It's only for the anoraks
Interesting watching the opening salvoes in the General Election campaign. Especially the dispute over who has the biggest hole in their budget estimates. Labour claim the Tories have a considerable sum in unbudgeted spending promises. the Tories have constantly claimed Alistair Darling doesn’t know what he’s doing.
I can’t see how the electorate will stomach this kind of tit for tat over the economy and estimates of tax revenues for very long – especially without an election date to hand. Such arguments are based on the minutiae of budgetary detail which few will follow. After a while one claim about the country’s finances will blur into another and no one will actually know what the parties are talking about. The row, in the end, becomes one for aficionados and party workers only.
No, even though this sort of thing might be enthusiastically followed by economics buffs and tax anoraks, and be crucial to the future of the country, I fear the parties are already in danger of losing the attention of electors. They’re going to need to find a different battle ground if they want voters to keep watching.