Cameron’s last throw and Lynton Crosby’s series of bungles

cameron in troubleCameron is getting desperate. Throwing around billions in unfunded promises (the NHS, housing association hand-outs, raised inheritance tax threshold) cut no ice. The inevitable promise of higher rate tax cuts (unfunded again) didn’t impress. The boast that the Tories had turned round the economy from a basket case to a world beater simply didn’t ring true in people’s lives. The claim that the Tories represented the ‘party of working people’ is beyond satire. So having used up every trick in the book, including vilifying Ed Miliband which turned counter-productive once people saw him at length on TV and could make up their own minds, Cameron has now resorted to the most preposterous device of all – trying to inflame English nationalism against the Scots in order to turn voters against a Labour-SNP deal after the election. Continue reading

The Desperation of the Right

House of CardsWe always knew the election was going to be messy. But already, some 15 months before the big day swings around, the Tories and their allies are desperately flinging anything and everything that comes to hand. Crosby and co. have long excavated and chucked the mud from their wallow. They’re now down to loose soils and gravel. Sling that it makes a mess, but it’s easily brushed off again. By way of illustration, here are three recent attacks. Continue reading

Stupid empiricism and the Conservative Party

The Crosbyisation of politics. A phrase that hardly rolls off the tongue and is, therefore, unlikely to remain a fixture of the British political lexicon for long. But what it describes is true enough. Between now and May 2015, everything conceivable will be hauled out from their dirty tricks box and thrown in Labour’s path. So much for Dave’s pledge to end Punch and Judy politics.

Now, of course, I’m the last one likely to let the Tories off the hook. They do not have to bring politics down to the gutter level, there is always free choice. But their decision to go with a strategy that will smear, lie and traduce Labour and its allies in the broader labour and cooperative movements is heavily conditioned. There is no social force with its invisible hand up their collective arse, but the situation they find themselves in makes negative campaigning appear the attractive, if not most realistic option available to them. Continue reading

The Osborne-Crosby election beckons, and it’s going to be rough and nasty

The tilt towards blocking immigration as the main theme of an otherwise colourless Queen’s Speech, plus Cameron’s speech immediately afterwards rubbishing Labour as the scroungers’ party, clearly sets the tone for the next two years.

The Tories have clearly decided, now that Osborne’s stubbornness has clearly poisoned austerity even beyond what the IMF can bear, there is nothing left for it but to go for broke by a no-holds-barred populist blitz of the most mendacious prejudices conjured up from the extensive armoury of Lynton Crosby, Cameron’s imported Australian pit-bull. Continue reading