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How relevant is this really? The political fortunes of Brown and Cameron are intertwined with domestic policy and the economy here. I very much doubt Obama will be wasting too much time with either of them.

Given that David Cameron was such a supporter of John McCain, I can't see how he can now trumpet the success of Barak Obama without leaving himself exposed to a charge of hypocrisy. Most people in Britain are now exhausted by the failures of the Labour government and want change, the Conservative party can provide that change, but is that change comparable to the change Barak Obama envisions? At a time when the public are thoroughly sick of two-faced politicians is it really wise for David Cameron to cloak himself in the mantle of Obamaism after having been so close to John McCain for so long?

I would agree with 'Yournamehere'. Political capital will be made by events here not in a foreign country.
Whilst Cameron may well have to work with Obama and it is right to establish friendly relations with him it is important to note that he may well carry out policies not in Britain's interest and getting too close to him could be dangerous.

Amid all the excitement about the election of a new president we should keep one thing in mind: it should not matter whether he is black, white, yellow or green with purple spots. Unfortunately some (NOT all) of his supporters made blatent appeals to racial prejudices in drumming up support for Obama. As far as I know this has escaped any sign of citicism.
It is time that we in the Conservative Party took a lead in treating ALL people as equal. This means rejecting so called "positive discrimination". Giving preference to people according to their colour or their sex should be rejected out of hand.
Those favouring the disgraceful selection process imposed on us in the selection of Euro candidates & the short-listing for Westminster are missing the point. Their sentiments sound fine at first. The logic seems to be that MY prejudices are noble and stem from wisdom. YOUR prejudices are evil and stem from ignorance.
To take the example of the calls for more female MPs. Can anyone tell me of any records which show that female MPs vote differently from the way their male counterparts vote ? I would be fascinated to know of any such evidence.
By all means let us "modernise". My interpretation of modernisation would be to treat ALL candidates as equal, regardless of their colour, sex, or any other classification.

Tony Makara, you seem to keep mentionning (or this is how it appears) that because he supported McCain then he should have nothing to do with Obama.
Just becuase his prefered candidate wasn't the one that won doesn't mean that there are/were no advantages to the winner.
If he had previously said that he hated Obama and absolutely everything he stood for, then yes, it may be slightly hypocritical to sing his praises, but even then I would expect that he would still have to look for the good points and not hold a grudge, to make the best of a bad decision.

Cameron is too timid, allowing the LibDems to make the case for tax cuts which he and Osborne should have been making.
Brown will lose, almost whatever happens.
But Cameron on current form will only have won by default.
He hasn't even begun to make the case for....er, well, for anything really.
I despair.

The question is: will David Cameron be seen as "change" or "more of the same"? If he is not radical enough, people will rightly ask why they should "change" to someone who is deeply ensconced within the Westminster village. Voters are utterly sick of the closed shop nature of British politics.

"Given that David Cameron was such a supporter of John McCain, I can't see how he can now trumpet the success of Barak Obama without leaving himself exposed to a charge of hypocrisy."

Bush and Blair...and Bush and Brown....
Remember, McCain has not been president of the United States while Bush refused to have any dealings with our party for years.
Brown has stood much closer to Bush than he has done Obama over the period he has been PM.
Yes, he might want to bask in the limelight of the Obama victory, but after 11 years at the top of this government he is hardly the change we need in the future.
For Cameron, its not about being too close to McCain or Obama, its about representing a change in No10 and the fact that everyone is a novice when they walk through those doors for the first time as PM.

Ask Thatcher, Major and Blair. But, ironically its Brown who has failed to adapt. He showed little sign of having the skills required to become a good PM after years in the top echelons of this government, and even after this length of time in office he has not grown into the job.
The No10 facelift and foundation work will end up helping making that building solid for years to come. All Brown has done is get the old gang back to give him a new coat of dodgy paint.

The concept that experience is a disadvantage seems to be a theme being pushed by Mr Cameron and now given some credibility by the election of Mr Obama.

Until very recently, The White Knight in “Alice through the Looking Glass” is the only person on whom I am aware who found experience a disadvantage.

