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Weak David Cameron is more ‘Borgen’ than ‘Game of Thrones’

17 July 2014

11:01 AM

17 July 2014

11:01 AM

I don’t know if David Cameron was trying to tell us something about Michael Gove’s prospects as chief whip by comparing him to the Hand of the King in Game of Thrones. Things don’t really turn out very well for the hands, generally; Jon Arryn was poisoned, Ned Stark was beheaded, Tyrion ended up in prison and Tywin, well, I wouldn’t want to spoil anything for people still catching up.

Neither can we know if the prime minister is really a fan of the show or referencing it was simply another focus group-led thing, like moving Michael Gove out of education and bringing in lots of women. Most heavyweight commentators have been scathing about the reshuffle, among them Max Hastings, Peter Oborne and our own Charles Moore, spiritual leader of Britain’s 15m conservatives, who has called it the worst in 25 years.

I don’t have a fixed opinion of Gove; he seemed to be making the necessary reforms but some very sane and even fairly conservative teachers I know couldn’t stand him. But the message this sends, that if the Conservatives’ natural enemies make enough of a fuss they will get their way, is an awful one.

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It also proves the point that the Tories are always unsuccessful when they try to court the Twitterati, the urban, liberal, Nice Left who take the Bridget Jones view of Conservatives. Gay marriage, for example, which won the party precisely four converts and lost them about 800,000, made no sense politically; likewise trying to win over gender feminists who think there need to be more women at the top. This is only something that excites and angers people who will never vote Tory.

So as soon as loads of women were appointed, most attention focused on the fact that Nicky Morgan, the new equalities minister, voted against gay marriage. The monster! (Why do we have an equalities minister? Did we lose the Cold War or something?)

I suppose it could be clever politics from Cameron if it ends up winning him the election, but it makes him look weak; he’s certainly not the sort of man you want ruling the Seven Kingdoms. Cameron conservatism has far more in common with Borgen, the brilliant but drippingly wet centre-Left Danish drama in which a succession of good-thinking Scandis compromise around safe, secular, uncontroversial social democrat politics. Cameron wouldn’t be Birgitte, obviously, she’s too cool; more like Lars Hesselboe, the self-satisfied Liberal Party leader.

I suspect that come next May 7, which should coincide with Series 5 of Thrones, the big winner from this week’s events will be Renly Miliband.

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Show comments
  • StephanieJCW

    ” Gay marriage, for example, which won the party precisely four converts and lost them about 800,000, made no sense politically”

    I get your point, but if something’s the right thing to do surely a principled party should do it?

  • Tim Baker

    Miliband is too clever for Dave.

  • Terry Field

    More bugg*red than Borgen.

  • Gizzard Puke

    100% correct sir!

  • Terence Hale

    Hi,
    That was the weak that was.

  • Damon

    “It also proves the point that the Tories are always unsuccessful when
    they try to court the Twitterati, the urban, liberal, Nice Left who take
    the Bridget Jones view of Conservatives.”

    I broadly agree with you, but then what to do? Ah, you will say, simply return to core Conservative values. Just like Hague and IDS did, of course, when tacking to the right won them ALL THOSE ELECTIONS. Eh? Eh?

    I merely point out that, from a Conservative viewpoint, there are no easy electoral solutions.

  • global city

    Borgen? is that Scandinavian for Mr Bean?

  • Jez

    Cameron lost the last election in the face of a dead duck Labour government with this world view.

    To be honest, the past and present governments of this land have now almost successfully fulfilled their reasons of existence; a long term strategy to become so weak as to be an irrelevance not only to the World but domestically also.

    This EU thing. The Tories relationship with this monolithic crack addict of a superstate is the one of a perpetually crushed spouse in he face of his or hers publicly cheating adulterer partner.

    “We’re going to sort this out!”…….. “The new strategy will work”……. “I’m in charge now, so it’s going to be better”

    It’s not going to be better.

    Global irrelevance, domestic fracture, social breakdown & Islamist dominance is going to long term help all of these minority interest groups that have fought hammer and tooth to undermined GB, just to get one up.

    • global city

      Yes. “I can change him” is the saddest and most plaintive assertion you hear, often just weeks before the poor girl’s found dead at the hands of the partner.

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