Good Week, Bad Week 27/03/11…

Good Week

David Cameron- Cameron has had a good if unspectacular week. The Prime Minister will be heartened by the way the military action in Libya is going, how well the Budget was received by the media and his party’s steady rise in the opinion polls this week.

George Osborne- Osborne’s Budget this week was solid if predictable. The cut in duty on petrol and the cut in corporation tax were welcomed by the Government’s media backers and businesses. The Budget itself was cost neutral which from a strategic perspective tries to differentiate Osborne from past Labour Chancellors who seemed to overspend every Spring.

Bad Week

Ed Miliband- Miliband has had a truly woeful week after a sub-par Budget response, a frankly bizarre speech at the TUC march and doubts starting to emerge from within his own party that he and his Shadow Chancellor can lead effectively. Miliband’s Budget response simply repeated what he has been stating for months on the economy and sounded pre-scripted. Milliband’s speech at the TUC march compared his struggle against slowing down the cuts to the struggle that Nelson Mandela faced against apartheid, a truly laughable statement to make given Labour would only be cutting two billion pounds less per year than the Coalition this Parliament. The Leader of the Opposition is rumoured to be coming under pressure from his Labour MPs on the right of the party who want a more cohesive, honest message on the economy and on Labour’s strategy to deal with the cuts. The problem for those on the right of the Labour party is there is no clear replacement for Ed Miliband currently. David Miliband is still smarting from his leadership election defeat, Yvette Cooper can’t challenge as she is Ed Balls’ spouse and Andy Burnham is not ruthless enough to oust his leader. A poor set of results in the local/devolved elections in May for Labour could see serious pressure mounting on Miliband but ultimately I can see him hanging on at least in the short term.

Nick Clegg- Clegg has had a quiet week yet again although he is coming under increased pressure from those on the left of his party who are questioning the party’s role in the Coalition. Ideas such as a party rebrand involving a name change (to the “Social Democrats”) have been mooted but I feel Clegg would be right to resist any change on the grounds of the fact those parties who have success at General Elections do so from the centre ground. The Deputy Prime Minister’s party may be doing poorly in the polls at the moment but a hasty decision to rebrand could divide the party and more importantly damage their chances in 2015 beyond repair.

Ken Livingstone- Livingstone’s performance on Question Time proved he is more left wing than Ryan Giggs and must have had Boris Johnson dancing in his Mayoral Office on Thursday night.

Ed Balls- Balls’ Budget response included a rather disingenuous apology from the Shadow Chancellor about the past Government’s record on the economy. An apology that was well over three years late.


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