Party politics and personal likes/dislikes need to transend relationships between heads of government. Blair was able to demonstrate that. We elect these people to be professional.

"The concept that experience is a disadvantage seems to be a theme being pushed by Mr Cameron and now given some credibility by the election of Mr Obama."


Experience is not a bad thing, but neither is it a bad thing for a party leader to be in opposition before becoming PM!
Cameron has been honing his leadership skills since 2005. Brown on the other hand hid in the No11 bunker every time there was a whiff of bad news or a government media rescue operation required.

Cameron leads from the front, not hiding behind others petticoats as Brown did for years.
Quite simple we have a comparison between a novice who has never been in government vs someone who has been there for years.
Yet, its Cameron that looks and sounds like a PM in waiting while Brown still struggles to even adapt to this new position after years in No11.

Obama is about to become the President of the United States of America. To suggest that Cameron ignores this fact because he has had links with McCain is a curious notion. If Cameron becomes Prime Minister here, then of course he must develop close links with President Obama. This will be particularly important if our national interests in matters of common relevance appear to diverge. To suggest otherwise smacks of playground behaviour in a girls school where petty disagreements seem to be of overwhelming moment, out of proportion to reality (or so my daughters tell me!). Any suggestion of hypocrisy is ludicrous and unreal.

I'm slightly confused by Tony's comments as David Cameron has been very positive about Obama as well as stating his high regard for John MCcain.

But the most important point is not how close politically David Cameron is to the new President, but rather that Obamba won because his essential message that what Americans wanted was change not more of the same struck a chord with voters and it's that same message of change, hope and optimism that Conservatives must hope will inspire people in Britain too.

"Tony Makara, you seem to keep mentionning (or this is how it appears) that because he supported McCain then he should have nothing to do with Obama"

Norm Brainer, this is not the case at all. I'm am concerned that David Cameron might leave himself open to charges of double-standards after having been a supporter of the 'no-change' candidate John McCain and then overnight appearing to support the 'change' agenda of Barak Obama. Labour could make a lot of capital out of this and I think David Cameron walking into a political beartrap. For example Gordon Brown could portray David Cameron as being fickle and untrustworthy, a man who can change sides overnight. Why hand Labour this ace card to play just to get back at the jibe over being a novice?

The idea that any comparison can be drawn between Obama’s fantastic win and David Cameron is laughable. If anything, it will highlight the radical need for change in the Conservative Party. The only minority an Eton educated leader of Her Majesty’s opposition represents is a dying one…..Thank god!

David brings the same kind of excitement that Barack brought, so there is a clear link there. Nobody finds Brown exciting, as is about to be proved by the Glenrothes byelection.

Second, only Conservatives offer the kind of relevant environmental and social policies that make sense in a complex world looking for a new approach to politics. Although some of Zac's ideas could have been better presented, particularly the tax on parking at the supermarket, the fact remains that the environment offers us huge opportunities. Peter (Ainsworth) is doing excellent work in this area. One immediate political priority could be to tie in with Barack's proposal to, in his words, 'bankrupt' the US coal industry as part of the move to clean renewables. David's strength in this area could be built on.

It is too early to tell which way the Democrat administration will develop - will it use its majorities in Congress to deliver the fairly extreme left-wing ideas that have emerged from the Obama camp, or the more nuanced, less-threatening, approach of Barack on the stump? If the latter, there is plenty of capital to be made by today's Conservatives in promoting broadly similar policies. We can be the change and, deep down, Brown knows that.

The question isn't "can he" but "should he"?

Cameron will do what Cameron always does - ask himself "What would an opportunist do?" and do that. What an opportunist would do in this situation is stick like a barnacle to Obama while he's on his way up (just like he did with McCain) and glom onto something else when the shine wears off.

The claim that David Cameron was warm to Obama is ridiculous. Think back to the conference before last. John McCain was portrayed as the party's choice for the next US president. I don't want to see David Cameron giving Brown and Labour a chance to batter him over the head about this. The attempt yesterday, at PMQs, to equate the Obama change agenda with the Conservtive change agenda was ill-judged, especially after being so close to John McCain.

