Who Scares Wins

1 Apr 2015 at 09:26

God, this is a depressing, awful, nasty and brutish election. And we have only just started. If 2010 was about compassion (well, a bit), this should be sub headlined, Who Scares Wins.

Every party is determined to frighten the bejeebers out of the electorate. So far the sub text of ‘go to bed with Farage and you’ll wake up with Miliband, Sturgeon and Salmond’ seems to be gaining some traction. In London the big parties are squeezing out the KIPPERS. I would be amazed if this doesn’t become a national trend. The thought of the SNP introducing real socialism, abandoning sensible deficit reduction, ending our nuclear deterrent and breaking up the UK through the back door horrifies business leaders and those who want to better themselves and their families. But it does give hope to the old fashioned lefties who regard Blair as a right wing war monger, Cameron as something much lower than vermin and wouldn’t even spit out the name Clegg. It is all horrifyingly 1970s and is beginning to squeeze those deranged enough to vote for the Greens.

Farage is going to find it hard to find a voice in the campaign. His party is still populated with candidates whom one would be uncomfortable to have as next door neighbours. Not because of where they have come from but because of where they want this country to travel. A nasty, intolerant claque of those who want to blame others for their own misfortunes in life. Who are zealots for rooting out a communist EU who would prefer to give English jobs to foreigners who are poncing off of our benefits, health and education system. The majority of our citizens are decent and fair minded souls and are starting to recoil at the UKIP message of intolerance. It is not at all British.

And Labour is not a great deal better. It is determined to portray the Tories as those who want to give the spoils of economic success to their rich banker friends and carve up the NHS to profiteers at the expense of the weak and the vulnerable. It is a wicked lie which has yet to be buried. And if it can’t be buried it must be neutralised.

Much of this divisive rhetoric is because of the jockeying for power by those who want a party less frightening to the electorate after the Miliband experiment has failed. Prescott will be wheeled out to stoke a class war which died years ago. Burnham wants to shore up his working class credentials and show a bit of calf to the unions. Umunna and Hunt will be more cautious and watchful. Feigning loyalty but sniffing for the main chance. When the ship goes down they won’t want to be seen on the bridge.

So which party will have its wobbly Thursday first? Difficult to call. So far Tory discipline is holding very well. But all you need is a blip in the opinion polls for the usual suspects to panic. Luckily, Cameron is great in a crisis. And at his best when everyone else is running for cover rather than office. The economic fundamentals are amazingly good. Where the Tories are potentially vulnerable is not clearly explaining where the welfare cuts will fall. The present holding position won’t hold forever. I am hoping that there will be clear manifesto commitments that entrenches the belief that it must pay for people to work. More carrot and less stick.