15 August 2009

Cameron’s other problem

Mandy has given an interview to complete his week in charge where he takes another swipe at George Osborne:

I don’t know him well enough to like or dislike him. He does not carry conviction as a would-be Chancellor. He is a crowd-pleaser. He chops and changes depending on the audience he is addressing.

This is key:

In today’s interview he suggests that last August — presumably in the same Corfu conversation, although he does not confirm that — Mr Osborne had “boasted” to him that he had just made a speech about the Tories being the party of fairness and that he had “got away with it”.

“Actually I half admire his nerve,” Lord Mandelson says. Referring to Mr Osborne’s claim this week that the Tories are the “progressive” party, Lord Mandelson adds: “He is trying exactly the same stunt this August but this time he got a cold shower. The point about this is not just his chutzpah but the fact that last year the Labour Party let him get away with it.”

Mandy realises that Osborne is as pivotal to Cameron’s fortunes as he is to Brown’s future.  Every time he speaks on policy or announces an initiative, Mandy is going to chip away at Osborne’s credibility hoping to destroy it and his confidence to boot.  By doing this Mandy believes he will undermine the Tory strategy in the lead up to the election.

Cameron and Osborne can’t just ignore what Mandy is up to and will have to challenge him head on.  If Mandy’s views on Osborne do gain traction, Cameron is going to forced on the defensive, which is just what Mandy wants.

So, Dave has got two fundamental issues to deal with.  One is the self-inflicted damage that Hannan’s loose tongue has caused and the other being Mandy’s obvious strategy relative to George Osborne.

The Tories smooth road to the election has hit a few pot holes.  Possibly, Cameron has become a bit complacent during the summer.  After the events of this week, he will will have to sharpen up his act and alter his strategy to deal with the onslaught that Labour will unleash in September.

Brown will be firing all cylinders when he returns.  He will now see an opportunity to expose the Tories, especially in an area he believes is exclusive Labour territory, the NHS.

Maybe Brown will get a bounce in the polls, whether it is a dead cat one remains to be seen.

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