Here are a couple of items on the Guardian website that are worth putting side-by-side:
John O’Farrell, Labour’s losing candidate in the Eastleigh by-election, has written about how uncomfortable it was to be subjected to the “two-minute hate” on the social media – and David Cameron has been given a two-month warning by members of his party.
If he doesn’t revive their fortunes in the budget or the May local government elections, he could be out on his ear.
“And not a moment too soon!” I hear you cry, as the One Nation that Ed Miliband wants to build.
Apparently it will take 46 letters to Graham Brady, the chairman of the Conservative Party’s backbench 1922 committee, to trigger a leadership contest.
Already, according to tweets by Tory vice-chairman Michael Fabricant, there are rumblings from the lower ranks. “The Conservative voice is muffled and not crisp,” he tweeted. “It does not clearly project Conservative core policies or principles.”
Those of us who follow developments in social security legislation would probably agree, adding that they seem more like Nazi core policies (I make this point for a twofold purpose – firstly because it’s accurate; secondly because it really riles right-wingers who think Coalition benefits policy is a good idea). The trouble with that is, we can be sure as mustard that Mr Fabricant would urge a move to the right.
What is more right-wing than a Nazi?
Don’t bother trying to answer that – Mr Fabricant is likely to be about as significant to future Tory policy as a snowflake is to the temperature on the sun. He has undermined the Tory plan to play down the significance of being beaten by UKIP and the comedy Prime Minister’s insistence that he will not leave (what he seems to think is) the centre ground.
Of course, the budget is not
Gideon George Osborne’s strong suit – let’s face it, the economy isn’t his strong suit and he’s supposed to be the Chancellor of the Exchequer – so the immediate future isn’t looking good for Call-Me-(Please)-Dave. Mr 0 was scraping the barrel with the pasty tax last year, and after his ideologically-based economic tinkering forced the nation into the longest depression in decades, it seems unlikely he will have anything revolutionary to pull from that famous red briefcase.
That leaves the local elections in May. Mid-term local elections – and, as the Tories told us within the past 24 hours, sitting governments rarely do well during mid-term elections.
Tick, tock, Tory boy.