David Blackburn

Should Cameron attack Brown or Clegg?

Should Cameron attack Brown or Clegg?
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Obviously, yesterday's disaster has written-off tonight's debate for Brown. But ‘Bigot-gate’ is obscuring the European bailout crisis. Allister Heath and Iain Martin surmise that the euro crisis gives David Cameron a further advantage, if he can exploit it. Iain writes:

‘Mr. Cameron has just been dealt a potential ace by the markets. It will be interesting to see if he realizes this and works out a way of playing it in a manner that voters understand.

The worsening crisis in the euro zone has attracted very little attention in the general election, thus far. After all, the U.K. isn’t a member.

However, the growing crisis is at root about large debts and the markets demanding that states start taking serious action. When Mr. Brown says that there is no imperative to makes cuts, Mr. Cameron can point to what is going on in the euro zone and say with some force that here is a clear warning from next door. Britain isn’t yet in line for the ire of investors; it might be sooner than one thinks if action isn’t taken this day.

Meanwhile, Mr. Clegg wants to join the euro—putting him in an interesting position Thursday night.

The Lib Dem leader—a former member of the Brussels federalist elite—is extremely close to achieving historic change at Westminster. But he isn’t quite there yet. How ironic if his bandwagon was stopped by a resurgent Mr. Cameron pointing to the imploding euro.’

I suspect that Clegg will block the euro Yorker with sagacious utterances about ‘now not being the time’. Besides, the Tories have long argued that the Greek crisis is a prelude to widespread meltdown unless budgets are re-balanced, but those warnings have not moved voters.

As Iain notes, expressing complicated economics simply is difficult, but understanding is frustrated by the parties’ refusal to be clear about cuts. A gargantuan credibility gap has opened and the Tories must identify who is responsible for that. Labour, conscious of the horrors to be found therein, has delayed a comprehensive spending review. Therefore no party can give accurate spending plans - the issue that will dominate the next parliament and future prosperity. By disinterring Brown’s gasping cynicism and how it threatens stability, which won't be difficult after yesterday's self-immolation and Brown's outright lie that the national debt will be halved by 2014, Cameron can turn his fire on Clegg and Cable, whose more detailed spending plans are a ploy to pose as the virginal party pitted against the ‘old politics’. Transparency is the preserve of those whose figures add-up, and Cable’s don’t. Attacking Brown’s duplicity will expose Clegg’s posturing.