Only one leader talking policy today amid confused Tory tactics
Posted on 26 April 2010 | 7:04pm
I’m a bit confused about Tory tactics (as opposed to their non-existent or at least ever-changing strategy).
This morning the Tory talk was of a collapsing Labour vote which meant that they could extend their list of target seats long enough to be contemplating something close to the landslide type swing enjoyed by TB in ’97.
So I fully expected then to see David Cameron blitzing a few Tory/Labour marginals to put a bit of campaigning money where their mouths are.
Instead of which he went to fight in a Lib/Tory marginal that two weeks ago the Tories had been confidently briefing was in the bag. Surely some mistake?
Meanwhile back in London, in yet another process-driven event at Tory Central Office, George Osborne was hosting a press conference on the dangers of a hung Parliament, with the screening of another last minute election broadcast cobbled together in place of the one they had been working on for weeks.
It all left a muddled impression of what they are up to. But one thing is for sure – it was another policy free day for Dave and George.
Meanwhile Nick Clegg was doing what he seems to spend all his time doing these days – talking about what he would and would allow after May 6.
Only one leader actually managed to talk about policy, and get some of that into the main BBC bulletin tonight, and that was GB. I watched his speech to the Royal College of Nursing live, and he got a terrific reception for an important and rounded message about the NHS past, present and future. He also managed to get in a clip on the news about nursery provision, and election co-ordinator Douglas Alexander was clipped saying that while Mr Clegg seemed obsessed with his own job (in the future) Labour were obsessed with the jobs of the British people.
This division between Labour talking policy and Clegg/Cameron obsessed with process/PR is a good one for GB. It plays to his strengths. Of the three parties, Labour is the one that has shown the greatest strategic consistency. I remain of the view that will pay dividends as the campaign goes on and the Clegg/Cameron processology, not to mention the arrogance of constantly assuming the result, will irritate and alienate far more than it attracts.
*** Buy The Blair Years online and raise cash for Labour http://www.alastaircampbell.org/bookshop.php.