Monday, October 05, 2009

The Monday morning blog: two different policies in one interview

Boris Johnson is experiencing the same problem as David Cameron. He is all over the place on a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Watching Johnson on BBC News 24, I saw him first demand a referendum on Lisbon now (perhaps he overlooked the fact the Tories can't deliver that from opposition). Then it was put to him that the treaty will be ratified by the general election so an incoming Tory government would have missed the chance to have a referendum on the Treaty. Johnson then said he wanted a referendum on "specific bits" without saying which "bits" the question should be about. Moments later he was demanding a full referendum after the election on the whole Treaty.

All this detracts attention away from the Tories' policy of solving the unemployment crisis by cutting benefits to disabled people (perhaps the Tories believe they have been made "iller" by the NHS so they should be encouraged out of their "work shyness" by making them poorer). In a sense, the growing row over Europe could save the Tories from media scrutiny of their shallow, soundbite policies. There may therefore be, in Tory eyes, a silver lining to this cloud.

And finally, did anyone see Cameron's interview yesterday in which he called his party the "New Conservatives"? Now, what does that remind me of?

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