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David Cameron wins Tory leadership

So the Boy Wonder (same age as yours truly, gulp) has been elected leader of the Conservatives. We have been fairly rough on David Cameron these past few weeks, concerned that Cameron does not seem to stand for anything much other than a desire to be jolly nice, moderate and sensible (ie. to maintain the status quo with a blue tinge). Well, I am at least prepared to repress my concerns for a while and see how he does. With the economy showing signs of cracking under the increasingly oppressive Chancellorship of Gordon Brown, and with Blair seemingly unable to push through his reforms, the time is ripe. Luck has a huge bearing on politics and as Bonaparte said of his generals, luck is as important as ability. The media has certainly been gushing about him, which again gives me the jitters. If the Tories are to win, they must regain some of their lost territory in places like the West Midlands, not just the salons of Islington.

We shall see.

UPDATE: I seem to have hit the post button almost at the same time as our sainted Perry. Great minds think alike!

76 comments to David Cameron wins Tory leadership

  • Cameron certainly has the charisma and momentum to put a whole new generation of voters off the Tories for life.
    There will be a flurry of excitement as a few thousand new members rush to join the Conservative Party. The trouble for Cameron is that they will then find out what the Conservative Party is really like at first hand.

  • GCooper

    I don’t mean this personally (bearing in mind Johnathan Pearce’s comment about his own age) but Cameron is far, far too young for the job.

    Even more scary is the likely makeup of his shadow cabinet. The candidates lack experience in just about everything which, as we have seen with Bliar, means we will be in for yet more ill-considered, panic-politics, should they gain office.

    There is a sickness in the UK, which seems obsessed with youth above all else. People over 40 are deemed ‘too old’ for key jobs, TV newsreaders are taken out and shot at the first wrinkle and otherwise perfectly sensible Tory party ladies go weak at the knees over an untried, untested young man.

    They do these things far better in the USA, where a degree of experience and gravitas is not so much welcome, as mandatory for those seeking the highest perches.

  • Pete_London

    I saw Cameron’s speech following the result being announced. All I can remember is a reference the ‘scandal’ of so few women being Tory MPs (or members of the Con Party, or something) another reference to his bike journey into town being carbon neutral and … err, that’s it. Dear God.

    Perry’s right. Cameron would be right at home in New Labour. Without Tory commitments to shrink government, slash taxes to minimal levels and be on my side as a tax-paying, law abiding Englishman, there is no point to them.

  • Moderate: a political word meaning “I’m such a bed-wetting wimp that I have no solid ideals.”

  • Verity

    The Conservatives have managed to pick another loser! How sad, because this choice will finish them off. He has nothing to offer and will produce nothing except, like Bliar, a flurry of activity and pathetic little soundbites.

    I am terribly disappointed because Davis has more ideas, more gravitas, more presence that this fellow who looks and sounds as though he should be working the Jaguar showroom. He is vacuous, b-o-r-i-n-g, wants to be Tony Bliar (what a perverted ambition), wants more women MPs (no, no, no! That’s not it, you moron!) – in other words he is a trite little thinker without an original thought in his head.

    Even if he wins, it’s going to be Bliar Mark II with incompetents who have grandiose ideas and not the faintest idea how to implement them; no management skills or experience; nothing.

    The thought of him trading smug little quips with Bliar at the Despatch Box gives me the heaves. I just cannot believe the Tories could be so stupid. I had hopes up until the last minute that the membership would have more sense than the MPs and return Davis, but no. They wanted another Bliar, right down to the pregnant wife. Gawd ‘elp us. Bliar in office and the Opposition led by Cameron. All we need now is Groucho to bring a sense of gravity to this comedy.

  • John K

    Cameron is a year younger than me, so the fact that he is continually called youthful is a bit of a morale booster, and his wife is no Cherie, thank God. Apart from that, he’s an idea free zone, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Davis was the man though. Shame.

    Oh Lordie, I’ve just seen Heselslime on TV news comparing him to Kennedy (I think he meant Jack not Wee Charlie). Pass the sick bag Alice.

  • mbe

    O ye of little faith!

    The difference between Blair and DC is that the latter is leading the Tories and the former a bunch of statists.

    The rhetoric may be similar but crucially the sway will be to the right, not the left, this time.

    DC may only be an incremental improvement on Blair but
    I am confident that DC will remove ZaNuLab, particularly against the incredibly dour Brown.

  • Bernie

    I predict the Tories will win at the next election. Not because of DC but because enough voters will be sick of Labour. This will not just be a bad thing for the country but also for the Tory Party. The party will think they did something right and will continue to be useless.

    The only good aspect of this is that those who actually vote will become an increasingly smaller proportion of the electorate. So it will become more and more obvious how hollow the word “mandate” will be. That isn’t much of an upside I admit.

