A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Is Cameron OK with the Tories?

It is becoming increasingly certain to me that David Cameron may be saying some good things, but is he right for the Conservative Party? Does he fit in with their way of life, culture, and general purpose?

Tony Blair has proved to be an odd kind of socialist. When it suited him, he squeaked all the right noises to impress Michael Foot. But then dear old Michael probably thought that this public school socialist was just like him! In the case of David Cameron, he is fitting in nicely to the mould of 21st century leaders. Those who lead a party that is not always with them (mentally or spiritually) and the electorate becomes confused and eventually turned off.

It was all so easy 40/50 years ago. People knew who the Tories were, who Labour was (and if you didn't, you had a trade union leader reminding you!) and the Liberals were.....well, either like Lady Violet Bonham Carter ("when I was a gel") or an anorak! Not now, though. It's all change at Westminster Central!

So where does this lead us? Senior Tory MP Edward Leigh has warned of "discontent" among the party's core voters. These are probably the ones who won't go green! Cameron had a ballot of party members. Nearly three quarters of party members (73%) did not even vote! But he is championing this as a show of unity, because he has been backed by more than nine out of 10 of the members who actually voted on his mini-manifesto statement of aims and values.

Personally, I think Cameron is the best hope for the Tories electorally. He will get new voters as well as the grudging support of the malcontents. But he needs to shape up further! He needs a coherent policy on English governance. It's OK going cap in hand to the Scots. How about saying sorry to the English too? He needs to give local government some proper democracy and basically get rid of the quangos.

So far so good, but let's see the mini-manifesto emerge into a proper maxi-manifesto! Otherwise we will get a hung parliament, with Clare Short giving advice from outside parliament, and the posibility of a coalition with the LibDems!


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