SO Sir Bernard Ingham was right all along. Writing in his regular Wednesday column in The Yorkshire Post, Margaret Thatcher’s former press secretary stuck his neck on the line and predicted “a small working majority” for David Cameron.
He was just about the only pundit to forecast such a result.
Modesty will preclude him from saying ‘it was Bernard wot won it’, but this is what he wrote 48 hours ago when every opinion poll was predicting political deadlock.
Don’t miss The Yorkshire Post next week for his exclusive analysis on the election.
And here again is how Sir Bernard predicted the outcome.
WELL, we shall soon know our fate. As we enter the very last lap, this election reminds me of Winston Churchill’s view of Russia – a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
The UK Independence Party, the Nationalists and the Greens provide the riddle, the opinion polls the mystery and Labour the enigma. How can Ed Miliband have a chance after Labour’s 1997-2010 incompetence? And why are the Tories, the ritual rescuers of the economy, so viscerally disdained by Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Nationalists and the Greens?
The outcome has been as clear as mud in this final week after the polls told us that 40 per cent of the electorate were still undecided.
The only part of this nation of ditherers with half a mind of its own is Scotland where a majority of voters seem to be smitten with a cute nationalist hysteria that has disturbing undertones of dictatorships down the ages. Indeed, the SNP is probably to the Left of Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin.
The Scots – among others – seem to be oblivious of the misery that Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond are likely to visit on them – and us.
But that is by the way. The real conundrum of this election is not why the so-called established political class is in bad odour after the scandal over Parliamentarians’ expenses. It would be surprising if our politicians smelled of roses after that abuse of power.
It is also easy to see why David Cameron and his coterie are accused of being out of touch with Mr and Mrs Joe Bloggs. They went to Eton, which is becoming a cardinal sin in these phoney egalitarian days.
Yet Ed Miliband and Ed Balls have had as privileged an education as Cameron & Co. There is nothing between the leaderships of the two parties when it comes to their working class DNA. Neither has any.
But that does not mean that none of them has a clue as to how the other half lives when they regularly hold surgeries for their troubled constituents. All this talk of their being out of touch is grossly overdone.
So, how can it be that Labour, after their performance in government, is entering the last lap still cherishing hopes of somehow governing this country while the Tories are said to be unfit for no better reason than their alleged toffee noses to continue in No 10?
In 13 wasted years from 1997, Labour not only wrecked the public finances but also private pensions, sold gold reserves in a bear market to finance their benefits and public sector bribery, opened the doors to immigrants and all sorts of predictable economic and social pressures, introduced 24-hour drinking with degrading results and put GPs on a five-day week to the detriment of A&E units as well as NHS patients.
What is more, Miliband and Balls were leading advisers to the disastrous Blair/Brown governments. Miliband will not allow the people a say on our relationship with Europe. And to put the tin hat on it, he won the party leadership with the backing of a vested interest – the unions – that remains the party’s main source of finance as well as danger to the economy.
Yet Labour seems to be viewed more sympathetically than the Tories, perhaps partly because the Conservatives invariably show them up by cleaning up after them.
This leads me to the Tories’ great omission. They have not exposed the totalitarian nature of modern Labour and its fundamental economic illiteracy.
After a century of trial and error the Left, which sweeps up Labour, the Nationalists and the Greens, still do not understand their limitations in conducting their class war.
Their policies might for a time be viable in a totalitarian state where they commanded everything, including working folk. But they simply do not work in a free society where people can move their money around, leave the country and, for example, exploit the welfare state.
Their idealistic view of the working class whom they seek to cosset (while keeping them in their place) inevitably damages us plebeians in the end because their expensive and divisive creed sooner or later hits the constraints of a free society in a globalised market.
Ergo, this election is really a choice between freedom and central control.
Consequently, I expect David Cameron to win a small working majority. If fate deems otherwise, this great nation of ours will soon break up with unfathomable consequences and become irrelevant through either stupidity or insanity.
The world will be more unstable, too.