Sunday, December 6, 2009

Why can't David Cameron seal the deal?

Well that's what the Telegraph is asking.

The Tories' wobble in the polls shows that David Cameron needs to be respected as well as liked, argues Janet Daley. 

Why aren't the Conservatives more popular with voters? After a succession of polls showed them bumping along below the magic 40 per cent rating, ours today has them just there, with an unremarkable lead over Labour of 11 points. And Labour has actually gained ground since last month. So why aren't the Tories doing better? What can be done to prevent this becoming one of the abiding mysteries of modern political history: how did the Opposition fail to trounce, definitively and unambiguously, the worst Government in living memory?
Whether or not they admit it, the party leadership is worried by the prospect of an election that might be only barely won – or worse. Prospective candidates, even in seats which should be easily gained under present circumstances, confide to me their terror of a hung parliament and a Lib-Lab pact resulting in a proportional representation Bill being pushed through Parliament.
Goodness knows, we are not short of theories for why this should be so: too much "middle-ground" or too little? Too few policies or not enough clear principle? And the latest rendition: too much austerity in the message and not enough "sunshine"? Oh dear. The exhausting amount of critical exegesis that has been expended on Mr Cameron's every tactical move and rhetorical innovation is, in fact, very reminiscent of the careful study devoted to the man on whom he was once said to have modelled himself. Tony Blair's every pronouncement was submitted to just this kind of textual and strategic analysis – and the similarity is no coincidence.
This is typical as far as I can see of the Westminster village mode of thinking, they look at polls and they analyse, they then try to extrapolate from the results what the majority of people are thinking and then colour it to terms they understand. Heir to Blair? well that's partially it, but they haven't followed it through to see what it was about Blair that makes him so reviled in some voters eyes. It's not about rebranding and it's not about austerity, most voters know we're going through hard times and that cuts, perhaps even savage cuts are going to be needed before the countries finances move back into recovery. We aren't stupid after all, everyone knows that if you max out your credit the evil day comes when you have to pay it back. The article points out that he's likeable, but not respected, partially true, but again not the whole reason as they don't go into areas where the lack of respect resides. It's about trust.
One of the things that the Westminster bubble misses is the revulsion the average voter feels about the EU, they'll point out that when it comes to polls that the EU does not figure too highly in peoples views on what's wrong with the country. They point to crime, immigration, education etc all high on an average voters worry list and yes they are but this is a matter of trust, not policy, yes the Tories might well do better (they could hardly do worse) on crime, education or immigration, even the economy will probably be better in their hands, but that isn't where trust comes into it, what it boils down too is how do we trust a man who will not represent our views on something which does have a direct effect on immigration, crime, the economy and who effectively run this country despite all the pretensions of control our current crop of politicians try to maintain.
The BBC ran a poll that suggested that 88% of the British public want a referendum on the EU's Lisbon Treaty and what did we get? Labour and the Lib Dems reneged on the spot and the Tories dropped it after it was ratified. So the politicians might think that polls suggest the EU is low in peoples priorities, yet it does produce strong feelings and one of those feelings is that politicians can't be trusted.
We learned to our cost that Blair could not be trusted, that Gordon brown can't be trusted, that Nick Clegg can't be trusted and towards the end we learned that David Cameron can't be trusted. We can't trust them to keep their promises and we don't trust them to represent our views. That's why Cameron can't seal the deal, we don't trust him, we've seen nothing to engender trust, being a nice guy isn't enough, nor is it about respect, I don't respect people who break cast iron promises without coming up with an alternative suitable to the awful situation we're in vis the EU.
You want trust Mr Cameron? You want respect? Give us our say on the EU, you might not like what you get, but by God you'll have earned both and sealed the deal.

5 annotations:

Edgar said...

Agreed. I don't trust Cameron, either. After the Lisbon Treaty betrayal, how can he be trusted to so anything other than the temporarily expedient?

Anonymous said...

Apparently your musings are rocket science (to the party)

Me, I just agree with your obvious comments. Thanks for making them public.

I didn't trust CallMeDave before the back stabbing.

I won't vote for him because he won't address the biggest issue for the country AND he lied about that.

If you won't address europe, you cannot address the major issues facing the UK. It does NOT matter whether CallMeDave or Gorgon 'rule'...

same shit, different gravy

Not good enough Dave - wake up, or fuck off

James Higham said...

Cameron is simply a Blair clone, slightly more to the right.

tris said...

QM:

As you know by now, I'm a left of centre Scottish Nationalist, so not much of a Tory I guess, but I really don’t see how Cameron could give a referendum on a treaty that has been signed.

As I see it he promised a referendum on the Treaty if it was unsigned, but once it was law, even the mighty Great Britain couldn’t unsign it. I mean, the Lisbon Treaty brought about new laws with, new departments, new appointments, blah blah blah... We couldn’t have a situation where a year down the line, when all of this was in place, the UK had a referendum, and all these laws and jobs and departments etc, had to be disbanded, just because the UK had had a change of government. Where would that lead if everyone could do it? Malta has a change of government and brings down another treaty, then Finland....etc.

What he would have to give would be a referendum on coming out of the EU.

But he is scared to do that, because he would not want to come out of the EU, and he would have to campaign against leaving, his party would be spilt, and he would probably lose. Losing a referendum so early in his prime ministership would obviously be a huge embarrassment; he would have to resign, and Gordon Brown would lose the title of the worst Prime Minister ever in the history of the world, only months after having gained it.

Well.... Ok, it’s simplistic but that’s the way I see it. What do you think of it?

I think that what is wrong is that Mr Cameron licks credibility. He stands for nothing much. He was put in because after a series of PR disasters they needed someone youngish, goodlooking-ish, normal-ish, etc. And he fits the bill. When you think back to the young William, IDS and the ghastly Michael Howard, by comparison he’s brilliant. But there’s no substance. He doesn’t passionately believe in anything except that he wants to be PM.

But it’s too late to change him now. William Hague, now older and wiser, would be a far better bet in my opinion, and that’s nothing to do with his state education. As far as I’m concerned by the time they get into parliament they have all lost touch with how we live; by the time they become a minister more so, and by the time they get to the cabinet, they might as well come from Mars, so Eton doesn’t make that much difference.

Quiet_Man said...

tris, I realise Cameron couldn't give a referendum on an already signed treaty (well he could, but it would be a bit silly) however he did not give an alternative either, Cameron has said "never again" to powers being transferred from the UK to Brussels without a referendum. However, Lisbon is self amending there's sod all Cameron will be able to do about any new additions to it.
He also promised a sovereignty bill if the Tories win the next election to ensure the supremacy of UK laws. However, you can't get sovereignty back unless all 27 other members agree to it, trust me it isn't going to happen unless we give something else in return and we've gone too far in that direction anyway.
Cameron said to Andrew Marr on the Andrew Marr Show that...

"I don’t want an ‘in or out’ referendum because I don’t think ‘out’ is in Britain’s interests."

In other words Cameron thinks if we held a referendum on in or out the answer would be out!

In other words he's no EUsceptic either, in a lot of peoples eyes, that means he simply cannot be trusted, a Poll out in the Daily Express says that 86% of the people polled want out of the EU.
If Cameron does become the next PM, then he's out of step with the people in the UK and that will not make him popular or trusted.