Friday, November 06, 2009

Cameron: "Fear of Getting Things Wrong Inspires Me More Than the Wonder of Getting Things Right"

Geordie Grieg's interview with David Cameron in today's Evening Standard us well worth a skaz. His tremendous likeability comes across well. You just can't imagine Gordon Brown giving an interview like this.

In the interview Cameron speaks very warmly of Boris and even floats the idea of Boris entering Number Ten...

Mr Cameron gave his most frank insights into his relationship with London's Mayor, insisting he is one of Boris Johnson's biggest fans but that the Mayor also “occasionally puts his size 10 feet in it”.

He admits Boris caused a problem by suggesting on the eve of the Tory party conference that they should have a referendum on Europe. “We managed to extinguish the fuse he lit. What it did not show was a deep split in the Conservative Party. It was more cock-up than division.”

Did Boris apologise? “I do not want to go into private conversations but all is well in the Dave/Boris relationship.”

Is the Mayor too much trouble? “Would I rather have some faceless bureaucrat running London who could not pull a crowd at the Tory conference? Or would I rather have a swashbuckling, charismatic, irresistible character who will, yes, occasionally put his size 10 feet in it? In the end I would rather have the latter.

“He is doing a fabulous job running London. I think what's happened in terms of security on public transport, trees, cutting waste, and the optimism and sense of dynamism he brings to the job, he is doing a fantastic job.”

Are they still on good terms? “We call each other, text each other, have dinner with each other's wives, we get on very well. It's a very good relationship — and a fun relationship. It's got a serious side, but it's light-hearted.” And when people say Boris should be in No 10? “Great! Good! I want people to look at the Conservative Party and say there is a huge amount of talent. It's not a one-man band, a two-man band, a three-man band.

“People who say what next for Boris?', I say the sky's the limit. He has got huge talent. I want the Conservative Party to have big figures in it.”

Perhaps the most revealing sentence, though, was this...

Unusually for a politician seeking to become Prime Minister in six months, he candidly admitted that his greatest driving force was the fear of making a mess. “Fear of getting things wrong inspires me more than the wonder of getting things right,” he said.

I suspect he is not alone in that. In fact, I know he isn't.

23 comments:

Irene said...

I thought it was an excellent interview - I can imagine him being good fun, I like him even more now

pete-s said...

I do not approve of using words that describe persons who are in a predicament that they had no means of opting out. On Guido's site they used the phrase 'window lickers', I suggested that they use another term but only received abuse.

I insult our politicians, because they richly deserve it, I try never to use terms like, 'mongs', 'spaz', etc..

John M Ward said...

He isn't alone in that: I know the feeling very well.

At local council level one is dealing with individuals at least as much as policy, and can feel that intense worry about not succeeding in solving a problem acutely.

At Westminster it's bigger stuff, but locally it's more personal. Neither is a way to avoid going grey prematurely (as I did)!

Simon Lewis said...

He doesn't mention cancelled the much needed DLR extension to Dagenham does he..

Paddy Briggs said...

Re Boris:

Anyone like to suggest ONE THING that BJ has done since being Mayor that would justify the choice of those who voted for him? Just one...

Steve Tierney said...

No sensible person denies Cameron is clever or charismatic. He plainly is. It's part of his success and part (but only part) of the parties success.

tory boys never grow up said...

"Fear of Getting Things Wrong Inspires Me More Than the Wonder of Getting Things Right"


This is hardly a visionary statement - and I suspect that the more entrepreneurial Tories would be somewhat depressed by such a statement.

simon said...

They have dinner with each other's wives? Is Boris to be trusted a deux with Mrs C?

Jimmy said...

If charm we're the only requirement he'd be great.

Perdix said...

One thing I remember about Cameron soon after he became leader of the Party was a conversation between an employee of Tory HQ and a TV reporter, outside Tory HQ.
TVR: "What do you think about Cameron?"
Emp: "He's two steps ahead."
TVR: "Two steps ahead of you?"
Emp: "Two steps ahead of everybody."

Nigel said...

>>If charm we're (sic) the only requirement he'd be great.<<

You might be in trouble, though, Jimmy.

Mirtha Tidville said...

At least Boris in No10 would have allowed us a referendum on the disease that is Europe

Paul Halsall said...

I do think Cameron came out of this interview well.

Frankly, being a kind of shy bookish person myself, I rather suspect, if it ever came to it, I would get on well with Gordon Brown.

[And I support Cameron's effective demolition job on the Eurosceptics.]

The problem is that Cameron is a front for the much more reprehensible Tory soul, which will try to assert itself when (if???) the Tories are elected.

Jimmy said...

Nigel,

Might?

Oscar Miller said...

Great interview. Cameron is truly likeable. There couldn't be a greater contrast with the present incumbant.

kinglear said...

Yes there is a wonder in getting something right.I'm glad he believes in the cock-up theory of humanity....

Lord Lavendon said...

I am sure he is charming and one of the good old boys, but his true test of leadership, will naturally be if he becomes Prime Minister....

It seems to me a lot of this depends on if he wins, how large the majority will be (Blair had a large majority so was insulated from backbench revolts , by contrast Major had a small majority so couldn't really do anything) .

tapestry said...

If Cameron is able to feel not threatened by a big beast such as Boris being alongside, this is really the end of the tiny minded Gordon Brown frightened little ego era. My God, we might be allowed to smile as we find new and exciting ways to disobey the EU...!

Unsworth said...

Well at least Cameron has sufficient humility to realise that he could make mistakes - unlike the appallingly arrogant Brown and his henchpersons. So that bodes well for measured and rational action.

tory boys never grow up said...

Tapestry

I think you will find that "big beast" usually means something else in Tory politics - but thanks for making me smile anayway

Manfarang said...

Will this person halt the decline of the UK or does he represent an ossified form of it?
Fear the future.

Lady Finchley said...

My God, do the Euro-bores have to insert themselves on every thread?!

Do not be fooled by the charm - DC is ruthless in a way that a leader should be. I have no doubt that he would sack Osborne if he wasn't doing the job. Whenever I see him striding through the HOC I am always impressed - he looks like a Prime Minister. Yet he took the time to speak with our work experience lad who attends a city academy. He put him at his ease immediately - now that's a star! And I have to admit I didn't always think so.

neil craig said...

Lots of touchy feely & no cast iron promises then.