It was with the growing sense of despair, dismay and distaste that I read the following in the Spectator:
Westminster might be in holiday mode, but behind the scenes the coalition is preparing to take on the new Labour leader. As I say in the Mail on Sunday, the coalition is determined to hit whichever Miliband wins early and hard. The Cameroons believe that Tony Blair’s decision not to attack Cameron straight away in 2005 was crucial in allowing him to present himself to the public on his own terms. By contrast, both Hague and Duncan Smith were made to look like losers by the Labour attack machine within months of becoming leader of the opposition.
The result of the Labour leadership election will be announced on the 25th of September. But as the Waarsi Huhne press conference this week showed, with its demand that the leadership contenders return their ministerial severance payments showed the softening up work is already starting.
From the beginning of September, a new CCHQ operation will issue quotes from ministers that are too political for civil servants to handle and pump out opposition research. The aim is to associate the new leader with Labour’s failures and to force them to say what they would do differently.
The new Labour leader’s first few months in the job will be crucial. Labour has ticked up in the polls since the election. If a new leader can get through to the New Year without incurring much damage then the opposition will be in a strong position. But if the coalition can do to him what Labour did to Hague and Duncan-Smith then it will have the political breathing space that it needs.
This, to me, summarises exactly why government is such a bad thing. At no point in the foregoing article is there even a hint or whisper about what is good for this country and the long-suffering voter and taxpayer. This government is purely concerned with slapping down the opposition so that it can push its agenda. The opposition, by implication, is not interested in what the country needs either, all it wants to do posture against everything this government is doing.
I realise that it’s the job of opposition to oppose, but it seems to me that since the advent of Blair and his familiar, Cameron, politics has become a matter of expediency and sound bites, with government drifting aimlessly on a sea of opinion polls.
In reality, I would normally think this is the best way for a government to be, but we, as a nation, cannot afford to drift aimlessly while we head for a one-and-a-half-trillion debt burden. The faux furore over Osborne’s supposed “cuts”, which are nothing of the sort, just shows that politicians have entirely failed to grasp the idea that there is no money tree and that actually, things look grim. Our “leaders” seem to think that by slowing down from 186 miles per hour to 180, we won’t go straight over the cliff in front of us.
When the real crash happens, politicians will say “we could never have predicted this”. Well, if I can predict this, anyone can. You just have to move out of your la-la land for a few minutes and look around.
But in the mean time, Cameron and Clegg (and Miliband), do keep on expending all your efforts on your political games. Don’t worry about anything else, will you? It’s clearly not important.