Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Crazy Cameron, Man With A Plan?

I have to confess that I didn't catch all of Crazy Cameron's big speech yesterday. The thought of spending over an hour watching his forehead waggling was just too much, so I chickened out and caught the highlights and media reports later.

I gather he made a big thing of Gordon Brown-Trousers' "not the time for a novice" jibe, as well he should have done. It was a typically foolish thing for the PM to say, leaving him wide open to the obvious response that the only experience Brown-Trousers has is of how to screw things up. We can live without the dubious benefits of that kind of experience, and, in contrast, Cameron's crew look positively appealing, novices or not.

Cameron seems to have taken aim at the things that really, really annoy Joe Public, too. Political correctness has run riot in recent years, and Cameron promised to control the Human Rights culture, reign in Health and Safety Madness and generally introduce some badly needed common sense into the proceedings. So far, so good, and he didn't look too bad on the economic front either, being careful not promise things that clearly can't be done - for the moment, at any rate.

Doing well, ticking all the right boxes, looking like a PM-in-waiting and yet, and yet... well, it's Crazy Cameron saying these things, isn't it? Let us not forget that until Gordon Brown-Trousers shot himself so effectively in the foot, Cameron was hated by his own party, and it was touch and go whether he would survive long after last year's conference.

He cycles to work and he's got a windmill nailed on his house. Yesterday's speech was rewritten to avoid too many swipes at the Prime Minister that would have made him look less serious and statesman-like in a time of economic crisis - scoring points by being seen not to score points, in other words. A few days ago he was offering to slap taxes on junk food to "encourage" people to eat healthy meals, and claiming to have taken up jogging and quit smoking.

You can see the pattern, can't you? And this is why I'm not convinced by this sudden commitment to common sense from a bloke who hasn't shown much interest in it before. He, or more likely someone in his party who actually reads the papers, has realised that the vast majority of people are totally fed up with political correctness, and he's seized upon it as yet another "niche" bandwagon to leap on.

For all his comforting words, Crazy Cameron lacks substance. Does it matter? Perhaps not, for the moment. Anyone will be a more welcome PM than Gordon Brown-Trousers, any party more popular than New Labour, and, let's face it, nobody could do the country more damage than Blair and Brown already have.

In other circumstances, Cameron would be a long way from being my first choice. But this isn't an ideal world and, depressingly, he's about the best of a very bad lot. Let him in, let him have a go, let's see what he can do. He might surprise us by being better than we expect. And if he doesn't, there's always William Hauge, waiting in the wings...

Billy Seggars.

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