  • Verity

    mbe – Now they’ve got Cameron, it matters not a jot which party is in. He will twinkle ever closer to the EUSSR and I don’t care what his wife is like. I also don’t care that he has a disabled kid, who he has exploited for months. I have no interest in his bloody family. All I know is, he’s shallow, slick and full of phony bonhomie but no ideas. Oh, other than what’s wrong with the Tories is, they don’t have enough women MPs. What a waste of space. Maybe he’ll drive a lot of people over to UKIP. Hope so.

  • mbe


    You’re just the kind of female Tory MP I’d love to see in the house!

    Trust me, I’m not wholly convinced by DC but Davis would have been far worse for democracy (i.e. he’d have handed the next election to Brown.)

    DC is bit wishy-washy and touchy-feely but he does hold, from what I know/have heard, liberal values. He’s certainly set against ID cards, which is a good enough start.

    It could have been a great deal worse.

  • Verity

    mbe says It could have been a great deal worse.

    How? Cherie Blair winning it?

  • Pete_London


    How is it not worse to have Bliar and Cameron being so close they stand in the same pants? You don’t seem to get it – there is no point to the Conservative Party now.

  • GCooper

    mbe writes:

    “It could have been a great deal worse.”

    With the IPPR and Fiends of the Earth being brought in as consultants? How?

  • mbe


    Que? When has Blair delivered on his rhetoric?
    How many policies have New Labour taken from a Tory announcement, diluted it and delivered a pile of steaming turd instead?
    How much more tax has the Govt. taken since 97?
    How did Blair become PM in the first place? By talking Tory, masquarading in the centre ground and keeping the socialists quiet during elections.
    If it takes the same smoke and mirrors for DC and the Tories to get back in then I’ll be happy.

    Sure, I’d love a gung-ho Tory threatening to pull out of the EU, offering 20% flat tax, 24 hour drinking and smoking, full English breakfasts with a huge fat slab of Libertarian pie but it wouldn’t get New Labour out.

  • GCooper

    mbe writes:

    “…. but it wouldn’t get New Labour out.”

    It isn’t about ‘getting New Labour out’ it is about getting in power a government that will do the right things.

    Simply replacing one lot of halfwits with another is utterly pointless.

  • Pete_London

    GCooper –

    Excuse me, I didn’t quite catch that. I thought you said that the IPPR and Fiends of the Earth have been brought in by Cameroon as consultants. This is wholly preposterous. I must have misheard.


    Blair is useless and it’s just as well he cannot deliver his promises. I’d have slashed my wrists long ago if he could.

    How much more tax has the Govt. taken since 97?

    About £250 billion a year. By how much has Cameroon pledged to reduce it? Not a penny.

    For some reason you don’t care how much your government shafts you as long as it’s a Tory government.

  • GCooper

    Pete_London writes:

    “Excuse me, I didn’t quite catch that. I thought you said that the IPPR and Fiends of the Earth have been brought in by Cameroon as consultants. This is wholly preposterous. I must have misheard.”

    Sadly, not. Confirmed on Newsnight this evening, too.

    It beggars belief.

  • mbe

    Peter & GCooper.

    I guess I would prefer to shafted by a Tory (incest isn’t that bad.)

    The point is ‘Damage Limitation’. Can a mildly unimpressive Tory administration be worse than the present Govt.?

    And please re-read my last post: I believe in more things than I care to mention that would scare the living daylights out of your average voter.

    Do you think any party would get elected on libertarian issues? Particularly considering the bastardisation of the word by the Yellows?

    And DC was wrong: there is no such thing as society.

  • Pete_London

    Gcooper –

    Oh it does begger belief. Oliver Letwin (a man who allows complete strangers in to use his toilet in the middle of the night and gets beaten up – there’s good judgement) was a member of Cameron’s campaign team and was interviewed on Channel 4 News this evening. I can only recall two things this towering halfwit mentioned on behalf of Cameroon – he’s determined to eradicate global poverty and he’s committed to ‘social justice’. Social justice! If ever there was a phrase which no Tory has any business uttering. It gets worse.

  • Julian Taylor

    At least he can cycle faster than Boris Johnson can …

  • GCooper

    Pete_London – Letwin was dripping all over this evening’s Newsnight, too. How on earth this idiot took the wrong turning at university, entering the room marked ‘Young Conservatives’ when he should have been joining the ‘Young Liberals’, I cannot imagine.

  • mbe

    Social justice! If ever there was a phrase which no Tory has any business uttering.

    Conservatism is based on social justice; everyone’s equal.
    Every individual has an obligation to society before society owes them anything.

    Perhaps I’m just a deluded purist.

  • I had the displeasures of reading some of his literature today. It was meaningless pap. Lots of phrases that could be interpreted in lots of ways about “more women in parliament”,”addressing climate change” and “social justice”. What the hell does all this crap mean?

    What I saw on Newsnight did not impress.

  • Pete_London

    mbe –

    Conservatism is based on social justice; everyone’s equal.
    Every individual has an obligation to society before society owes them anything.

