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Isn't this Blair's style of leadership?

Absolutely Andrew,many of Blairs cabinet seem totally superflous.I really,really hope DC doesn't make the same mistake.

David Cameron certainly doesn't have the structured policy groups or mini-shadow cabinets that IDS and William Hague used to involve leading shadow ministers in the decision-making process.

So, who precisely is doing the 18 month policy review if its not the policy groups which have been established by DC? I doubt very much that he's sitting down himself and working out every aspect of our next manifesto (Like how Labour believe he did in 2005).

Must have something to so with youngish inexperienced leaders who seek to use PR to compensate PR for their lack of track record......

Why can't he be more like Mrs T? She was careful to consult everyone before making sweeping policy statements - she just didn't take any notice of the ones she (usually correctly) thought were talking nonsense.

Yes, Chris, DC has established policy groups outside of the shadow cabinet. When they report, who will decide which of their recommendations will be adopted as party policy? The kitchen cabinet or the shadow cabinet?

That's the worry Malcolm. Blair's style has been roundly criticised and had led to policy off the hoof and him being left in the position he's in now. To want to replicate that is quite bazirre.

Would it be too blunt to say that he knows that given the numbers of us that like to jump the gun and foam at the mouth on policy, that he is trying to manage the process rather than turn it into a free for all, otherwise we might get the end result: same old guff getting prominency that nobody is interested in. Lets face it, he has shown that they do have answers, and many of those screaming for a chance to 'help' have shown a similar ability to get us laughed at.

Sorry guys, but it had to be said.

Who is involved in these kitchen cabinet meetings? And which frontbenchers are so miffed at being left out of the meetings that they have gone running to CH to tell on the boss?
Are we going to have regular anonymous briefings from certain MP's leaking to CH if they don't feel that their view's are being taken into account or their position in the shadow cabinet properly recognised?
I for one don't want to see the kind of backstabbing tactic's we witnessed during IDS's leadership.
I would suggest that if people are going to regularly leak dodgy stories like the one on Europe a couple of weeks ago. they will find themselves out of the loop and it will have the knock on effect of causing a lack of consultation between different parts of the party.
If we are honest the conservatives have a lot of form when it comes to disloyal briefings to the press about their leaders, stop the briefings and maybe a wider circle of consultation will result.

I con't help wondering if Dave woke up one morning, asked himself what he could do to change the Conservative Party, then decided to dump the fisheries policy.

Stick to fiddling with logos Dave.

Politics seems to be so much about positioning and messaging these days, and so little about policy and direction, that DC probably feels comfortable leaving matters to an inner campaigning team.

Another way of putting that is, 'Politics appears to be more about winning than good governance.'

By his own lights, he's doing great. If the weather turns, I wonder if he'll seem quite so strong? But maybe the weather will never turn, and all will be well.

I regret that Mr Cameron's "kitchen cabinet" method shows the extent to which he has modelled himself on Tony Blair.

Would it be too blunt to say that he knows that given the numbers of us that like to jump the gun and foam at the mouth on policy, that he is trying to manage the process rather than turn it into a free for all,

Maybe so, but that is not really the issue. The leader has the right to lead on policy, he just needs to forewarn and discuss before hand. If he is more inclusive, the risks of foaming at the mouth will be reduced.

It is unfortunate but fair to describe this whole approach as the 'Blair/Cameron' way.

The question is, will the voters want more of this BCIP (Blair Cameron Image Politics) when Blair goes and thus transfer goodwill to Cameron, or will they be thoroughly sick of it and transfer the Blair baggage onto Cameron?

It is a very risky strategy, but so far, you have seen your poll rating imporve because of it so should be happy.

For me though, the situation is spookily similar to Mark Latham in Oz.

Like several other contributors, I find it very disappointing, if this report is correct, that DC is starting to do exactly what Blair has been roundly criticised for having done.
I know that proper policies are due to emerge - but not for another year - but (i) a prime minister is constitutionally "primus inter pares" and (ii) we have some very good talent in the shadow cabinet and other posts (better, I hope, than Nulab's clapped out retreads.
What we need to win an election is to give the leading lights as many chances to shine in their own right as possible, so that we don't give the appearance of being a one man band.
DC is quoted in the Part Patrons leaflet as saying: "I am determined to lead this country as a democratically accountable Prime Minister, and to abandon the personal, presidential style that has taken hold under New Labour".
Excellent sentiment - but we need to see it put into practice now.

LOL Chad - Mark Latham was barking. David Cameron, clearly, is not.

Their personal styles are very, very different - but David Cameron 2006 is doing precisely what John Howard did to the Liberal Party of Australia in 2005. Mucking out the stables, smoothing the edges, and making it as easy as possible for people ticked off with the incumbent to vote for a spruced-up conservative alternative.

