It was a wonderfully subtle point by the Sunday Times. They run a profile of Andy Coulson, the Tory’s new communications chief, and beneath it a piece by David Cameron showing yet again just how badly Coulson is needed. He starts off agreeing with Blair – that the Tories were backward-looking losers. (Remind me, David, which party got the most votes in England in the 2005 election?
Then he again misrepresents those who believe in grammars, saying they want to go “back to the 11-plus” and want “some mythical policy of a grammar school in every town” (no myth: both Hague and Major wanted this). The Graham Bradys of this world just believe grammars work and want them expanded, where demand exists.
Finally he appears to be against calls for Muslims to better-integrate in Britain, saying it offends Muslims who don’t integrate. That’s as maybe, but self-segregation encouraged by the multiculturalism agenda is a problem that concerns Conservatives and should not be so contemptuously dismissed.
Cameron’s picture is on dartboards in Tory constituency offices all over England right now, his immediate task is to address that. I’m told that Cameron is still in Crete today: perhaps this is why he hasn’t quite realised how bad things are with the party. I hear a poll is on its way later tonight which will hammer this point hope.
PS The spin from Gordon Brown is “no spin”. So I don’t believe for a moment that the straight-batting civil servant Michael Ellam – who will take the title of communications director – will do the job for real. Brown’s problem is that his team is geared to character assassination. It works brilliantly, but new skills are needed now.