Hello and Goodbye
A run on Sterling? Fine. A run on pension funds? Meh. The Bank of England could clear that one up. It was nothing more than the froth of protest by the Rotten Woke Liberal Left Elite, it was someone else’s fault (again) and the new Government would not be deflected from its course. But that was on Thursday morning, and by the afternoon, all was rather different.
While client journalists like Christopher “No” Hope of the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph were pretending that the mini budget was A Very Wonderful Thing, bleating “The Tories need to get into overdrive asap to explain last week's mini-Budget. A local media round with the PM and a clip with the Chancellor is not enough”, the warnings were coming in.
Former Tory MP Gavin Barwell tried to break the news gently to Hope: “It. Is. Not. A. Comms. Problem.” Still the tribalists in the bunker refused to listen: former not-so-ace Brexit negotiator David Frost was penning more rubbish for the Tel, while Dan, Dan The Oratory Man was doing something similar for the Mail, telling its readers that the IMF and the markets didn’t really understand.
What happened during the afternoon was a more effective means of telling the political flat earth brigade just how much trouble the Tories were in. Survation told “Westminster Voting Intention. Largest Labour lead (21 points) we've ever recorded”. Labour was on 49%; the Tories on 28% - a lower share of the popular vote than the party managed in 1997.
Then, the Labour poll lead was 12.5%, and their subsequent majority 180. Were the Survation numbers to play out at a General Election, that majority would probably be over 200. And that was not the worst poll news: that came from YouGov, which has in the past been accused of favouring the Tories.
Not this time. In a poll taken on Wednesday, and yesterday, YouGov had Labour on 54% and the Tories on 21%. THIRTY-THREE POINTS IN FRONT. The best, or least catastrophic, prediction was that the Tories would be reduced to a rump of just 61 seats, and Labour would have a majority of 346. Other predictions envisaged close to a total Tory wipeout. All without Keir Starmer having to do very much at all, except watch the Tories implode.
A third poll showed a Labour lead in the high teens. All showed Tory support on the slide. The effect was to peel away a little more support from those Tory MPs not totally committed to the Truss and Kwarteng project, leaving a smaller core of true believers and unswerving tribalists to pretend that The Blue Team was not on the verge of electoral wipeout.
We were seeing not only, as was claimed last week, a Labour moment, but a run on the market and a run on Sterling followed in short order by a run on the Tory Party. They were warned about electing Liz Truss; now have come the inevitable consequences. The Daily Mail was instrumental in getting her elected, with its knocking copy aimed at Penny Mordaunt.
Some Tory members have short memories: it was the Mail that successfully campaigned for South African athlete Zola Budd to be given a British passport so she could compete in the 1984 Olympic Games. That ended in disaster when Ms Budd had a coming-together with Team USA’s Mary Decker, taking the latter out of a race she was expected to win.
The malign influence of those in the Northcliffe House bunker has now struck again, with yet more severe consequences. Repent at leisure, Tories.
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