Can Dave go on “out-Blairing” Tony Blair?

Can Dave go on “out-Blairing” Tony Blair?


Has he created another 24 hours not talking about Europe?

I am coming to the view that when it comes to tapping into the public mood and dominating the news agenda David Cameron is even smarter than the past-master, the leader that Labour foolishly sacked, Tony Blair.

Just consider what’s happening at the moment. There’s just one week and one day left in the campaign for five yearly election of members of the European Parliament and yet another news cycle goes by without the EU being an issue. For the reaction to the Telegraph’s MP expenses exposes and now the talk about constitutional change has simply pushed the core matter that people will be voting on off the agenda.

For David Cameron and the Tories – for whom the EU issue always has the potential to explode – this must be like Christmas coming earlier. The last thing he wants talking about is the party position on referendums on the Lisbon treaty or the grouping that his party’s MEP plan to belong to in Brussels after the June 4th election.

As an example of his skill in agenda-changing his article in today’s Guardian is a classic. He’s managing to move on from the change narrative of electoral reform to more Tory-friendly territory – the power of Number 10 Downing Street.

His carefully-worded suggestions “giving serious consideration to introducing fixed-term parliaments, ending the right of Downing Street to control the timing of general elections” pushes the debate into new territory that both highlights Brown’s refusal to go to the country and underpins Dave’s new persona as a constitutional reformer.

For to many the heart of what’s wrong with the way we are governed is the ability of the Prime Minister of the day to choose the election date. Meanwhile another news cycle goes by without the EU being an issue – something that might just impede the UKIP band-wagon.

  • On Sunday I shared a bottle of Medoc with a political observer whose insights I value and often shape my thinking. He made this comment: “Cameron is every bit the match for Blair when it come to working what to say to chime with the public mood. The difference is that Cameron has a passionate interest in politics – something that Blair never had”.
  • Mike Smithson

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