Friday, September 16, 2005

Times Calls Time On Cameron

The Times was an early backer of David Cameron, but this morning's editorial says it's time for him to follow David Willetts and withdraw from the contest:

'Mr Cameron...is a moderate and reasonable soul who has made several speeches in the past few weeks which, while sound, have not delivered messages of distinction. If the Tories are to plump for a young man who has been in the House of Commons for only four years, they have to be convinced that he is a star of the highest quality. If Mr Cameron cannot illustrate this compellingly in the coming fortnight, he would be wise to emulate Mr Willetts and depart with dignity.'

Because the Times has previously been so pro-Cameron, this is a significant statement, although in fairness, we should also note they give the same advice to Malcolm Rifkind and Liam Fox.

Their basic reasoning is something we wholeheartedly agree with:

'It is possible that the party conference early next month will take place with Mr Davis, Mr Clarke, David Cameron, Liam Fox, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Mr Leigh and perhaps Andrew Lansley and/or Theresa May claiming to be in the frame and in with a chance. This is an implausibly large number of contestants and will invite ridicule. The Tories need an election that resembles a race, not a public meeting.

For that to occur, others should be prepared to follow Mr Willetts and be realistic about their own prospects.'

Hear, hear. We do not want the Conference to be a four day Big Brother style slanging match, carried live on all those digital news channels.

Finally let's note that the Times at last seems to be warming towards DD, and offers this advice:

'It would be shrewd of him to indicate that he is open to new ideas from any quarter (Mr Willetts will be an asset again in that regard) and that he recognises that his party has to be a plausible alternative government as well as an effective opposition. In fairness to him, the thoughtful speech that he delivered on Wednesday suggests that he is capable of positioning himself cleverly if the electorate is to allow him a hearing.'

Mr D is already on the case.
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