Derek Simpson backs moderate to lead Unite
Leaked emails over Mike Hancock scandal
David Miliband tipped for top EU job
87% of MPs raking it in with second jobs
David Cameron exclusive interview
"Red Ed" negotiates a minefield
"Red" Ed's knife-edge win
Don't strike over cuts, says union boss
Harman blocks Gordon Brown's farewell honours
Child benefit for older kids faces axe
Ed Miliband edges ahead of bruv in Labour leadership race
Brown proposal may yet woo voters

I HOPE Sarah Brown never grew up dreaming about the moment some romantic young man would pop the question.

Her husband tells us the words he used were: “I want to get married soon, and we should get married soon. Please”.

Perhaps the worst line in the history of romance. But it worked: she took his hand. And, weirdly, so might millions of voters. Gordon Brown’s chat-up line in the next general election is just as bad. “Stability, not risk. Investment, not cuts. Many, not few”.

Complete nonsense: he’s hardly brought us stability, and plans cuts of least 10 per cent. But his argument is, at least, clear.

And his message is getting across. People seriously think he somehow ‘saved the banks’ or staved off a depression.

How do I know? Because I’ve been speaking to Tory candidates, who are knocking on doors and being told this by voters.

They are horrified at how many voters think that Brown somehow did a good job on the economy.

He certainly bailed out banks. But how? By promising them cash from taxpayers averaging an extortionate £20,000 per household.

Do you think your hard-earned should go to protect bankers bonuses? I doubt it. But the mute Tories don’t make this point.

Or any other point. When it comes to seducing voters, George Osborne makes tongue-tied Gordo look like a political Tiger Woods.

The Conservatives realise there is a problem. They’re in mild panic and having endless debates about what strategy to take.

Positive, or negative? General, or specific? Cautious, or radical? They’re trying to be all six.

Meanwhile, opportunities are being missed. For example: the Iran crisis blew up last week. Where was our Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague? I’m a huge fan of Hague’s, but I’m also a fan of Lady Gaga - and I hear more from her than I do from him.

Tory MPs look on aghast. For the first time in years, you hear grumblings. One Tory MP, a loyalist, told me mutiny could be in the air. “Half of us only back Cameron because he’s a winner,” he said. “Right now, polls point to a hung parliament. Someone who can’t get a majority against a man as weak as Brown is not a winner.”

Winning elections is pretty simple. Step one: have a message. Step two: flog your message to the voters. Step three: bag their votes

The Tory candidates I speak to say the message they use on the doorstep is immigration. But the party leadership hate the topic.

Cameron will win. But Labour now has a fighting chance of denying him the majority he needs. It all looks reminiscent of Autumn 2007, when Tories panicked and thought Cam’s caution was about to lose them the election.

Then, he found a burst of energy – and courage. He went on the attack, with radical policies that knocked Labour for six.

Cam has a habit of pulling things out of the fire. But he also has a habit of letting things fall into the fire in the first place.

Brown’s lines may be crude, but - I really do hate to say this – they are working. And millions of voters are being seduced. The next election should have been a walkover. Now, against all odds, it’s looks like it’s going to be a proper fight.

And if I were Brown, I’d want to call that election as soon as possible – while his undeserved luck still holds.

 

Comments



    Keeping one eye on the rest of the web
  Westminster blog spy