Coffee House

Shapps’s trinity of Labour weaknesses

31 July 2013

31 July 2013

Grant Shapps’ latest broadside against Labour shows how keen the Tories are to frame the next election not as a referendum on their performance in government but as a choice between them and Labour. Shapps wants voters to think about the fact that the alternative to David Cameron as Prime Minister is ‘Miliband and Balls’ driving up Downing Street before they cast their ballots.

The Tory Chairman’s speech, due to be delivered at Policy Exchange this morning, also shows where the Tories think Labour are vulnerable. Tellingly, he talks about ‘Miliband and Balls’ rather than just Miliband; the Tories believe that Balls’ presence is a reminder to voters of the links between the current Labour leadership and the Brown era.

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There are also attacks on what the Tories believe to be the trinity of Labour weaknesses: the economy, welfare and immigration. Shapps argues that Labour’s spending plans would lead to higher mortgage rates. He claims that Labour would make claiming benefits a human rights, a reference to this story, and that this could lead to ‘prisoners – serving a life sentence at Her Majesty’s Pleasure to be entitled to housing benefit’; a claim that is certain to infuriate Labour. He also argues that under Labour, immigration would start going up again.

Shapps’ speech is the start of the Tories’s summer offensive against Labour. Various Tory big beasts will follow up his sallies in the coming weeks. The Tories believe they’ve driven Labour onto the defensive and are keen to keep them there.

One other thing that Shapps’ speech is a reminder of is how oddly quiet Labour is being for an opposition party in summer. Normally—and especially less than two years out from a general election—oppositions try and make hay in the summer, embarrassing the government on a host of issues. But with the exception of Andy Burnham on 111, Labour has been oddly quiet.


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  • CharlietheChump

    Agree re Burnham.
    Shapps has made a reasonable start, do they have the stamina to keep it up?
    I hope so.

  • realfish

    ‘….One other thing that Shapps’ speech is a reminder of is how oddly quiet Labour is being for an opposition party in summer. Normally—and especially less than two years out from a general election—oppositions try and make hay in the summer, embarrassing the government on a host of issues. But with the exception of Andy
    Burnham on 111, Labour has been oddly quiet.’

    They haven’t needed to make any noise at all…their BBC has been doing that for them. All this week Five Live has been going for the Tories hammer and tongs. The BBC has also successfully defused and deflected the Unite debacle and rescued Burnham from the scrutiny he deserves, accusing the Tories of being partisan in their criticism of him.

  • Colonel Mustard

    With no sense of that moral superiority some red numpty at Labourlist posts this:-

    “While the lead is down – the level of support for Labour is not. Its consistently at the 37-40 level, and that will give us an overall majority. The tories will need to be 40+ to even be the largest party.

    What a detestable gang they all are.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      The party of lies, lying and liars in fact.

    • realfish

      Straight from the Robert Mugabe school of democracy.

      Labour will never give up their rigged electoral advantage by acceding to the democratic principle that all votes (and constituency sizes) should be of equal value.

  • dalai guevara

    Shapps is set to further unite the Conservatives and the Greens.
    Socialists don’t like green policy, as they are grosso modo excluded from its benefits. It’s conservative greens that benefit from renewables subsidies, not the people.

    The issue of fracking has united the people realising that -whilst ignoring the environmental impact for once- shale gas exploration will not benefit them, but the shareholding few.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Well of course it’s a choice. That is always what it is. And therefore, feeble as this Government of far too many public school wets is, we must vote for them. Duncan-Smith and Gove make that easier.

  • HookesLaw

    ComRes latest poll show a gap of just 3% and UKIP support falling.
    You Gov trend is similar.
    Labour have a lot to keep quiet about.

  • stanedeid

    It’s starting to look good for the tories – only in England,of course.

  • Greenslime

    I hadn’t heard from Ball’s for so long I’d almost forgotten that he was still on the team. I suppose that Moribund was hoping that that would be the case.

