In yesterday's Times, Danny Finkelstein (for it is he) wrote an excellent piece of commentary which contained the classic "forces of Hull" comment as mentioned in the previous post. The commentary itself contained a simple truth about wider-politics that can be summed up thus. Ordinary people couldn't give a flying buggery about Westminster rows like who knew what, when and where about Lord Ashcroft being a non-dom and care much more about other issues that get them truly animated.
After all, which do you think is the more important talking point this morning for most people? That some rich bloke who is good with his money and wants to be good with ours hasn't managed his finances sensibly, or that someone that brutally murdered a two-year old when he was ten years old, has now been recalled to prison, in secret, with a blanket ban on even why he has been readmitted?
Don't get me wrong, I can understand why Labour want to push the Ashcroft issue. They don't like the fact that the Tories are3 better funded than them, and they realise that it's the marginal seats where the election is won or lost. However, what would change if Ashcroft stepped down and relinquished his title? What would happen if, as they want, he paid the tax man lots of money to cover what they believe are back payments?
Do they honestly think that Ashcroft cannot continue to donate money to the Conservative Party? Even if he is not directing the marginal seat strategy, the money remains in the bank. The only hope can surely be that they can keep some sort of "row" going, but the problem is that those of us who are members of the great unwashed non-political classes don't really care that much about it.
As Danny Finkelstein argued yesterday, the political class is completely out of touch with what reality actually cares about.
Now, and purely as an aside on the James Bulger/Venables issue, who in their right mind thinks that such details will remain secret? Every convict and screw in the land is going to be looking at their copy of the Sun or Mirror and then looking at every 27 year old newbie that has appeared in the last week or so. If the fact Venables is back inside leaked, isn't it obvious it's going to leak where he is?