Could this add to Dave’s problems with right-wingers?
The first paragraph of the Guardian’s editorial today is featured above and raises a question that is quite revolutionary for the paper – the idea that a Tory government might not be the worst possible outcome at the general election.
Revolutionary because one of the bedrock certainties of the media and politics is that the Guardian is the most anti-Tory of what used to be called the broad-sheet press. Just recall the near-hysterical coverage of the London Mayoral election only a few months ago when it became obsessed with what would happen if Ken lost.
The editorial goes on: “…Some Labour ministers do think that the Conservative party has changed. In his Guardian article in July, David Miliband criticised Tories for aping Labour’s agenda rather than plotting to overturn it. So the government is trying to persuade voters of two contradictory things: that the Conservative party is made up of unreconstructed rightwingers while at the same time being led, as the foreign secretary put it, by “a politician of the status quo”.
…Labour shudders to hear such talk. It conflicts with everything the left believes to be progressive. But between them, political parties can hold more than one vision of progress. The debate Labour could win is over Tory methods, not Tory motives. A squabble over sincerity will not work.”
Although in circulation terms the paper’s reach is small compared with the red-tops it wields an enormous influence and the apparent readiness to accept that the Tories are “sincere” could have an impact.
The big question is how traditional Tories, those who cut their teeth in the Thatcher era, are going to take such talk. The Guardian represents everything they loathe and detest and such a piece might add further to their suspicion of Cameron.
The very idea that their party is developing a policy portfolio that won’t upset the Guardian might be throwing oil on troubled waters.