David Cameron is turning into an angry man. His reply to Darling certainly woke everybody up, but he didn't have much to say: ‘What a load of rubbish. It’s all Gordon Brown’s fault. Clear off. The country needs us. Goodnight’.
The problem is the electorate are not exactly warming to the Prime Minister-in-waiting. The latest poll, taken before the Darling medicine had been swallowed, will start the panic bells ringing:
CON 36%(-1), LAB 34%(+1), LDEM 17%(-1)
Then we move to the line in Darling’s speech that they should pay close attention to:
I have no further announcements on VAT, on income tax, or national insurance rates.
Were the Tories listening? Are they prepared for the onslaught from Labour that will start very soon? Just what are the Tories proposals for tax and and public spending?
Well, we don’t know and that is a problem for Team Cameron. If they are not clear, the Tories will be labelled as not ready for government. If they are, Labour will paint them as being too austere, ‘doom and gloom merchants’ and a party that will not fund growth and the investment needed to create jobs.
Team Cameron have lost momentum, They need to do some quick thinking and fancy footwork to get their show back on the road.
If the polls continue along their present trend, the Tories will become reactive and push forward policies to protect their core vote. Immigration, anyone?
Nothing will please Mandelson & Co more if that happens.