As the election campaign unfolds, we are finding out more about David Cameron the man and what kind of Prime Minister he would make and what kind of Britain he wants to build…
It’s not pretty, in fact it’s more than a little scary. In any other election and under almost any other circumstances, his campaign would have unravelled completely by now and he would be fighting for his political life but facing Gordon Brown and under the shadow of a near economic collapse and an actual collapse in the public finances, he looks set to win.
The unpalatable truth is that many of the electorate are so desperate for change and so anxious to be rid of Gordon Brown and New Labour that they are prepared to vote for almost anyone who offers them a different and even slightly positive message.
The other truth is that the Conservatives will say and do almost everything to get elected and we have already seen a number of policy changes such as the decision to promise to cancel the increase in National Insurance Contributions (NIC) and now we have seen a change on the issue of tax relief for married couples.
With this latter policy shift we have seen the true face of David Cameron, the Conservative populist. Implementing a policy close to the heart of the Daily Mail may go down well with the Mail readership but it removes the last lingering pretence that Cameron is a “liberal conservative”.
Here’s the truth – Cameron is a Conservative on social matters. He believes in telling people how they should live their lives and what lifestyle they should adopt. He believes in the sanctity of marriage and is almost obsesses with the notion of “family”.
At last liberals recognise the community of interest between conservatives and socialists. Whether it’s the sanctimonious moralising of leaders or by using the levers of State, the truth is that BOTH Conservative and Labour Parties are at heart controlling and authoritarian who wish to control people’s lives, lifestyles and morality.
I’ve followed David Cameron since he became Conservative leader and while he comes over as a “nice guy”, he is, in my view, a deeply inflexible individual whose facade hides a ruthless, yet brittle character. quick to anger and slow to compromise. By any reasonable measure, he has none of the traits that a successful Prime Minister needs and the very fact he is likely to be elected illustrates the paucity of his opponents.
In office, I suspect he will become an isolated figure once the polls turn against him and the “Bunker” mentality will be stronger with him than with either Brown or Blair for his heroine is the Margaret Thatcher and his mantra is “the gentleman’s not for turning”.
I think he could very well destroy the Conservative Party in its current form and if he doesn’t manage that, he will preside over a rapid return to Opposition having not only failed to improve the country but he could very well make things a good deal worse.