Tory meltdown? Ashcroft debacle exposes Cameron and OsbornePosted on: 03 March 2010 by Gareth Hargreaves
Tory tax exile, Lord Ashcroft's non domicile status has fixed the media spotlight fully on David Cameron and George Osborne - and their lack of transparency and direction is setting alarm bells ringing with voters.
What the hell's happening: within three weeks the Tories have gone from a 13% lead over Labour in the polls down to 2-4% and the news programmes have all latched onto the Lord Ashcroft 'nondom' tax status story.
Is he domiciled for tax purposes or not?
Does he love the UK?
Will he pay taxes if the Tories win? Does he wear Y-fronts or boxers?
Frankly, who cares?
George Osborne fell for the old googly by Andrew Marr on Sunday when he sprang the 'Ashcroft question' on him. Rather than playing him with a straight bat: 'Really, Andrew, is this the best you can do; Surely your viewers are more interested in what the Conservatives are going to do when we win the election?’ No, he was clearly flustered and tried to talk his way out of it; all the time making things worse.
The newspaper newsrooms – never slow to scent blood – duly escalated it to become a 'win or lose' election issue. To ccompound matters, David Cameron also revealed his own lack of judgement by chipping in and was left looking like an ant being chased by sunlight under a magnifying glass. Does the electorate really care, though?
Surely we are only too aware of the money grabbing, lying, conniving and desperate nature of politicians - be they Tory, Labour or Liberal.
Wouldn't it be nice if they were all whiter than white? Well yes, of course it would, but let's get real - they are as human as you or I but with greatly inflated egos.
What Cameron, Osborne and all the other little Tories trotted out to manage the 'Ashcroft affair' should have done was to bounce it back. Instead they inflicted on themselves a wound that the Liberals and Labour will gleefully re-open in the weeks leading up to the election; one that will undermine anything Cameron and co do with regards to future government policy.
If the Tories want to win this election, they must kick out the boys and bring on the men! Stand up, Ken Clarke and William Haig. They know what to do and have been conspicuous by their absence from this debacle - clever them!
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