Will Hannan/NHS end up like the Coulson “revelations”?

Will Hannan/NHS end up like the Coulson “revelations”?

Is Labour too desperate to find a magic bullet?

Looking back over the past few weeks it struck me that there are strong similarities between the opposition attacks on the Daniel Hannan-NHS comments and the response to the Guardian stories at the start of July over what happened at the News of the World when Cameron’s communications chief, Andy Coulson, was editor.

With both the core information had been known about for a long period before the story broke. Everybody was aware that Coulson had had to resign of NOTW editor at the time of his Tory appointment while Hannan’s views on the NHS and his readiness to talk to FoxNews about them were there for all to see last March.

With both when the stories broke the initial responses, including from me here on PB, was that these had the potential to damage the Tories and particularly David Cameron in the run-up to the general election.

With both the stories had the wind taken out of them when the Tory leader, in open neck shirts, gave TV interviews in the street outside his west London home. With the former he spoke about “believing in giving people second chances” while the latter gave him the platform to talk about his personal commitment to the NHS.

With both the affairs lingered on but without dramatic new information the stories eventually petered out – though both could still damage.

The big danger for the Tories is that it has shown their over-reliance on Cameron. The Tory second-tier simply don’t have it just like almost all of Brown’s cabinet.

Labour, meanwhile, has appeared so desperate to wound Cameron that they’ve shot their bolts took quickly making attacks that it has been hard to follow through on

The big lesson though is that is it now forty-five months since the new Tory leader came in and Labour has still not worked out a way of dealing with him. That does not bode very well.

Mike Smithson

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