Conservative Home observes that, while the Telegraph today has fallen hook, line and sinker for the Cameron “big speech” spin, the Mail remains doggedly anti-Cameron. The Editor has employed his “big gun” (!), the “clinically sane” Melanie Phillips to lay the boot into ‘Dave’.
I am tempted to say….indeed, I will say “Well done Melanie Phillips”, even though I will probably regret it later. I get Ms Phillips’ blog entries wanged up on my Google reader. Virtually every single one is something pro-Israel or anti-Islam. So it is refreshing today to find Phillips penning up a Israel/Islam froth-free piece on Cameron.
The important thing here is that the Mail sells about 2.4 million copies a day to Middle England (apparently). So Cameron has got a bit of a bijou problemette.
Here is Phillips in full flow:
Whoa there, guys, you’re making us dizzy! The skid marks are going in all directions. No longer do the Tories perform relatively sedate U-turns; they are currently careering round one hairpin bend after another.
At breakfast time yesterday, we were startled to learn that the Tories would – bafflingly – reintroduce entrance charges for museums. By teatime, that policy had been abruptly and brutally ditched.
We also heard yesterday that David Cameron did not claim to be the ‘heir to Blair’. This was yet more news to us. After all, Mr Cameron himself had reportedly said it.
…Fewer than three weeks ago his deputy, George Osborne, declared that Mr Cameron championed Blairite reforms in education and health.
So why such screeching reversals? Simply, the Tories are now in panic-stricken disarray.
Phillips also quotes some recent examples of Cameron’s policy incoherence:
So he is committed to match Labour’s top-down spending in education and health services – and yet is simultaneously talking about empowering ordinary people through directly elected local government mayors.
Such incoherence is the result of a strategy that is all about perception and spin. With no goal other than to get into Downing Street, substance becomes irrelevant.
Phillips ends with a fascinating last paragraph:
When voters mutter to each other about a party leader “Say what you like about what he believes, at least you know where you stand with him”, the electoral battle is all but won.
Try saying that, first about Mr Cameron and then about Mr Brown.