    I do miss him though. His helpful, non-tribal, commonsense contributions always add to the debate so much.

    • Shazza

      Mmm… this deafening silence from Millipede and Balls is worrying. What are they cooking up?

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Well whatever it is honesty, decency and sincerity will be taking a back seat.

        • arnoldo87

          Not long ago, Nicholas, you claimed that Tony Blair lied when he claimed that he had watched Jackie Milburn at St James’ Park. I then proved to you that this claim was not true.
          A man of honesty, decency, and sincerity would admit that he got it wrong and publicly apologise to our former Prime Minister.
          So come on, Nicholas, step up to the plate and do the right thing. You know you want to.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Oh go and have a lie down and dream of a socialist Britain.

            • arnoldo87

              Now we know what you really think of honesty, decency and sincerity.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                Who is this “we” ? Are you so arrogant as to believe that you speak for a wider population without prior reference. How very leftist of you. No doubt, you would be happy to spend their money too like a good little socialist. Now run along to Labour List. I notice you have yet to respond to Fergus Pickering on the subject of honesty and he has raised the rather more substantive issue of Saddam’s WMD.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  He is another Labour activist who is more interested in dissenting commentators than the blog articles. They range up and down this site (and others) like hyenas, darting in here and there for a cowardly snarl before running away. Almost all their comments are directed at other comments. You’ll find them on every vaguely right-leaning blog or website using the same faux-intellectual arguments and morally superior attacks.

                • DrCoxon

                  For a good exposition about Mr Blair’s lies one should see ‘The Rise of Political Lying’ by Peter Oborne, 2005.
                  Mr B told whoppers.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                Yes they have no place in Labour’s totalitarian Britain.

              • CharlietheChump

                Honesty, decency, sincerity.
                Straight from The Little Socialists Handbook,
                Labour: “Immigration not out of control”,
                2 million later…
                “.Our” State-run “Health service” – 13,000 dead (more to be identified??).
                Now you really know what we think.

          • Fergus Pickering

            I don’t believe Blair ever watched Jackie Milburn, whoever he is. I take it you have proved to your satisfaction that he could have. Just as I could have watched Len Hutton. But I didn’t and I regret it. I don’t think Blair gives a fig for Jackie Milburn. It’s just something he said because it sounded good. Like that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, that sort of thing.

            • arnoldo87

              Fergus – you have missed the point. Blair never said anything of the sort. It was a story concocted and printed by the Sunday Sun (Of Newcastle).

              I demonstrated the truth of this to Chuzzlewit a few weeks ago, but he continues to blather about honesty decency and sincerity as if at some time in his life they have actually been in the same county as him.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                Colonel Mustard has summed you up perfectly!

          • PhilC

            Tony Blair was born 1953, Jackie Milburn played for Newcastle Utd. between 1943 to 1957, in order to have seen Jackie Milburn play he would be between 0 and 4 years old.
            Do you honestly believe that a middle class boy was taken to the working class football at such a young age?

            • arnoldo87

              He didn’t make the claim. So all of your mathematics are wasted. The people who say he made the claim are the liars.

          • CharlietheChump

            The only thing to admit is that the slimy sod Bliar should be strung up with piano wire.

        • CharlietheChump

          Nothing, just playing with themselves on the beach

      • HookesLaw

        I think Miliband’s aim is to get taxpayer funding for political parties.
        he will make a big show of being tough with the unions and then refill his coffers with taxpayer money. It would be a moot point if its actually mentioned in the manifesto.

        • Shazza

          Mmm.. I think this silence is more sinister. Labour have form when it comes to smear and I fear their failure to land a blow on the economy, welfare and immigration will possibly lead them to drastic measures. They embody the Marxist version of Taqiyya, so I think that the Conservatives should be wary, very wary of this silence. The calm before the storm.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Oh I think you will find he is busily dreaming up ways to bankrupt the country while making the lives of the hard-working, decent British citizenry as miserable as possible in the process. You cannot keep a good madman down.

