Monday, May 02, 2005

Classic line from Denis Boyles, brought to me via A Tangled Web:

'If Howard wins, I won’t be unhappy, just astonished at the triumphant vitality of European political mediocrity, British accent and all.'

This is sadly my point of view too, though saying anything original about the election cooked up for us by our current crop of politicians is not an easy matter.

Gerard Baker gives it a go.

My point of view is that Howard hasn't done such a bad job. He needed to appear tough and professional and he has. Unfortunately he's been tough in a one-dimensioned manner, ruled it seems by assumptions about the electorate, about Blair, and about the Conservative party which are difficult to rally around. It's been politics by numbers; points supposedly hitting public concerns but treating the public rather like a child that responds only to carefully numbered, reassuring and repeatable lists. There is no argument, which for a lawyer is pretty extraordinary, and no joined-up thinking. Just lists of words. It's boring, and easy for Blair to seem, as Boyles says, the only 'the only sentient British politician in sight'.

The tragedy of having to say that Howard's a decent man trying to do a difficult job (which sounds so much like what we used to say about IDS, funnily enough), is that Blair is such a flawed character; like Clinton only his faults are more fundamental, more lulling, more damaging.

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