Political boffin, keen fisherman looking forward to retirement.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Duplicity of the Cameron Project

David Cameron to be fair to him as employed the obvious political strategy to counter act New Labour since becoming leader of the Tories. Much of New Labour’s success has had far more to do with the idiocy of the manner in which the Conservatives have responded to New Labour’s existence rather than anything constructive New Labour has achieved.

By moving Labour to a centre right position – traditional Tory ground – the Tories did the fatal error of moving the party further to the right to create some clear blue water. Under Hague, IDS and Howard, Tory strategists played into the hands of New Labour by fighting on issues that were only relevant to the far right - ie their membership.

Cameron has turned things around by appearing to move the Tories back into the centre right position – creating a Tory/New Labour bottle neck meaning that ultimately after 10 years of New Labour middle England might well just vote for the Tories at the next General Election for change more than any clear divergence.

The problem Cameron has is that messaging is one thing, policy is another. There is no coherence currently. Whilst he passionately talks up the NHS the only detailed policy to come out of the Tories so far is to cut public expenditure by £20bn.

The new cuddly Tories Cameron is trying to push is further undermined by an extremely right wing article he gave to the Telegraph last week. In a statement which has gained very little coverage, Cameron said that he would restore the UK opt out of the EU social chapter. Nick Cohen of the Observer in his excellent article yesterday points out that the Cameron approach is not to secure legal rights for workers but hope employers do the right thing. As we have one of the most liberal labour laws in the world already – the prospect of even greater de-regulation, for the most vulnerable in particular, is quite frankly frightening.

The phrase ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing comes to mind.’
The question is where do the Tories in Wales stand on this?

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