03 October 2009

Good grief! What do we have here

This piece by Matthew Parris needs to cut out of the Times and dispensed with.

Making the huge assumption that the election is in the bag, Parris is glad that Cameron hasn't sealed the deal with the electorate.  He argues this will lower expectations of what can be achieved:

Mr Cameron has not inspired public passion. There is much less antipathy but little enthusiasm among the electorate for him or his party. Britain is about as excited at the prospect of a Conservative government as at the purchase of a new toaster.

Well, thank heavens for that. For politicians anxious not to disappoint, voter scepticism is an asset beyond price. Tories should count their lucky stars that nobody really believes they’ll make much difference — or not fast. That way, nobody is going to be disappointed. Mr Cameron’s team may get the time, the space and the public patience to make a quiet start, step by step, at the many things they want to do.

He concludes:

I’m glad Mr Cameron and George Osborne haven’t sealed the deal. There’s no deal to seal.

Oh yes there is and it is essential that Cameron does this.  Recent history shows that opposition leaders who do “seal the deal” at their party conference ahead of an election go on to win, no matter what unknown unknowns follow.  The three examples of Wilson in 1963, Thatcher in 1978 and Blair in 1996 prove this.

If Cameron does not “seal the deal” this week the media narrative will change and in quick-time to boot.  The consequences for the Tories that flow from this are obvious.

This is the most critical week in politics for many years and a long one it may well turn out to be.

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