At the end of a reasonable article in the Telegraph today, Alice Thompson quotes a fascinating comment by a Government minister: "If Cameron is a success, we might reconsider our future. He'll make Gordon Brown look very 1990s; maybe we should skip a generation too."
The Tories have failed to match up to Blair, and frankly have failed to even realise that that should have been their primary mission in life. This Government exists only through the domination of that one man.
He has now set the date for his departure and the Tories face two choices. They can lead or be led. They say that in battle, the moment that the initiative changes hands is almost tangible.
Are you feeling what I'm feeling?
Sadly Malcolm Rifkind, lovely chap that he maybe, prefers the status quo. He would be led rather than lead, as today he pulls out of the race and switches his allegience on the basis that "Ken Clarke has the popular appeal, he has the experience, he is an obvious person who can handle Gordon Brown."
Clark vs. Brown - Brown wins.
Even better record as Chancellor. Clark hung by his own tobacco stained petard. Performs marginally better than Howard, but resigns immediately because he can't be arsed.
Fox vs. Brown - Brown wins.
Fox successfully portrayed as extreme right wing and religious zealot. Fox forced back onto Tory heartland and loses seats.
Davis vs. Brown - Brown wins.
If presented with two unappealing men, we'd rather the boring one we know than the one on a mission without a cause. Party divisions caused by Davis's inability to either dominate or make friends, tears Tories apart under pressure.
Cameron vs. Brown - Cameron wins by a metropolitan mile.
Brown appears tired and driven only by personal ambition. Britain has no appetite to be led by a man who thinks it is his just reward. No new ideas, just more control and more tax. Finally people would see that he is the reason they are paying so much tax and getting so little in return.
So what would Labour do? Cameron vs. who? (Thompson suggests that weed Miliband). They would descend into almighty chaos choosing a new leader and probably end up with Brown, only now in a hideously bad mood. Best of all you end up with a divided party that loses whoever leads it.
You see political leaders provide an answer to the problem of the day. Churchill, Thatcher, Blair, MacMillan, Disraeli - they all epitomised the solution to the problems facing the nation. Depression, war, empire, economic failure, sordid sleaze.
So ask yourself - what is the problem to which we seek a solution? That's exactly it. In real terms, for the majority of people, there isn't one. All we want is someone who will hold together our rather lovely, well off, home owning, fun filled, celebrity led, car based, holiday filled lives. We want someone we can trust, who looks good and who isn't even remotely extreme. We haven't yet reached the tipping point beyond which Davis or Fox are the answers, and Ken Clark (and Rifkind) ceased being the answer to anything in 1997 and maybe well before that.
So this is it, boys and girls in Blue. One good decision now, and the polls will shift immediately and the long run in to the next GE will begin on the up. Fuck it up and we flat line until wealth is no longer sufficient protection from the ills of society and the Hamiltons / Archers / Aitkens are six feet under.