The Conservative Party has its best chance in a generation to form the next Government. Morning after morning we wake up to new stories about a divided and incompetent Labour Party. Tony Blair’s pre-announcement of his resignation has to go down as one of political history’s worst ever decisions. Fraser Nelson, writing in this week’s Spectator, thinks that the Labour coalition could unravel as the anti-war LibDems continue their leftwards lurch:
"The staged defections of 30-odd (mainly Muslim) Labour party members to the Lib Dems last week in Margaret Beckett’s constituency warns of a trend which could pave the way to Tory government. The Lib Dems could unravel the New Labour coalition from the Left while the Cameron Conservatives tug from the centre-Right — sending Mr Brown spinning into oblivion…"
We can only hope that Fraser is right.
A leading threat to Tory chances is the David Cameron’s environmental agenda. Today the
Conservative leader will join the LibDems and Friends of the Earth in calling for legislation that will require annual cuts of 3% in the UK economy’s greenhouse gas emmissions. Without significant economic diversification or technological advance that could be economically very damaging. The Tories are determined to use green taxes – including the possible reintroduction of the fuel duty escalator – to achieve their environmental goals.
No other conservative leader in the Anglosphere has taken the same path. Bush, Harper and Howard are focusing on the terror threat and the need to keep their economies competitive against the developing nations that are shunning Kyoto-style environmental controls.
Will climate change be the number one international issue for voters at the next election or will the terror threat dominate debate? Will voters be willing to pay more to take their kids to Spain for their summer holiday? Will the fuel protestors of 2000 accept big increases in fuel duty now? Will any environmental progress in Britain be futile? It is in China and India where greenhouse gas emmissions are rising fast.
David Cameron has considerable political skills and he will need all of them to sell his blue-green
revolution to the British people. There should be no doubt, however, that his
green agenda is the biggest gamble of his leadership.