04 March 2010

David Cameron needs some new friends

The Tory Party’s little difficulties are bad enough without Ben Brogan, a so called supporter of Team Cameron, popping up this morning to highlight them:

I know several [MPs] who will take a perverse pleasure in voting against a Cameron administration in revenge for a range of slights, actual and perceived. Some were sacked, many were hammered over their expenses abuse, and a few have never bought into the Cameron version of modernisation.

And talking of slights, Brown is not the only party leader lacking interpersonal skills:

Mr Cameron recently shared a lift with one of his most successful backbench MPs – a politician he once praised as the future face of the party in power – and managed to say not a word, not even hello, for the duration of their shared ride. Trivial, you say? Maybe, but he needs to be making friends, not losing them.


Still, at least the name of the Shadow Cabinet minister who had to be dragged out of a lap-dancing club in a state of alcoholic oblivion a while back never got out.

Heaven help the Tory party.  Why, oh why would Brogan wish to highlight that?

Prepare for a shock.  Maybe the Telegraph is going to back Brown at the election.

We live in very strange times.

Digg This


  1. Hitler has his say on the matter:


  2. After reading the Rawnsley book (nearly done), I've concluded that Cameron needs to look back to 1997, try and recapture some of the spirit of the time, praise what was good at the time but make it clear that the Blair government did not deliver, the Brown government wrecked the economy and only the Cameron government is the 'heir to change'.

    He had it right at his first PMQs: 'he was the future, once.'


  3. Jess, Yes. I read your post. That will not work. The spirit of 1997 didn't just suddenly happen but built up over some years.

    Cameron has never been in the same position as Blair, because the former has not changed his party.

    You only have to read Brogan's column in the DT today, which I commented on earlier, to appreciate where Cameron's problems are.

  4. There is a 'sweet spot' of public opinion, and neither Cameron or Brown is hitting it. Blair hit it in 1997, but was losing it by 2001 and had completely lost it by 2003. Cameron was hitting it when there was less doubt about how much bother the economy was in.

    This is mirrored by something perceptive (yet self evident) that Eric Pickles said about the Tory vote...those who voted in the 80s and early 90s can't be dug up to vote Tory in the same way again, Britain has moved on and this isn't simply a return swing of the pendulum following a New Labour experiment. Just as Tory spending plans became part of New Labour's DNA, part of the social agenda of New Labour must become part of the Tories' DNA.

    I think Cameron is part of the way there by focusing on education. However, his message needs to coalsesce. People can relate back to the hope of 1997. Cameron has to persuade the voters that he has inherited this mantle, dropped by Blair and trampled on by Brown. Pavlovian perhaps, but a good way to bring together a message and to rub Brown's face in it.

    It needs to be a multi-pronged approach. Cameron on the 'progressive' family and education policies, Clarke and Osborne as good cop/bad cop on the economy, and someone like Dominic Grieve or David Davis on rolling back the state.

    Mustn't neglect defence...this is in danger of slipping down the agenda...public comment is perhaps subdued because there is an ongoing operation.