipsing of Labour by the Liberals – who knows for how long. The marginals poll, as reported in the Spectator, confirms the trend too: the bells are beginning to toll for Labour.

Generally speaking, therefore, from now on, it is pretty clear that the best Labour can hope for is to limit the damage in this general election as far as possible, and try to come out of it with at least its core vote just about in tact. As for the blame game, I think that’s already started with party loyalists not having to look too far for the main culprit. The only problem is that in blaming Brown for an atrocious campaign and for dividing the party, Labour MPs also condemn themselves. It was them that arrogantly installed him unchallenged as leader in the first place, and the electorate knows that.

A strong element in the causes of Labour’s dwindling support must be the punishment factor. I can tell you pretty confidently that people I know, for instance, have never forgiven Labour for inflicting Brown on us without even a leadership election for them to have a look at him first. They simply do not believe Labour any more, with good reason, and if not exclusively, then partly, because of this. They feel they’ve been taken for granted, and made fools of by a party that’s completely out of touch.

Hang on, there’s someone at the front door and my dog’s gone bananas…

Well, now. That was timely. Labour activists delivering yet more leaflets, this time in person. I’ve got a stack of them now. They must really think this ultra-safe seat’s become marginal, and that is truly extraordinary.

My dog. Cairn terriers do not like activists

But, a brief glance at the campaign literature handed to me by the jolly, red rosette wearing man and the drop dead gorgeous Labour woman (maybe they’ve done some research on me!) tells me that they still just don’t get it. Nothing in the pamphlet will change people’s minds that they cannot be trusted to tell the truth. Quite the reverse, actually – it just confirms people’s suspicions in that it contains, sadly, the same sort of now-familiar Brownite smears about, for instance, the Tories planning to eat pet cats or something (well, abolishing bus passes for OAPs, which is a lie). It’s very depressing, desperate stuff and a strong indication to me that they are on the way out in Wales for the first time ever.

My money is therefore still on an earthquake election, with Labour being hammered into third place and, if not Liberal-style oblivion, then a truly shocking reverse. Good news, if you think they deserve it, as I and an awful lot of other people plainly do.

They only have themselves, and Gordon Brown, to blame.

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The latest PEB from Labour represents a new low in hate politics, exploitation and smearing propaganda, even for them. This is it:

Fortunately, Iain Dale, having highlighted it in the first place, in one of the most apoplectic posts I’ve ever seen him write on his blog in the two years or so I’ve been reading it, quickly destroys the claims too. A GP has emailed him cataloguing the lies underpinning the most dishonest campaign video in British political history. Read it here.

Well done to him and to Mr Dale for knocking it down before it has a chance to gain any kind of traction. I trust this will be all over the MSM tomorrow – with the story being not only the Labour lies and filth about Conservative health and child support policy, but the abject bankruptcy of the Labour election campaign as a whole.

Mind you, they are totally desperate so they will probably get even worse.

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Guido has highlighted a new, public-sourced, ‘anti-politics’ (whatever that actually means – politics is politics isn’t it?) anti-some other stuff attack page designed to reveal just how major and sustained a disaster the Brown years have been for Britain.

LabourVision.TV launches tomorrow – a crowd sourced effort to produce an online anti-party, anti-political election broadcast. Details revealed tomorrow of how your video can be part of Gordon – the Disaster Movie premiering on May Day. The bar is high. Come back tomorrow…

The page can be found at the link in the quote and will be well worth a visit, not least because we have the tantalising prospect of the May Day movie, coming soon to a blog near you.

If this outstanding first effort is anything to go on, the results of this project could be pretty damaging for an already severely wounded Brown-Labour campaign.

I think this is what you call ‘sharpening the message’ and hats off to Guido for doing it. Tory campaign HQ should take note.

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All people need to know, and all the Tories need to do to counter this latest bit of lying Labour misrepresentation, is to remind them that every baby born for a generation or more will be in debt, from birth, to the tune of £32,000 and quickly rising (see counter at the bottom of this blog). The excellent Tory poster from January 2009 is now that far out of date. In 15 months, Brown’s baby bill’s nearly doubled.

