Saturday, 14 November 2009

Polly Toynbee may have a point?!?!

It's not just Conservatives this week who disagree with Polly Toynbee's column as die-hard Labour supporters were forced to back Gordon Brown as party leader after her latest column suggested that Labour has no hope of winning the next election with Brown at the helm.

Now most Torys, myself included, would agree that Brown is doing the Labour government more damage than good (though none would want him to quit!) but this is not the part of the article I wish to highlight. Rather, as part of her same-old polemic on the Conservatives she states that "Cameron has collected no extra brand loyalty" and I can't help but reluctantly agree.

The evidence she cites suggests that despite the polls, 2% more identify themselves as 'Labour' whilst the Conservative Party this year has lost 40,000 members. For a party hoping to establish itself after the next election for a number of years to come this is not a good sign.

The problem lies in the failure of the Conservative Party to be able to establish any real sort of brand identity in the same way that Labour did in the run up to the 1997 election or, more recently, the Democrats successful campaign for the presidency last year. Both Tony Blair and Barack Obama engendered a real enthusiasm amongst the public in a way that David Cameron hasn't thus far been able to do.

Of course it is still early days in terms of the 2010 election but supporters and members have reason to be concerned. Many think that there isn't a lot behind either Cameron or Osborne so it is perhaps time to start coming out with some real policies for government. Not doing so is making Cameron appear weak at PMQs and at other times when there is policy debate as we provide no alternative.

I'm sorry to say that at the moment people are voting Tory out of dissatisfaction with Labour rather than enthusiasm for a Conservative government and this has to be changed in order to achieve a sustainable period in power.