First things first: a confession that I don’t watch every politics oriented item on TV. Hence my having something better to do than take in today’s Beeb One Politics Show. So I initially missed Young Dave getting jolly miffed about Pa Broon’s remark during last week’s PMQs about Tory policies being dreamed up “on the playing fields of Eton”. Yes, Dave’s jolly angry about this, and has left everyone in no doubt that it’s “Class War” – and that sort of thing doesn’t work (allegedly).
So who is making all the fuss about the remark? Had it been Big Al, or Baron Mandelson of Indeterminate Guacamole, then the “Class War” assertion would have been credible. But for Cameron to major on it is not: moreover, such an approach fails to grasp the real purpose of Brown’s remark, which was to get at Zac Goldsmith, advisor to Young Dave, Tory PPC, and a “non dom” – yes, he’s in line to become an MP, yet does not pay tax in the UK.
This has not stopped the usual cheerleaders from lining up to denounce Brown and stating that “Class War” does not work. Their single by-election sample is Crewe and Nantwich, though factors other than the “Tory Toff” stunt played in favour of Edward Timpson: he was minded personally throughout the campaign (and even on Andrew Marr’s sofa afterwards) by Fat Eric, the Government was for a variety of reasons unpopular at the time, the seat isn’t the working class Labour stronghold that some paint it, and the Labour campaign, as I noted at the time, effectively gave up in the last few days and failed to get their vote out.
I would be more than happy to show any of the Tory cheerleaders round Crewe and Nantwich to demonstrate the area’s uniqueness – and how it is much more of a swing seat than they might think – but somehow know that this is an area that they would rather talk about than visit.
Meanwhile, despite Cameron saying he’s relaxed about having gone to “School” (Old Etonians only recognise the one), the impression is given that he’d rather his opponents talk about something else. So expect them not to.