Thursday, April 19, 2007

Counting Chickens

Last night I made another one of what seem to be becoming regular appearances on The audience for these political shows is doubtless vanishingly small, but they are grateful to a Liberal Democrat for providing a little leavening to their otherwise Conservative bias- several people in row all nodding agreement does not make for riveting telly, even for those few actually watching.

The atmosphere in the building reminds me vaguely of a Senior Common Room- slightly divorced from reality (not to mention extremely untidy!)- and some of the ancillary groups that also function from the headquarters of "Tory television" are a bit odd.

Last night the "Britain and America project" aired an attack advert against the BBC. I do recognise that our national broadcaster is not above criticism, but to attempt to stir up American antipathy against the BBC seems pointless and perhaps slightly petty. Frankly, I would have thought that the expansion of the BBC's operations in the US would be welcomed, since it might create commercial pressures to at least modify perceived anti-American positions taken by the corporation.

Meanwhile the steady but possibly rather patchy and fragile lead of the Conservatives in the polls seems to be creating a certain triumphalism amongst the Tories.

To hear some Conservatives tell it, Gordon Brown will inevitably lead Labour to defeat and the next election will also see the Liberal Democrats reduced to a rump of 20 or so MPs. Meanwhile an army of Lib Dem MPs, led by David Laws are poised to march into the arms of Cameron's compassionate Conservative revolution...blah blah blah.


Well, you could have fooled me.

I have known David Laws for some years now, and with his talent he has often been approached by the Conservatives. I think the Tories, having left their own principles decline into a sea of contradictory waffle simply can not understand the idea that David and the other MPs are Liberals, on principle and out of conviction.

Cameron's bromides are far from universally popular. As I said last night: the "bland leading the blind" is hardly a recipe for perfect opposition, still less a programme of government.

I think that many Conservatives are counting their chickens a very long time before they are likely to hatch.

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