David Cameron is Clegg-lite

Did you notice the almost audible gulping and stuttering from the chattering Tory websites after Ming Campbell’s sudden resignation when it was obvious that Nick Clegg would stand for the leadership? Not to mention their deeply unusual restraint since the leadership election results were announced.

I have a theory about all this and I think it deserves examination.

First of all, let us go back a couple of years.

David Cameron wins their leadership election but – for all his elan in the famous conference speech – Cameron, with his Eton/CCHQ/PR/Hooray Henry background is a recipe for not only ‘more of the same’ but more of the same with spades on for the doomed Tory leadership.

So what should their policy wonks do? Maybe they should look across the parties for a role model for their Dave. Look for someone else who is forty-ish, public school educated, has undoubted charisma and who has the strength to stand up for his principles.

I bet you that this is what the Tories did (and let’s face it it’s what they had to do) and that their fickle finger of fate landed on Nick Clegg as a Tory wet dream of someone who they found attractive and a potential role model but who was outside their mold.

Could they have looked at Nick and thought about what he would be doing? Did they think of him as they went through their cringe-making ‘hoodie’ phase. Did they think of Nick Clegg as Dave made it with the huskies and then made his extraordinary conversion to the environment (now seemingly more or less abandoned).

I believe that when they went through their Nick Clegg copycat phase, they forgot that they all joined the Tory party. The greedy Tory party who, no matter what their CCHQ do to try to stimulate their brain cells, only come to life when they are promised relief on death taxes.

The Tories’ current silence is intriguing – and it is possible that we owe to Ming Campbell a debt even larger than we thought. That by his sudden and decisive resignation, he delivered into the current political scene a leader who Tory HQ had chosen a template for their own leader – but who their party membership would never, ever allow.

The Tory Leader is Clegg-lite and I hope that some of his knee-jerk policies will be exposed to some very energetic Liberal Democrat scrutiny in 2008.

Mary Rose Gliksten is a member of Windsor Liberal Democrats.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • lib dem councillor in manchester defects to Cameron lite:))

  • Derek Young 2nd Jan '08 - 4:49pm

    I have to agree with Gavin (and the Whiskey Priest blog his post links to). Why are we concentrating on what the Tories think? There are only 190-odd Tory seats, and there are likely to be more, not fewer, after the next election. Conclusion: trying to win over Tory voters is bizarre in most of the country, though perhaps not in Windsor – in Scotland there’s only 1 Tory MP out of 59. By contrast, there are 360-odd Labour MPs, including 40 in Scotland, several of whom were looking over their shoulder at Lib Dem challengers. They are likely to be feeling much more relaxed the more we talk about Cameron, and now that we have a leader who is constantly being compared to him, whether by Lib Dem bloggers or by the general media.

  • Hywel Morgan 2nd Jan '08 - 5:59pm

    “Labour seat” is sometimes a bit of a misnomer. Many of the seats we won in 2005 had been target seats from the Tories in 1997.

    I think all of the 2005 gains were either Tory or Lib Dem held at some point in the recent-ish past.

  • “So what should their policy wonks do? Maybe they should look across the parties for a role model for their Dave. Look for someone else who is forty-ish, public school educated, has undoubted charisma and who has the strength to stand up for his principles.”

    Exactly right, but their chosen man was Tony Blair.

  • The Lib Dems are always accused of looking inward. Nothing changes. What a load of self obessessed tosh.
    Gavin Whenman is at least engaging in the real world. Unless others do, we are in trouble

  • Sean Hilhorst 3rd Jan '08 - 4:38pm

    I urge Nick Clegg as a new and visionary leader of the third party in Britain to follow in Ming’s footsteps and stride onto the international stage with a new agenda that promotes peace not war. The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, is clearly unable to fulfill this role. Will Nick attend or show his support for our “Disarmament and Globalisation” conference at SOAS on Monday 7th Jan. Read Freedland in the Guardian yesterday, on Gordon’s role in 2008. http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,,2234009,00.html

  • The Mary Rose is a national treasure which could soon be lost.

    That is the stark warning from the team that helped to raise the political warhorse 25 years ago.

    Admiral Sir Crufton Thamescruiser, chief executive of the trust, said the old girls fate will soon once again be in the hands of the electorate of Windsor.

    He said: “If we aren’t successful, the outlook would be very gloomy indeed.

    If there is no voting for her, then at the end of the day there will be no Mary Rose. It is as stark as that.

    “Eventually the Mary Rose will cease to be an attraction, she would have to be disposed of…sold for firewood, who knows?”

    Political archaeologist Dr Doomand Gloom helped to raise the artifact and he has devoted most of his working life to the Mary Rose.

    He said: “If we had to stop showing her to the public, it would negate everything we did 25 years ago.

    Mary Rose is 437

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