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What should David Cameron learn from Boris?

Picture 2 James Forsyth has covered the "Boris v Dave story" in his political column in this week's Spectator and it is well worth reading.

He begins by pointing out the similarities and contrasts between the pair:

"Both Boris and Dave are, of course, Old Etonians who graduated to Oxford and then the Bullingdon Club. But they are not cut from the same cloth. The Mayor’s friends enjoy pointing out that he went to Eton on a scholarship. Cameron supporters retort that while Boris left Oxford with only a 2:1, Cameron took a First. Their styles are also opposites: one suave and assured, the other dishevelled and chaotic. Boris says what he thinks almost without thinking. Cameron’s pronouncements are carefully calibrated."

Boris has of late placed himself to Cameron's Right by taking a more robust line on Europe, the 50p tax rate and bankers' bonuses - which infuriates those around the party leadership; but where should the would-be Prime Minister perhaps be swallowing some pride and learning from the mayor of London?

Forsyth points out that much of what the party is promising in government on transparency is already being done at City Hall, for example, and that there are close links between the policy-makers at City Hall and CCHQ. But most significantly it is the mayor's political style from which Cameron should learn, asserts Forsyth:

"Boris’s secret is his authenticity: voters feel that they are getting what they see and not being spun a line. They respect that. The rough edges in politics are, often, what shows the public who a politician really is. When someone is going against the received wisdom or taking a risk, you know that they mean what they are saying. Cameron’s fault is that he is perhaps too perfectly presented, too polished, too preoccupied with spin."

Read the full piece here.

Jonathan Isaby


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