Coffee House

Cameron needs to take this opportunity

24 August 2011

4:34 PM

24 August 2011

4:34 PM

Libya has elbowed the riots off the front page. But, in the medium-term, how Cameron
responds to them remains one of the big tests of his premiership.

In the Evening Standard today, Tim Montgomerie vents the frustrations
of those Tories who fear that Cameron is missing his chance. Tim’s complaint is that Cameron has actually done — as opposed to said — very little and that the chance to use this
moment to push through a whole bunch of big, necessary changes is being missed.

With every day that passes, action on — say — the Human Rights Act becomes less likely as the Liberal Democrats become more dug in. Indeed, I expect that the Liberal Democrats will use
their conference to lay down their opposition to several of the measures that Cameron and the Conservatives have floated in the past few weeks. If Cameron does not move quickly, he will find that
he has missed his opening.

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  • starfish

    @Publius

    Bowing before your great intellect what did they vote for?

    The polls were clear and what they predicted happened

    Strange how nobody changed their minds

  • Scary Biscuits

    Couldn’t agree more, TGF. The Spectator cares more about its corrupt relationship with senior polititians than it does about its relationship with paying readers. Guess who’ll be invited to the Spectator party at the the Conservative Conference this year, people who buy the magazine or people who feature in it?

    And, James, Cameron is reaping what he has sown with law-and-order. He appointed May, Clarke, Blunt and Grieve. Weak on crime; weak on the causes of crime. Many rioters specifically mentioned weak sentences as an explanation for their behaviour.

  • Wily Trout

    What is it you want from Cameron? Not ‘eye-catching initiatives’ surely?
    It’s been quite a relief not to have dozens of new crimes invented every week, as under Nulab.

  • Publius

    Starfish writes:
    “Critics of this government need to realise that the electorate did not choose a conservative government”

    Oh please! Really, this is a tired old trope. So what did the electorate choose? Stasis? Inertia? Internal squabbling? Perpetual kicking into the long grass? Empty words?

    To suggest that the electorate chose what we now have is similar to suggesting that a man who bet on the horses chose to lose his bet when the horse fails to win.

  • TomTom

    “Critics of this government need to realise that the electorate did not choose a conservative government”

    Clearly…with public spending increasingly rapidly and another £585 billion to be borrowed by 2015 we can clearly kiss our future goodbye.

    This Government is simply increasing taxes and screwing households to pay for its profligacy. It is time they presented themselves to the electorate before the troubles this winter kill off the Conservative Party permanently

  • Derek Pasquill

    Is Cameron really Blair’s hare or does he have a few rabbits in the hat?

    I am sure the Coalition’s menagerie of bizarre circus acts, not to mention the Speaker’s wife, is due the sharp corrective of a General Election.

  • starfish

    @Tom Tom

    A general election eh?

    Yup that worked well last time……

    Critics of this government need to realise that the electorate did not choose a conservative government

    I think DC has done pretty well so far given the constraints of coalition administration.

    At least the imminent implosion of the Eurozone and the US exonomy has kept Mr Ed ‘it was nothing to do with me, we must spend more money’ Balls off the BBC for a while – funny old thing

  • Vulture

    @Perdix: Speaking as a proud member of the ‘foaming at the mouth brigade’ (Or rather ‘foaming at the beak’ as I’m in the Avian dept). I note that while you claim that ‘significant steps’ have been taken by the Coalition…you ( significantly) fail to name one of them.

    While we’re waiting for that, can I name just one of the ‘significant steps’ promised by Dave that he has significantly NOT taken: replacing the iniquitous European Human Rights Act ( under which foreign killers like the Somalian murderer of Wpc Sharon Beshenivsky get a free pass to live in Britain on benefits forever) – with a British Bill of Rights.

    So what has Dave done about implementing that pledge? Because he says its ‘difficult’ while in bed with the LIb Dems to do anything at all he has set up a commission to examine the issue. And who – just to demonstrate how seriously he takes this issue – has he put in to head the Commission? Yup, you guessed it: Nick Clegg. I think that tells us all we need to know about your precious Mr Cameron.

    As Allison Pearson remarks in today’s Telegraph: ‘The case for a British Bill of Rights is overwhelming, Human Rights can be wrongs’.

  • FvH

    @Salopian & @Perdix – fair enough to push back against the outright hatred of Cameron but there are many on here who have a more rational (but negative) view of him
    The criticism is based on the fact that he promises much but delivers little –
    he talks the talk but he does not seem able to walk the walk
    he is a PR guy. He believes he is well spoken and so he makes endless grandiose statements and speeches, but as Montgomerie points out he doesn’t understand that politics is about outputs not statements
    And so we have u-turns and lack of progress on key areas
    He is, so far, a huge disappointment
    It might be better if he made fewer speeches and lowered expectations a bit
    Also his lack of judgement on Coulson is like a ticking timebomb – we all might see it as trivial but that is not how it will play out
    4 more years of speechifying will be unbearable
    His best chance of an outright majority was last year and he blew it!!

  • TomTom

    Can we please have a General Election ? I think it is time the ruling parties accounted for themselves to voters

  • Dick Barton

    Following the link to the Evening Standard, I came across the following:

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23980757-fear-grows-of-romanian-squatting-network-as-sisters-home-is-invaded.do

    The impression is hard to escape that Mr. Cameron is a member of NATO – no action, talk only.

  • Salopian

    Never in the history of …. well, almost anything has the political world owed so little to so many back seat drivers as appear in the comments above.