    You owe me one bullshit-o-meter, mine’s just blown up. Can we keep this within the recognised boundaries of the English language?

  • Verity


    Conservatives believe in equality and the freedom of those who are able to rise to the top to rise to the top. Equality does not equal “social justice” which is the manufacture of outcome.

    “Social justice” also means redistribution of income. your income.

    David Cameron arriving at Westminster Palace on a bike sank my heart even further. This is going to be not capitalism, not free will, but ‘social justice’ Scandinavian style.

    Fuck off, Dave. I’m busy.

  • Lascaille

    Personally I am of the belief that it no longer matters what politicians say in the slightest.

    I have hope for Cameron because he seems to be ‘in touch’ with what a great many voters seem to desire.

    With this in mind hopefully he can win over their votes and then once elected totally ignore all manifesto ‘commitments’ (which will have been, like Labours, so generic as to be un-committable anyway) and get on with establishing the Tory policies that seem to be supported by a large proportion of his cabinet.

    I hope that Tory party members know very well what they believe in and trust Cameron to deliver.

    Seeing that it is impossible for any party apart from Labour or the Conservatives to win the next election, I would much rather be governed by incompetent Tories than by incompetent Labourites – and at the very least, Cameron does not support ID cards, did not support the terrorism bill, does not support tax rises and is expected to assign the post of shadow chancellor to a man who’s name I have forgotten but who has openly discussed (on radio 4) the concept of a flat tax as ‘essential to maintain competetiveness.’

    I honestly do not know how the public would react if Cameron tomorrow said ‘okay if you vote for us we’ll cut taxes to the lowest level ever,’ and I don’t believe anyone here is either. Many people just don’t like the idea of low taxes because they are 1. rich enough and 2. benefiting from the ‘honest’ kickbacks – i.e state schools and the NHS, rather than being doleys. Labour have made the idea of tax cuts synonymous with low public service provision so I think it suits Cameron well to keep his cards close to his chest on issues like this.

    My basic point is that I cannot imagine any possible way a Tory administration could be worse than the current Labour administration. No matter how their leaders choose to act and what their leaders choose to say, Labour MPs are (for the most part) europhile socialists and Tory MPs are (for the most part) essentially europhobe capitalists.

    Anything that gets the right sort of people into power is good. Anything. I don’t care how many lies he has to tell to win – we’re voting for the party, not the man.

  • “more women in parliament”,”addressing climate change” and “social justice”.
    What the hell does all that crap mean?

    “more women in parliament”
    = more discrimination against male candidates in the selection process

    “addressing climate change”
    = jumping on a scientifically-flawed bandwagon just as the rest of the sane world is starting to see the gaping holes in the whole anthropogenic climate change theory

    “social justice”
    = bunging the likes of Mugabe more dosh to avoid them having to face the consequences of their own policies – oh – and wearing colourful wristbands made by chinese slave labour to show just how much we care

  • Verity

    Lascaille – “I don’t care how many lies he has to tell to win – we’re voting for the party, not the man.”

    Well, obviously! No one expects a politician to tell the truth, but Cameron loves this Blairy shit. If he didn’t, he would not have promoted his disabled kid as a feature.

    He loves this “social justice” (free treatment for my “disadvantaged” child for life courtesy the dustmen and shop assistants and accountants who didn’t go to Eton).

    Everything Wolfie said.

  • Verity

    I hate this “more women in Parliament” crap. Unless they’re very exceptional, women hold back progress. It is always men who want to forge ahead.

    We didn’t go to the moon because a kaffekatch of women took a moment off from their weaving to do the physics, arrange the billions in funding, train astronauts and push forward the space programme at NASA. Give me a break! Unless they’re exceptional and can punch their own weight, leave women out of government! They’re soft and Swedish and sickening.

  • guy herbert

    This is politics. What matters is not what you and I think of Mr Cameron (though I rather like him), but what the voters think.

    It is only by making yourself appear attractive to the electorate that you get the chance to change anything. Blair hasn’t forgotten this, which is why he’s still there. What he’s actually done has been carefully callibrated so that most people haven’t felt the massive changes beneath their feet. The public hates change.

    Cameron shows signs of being capable of the same trick. With luck he can get us the freer country that the electorate would run from if given the opportunity. The public, though it might enjoy its own, fears others’ freedom.

  • John Rippengal

    I’m afraid Guy Herbert is dead right. The Cameron line – nothing too bold and lots of sops to well meaning if misguided groups is probably the only way to get elected.
    My only hope is that once in there he gets on with the bonfire of non jobs and swingeing hacks at the tax and regulatory burden plus some well aimed kicks at Brussels. After all he won’t just be on his own. He has some quite strongly opinionated Tories in his likely team.

  • pommygranate

    I couldn’t agree more with Guy. This is politics! Whereby you have to get elected by a majority of your countrymen and women (the majority of which are now more likely to have heard of Carol Thatcher than her mother).

