Conference season continued this week with the Tories hitting Manchester. Is it just me or did anyone else find it a little flat! The Tories to me are still void of ideas. The big questions I suppose is do they really need any? Labour's reaction to the Conservative Conference has been poor. They have failed to take advantage of the slip ups, familiar policies and the courting of Labour's heartlands. Why? Because Labour don't want to win the election. Government is currently a poisoned chalice. Everyone knows there needs to be cuts in spending which means cuts in services and jobs. The Conservatives 'honest' assessment of how bad a state we are in has not been brought about by a sudden crisis of conscience amongst politicians; it is a pre-emptive strike. Faced with re-election in 4-5 years they want to be able to defend themselves with 'we told you so'. Labour know this. They know that the piper has to be paid. They don't want to be the party that has to pay, they can't afford to. What they do not want to do is to lose their core voters. They have temporarily conceded defeat to the Conservatives in the battle for middle England but attacks on public spending and public sector jobs might mean they lose the working class. Both Labour and the Tories have abandoned their core voters in the last twenty years, but they have because they know their core voters will not abandon them. This is no longer the case. Labour could afford to court the Middle Classes in the 1990s because they knew their core vote was so entrenched - Thatcher made sure of that. Despite the growth in poverty under the Labour government the working classes did not abandon their party, buying into the rhetoric of New Labour. That is under threat now. Glasgow East in June 2008 was a warning sign to Labour, not just in Scotland. Labour cannot afford to win the election next year because they cannot afford the long term consequences - and they know it.
On another note I have been much amused this week by George Osbourne's 'We are all in this together' rhetoric! That and 'When Boris met Dave' on More 4. It reminded of a great tune from the 1990s by Pulp!
If the Tories had been genuine about now being the party of the disadvantaged then Samantha would have worn a dress from Primark.