X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Please note: Previously subscribers used a 'WebID' to log into the website. Your subscriber number is not the same as the WebID. Please ensure you use the subscriber number when you link your subscription.

Coffee House

Shapps’s trinity of Labour weaknesses

31 July 2013

7:00 AM

31 July 2013

7:00 AM

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.

[Alt-Text]


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.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close