Saturday, October 18, 2008


Strategic Problems for Cameron

I can see that David Cameron and his advisers are in a difficult position just at ther moment. As Gordon bestrides the world's financial landscape like a giant nail biting colossus, his ratings on economic management continue to prosper- currently 42% to Brown and Darling to only 31% for Cameron and Osborne. After the conference season the Tories seem to have lost much of the momentum they generated during the summer.

Being bipartisan won't help him much as it doesn't win attention thus headlines and therefore polling points. So he's casting around what to do and has opted to attack Brown for causing the crisis in the first place. This risks alienating some support and it also poses the question of what line can he reasonably take? Brown clearly didn't cause the banking crisis- though it's true he allowed the boom to continue instead of quieting it down- so it seems odd to launch that arrow at him. Moreover, I don't recall the Tories proposing to do much different in terms of reining in personal debt.

And on solving the crisis, the party of (ultra) light rein regulation is scarcely going to sound as credible as the party long familiar with economic intervention.
Tristram Hunt today elaborates on this theme. Comparing Cameron's latest opus- Cameron on Cameron- with the Opposition effusions of- ahem- Tony Blair(no JS Mill he)- he notes:

While Blair addressed his Christianity, talked about his debt to the philosopher John Macmurray, and pointed to the role of New Liberalism in influencing the Labour movement, David Cameron offers us his views on Pot Noodles, Midsomer Murders and digital radio. He thinks marriage is important, but so too are civil partnerships. And, in a later interview, compares his religious sensibility to Magic FM's reception in the Chilterns. It comes and goes, apparently. Small wonder he is unable to deal with a significant geopolitical event in any credible way.

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