Thursday, September 15, 2005

I Wonder What He Meant By That

Alastair Campbell joins the list of Labour politicos commenting on our leadership race. Oddly, this master of the black arts is one of the few to go on the record. Anyway he has great fun laying about the candidates:

'Sir Malcolm should stand in front of a mirror and ask himself: “Can I imagine myself leading the Tories to victory and becoming Prime Minister?” If he answers yes, he has breached new boundaries in out-of-touchness. Dr Fox is a reasonably handsome doctor capable of stringing sentences together without too many ums and ahs and staying on message in interviews. This skill has its place in politics but it is not sufficient to be Prime Minister. Mr Willetts, despite the Two Brains nickname, has shown no extraordinary nous or judgment.'

Do those dismissals mean Labour really fears one of them? Rifkind maybe? Hmmm...perhaps not.

David Cameron shows no evidence that he has 'thought things through, in depth and in detail, reviewing every aspect of party and policy from first principles, adapting to a changed world.'
Which leaves Ken and DD.

'At the risk of fuelling the belief that he is the man Labour fears, Mr Clarke is the one Labour should most relish getting stuck into. Clarke is lazy and prone to leave the detail to others. The laziness shows up in his speeches, made for headlines not argument. He used to infuriate No 10 at weekends in the Major years when he would disappear, watch football, enjoy a few pints, spot a few birds, and nobody could get hold of him.

Tories should also worry about his judgment....his absurd belief that he could cook up a dream ticket with John Redwood in the 1997 leadership contest...His relationship with the tobacco industry....thinking that he could redefine his lifelong position on Europe simply by stating that he had changed his mind...to announce his candidature in the Daily Mail to generate support from that quarter. The Mail is part of the Tory party’s problem, not part of its solution. The real Ken Clarke loathes the Mail. For Redwood last time, read the Mail this time.'

Quite a few inches of trashing there: does it that mean Ken really is the man Labour fears? But of course, we all know Ali is a mate of DD, so will he praise our man?

'We are left where we started before Mr Clarke entered the race, with Mr Davis the likely winner. I have a clear idea how Labour should tackle him, rooted in my firm belief that he is politically and emotionally incapable of taking the Tories to the centre ground.'

Now, is that meant to kick Davis, or help him by failing to big him up?

I'm sure of one thing- I don't think I'm cut out for the black arts.
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