      • HookesLaw

        Balls is in trouble because the line of his attack is coming to an end and the economy is growing and many economists think it is set to grow now for a significant time.
        He needs to tell the electorate how he would control spending. That is not what labour want to hear – they do not want to see spending controlled, indeed they are not capable of it. The Brown experiment showed that.
        The challenge for government is nothing to do with politics it is to show how to get value of of what it spends.
        The political challenge for Osborne is to see if he can engineer some income tax giveaway before the election, eg taking the tax allowance higher than 10k.

        • Tony_E

          I’m afraid Balls is in trouble, but not because this government will create growth.

          It isn’t now – it’s just feeding off of the money creation process which has continued unabated since the 2008 crash. All bubbles burst, but in the old days this was accepted because the bubble peaks were always high than the last cycle, the troughs less deep. In other words, the trend was up, despite the bumps in the road.

          This is not likely to be the case this time. Deomgraphic shift, peak debt, a change in attitude of the ‘Working’ classes as to spending and saving, the end of Mortgage Equity Withdrawal. In fact, this recession has been different to any other in that the bounce back from it has only really included the higher earners. In the USA for example, luxury retaillers are seeing strong growth – while Walmart (a proxy for main street like Tesco is here) has seen falls when inflation is taken into account. (i.e they should be seeing rises of more than 10% over 5 years just to stand still, like for like).

          The stock market is up and everyone rejoices, but remember it was at over 6000 before the dot com bubble burst 14 years ago. That was the first of two Greenspan bubbles – this is simply the Bernanke bubble. And its end is approaching quickly.

    • CharlietheChump

      Love the Blink

  • Keith D

    Andy Burnham? Responsible for 13000 deaths and he’s not in the slammer?.Astonishing.
    Even more astonishing is the fact that the entire Labour cabinet from 1997 is not accompanying him for the treason they colluded in against the British people.Anyone considering voting for this scum should be in therapy.

    • Shazza

      Yup. In 13 short years of misrule, the Party of Mass Destruction managed to turn a solvent, first world country into a near bankrupt, third world state. From deliberately importing hordes of hostile invaders together with their vote rigging talents to not equipping our troops adequately to fight their illegal wars, they betrayed their own people. Better to spend tax revenue on welfare and benefits and immigrants rather than the proper protection of our armed forces. Shame on them. Should they ever, ever, get their hands on power again, they will complete their task. They will gerrymander the voting system to ensure that they will be in power until some sort of seismic shock, possibly financial or civil, brings it all to an end.

      • Tim Reed

        ” They will gerrymander the voting system to ensure that they will be in power…”

        Unfortunately, with both postal voting and the lack of boundary reforms, the partial fix is already in place for Labour. For this reason alone I hope Clegg and his rotten little party of misfits and weirdos become extinct at the next General Election.

        • CharlietheChump

          My secret dream exposed!

      • Roy

        Agree, but also the thought arises of the way the Tories mismanaged their accession to power? Almost frightened to attack Labour with all the fuel there was lying about to do this. Was it because they agreed with a lot that Labour did, and so a big opportunity was lost? Or was it because they have lost or forgotten what their main principals of conservatism are? Along with standing up for the citizens of this once brave country. Are they still frightened of the half-baked slogans bandied around the world by the left to attack conservatism. If it’s the latter, they need to break out of it and do some counter attacking, and not be afraid of speaking and acting in the interests of the people. It is no good promising referendum then backing down, making excuses for the European disaster as well as treating the Labour Party as a chum in the scheme of things. It needs some drastic action that coincides with what the people have in mind. It appears likely, this Tory administration is promulgating the original Tony Blair policy of crowding out the original natives of Britain with alien cultures who will (they think) vote for them.