    The great appeal of Cameron is that everyone can think he plays for their team. This is a breakthrough for the Tories because it shows that they have finally grasped the essential concept of marketing.

    I watched his acceptance speech yesterday. Unlike the awful Osborne the day before (why isnt Hague getting the Chancellor role?), he was excellent. He will be the first Tory leader to attract new voters (ie young and not Little Englanders) since 1987.

    We all now have to cross our fingers, hold our breath and hope he has some decent policies up his sleeve.

  • MarkE

    The next election will be won by whichever party gets more votes from the general electorate; I believe Cameron is better placed to do that than Davis, who is popular only with a narrow, politically involved group. The depressing truth is that the British electorate are now so ground down by welfarism they don’t want liberty and small government, they actually want nanny to do all their thinking for them. I prefer to see a Cameron led Conservative government to a Brown lead Labour government.

    I hope the former would apply Conservative prinicipals and roll the state back from the intrusive level it has already reached, but I don’t expect to see it rolled very far. I fear we will simply return to the 1960s and ’70s (unlike Cameron I’m old enough to remember), when Wilson and Callaghan dragged Britain rapidly to the left, and Heath merely slowed the rate of advance. This was how we ratcheted to the position we reached by 1979, and which Thatcher failed to recover completely.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    GCooper, I don’t take it personally!! I would be far too young for such a job. I haven’t had the life experiences to make the kind of calls that Cameron might be making, apart from noting that he has already married, had two children and been in the Tory Party since the early 90s. I’d be more confident in his abilities if he had run a company, served in the Armed Forces, taught at a major education establishment, been a top-class lawyer, scientist or explorer.

    All he has done outside politics is in PR. Now there is PR and there is PR, but frankly, after nearly a decade of Blair and spin, one might expect a politician to come up with a bit more substance than a winning smile. I feel depressed that the Tories hadn’t got anyone better. Maybe DC is the best available.

  • Pete_London

    Guy Herbert, John Rippengal, pommygranate

    When, after a few years of a Cameron government, we are still being shafted for just as much tax, we are still being shafted by the EU and we are still being shafted because nothing has changed, do feel free to explain to me why I should be happy.

    It is only by making yourself appear attractive to the electorate that you get the chance to change anything. Blair hasn’t forgotten this, which is why he’s still there.

    Why then, did Nu Labour receive just 20% of the eligible votes in May, barely worse than its previous two general election performances in which 4 out of 5 voters have NOT voted Labour? Blair’s success isn’t because people have voted Labour but because Tories have not been voting Tory. Can you think of a reason why?!

  • pommygranate


    NuLabour won 36% of the vote, not 20%. Had the 35% of the population that didn’t bother actually voted, then their share would have been even higher.

    My point, which i think is the same as Guy and John’s is that it doesn’t matter what Davis’ policies are, because the electorate would never vote for him. Cameron has voter appeal. We must now hope he has some decent policies (dont forget that Davis and Hague will occupy two of the most important positions in the Cabinet)

  • Julian Taylor

    About the only reason why I feel Cameron is a better choice over Davis is that we can now finally see an end to the recycling of the tired oldschool 1990’s cabinets into the opposition frontbench. Perhaps now the Tories might have a chance with an opposition leader who does not regard the last 8 years as a minor annoyance to be forgotten once power is regained.

  • Michael Taylor

    I remember reading an article written by Cameron in the Telegraph a few weeks ago.

    Sentences without verbs. Lots of them. Big flashing warning signal.

    On the other hand, his Oxford tutor (who’s in the best position to know) confirms he’s bright – something Blair’s conspicuously declined to do at a similar stage in his political career. This matters: I doubt that Cameron would be judged genuinely bright if he has no demonstrated intellectual curiosity. And if he is bright and intellectually curious then whatever else he may be, he can be no re-tread of Blair.

    Still. Those verbless sentences.

  • Pete_London


    I’ll try again. 20% of the total electorate in the last two elections voted Labour. During what is supposed to be a golden period for them 4 out of 5 voters did not vote Labour. It doesn’t matter whether they voted for another candidate or stayed at home. In the period that Blair is supposed to have dominated British politics 80% of the electorate has gone elsewhere and STILL the Tories could not even worry him, let alone land a solid punch.

    As I said, Blair’s success isn’t because people have voted Labour but because natural Tories have not been voting Tory. Self hate and a lack of fight doesn’t turn people on.

    My point, which i think is the same as Guy and John’s is that it doesn’t matter what Davis’ policies are, because the electorate would never vote for him. Cameron has voter appeal.

    And my point, which I think is the same as Verity’s and GCooper, is that it doesn’t matter if people vote for Cameron because he’s a liberal at heart, indistinguishable from Blair.

    We must now hope he has some decent policies …

    Do you take out loans before knowing terms and conditions? Read again what has gone before. No tax cuts, carbon neutral bike rides into town, social justice (eh?) empty tokenism (i.e. more women in the party) compassionate conservatism (eh?)

