Sunday, August 28, 2005

Dream Ticket Revisited

Long, long ago, when the world was young and the leadership contest was just getting underway, we put forward the idea of a Davis/Cameron dream ticket. We reckoned it would provide an excellent blend of right and left, trad and mod, youth and experience. And the 17 year age gap would give us a built in succession plan much more tenable than any grubby Granita deal.

Of course, we subsequently heard rumours that relations between the Davis and Cameron camps were arctic, and we were also discomforted by some of the younger David's pronouncements: in particular, he seemed rather too smitten by New Labour managerialism for our public services. So we shelved the idea.

But things have moved on again. For a start, Ken Clarke's virtual declaration- with its attendant split in the leftish vote- seems to have concentrated DC's mind. In fact, he's taken to speaking quite warmly of Davis:

"We get on very well. We both worked for John Major in 1990. I was responsible for going to help brief John Major for Prime Minister's Questions and David Davis was the whip who was also helping and we used to get up very early in the morning and read the papers together and wander across to Downing Street."

We know he discussed his recent speech on security with DD, and it is notable how he has aligned himself with the Davis rather than the Clarke positions on Europe and Iraq.

It's always seemed to us that the inexperienced DC never really believed he would win this time. And we've wondered if those who pressured and flattered him into standing were really doing him any great service. As an unnamed Clarke supporter says:

"Cameron does not have the support to win the contest himself. He needs to double up with someone who is older and more experienced and Ken is someone with serious clout and a desire to be prime minister."

We agree with that...except for the last bit, obviously.

So perhaps it's time to revisit that Dream Ticket: the two Davids would be an unstoppable combination. One that would not only cruise to a comfortable victory in our leadership election, but which- contrary to the hopeless defeatism of some fairweather Tories- would be odds on to beat Blairless vacuous Labour in 2010.

PS According to Miguel, Ken's broken his nose, presumably to keep up with DD. If he's prepared to do that, he must be keen.


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