Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Tories and their Bruising Days...

I know I posted on this before, but I thought I'd mention the subject again. Partly because John Major was on the Today Programme (Realplayer required) this morning talking about the latest row over the release of documents about Black Wednesday, when the UK was booted out of the ERM.

I should say: I like John Major. He sounds like a decent bloke and I think he's one of the better leaders that the Tories never had the wit to tolerate. Moreover, since he's not in power now, he's refreshingly honest about his premiership.

(An aside: why is Oliver Letwin not leader of the Tories? He was on the radio earlier in the week making a really daft argument sound personable and plausible. Whereas Michael Howard is just plain odd...)

Anyway, on the subject of Black Wednesday, Major said that, while he thought it had a detrimental effect on them, he didn't really think that the event was what damned his government. Rather, divisions over Europe and the sheer inevitability of being too long in power is what, so to speak, done them in.

Well, while the specific event may not have been crucial, it did seem to chrystalise in people's minds something about the Tories, which the party is yet to recover from. Which, perhaps, is why this furore is taking place now: if I can analyse the figures, so can the Labour strategists. I'm not sure if banging on about the day itself will help Labour (in the sense of 'reminding them about past Tory sins') but they probably figure that it can.

Anyway, the picture is the best response to Major's claim about Black Wednesday. My good friend John Garry, who knows all there is to know about sums, first pointed me towards this fact. And this week he did me the favour of taking the Mori data I had referred to in my last post, and tidying it up. So here is the graph for support for the Tories since Major's coming into power, using seven day moving averages:

I think that says it all...

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