Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Our Tony

The Times profiles George Osborne, written by Camilla Cavendish (um, would that be Cavendish as in Cavendish, rulers and kingmakers for at least the last millenium?)

The 'Tory Tony Blair' emerges as...well, our Tony. He seems to have stumbled into politics and William Hague says:

“I didn’t know him until he turned up on my leadership campaign team in 1997, but from the first few hours he struck me as a better thinker than many more experienced hands. He could unerringly predict Tony Blair’s responses to questions, as well as impersonate him. He has given a lot of thought to the instincts of new Labour.”

OK...that's OK I guess. Except George himself says:

“I’m quite sceptical of broad philosophy and ‘whither Conservatism?’ speeches. I think you illustrate the kind of Conservative you are by the way you approach the issues rather than by drawing up ten points that apply to every situation. That’s not unprincipled — you can still have guiding principles that individuals are better off doing things than the State – but beyond those guiding principles we should avoid being too ideological. A smaller State is a desirable consequence, but not an end in itself.”

And others say:

“I still don’t know whether he’s on the Left or the Right of the party,” a political ally says. A friend outside politics feels that “he takes far too much interest in opinion polls and focus groups, and doesn’t really believe in very much.”

Ah.

Well, I suppose what we can say is that it's better having him in the tent than outside. Doing that thing that LBJ used to go on about.
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2 Comments:

Blogger esbonio said...

You highlight a real problem with the leadership contest, one I think was alluded to yesterday. Who knows how a candididate will turn out if selected as leader. I did not think John Major was going to turn out the way he did but then I guess there was insufficient information. Nor despite his approach to the Iraq War and ID cards did I think Michael Howard would dish up this current dog's breakfast of election/constitutional reform.

What does mremain clear to me however is that DD seems the best candidate based on what I have seen so far. I am singularly underwhelmed by the rest of the speculated field.

Whoever I do not want some

9:53 AM  
Blogger Wat Tyler said...

esbonio- yes, it's amazing how little we really knew about any of the last several leaders. Major had been Chief Sec, Foreign Sec, and Chancellor, but really he was just another of Maggie's boys. Hague had been...er, Welsh Sec. IDS hadn't registered on my personal radar screen at all.

At least Howard was a known quantity, and his subsequent emphasis on discipline and responsibility has been pretty well as billed.

Although we need to know more about DD, he is the only contender with a clearly stated philosophy, and what we used to call conviction.

11:47 AM  

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