Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Conference round-up podcast

The conference season is over for another year, and my podcast rounding up the events of the past three weeks is now available HERE. All in all, I don't really think it taught us a great deal about the future direction of British politics over the next few years, for the simple reason that we are still in this sort of "phoney war" stage waiting for the new Labour leader to emerge to take on David Cameron.

"Until we know the identity of the person Mr Cameron will be up against at the next election, we won’t really know how the dynamics of the contest are going to shape-up. We also don’t know whether, once rid of Mr Blair, the public will be prepared to give the new Prime Minister a fair wind, as they did in 1990 for instance when John Major took over.

"Some in the Labour Party appear mesmerized by Mr Cameron, arguing that they need a figure of comparable freshness and charm to counter the new Tory threat. For my part, I tend more to the view that a “style v substance” election would suit Labour, and that a man of Mr Brown’s vast experience would take a jumped-up PR man like Cameron apart.

"What we do know is that governments tend to lose elections rather than oppositions win them, and that it is the party in power that has the greater ability to make the political weather. So whatever Mr Cameron may think, and whatever the polls may say, my bet is that the next election is still Labour’s to lose."

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