The Thick of It


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Are the Tories ready for government?

They would certainly say so. The polls suggests that they are likely to win the next election whether they are ready or not. The volume of seats Labour has to defend with minimal majorities suggests that they might. Andrew Rawnsley and Max Hastings both implied that the Tories are not ready, but are likely to be in power regardless. Will the Tories win? Are they ready?

The Tories are now in position to win. The Tories lead in the polls has remained, despite Labour action and Tory inaction on the economy. An election is little over a year away. The economy is likely to get worse rather than better in that time. As incumbents this will disadvantage Labour. To run an effective election machine costs money. Labour's finances are in a parlous state, the Tories are awash with Ashcrofts cash and paid staff in key seats. The election is the Tories to win.

Are they ready? The Tories might win the election but will find government very tough. Inexperience won't make it tough itself, Labour managed ably enough in 1997 without government experience. Government will be tough for the Tories because they haven't prepared for it. What do the Tories plan for the NHS? What do they plan to actually do to better the environment when in London Boris Johnson is cutting back on schemes to cut pollution?

The Tory plan for government isn't clear. If it exists it must be well hidden. Over the next 15 months the country has to make a serious choice. It isn't a fair choice when the choice is made without full knowledge of the consequences.

I fear the electorate won't be interested and that the Tories will be elected anyway. With parlous results for the country. Labour has to show why the Tories don't deserve to win. Labour has to pull the gaping holes in Tory policy open to the country. Labour needs to attack the Tories and ensure the election is the challenge the country deserves it to be when so much is at stake.

The Tories might win. They are not ready. Labour has to make sure this becomes an issue.

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