Waking up today to stories of Defence Secretary Fallon accusing Miliband of being weak and at the same time a ruthless back stabber means either the Tories want to move quickly back onto their ‘strengths’ or back to their grid for the election. They will have considered yesterday a ‘lost’ day to their campaign and the Lynton Crosby school of elections does hard and nasty if it is needed. The reaction from Labour also seemed a little over the top meaning that we now spend the day talking Trident. So the desired outcome for the Tories is now settled!
I guess for the Tories the Trident story does 2 things – it plays their traditional strong defence card. I say usual because I hear lots of rumblings about the level of cuts they have made to defence and I am not sure their base is as strong on this as before. Secondly it allows them to play this line that the SNP will hold Labour to ransom… This is why the Tories are talking up the SNP. The polls show that if Labour held on to the same number of Scottish seats as 2010 along with its gains in England and Wales it would be far the larger of the two parties in a hung parliament. If Labour lose 40 seats to the SNP it gets much tighter. So the Tories are playing a dangerous short term game doing what they can to get an SNP victory north of the Border whilst south of the border claiming how dangerous this will be & frightening voters back to the Tory fold. I say dangerous because you have to be careful what you wish for. With Sturgeon and the SNP already talking of another referendum. With 40+ seats they might have a case.
I am sure this will rumble on all day and overshadow the formal announcements the parties want to make. I see Labour are talking about careers advice for all school leavers. I am not sure that would have grabbed many headlines anyway!
My final reflection is one of depression in the sort of society we live in given the headlines from our right wing press over the last 24 hours to the Non Dom story. Whatever your thoughts on the detail of the story or the policy isn’t it depressing we live in a society where our newspaper owners are desperate to protect and promote the lives of the super rich whilst cracking down and rubbishing the lives of millions ho rely on foodbanks, benefits and the refugees who seek a better life in Britain. More on this later but woke up angry!