BBC HOMEPAGE | NEWS | WORLD SERVICE | SPORT | MY BBC help
news vote 2001search vote 2001
 You are in: Vote2001: Features
VOTE2001 
Main Issues 
Features 
Crucial Seats 
Key People 
Parties 
Results &  Constituencies 
Candidates 
Opinion Polls 
Online 1000 
Virtual Vote 
Talking Point 
Forum 
AudioVideo 
Programmes 
Voting System 
Local Elections 
Nations 

N Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 

BBC News

BBC Sport

BBC Weather
Tuesday, 5 June, 2001, 15:39 GMT 16:39 UK
The Campaign Today with Nick Robinson

Everyone's getting geared up for the day after tomorrow. No-one more so than Nick Robinson.

Last updated at 4.30pm
Click here for latest update


Subject: I know that voice
Sent: 9.10am

They've let him out! Last night's Tory party broadcast at last featured none other than William Jefferson Hague - previously unseen but the man's voice is only heard for eight seconds.

In America the spin doctors market research their candidate's most and least sellable features so as to play up the former and play down the latter. Could they be doing the same here?



Subject: Friends in high places
Sent: 10.45am

So, the Thunderer's backed Labour for the first time in its long history, joining the Economist and the FT.

In their Times: The paper's first ever Labour endorsement

No real surprise there but intriguing nevertheless to see the reasons these Big Beasts of the Establishment give for backing New Labour.

They're the consolidators of Thatcherism, explains The Times whereas The Economist praises Tony Blair as "the only credible conservative currently available".

This, at the same time, that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown claim to be putting Thatcherism to rest once and for all by winning an argument for more public spending at a time of increased taxes. Who's right about a second Labour term - if there is one - will define the politics of the next decade.

I wonder if New Labour really marks such a break from Thatcherism - the Tories, believe it or not, did make big increases in spending on health - more than 3% per year in real terms - though it didn't do the trick.

That's a figure which Labour have yet to match though they'll easily exceed it if re-elected and if the economy stays strong. (The Tories were, it's true, much meaner with education and transport.)

The Tories also tried decentralisation and involving the private sector more in the running of public services. Will it work this time?


11am

UNXPCTED ENDORSEMENT FOR HAGUE FROM CHAS KENNDY (WHO'S ATTACKED HIM NON STOP FOR 2 YEARS). HE WAS ASKED IF HAGUE COMPETENT TO B PM. YES HE SD, ITS A MCH EASIER JOB THAN LEADING TODAY'S TORY PARTY

Subject: Will he or won't he?
Sent: 11.20am

Kremlinologists are studying Michael Portillo's words with care. More praise for William Hague's leadership today plus an expressed desire to "be associated" with his campaign.

A fascinating reflective moment too when the shadow chancellor declared that he was "very very proud" of his manifesto and said that whatever his party's vices "we've addressed people as adults".

Was he, maybe, preparing the way to declare that Hague should stay leader on Friday and that he would not run for Tory leader?



Subject: Prescott gets another egg!
Sent: 11.54am

A belated Happy Birthday to Labour's Prize Fighter John Prescott who turned 63 last week.

His speech writing team in London had a present waiting for him this week - an ostrich egg decorated with a cartoon image of his now famous and, it seems, fondly remembered left hook.



Subject: We're getting on each others' nerves
Sent: 2.40pm

Growing signs of Tony Blair's irritation with media questioning - why are we asking about this or that? Why aren't we asking about "the people's priorities" which are - coincidentally - of course his election themes.

Last night when Mr Blair tried correcting the line of questioning in his interview on Newsnight, Jeremy Paxman suggested it might help if both men stuck to their existing roles as interviewer and prime minister.

My growing sense is that journalists and politicians are growing like two families which have gone away on a long holiday together. We got on for the first few days, then discovered each other's irritating habits and now are rapidly growing sick of the sight and sound of each other!



Subject: A blast from the past
Sent: 4.30pm

"Maggie Maggie Maggie Out Out Out". That's New Labour's latest tune.

I jest, of course but only a little. Tony Blair can't stop talking about THAT woman - he's just added a long adlib about her into his speech this afternoon.

If you see her on the TV tonight that's not because the Tories are pushing her but because Labour are. She Tony Blair's GOTV (Get out the Vote) weapon. Why? Because those who stuck with Labour in the '80s through thick and thin hate her more than they like New Labour.

A cynic might suggest that being next to her is the only way that Tony Blair looks at all left-wing. Secondly, because Labour needs to build fear about a Tory victory to persaude their people to bother to vote.

Talking about Thatcherism also gives Blair a chance to reassure recent converts to Labour that he won't reverse her economic reforms.

Poor old John Major - he was prime minister for seven years and no-one's talked about him at all!



Got a point to make to Nick? Use the form below to send him an e-mail. If you prefer to use your own e-mail programme, send it to
campaign.today@bbc.co.uk

Send us your comments:

Name:

Your E-mail Address:

City and Country:

Your comments:

Disclaimer: The BBC will use as many of your questions as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
 A/V CONSOLE
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS

The week so far...

AUDIO VIDEO
©BBC