28 August 2006

David Cameron's Notebook

David Cameron is at it again, determined to show he is leading a new Tory party, he has denounced Thatcher's apartheid policy.

David Cameron realises he
is only wearing one high heel

Here's Cameron's current strategy for setting his party up to win the next election:
  1. Break with Thatcherite past: By publicly criticising key aspects of Thatcher policy, the public believes that the party has changed its core philosophy. Compare and contrast with Tony Blair and his "Clause 4 moment".
  2. "Say something unexpected": This grabs headlines and publicity, along with the attention of cynical non-voters, who expect all parties to act in a pre-determined way. Note that this works only if the right thing is said - for example:
    "The first is the importance of patience when trying to achieve long-term change. There is always a temptation for politicians to do things in a hurry, to suit their political timetable."
    This is in marked contrast to the current way some politicians tend to communicate (i.e. John Reid giving himself 100 days to fix the Home Office).
  3. No firm commitments: Cameron is making people aware of his outlook (or philosophy), but he isn't doing it in a concrete way, so no-one can hold him to account for breaking any promises. Note also that when he denounces Thatcher, he isn't positively endorsing a policy, but negatively distancing the party from a former policy. In a way this point and point 2 create a "win-win" situation - he is grabbing attention, but isn't actually saying anything substantive.
  4. No vitriolic attack on Labour: When he was elected leader, Cameron promised an end to the "Punch and Judy of politics" and the way he is doing this is by not attacking Labour's direction or aims, but their approach. For example:
    "As in many areas, Labour's good intentions are let down by poor delivery."
    This is a compliment to Labour, but also an opposition. It has the added advantage of luring soft Labour voters who don't agree with the parties approach to the Tories.
In a similiar vain, see Cameron's trip to Norway.

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