Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.
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I honestly think that the soundbites from this speech make Mr Blair look worse than he did before.
For him to call his opposition’s plans ‘ludicrous’ makes him look, frankly, silly, especially when the Tories are out saying that they respect that their’s is not the only point of view. It makes Mr Howard look like a considered broadsheet reader, and Mr Blair look like a reactionary red-top fan. Which, of course, is what won the 1997 election for him. But that isn’t to say it’ll work again. In 1997, he had a broad appeal across the country. This time, if he continues to make speeches like this one, he’s going to isolate everyone from upper-middle-class upwards. He would be much better advised to be appealing to middle England, not brushing half of them aside.
From the campaigns so far, the Conservatives should be (but clearly aren’t) miles ahead. The Tories are landing punches on them, and Labour are damaging themselves with their infighting and poor speeches. And the Liberal Democrats need to be considered as a serious threat too, particularly with being seen as the Iraq protest party.
If Mr Blair is looking for a convincing victory, he needs to get back on form. And fast.