More strength to him.

Oops sorry that is 1995, not 2005 ; )

Editor...in the article you accidentally made a mistake...the CPF should read CFP. The Conservative Policy Forum is slightly different to the Common Fisheries Policy, though the point of abandoning the CPF isnt that far removed...

"LOL Chad - Mark Latham was barking. David Cameron, clearly, is not."

That's funny, that is not at all consistent with the accounts from the Australians I know.

He was extremely popular, a modern, young face, rebuilding an old party, but when he failed to win the election, they all turned on him and it all descended into acrimony.

I recently returned from a long visit to Oz.Everyone I met there voted for Howard (because they had to)with zero enthusiasm but ALL considered Latham an idiot.
I have little knowledge of Aussie politics but am merely reporting what I heard.

Hi Malcolm,

Yes, I've heard that everyone turned on him after the loss, there is a lot of Harry Hindsight going on.

Latham was very popular and raced up the national polls in a very similar way to Cameron, so national opinion was very similar.

Despite these poll leads, Latham lost and the encumbent party increased its majority.

So perhaps the lesson is to take early poll leads from a new leader with a heavy pinch of salt.


Check these out. This link shows how Latham was leading the national polls for months which lasted until here where Latham had experienced an uninterrupted increase in opinion polls results but then it was sharply pear-shaped 6 months before the election.

That is consistent with the accounts I have heard.

Chad, Mark Latham won the Labor leadership by one vote. He had 'form' as a being a bit of a weirdo as a shadow minister, and he completely polarised in the leadership during the Caucus battle when he won.

By comparison, Cameron has (it seems) got the support of most of the parliamentary party, and he won with the support of over two thirds of the lay party.

Most importantly, though, the big difference between Latham and Cameron is that Cameron appears to have an informed plan driving his efforts to build support, whereas Latham did not. Cameron appears to be taking a step-by-step approach through different voter groups, whereas Latham had successfully alienated large slabs of the community that he needed to turn around for him to win.

It's true that both Latham and Cameron have enjoyed a novelty value in the first flush of their respective leaderships - but DC has far, far, far more to show for his leadership after 6 months than Latham did.

And while you're right that Latham enjoyed an initial boost in the polls Chad, he didn't turn the "preferred Prime Minister" or "better economic manager" polls around at all by this stage. In Australia they are vital polling stats. From what I have seen, Cameron has made up a lot of ground on the economy (now only 3 points behind??) and of course we have seen the Cameron-Brown polls which are also good for DC.

You are right, of course, in saying though that the ALP turned on him after the election - but only he spectacularly turned on them via his "Latham Diaries". We had lots of fun working on "Question Time" questions we could give to backbenchers to ask the boss which involved quotes from that, to throw back at Labor. Very satisfying watching Labor squirm. That'll learn 'em.

Rest easy Malcolm - and there's always time for you to repent your ukippery, Chad ; )

Chad, Latham was only leader for around 12 months! So six months was the half way mark. And by then, the punters had decided he was not a viable PM.

From what I have seen, the more people see David Cameron, the more they can concieve of him as an alternative PM. That's a big difference with a halfwit like Latham....

Blimey Alexander,what time is it over there.Shouldn't you be asleep?
BTW Well done to Australia last night.A truly exciting game,for the first time in my life I was screaming at the TV urging the Aussies on.First time in my life I've ever done that!
As an Englishman I would like to apologise to all in Austalia for the referee.

Yes I should be Malcolm (its 2am) but I was asleep in a Qantas Club lounge for about 4 hours this afternoon (post WC catch-up) waiting for delayed flights and now my body clock is out of whack - I will try to sleep in a while I suppose. The game was very exciting. I've never been a soccer fan myself, but it's always good to cheer on Australia. The Croats looked VERY peeved when the result was over, and they realised we had effectively won (as I understand it).

I guess I also was fired up Malcolm when I saw Chad make this Latham-Cameron comparison! Understandable on level - but scratch the surface and they are very, very different political beasts.

'Night all.

"and there's always time for you to repent your ukippery, Chad ; )"

:-) Aah, it's all friendly knockabout Alexander. But I do think reforming ukip is an interesting challenge in itself, and I like a good challenge.

Sleep well!

Talking of Mr Cameron's 'inner circle' maybe you all should just take a look at this little nugget of an article at: http://andrew-kennedy.blogspot.com/2006/06/am-i-right-to-be-concerned-about-this.html ..then once you have you may want to ask yourselves about the Blair/Cameron style of leadership in a more deeper way when you read what appears to be going on within the high hills of CCHQ these days!, for me I'm just a voter seeking out the truth on who 'I' should trust when I cast my vote and from how I read it I see some rather worrying signs already! ..so enjoy or not as the case maybe

yes that's needed for the kitchen cabinets.

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