Wednesday, February 21, 2007

In the Telegraph Today...

If you'd like to read my debut column in today's Daily Telegraph click HERE. It's a look at the aftermath of the ICM/Guardian poll and where Project Cameron should go from here. Key bullet points from the article...
* Why Tory champagne should stay on ice
* Why Edward Leigh is wrong
* What breaking the 40% barrier means
* Phase 2 of Project Cameron
* The right way to develop policy
* Learning from the Thatcher opposition
* Francis Maude & the rebuilding of the Party organisation
* David Cameron's Reaganesque qualities

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, does he walk on water too Iain? Bread into wine?

Actually all this talk of fluid is appropriate, the man is an empty vessel, ready to pour in the latest focus-group polled fuzzy policy. He hasnt a principled bone in his body. This country is in dire trouble indeed

Adam said...

I am not sure that a Reagan rhetorician would be of great use in any case; the way that the American personality politics works, you can get away with spouting hollow sentimental drivel if you push one of a handful of emotional buttons and there aren't really any significant rewards for displays of sophisticated thinking or even competence (although incompetence will be punished. Eventually. Sometimes) on the part of leaders. I think that what Cameron needs, as you say, is to capture some zeitgeist yes, but also to really appear to be competent.

Of course, appearing competent is judged by comparison with the alternatives and for that, Cameron should buy the Labour government several rounds of drinks (the good stuff, too).

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

so Iain, have you sold out to the Berkley - we own the Torygraph but we're really new labour -twins?

chatterbox said...

Excellent article Iain, and hopefully the first of many.

Peter from Putney said...

Re the ICM/Guardian poll - Gordie has only himself to blame, doing his impression of Kinnock at the infamous Sheffield eve of poll "celebration", strutting his stuff around the globe - imagining the top job was already his - we, the English, don't go for that.
He should get back to the Treasury and concentrate on the bloody job he's paid to do, no matter how incompetently.It's just as well for him that TB is committed to go by late summer, before the whole massive charade he has overseen comes crashing down and some other poor s*d is left to pick up the pieces.

Alex Swanson said...

I've left a comment on the DT website and won't repeat it here, but will make two more points which I didn't previously. Any high poll levels - which of course in themselves I welcome - should not be taken as evidence of any success on the part of Cameron's team, or proof that they are following a correct long-term strategy. This current lot are so appalling that high Opposition support among voters should be achievable from anyone half-way competent. And why Cameron gets TV coverage which Michael Howard or IDS didn't is obvious. He's much more in tune with the soft-left media bias than they were.

verity said...

Alex Swanson - good points. No coverage for very good men yet Dave is drowning in coverage. That tells us he is one of theirs.

I have an instinctive dislike of this invidivual. Something about him does not ring true.

Vienna Woods said...

Ah, Yes..Reagan! Wasn't he the befuddled clown that in a speech before the cameras, related his experiences (and heroics of course) during WW2, only to be discovered later was part of a film he starred in. Yet another American president full of bluff and bluster. Not a good example Iain. I echo the remarks posted by "adam" and "alex swanson" and would suggest that Cameron has to stop dancing around the easy decisions and get to grips with serious issues instead of emulating the disastrous Mr Blair.

Voyager said...

Telegraph voters won't win seats Iain, they are too concentrated in the Home Counties.

You really must start to move out of the self-defined box of Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Berkshire, Dorset, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire......and The Telegraph ain't it

fr said...

Interesting to see how the boys at the Telegraph put a negative headline on a mostly positive article.

Helen said...

The trouble is, Adam, that Reagan said a lot more than just sentimental twaddle, as you imagine in your oh-so-superior-to-Americans attitude. Just read his articles and radio broadcasts before he was elected. A lot of very cogent ideas there. And, of course, he achieved rather a lot but, you might argue, that Cameron has not been given a chance to put his high-taxing, state-obsessed, greenie policies into practice.

Londontory said...

He hasnt a principled bone in his body.

I don't think that is true for a minute, we don't know The Full Cameron yet and we should be ready to trust him until we do.

Excellent article Iain, is there anything you can't do?

Chad said...

For newbies, I'm sure they'd find it hard to believe that little over a year ago you were running David Davis' solid centre-right cut taxes campaign...

Newmania said...

I think thats silly Alex . It is perfectly obvious that Cameron is winning voters and I don`t even like him much. The question is whether it is actually worth winning an election on image when you have sold all rights to enact a Conservative legislative programme. there is plenty to be hopeful about so far I think .


Keep the Champagne on Ice eh Iain how ever did you think of that attention grabbing leader ?......
Sorry but it was a wee bit vanilla flavoured. Not a bad article but too safe for my liking and suffered a bit in comparison with Heffers tremendous broadsides just above you

I suppose there isn`t anyhting all that interesting to say about the Poll but if I had been doing it this is the sort of thing I would have had a thing about .

1 How does this work in terms of seats , where are these votes coming from and do they really translate into seats
( You did mention Francis Maude`s efforts but some figures would be good here )
2 What can we expect the Labour Party to do about this in the run up to the election. Where are the Conservatuives vulnerable
3 How does this compare to previous mid terms blues opinion polls



Mmmm I suppose there isn`t alot to do with it whatever you do .On reeflection, good job , dull subject

Anonymous said...

Alex Swanson-if it were possible to be 200% right you just did it!
Maude will be pleased-rewards for I/D to follow after a decent interval?
Dale should pin this article on his wall ready to read on election night-Leigh will be proved right!

Anonymous said...

Iain is this one of your sites
http://peteblogging.blogspot.com
please check Blackpool on side bar
if its your site and this came out then bye bye North West.

Anonymous said...

