In two days, thousands of Conservative councillors around the country will face the wrath of an electorate not quite sure what they stand for, but for whom protest, in the form of a vote for Labour, will come incredibly easily.
The peculiar thing is that most people stuffing their protests into boxes will be essentially unclear what theyre protesting.
I’ll try to put some of these in perspective here. It is obvious that Jeremy Hunt was predisposed to be supportive of the Murdoch takeover of BSkyB before he was given the brief to manage the proposal. Indeed, he was appointed to the role because the Lib Dem in charge at the time, Vince Cable, was predisposed to the destruction of the Murdoch empire.
The actually important things in the case are lost utterly in the dogged attack by Labour – Jeremy Hunt referred the case to the competition authority and sought independent advice – and as a result, the proposed takeover was dropped before it was blocked.
In essence, Jeremy Hunt is being hunted by Labour because he put his personal views on the case and acted properly, the way a minister should. We havent communicated that properly. We need to do so right now. /ppAllied to the issue of miscommunication, we now very clearly have a partisan speaker. John Bercow shows all the style and grace of Michael Martin aligned with the skill for brevity of Neil Kinnock. He is not fit for the job and surely he cannot enjoy the confidence of the whole house for much longer.
The budget didnt need to drop 5% off the top rate of tax, and the opportunity it gave to Labour to paint us as the party of the rich was disheartening, probably most so in the context of Iain Duncan Smiths largely unnoticed dogged battle to retain social welfare rates and not allow the recession to unfairly impact the poorest.
The pasty tax was a good policy unless you are Tesco. The Granny Tax isnt a tax at all. Neither of these issues was on its own a problem, but chucked into the wash, it provided a heavy enough wort to ferment nicely for the Labour Party.
Add to this the recent obvious annoyance and fractiousness of the Prime Minister at PMQs. Dennis Skinner is a disgrace, but hes clearly not keeping well. Cameron should simply answer his questions earnestly and move on. That a PM of his skill and intelligence is fazed by the predations of someone so utterly past his best is almost unforgivable.
Now on to Nadine Dorries. In general, I find the least said the better about most encumbrances on the spirit, but I make an exception for the Member for Mid Beds. She is a thundering disgrace in her rampant disloyalty, a damaging presence in the party and has absolutely no place in the party. It would be best if she simply switched to the UKIP, and I suspect she will give it serious consideration after the local election results. Whether the UKIP has been chastened by Joan Collins, Robert Kilroy Silk and others remains to be seen.
An enormous spin operation now begins in CCHQ to make sure the focus for the next two days is on London, where Boris is on course to win reelection as Mayor. An opportunity lies here, however, along with an opportunity to get back onto the front foot – smear campaigns among Muslims in London painting Boris in a very unfavourable light are aligning with serious allegations of voting irregularity, vote theft and fraud in some boroughs. Labour was always dirty in London, now we may be able to prove it.