    Does this turn you on? Are you happy to be taxed into poverty because the Tories want more women to join the party?! Oh wow.

  • pommygranate


    Plenty to like in this recent speech to the Centre for Policy Studies in November.

    such as

    “free markets are essential for the creation of wealth..
    we must make the creation of wealth the central objective of Conservative economic policy..No government can run businesses and create wealth. What governments can do is create the best possible conditions for wealth creation….a top priority for the next Conservative government should be to restore prudence to the management of the nation’s finance…It’s essential to reduce taxes on employment and wealth creation in order to enhance our economy’s competitiveness…For too many people, profit and free trade are dirty words…we need to campaign for capitalism…The third great danger which threatens our competitiveness is the regulatory culture of the European Union…the first priority must be the return of powers over employment and social regulation….Second, the EU must abandon the hubristic constitutional project…It is both immoral and inefficient for rich countries to hide behind trade barriers in the era of globalisation….Our universities need more resources and less government direction….tuition fees are a necessary part of that change….the gradual elimination of means-testing…”

    He may just surprise all you cynics.

  • pommygranate: he says whatever the audience in front of him wants to hear. He is a politician and therefore lies for a living. The passage you quote is notably lacking in specific laws he wants to enact/repeal.

    Sure, given my extremely low expectations of the Stupid Party, it would not be hard to Cameron to pleasantly surprise me.

  • John East

    Reasons to hate Tony Blair No.965

    Many of us were ashamed and angry having fallen for the Blair act in 1997 (Please note, I didn’t vote for the slime ball, but I fell for his charm none the less.)
    Blair looked charming, dynamic and “one of us”, but other than possessing these superficial qualities proved to be an empty, vacuous shell.

    Fast forward to 2005, and we have another charming, witty character, David Cameron, but thanks to Blair we see another con-man.

    Just maybe, Cameron can be taken at face value. At least we have 3+ years to find out before it’s his turn to run/ruin the country.

    One small glimmer of hope. I wonder if anyone noticed, during Cameron’s victory speech yesterday he blurted out the desirability of building more roads. Most un-PC.

  • Pete_London


    What Perry said.

    At least amid all the gooey blather of that speech he confirms he’s pro-EU and our membership of it. Meet the new Useless Party, same as the old Useless Party …

  • John K

    On the other hand, his Oxford tutor (who’s in the best position to know) confirms he’s bright – something Blair’s conspicuously declined to do at a similar stage in his political career.

    Given that Cameron got a Geoff and Toni got a Richard, it’s hardly surprising that the Dear Leader’s tutor kept schtum about his intellectual abilities, or lack thereof.

  • Every individual has an obligation to society before society owes them anything.

    ‘Obligation’? Did he actually speak that bullshit? ‘Society’ is something emergent that occurs when people interact with each other, you cannot point at it and you cannot ‘owe’ it anything. When any politician says the word ‘society’, you can be damn sure what he really means is ‘the state’.

  • Just watched DC at PMQs and he came across as a limp rag. He spent more time telling Blair how wonderful he and his policies are than he has criticising the PM. Oh bloody hell: he just said he supports a new “Kyoto style agreement on Carbon”. What a total arse…

    DC comes across as the new Major.

  • Pete_London


    Who or what was that dishcloth at the dispatch box? Stumblimg mid-way through a sentence and turning bright red when Labour MPs laugh at you is not impressive.

    And he’s committed the Tories to a new Kyoto-style deal! I take it this and being pro-EU is all part of his plan to make the creation of wealth the central objective of Conservative economic policy.

  • Well at least Liam Fox didn’t get a top job.

  • GCooper

    As I remarked in another comment just the other day, the secret of many things in life is timing.

    For all those above, so easily seduced by this latest issuing forth from the Hugh Grant mould, may I remind them that the smart money in Za-NuLabour is on the Great British Public finally having seen through the boyish charm act.

    Their view is that we are ready for something a little more errr, Brown and solid.

    Now I despise Brown almost as much as I do Bliar – but for very different reasons. If the ZNL sages are right, the Tories have picked the worst possible time to launch ‘Son of Bliar’.

    That aside, I agree entirely with Pete_London and, I suspect, Perry de Havilland. I’m not prepared to play the meretricious ‘it doesn’t matter what you say, so long as you win’ game. It is morally reprehensible, let alone suicidally complacent.

    Not being a card-carrying member of the Conservative Party, I don’t give a damn which colour rosette is worn by the lying toe-rag in No 10. If his policies still conspire to bleed me dry, traitorously give away my country’s sovereignty to foreigners and oppress my freedom, then, as far as I am concerned, he is no better than his predecessor.

  • Front4uk

    Jeez, for a bunch of liberatarians you guys have amaizingly closed minds!

