Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Alices Get It

At the risk of giving further amusement to the commenter who sniggered "this is becoming the David Davis for Loser and Whinging about Cameron blog", it's worth looking at Alice Miles this morning. Echoing the other Alice yesterday, she says:

'...All of which serves to highlight the real deficiency in Cameron’s leadership bid: his lack of experience. The boy wizard has grown in stature in the past few weeks. He is undergoing one of those transformations that actually make a person look taller (but that might be because he appears to be rapidly losing weight under the strain)...'

At the time, the thing that struck us during that famous Rawnsley interview was not the lighthearted question about drugs, but his probing into DC's lack of experience. Dave had no real answer, and Rawnsley suggested chillingly that Tone would "eat him for breakfast". And that's the story the media will be looking to write.

Alice goes on:

'The Tory party has to go for Cameron now. You do not ignore the kind of momentum that he undoubtedly possesses....You do not have to push very far, however, to discover the wizard’s shortcomings. First there is policy: he doesn’t really have any to speak of...

I can see that it is important for the Conservatives to look different and for their leader to embody that change, but in the end it does still boil down to this: has Cameron got any substance? He is looking great, he is sounding good — but what does it mean? It’s all a bit “Doe, a deer” to me — you know, “far, a long long way to run, sew, a needle pulling thread . . .” etc. Until the little girl looks up and says: “But it doesn’t mean anything!”

It's really a repeat of William Hague's message at the end of our Conference: hopes are not enough- we need some substance.

'Tempting though it is to think that Cameron has already changed the political landscape for ever, he hasn’t. He has made one good speech, and he has looked good, and he may have made the Tory party confront some of its more antiquated beliefs. Not a bad start, but hopes are riding too high.'

Alice...you can say that again.

Experience and policy substance are not nice-to-haves that we can probably fix en route. They are absolutely essential before we set off.

It's still DDfL.
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