Monday, 9 February 2009

Tory genius: blink and it’s gone

This from Janet Daley last week.

David Cameron gives a faultless performance at PMQs

Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 12:33 PM GMT

I am often accused of being insufficiently helpful to the Conservative leadership, so let's put this on the record: David Cameron has just given the most nearly-perfect PMQs performance from an Opposition leader that I have ever seen.

His questions were so astute, so substantial and so politically well-judged as to be beyond improvement. He was even able to respond effectively to what must have been the unexpected (and peculiarly bathetic) jibe from Gordon Brown that he (Cameron) was engaging in "student politics": only one of us, said Mr. Cameron, was a student politician and he (the prime Minister) apparently never grew out of it.

But most important, he introduced a new thread into this campaign of mutual accusation. Mr Brown has apparently gone on the record as saying that the recession and its consequences should be seen as the "birth pangs" of a new world economic order. That sounds remarkably like the notorious aphorism that helped to destroy the last Conservative government: that unemployment was " a price worth paying". Mr. Cameron has really got hold of something there. Today, he reduced Gordon Brown to a robotic repetition of that tiresome sound bite ("his party would do nothing") that was almost painful to watch.

All good points, but…

What is the point?

People who follow Parliamentary proceedings on TV and radio must be few compared with the rest of old Blighty’s viewers and listeners, and the proportion of them who aren’t utterly partisan and their minds and loyalties thus unreachable by Commons performances; polished or otherwise, will be smaller still.

If I was confident that Mister Cameron would run with this ball; would insist that his parliamentary colleagues and the Tory party as a whole to press this Marie Antoinette/If It’s Not Hurting It’s Not Working argument about birth pangs I’d be delighted.

It would show that Mister Cameron wants to win – wants it enough to actually lead the Conservatives against some small part of the monsoon of Left-wing propaganda that is life in Britain today. If he did so then this might even hint at the possibility of his considering doing something substantially different from following the Labour Party’s Depression-generating sailors-ashore-after-months-at-sea spending spree.

None of which indicates that he has a clue what needs to be done.

Janet Daley has pointed out that, whatever he comes up with in terms of themes or topics about what he wants to change – or better yet to preserve – he never seems to carry them through into nationwide campaigns that might reach the undecided.

Where is his agenda of freedom? Washed away by his plans to reform capitalism to make it more moral, perhaps?

Hooray! We’re saved from the awful consequences of Mister Cameron standing up for anything even vaguely British by his bravura performance in criticizing the wildcat strikers and implying agreement with the possibly slanderous implication that the strikers were evil racists.

Phew. Had me worried there.

The British Political class. Gut-crumpets, almost to the last one.



Sue said...

Nothing ever comes out of PMQ's. It's like one big theatre show, a pre-rehearsed, pre-choreographed dance of witty banter! It's a bore!

The questions and answers should be spontaneous, that would show true wit and perhaps we would actually get an answer or two out of Gordon if he was put on the spot!

North Northwester said...

If only we could sneak up on him...

It's late, and so I'll do the no-bonus petition tomorrow on t'other blog.


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