'Brown on course to win election' – Tory lead down to two points

So says the Sunday Times, somewhat over-egging the pudding, I think. But the Tories have had this coming for years. How many times has someone criticised the Tories for having little in the way of policies? Now people are concluding, in droves, that they do not know, or like, what the Conservatives stand for.

No surprise. I mean, just 2-3 years ago it was “Vote Blue, go green”. Many of us pointed out this was utter codswallop – and we are proved right. There are now no mentions of green issues in the given top ten “reasons to vote Conservative” or their latest ‘six themes’.

And “Broken Britain” has been mentioned erratically every now and again – except often the actual figures, as opposed to the Tories’ figures, indicate that it is not as broken as they would like to imply.

Then they alighted on the deficit and like some anally-retentive B-stream six-former, George Osborne has been obsessed with the national debt ever since (in defiance of reknowned economists – including two Nobel laureates – writing to the Financial Times)- but they keep on changing their tune on what they would do about it.

And now, the final resort of the Tories, they get the dog whistle out.

Even their latest expensive slogan is confused. “Vote for change”. Or is it? The posters at their conference say “Year for change”.

No wonder voters are turning away from them!

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ConHome: Don't panic. Don't panic! DON'T PANIC! We're putting this party under martial law

As I highlighted this morning, the Tories’ basic problem is that not enough people have a clue what they stand for, and many of those that have a clue don’t like what they stand for. Indeed, a new BBC Daily Politics poll  shows that 36% of people don’t know what the Conservative party stands for. A further 36% say they know what they stand for but don’t like it. That leaves a slender 28% saying they know what the Tories stand for and like it.

Against that backdrop, Conservative Home presents its ten point plan to get the Tory campaign back on track. It really is hilarious! A superb way to get the weekend off to a joyous start and Alex Folkes on LibDem Voice has very amusingly presented his alternative version.

What I love is the way that ConHome have felt the need to have a special large Courier font to print all the points. And how I laughed at:

Yes, that will get them miles won’t it? The floating voters will come flooding over to their side. “Very sensible”! Hilarious!

And:

Yes, that would be great. Let’s have more of those strangulated, sanctimonious tones that everyone warmed to so much in 2001.

Miliband and Harman victims of lurid spam Twitter scam

I blogged earlier about a “Successful phishing expedition” whereby my Twitter account, and loads of others, were hijacked to send lurid spam messages. Well, it seems that obscure Tweeters such as myself were not the only victims. The great and the good at Westminster and amongst the meejia also feel victim to the scam. The PA reports:

Cabinet minister Ed Miliband has become the latest victim of a new “phishing” scam on Twitter.

Many of the Energy Secretary’s 6,664 followers on the micro-blogging website will have been surprised to receive an unusually personal message from him at breakfast time.

“Hhey, i’ve been having better sex and longer with this here”, said the “tweet” alongside a picture of a smiling Mr Miliband. The message was followed by a link to another website.

It was swiftly followed by a genuine “tweet” from Mr Miliband, admitting: “Oh dear it seems like I’ve fallen victim to twitter’s latest ‘phishing’ scam.”

Mr Miliband was not the only person at Westminster to find strange messages being sent out from their Twitter accounts.

Several journalists in the parliamentary lobby were contacted by friends asking why they had claimed to be “24, female and horny” in direct messages to them via Twitter.

And on Thursday, Leader of the Commons Harriet Harman told MPs that her account had without her knowledge sent a tweet to a surprised shadow prisons minister Alan Duncan.

A successful phishing expedition on Twitter

haha. This you?

…It seemed such an innocuous message from a trusted friend (appealing to my curiosity and ego) via direct message. Of course, I clicked on the short link. Then a day later, along it seems with thousands of other Twitter users, crazy direct messages were sent by direct message from my acount. Thanks to Twitter, they changed my password and I have now changed it again.

Sorry for any offence caused by these messages sent by persons unknown. I am now older and wiser.

There’s more on this whole onslaught here.

Tory MPs: torn between schadenfreude and panic

There’s an entertaining article by James Forsyth in the Spectator entitled: “The Tory situation is now verging on critical” complete with a front page cartoon and the headline “Tories go off the rails”. Most amusing:

Since the beginning of the year, when David Cameron declared the start of his long campaign, the Tory machine has spluttered, while Labour’s has revved up. The Tories have lost momentum and made unforced errors. Labour morale has not been so high for years.

Forsyth indicates that the panic centres on a lack of clarity of the Conservative message:

Why has the Tory lead halved since December? It is nothing to do with Mr Brown’s much-derided interview with Piers Morgan. The Tories conducted focus groups afterwards which suggested that the whole wretched affair had simply hardened the hostility towards the Prime Minister. It is also nothing to do with the economy, which is still weak. (Senior members of the Tory economic team are now openly speculating that the next set of growth figures will show that the recovery has ended.) Rather, it is to do with the campaign. The Labour message is clear and repeated while the Tory one is opaque. One shadow Cabinet member told me this week that he wished the Tories had a slogan as effective as Labour’s ‘a future fair for all’. Candidates report that voters can remember Labour policies but not Tory ones.

Sarah Palin = Jesse Jackson

At first it seems a surreal comparison, but pollster and journalist Peter Brown sees great similarities between Palin’s political profile now and that of Jesse Jackson in 1988:

Simply put, the two emerged as political and media celebrities backed by exceptionally strong support within the most ideological wing of their respective political parties. But both also carry substantial political baggage with the much larger numbers of American voters who decide November elections.

Farage: Giving the British a bad name

There are not many spectacles more unedifying than that of Nigel Farage being awfully gratuitous to the President of the European Council – below. In English the tirade sounds terribly coarse and ignorant. So let’s at least raise the level a bit and quote some of it in French – because I am a great fan of the elegance of French:

Vous avez le charisme d’un chiffon humide et l’aspect d’un employé de banque de qualité inférieure

There – sounds a bit better doesn’t it? Our Anglo-Saxon crudity tends to lower the tone, especially out of the mouth of Farage.

Was all of Farage’s vituperation really necessary? Oh – what’s that? There’s an election coming up and Farage is a candidate? Ah! But surely the voters of  Buckingham are not sufficiently bovine and xenophobic to fall for this sort of empty-headed and terribly undignified sort of stunt are they?

La question que je veux demander Monsieur le Président est qui sont vous ?

What a stupid question. Try Wikipedia, Farage, you numpty. And if Tony Blair was sitting there instead of Van Rompuy, you’re not going to tell us that you’d be saying:

Ce qui j’aime au sujet de vous Monsieur le Président, est que je sais exactement qui vous êtes
…Would you ‘eck as like.
By the way, it’s worth seeing Van Rompuy speaking. OK, it’s in French. But he is passionate.
What I think is a shame about Farage’s outburst is that some people in Europe might get the idea, from it, that the British are lumpen-headed, ignorant, undignified and, worst of all, just plain rude.