Monday, June 09, 2008

How long til the Cameron bubble bursts?.............

.......17 days?

The world is an unpredictable place. We are fortunate to live in a part of the globe where there is more stability than in most countries. But, in relative terms, we are being shaken. The "credit crunch", falling house prices, rising oil, fuel and food prices - all are contributing to a feeling of insecurity. And then there is the terrorist threat.....hmmm that hot potato, 42 days, ID cards, islamaphobia. Add to the mix a smidgen of xenophobia, demonising of young people, fear of crime, dirty hospitals, failing schools, oh.....and don't forget that great demon Europe.

At the heart of all our relative insecurity is a deep cynicism about politics and politicians. No one, from any party, can surely deny that this has got worse. That cynicism was aptly displayed in Crewe and Nantwich. How will it be displayed in leafy Henley?

The smart money may be on a Tory victory, after all, there is no doubt the Tories are resurgent. In Crewe and Nantwich it was clear they were a shoo in. But in Crewe and Nantwich it was a Labour seat. We were third. In Henley the landscape is very different. Of course, the Tories may well consolidate and increase their share of the vote, but let's not forget, the cynicism isn't only about Labour and Gordon Brown, it is also about politics in general. The local elections and recent by elections have demonstrated that. As Lib Dems we have made some brilliant gains from the Tories. This for me makes me believe we could do really well in Henley. The Henley electorate can't send much of a signal to a Labour government by voting Tory.........but they can send a message to the political establishment by voting Lib Dem!

I am a great fan of chaos theory....you know, the butterfly flapping its wing in Brazil ultimately influencing the course of a tornado. We live in "interesting times". As a party that has at its heart the belief that no one should be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity..........all too often we rely on that very conformity!!!! Ds and Ps, yes?!

So, back to Henley. As I said yesterday, we have the kind of candidate in Stephen Kearney who can throw the rule book up in the air. I confess, I didn't have that sense of optimism in Crewe and Nantwich. I am frustrated that we pretended it was winnable and now have the problem of a "cry wolf" backlash. However, to those of you who may be feeling downhearted, worry not! We are serious contenders in Henley, it is worth every second, minute, hour you can put into this. Every little will help.......who knows if it is your straw that will break the Tory camel's back, your "grain of sand" that will tip the balance?

Dear oh dear, I sound very melodramatic about this, but regular readers will know, I am not a great fan of spin. I was quite prepared to air my concerns about Crewe and Nantwich, if I thought we were banging a hollow drum in Henley, I would be the first to say so.

So, back to Mr C. Don't forget this time last year. He was unpopular with his grass roots (may still be so from my intelligence). He was struggling to find a foothold with Brown (who started well remember?), it is the incompetence of Brown that has puffed up Cameron. Where is the substance in Cameron? Where does Cameron stop being Blairlite? Our challenge is to highlight the clear fault line between Cameron and his party, "Liberal" Dave has a party that is still, conservative, rightwing, to its core!

A huge bubble has developed around DC. But, like a bubble, it may be big, but it is fragile, it could burst at any moment. My hunch is, this could be on 26th June..............

1 comment:

jim said...

Of course, the sleeze allegations couldn't have come at a worse time for him as well. Surely we all deserve better than Cameron!!