Surely Gordon should be attacking Cameron on the Tory tax plan?
In times of old today’s publication of the findings of David Cameron’s policy commission on tax would provide Labour with all it needed. At last some meat for party policy wonks to get their teeth into and the furious attacks could begin on the threats to public services.
Detailed data would be out within hours on what this would mean in every constituency in the land and the questions about Tory economic competence would hit home.
For how can the Tories be talking about cuts of Â£21bn while at the same time giving their spending commitments on the NHS and other areas. This surely is open goal territory for Brown and his team?
It will be interesting to see how things pan out but some somehow the challenge for Labour now seems a lot harder. For Cameron has devised it so he can have it both ways. The commission is showing the direction the party should go in but the leader does not have to accept it just now.
At the heart of Labour’s problems, I believe, is that the David Cameron is more trusted by the voters than Gordon Brown or Tony Blair. Poll after poll has shown that Cameron has good numbers when these questions are asked and the drift is towards the Tory leader.
Thus in February ICM found that Gordon Brown was leading David Cameron by 39-28 on the question of “who is most trustworthy”. By last month Cameron was enjoying a 27-19% lead over Brown with ICM on the question “who is most honest”.
So while there might be apparent contradictions in the policy platform coming from the Tories the evidence suggests that Cameron is more trusted than Brown. The result, I suggest, is that Cameron is able to resist many of the attacks that in former times Tory leaders would have found devastating.
Labour needs to develop a rhetoric that eats away at the current perception that Cameron is trustworthy. They also need public spokesmen and women who can drive this point home.
It strikes me that Ed Balls, the minister leading the current attack, sounds totally unconvincing. He simply hasn’t got it when it comes to make a compelling case. If I was a Labour MP in a marginal seat I would be asking why Gordon is not doing this himself?
In the Labour leadership betting there has been a slight easing of the Brown price which touched 0.37/1 on Monday. This morning it is at 0.41/1.