Anorak News | The Right Stuffed

The Right Stuffed

by | 17th, January 2005

‘THE Tories may have thought that things couldn’t get any worse after William Hague led them to a second landslide election defeat in 2001.

He who laughs last, votes Labour

But Michael Howard is on the verge of achieving the seemingly impossible and winning fewer seats than in either of the past two polls.

The Independent suggests that party which was once known as the most efficient election-winning organisation in the world is heading for meltdown.

The defection to Labour of Robert Jackson, a minister in the Thatcher government, could be followed by others if the party didn’t make significant gains this time.

“It is in the country’s best interests that Tony Blair rather than Michael Howard should form the next government,” he said.

That announcement rather overshadowed the Tories’ announcement that they had identified £35bn of savings that could be made to the cost of government.

Of this, £6bn would be available for tax cuts, £6bn would be used to pay back public debt and £23bn would be spent on public services – thus squaring that particular political circle.

However, many of these supposed savings have already been identified by Gordon Brown and earmarked by Labour. It is the sad thing about savings – you can’t spend them twice.

And Mr Jackson’s first move as a Labour MP was to attack what he said was “a fraudulent prospectus”.

“I regard it as a fig leaf,” he told the Times, “to avoid talking about the real issue is you are on a tax-cutting agenda, which is shrinking the responsibilities of the state.”

Mr Howard attempted to shrug off the departure, while others suggested that Mr Jackson had been promised a peerage in exchange for his defection.

But more worrying for the Tory leader will be the poll in yesterday’s News Of The World, which suggests that he is on course to lead the party to its worst result in a century.

When party members are already pining for the good old days of William Hague and even Iain Duncan Smith, you know that things couldn’t get any worse.

Or could they?’

Posted: 17th, January 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink