Anorak News | Up The Creek

Up The Creek

by | 21st, October 2003

‘THE Tories have been up a particular creek for a number of years now and it doesn’t seem to matter much what, if any, type of paddle they have to hand.

‘I have the full support of my party and the country at large’

Having jettisoned the paddle that had served them so well for more than a decade when it seemed to be steering headlong for the rocks, they have been content to use any plank of wood that happened to be floating past at the time.

First of all, there was a particularly grey bit of flotsam, which served its purpose for a time and managed briefly to keep them from capsizing.

Then, when that oar broke, they latched onto a young sapling, albeit with the appearance of an old oak, which they hoped would steer them back into the high seas.

When all it managed was to propel them still further up the creek, they quickly jettisoned it in favour of a nondescript piece of timber – which they have been trying to throw overboard ever since.

However, what the Guardian calls “a near-nightmare scenario” for party strategists is the news that there is no popular alternative to Iain Duncan Smith in sight.

An ICM poll for the paper shows the Government still has a five-point lead over the Tories – the equivalent of a Labour majority of 160 or more at a General Election.

If IDS is replaced by Michael Howard, the figures get even worse with 19% of people saying they would be more likely to vote Tory and 26% saying they would be less likely.

The figures for party chairman David Davis are even worse – but the future still looks bleak for IDS.

The Times reports that he has been “ticked off” about alleged misuse of his official chauffeur-driven car.

“Cabinet officials are understood to have warned the Tory leader and told him that he is subject to the same rules are ministers forbidding use of Government cars for private or party political business,” it says.

And the Guardian says his efforts to bat off the so-called Betsygate scandal surrounding payments made to his wife received another setback yesterday.

Former campaign press secretary Belinda McCammon said Mrs Duncan Smith only came into the office “once every two or three weeks” and she hadn’t even realised she was on the payroll.

Ms McCammon said she couldn’t be sure BDS was not working from home, “but just from my observations and especially in the set-up of the leader’s office, certainly they’ve overstated how hands-on she was in that”.

Time for a new plank of wood, we think.’

Posted: 21st, October 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink