Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Wise Spending Vs Savage Cuts

It seems the main parties are singing the same song of cuts now, just at slightly different notes and Lord Long Pretentious title is doing what he does best, spinning like a record. It's not cuts it's "wiser spending", the Tories are the cutters, "savage" cutters. Where as Labour will "prioritise and economise" the Tories will make "indiscriminate across-the-board spending cuts".

Yet Mandelson's media rounds were just to clear the way for Brown speech to TUC today, where after months and months of refusal to even mention the dirty word "cuts", Brown uttered it. In doing so he set up Labours new narrative. They will "protect and improve your front line services" and the Conservatives will "reduce public services at the very time they are needed most". Expect to hear that sound bite constantly for the next few months.

Labours narrative is simply put - to play the Thatcher card. It's a fairly good card to play since core Labour voters may be motivated by it and they may gain ground with those who hated her, and there are many, nothing divides a room quite like saying the name Thatcher.

Though by playing this card, it is a dressed up admission that they're trying to limit the damage of the election. As they need to woo back middle England in order to win it, they won't do that by playing the Thatcher card, she called middle England "her people". This could easily end up in Brown's clumsy hands, the finial nail in New Labour's ability to cross that divide that brought them to power.

The policies that Brown spoke of today in his speech to the union were certainly playing to the gallery, they had echoes of Old Labour. Which is the problem with Brown's speech, voters won't believe that New Labour will do it, they've become just, if not more tainted to people as Thatcher was. Which does pose the question - has this admission and narrative come to late for anyone to listen or even care?

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