It looks like the prime Minister’s fuhrer moment has passed:
Most of the trackers showed the government’s popularity slowing reverting to type after the spike that followed the London bombings. As well as their lead over the Conservatives in voting intention falling 2 points, the government’s net approval rating fell from -12 to -18; this compares to -19 immediately prior to the London bombings. The percentage of people thinking Tony Blair would make the best PM has fallen four points to 36%, compared to 37% prior to the bombing.
Not that it was ever that strong in the first place. The odd thing about the past few months is the disconnect between the political classes and the commentariat – who started wetting their knickers and bawling for leadership on July 8 – and the population at large, which never made anything more than a vague apathetic flap of the hand in that direction.
We yawn in the face of terror. Yet what has actually changed, now that “everything’s changed?” Well, the prime minister is off on his usual holiday pastime of mooching off the plutocracy. The government continue to pursue an opportunistically authoritarian agenda. David Blunkett continues to show signs of megalomania. The grand re-branding of muslims dwindles into a vicious bureaucratic fight over which self-appointed "community leaders" are fit recipients for government patronage. The ruling party rallies round an incompetent political appointee on the grounds that he’s one of their own. Members of the public trust the government about as far as they could comfortably spit a rat.
So, nothing has changed. Except that we’re now a country which deports people entirely on the basis of their opinions. I feel much safer now.