Friday, July 15, 2005

Tyler Meets Hero

Last night I actually got to meet David Davis. And I can report that he's exactly as billed: warm, direct, and brimming with confidence.

He'd been due to give the Adam Smith Lecture on The Future Of Conservatism, but in the wake of last week's terrible events he's quite rightly put all that stuff on hold. Instead, he joined us in a crowded Westminster basement to chat, over some Bulgarian Chablis- although unlike your correspondent he and his guys stuck strictly to water.

Through the years I've seen various politicians 'work the room', and Davis is a natural. He has tangible presence- smile, twinkley eyes and all- and we punters, young and not so young alike, were hanging on his every word. Just like on the telly, he talks in clear, everyday language- miles away from the spin and slippery legalese to which we've become only too accustomed in recent years.

That much you'd expect. But he also does something that is much less common in big-name politicians- he makes eye contact, listens, and engages.

I asked him what we ordinary party members could do to help secure his election? Apparently unphased by that egregious attempt by some to change the election rules (thought by many to be a blocking move against him), his only suggestion was that we contact our MPs to let them know our preference (so if you haven't already done so...)

As I made my way home, I almost broke into a smile. And it wasn't just the Chablis. We can all remember how someone once talked about 'one of us', and Davis certainly fits that bill. He looks and sounds a normal everyday guy just like the rest of us; a guy you'd definitely have a beer with. But he's also someone who shares our convictions about improving lives, particularly those who are still down where he started. And he has the confidence of a winner, already propelled by natural ability and determination from pretty well the bottom to pretty well the very top.

Having met him, I am more certain than ever that David Davis is The Man. And the sooner he takes the controls, the better.

PS I also met Iain Dale, DD's Chief of Staff. As Davis worked round that hot crowded basement, Dale was keeping the whole show on the road- organising, dealing with journalists, juggling mobile phones, and of course remembering to smile. I hope I didn't hog too much of his time. Although at least it proved that I exist, and I'm not just his new blogname. Not sure how he felt about that, but I certainly found it comforting, in some existential sense.


Anonymous Rob Sharpe said...

David was indeed a natural - and last night only served to confirm him as my preference for party leader.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Glad to see he's got better.
I saw him during the 2001 leadership campaign when he was absolutely dreadful - dull, stiff and uncharasmatic - which was a shame as I wanted to support him then.

8:25 AM  

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