Monday, 12 December 2011

Cameron takes a bow

David Cameron is due to be cheered from the rafters this afternoon by his own side following his "triumph" in Brussels last week.

Labour's frontbench have found themselves on the wrong side of populism twice in the last fortnight. When it came to the Autumn spending review I think Cameron and Osborne's attack line - "you can't spend your way out of debt" - resonated with voters' own experiences in the last few years.

As any passing Keynesian will tell you, national economies do not behave in the same way as household bank accounts. But the handbag analogy is working for the Tories right now.

Effective as he is Ed Balls hasn't found the same rhetoric to answer back with, regardless of how coherent his analysis is.

Similarly on Europe, by amplifying the Europhobia of his own backbenchers Cameron has tapped into the knee-jerk anti-Europeanism of the electorate. Labour doesn't quite have an answer.

Although Douglas Alexander, and David Miliband this morning, do fine destructive analysis of "the reasons not to", you don't get the feeling that penetrates far beyond the political village.

For now all Ed Miliband can do is hold the line for the long term, which is all opposition is about. In a year the public might see Osborne's plan A isn't working and British business will begin to express discomfort with distancing the country from its' biggest market.

Labour's pre-1997 experience was that Britain's business community didn't like Tory beef wars or the Brussels-bashing agenda of the Thatcherite rump left in Major's Tory party.

It might take a while for Britain to realise the consequences of Cameron taking Britain down a fork in the European road. It looks smooth for Cameron now, but the road gets rougher ahead.

No comments:

Post a Comment