Posts Tagged ‘The Art of War’

Our class based attacks on Cameron are missing the mark

02/06/2011, 07:46:31 AM

by Peter Watt

To paraphrase Sun Tzu in The Art of War, you need to know your enemy. But does Labour know who David William Donald Cameron is? Understanding him, his relationship with voters and his party is an important part of Labour’s preparation for the tough elections to come.

I suspect that while we think that we understand him, we are deluded. Instead we are judging him through our own partisan prism, which is in contrast to much of the electorate. Ask most Labour party folk what they think of Cameron and they will emphasise his class. They will talk of Eton and the Bullingdon club, of the baronets in his lineage and the millions he has in the bank. This all adds up, so the theory goes, to one seriously out of touch (and obviously posh) politician.

But this emphasis on his “poshness” is currently cold comfort. Let us start with first principles: he is likeable and popular with voters. According to the latest You Gov poll for the Sunday Times, his approval ratings are at +2, with 48% saying he is doing very well or fairly well. Nearly one in five Labour 2010 voters agree. And popular leaders tend to win elections more often than not. As importantly, according to a Populus poll, in early May, Cameron is comfortably beating the other party leaders on leadership attributes like “standing up for Britain”, “determination” and “competence”. It is true that Ed does have a lead on “shares my values” and “on my side”, but these leads are small.


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