Sunday, February 28, 2010

Darling & The Bully

Aside from being away when this story broke I haven't really spoken about the Prime Ministerial bullying row because I am not sure if the truth is really ever going to be known and this could decend into allegation, discrediting blows and coutner-allegations. The PM says he didn't do it, Darling says someone else did it, Mandelson blames the Tories and an aide says he did do it afterall. It's probably too late for my two-pennies about this but I would say two things about what has come out of it.

Firstly I don't believe this is what is moving the polls, if indeed they are being moved. We've spent day-after-day on the doorstep afetr this came out and nobody has mentioned it to me at all; the expenses row still comes up more than the bullying one. My experience on the doorsteps - and yesterday I spent the whole day talking to hundreds of people in Earlham - is that Labour are still seriously in trouble. I haven't felt the poll movement shift here in Norwich at all.

And the second is a theme which has been picked up by today's PB thread - the future of Darling himself. Darling has proved to be unsackable, both last year when Balls wanted his job and now when he has slagged off his boss in public. His words will chime with both the Labour Party and the public. If, after Gordon has gone, the Labour party may well seek an experienced head rather than youth and dynamism. If they do, the conventional wisdom is that Straw is the man, but I think darling may well have staked his claim this week.

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