Is there any way to undermine Labour's core vote than to read headlines saying that the government is going to court to reduce the compensation payout to soldiers severely injured in Afghanistan ?
I can't think of anything which could make the government look less caring and more hypocritical given the current climate and the perceived penny pinching in Afghanistan.
It is symptomatic of this government though (as I wrote yesterday) that they are providing stories for The Daily Mail and The Express which write themselves (that is if the Express can avoid another Madeleine McCann story or link it in some way to Princess Diana.
Whilst there might be reasons for appealing against compensation payouts, irrespective of the mess the government are in politically, is it not the worst time possible from a military strategists point of view to be pursuing a court case in order to claim back what is only around £100,000 ? We have in recent years had something of a recruitment crisis in our armed forces and whilst there are reports that recruitment is easing due to the recessions (something the US forces have relied upon for year whilst recruiting in the poorest parts of the US), it sends a poor message to anyone thinking of joining the army at this moment.
But going back to Labour's core vote, those who were less than enthused about voting Labour last week in Norwich. What does it say to them about Labour's priorities. I always think that the ex local authority housed working class Labour voter are some of the most patriotic voters who take a deep pride n their country. This is why so many of them so happily switched to UKIP in last week's Norwich North by-election. These people might vote Lib Dem where there is a long established Lib Dem presence, they won't switch to the Tories out of a long held antipathy to that party, but UKIP provides a place to put their cross with no feelings of regret.
When Alistair Darling said yesterday that he is still optimistic of a Labour win next year, it really makes you question him on his economic forecasts too.