"Don't overestimate David Cameron"(21 Posts)
A very interesting piece here from the Fabian Society, esp on the self-knowledge of the Conservative leadership.
Thankyou for posting such and interesting article. I read it and agreed with a lot of it. Cameron is definately on shaky ground come the next election, but the other two are sinking and Clegg's already sunk!
I will will return to read the links in it.
As a natural Tory supporter, towards the end of the election, I was actually hoping they'd lose. Why? Because the cuts which would be needed would be so deep that they'll be lucky to survive the next election.
It seems morally wrong to me that the party which got us in this mess is now sat on the sidelines sniping at every cut the new govt is forced to make.
It seemed better to me that Labour should continue and have to get us out of the very mess they created. A hard lesson in not living beyond our means. The cynic in me wonders if they didnt put any real effort into forming a coalition because they realised that in 5 years time the Tories & Lib Dems will be so unpopular that they'll probably win a majority again.
Let's face it, most of the electorate are stupid and think the government has a special money tree they can keep spending from.
The cynic in you?
Surely that was bleeding obvious. Poisoned chalice etc.
Believing the electorate to be stupid is why Labour lost the last election. They dismissed legitimate grass-root dissatisfaction about the something for nothing culture as bigoted rubbish - a fatal error. And now they're making the mistake of assuming that a few 'students' on the streets amounts to mass disapproval of the general agenda. I think there has been a big change in the public mood, a willingness to put up with some short-term hardship and that the coalition actually has more benefit of the doubt support than Labour is willing to admit. The honeymoon won't last for ever but five years is a very long time, things can change radically, and surely the headline should be 'don't underestimate Cameron'?
Chil - quite.
Also - has anyone else noticed that the students aren't quite so vocal now that they're all at home enjoying a cosy Christmas holiday with Mum and Dad and down the pub with all their old mates?
David Cameron should not be overestimated, it is true.
He is too concerned with being liked than being respected - especially on the world stage. Sometimes, he has a lack of steel - especially on matters European.
His main weakness is that he is too interested in winning over the grudging respect of Guardian readers, and not interested enough in winning over the full-throated support of Sun readers.
That said, he should not be underestimated either. His domestic agenda is excellent. The welfare reform, the education reform, the higher education reform, and above all the deficit cutting - he has shown some backbone there.
Above all, he is a fairly natural leader - but his wishywashiness will come back to hurt him one day. Unlike Brown, Cameron doesn't suffer from a lack of decisiveness, or a lack of courage - but he doesn't seem to have much of a philosophy. In the short-term, it won't matter - but eventually, it will.
I don't think Red Ed is going to be the one who gets the better of Cameron though.
I don't think he's all that bothered about being liked, judging by actions of the last nine months. (Well, no more than the average baby-kissing, photo-op-oriented politician.) He's staying nicely above the nitty gritty, which is good leadership style, and letting Osborne don the moustaches and fill the role of pantomime villain. There's clearly a policy of giving the Lib-Dems any 'good news' stories in an effort to improve their popularity but they're so thick they keep cocking it right up. LOL!!! Disagree about the lack of philosphy... the 'Big Society' (community, social responsibility, philanthropy) is definitely more than a hackneyed phrase to him.
Interesting, my interpretation would be rather different. My feeling is that DC/GO are proceeding with a traditional Conservative small state agenda, and playing a good game on explaining it as required by years of overspending (and completely ignoring the vast sums spent on baling out the banks), but are completely out of their depth on the wider economic context and the long term implications of their cuts.
I think in years to come they will be seen in a similar light to the 30s politicians clinging onto the gold standard because that was the 'right' thing to do.
I think Labour would be much more credible if they could actually spell out what they would do differently. The only way they can be taken seriously is if they say "We wouldn't cut x, but we'd instead cut y".
At the moment, all they are doing is going around saying how nasty the coalition is and that they wouldn't have done that.
I notice the latest spin from Ed is that Labour would not have made so many cuts, so quick. But that's just folly. If you are in debt and on the verge of bankruptcy, isn't it better to take the pain now and pay things off quickly rather than delay the inevitable?
Let's face it, the govt know they've got a year, two max to make as many cuts as possible. After that if they want to stand any chance of gettin reelected then they have to stop and pray the electorate have forgotten/gotten used to it by the time the next election comes.
I'm not sure at the moment Labour do know what they would do differently - I think (maybe I am wrong?) they have accepted that they got it very wrong with their approach to the financial services industry et al - effectively continuing Conservative policy of the 80s/early 90s and then bolting on redistributative policies.
I'm not convinced (again, maybe I am completely wrong) that they have a coherent view of what they should do differently at the moment. The question, then, for me, is whether they will use this period to develop one, or simply continue to be 'conservative lite', with a sprinkling of social fairness on the side.
I found it an interesting read, but it seemed to me to miss out the current unfairnesses of constituency size (when is the Boundaries Commission due to report?) in assessing why the number of seats was lower than might otherwise have been expected given share of vote.
(And there's the PR referendum too - but such a big potential confounder, I can see why it's been set aside).
I do wonder which coalition cuts Labour will reverse when/if they get back into power...it will be very interesting to watch
Dont knock those overestimators - Cameron would never have got to where he is today without them.
Not all students are at home enjoying a cosy Xmas at their parents, some Kent students are on about Day 25 of their sit-in. I think the media have just lost interest.
Interesting article. I agree with NiceGuy2 that the Tories (and LibDems) have screwed themselves as far as re-election chances go. But yes if Labour were in power they would be in the same boat. Labour must be rubbing their hands in glee knowing that they will be back in power soon (but probably hoping not too soon as they want the coalition in a bit longer to try and sort stuff out/take more blame for cuts, etc).
Maisie Easy. None. They will not reverse any cuts. By then, everyone will be used to the cuts. Labour knows full well cuts are inevitable. And the best thing is for them to get reelected and just blame everything on the Tories.
Exactly, Niceguy. All the bleating from the left about the cuts are simply words filling the air. They know full well that had they been re-elected, they'd be facing the same level of criticism at the cuts they'd be making.
I'd like to see them back in power, if only to face down the barrage of criticism from the electorate when they realise that the cuts that were made by the coalition made financial sense, and therefore have to remain.
" Labour must be rubbing their hands in glee knowing that they will be back in power soon"
Labour should take note of the '92 election result where, despite 13 years of Margaret Thatcher, cuts in public services, Poll Tax kefuffle etc., the public ultimately had zero confidence that Kinnock could do a better job... and - against all the predictions - elected John Major instead.
2015 is an eternity away and, unless Milliband proves he is not a union puppet, thinks up some actual policies and starts to look more credible soon, then he will suffer the same fate.
I should add that the LibDems are deinitely sunk
Agree. Lib Dems will be lucky to get Nick Clegg reelected, let alone any of the others.
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