Saturday, July 16, 2005

Point Taken- The Velvet Revolution

Much has been made of Our Man's "abrasive style". From where we sit, we'd describe it as grit and determination, so deperately needed to take our party forward. But we all recognise that our new leader has to reach out, to unite, and to demonstrate that he will draw a line under past quarrels. However heated, and however much they've festered over the years.

So it's heartening that in today's Telegraph interview DD goes out of his way to address concerns about his leadership style:

"This is going to be a velvet revolution. We want everybody on-side. We want everybody to go with us, to enjoy the thing; there will be no retaliations."

Enjoy. Now, isn't that a good word to hear from the prospective leader of our beleagured, angst ridden, bickering party?

But he certainly recognises the style issue:

"I'm very forthright with people and that can be a vice. If I think I'm right, I'll argue the case very hard, whomever I'm arguing with...That isn't always comfortable...I pick very spiky friends - Alan Clark, Alastair Campbell, Derek Conway. They're completely unswerving in telling me [when] I'm useless. I like people who are really quite tough."

That all sounds spot on to us. It may not be true that he can break necks with his little finger, but he is most definitely a man of action.

Matthew Parris, who today (narrowly) comes out for Cameron, gives an interesting assessment:

'David Davis is quick-thinking, tough-minded, modern, plain-speaking, direct and brave. He also has an ability often overlooked but never unimportant in politics, a talent Margaret Thatcher hardly advertised but depended on until it finally deserted her, whereupon she sunk. I mean the ability to learn. I’ve watched Davis grow into jobs. I’ve written some of the rudest things that have been said about his skills in public speaking. He was dreadful when he started. Now he is never less than solid as an orator, and impressive as an interviewee.

As a loner he has not always been good at selecting and captaining a team but nor was Margaret Thatcher at first, and she learnt — there is no reason to think Davis would not.'

From his interview today, we can see that Our Man is already on the case.


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