James Forsyth

The three Tory pin-ups are brave

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The three voters who have agreed to be featured in the Tories’ new ads are brave folk. I would wager a considerable amount that right now there are a whole slew of people digging into their pasts hoping to find some piece of evidence to discredit them. It might not be appealing but it is how politics is done. Remember how the American media hammered ‘Joe the Plumber’, the man who confronted Obama about his tax policy and the McCain campaign tried to turn into a poster boy for those worried about Obama’s economic policies, for owing income tax and not having the right kind of plumbing license. Just last weekend, ‘Joe’ was complaining about how the McCain campaign had used him and the whole experience had “screwed up” his life. Or in British politics, how Rose Addis became a political football after her case was raised at PMQs. Cameron himself must be well aware of the risks of using ‘real people’ in an election campaign as he is a veteran of the 1992 battle of Jennifer’s Ear.  

Now, I am sure that these three people are all good upstanding citizens and the Tories say there is no reason to worry about anything like this. But I do hope these three new Tory voters are ready for what is coming their way.