Saturday, December 10, 2005

Cameron Wins

We have a new leader. For those that have been living in a box since Tuesday, David Cameron won the popular vote among Tory members and is the new leader of the Conservative Party. In fact it was a landslide, which is heartening. Cameron's analysis is that the while the last eight years of Labour government have been ghastly in many ways, they have actually happened. We can't treat it as some sort of nightmare that we can wake up from. Britain has moved on and we must address the country as it is today, not as it was in 1997. While this may seem self-evident, quite a few people disagree, or at least act as if they do. Elections are won looking forward, not back. How can anyone be involved in politics at any level and not know that?

On Wednesday it was Prime Minister's Questions, a weekly joust in the Commons between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. Cameron had been in post less than 24 hours before he had to take Tony Blair on with a significant part of the nation watching on live television. The good news is that he won hands down, wrong-footing Blair by offering to work with him on the forthcoming education bill and then talking about the environment, which has hitherto not been traditional Tory territory. That, of course, is the point. Cameron's challenge is to remake the definition of traditional Tory territory until it encompasses every key issue facing our country, not just those things that exercise the core Conservative vote. Wednesday was a pretty good start.

Cameron vows 'tough' green action