Friday, 4 November 2005

Davids doing great.

Very quickly, I must just post some thoughts on tonight's David Show.

1. If I am honest, I think DD has gained ground tonight and has magnified DC 's problems of substance and policy.

2. I think they both upheld a terrific showcase of modern conservatism and we'll be glad to have either and happy in the knowledge that if not now, DC will be huge soon.

3. DD managed to regain lost reputation on public speaking and enthusiasm and conviction. He will have done more to turn Tories still trying to decide.

4. But there lies the real debate, the one that the programme only got to in the final 5 mins. Both have some great ideas and differ in principle only marginally. The difference lies not in what you say, but in HOW you say it.

5. My admiration for DC lies in his determination to focus on the real election and to set a tone that cannot be thrown back at him in months and years to come. He knows that he must use this time to look like the sort of person that can win the votes of the influential swing voters, because that's how you gain power.

6. My fear with DD is that he has focussed to much on appealing to the Tory membership that when the real crunch comes he has made his bed and will have to lie in it.

7. So the question is this, can DC win it without creating a lasting image of a policy lightweight or can DD win it without becoming a screaming harpie? They have both chosen their furrow and are sticking to it with admirable determination. So it is now for the party membership, rightly observed as having an average age of over 65, to make its choice.

8. With every day of this particular campaign, I genuinely feel that people and media beyond the party are listening and watching in a way not seen for a decade. That is both a good and remarkable thing. It was said in 1997 that the next Tory PM had not been elected yet, and I think they were right.

9. Just remember, if Tony could beat Gordon, so can David. David Cameron that is.


Andrew said...

Tony has never faced Gordon in an election.

james said...

Interesting observations, Richard.

I watched the live feed for an interview after on The World Tonight, and Davis certainly raised his game. Unfortunately, Cameron lowered his from the level he was at on the same show just 2 weeks before.

I have to say, when I used to do the briefings for it, I would never have allowed someone onto Question Time as ill-prepared as Cameron. It is interesting to note, however, that Davis managed to marginally beat Cameron only by facing an ill-prepared opponent on the night, and spending a day in a hired TV studio with a hired audience running mock-ups of the likely debate; if he needs that level of prep, he's not the man for the job.

Davis continued to take massive risks with the future during the debate by continuing his endless detailed policy announcements. The idea that he could know now that £38bn of tax cuts are right in 5 years time is absurd, even without examining the detail.

Davis also showed a disingenuous streak that we should be used to in politicians but which so far seems - admirably - to be absent in Cameron. In attacking Cameron over his previous membership of the Home Affairs select committee which recommended the downgrading of ecstasy to B, he claimed Leah Betts was killed by the drug; this is untrue. Her post mortem indicated that she died as the result of consuming a massive quantity of water.

A small point you might think, but to disingenuously use the death of a young girl in your leadership bid is not what many expect of a leader.