It’s Brown’s baby tax, created as a consequence of his crazy scorched earth, debt-fueled spending spree after his mega-bust, and it’s one of many reasons why he deserves nothing less than the total political oblivion to which the nation’s about to consign him. And good riddance.

And let’s hear no more pathetic, desperate lies about some phantom Tory ‘toddler tax’.

There’s only one conclusion worth reaching in this general election, and it’s becoming clearer to people by the minute: it’s time for the Tories to come in and clear up another fine Labour crisis. Failing that, it’s just time for Brown to go.

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General Sir Richard Dannatt, whom the Labour party attempted to smear not that long ago just because he disagreed with them, has written a piece for tomorrow’s Sunday Telegraph that resonates. In it, not only does he show us (diplomatically) what’s gone so horribly wrong with defence and foreign policy management under Labour, he reminds us why nailing your colours to a particular mast is so vital when a general election comes around. This last part of his wise words is especially telling:

…what if the electorate were to decide that, with the political class discredited through their abuse of their own remuneration system, they will not vote at all, or will use that vote to punish all and sundry? What message would that send to our young people on the front line in Afghanistan risking life and limb for our security? It says: we actually quite like the idea of those votes that are cast producing no clear answer – but meanwhile, you go on risking your all so we can sit at home doing nothing and deciding nothing. Frankly, we owe it to ourselves and to our servicemen and women to do better.

Here here. It seems to me that General Dannatt also suggests a point that, while wrongly perceived these days as somehow old-fashioned, is nevertheless more significant now than it’s ever been: a vote is a precious thing, and to use it when the time comes isn’t just a right, it’s a duty. And you must vote according to what you believe is in the best interests of your country, and not according to some kind of inherited political prejudice and certainly not because you think you’re ‘angry with the system’.

If you have any doubts, (and I no longer do), about the party to which you should lend your vote, then you should be aware that the party that best fits Dannatt’s criteria for honest, patriotic voting is, currently, the Conservative Party. And this is no time for a hung parliament.

Right, having uttered all that well-intentioned claptrap, I would however like to add that wherever you are, in this real world, any chance that you get to kick Labour as hard as you can, take it. They deserve to be annihilated and, after all, ultimately that’s what voting’s really for. I admire and aspire to high-minded democratic principles and all that as much as the next knighted general. But, for our nation today, we all must vote and, if necessary, vote dirty. First to get rid of Brown, second to install a strong government. You can’t do that by voting Lib Dem, Libertarian or UKIP. That’s just true.

And even if, on the face of it, his standards seem unreachably high, I think that between the lines, that’s precisely what Dannatt is saying.

So well said he!

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The latest Tory viral attack ad that popped into my inbox a few minutes ago, connected to a pretty powerful campaign summary signed by George Osborne, is damn good. But it’s damn scary too.

Anyone contemplating voting for Brown – or that Clegg person (which could amount to virtually the same thing in that it would split the vote and lead to a hung parliament, possibly with Brown still in power – and still unelected) – should examine these facts very closely. And then vote Tory. Every minute Brown-Labour remain in charge of anything is another minute of calamity for Britain. That’s a powerful reality.

Btw: is that Christopher Ecclestone doing the voiceover? Didn’t know he was one of the honest. If it is, good on him.

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If you want to take out a troublesome enemy tank, in this case an obsolete knockoff Russian T62 (also known as the Liberal Mk1 Main Battlebus), you don’t use a bunch of tracer bullets. However accurate the rounds might be, and however many you loose, not only are they simply going to bounce off the turret of the lumbering, sputtering war machine (in this case the 360 degree swivelling Nick Clegg), they will give away your position too. The newspapers that profess a bluish bent have done just that with their suspiciously timed, well-aimed but poorly armed, poorly co-ordinated full frontal assault. Over the top, chaps!

No, what you need to do, tactically, is to bide your time, choose the correct ordnance and then open fire with the radar-guided, state of the art heavy guns. A battery of that nature would be (would have been/will be?) decisive; the fireworks delightful and the result, devastating. So Iain Dale and John Ward are dead right in their assessment, that the attack was ill-conceived, will backfire and the Tories should have nothing to do with it.

