I’m just back from the launch of the Conservative’s new poster on Labour’s “debt crisis” and pinch me if that wasn’t the false start of a Tory General Election campaign.
Several hundred supporters, journalists and camera crews were present for the grand unveiling in the cavernous hall of the Royal Horticultural Society.
Given that these billboards are usually launched on the side of a lorry in supermarket carpark it was a slick presentation with George Osborne and David Cameron hammering home the message that Labour has bust the bank and is “borrowing its way out of debt”.
The poster, about the size of a juggernaut, features a photograph of a baby and the slogan: “Dad’s nose, mum’s eyes, Gordon Brown’s debt - Labour debt crisis: Every child in Britain is born owing £17,000. They deserve better.” It will be shown at 260billboard sites across the country.
As the double act spoke a giant digital counter was projected onto a side wall showing “Labour’s debt crisis - live”. The figures whizzed up though £682,113,859,000 at the rate of about £20,000 a second while Mr Cameron explained that under the Conservatives the counter would go, well at a slightly slower rate.
Mr Cameron said that with national debt set to top £1 trillion in several years’ time the poster was an extremely powerful, important and responsible message. “Labour are getting it wrong. It’s easy for politicians to talk about tax rates and borrowing as if there was no tomorrow, but there is a tomorrow and it is going to be paid for by our children,” he said.
Cameron on television on Sunday said he thought the chances of a 2009 election were 50/50. Today the Conservatives looked as if they thought the odds had narrowed substantially. There’s a regular meeting of Labour MPs in the Commons tonight at which Mr Brown will probably put the troops on an election footing just to put the wind up the Tories a bit more.
David Evennet MP seems to be first off the mark with the campaign on his own personal website so you can watch it there along with the voters of Bexleyheath and Crayford.