    Get back to this planet guys – do you really think that Cameron has the option to do all those “right” things. He has no majority to blow him hard down wind. He has to tack again and again to make progress on the economy.

    And as Perdix says there’s some solid progress on a Tory agenda.

  • Salopian

    Never in the history of …. well, almost anything has the political world owed so little to so many back seat drivers as appear in the comments above.

    Get back to this planet guys – do you really think that Cameron has the option to do all those “right” things. He has no majority to blow him hard down wind. He has to tack again and again to make progress on the economy.

    And as Perdix says there’s some solid progress on a Tory agenda.

  • Mark Cannon

    It occurs to me that Mr Cameron would be better placed to exploit the success of his Libyan policy if:
    (i) he did not have to face silly pieces from James Forsyth about the terms on which Mr Coulson left the employment of News International;
    (ii) the UKIP mob above did not attack his every move (or non-move) in blissful ignorance of what utter twats they come over as.
    Meanwhile, it is somewhat premature to celebrate the success of Mr Cameron’s Libyan policy – success will come but it is not yet fully achieved. In the meantime, we all work better if we have some time off. Mr Cameron’s 5 holidays this year include a weekend break and a curtailed trip to Tuscany.

    If I had to put up with a tenth of the nonsense above when I had just achieved a major coup, I would tell my critics where they could go.

  • Simon Fay

    “For real change the electorate will need to look outside the main stream parties and a political class that is useless.”

    That’s unfair, Dennis – IMO the political class is worse than useless.

  • perdix

    I have to point out to you foaming-at-the-mouth types that significant steps have been made in education, health,welfare and fiscal rectitude in just over a year.

  • Publius

    Looking back, I think Cameron’s casuistical retreat from his Cast Iron Guarantee was the beginning of the end. (At the time, it was just too horrible to imagine that he could be such a two-faced equivocator.)

    I think it really did lose him the election.

    Mr Forsyth. Your piece on this in the print edition (which I have just read) is spot on. You seem more careful here than there. There you seem to make clear that this really is Cameron’s last chance to start delivering rather than merely babbling.

  • Boudicca

    Cameron is a weak, orange-book liberal masquarading as a Conservative. He lacks a backbone and will do nothing that upsets his fellow orange-bookers.

  • TGF UKIP

    For those who have not taken advantage of James’ link to Montgomerie’s piece I wholeheartedly recommend them to do so.

    It is exactly the sort of strong, forthright article that the house mag teenagers shrink from writing lest it give offence and jeopardize future invitations to Chequers and Chevening.

  • Dennis Churchill

    To a hammer all problems look like nails, so a government of lawyers under Blair just kept passing laws. Cameron is a PR man so all problems will be dealt with as a PR exercise.
    For real change the electorate will need to look outside the main stream parties and a political class that is useless.

  • Rhoda Klapp

    Another story you could have read here below the line every day since the coalition started. Yes, every day.

  • Hard Heartless Perry

    The H2B had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pull off a resounding victory over a corrupt, corrupting, and venal administration.

    Result?

    Any hope for success with something fundamental to what (I understand) is central to his aspirations? (However, I never have been clear about what the H2B ‘stands’ for).

  • FvH

    Tim Montgomerie’s piece is spot on

    he says of Cameron;

    “He’ll dazzle when the curtain is raised for the matinee performance but, backstage, Cameron doesn’t put in the hard yards to prevail over ministers, civil servants and other interest groups that exist to protect the status quo.”

    He’ll make a couple of speeches – and that will be that

    Let’s face it he has been a huge disappointment – many on here hate him because he’s a wet but even if you give him the benefit of the doubt, he has been a flop – u-turn after u-turn and key reforms getting watered down to the point they are unrecognizable

    3 / 4 more years of this will be unbearable !!

  • In2minds

    “If Cameron does not move quickly, he will find that he has missed his opening”.

    Gormless Dave will never move quickly and stop blaming the LibDems for this.

  • Peter From Maidstone

    What has Cameron actually done on any of the major issues of our time, as opposed to talking?

  • Vulture

    God, if I read another Tim Montgomerie piece urging Dave to do this that or the other I think I will thream and thream until I’m thick.

    The penny should have dropped by now that Dave will never do what Tim wants because
    (let’s take it word by word) Dave – is – not – a – Conservative.

    He’s been in office for over a year and he’s done absolutely bugger all so far but talk, so why on earth do you expect him to start now?

    He’s back in Cornwall on his fifth holiday of the year, and frankly he should stay there.

  • Clear Memories

    All this is piffle – Cameron only has one chance to save his skin and that is to call a referendum on the EU now with the voting date before the end of the year.

    This will knock the rest of the news off the front pages and allow him more time to develop policies rather than make knee-jerk decisions to please the press and the yellow peril of Clegg & Co.

    Our liabilities to that false construct need defining accurately so that the nation can decide if we want any further part of this latest German attempt to rule the world.

  • Robert Feneron

    When will it sink in with you that Cameron has no intention of doing anything remotely radical, on law and order, human rights, the EU or anything else? He is a Notting Hill , as opposed to a Hampstead (Labour) social democrat, who is able to hide behind the Lib Dems by claiming that his inability to do anything is all their fault – when in fact he is pursuing his own agenda.

    Wake up Tories!

  • Woody

    Ah yes, the Lib Dems – the opposition from within government.

  • JohnPage

    This assumes that the spineless PR europhile greenie actually wanted to do something in the first place. I doubt it.

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