New leader, new mantra. "The Labour Party is now a threat to our national security, our economic security and your family's security", so says Dave. Security, security, security. Many a witless Tory parliamentarian have become a speak-your-fib machine at the behest of CCHQ. Of course, It's so much bollocks. We remember who said a big lie can fool more people than a small one, and the Tories are hoping this cynical truism holds.
On national security, Dave's government has retreated into splendid isolationism, daring to only address foreign policy matters when holidaymakers are inconvenienced at Calais, or there's an opportunity for Dave to cement his reputation as a war leader. By not engaging with the world, rubbing up Britain's allies in the EU the wrong way, and lest we forget the utter indifference Dave has shown Northern Ireland since assuming office, he's got a cheek to lecture anyone about national security. What you gonna do, Dave? Set the spooks on the Leader of Opposition?
Let's talk economics. The Tories' much-vaunted economic plan is and has always been cutting public services, throwing employees on the scrapheap, and penny pinching social security to those who can't get by without it. Somehow, passing "saved" monies onto the rich in the form of income and corporation tax cuts would miracle up a strong economic recovery according to their 1980s Thatcherite orthodoxy and make everyone better off. In fact, the record numbers in part-time work, the huge numbers of substantively unemployed people hidden in the self-employed figures, the vast amount of temporary and insecure work around, and their absolute resolution to do bugger all about it; the Tories have and continue to present a clear and present danger to the economic wellbeing of the people of these islands.
And family. Yes, the Conservatives. The party of the family. The one that has placed "hard-working families" on a pedestal and assiduously cultivated and patronised them. What have they done for families? Taking away working tax credits, that's helped families make ends meet. Attacking public sector wages and giving bosses carte blanche to bully and intimidate workers, meaning millions of kids aren't spending as much time as they might with one or both parents because they're at work. Or that the stresses and strains of the working day come home, and is taken out on partners and kids. Family security? The policies of the last five years show what the Conservatives think about the sanctity of the institution they rhapsodise over.
The Tories are hypocrites, but Dave and friends aren't nasty bastards because they don't know about the misery their policies are causing. Undermining the self-security of millions of people in the name of security is a deliberate political strategy. If their jerrymandering isn't enough, the Tories' path to power comes not through making a positive case for their programme but by scaremongering. We saw it before the election. We'll see them carry it on. And project fear, as anyone will tell you, works best when people are feeling frightened. If the 30 million or so folk in work felt secure in their occupations, weren't stressed out by dodging redundancy and awful managers, and weren't driven to a state of hypertension about where the next job or payment was coming from, the Tories' arguments would get zero traction.
Our difficult job is to turn the tables on the Tories. They are adept at using the fear of joblessness, penury, hopelessness, and family breakdown. So lets use the stories of our people who've suffered some or all of these, and throw them back in their faces.