I get the feeling that David Cameron is a bit of a polictical dunce.
Yesterday he was banging on about how he was going to attack Gordon Brown over the 10p tax rate as part of the Tory campaign to overturn Labour’s lead in the Crewe & Nantwich by-election. However, he doesn’t appear to be offering anything by way of a policy or even a suggestion as to what he would do to help those affected by this budget change. Instead he says to a voter who questioned him on the matter:
Sir, people in Crewe and Nantwich cannot wait two years for a Conservative government. They want action now; if we send a big enough message to Gordon Brown to say [so], he will help those 5.3m people.
So, let’s say Cameron achieves this aim and a message is sent to Gordon Brown. Gordon Brown then takes action and gives something back to those who have lost out. Who knows, at the next budget some other beneficial change my be announced to further help those who have been affected. Then the next General Election rolls round. Does the electorate remember that it was David Cameron and the Tories who sent the message? No. But they do remember that Gordon Brown took action and that they gained something in return, ergo those who might have voted Tory (or at least against Labour) decide to vote for Labour after all.
In the end of the day politics is about taking action, not sniping at the opposition – even though that’s all politicians seem to do these days. If he ever wants to get anywhere, David Cameron needs to realise that he needs viable policies, not more ammunition. Labour may not have done well in the recent local elections and may lose this by-election but they still have some time in which to take action and fix things. If they do, that’s what will be remembered come the next general election not the fact that some bloke once sent the Prime Minister a message.