The difference will be everything! When voters, not so much in the June 4th Elections but on the only one which counts, the General Election, make their minds up as to whether they will support the incumbent candidate, or a new name from the same Party, or to vote for an opposing Party out of anger or protest, they have a multitude of decisions to weigh.
They will no doubt be voting with resentment if an incumbent has been ‘on the fiddle’, and maybe turn away from Party loyalty because of that anger, and possibly because they were not given a chance to see a discredited face removed from their ballot papers. The permutations are endless, and worthy of discussion from now until the Returning Officer steps forward; but I believe that many will be making their minds up based on the actions and words of the Party Leaders, words which shall indeed determine who leads this country for the next five years.
Consider Gordon Brown’s responses, statements and actions and compare them with his opposite number David Cameron. The Labour attitude has always been grudging, and in response to the statements and actions of others. Yes, they have instituted a ‘Star chamber’ but it’s location and deliberations are secret, and known only to Party hierarchy and participants. Cameron’s actions are to tell defaulters that they must resign, and for some others go before their local Party Associations in an attempt to rescue their careers.
Any sounds from Number 10 of Gordon Brown throwing his Cabinet colleagues to the dogs are slim, and pointed towards those such as Hazel Blears, who made a coded attack on her Leader’s YouTube appearance. Not a word against Ed Balls and wife Yvette Cooper, who have made substantial cash through property speculation at the cost of the public purse; and similar silence regarding Andy Burnham’s new flat, Geoff Hoon’s housing empire, Margaret Moran’s property mini-empire, held so she can have ‘a private life’.
Cameron, although on the forward foot since the expenses crisis surfaced, isn’t entirely free of the ‘Friends and Family’ problem either. Patrick Mcgloughlin’s expenses sheet is by no means squeaky clean, as he pays his wife £40,000 whilst they ‘live’ in London and claim as ‘second’ their constituency home. Our Dave has been firm with little Nadine, who became almost hysterical on the radio, and brutal towards Hogg, Viggers and Anthony Steen. He has been visible in his anger and his actions, and this will count highly, in my belief, when the final reckoning appears come Election Night.
If Cameron can now come out by promising to undo some of the Labour damage, removing ‘terror’ legislation which doesn’t work, removing the ‘rights’ legislation which hampers our ability to chuck other undesirables out, removing the disgusting apparatus in Northern Ireland which allows terror godfathers and their scum cousins to sit in power, dropping the hugely expensive computer projects for the NHS and I.D. cards; he’ll gain not only the waverers, but also firm up the support lost by the end of the Major years, and solidify his power base at Westminster. I still don’t like him, but since the last thing we need is a Tory Leadership change, I suppose we’ll have to live with what we’ve got.