The Crewe cut

Next Thursday sees the Crewe and Nantwich by-election, which just might turn out to be one of those pivotal by-elections. Andrew Rawnsley has some sharp comments about the nature and tone of the Labour campaign up there.

What was once regarded as the cleverest electioneering operation in the democratic world has descended into a crude parody of the silliest and nastiest aspects of political campaigning. Labour activists dressed in toppers and tails stalk the Tory candidate to attack him as a ‘toff’ because his family built up a successful chain of shoe repairers. It’s not Edward Timpson who is made to look like the nob by these puerile games.

When not playing the class card in a juvenile way, Labour has been playing the race card in a poisonous way. The BNP is not standing in the seat, but you could be forgiven for thinking that you were looking at their stuff when you read some of Labour’s campaign material. One Labour leaflet invites a vote against the Tories on the grounds that they ‘oppose making foreign nationals carry an ID card’. The Tories actually oppose making anyone carry an ID card. Labour should be ashamed of stooping to xenophobia to try to cling on to the seat. They are getting this down and dirty because so much is at stake here, especially for the Prime Minister…