Monday, March 01, 2010

Voters are still unsure about the Tories, admits Cameron.

He really is beginning to look desperate.

In his last speech to a Tory conference before the election, Cameron said elections are never handed out on a plate as he responded to concerns that the party's campaign is faltering.

"We all know that the British people have still got some big questions that they want to ask us, and that we've got to answer," Cameron told the spring forum in Brighton in a 40-minute speech delivered without notes.

"Are you really up to it? Are you really going to make that difference?"

He attempted to address the concerns by claiming that the party had modernised and would rebuild "broken" Britain by reforming public services and tackling the record £178bn fiscal deficit at a faster rate than Labour.

Voters, he insisted, would embrace change because they would not want another five years of Gordon Brown, a man engaged in a "dangerous dance of death that is dragging this country down".

I don't know anyone who believes that Gordon Brown is engaged in a "dangerous dance of death that is dragging this country down". Perhaps in Tory circles that is how it feels living in today's Britain, but it's an experience that most of us don't share.

And, much as Cameron says that we have questions over whether or not he's the man for the job, I note that he offers no answers and continues in his relentless - and utterly unfair - attacks on Brown.
In a highly personalised attack on the prime minister, Cameron said: "What sort of genius is it that doubles the national debt?
That's a bit like attacking Barack Obama for bailing out the American banks. Nobody wanted to do it, and nobody did it without a heavy heart, but the choice was either do it or watch the entire financial system collapse.

So Cameron is, somewhere along the line, playing on an assumption that most people are too stupid to understand this. I don't think he's right in that assumption.

I think most people understand that, given a choice, no-one would have willingly bailed out the banks. The horrible truth is that we didn't have a choice.

Cameron has set out his tent on the same piece of ground which the Tea Party movement in American currently occupy, where one can feign opposition to the bailout and pretend that this was a simple matter of choice.

Indeed, Cameron has gone further, by pretending that the economic crisis which swept the world was somehow not an international crisis brought about by the US sub prime mortgage fiasco, but that it was a failing of Gordon Brown personally.

Such opportunism makes it hard to take the man seriously. Because he is demanding that we discuss current events through a prism which only his most fervent supporters can agree with.

To the rest of us, there is much fault that one can find in Brown's premiership, but to pretend that he caused the collapse of the world's financial system is simply ludicrous.

And that's my problem with Cameron. He keeps begging the rest of us to take him seriously, but we can't possibly do that until he starts treating us like adults.

For the first time in many months, I am beginning to doubt that this guy is actually going to win the next election. I have always said that he was going to walk in. That Britain was, somehow, sleep walking to the next Tory government.

But Cameron isn't even doing the minimum amount necessary to bring that about. It should be a walk in. It should be a done deal.

But Cameron isn't closing that deal. And, in his most recent speech, he sounds like he's begging to be given a chance.

And, whilst begging, he's resorting to hyperbole to denigrate his opponent.

I mean, seriously: Gordon Brown is engaged in a "dangerous dance of death that is dragging this country down"?

People who talk that way are not serious and should not be treated as if they are.

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