Repeat the phrase 'Main Stream Media' and 'Dead Wood Press' - Oh, How are the mighty fallen !

Mind you, you might be able to cajole a 'free lunch' from Jeff Randall..

Anonymous said...

Hmmm..tempting fate to mention the word 'Teflon' in the same sentence as Cameron..but now at least we know why you are buying a new Audi !!

Helen said...

I don't think that is true for a minute, we don't know The Full Cameron yet and we should be ready to trust him until we do.

Why? Should it not be the other way round? Besides we do know quite a lot about his views on such matters as, for instance, education, health care, taxes.

Newmania said...

DIZZY seems to see the debut in a distinctive way

"I wonder how Iain feels about having Heffer on top of his column?"

Anonymous said...
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tom_r said...

I think the policy groups will finally show whether Cameron can back up the media savvy with some real substance. I hope he doesn't take the latest polls as a reason to be less radical with education, health, etc.

jailhouselawyer said...

A well written article, that is without doubt. However, information is power. And, politics is about power. It is also about image and presentation and trust. When the rank and file become involved in sleaze, and a conspiracy to play dirty emerges then the Tory Party will suffer.

The blogosphere has now become an element in British politics. One Tory blogger recently commented that the British political blogosphere is a convivial place. However, there is evidence to the contrary which Iain Dale must by now be aware of.

A survey shows that this particular house needs cleaning up before it can be sold to any prospective buyer. The House of Cards is in danger of collapsing. It is not so much, you may think that but I couldn't possibly comment. Those words were written and spoken before the blogs became a force to reckon with. Now people are not only thinking but are also prepared to comment.

judith said...

1. It is a big, big mistake to believe the DT is only read by Tories.

2. I can't help thinking that if Cameron was getting 90% approval on EVERY poll, some of the posters here would still be carping and moaning.

He is beginning to 'beef' up his speeches and interviews, as Iain noted, and seems to me to be fulfilling his overall plan extremely well, which argues an efficiency and organisation somewhat superior to our last two leaders, much as I liked them both personally.

Adam said...

Helen, I have no 'oh so superior to Americans' attitude. I like Americans, and America, very much. However, I do think that because a President is elected directly (unlike a British Prime Minister), personality politics and direct appeal to sentiment become prime weapons for presidents and presidential candidates. It's a function of the political system in America, particularly the election of the President, not an observation about Americans.

I am familiar with Reagan's speeches. As an aside, I think that in his first term he was a good president, but are you seriously saying that his speeches weren't largely the saccharine condensation of complex ideas into soundbite confections? It's only a part of the business of government, but the direct appeal to voters that US presidents have to practice is bound to produce about the same level of intellectual content as you see in television advertisements, because it's aimed at the same general audience.

I am also no Cameron groupie. On economics, I am Mr Evil Meany Conservative.

My observations about US presidential politics would be, in essence: personality politics dominates, presidents spout a lot of sentimental crap to their benefit, the American voter is not particularly impressed by 'nuance' but does want to feel that the person they're electing is a Good Man (or woman, as the case may be). It's just the business of getting elected; I don't see why you'd be in disagreement with it, as an American or someone that closely observes US politics. There are other significant elements that I haven't mentioned because they aren't relevant to Iain's piece, like the ability to raise really very large sums of campaign cash, to mobilise the party base, to have a really good GOTV operation, etc; I was commenting on the comparison with Reagan as a rhetoritician.

Your last point, about Reagan having had the chance to do stuff and Cameron being unproven, is exactly my point where I say that he needs to appear to be competent (because obviously, currently he has no power). The British electorate will value a 'safe pair of hands'.

simon said...

Hmmmm, the article was quite ordinary Iain. No mention of turnout (or the lack of it) impacting on an election result. I see you mentioned that DC must capture the 'public mood' as the Bliar did in 1997. That won't happen. People won't get fooled again. Blair's greatest legacies may well be Iraq, and damaging the public's trust in politics and politicians for good.

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Johnny Norfolk said...

How much did they pay you for that Iain. as it was a good piece that shows what is wrong with the party.

Guessedworker said...

Cameron's polling is built on the shallowest of foundations. Long-term voter committment, OTOH, is built on principle - and not that of the politician, particularly, but that of the electorate.

Cameron will win a GE, but he will be the last British Prime Minister to believe in the corruptibility of the electorate, for meaningful issues - not just money and lightweight feelgood issues - are coming over the political horizon. The zeitgeist will change over the next decade, and Cameron is simply not equipped to deal with it.

Marcusian said...

yCameron has done well by making 'neutral' statements on 'neutral' issues...nothing more.

He juxtaposes words like 'social' to make him seem more caring, yet will make claims to be Thatcherite when it suits.

He is constantly kite-flying ideas, hoping people like Ian Dale (blog 'warrior' who it appears has got his wish to use the blog as a springboard, congrats to him for that) will call it a clause four moment, or some Clause 2.4 moment as you so awkwardly put it.

The ICM poll, not good reading for Labour, but its too early to start worrying. Cameron's wishy-washy rhetoric isnt attached to any policies let alone ideologies, and i still think Gordy will be able to actually rebut all the shit that the wrong-wing press are throwing at him once he becomes leader...

peteblogging said...

Anon, 10.02

No, I am not Iain. I have responded to your comment on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Iain - is there any web site which can predict what the make-up of the commons will be on the basis of opinion polls results? I remember the BBC did something like this in the run up to the last election. Thanks.

Caroline Hunt said...

Very good article! I even managed to read all of it which with my attention span is impressive.

Matt said...
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Anonymous said...
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jailhouselawyer said...

caroline hunt: I had noticed that you appeared to lack some of the old grey matter. Look around a bit most people have more than one brain cell, you may have struck lucky...

antifrank said...
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