Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
That is entirely understandable because he knows he still has a majority in the House of Commons that he can corral when the going gets tough. At least half of them are terrified of losing their seats if he did go the people. Up to a point, he can use this fear factor to keep them under control while he waits for the political tide to change.
However painful for the majority of people who really want to see the back of him it might be, he can bluff it out until the last moment possible. Or can he?
According to the latest Ipsos MORI poll Brown's first year in office has seen the fastest fall in personal ratings for a Prime Minister ever recorded. His ratings are currently as low as John Major's were after Black Wednesday, in the years before Labour's 1997 victory under Tony Blair:
- Brown's first year also sees the deepest economic gloom Ipsos MORI has recorded since 1980: seven in ten people (69%) now believe that the general economic condition of the country will get worse over the next 12 months.
- Almost three quarters (73%) of the public are now dissatisfied with the way the Government is running the country, and just one in five (21%) are satisfied.
- Seven in ten (70%) are dissatisfied with the way Gordon Brown is doing his job as Prime Minister. Among Labour supporters, equal numbers are satisfied and dissatisfied with Mr Brown (45%)
- Half the population (50%) is satisfied with the way David Cameron is doing his job as leader of the Conservative Party, and three in ten (30%) dissatisfied, while one in five (21%) don't know.
- 82% of Conservative supporters are satisfied with Mr Cameron, and just 9% are dissatisfied (and 35% of Labour supporters are satisfied with Mr Cameron, compared to just 9% of Conservative supporters satisfied with Mr Brown)
- Seven in ten people (69%) now believe that the general economic condition of the country will get worse over the next 12 months; this is the lowest score Ipsos MORI has recorded since March 1980.
By any stretch of the imagination Gordon Brown is not perceived to be a popular or succesful Prime Minister. However, there is no one in the higher reaches of the Labour Party who is prepared to take on the task of opposing him. This is not surprising as only a fool would do it now - they would rather wait for the inevitable massive drubbing in the next general election and come in as the saviour who will restrict David Cameron to one term as a Conservative Prime Minister. Who is the fool that thinks he or she can do that, I wonder?
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
You can read the speech he gave on "social mobility" to the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust here. Note that he blames the Thatcher era for stalling the rise in social mobility that had occurred up until then (about half way down page 6).
But Maurice Fitzpatrick, an economist at accountants Grant Thornton, says in the Daily Telegraph that analysis of official figures instead indicates that inequality has not been improved by Labour. He said: "The official figures show that income inequality under Labour so far has been higher on average than it was under Lady Thatcher."And as John Redwood has written HERE: "Today’s speech is more spin about a broken strategy of spend, spend, spend, than about the problems of a broken society." As so often is the case, he hits the nail right on the head.
Chris Grayling, the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said: "The more we hear from Gordon Brown, the more you see that this Government has run out of steam. All we've heard today is a series of re-announcements and small scale pilot projects that will make virtually no difference to child poverty. What this country needs is big ideas on welfare reform and tackling family breakdown. We've heard none of that from Gordon Brown."
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Interestingly, the Conservatives are very close to the 50% barrier with Labour languishing on 26% - the LibDems are back to 14%.
UK Polling Report reports the unsurprising news that 44% think Brown should resign now but only 14% support David Miliband as his replacement - 10% for Jack Straw.
"The great figures of Europe met in the wake of the Irish No vote to agree on a way forward. About one thing they were absolutely clear. “We must respect the Irish vote,” they agreed. “It would be a terrible sign of European arrogance to suggest we could just sweep aside a democratic vote of a member state.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
"We are into extraordinary territory, Mr Davis, as a result of your decision. My first reaction is to applaud you for standing by your principles - and I agree with all you say about the erosion of our fundamental liberties by this Labour Government.
"But I'm not sure that I understand why you have taken this step at this point in the electoral cycle. The Conservative Party has strong support at present and there is, for a very long time, the real possibility that we could form the next government at the general election.
"Why have you jeopardised that position now by handing our opponents the opportunity to show us as divided? You must act very quickly to spell out to the general public why your stand on this issue is important.
"I wish you luck because Joe Public is not always as well-disposed to the type of libertarian views you espouse. They will be confused and sceptical about your motives and be influenced by the mischievous (and misleading) media who will portray you as a cypher for the beginning of the self-destruction of the Conservative Party.
"I hope you have thought this through very carefully otherwise you might find Brown and his unworthy bunch of "never-weres" are here to stay."
Let us hope that over the next few days and weeks David Davis can indeed create the sort of debate he is hoping to achieve. My fear is that too many people will see the issue as relatively unimportant when they are contending with the higher costs of living, higher borrowing costs and the potential that they will lose their jobs. Who cares about a few "Islamist extremists" intent on bombing and maiming innocent people being locked up while the police build a case against them? According to a couple of recent opinion polls some 70% think this a price worth paying.
But, if he can widen this debate to show how we have all been suckered into this authoritarian society that Labour has been steadily building over the last 11 years then maybe they will sit up and listen. As soon as you get into your car to go to work you are already being tracked. Speed cameras can read your car number plate; call in at your local petrol station you are on CCTV; use your credit card and you've been clocked; make a "hands-free" call from your mobile - you've been logged - even to the extent that your exact position can be pin-pointed; your company can trace exactly when you arrive at work and can also record all the websites you visit.
There is no escape from this surveillance society. If the Labour Government are allowed to have their way every detail of our lives will be electronically recorded on ID cards, electronic medical records and other central databases that are all vulnerable to illegal access.
If Mr Davis can make a case that there is a grave danger that our fundamental freedoms are being eroded and cause us all to think very carefully before we give away any more, then his "noble gesture" will not have been in vain. At this stage I'm not so sure he can.