There they were when we met at Blackpool last October, talking of nothing but an imminent election with the arrogant over-confidence that comes from too long in power. Neil Kinnock was even there to say that an election would be called and the Tories would be ‘ground in to the dust’. A triumphalist Kinnock - a sure sign that everything was about to come to grief.
For it turned out within hours that the Prime Minister who had calculated on an early election before he was found out had been rumbled already; that the leader who had prepared for the battle did not have the bottle to begin it; and it has since turned out that he is the same leader who agrees a European Treaty but can’t decide whether to attend the ceremony, calls a minister incompetent but couldn’t decide whether to sack him, calls a review of round the clock drinking but then can’t decide to go ahead and put a stop to it as he should; this is the Prime Ditherer of the nation. He reminds me of the American state Governor who once said ‘I’m not indecisive. Or am I?’
Perhaps this is no surprise, but for me the truly astounding fact we have discovered in recent months is that a Cabinet without John Prescott and Margaret Beckett is less competent than the Cabinet when they were in it.
Not only have they lost the bank account details of every family in the country and let out thousands of criminals early because they failed to plan for prison places, but we have a Home Secretary who is scared to walk down the street and a Chancellor who appeared to have dreamt he was delivering the budget and then woke up to find that he was."
Saturday, March 15, 2008
William Hague on Form
From William Hague's speech to the Tory Spring Conference this morning...