Monday, March 28, 2005

Media hits

The good news is that Keith Taylor's reply to Tariq Ali went straight into the letters page in today's Guardian. I'm also expecting a letter from me in the Telegraph tomorrow that talks about "the gardening vote" which I think I've invented (in this campaign at least), but not patented.

Rainfall over the winter has been minimal. We are already looking at hosepipe bans in place by late spring and this is just a sign of things to come. Gardeners come in all political colours but if their gardens are threatened by the changes in climate now, quite a few might start considering who exactly is going to deal with the long term problem. The obvious answer is to elect a couple of Green MPs as a start. I'm not expecting everyone with a hoe to rush out and vote Green, but just a couple of thousand non-typical Green voters might be enough to swing things in Brighton.

Back to Liverpool briefly. I've found out that a local public meeting is clashing with our national campaign launch (which I can't yet reveal) so I'm trying hard to rearrange and offer early personal apologies. A lot of this electioneering is about managing time. My personal wish right now would be a 26 hour day, with an extra hour of work + an extra hour of sleep. All this after what was supposed to be a restful Bank holiday weekend.

Mini rant addition from me - Labour are still trying to sell us the concept of a Tory government. The latest poll suggests a 12 point Labour lead. I think that Labour are trying to have their cake and eat it. Although a lot of traditional Labour voters will desert them because of the Iraq war, the fact that the economy is sound and that Blair is now virtually indistiguishable from pre-Thatcher Conservatives means that Labour can expect to attract voters that might in the past have voted Tory.

Howard's negative "dog whistle" politics will encourage a lot of moderate Tories to vote Labour or to not even bother. People think of the Tories as a tribal allegiance for 35% of the population. That might have been true 15 years ago but not now, which is a simple fact of demographics. Right now, if you ask the average voter to name 3 front bench Tories other than Howard they will struggle. The Tories are not a government in waiting. The worst thing for Britain would be for us to wake up on May 6th with another 100+ Labour majority but as things stand, that looks the most likely outcome for me at this point.