Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Stop the fawning, Cameron's a c*nt

David Cameron continues to delight his spectators. His performance in Prime Minister's Questions was lively and witty as he sought to drive the wedge between Blair and his party.

Cameron was voted in for his painting of grand visions, his tapestries of a brighter future, all underpinned with policies of such alarming vacuity as to make BP's 'Beyond Petroleum' guise seem as though it will actually change the planet (in that regard, it'll take much more than a shoddy carbon calculator). The new 'Cameron's Conservatives' website - assembled with such speed as to make wonder whether Davis ever had a chance - has a friendly hand-signed note from David:

These are the six big challenges I believe we face. They're complex, interconnected and require serious long-term thinking. I want to make sure we get these challenges right, and that means listening to the views of as many different people as possible.

Indeed it is such long term thinking that Cameron's team seems to have done little of it at all. Further investigation reveals a plea to 'Send us your thoughts'. Not so much a blueprint for the future as a mocking comment on its current state.

This is of course of little consequence, the Tories (and the media) have their poster boy and they know it.

One of Cameron's great attractions is that he comes unaccompanied by baggage. What baggage there is, however, does much to take the shine off his unblemished features. As Jonathan Freedland comments today:

In four years in the Commons he has voted against every extra investment in
schools, hospitals and the police. He voted against the increase in national
insurance that went on the NHS. He wants to abolish the New Deal and undo Britain's adherence to the European social chapter, the document that ensures a variety of rights and protections for British workers.

Let us not forget, either, that Cameron was lead author of a Tory manifesto that put immigration controls at the centre of its agenda. If ever there was a wolf more shrouded in ovine finery, Cameron surely gives them a run for their money. David Cameron was not Michael Howard's annointed for nothing.

On today's evidence, it seems Blair is aiming to stonewall Cameron with a dry policy debate to keep the young pup yapping without success - a well-worn Brownian tactic. However impressive Cameron's performance will seem in the press, there is something about his thin-lipped sarcasm that will do little to extend the honeymoon period the Tories now enjoy. If Cameron wishes to truly change the Tories appearance it will not be achieved by haranguing Hilary Armstrong for 'screaming like a child' after bemoaning the scandalous under-representation of women in the commons.

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