    It’s no good banging your fist on table crying how all politicans are crooked and how everyone else is entitled to YOUR opinnion. You lot sound almost as bad as old bearded sandal wearing socialist academics, still clinging into superiority of their blackboard proven ideas! In order to have a proper arguement, you have to LISTEN and then argue your case.

    Truth is that world is way more complex and in order to win power , you need to win the media and capture the public mood. You don’t win elections by impressing few bloggers with your Popper credentials. (after you win power, then you can do “set the individual free”).

    David Cameron so far has been impressive. He’s got the media touch. He got charisma, confidence and intelligence. But most of all, he’s got one thing I haven’t seen in Tory leader since the Thatch… he looks like a winner!

    So far he has not disappointed – he hasn’t fallen into the specific policies trap, which would leave him vulnerable before the election. He’s neutralised Blair by supporting him in specific issues, such as education reform – therefore painting Blair as well meaning, but hopelessly ineffectual, tied down by Chancellor and left wing of Labour party.

    First rule of any combat is to take the fight to your enemy. By talking positive, engaging New Labour in the fluffy bunny stuff and dividing Labour between Old and New , he’s taken the first step to winning back the power for Tories.

    Oh, and Andrew, I just watched the PMQs and I think DC had old Tony look baffled and lost there. “Limp rag”, eh ? By looking at the reaction in chambers, Tory MPs were rowdy and Labour benches were very quiet.

    Mind you , it was Gordon Brown who really came out badly on monday… stuttering, moaning and the Speaker had to remind him twice to stick to HIS programme, not the opposition’s. I’ll be looking forward of seeing David Cameron floor him, when the stakes will be higher.

  • GCooper

    Front4UK writes:

    ” He’s got the media touch. He got charisma, confidence and intelligence. But most of all, he’s got one thing I haven’t seen in Tory leader since the Thatch… he looks like a winner!”

    And there, ladies and gentlemen, we have it. It’s all about feel and image, happy clappy, smoke and mirrors.

    It says rather a lot about the miserable state this country is in, where fact and reality are relegated and emotions trump reason.

  • pommygranate

    GCooper; you sound like a Utopian idealist. Yes, it would be great if the Great British public were up to the task of evaluating politicians and parties on the basis of reasoned argument, rather than image and soundbites. But back to the real world…..

    Check out the nervy comments on NuLab’s blog of choice,Harry’s Place

    Cameron has them running scared.

  • Pavel

    Every individual has an obligation to society before society owes them anything

    Hitler said that, didn’t he? Gemeinnutz vorn Eigennutz, meaning “Common interest before individual interest”.

  • Pete_London

    Front4uk –

    When you’ve finished your lecture on the complexity of the world, you could try reading a few notes from Mr Free Market, who has taken a break from Shooting Stuff and boozing to bring us this. A couple of people who have known Cameron have views on him, this man who is winning the media and capturing the public mood, the golden balls who has charisma, confidence and intelligence:

    … one or two of the journalists that dealt with him had a slightly different perspective, Jeff Randall of the Daily Telegraph famously commented that said he would not trust Cameron “with my daughter’s pocket money” & “To describe Cameron’s approach to corporate PR as unhelpful and evasive overstates by a widish margin the clarity & plain-speaking that he brought to the job of being Michael Green’s mouthpiece. In my experience, Cameron never gave a straight answer when dissemblance was a plausible alternative, which probably makes him perfectly suited for the role he now seeks: the next Tony Blair,”

    The Sun’s business editor is unsurprisingly a little more forthright about this part of Cameron’s career, describing him as a “poisonous, slippery individual”.


  • Verity

    Thanks for that, Pete_London. This is exactly what you, G Cooper, me and several others have been saying since Cameron first began to be mooted about. I didn’t see PMQs, but I have said here a couple of times over the last few days that the thought of him and Bliar throwing happy darts at one another makes me sick.

    It now doesn’t matter who wins the next election, because the policies, other than those made up on the hoof in a reaction to events, will be identical. Cameron has already said how much he agrees with Bliar.

    I think this choice is the coup de grace for the Tory party. I just don’t see how it can survive now. I know David Davis is a politician and has learned to take the knocks, but I feel sorry for him. He had respected the voter enough to put a lot of hard work into his platform and I think he would have gone for Bliar’s throat at the despatch box.

  • Verity

    BTW, anyone who doesn’t hate, loathe and despise Bliar and everything he stands for, from his hissy delivery, to his self-adulation, his hectoring of his employers – the electorate – and his impertinent, bossy, “little father” preachiness, is no good as a leader of the Tories.

    William Hague said he “quite liked” Bliar personally. End of story for William Hague. Dave not only “quite likes” Bliar, he wants to BE Bliar. My prediction – he will not last.

    They made a big mistake when they sacked IDS. I say that not because I liked IDS personally, but he reflected the solid qualities of British conservatism. He wasn’t a self-promoter. He was ex-military. And he nurtured a strong, steely, cold hatred of Tony Bliar and all his works. He wasn’t brilliant, which is why the Westminister Tories didn’t like him, but he spoke for the ordinary Conservative.

