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The despatch box

We're you thinking what the Conservatives were thinking? Did you believe the Lib Dems were the real alternative? Is Labour moving forward not back? This blog will focus on all things political. It will be irritating, agitating and maybe just maybe it will get you thinking.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Clarke U turn damaged election prospect?

The funny thing about leadership elections is that they can often throw up of instances of politicians "re-assessing their views" or even more worryingly making an expedient U-turn in the hope that no one has noticed.

I attended a constituency function at the weekend, where the feeling I picked up on was that Davis was slightly ahead of the Clarke campaign - with alot of anger being expressed about the changes being put forward which would take away the voting rights of the members.

The most interesting thing which was mentioned to me, and I hadn't considered it, was that Ken's apparent wish to make Europe a non issue may actually damage him. For some - whilst they didn't agree with is stance on Europe they had been prepared to back him - but won't know as they have the perception that he is "treating us as if we are stupid (words from one member) by trying to make us believe he has changed his spots."

I would have expected Clarke to be playing on his "experience" when compared to the other candidates - something he played on - when he appeared on the East Midlands edition of The Politics Show today.

Unfortunately he is also trying to re-write history - and the ones with the votes - MPs and possibly members will pick him up on it.

Ken on Sunday AM commented "I have always believed in an Independent bank of England" . Now I have to say that this is one initiative that I didn't think would work - and to Labour's credit it has. Ken states he always believed in an Independent Bank of England - yet only 2 days after the 1997 General Election he wrote an article for the Financial Times stating the exact opposite. In fact he writes,

"By giving away control of one of the key levers of economic policy only days after taking office, Mr Brown has made it clear he is not ready to take on the full range of responsibilities that his predecessors have exercised.

Yesterday's unnecessary and over-hasty decision puts Britain's economic prospects at serious risk. It abandons a tried and tested approach that has delivered the best inflation performance for decades. It hands complete operational responsibility to the Bank of England at a time when its recent record is at best mixed. It is a hasty decision that Mr Brown may come to regret".

Hindsight is a wonderful thing - but I dont want our leadership contenders trying to re-write history in the hope that it will make them more electorally appealing.


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