Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Westminster bubble

As a coda to that last post, I notice that Charlie Whelan has been brought out of mothballs to argue that all this is a meaningless kerfuffle and nobody outside of Westminster will even have noticed:

He also knows that there are two things that really matter. First, there is not one person in this country whose circumstances suffered in any way because there was no early election.
This was no Black Wednesday, after which millions of people really suffered as a result of Tory economic incompetence. In the current volatile political climate, the polls will go up and down regularly, but, when people go to put their cross on the ballot paper, what was essentially a Westminster story will not matter a jot. Not for the first time, the Westminster village will be seen to be completely out of touch with reality.
He's talking here about the early election that wasn't. And to an extent he's right - the only people who look likely to lose their jobs over that mishandling are Gordon Brown and the rest of the Government. But when Whelan talks about Black Wednesday causing suffering as a result of Tory incompetence (and lets ignore the fact that the Labour Party were more enthusiastic about the ERM than the Tories) he's talking about the failure of a policy. Over this data leak, we're talking about the catastrphic failure of a process. One of the reasons that the Labour Party haven't suffered a failure in economic policy is that they don't really have one.
That said, it's quite unfortunate for poor old Charlie that his article dismissing the non-election as a non-story comes out today, with every newspaper awash with the unfolding crisis of Northern Rock and the catastrophic balls up at HMRC. Now that's politics...

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