Well, when I posted this morning, I'd not heard the news of the latest Labour by-election disaster. Pretty impressive.
The comments, again, are more telling than the commentary.
"I can see Labour getting utterly obliterated at the next general election."
"Anyway, it's all fiddling while Rome burns for Labour. Come election time, he's a goner, I'm afraid, as is the whole New Labour project. They've had 11 years to get it right, and they have comprehensively blown it."
"Can he turn things around in the next 12 months? Sunder, he couldn't turn things around if he had another 12 years. NuLab have lost most of their support, I am genuinely surprised that there are still a few apologists out there. Maintaining the current discontent and not increasing it further is the best he can hope for over the next 12 months, funnily enough, if he manages that it will be his finest achievement."
"Public opinion has turned. They have decided that time is up for Labour. It does not matter what Brown does - he is finished."
"As many have stated above, New Labour are finished. A party that once stood for fairness abandoned that principle a long time ago. The executive is in thrall to the City and the ultra-wealthy, and a truly pitiful band of supine lobby-fodder backbenchers will not challenge them, in fear of damaging their careers. Too late, many of them are realising that after the next election they won't have careers, and with Labour's funding problems, many of those career politicians might have to actually find a proper job for the first time in their lives.Tied in with the relentless assault on personal and civic freedoms under the catch-all banner of security, they have managed to inflict massive damage to this country. But after all this, they still don't understand what they have done and why they are now despised. "
"Like virtually everybody else I forsee a Labour meltdown at the next election."
"This isn't about policy really anymore. Its about the hate of an ignored people for those who have lorded it irresponsibly and contemptuously over us for too long.
I listened to Harman yesterday, it wasn't necessarily what substantively she was saying (even though her statement was worryingly woolly) it was her wretched suburban nannyish tone, her condescension and sense of automatic superiority that upset me.
Red rag to a bull really, Labour are beyond the pale. At the next general election the people are going to administer a good kicking to Labour that will make 1997 look like a picnic."
"Sunder, your article explains exactly why labour is in danger of extinction as a national political movement. As I grew up on an innercity estate surrounded by trade unionists I was told I had to support labour because they were 'our' party.
This is no longer true, taxes on the poor and lower middle incomes are at record levels. The last three big policies have been, banging people up, which will disproportionately affect labour's core as they can't afford lawyers and are no longer eligible for legal aid.
Then there was changes to planning, a vast use of political capital that will benefit corporates and nobody else. Finally, yesterday Harman says its ok to discriminate against white men. You probably think this is great, but most of labour's heartlands are white and regretably I expect the BNP to exploit Harman's bill to the full.
Sunder, you and Harman represent the Elite NUS policy wonks that are destroying the labour movement. As a tory you might think I would cheer, but the vacuum that is being rapidly created is exploited by racists, separatists, fanatics and will lead to trouble ahead here on this humble estate of mine."
So we're seeing the total disconnection of Labour from its grassroots. At the same time, while people are willing to vote for Cameron, there are no deep currents flowing to the Tories. Cameron's USP is that he's not Gordon Brown. His support is wide but shallow - indeed, I wonder if the more traditional the Tory, the less they'd trust him - the way Old Labour felt about Blair.
It took eleven years - and a change of leader - to take Labour from the heights to the despised depths, during which time the grass roots withered. I have a feeling it could take David Cameron much less time.
UPDATE - I forget where - article, comments or Polly Toynbee's Damascus moment - more great comments - but someone pointed out that saying you support Labour is becoming unfashionable the same way that it was unfashionable to be a Tory in the 90s. Now in one sense it's a tragedy that UK politics is now a matter of fashion - but it's been like that for ten years or more. And it's necessary that both the main parties suffer the same treatment before politics can be rebuilt. Have I Got News For You, Ben Elton and the 'alternative' (now establishment) comedians, Spitting Image, and long before them stuff like TW3 - they were all basically anti-Tory - but they builded better than they knew.
I've said before that Cameron's 'de-toxification' of the Tory brand (aka 'removing anything conservative') must be reckoned an achievement - a marketing achievement, mind, but an achievement nonetheless.
Brown keeps up the line that Cameron is just a good salesman. Doesn't he realise what a compliment that is in the new age of politics ?