        • Shazza

          Totally agree. I think they were so afraid of being seen again as the “nasty party” that they did not read the mood of the electorate. It will be far more difficult for them to achieve an outright majority now because of various reasons, among them being boundary anomalies, corrupt postal voting, large numbers of hostile, grateful Labour supporters, BBC, etc. etc., just to name a few. The gloves need to come off and Labour’s treachery exposed fully. The real immigrant numbers need to be exposed thus realising the damage done to services. It is pointless pursuing immigrant/welfare dependent support – they will always vote for Labour. They need to do a deal with Ukip and pursue their traditional voter base with traditional Conservative values. Their continued population replacement programme together with their support for sharia loving extremists such as the Muslim Brotherhood and anti-Assad terrorists continues to baffle me.

    • HookesLaw

      Labour and Burnham are inept and we do not wish to see them returned to power, but the figures you quote relate to 2005-10 and Burnham was health secretary for just 1 year of that.
      And 13000 does not appear in the Keogh Report, the Tories have done well to put this figure in the public domain and they have the ignorance of the press to thank them for this help.
      It based on standard mortality figures and is not a good indicator, it does not tell the causes and Keogh does not support the figure.

      The point of these reports is to demonstrate the appalling disconnect between some staff and their patients and the pressure put on them and their managers to meet artificial politically motivated targets – all supported by politically motivated unions. At its heart it shows Labour do not really ‘care’ about the NHS, its just a political pawn to them and their socialist mindset is incapable of grasping the problems caused by setting pointless targets or the concept of investing money wisely. Labour have been incompetent in managing the NHS.

      Do not get me wrong, I have little sympathy for labour – they are happy to twist facts when it suits them and the govt are equally a victim of false accusations all the time. This is the other point – the press consider themselves beyond independent legal regulation but constantly misreport facts to suit a sensationalist agenda.

      • Keith D

        I agree with all of that . Labour were always driven by a socialist agenda and in true marxist fashion they sacrificed people to promote their twisted ideology .In the case of the NHS we can actually put a number on the human cost.Maybe Burnham was health secretary for only one year of that but as a collective they’re all guilty.
        Of course,the real human price of 13 years of betrayal has still to be paid.I hope they’re still around to be held to account.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Burnham is alleged to have tried to suppress and play down the reports/complaints about the quality of care and there is evidence for that. He certainly ruled out an independent inquiry on the grounds that it would distract managers which seems weak. His recent behaviour in attacking the Tories rather desperately over this issue and the reports of his staff deleting negative references in his Wiki entry tend to suggest there might be fire beneath the smoke. He appointed Nicholson.

        As with Hillsborough it is the alleged cover-up which also needs investigating. This reliance on propaganda rather than truth goes to the heart of New Labour’s operation and needs fully exposing. Their reliance on their moral superiority is their strongest foundation and if dislodged the damage would be irreparable.

    • George_Arseborne

      How scared are the Tories should be the heading. People will just laugh at this stupid strategy by Shapps alias Con Man Micheal Green. I thought he was sharper than this. No wonder the Tories are excited. It will not stop Ed Milliband to become the next PM with Ed Balls as Chancellor. I know this will annoy you reading right now but it is just the truth that you can not change.

      • Keith D

        “the truth that you can not change.” Let me save you some time.The truth is an alien concept to Labour and I know it.Try someone else.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Judging by your syntax, you are certainly too late for Michael Gove’s efforts to be of any value. Incidentally, “the truth that you can not (sic) change”., so no point in any of us voting then. How typically totalitarian. You and your fellow Labour supporters must really hate this democracy lark.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Even you cannot predict the future Mr Al Fayed, so let’s wait and see. Personally, despite my misgivings about Cameron’s government, I’m hoping that Zombie Labour will get their well-deserved and long overdue comeuppance. Even if they don’t they will push the English to a tipping point.

        Labour – the party of lies, lying and liars.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          That is a great slogan Colonel! All the more effective because it is accurate.

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