Andrew Allison

Archive for the ‘Cameron’ Category

Labour woes, part…? I’ve lost count.

In Brown, Cameron, Conservatives, labour on November 29, 2007 at 10:40 pm

And so it goes on. I said yesterday that Brown come become the most embattled prime minister in recent history. With events moving so fast, I think he has become just that.

An opinion poll in the Telegraph tomorrow puts the Conservatives 11 points ahead of Labour – 43 to 32. Two months ago, Labour enjoyed the same lead. The Met will be feeling the collars of Gordon Brown and his entourage. Harriet Harman has failed to register loans she received to help fund her campaign for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party. Peter Hain has admitted he has not declared £5000.

Iain Dale predicts Harman will be gone by Monday. I think he is right. If she has any honour, she will resign as Deputy Leader and resign as Leader of the House of Commons before she is pushed. She has so clearly broken the law. If a Tory had done that, I can just hear the condescending platitudes emanating from her. She will now have to swallow some harsh medicine. With worries that the economy it set for a downturn and Brown’s crisis management non-existent, Labour must now realise that their time in power is coming to an end; and it can’t come soon enough.

Cameron on ‘Parky’

In Cameron on November 11, 2007 at 2:05 pm

I watched David Cameron being interviewed by Michael Parkinson on the television last night. He told a very funny story which you can read here.

He may have had the finest education money can buy and have come from a privileged background, but he has the common touch and this is a huge advantage for the Conservative Party. I couldn’t imagine Gordon Brown being as comfortable on a show like that. After his disastrous appearance on Jonathan Ross’s show some time ago, Cameron opened up to the warm interviewing style of ‘Parky’ and interacted well with the other guests. Being on that show has given Cameron a chance to communicate with sections of the British public who would never watch a political interview; and he succeeded. Good on him.

PMQs

In Brown, Cameron, PMQs on October 24, 2007 at 9:47 pm

Gordon Brown will be glad of the rest from PMQs. The State Opening of Parliament has come at just the right time. Once again he shows how rattled he gets when David Cameron turns up the heat. Cameron on the other hand how cool he is on the big occasion. As the months roll by, the voters will be able to judge for themselves which one they think is the better leader; someone who is easily rattled or someone who is cool in a crisis.

We may have been glad to see the end of Tony Blair, but we all know how he would have reacted to David Cameron during their exchanges in the past three weeks. At the very least, we could have confidence that Blair was a cool head when a cool head was needed. Since the wheels have started to come off the Brown premiership, we no longer have the confidence our new prime minister will react in the same way. Cameron is looking more prime ministerial and his front bench team are looking more like ministers. More of the same please.

What does the future hold for Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems?

In Blair, Brown, Cameron, Chris Huhne, Conservatives, labour, LibDems, Ming Campbell, Nick Clegg on October 16, 2007 at 4:39 pm

The past two and a half weeks have been the most politically volatile anyone can remember for a long time. The opinion polls are not to be trusted. They are jumping everywhere and yesterday we saw the first casualty of Brown’s ‘non-election.’

Now is a good time to pause and think. This is what the Lib Dems will have to do to make sure their new leader is the right one, and this will give them a problem.

When John Major became Foreign Secretary after the departure of Geoffrey Howe, the country said, ‘John who?’ He was in the cabinet, but the post of Chief Secretary to the Treasury is not a prominent job, but by the time he became Chancellor of the Exchequer a few months later he was a household political name. This gave him the springboard he needed to go for the leadership after Thatcher was pushed out.

Tony Blair was a leading light in the Labour Party long before he became leader. He had made quite a name for himself as Shadow Home Secretary. The electorate – at least those even with a passing interest in politics – knew who he was.

The same can also be said for Ming Campbell. We should not forget his performances in the House of Commons as Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesman. He has a fine grasp of world affairs and he made a name for himself before, during and after the invasion of Iraq.

When it comes to Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg, the same cannot be said of them. They are known to people who are actively involved in politics; but not to the public at large. If you are not well known, you have to be a natural leader, good at getting your point of view across. You have to be able to command a stage. David Cameron wasn’t really known when he became leader of the Conservative Party, but he is proving himself to be strong, cool under fire and has built a very strong team around him who look and sound like ministers; not shadows.

The future of the Liberal Democrats relies on either Huhne or Clegg doing a Cameron. From what I have seen, I don’t think they have it in them. They are both ambitious – which is not a sin – but they don’t stand out from the crowd. For the first time in over ten years the government has real opposition from the Conservative Party. Gordon Brown is right to be worried. What goes through his mind when he looks at his ministers and how they perform, and then looks across at the opposition front bench? Brown has to shoulder the responsibility though.

If he had allowed his ministers more than a few minutes to speak at the party conference, instead of pouring all the attention on his very dull speech, one or two of them may have shone. He didn’t and they didn’t which gave George Osborne, Liam Fox, David Davis, et al, a head start. And they took advantage of this with devastating effect. It was a coming of age for many of the Conservative front bench team and the public can also see that David Cameron isn’t threatened by the talent he has around him; unlike Gordon Brown, who would rather be surrounded by ‘yes’ men. You can see this by his choice of Chancellor of the Exchequer and how he performed last week. We know who is in charge at the Treasury and his name isn’t Alistair Darling.

