17 Nov 2013 at 14:48
There is an eerie silence that nobody is writing about. A silence that is so significant that it could be an election game changer. It is the silence of Conservative rebels. Like turkeys finally working out that voting for Christmas is not a particularly good idea, the swivel eyed loons have declared a moratorium on swivelling.
I suspect that it may even have crossed Adam Afriyie’s mind that the game is up. He is humiliated, friendless and what is so important to any wannabe leader, has proved that he has no judgement. But what has really shocked me about him is that despite all the money he has spent on media training he is a pretty awful performer. To go up against serious attack dog like Andrew Neil and agonise about ‘wrestling with his conscience’ over his amendment was so risible that not even Neil could keep a straight face. And Question Time was even worse. He has that albatross that no politician wants to have tied round his neck; not taken seriously.
But at least he has one supporter left. Nadine Dorries.
It rather says it all.
This has been an excellent week for David Cameron. For starters being called a God by the wickedly oppressed Tamils for championing their cause rather takes the wind out the sails of those who say that he should never have gone to the Commonwealth Conference. But he must have wondered what on earth he was doing with these dreadful shysters, crooks and despots who are publicly committed to ‘good governance, democracy and human rights’ but wouldn’t know what they were if they bit them on the leg. I suspect that when HMQ finally gives up the crown the time will have come to wind up the whole corrupt hypocritical ghastliness that is most of the Commonwealth.
And then there is the economy. Mark Carney, apart from many other talents, is a lucky Governor. The growth and employment figures are remarkably good and unless there is another Eurozone crisis, which should always be in the back of a strategist’s mind, things are looking very encouraging.
But let us not overlook the talents of Jeremy Hunt. After the Treasury he has the most difficult job in government. And yet he has taken to it like a duck to water. He strikes precisely the right tone. Prosecuting staff for wilful neglect of patients, making GPs more patient friendly and shaking up A and E to make them a real emergency service rather than a dumping ground for lazy GPs and dim members of the public is long overdue. This is a good time to do all of this because when the public realise how much their GP really earns and how some A and E consultants can make a small fortune moonlighting from one hospital to another, Hunt will have the moral high ground. If doctors don’t buckle under to more realistic contract they will become the new bankers in public perception.
But of course his greatest asset is Andy Burnham the living embodiment of everything went wrong in the NHS. He is not a bad man, just horribly unlucky and trapped in the tomb of his tenure at the department.
And let’s not forget Theresa May. Unlike that drivelling idiot Grayling who makes guttural sounds to appease the right and then wonders how to translate them into action, May has become a real action heroine, the Laura Croft of the Home Office. When she sets her mind to do something by sheer tenacity and strength of will she damn well does it.
So when Cameron looks around the Cabinet table he can take heart that a few of his ministers can be left alone to get on with it; Osborne Hague , May, Hunt, Gove, Pickles, Mcloughlan and to a limited extent IDS. The rest I wouldn’t give you tuppence for. Harold Macmillan designed the cabinet table so that a Prime Minister could command it. It should not escape the attention of other members that it is in the shape of a coffin.
The cherry on the cake for David Cameron is the mutual loathing of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls. What is it about labour leaders and their Chancellors? The emails revealed in the MAIL on SUNDAY showing that Miliband’s advisors think that Balls and his policies are a ‘nightmare’ is an endless gift for PMQs. Somehow Miliband is going have to live the lie that the two Eds like each other or more important, that they are singing from the same hymn sheet. Apart from a lounging a civil partnership I haven’t a clue how he will sort this.
In a perfect world Balls would be sacked. In the bonkeroony world of Labour politics he is far too dangerous to do anything with except hug him very close and sleep with one eye open and a gun under the pillow.
So it will be ‘God’ Cameron versus ‘nightmare’ Balls. This is going to be fun.