Ed Miliband has seen this Tory-led government pull a fast one on the 'C2s' and the 'strivers' and has offered something the Tories cannot give.
Fear has ripped through the Conservative party’s activist base right before conference. Why? Because Ed Miliband gave a fine speech.
Sensible Tories have long been saying that energy prices are too high. Even more sensible members of the party realise that rather than criticise Ed, the onus is on companies to sort themselves out – not potentially hold the country to ransom with black-outs because of their vested interests.
A YouGov poll on Thursday, accounting mostly for polling before Ed’s speech to conference, showed that Labour’s lead has risen from five points to nine. Labour are now up two to 41 per cent, while the Tories are down two to 32 per cent. This is expected to stay more or less the same, perhaps with a slight spike upwards, when another poll is revealed today post-speech.
Labour’s focus on the cost of living is clever, people like it, it’s classic Labour territory, and it is also classic One Nation territory. And it has put the willies up ConservativeHome, too.
Today is the day they begin their new ‘anti-establishment’ campaign: Homes, Jobs and Savings for all.
They more or less admit that the Tory Party’s lurch left in the early stages of Cameron’s leadership didn’t work. Tim Montgomerie, the once editor of said blog, who a couple of years ago was worried about pandering to the Guardian liberal left, has been proven right.
But the so-called ‘Fox Newsification’ is no balance either. Telling illegals to go home on the side of a van may have appeased the type of Tory voter for whom UKIP now appeals, but what did it achieve for the country?
Indeed, how did austerity Britain help them? In the opening salvo of the campaign by ConHome editor Paul Goodman, he writes of “what used to be called ‘the rising class’, [or the strivers], before globalisation challenged that rise and austerity halted it”.
Mark Wallace at ConHome also made his plea to the government and the Tory party to do right by savings. “Savings”, he correctly points out, “are good for us. Someone with savings has protection against unforeseen calamities”.
But how can we save when we are being led down the ‘road to Wongaland’ by George Osborne. It wasn’t long after Mark Carney declared interest rates would stay low that critics remembered that we have returned to the day where a recovery will be fuelled by consumption and rising debt.
As it has been pointed out time and again, George Osborne sensibly said during his Mais Lecture in February 2010 that: “The overhang of private debt in our banking system and our households weigh heavy on future prosperity”.
But now look. Private debt is Osborne’s only tool. As Wallace himself notes, 31 per cent of British families save absolutely nothing each month and 23 per cent of families have no savings whatsoever.
Ed Miliband has seen this Tory-led government pull a fast one on the ‘C2s’ and the ‘strivers’ and, through commitment to One Nation, has offered something the Tories cannot give: a government which sticks up for them and challenges the status quo and vested interests.
To the editors of ConHome: good effort! But for fiscal responsibility and greater prosperity for the working man and woman, Ed has it covered.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.