Having said that, I recognise the possibility that a charge of hypocrisy might be coming my way. Well, so what? It would be unfounded. What I deposit here is personal opinion. And I stand by my opinion that nothing has happened to alter my long-held view that Nick Clegg is a two-faced, overhyped, establishment lightweight that no one in their right mind should ever consider as prime ministerial material. He’s benefited from the anti-politics thang, for sure, and the TV media’s desire for a Close Run Thing (hung parliaments mean higher ratings), but that’s it. On policy he’s nowhere. At least with Labour you just have universally bad ideas, most of which have been discredited already after thirteen lost years, and involve, if we were to have to suffer five more lost years of them, plunging an increasingly authoritarian UK into social and economic oblivion.

With Clegg’s Libdums, you get either conflicting policies, badly thought-out policies, unfundable policies or policies (and these are the really interesting ones) that will lead us to being kicked off the UN Security Council, subsumed by a federal EU and relegated to third rate power status (see Simon Hughes). I’m not entirely certain anyone in this country is quite ready for any of that particular brand of ‘change’, or ever will be.

But it’s up to the Tories, and the pisspoor papers (if they can get their heads out of their collective fundaments) to make people see that.

PS:
One online rag really does provide a case in point:

Nick Clegg dossier reveals his Martian roots

DAS BUNKER, Whopping, Tuesday (MSBBC) — Your Super Soaraway SUN has found the blueprint for Nick Clegg’s top-secret TV debate strategy in the back of a CAB, revealing he is a MARTIAN INVADER.

It reveals the Lib Dem leader STOLE DNA from David Cameron to DUPLICATE his style and cover Britain in a ROBOT ARMY OF CLEGGS, with BlackBerrys to be installed in all citizens.

“It’s very SLOPPY to just leave it in my CAB in a locked and alarmed SUITCASE,” said the cab driver, Andy Coulson,” and I thought people should know. That’s why I SOLD it to The Sun.”

Clegg DISGRACED himself in the television debate last Thursday, winning a mere 37% in BIASED COMMUNIST POLLS, while TORY SUPERSTAR Dave “Dave” Cameron topped the charts with a SURGE to 31% — despite foolish commentators claiming Clegg was less terrible than GORDON BROWN attempting to SMILE or the picture of DAVE CAMERON someone had PHOTOSHOPPED onto the screen.

“I used my PSYCHIC POWERS to talk to ADOLF HITLER after the debate and he would DEFINITELY vote Lib Dem now,” reveals luscious, pouting MYSTIC MEG in her political opinion column on Page 3 today.

The Tories have responded by DISTANCING themselves from the Liberal Democrats’ WASHED-UP, SOCIALIST POLICIES and put out new posters blaming the recession on the people responsible: POLISH ASYLUM TERRORISTS on THE DOLE.

“The Conservative Home web forum got out MS Paint and came up with some great stuff,” said Tory webmaster Andy Coulson. “Though they thought we should distance ourselves from those WISHY-WASHY, NUT-CUTLET-EATING LIBERALS at the Daily Mail, who are SOFT ON VOLCANOES and soft on the CAUSES of volcanoes.”

An article in the Völkischer Beobachter on Sunday by Andy Coulson REVEALED Clegg’s SPANISH wife, RUSSIAN grandfather and MARTIAN allegiance, and how he would definitely fail a proper Tory BRITISHNESS test.

“Fuck,” said Rupert Murdoch, speaking to his editors about the ACTUAL poll numbers.

I mean, shocking scaremongering!

+Update+

This is what Clegg really said (just in the spirit of accuracy, you understand – no smearist I):

“Watching Germany rise from its knees after the war and become a vastly more prosperous nation has not been easy on the febrile British psyche.”

“All nations have a cross to bear, and none more so than Germany with its memories of Nazism. But the British cross is more insidious still.”

“A misplaced sense of superiority, sustained by delusions of grandeur and a tenacious obsession with the last war, is much harder to shake off. We need to be put back in our place.”

Hmm. The change we need.

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