    Will the Conservative voter rally round a featherweight, unproven clone of what’s already in office? I would not be confident that they will. On the other hand, I don’t care, because there is not a hair’s breadth of difference between them.

  • Verity

    Sorry for three posts in a row, but I’ve just read Melanie, in her diary, who says that the latest Tory big idea is a non-opposing Opposition party. Money quote: “So stand by for (almost) all-women Tory candidates’ short-lists (according to the BBC’s excellent Nick Robinson this morning), and almost certainly support for the whole multicultural, libertine, victim culture lifestyle — and who knows, maybe a dash of exciting, trendy drug legalisation too, just to be in touch with ‘Britain as it now is’. ”

  • Ron


    What Tory members were expecting when they voted for IDS was a political version of Iron Maiden’s Eddie Trooper character.

    Instead they got the “Quiet Man”.

    He should have run his leadership along a political equivalent of military lines – for example, what’s the court martial penalty for Giving Aid and Succour to the Enemy…?

  • dunderheid

    I watched the superb film Downfall the other night and alot of the posts on here remind me of Magda Goebbels.

    She’d rather force feed her children poison and have her husband shoot her in the heart than live with anything but national socialism.

    While I fervently wish for the rest of the world to see the light and vote for small state….small tax parties I am not so self-destructive and fanatical that i can’t accept and support (temporarily and conditionally) a leader that potentially may move that dream incrementally closer.

    The shrill cries of “heresy!” or “treason!” I will no doubt hear only strengthen that.

  • Oh, and Andrew, I just watched the PMQs and I think DC had old Tony look baffled and lost there. “Limp rag”, eh ? By looking at the reaction in chambers, Tory MPs were rowdy and Labour benches were very quiet.

    We were not watching the same PMQs then. What I saw from Cameron was not called “opposition” it was called sucking up. This country has suffered quite a bit since the election as it has not had a reliable opposition…or basically any opposition. On the basis of Cameron’s performance it does not look like there will be one now either.

    What does Cameron think he will get rid of Blair by praising him to death?

  • Verity

    “What does Cameron think he will get rid of Blair by praising him to death?” Actually, AID, that is a very good question. What on earth advantage does he think he is going to accrue by sucking up to Emily? I mean, when you think about it, it’s baffling.

  • dunderheid

    What does Cameron think he will get rid of Blair by praising him to death?”

    Blair is not standing for a further election so praising him accrues no electoral benefit to the labour party just as Blairs praise of Thatcher didn’t benefit the tories.

    Blair is not Brown and nothing like him. His cold authoratarian style might play well when his public statements are restricted to the PSBR and neo-endogenous growth theory but when he becomes Prime Minister and god forbid has to pretend to like people that personality will compare very unfavorably with Blairs. Praising Blair (who lest we forget won 3 general elections) now will merely highlight this difference when Brown takes over.

    Blair is considerably to the right of his party on many issues. Praising Blair strengthens this perception within the Labour party and encourages more backbenchers with nothing to lose to rebel. If this carries on Brown may inherit a party addicted to defying its leadership on issues of left-wing principle. If at this point the Tories stop supporting the more centrist Labour policies Brown will be impotent to do anything other than pander to the more unelectable aspects of his party.

    These are just 3 but there are more reasons. What they all have in common is that they rely on short(ish) term political expedient rather than fundamental principles. DC may not have any principles but if he does is he wrong to use expedient to ensure they get a chance to be put into practice?

  • GCooper

    dunderheid writes:

    “The shrill cries of “heresy!” or “treason!” I will no doubt hear only strengthen that.”

    No cries yet. So let me try one: there’s one born every minute!

  • Verity

    OK, Dunderheid, I’ll hold off on that point, although I’m not totally convinced. But you could be right.

    I see DC’s kept Davis on as Shadow Home Secretary, which was a gracious and smart thing to do, as Davis is a clever man and has presence. He’s also brought Hague back in as Shadow Foreign Secretary, which is another good move.

  • GCooper

    As if proof were needed of Cameron’s impeccable credentials on the fuzzy Left, the BBC Radio 4 news team are behaving like a bunch of schoolgirls with a crush on the ‘dishy young geography master’.

    That and the quote from the ever-reliable Jeff Randall (thanks for that, Pete_London) just confirm my worst fears about the man.

  • John East

    Andrew, superficially, you are correct when you say,

    “What I saw from Cameron was not called “opposition” it was called sucking up.”

    but I’ll assume for the time being that cuddling up to Blair and offering to support his education reforms was a ploy to piss off Blair’s old labour enemies on the back benches and drive a wedge in the labour party.

    The alternative, that Cameron really is sucking up to Blair, needs more evidence before I’ll believe it.

