Although very few in Britain are aware of it, a severely testing period now lies ahead of the Conservative Party. Are those in charge merely sloppy and stupid, or is a bigger plan in play? The Slog investigates.
It’s all gone rather quiet at the Old Bailey. We’re three weeks into the trial, but a well-placed legal source told me late last Friday that he expected the trial to last “anything up to five months”. That takes us up to the start of April 2014.
Also between now and April next year, largely ‘BBC-related’ celeb ‘sex abuse’ trials will or could take place – those of Dave Lee Travis, Max Clifford, JImmy Tarbuck, Chris Denning, and Rolf Harris. Paul Gambaccini has in turn been confronted with two allegations by police.
I am now reasonably satisfied that at least three of these cases will implode if and when they get to Court. Two of them are very clear and clumsy fit-ups. And another case will reveal nothing beyond silly studio japes in an age when the pinched-goblin feminists were a lot less powerful than they are today.
Also over the same time period we will have the continuing lack of progress on the Elm House paedophile brothel investigation.
Around March/April time, Greece must either be bailed out again, or default. Italy will be in an impossible debt position too – quite possibly by February. Britain will be called upon to help in some way; and it will be obvious to even the most Deadbrained Debbie that the EU to which Camerlot clings is in disarray and heading for meltdown. This can only boost UKip’s support further still.
Further, we are only in November, and already the A&Es blithely cut by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt are close to collapse. It will take little more than a flu epidemic and long cold spell to create chaos for patients.
Finally, first Quarter 2014 economic figures will appear towards the end of the period, while the “effect” of HTB on UK house prices will be a great deal clearer.
Several key people at the centre of the Conservative Party’s Stealth Revolution Bomber may well have been found out during or at the end of the coming six months. It is highly likely that the Brooks/Coulson verdicts and evidence will play badly for David Cameron….and possible that an allegedly improper relationship attaching London Mayor Boris Johnson to at least one defendant will also shock many people.
Further, BBC sex-abuse fit-ups may well be revealed (either in or out of Court) that make for some embarrassing allegations against Grant Shapps, – and Boris Johnson yet again. The Max Clifford and Tarbuck cases in particular could make the charges look both vindictive and flimsy in the extreme. Questions will be asked about means and motive. Such allegations – when placed alongside the timelines involved – could leave the Tory Right and Met Police reputations in tatters.
On the economy, the world trade situation is rapidly worsening, and I have few qualms about suggesting that Osborne’s wholly undeserved plaudits for sound fiscal management and economic growth will have turned to brickbats. Already, research has shown that only 1 in 10 UK citizens feel any benefit from the so-called recovery. This probably has something to do with the fact that (like the Obama boom) it is a myth. And another bank told the Chancellor over the weekend that his HTB wheeze was bound to create a housing price bubble.
Even Jeremy Effluent will face a grilling once the tabloids start to print melodramatic pictures of patients on trolleys, on their last legs, and on increasingly long waiting lists, with A&E war-zones collapsing under the pressure of cold snaps and a boozy Christmas.
All this has me worried. You see, there will still be a year to go until the General Election of May 2015. And based on the critical path down which the Conservatives are running at the minute, it could all come very badly unstuck by the end of Spring 2014. So I’m left wondering WTF Camerlot is up to.
Some of this ‘planning’ is just more sloppiness. The Cameron-led Government is sloppy in almost everything it does, and thus there is bound to be an element of that in some of the over-confidence which one can almost smell now in the Tory camp.
But there are two other possibilities. The first is a long-shot, but does bear consideration. There are still two circumstances in which an Election could happen before May 2015
- If a motion of no confidence is passed in Her Majesty’s Government by a simple majority, and 14 days elapse without the House passing a confidence motion in any new Government formed
- If a motion for a general election is agreed by two thirds of the total number of seats in the Commons including vacant seats (currently 434 out of 650)
It’s possible that the pro-Cameron clique (pushed hardest by Grant Shapps) will try to engineer the latter of the two scenarios before the Old Bailey verdict, the eurozone collapse, a Johnson scandal or the BBC fit-ups come to light. It wouldn’t actually be that hard to tempt Labour into such a trap, whereby the LibDem vote collapses but the entire Recovery invention is still looking credible
The other potential game plan is that the core anti-Cameron Conservative Sh*thead tendency will try to dump the PM before the bad news gets any worse, and start afresh with a direct ‘business-friendly’ Hard Right programme.
Notably missing from the solids/fans possibility is Michael Gove. High energy, a good speaker, backed by the Right, admired by Newscorp….and a neoliberal fanatic who (like Michael Fallon) believes that money and economic growth rate infinitely higher than Society, liberty, democracy or ethics.
Hard to tell right now, although one thing looks fairly certain: if the Party does nothing, even Ed Miliband could be staring at an unmissable open goal by August.