That isn’t the oxymoron that you would have thought a few months ago.
Gordon Brown and his Labour government was over 20 points behind in the polls just a matter of weeks ago – and then came the global crisis. That would normally spearhead a victory for the opposition party in the UK, not so much this time. Even though the incumbent government has presided over, what can only be seen as a disastrous time, economically, and what many had said politically, Gordon Brown is now at least on a level with David Cameron or possibly taking a slight lead.
For one – the normally British ‘Tory’ press is not there for Cameron – they maybe supporting certain of his policies but there isn’t a complete support for him, nor, indeed, his party.
That flies in the face of what once was.
There was a time, and not so long ago, where you would have a simple loyalty to the Tories. This came from The Sun, Times, Telegraph and a few more. The support was guaranteed.
So what else, if anything, have the Tories lost?
They are making little to no ground in the agenda stakes. They are losing it badly. It is known that in the UK a great many people do want a change from Gordon Brown and this government – but for that to happen they have to see a real alternative – that, or people will simply vote for what they know. Certainly not the devil you don’t know – or the devil that is seen palling around with corrupt playboys.
The only way that the Tories could take any moral and political high ground is to look at the small businesses. But even that will be difficult. Labour and Gordon Brown are making the right noises. They are telling the banks to loan the money they have had in bail-outs. And to lend it to small business. This is a matter of who can shout loudest. But Cameron is not shouting at all – he is way too quiet.
Will Cameron wait for the next election and in that feel he can rake Brown over the coals with some form of economic mismanagement? Again, a possibility – but what Mr Cameron and his party have is a lack of memory. The British people still remember what it was like from the 80s into the 90s and what recession did to the whole of the UK workforce. If Cameron sits on his heels thinking that the obligatory reference to the glory years of Thatcher will bring a victory he is in for a rude awakening – those years were dire for most.
What must Cameron do – well, it seems he is stuck with doing what Brown will do but in some way paint it as something completely different.
All that could give a gaping opening to the LibDems – if they should want to take it. But, they too, cannot sit back and just wait for the election to come around and simply blame the government – they will get swamped with all the mud that will, invariably, be slung.
Now is the time for Nick Clegg and his economic team to start getting his and their message out. And in any way possible. The UK voter does want change – but they don’t want change that will mean moving from Labour red to Tory blue and all things stay the same.