    As for the touching unanimity on global warming measures, Cameron missed an opportunity. Blair got it spot on when he said that Nulab will support these when the US, India, and China are on board. I take this to be Blair speak for NEVER.

    So I’ll score PMQ’s as a 1-1 draw.

  • Verity

    John East writes: “Blair got it spot on when he said that Nulab will support these when the US, India, and China are on board. I take this to be Blair speak for NEVER.”

    We differ. I take this to be Blair speak for “We have already signed the declaration of intent, and I’ll be ratifying it next week, behind closed doors. I’ll announce the fait accompli in about a year, after everyone’s forgotten all the fuss.”

  • John East

    You are correct that Blair is capable of signing up to a Kyoto mk.2, and that he might well not care if he impoverished us all in the West with energy and fuel taxes whilst allowing the Indians/Chinese to continue on their paths to industrialisation.

    However, you must also remember two things. Blair’s spectacular record of promising things and failing to deliver, and the fact that George Bush would have to be on board because he probably wouldn’t let Blair leave the USA isolated.

    It will be interesting to see which way things turn out, but if Blair is true to his word today, a big if I’ll admit, only signing us up to a deal backed by US/India/China guarantees that such a deal will be a sham, no more than a sop to the greens.

    And of course Blair, backed by his new chum Cameron, could display their eco-friendliness without having to do much more than smiling at the cameras.

  • Julian Taylor

    I see DC’s kept Davis on as Shadow Home Secretary, which was a gracious and smart thing to do.

    ‘Smart’ maybe but certainly no love at all lost between Davis and Cameron. Cameron only took him and Liam Fox on because of the 35%+ support that their supporters enjoy within the party. I do regard it as a crying shame that Cameron has appointed Fox as shadow defence, such a creature would be eminently suited to such a vacuous and shallow position as shadow Culture, Media and Sport.

    Regarding Cameron ‘sucking up’ to Blair I can really only find one part in the whole PMQ’s where he did that, where Blair said that he hoped that if he did all the things that Mr Cameron wanted him to do, Mr Cameron would be supporting the bill and David Cameron agrees.

  • pommygranate

    Far from wanting to plug a left-wing blog (though their relentless campaign against Islamic fascism and racism is highly impressive), i do recommend regular readers of Samizdata eavesdrop on the comments thread of “How Cameron Won” on Harry’s Place

    A fasinating insight into another world (for me, anyway).

    There is also a regular contributor called Old Peculiar who bears an uncanny resemblance to one Verity. Her slightly less hyperactive sister perhaps?

  • Verity

    Nope. I’m not a denizen of Harry’s Place and I don’t have a sister.

  • SD

    For me what Cameron’s election and the media response to it shows is that the British ruling class is firmly back in control. Historically the Conservative Party was the ‘party of stability’ while the Liberal and then the Labour Parties were the ‘party of change’. The Conservative party identified deeply with the Establishment and its institutions. After 1975 (or even circa 1968) they stopped being the party of the Establishment and became the ‘party of change’ which questioned that establishment. That has all stopped now and it has reverted to its historic role. No doubt the Establishment institutions will now forgive it and ditch that Labour tart they’ve been hanging out with lately.

    Anyone expecting a political party that wants to win elections under our electoral system to put forward a radical policy is deluding themselves. As things stand the voters who matter are about 110,000 in predominantly suburban marginals. They broadly support the way things are, as long as their personal circumstances are ok.

  • This is all very well but DC should be given a chance.
    It’s all about revitalising the Tories as an electoral force My observation is that my 17 year old son, who normally focuses on the other Premiership, has been sufficiently interested to follow the campaign and its outcome closely. As he’s pretty normal I take this as a good sign.

  • I am a frequent (nee daily) reader of Harry Place and found that post rather interesting to read. He should be given a chance but his failings must be pointed out sooner rather than later so they might be dealt with in good time.

  • Front4uk@f2s.com

    Well , looking into the press and TV coverage yesterday, everyone had Cameron as clear winner in PMQs.

    Except, here of course, where he was seen as “limp rag”. Objectivity ahoy!

    Looks like Murdoch is (and ironically , also the Mirror) are going to attack DC from the “too posh for his own good” angle. Ian King is pretty good scribe, pleasant man who gets overlooked too often because he’s editor of the busines section in The Sun (in back pages, between the cartoons and classifieds), but knowing the rag biz , there’s no way he would have not been given the monday column if it wasn’t coming from Murdoch.

    I like Murdoch, he’s still probably the best in business and I tend to agree with him most of the time. He likes winners, and he was the first to switch for Blair. It will be interesting to see what happens when Brown comes in. Having the Sun on your side is a key ingredient for election victory in UK.

    IMHO all politicians should rot in hell but some should rot way more than others. Of course you will have to take everything DC says in face value, but you have to admire the man for making lefie media and New Labour spin machine squarm in fear!

  • Now thinking they might be building him up so they can take him down hard would be a bit cynical right? Its not like it hasn’t happened before or anything.