Cameron - You are out of time, Baby
....For some time in our politics there has been a slow-swelling scepticism about government — all government — and about the wisdom and competence of government. I suspect that most of the Western world has been drifting rightwards ever since our decade-long global economic miracle began to falter.
This week’s Spectator Australia is mischievously quoting opinions from mainstream commentators offered a while ago when a group within the Opposition (the Liberal-National Coalition) began complaining that their leader (then Malcolm Turnbull) and his friends had taken the modernisation of their party a step too far, and swallowed too readily the fashionable, government-led consensus on the need for action against global warming.
The national media were as appalled and smug as you can simultaneously be. The (Australian) Daily Telegraph summed it up: “Unless [Malcolm] Turnbull can bring the climate-change dissidents to heel, the Liberals will face humiliation at the polls.” Another national broadcaster called it “signing their own death-warrant”.....
You may know what happened. The rebel faction succeeded in ousting Mr Turnbull and replacing him with one of their own, Tony Abbott, under whom the Coalition has lurched to the Right across a range of issues, especially taxation....
Lurch with me back to Britain and our own right-of-centre Opposition, still under the leadership of a modernising and moderate politician, facing our own general election soon, as Australia does.
And look at it this way. David Cameron is lucky he was elected leader some years ago. In today’s climate he would never have topped the internal Tory poll. He stays leader now because he has done a good marketing job at humanising what had become an ugly party; because of his own personal qualities of command; because of the nimble and decisive way he reacts, front-foot, to events; because his opposite number, Gordon Brown, is such a shambles; and because. . .
Well, because no big unforeseeable thing has yet tripped Mr Cameron, and no big, charismatic figure on his right stands ready to challenge him if it did.
This is not a bad situation but it is not ideal. Mr Cameron is not on the ropes, or anywhere near the ropes. But to know that you owe your continuance in office to quick-wittedness, an absence of obvious competition and the momentum of incumbency is to fall one clear notch short of security in your job.
The missing notch is this: to resonate with the mood of your times . . . to have the wind of your times in your sails . . . to sing with the tune of your times . . . to know that you and your ideas are the right shape to fit the prime-minister-sized hole in the public imagination ... these are the final securities.
Mr Cameron knows he isn’t quite right for his party’s or the electorate’s present mood. There was a moment when he was beautifully in step: the moment Tony Blair was sinking but new Britain was still riding high; the moment, post-Blair, pre-crash, when we still believed we could have it all. He rode the moment with masterly timing to achieve, then entrench, his leadership.
The moment has passed....
Dave; listen, think and act.