Posts Tagged ‘Cameroon’

The Cameron project has stalled

16/07/2012, 07:00:05 AM

by David Talbot

The Cameron project is now in major crisis. When a smooth talking, young Conservative leader burst on to the British political since in late 2005 he talked a new language for the new Conservatives. The project had a clear-cut logic and sensibility.

After three election defeats the Conservatives could no longer content itself in its own obsessions, talking to nobody but itself and lecturing us on tax, immigration, law and order and Europe when most sane members of the British public had long since given up listening.

The approach drew unapologetically from New Labour. Cameron, for his many faults, was one of the few Conservatives who clearly understood that the Tory brand had become the central problem and that it had to be detoxified. Then, and only then, could the whole edifice be modernised, renewed and the long, slow reconnection with the voters begun. This is what led to Cameron’s most memorable moments in opposition.

The original appeal of Cameron’s leadership was that he would break with his party’s past. He was emphatically not a traditional conservative. So a party that was neither socially liberal, green nor redistributionist was forced to lump Cameron “hugging a hoody”, having photographs with huskies and engaging in wild talk about “sharing the proceeds of growth”.

It was all part of his bitter struggle to rid the “nasty party” image that he, and the public, so disliked. The trouble is, unlike New Labour, the game failed miserably for Cameron at the last general election. His party only managed to defeat Gordon Brown’s policy-less, self-obsessed, exhausted and divided administration by a mere 48 seats.


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