12/07/2005

Some Thoughts On The Election Of David Cameron As Leader Of The British Conservative Party

Older British readers might recall a commercial for Volkswagen that went out in the late '80's.
The scene was a man wearing a dinner jacket, his collar open, walking down a street at dawn, smiling wistfully. The voiceover began:
"This is the man who put everything on red - and it came up black.
This is the man who married a sex kitten - just as she turned into a cat.
This is the man who got in - just as the smart money was getting out"
The man then pulled out his car keys and drove off in his Volkswagen. The voice over concluded,
"This is the man who drives a Volkswagen. Because everyone must have something in life they can rely on".
David Cameron seems like a nice enough bloke. However, as Gertrude Stein said of her native Oakland, when one considers his platform one cannot help but think that there is no 'there' there.
Simon Heffer has noted that he has few distinct policies. Melanie Phillips has noted, with characteristic cruelty, that,
"the party’s grass-roots have paid the ultimate act of homage to the Labour leader Tony Blair. They’ve now got what they’ve always wanted, a Blair of their very own. They don’t know what policies Cameron has up his sleeve. They don’t care what policies Cameron’s got up his sleeve. All they know is that Cameron has the right image to appeal to young people and non- Conservative people. They’ve voted for a face that can win an election".
The Right for Scotland blog, to which I am warming, has constructed an entire policy platform for him. The best defence of Cameron I have read so far, by far, has been the roasting His Satanic Majesty has given a New Labour drone in The Devil's Kitchen.
Cameron's pronouncements so far can best be rated as worthy pap. Call me old-fashioned, but I happen to not care very much about what type of chromosomes my MP has - I just want them to be honest and conscientious. For someone who seems committed to the middle-way road of inclusion, he seems to have very little to say about the sort of inclusion that most concerns me, a lower middle-class Scottish conservative who wants to return to supporting the Conservative & Unionist Party - the very survival of the Union itself.
It could be that Cameron is the man to talk the Conservative Party out of its eight year long suicide attempt - but the omens do not look good. The middle ground he seeks to occupy is now so narrow it resembles a tightrope. If there is one activity at which Brown and Blair have gained a lot of experience, it's seeing off leaders of the Conservative Party. If there is one area of activity at which the Parliamentary Conservative Party excels, it is wilful self-destruction.
Tony Blair must wake up every morning and pray for the survival of the Conservative Party.
After all, everyone must have something in life they can rely on.

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