By Stephen Pollard
February 23, 2010
Dominic Lawson has an infuriatingly good column in today's Indie
(infuriating because I was on the point of suggesting it to an editor)
on why the Conservatives should be praying to lose the election.
Just as 1992 was a wonderful election for Labour to lose (had they won, they'd have suffered the same ERM crisis as the Conservatives, would have shouldered the blame, and would have been out of power for another generation as every fear of the party's economic incompetence would apparently have been confirmed), so 2010 is a terrible election for the Conservatives to win.
As he writes:
Leave aside the prospect of more years under the command of such a morbid
misanthrope as Mr Brown (and it is this, rather than the Prime Minister's
alleged bullying, which fills his colleagues with such despair); what is the
political and economic inheritance which the Labour government would
bequeath to its reconstituted self? The scene would be something like the
end of Conrad's Heart of Darkness, when Kurtz in a sudden moment of
realisation declares: "The Horror! The Horror!"
...It would be Gordon Brown, Mr Public Investment, who would have
to cut state expenditure on a scale which has never before been done in this
country – a guarantee of vicious internecine conflict between the Labour
Party and its main financial backers, the public-sector trade unions; either
that or face such a buyers' strike on the part of international investors in
Britain's vast debt as would require the final humiliation of a second
Labour Government having to throw itself on the not so tender mercies of the
International Monetary Fund.
...Just for a moment, try to imagine what a 2010 Lib-Lab government would be
like; imagine, for example, the relationship between Prime Minister Gordon
Brown and Chancellor Vince Cable, who had derisively mocked him as a man
morphing from "Stalin to Mr Bean". Such a pantomime horse of an
administration would make the current one look harmonious; and who then
would be the political beneficiary?