David Cameron takes the lead in the axe-race…..
We live in very interesting times, in their own special way, and for completely different reasons, all three leaders of the main political parties are in unstable positions. Ed Miliband has had a recent strong innings but is facing real problems over, amoung other things, internal Party reform in the shape of Refounding Labour. Nick Clegg is leading an increasingly restive Party, disillusioned with the sacrifices it is making to maintain its place in government and last, but no means least, David Cameron is leading a Conservative Party that is increasingly highly brassed off with his distant and ‘hands-off’ leadership style. It is not inconceivable that none of the three main Party leaders will make the next election.
Cameron’s style of governance, reinforced by the news that yet again he is on holiday, is reinforcing the sense of disconnect most people feel from an Old Etonian as Prime Minister. You would say that, people will say, after-all I am a member of the opposition Party, yet it is not just the partisan who are alinged to Labour that are disillusioned with Cameron; that notable organ of Labour-bias, the Daily Mail, headlined news of the Cameron’s new holiday adventures, ‘Cameron’s swan-off to Cornwall for their fifth break of 2011’. He was so busy in Tuscany, ‘spending time with his young family’ [sic] that he managed to squeeze in a photoshoot with a Tuscan waitress; while smashed and broken restaurants in London where burnt to the ground.
This forms a discernible pattern of behaviour with Cameron, its a pattern of behaviour which typified his handling of the phone hacking crisis; as he got even more desperate he asked us to believe that he simply hadn’t bothered checking if Andy Coulson had been involved in hacking or not. This is also often in evidence at Prime Ministers Questions where his grasp of the detail is frequently very poor indeed. It’s the pattern of behaviour of a derelict who thinks he is born to rule, not that he rules by consent of the people at all.
Cameron has never been particularly liked by the Party that elected him. It has always been a case of a love-hate relationship between him and the blue rinse brigade. Much like the Labour Party with Tony Blair, the Conservatives saw Cameron as a necessary evil to become electable again. However, crucially he has nowhere near Blair’s electoral record. Blair’s election record is what encased him in a pretty impenetrable shield and it built him a base of genuine support within Labour. Reluctance and hesitancy became, in some areas, genuine enthusiasm for Blair and his agenda.
David Cameron has nowhere near that record and nowhere near that base in the wider Party. Tony Blair delivered a huge landslide, where as David Cameron has delivered his Party a Coalition it, in private, loathes and despises. So it is that in the axe-race, following ‘Hackgate’ and the summer riots, it is now David Cameron who is looking the most likely to fall first and for that, he only has himself to blame.