Posts Tagged ‘Phillip Blond’

How will Cameron respond to One Nation Labour?

05/10/2012, 11:38:36 AM

by Jonathan Todd

Damian McBride is right. Jon Cruddas is too. Even Phillip Blond is.

This amounts to a triumvirate of correctness trapping David Cameron. Precisely the position – as demonstrated by seizing the leadership initiative from David Davis with his no notes performance at Conservative Party conference in 2005, his party’s proposed cut to inheritance tax on the eve of the election that never was in 2007 and his snatching of victory from the jaws of defeat by forming a multi-party government in 2010 – from which he is most dangerous.

McBride has picked up a valuable insight from Gordon Brown, who told him in 2004:

“I’ve already had seven years. Once you’ve had seven years, the public start getting sick of you. You’ve got seven years when you’ve got a chance to get people on board, but after that, you’re on the down slope. I’ve tried not to be too exposed, but it’s still seven years. The only chance was getting in next year before the election. Tony knows that. Every year that goes by, the public are going to say: ‘Not that guy Brown, we’re tired of him – give us someone new.’”

McBride goes on:

“Why does any of this matter today? Well, next Wednesday marks seven years since David Cameron’s ‘speech without notes’ at the 2005 Tory conference, so we will soon get a chance to test the theory again. Cameron obviously hasn’t been PM for all of that time, but he was the most over-exposed opposition leader in history, and has undoubtedly been front line in the public consciousness for 7 years.”

Cruddas has reviewed Britain Unchained, a new book by rising Tory stars, and finds it a revealing take on the party that Cameron now leads:

“Scratch off the veneer and all is revealed: a destructive economic liberalism that threatens the foundations of modern conservatism … It is because this faction is in the ascendancy that Cameron is actually failing; he remains captive to an economic reductionism that could well destroy conservatism – in the proper sense of valuing and conserving the nature and assorted institutions of the country.”

It is this embrace of economic liberalism that has so disappointed Blond, one of the architects of the compassionate conservatism that was the intellectual mooring to Cameron’s years as “the most over-exposed opposition leader in history”. Blond moans of Cameron:

“His failure to maintain a coherent new vision has led to spasmodic appeals to vague progressive notions that have further alienated his own base and suggested that the PM is not a master of his own beliefs … Cameron’s thinking is now out of step with public demands and economic reality. People desperately want a new economic and social settlement. But nothing is on offer from the right, so the left has moved into the vacuum.”

The power of Ed Miliband’s audacious one nation pitch resides in capturing the ground that Blond chides Cameron for abandoning.


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