Monday, November 14, 2005

Tory leadership contest

As the contenders for the Tory leadership tour the country in a series of hustings, David Davis is the man with the convincing to do.By congratulating TB on his education proposals, David Cameron has displayed an excellent grip on strategy by driving a wedge between Blair and the Labour Party.

Davis's attempt to paint Cameron as the new Blair may work with the party activists but will not hold with the wider electorate. People like blue-skies thinking and being swept along by grand visions. This has been Blair's greatest strength. What riles people is his inability to deliver and such contempt for due process that any public utterance is ignored in favour of greater policy scrutiny, as the heightened analysis of recent proposals has shown.

The other problem with Davis's tactic: Cameron won't be opposing Blair but Brown. A blue-eyed, blue-skies thinker will be far more appealing to an electorate than a dour intellectual thug, and may shake the faith of optimists who believe Britain has reached a socially progressive consensus.

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