A week is certainly a long time in politics. This time last week I was getting rather bored with the election campaign. It was the usual knockabout stuff; Brown saying don’t let the Tories in, and Cameron saying don’t let Labour continue. I was finding it difficult to find anything positive, even though the main parties launched their manifestos early last week. I feared the leaders’ debates would be a damp squib too.
Well, things have certainly changed, although I can’t say I’m surprised. Before anyone asks me if the LibDem surge is sustainable, the simple answer is I don’t know. No-one does and this is why this election campaign has suddenly got very interesting.
Locally in Hull, sources inform me the LibDems have recruited twenty new volunteers; people who walked through the door and offered their services. Nationally, the membership of the party has increased too. The Clegg Factor has worked wonders thus far. The reason for this is simple, and the way some Conservative commentators have tried to rubbish Clegg has been silly in the extreme. The fault lies fair and square with Cameron and his team.
I have said more times than I care to mention that the only way the Conservatives can win this election is by being radical. Well, it’s too late now. Cameron was desperate not to lose this election and a few months ago many Conservatives thought the party would win at a cantor. None of them seemed to realise that not being Gordon Brown was never going to be enough. By positioning the Conservative Party firmly in the centre, he has denied the voters a choice. He keeps muttering on about change, but what does it mean? He wants us to be part of a Conservative government; all of us playing our part in our communities. Fine words, but unless you articulate a definite, cohesive plan, how are you going to sell it? Can anyone give me a reason to vote Conservative at this election, other than Cameron is not Brown? For too many voters he may not be Brown, but there is more than a passing resemblance to Tony Blair. Why isn’t Cameron telling us the truth about the size of government debt and the cuts that will have to fall? Most of the public seem to be in denial about this, and Cameron doesn’t do too much to jolt them out of this collective state of inertia. Tell us the truth and we would have more respect for him. We are sick and tired of being lied to.
It’s all too late now, unless he can pull a rabbit out of the hat. I can’t see how he will do it, but as I said at the beginning, a week is a long time in politics, and who knows what may happen? There is still more than two weeks to go before the nation decides.