Tuesday, May 23, 2006


A Step too far for Dave?

Monitoring the evolution of Dave Cameron from Lamont -advising author of a rightwing manifesto in 2005 to non tie wearing, tree hugging, bike riding, audience schmoozing prime minister in waiting, continues to be quite fascinating. He has shed so many skins in the last few months one wonders what will be left of the original Tory when he finally exposes himself to the electorate. Embracing the disadvantaged is one thing, backing off from tax cuts another, but suggesting making money is less important than spending time with one's family or otherwise achieving 'general well-being' could just be a step too far.

If there is one thing the Conservative Party and its supporters revere more than anything, it's money-something of which the BBC's dramatisation of The Line of Beauty vividly reminds us. And whilst they tolerate his foray into greenery(everyone is in favour of this stuff in theory), long suffering Tories have been grievously worried about the non tax cuts... and now this. Writing in the Daily Mail, that gospel of right of centre Middle England, Stephen Glover delivers a reminding blast: 'Funnily enough, Dave, most of us don't ENJOY working all hours. We do it to survive after you politicians have taken half our earnings.' [I tried to add a link to the article but discovered the Mail, true to the philosophy they suspect Dave is betraying, charges for access to columnists' effusions.]

Meanwhile, from the organ which used to cheerlead the Conservative supporting working classes-and we learn from the polls that their lead once again stretches out among the C1s and C2s- Jon Gaunt in The Sun delivers a deliciously well crafted raspberry variations on which will be much reprised in the run up to the next election:

"There may be 'more to life than money',and money might not be everything when you were born with two silver spoons in your mouth, educated at Eton and Oxford, own two £1million+ houses and have never done a real job of work in your life. But to the rest of us Dave, it's pretty vital, you upper class twerp."

I also sense that, while Cameron may be making waves among the chattering political classes, he has failed to make any impact on the mostly apolitical. I write here that a score of students failed to identify Dave from a (very obvious) photograph of him. Oh dear.
Read your post Sam and it's persuasive. Denver argues that levels of 'interest' in politics remain the same and that as soon as politics gets excitingly close again, turnout will recover. So he's in the 'cyclical' camp with you. I do hope the argument is right...
My sleepless nights are returning. I cannot agree with SPL that Cameron has not made to an impact with the apolitical. This latest nonsense about more happiness etc proves he is speaking the language of the apolitical. The latest Guardian opinion poll puts the tories on 38% and they have a clear lead among C1s & C2s. The rubbish and hypocrisy that Cameron comes out with (Jon Gaunt must have read my mind) should be easily put down by the Labour Party, but they remain completely hamstrung by asylum and immigration, as proved again yesterday by Jon Reid's performance. The tories and the news media are going to push this relentlessly as they can see that it is, finally, the true opening they have been waiting for. The incompetence and neglect shown by the Labour Party in this, is now reflected by the tory lead among what should be the Labour Party's traditional support, and the tories are speaking the language of that support.
Agree absolutely. Simon Jenkins' piece in today's Guardian is a fearsome blast too which I think New Labour would have dificulty in answering.
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