August 04, 2003


Will Tony Blair lose the next election? Clive James doesn’t think so, as Malcolm Farr reports:

Clive James rejects the notion Blair is in deep trouble and is certain he will win the next election. One reason for this, he says, is that nobody can remember the name of the Tory Opposition Leader.

When I told this to a senior Australian lobbyist with extensive Liberal Party and overseas connections, he scoffed.

He then confidently named William Hague as the Tory leader.

Posted by Tim Blair at August 4, 2003 03:40 PM

Tony's problem is that he's leading the wrong party. Howard and Bush are leading conservative parties and are cruising on a solid supportbase while a disorganised rabble of luddites, leftists and hysterical media ranters try to throw rocks at him from their own glass houses.

Tony's problem is that the enemies are within.

This whole Nigerian Uranium thing also shows what desperate measures the leftist media will go to to get some traction on their ememies. The BBC hillareously said "the questions won't go away" as if it's the questions themselves that have some kind of awesome weight rather than the BBC's obsession with asking them.

Lame. These moron's are going to get pasted in the next elections, I think even Blair will come out of it looking pretty good.

Posted by: Amos at August 4, 2003 at 03:57 PM

And the problem the Torys have at the moment, as far as I can see, is that their leader - Iain
Duncan Smith - looks exactly like William Hague, who, in turn, looks like a boring, unimaginative, uncharismatic old fart... or is it just me?

PS How do you spell Torys?

Posted by: TimT at August 4, 2003 at 04:46 PM

Meanwhile in the US, some Democrats are calling for Al Gore to stand again next year with the slogan "Re-elect Gore in '04".

Still in denial.

Posted by: ilibcc at August 4, 2003 at 04:49 PM

As a matter of fact, if you take the glasses off John Howard, then he, too, looks suspiciously like William Hague...

Could this be because of the vast and sinister right-wing conspiracy that lefties are always talking about?!?

Posted by: TimT at August 4, 2003 at 05:04 PM

I seem to remember a lot of otherwise sane people saying that John Howard was too boring and not enough of a flash Harry to beat Paul Keating, who had the Yartz community right up his rectum.
Of course Keating's arse was kicked when the electorate had the chance. Blair will go the same way.

Admitedly this may not happen at the next election because New Labour has such a big cushion. However, I expect the Tories will make huge gains if they keep their heads and ignore the metropolitan media.

Posted by: Toryhere at August 4, 2003 at 05:07 PM

Someone ask a Labor party hack in the UK who the Australian Opposition Leader is and see what the answer is.

Posted by: Razor at August 4, 2003 at 07:12 PM

As long as the Lib Dems end up before off than the Conservatives after the next election I'll be happy.

Posted by: Adam at August 4, 2003 at 07:16 PM

Hmmm, I'm not sure the Conservatives have much hope of getting up next time if some of their keenest supporters can't even agree on the spelling of their nick-name.

Is this another example of the benefit of a comprehensive education I wonder?

Posted by: Surfrover at August 4, 2003 at 09:15 PM


I take it you wnt to see the Lib Dems better off than the Conservatives rather than "before off".

Lib dems are awful. They are neither liberal nor democratic. They want the state to spend more tax payers money on everything. No need to reform the NHS, just give them more money. No need to choose between uni fees and getting more people into higher education, just give the universities more money. No need to increase rail fares to improve the infrastructure, just give the rail companies more money... you get the idea. For years they said all this would be done by putting an extra "penny on the pound" in income tax. This had the advantage of tricking the most wistful Lib Dem supporters into literally believing they would pay just one more penny in income tax. Of course it was bunkum so now they admit they want to soak the rich. Top rate tax payers should be parting with 67.5 % of their incomes to the state (ie 50 % income tax plus 17.5% VAT).

What lib dems are good at is getting votes form the most unlikely quarters

They seem to do best in upper middle class areas, while Labour and Tories battle for the lower middle and working classes. Similarly they do very well in the south west of england, which due to EU fishing quotas, is amongst the most Eurosceptic areas in the country. They win here because they know how to taylor their message. They beat a black tory candidate in a by elcetion once by sending coded messages to racist votes (ie vote fot the 'local' candidiate).

Posted by: Matthew at August 4, 2003 at 10:03 PM

Yeah, better off. Much drink + keyboard = disaster.

Posted by: Adam at August 4, 2003 at 10:32 PM

In politics (Australia, the UK ... everywhere) it is not oppositions who win elections, GOVERNMENTS LOSE ELECTIONS.
If the house-of-straw Blair Government (dominated not by philolophy or belief but by spin) keeps going the way it has, all the opposition needs to do is remember to lodge their deposits (I think the English expression would be "a shepard's pooch" could win - rather than the Australian "drover's dog").
If pressed, all they need to do is the occasional "headland speech" to convince the public that they have a plan but they are not going to divulge the details yet (unlike Beazley here who the public knew very well was not divulging detail because he had no plan at all).
This will be enough in the UK's first past the post system to see the Tories return.

Posted by: The GOP Elephant at August 4, 2003 at 11:09 PM

"As a matter of fact, if you take the glasses off John Howard, then he, too, looks suspiciously like William Hague...

Could this be because of the vast and sinister right-wing conspiracy that lefties are always talking about?!?"

TimT, the Right Wing Death Beast Collective will know it's own. ;-)

Posted by: CGeib at August 5, 2003 at 03:42 PM

No, William Hague looks like an albino ET with a goitre on his forehead.

Perhaps it is this lingering vivid physical image that is hindering the take-up of Iain Duncan Smith's public profile.

Posted by: pooh at August 5, 2003 at 04:19 PM

Doesn't alter the fact that the fourth opinion poll in a row puts IDS and the Conservative party ahead of Labour, now by three points, after years of lagging behind. Iain's a team player. Watch this space.

Posted by: John Perry at August 6, 2003 at 03:27 AM