4 3 mins 14 yrs

Since Tony Blair announced the date – at last – when he will finally relinquish his grip on power, there has been an unprecedented tsunami of press coverage, interviews, media commentary and reflections on 10 years of Nu Labour, Blair, his "legacy" and Brown’s impending coronation as the new leader of the Labour Party and Britain.

Some of this barrage of press coverage has been critical, but the BBC – the main source of information for the vast majority of people, many of whom still believe that it is impartial and unbiased – has been unremittingly positive.

Yes, there have been some critical moments on the BBC – particularly about Iraq – but there is never a but far behind their criticism.

So it comes as no surprise to find that, since Labour’s debacle at the local elections there has been an upsurge of support for Labour, Brown and even Blair according to the latest poll. Of course, these polls should always be taken with a pinch of salt as they are always skewed, but it must be particularly galling to Cameron and the Tory party to find themselves back on 37% after their "fabulous" victory at the local elections.

I say "fabulous" in quotes, because it was a delusion. The turnout was awful – something like a third, I believe – and the results themselves were little to get excited about. The Tory voters turned out a little more reliably than the Labour voters and the undecided voters who bothered to show up took the chance to give Labour a bit of a kicking – but that’s about it. Of course, it was natural that Cameron and his supporters – including those in the media – chose to talk up the results, but they know they were deluding themselves. An opposition should be doing a lot better against the incumbent party at a mid term election where the government is so unpopular and has been in power for 10 years.

Cameron has made no progress for the Tories. They are pretty much exactly where they were under Howard, Duncan-Smith and Hague. I’ve no doubt that the Tories are holding strategy meetings as we speak to try and identify what is going wrong – just as they did under the previous leaders. There will be no panic yet, but there will be increasing concern that they are not making the impact they believe they should be making. Momentary glimpses of revival followed by a slip back to that thirty something mark. So close and yet so far.

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4 thoughts on “Thirty something

  1. David,

    "Some of this barrage of press coverage has been critical, but the BBC – the main source of information for the vast majority of people, many of whom still believe that it is impartial and unbiased – has been unremittingly positive."

    I don’t follow. Surely this isn’t the same BBC whom the Blair government, by way of cabinet minister Goldsmith, took out an injunction (aka gagging order) against a mere two months ago.

  2. Stan posted:

    "Cameron has made no progress for the Tories. They are pretty much exactly where they were under Howard, Duncan-Smith and Hague."

    How can you make that claim? Under the three previous leaders the Tories were hammered. Now they have a decent chance of forming the next government.

    Criticise Cameron’s policies if you like, but it’s pointless denying that Tory support has increased under his leadership.

  3. The BBC mindset is to object to Nu Labour not being left wing enough. When it comes to a credible Tory oppositon then the full weight of the Beeb will swing in behind Labour.

    The BBC’s response to the local elections was outrageous. After the Tories won hundreds (or was it thousands?) of extra seats I heard some BBC harpy demanding of a Tory spokesman that he explain why his party had failed so badly.

    They are clearly in a world of their own and long past due being privitised.

  4. NRG,

    "They are clearly in a world of their own and long past due being privitised."

    I couldn’t agree more. Last night they had a ditsy journalist speaking in near-incomprehensible Estuary English actually giving her opinion on a suspect in the McCann case. She didn’t know the man from Adam, and she actually threw in a couple of "y’know"s for good measure. Give these people a TV station? Jeeze.

    BTW, soz Stan for calling you David….

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