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Budget 2014: Will Cameron’s disciples spread the message?

19 March 2014

Lynton Crosby addressed the Conservative parliamentary party last night about the party’s messaging for the European elections. Amusingly, I hear he told those gathered to watch one of his powerpoint presentations that while Jesus only had 12 disciples, David Cameron has 305 to spread his message. Perhaps the next Downing Street wooing event will see the Prime Minister handing out loaves and fishes to his backbenchers. After a rather off-message week, the Conservatives need their MPs to get into line and start talking about that long-term economic plan today as George Osborne unveils his Budget.

One of the key words to look out for is ‘resilience’, which the Chancellor has already dropped into his tweets about the exciting new pound coin. The trick for on-message Tories is, as James explained in his Mail on Sunday column, to show that things are far from fine and dandy with the economy and there is still a good long way to go. Appearing to ‘bank’ the recovery now, as some colleagues of Osborne did fear around the time of the Autumn Statement, would not just look complacent but would also give voters the impression that it might be safe to turn to a Labour government in 2015.

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The trick for Labour is to convince people that Osborne can’t be trusted, as this poster below shows. But that’s the easy bit: Labour has to convince voters that they can be trusted not just to point out the problems but to solve them too, and that’s a big leap.

budget poster sml

There is still a rumour that there is going to be a surprise ‘biggie’ in the the Budget announcement later. The Sun has been briefed that this will be the Chancellor’s most blue-collar-friendly budget yet. But with limited room for giveaways, he’ll have to employ more magic than usual to produce a rabbit from his hat.

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Show comments
  • Denis_Cooper

    “his tweets about the exciting new pound coin”

    Have you gone mad, Isabel?

  • Richard N

    Spread the EU puppet Cameron’s “message”?

    What message? “Try to lie like me?”

    I can’t think of any other message he projects. But I think he’d want his MPs to lie more successfully than him.

  • saffrin

    “The trick for Labour is to convince people that Osborne can’t be trusted”

    The trick for Labour is to lobotomies the masses lest they remember 1997-2010.

  • Tom Tom

    To read that £1 will be worth 3d or Denarii in 2017 is proof enough of debasement of the currency

  • Frank

    Lynton, Dave doesn’t appear to have any message. If you rule by focus group, you have zero authority.
    The fact that both the Tories and Labour have had to go abroad for guidance on how to win elections says all you need to know about their inadequacy.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    Will any part of the ‘tory euro election strategy actually involve mentioning the EU or its parliament, or what tories elected to it will be pushing for ? Or will it merely be a popularity poll based arounmd the fantasy wotld of UK politics? OK, I know the answer. I know the useless Spectator will go along with it, no push by Nelson and his bubble crew to make a democratic election out of it. As I have explained before, it isn’t an election if the parties and media do not address the issues.

    The issue in the EU is NOT some trivial reform agenda, it is the democratic deficit, which has not arisen by inattention but is working exactly as intended to give a semblance of democracy to a tyranny.

    Why do I bother? I want the editor of the Spectator to treat the euro election as if it was a proper election. I want to see real issues examined in depth. Any hope?

    • HookesLaw

      Wow, budget thread and quick as a flash you mention the EU. I can’t work out if you are boorish or childish.
      Even if out of the EU and in the EEA we would still be obeying single market rules and free movement of labour. Only we would have no votes. If you want to know tory policy on the EU then look into its Euro elections manifesto.

      • Rhoda Klapp8

        It’s in the second line of the post. Didn’t you read it? No, and you didn’t read my comment either, apparently. The EU HAS a democratic deficit which is worth mentioning in the context of an EP election. Those who wish to stay in the EU or reform it or whatever else should not be happy to put up with that deficit. Do you contend that the EP elections WILL be treated properly rather than an extension of UK politics?

        And your nonsense about single market rules has been blown away so many times yet you still repeat it, belching your bile over every thread.

        • Hexhamgeezer

          To be fair to the rabid Hookster, it’s hard to read a screen covered with phlegm and there’s no nurse available to wipe it.

        • Makroon

          Rhoda used to be an interesting independent voice. Now, regrettably, she has chosen to just join the tiresome, repetitive UKIP Greek chorus. It’s a shame.

          • Rhoda Klapp8

            I am not UKIP. I have a non-party concern about the EP election. Can’t you see it? An election which is not properly debated is not democratic. Do you see any prospect of a proper debate? Do you think the BBC or Guardian or Spectator will handle it other than as a UK-centric personality dog-and-pony show? Where is the policy of the EU debated? How does the EP affect it? Who can we fire over the Ukraine debacle? This, the EU, is the government of our country and you don’t even care about its democratic deficit.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    The loaves and fishes should be just enough to feed the membership the rate CMD is going.

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