Tag Archive for 'conservative_leadership'

Portillo on Tory inadequacy

I have a lot of time for Michael Portillo’s political analysis. In today’s Sunday Times he argues that Gordon Brown is still most likely to win the next general election. I do agree with him on that. More important however was his articulation of some of the inadequacies of today’s Conservative leadership.

Today’s Tory team lacks strength in depth. George Osborne is good but not yet weighty. David Davis is substantial, but is not part of Cameron’s project to transform the party. David Willetts and Oliver Letwin lack any sort of common touch. There is no Campbell or Mandelson. There is no Norman Tebbit either. The Conservatives have yet to find a person or a device to attract back the working-class voters who were an essential part of Thatcher’s winning coalition.

The party has chosen in Cameron the nearest thing that it has to Blair, rightly because the Tories needed to change as much as Blair changed Labour. But the prime minister is the better chameleon. Somehow he appears classless despite his public school education. Cameron will always be viewed as a toff, even though he communicates well with every group of voters. Without an unforeseeable breakthrough, the Conservatives cannot be sure of retaking Essex or the cities in Yorkshire and Lancashire that stuck with Thatcher.

Read the full article: Great polls, shame about your election chances, Mr Cameron [TimesOnline].