Friday, November 04, 2005

Davis Wins QT

When even Guido admits it, you know you're looking at a palpable hit. DD was relaxed and authoritative, and the substance of the man came through loud and clear. DC was by no means a disaster, but he looked uncomfortable from the start, and kept falling back on his prepared soundbites.

Of course, we've always known that DD is much better at this kind of thing than set piece platform speeches- the questions and audience interaction seem to energise him, as we saw more than once in Blackpool. But for us supporters, it was very good to see.

In terms of substance, DD covered all the bases: taxation, public services- reminding us in particular of his commitment to the victims of state failure- Europe, terrorism...the only area he ducked was drugs. Quite rightly, in our view.

Naturally, the BBC are whinging there wasn't any blood on the dias, but let's not lose any sleep over that. The crunchiest exchange was over Heir-to-Blair. DC tried to explain why he didn't want to commit to those "2009 Manifesto" commitments, and DD responded:

"What you are describing is an approach taken by Tony Blair in the mid-1990s... But the British public have seen three Blair parliaments. They are sick and tired of spin and the era of spin. Frankly, David, this is absolutely the worst moment for the Conservative party to imitate Tony Blair."

That hit the spot, as you could see from the audience reaction.

Overall, and despite rumours to the contrary, what came across was that experience really does count. DD was always comfortable- even relishing the occasion. He was in control wherever the questions went. In contrast, DC seemed always to revert to his prepared script. For a polished platform speech, word perfection is a plus: for a Q&A it comes across as lightweight and potentially evasive. As we've said many times before, DC's time will come. But he desperately needs more experience first.

So this morning we're feeling a lot more confident. Our Man has reminded everyone just why he remains our best choice.



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