Monday, October 17, 2005

Yes..But Could He Do The Actual Job?

As everyone keeps telling us, the DC Bandwagon is looking pretty well unstoppable. Having apparently survived the drugs, he's miles ahead at the bookies and seems to be picking up fresh media endorsements by the day.

But could he actually do the job? Today, Mrs Marr tells us:

'Though Clarke had been the Tory candidate most feared by Labour, this may be changing. The prospect of a young, fresh-faced, English, moderate leader taking on Gordon Brown is concentrating minds. Some are even talking of the ultimate irony for Brown: to be defeated by a Tory Tony Blair, who seems to be gathering support in the Murdoch press. Though there are many different views about all this, there is a growing Labour consensus that, on balance, it would be best if Cameron's campaign were stopped between now and Thursday.'

Of course we've heard all this kind of advice from the opposing lines before. But reading what LibDem and Labour bloggers are saying, there does seem to be at least a frisson of real concern. And that has to be a plus for DC.

Still, the question remains. Could he do the actual job? Not the virtual job of gloss and media and excitement, but the real job of leading us through four years of bloody trench warfare.

Just to recap, this involves hammering out an agreed policy platform on everything from public service reform, tax cuts, and Europe, through to immigration control, law and order, and, yes, drugs. Despite all the work that's already been done, we do not have anything like party consensus in any of these areas. Still less do we have agreement on how to pitch it all to the electorate.

The actual job also involves imposing party discipline. We all saw the catastrophic in-fights that raged under Hague and IDS, and we do not want to revisit them. We need somebody with the toughness to bang heads together if required...and it will be.

And the job also involves standing up to Tone. Yes, we know Tone might find it difficult to attack his own shadow, but as someone said, when you can have the real thing, why settle for a cheap imitation?

Of course, if the promised DC magic works and he manages to lift our poll ratings by 10%, all of the above will fall into place like...magic.

But come on guys- you know as well as I do that the real world just ain't like that.

DC is basically untried and untested, and he remains very high risk.
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