Saturday, May 21, 2005

Today's Jockeying

An outbreak of denials today.

As predicted, following George's withdrawal, David Cameron's intentions are the subject of even more intense media scrutiny. He denies he's ruled himself out:

"I don't really believe in ruling things out. There is no leadership election now. It is not going to happen for months."

The speculation is that he has done a deal with George, but the latter denies it:

"I have made no deals with anyone."

Meanwhile the Times would obviously like to line up behind Cameron. There's a supportive profile, but it identifies a split image problem:

'There are two David Camerons hotly tipped to lead the Conservative party. One is David with a self-confessed “corny” CV, the Old Etonian with swept-back hair, golden boy to Thatcher, Major and Howard. He married into the upper classes, and has a faintly patrician air that fails to straddle the class divide.

The other is Dave, as friends know him, the Skoda-driving sports fan who loves The Smiths, Radiohead, and trashy TV. Dave married an artist, hangs out with bohemian types from his media days and cooks for his two young children, who he wants to go into the state system.

The trouble is, “David” is the Cameron who has the ambition to stand, whereas “Dave” is the man who could win.'

Also in the Times, anti-DD Mary Ann Seighart writes a piece highlighting the jealousy factor among the 1992-97 generation of Tory MPs:

'On one side are a bunch of MPs coming up to the age of 50, most of whom were educated at grammar or direct-grant schools. These politicians — such as David Willetts, Alan Duncan, Andrew Lansley, Damian Green, Theresa May and Caroline Spelman — have toiled away, mainly in opposition, to get to the top of the party. Suddenly they find themselves leapfrogged by a younger, privately educated generation.

They are extremely sore.

They do not doubt Messrs Cameron and Osborne’s merits, but they claim that privilege has allowed them to progress rather faster than they might otherwise have done.

“Our noses are out of joint for three reasons,” one of the rivals said. “It is a combination of youth, class and cliquishness. This Notting Hill set think they own the world already and no one else can join their gang.

“I should say to myself, ‘Sit down and don’t be consumed by jealousy or self-pity’. But I feel, ‘Bloody hell! I’ve been slaving here for 15 years and then these buggers get in’. "

Sounds only too real, and ought to be good news for the 56 year old grammar school educated DD.

Except that presumably Mary Ann's reason for highlighting the issue is to cast doubt on the motivation of these likely DD converts. And that means the Notting Hill running dogs are briefing all and sundry to the same effect, with the intention of devaluing any future declarations of DD support from those quarters.

Ah, politics eh?


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