And the shortages have spooked the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press: from the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph’s “Alarm as BP begins petrol rationing”, to the Murdoch Times’ “Don’t panic, urges No 10 after BP cuts fuel delivery”, and the rather more downmarket Sun shrieking “WE’RE RUNNING ON EMPTY”, the conclusion has to be that someone is panicking, and it’s the Tory cheerleaders.
Worse, the Tories and their hangers-on are so clearly out of touch with more or less anyone outside their comfort zone: they cannot conceive of how withdrawing the £20 uplift in Universal Credit could possible be a problem. For Tory cheerleaders, think-tankers, hacks and pundits, that’s around a quarter, or less, of their average per person restaurant bill. For the least well-off, it’s a week’s food, and maybe some heating.
So it might be thought that Labour would be capitalising on the Tory ineptitude and cluelessness, and taking an opinion poll lead into their Conference, which begins this weekend. But the Times and YouGov have brought bad news: despite the shambles over which alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his cabinet of talentless sycophants is presiding, the Tories have regained a lead over Labour.
Why that might be is not difficult to deduce: while some leading Labour figures are doing their best to take the fight to the Tories - Angela Rayner taking PMQs this week and giving the clueless Dominic Raab a suitably good going over, for instance - that part of the leadership that almost sacked her was apparently busying itself with infighting.
As it is with YouGov ...
Like the idea of abandoning One Member One Vote for electing the party leader, for instance. LabourList has reported that “Keir Starmer has confirmed to his shadow cabinet that he will bring rule changes to Labour conference for a return to an electoral college system in leadership elections, a new reselection process for MPs and reforms to the policy-making process”. OMOV was how Starmer himself was elected.
This has not received universal acclaim: “Unite the Union has already publicly opposed switching back to the electoral college system for leadership contests, which - unlike the current one-member-one-vote system - sees MPs, affiliates and members each given a third of the vote … Sharon Graham told Labour MPs in an email last night that the electoral college plan was ‘unfair, undemocratic and a backwards step for our party’”.
... so also with Survation
Picking a scrap with the left, which is how the abandonment of OMOV will be portrayed, is, sadly, rather like how Lyndon Johnson described making a speech on economics: “Did y’ever think … that making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg? It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else”. The Labour leadership may enjoy putting one over on the Rotten Lefties™. But it will not address voters’ concerns.
And those voters won’t forget, or forgive, Labour playing games while they went hungry.
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