Over at Three Line Whip, Iain Martin argues that the Tories need a plan B as Gordon Brown shifts tactics. This is all goes back to the hares versus tortoises debate, with the hares thinking that the Tories need to be bold if they are to win a majority at the next election while the tortoises think that the Tories shouldn’t make any dramatic moves that might alarm the public.
Given Brown’s record in office so far, it is tempting to say that the Tories should just sit back and wait for the government to implode. But this would be a mistake for two reasons. First, there are signs that the Brown team are finally getting their act together and with reinforcements arriving at Number Ten the Tories won’t have it so easy in the future. Second, as Iain points out, Brown is quite capable of wrong footing the Tories by switching position.
Perhaps, a better analogy than hares and tortoises is light horse and infantry. The infantry want to keep the supply lines short and make steady progress towards a set target. While the light horses are prepared to extend their supply lines in the hope of landing some devastating blows on the enemy and to give themselves the opportunity to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
The problem with the infantry approach is that it leaves the advancing army vulnerable to either the emergence of a new weapon or the enemy simply relocating. Given what we know of Brown’s strategic acumen, it is time–to continue this rather awkward metaphor–for David Cameron to saddle up.