When all the dust settles and the Lib Dems have their new leader, we will see three party leaders who will lead their respective parties into a general election. David Cameron and his team are the strongest now and I can’t envisage that changing. Gordon Brown’s dithering has cost him dearly and judging by his body language of late, he knows it better than anyone.

Magpies

In Burnham, Cameron, Osborne on October 13, 2007 at 3:44 pm

You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.’

I don’t think anyone involved in politics needs to be reminded that it was Margaret Thatcher who spoke those immortal words. Unfortunately – or fortunately depending on your point of view – ‘U’ turns seem to be the order of the day for the government at the moment. The latest is on tax relief for married couples. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Andy Burnham, says, “It’s not wrong that the tax system should recognise commitment and marriage.”

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said: “For two years, David Cameron has been making the case for recognising marriage in the tax system and Gordon Brown has been attacking him for it.
“Now one of his minions appears to say we are right.
“This is further confirmation that we are in command of the agenda in British politics and the government doesn’t know whether it is coming or going.”

You can understand why the Conservative Party will be reluctant to spill the beans on their tax plans in the near future. I hear the cabinet are going on a works outing this evening to Covent Garden. I understand they are watching the Royal Opera perform Rossini’s, ‘The Thieving Magpie.’

Qutoes via BBC News

A week is a long time in politics

In Brown, Cameron, Ming Campbell on October 9, 2007 at 6:50 pm

A week is a long time in politics. Just over a week ago the Conservative Party looked dead and buried. We were well behind in every opinion poll and it looked like Gordon Brown would call a snap general election and increase the Labour majority.

Since then George Osborne announced very popular tax measures. The Conservative front bench spokesmen all gave good speeches attacking government policies. Liam Fox gave a blistering attack on Gordon Brown’s visit to Basra when he used out troops as political footballs. David Cameron gave the speech of his life. The Conservatives enjoyed a poll lead in marginal constituencies and then Brown calls off the election. Then today the Chancellor of the Exchequer passes off Conservative policies as his own.

Yes, all of this has happened in just over a week and today the Conservative Party is once again seen as a party of government. Our polices have proven popular and we have the government on the back foot. When asked by a reporter yesterday whether he would have called an election if the polls had predicted a Labour 100-seat majority, he said no. He is either so deluded that he really believes his own spin, or he thinks he can lie his way out of anything and everything.

The Conservative Party needs to keep on going the way it has been for the past week. The Liberal Democrats need a new leader. If Ming Campbell remains in his job they will soon be polling in single figures. In the south of England this meltdown is likely to benefit the Tories and in the north, Labour. This could make the results in marginal constituencies very interesting, but we are going to have to wait at least another 18 months for a general election and LibDem fortunes may – and probably will – improve by then.

I have been critical of David Cameron of late. I have said on my blog I feel duped by him. After his performance last week and the revival of – what I would call – traditional Tory policies, I now feel reassured we are getting back on track and preparing for government. Gordon Brown dithered for too long and missed his opportunity to get another five years. We have to capitalise on that as if our lives depend on it, otherwise we will be out of government for the best part of twenty years.

Cameron backs cannabis for medicinal use

In Blair, Cameron, cannabis on January 22, 2007 at 9:48 pm

I got this one from Ellee Seymour.

This is a subject close to my heart. A few years ago a vicar friend of mine was diagnosed with MS. ITV followed him to Amsterdam where he smoked cannabis – legally – in a bar. He continued to use cannabis until he died. He said it was the only thing to give him relief from his pain. We should not be criminalising a section of society. MS sufferers are not drug dealers. They do not peddle their wares on street corners. They are simply coping in the best way they can with a terminal illness.

It was also good to see David Cameron give a straight answer to a straight question. I can’t imagine Blair doing the same.

Calling Planet Blair

In Blair, Cameron, Home Office on January 10, 2007 at 10:20 pm

After hearing the exchanges between Tony Blair and David Cameron today, I couldn’t help wonder what planet Blair is on. The Home Office is a massive, sprawling department, with so many responsibilities. When Cameron asked him on whether he agreed with Conservative policy on a having a minister – with cabinet rank – as a homeland security minister, Blair said no again.

When it is suits him, the PM can’t stop talking about security issues. If it is so important, why not have a cabinet minister responsible for it? It would ease the Home Secretary’s workload and – you never know – might help in getting the Home Office fit for purpose again.

If Blair is serious about homeland security and sorting the Home Office out, then why does he not do something practical?

Labour are a shambles

In Blair, Brown, Cameron, Conservatives on December 17, 2006 at 3:07 pm

So a spokesman for Blair says the leaked memo has not come from No. 10. Well they would, wouldn’t they? Read it here.Whether it has or it hasn’t, makes no difference to me. They are a shambles; they know they are a shambles and they know the electorate have the same opinion.

Bring on Gordon. The dour Scot, who will try to distance himself from Blair, even though he was Chancellor for 10 years, will be no match for a revitalised Conservative Party under Cameron.

Shambolic, tired, sleaze ridden. What ever you call it, this government is on the way out.