Obama's win is 100% irrelevant to whether we win over here.

To start with, I would like to see us taking a much stronger concerted line in repudiating Brown's *stock lies*

- that Labour has achieved 'full employment'
- that xxxxx million new jobs have been created
- that borrowing has fallen as a proportion of GDP
- that devolution has strengthened the Union
-that the New Deal has been a success

All of the above go routinely unchallenged by the Conservative Shadow Cabinet.

Don't leave this stuff to be challenged by Paxman at election time- what are Letwin, Spelman etc doing about it TODAY ???

Gordon Brown could portray David Cameron as being fickle and untrustworthy, a man who can change sides overnight.

I'm sure he'll try, but it won't stand - he can say he was adapting to the circumstances.
McCain wasn't the 'no change' candidate, just a different change, I can see brown's hypocrisy and it's good to point that out, but I don't think DC is hypocritical to now give some support obama, they'll have to work together when he's PM

David brings the same kind of excitement that Barack brought, so there is a clear link there.

Yeah, right.

I can't wait to see the 250,000 gathered in Hyde Park on election night!

Cameron can, but only if convinces he has the answers on the economy. He must dump osborn and install ken Clark. He's been through recession before and had sorted the Economy- he also has the common touch!!

Tony, Cameron was warm to Obama when they met. Secondly he is duty bound to have a good working relationship with whoever wins the presidency.I think you're being naive here.

What struck me in Parliament yesterday when Obama was discussed was how old, tired and stale Brown has become. He cannot innovate, he cannot ad lib, he cannot inspire.

Its the death knell of our Party in 2010 if we cannot beat such a poor opponent with such an awful track record.

Norm Brainer, I can't see what change McCain offered? Still, let's hope David Cameron has a good working relationship with Obama after he has turfed Brown out of number ten

London Tory, you've forgotten to those 600,000 vacancies that Gordon Brown is always on about. Those 600,000 vacancies that never seem to be filled, in spite of the recession, New Deal, job-matching etc. Do these 600,000 vacancies actually exist at all or are they just transient openings in the job-maket being passed off as long-term vacancies for public consumption? Does Chris Grayling have a breakdown of these vacancies? If so he should investigate as to why they never seem to be filled.

"..Ken Clarke.... has the common touch!!"

..But only if he can suppress his communautaire touch!

Malcolm, am I really being naive? Imagine if yesterdays discourse had gone the following way:

CAMERON: “On the day the American people voted for change aren’t people in this country entitled to ask: How much longer have we got to put up with more of the same from a Government that has failed?”

BROWN: "Its rather amusing to be lectured on change in the United States when the right honorable gentleman opposite was supporting the non-change candidate who lost...yet more opportunism and inconsistancy from the opposition benches"

What Cameron and other Tory Socialists might like to ponder over is McCain's problem: he was not articulating a sufficiently different, conservative (with a small c) position and, in fact, would have lost by a far greater margin if it had not been for Sarah Palin. In other words, you want the vote, you have to be really different from the other guy, articulate completely different positions and policies. So far Cameron has failed to do so. Just saying you are Conservative ain't enought. Oh, by the way, what exactly is that change you people keep rabbiting on about?

9. At 10:13am on 05 Nov 2008, solomanbrown wrote:
Dear Nick

I am the man in the street, doing his own thing for his family,and charity begins in the living room of my home,
(1)Local Authorities and council tax.relating to the number of employees they cost us.
(2) Utilitiy Companies who are ripping people of double that of Europe. 14% to 29%
(3) Useless watc h dogs who support the Utility Companies instead of supporting the General Public.
(4) Banks who do not pass on lower interest rates and also rip people off.
(5) Food prices that have gone through the roof on the back of oil prices.
(5) The general publics cash in failed banks who have lost everything, except if your the banks bosses.
(6) oIL PRICES at 59$ a barrrel and prices at the pumps still at UNACCEPTABLE levels.
(7) the Green Party and Carbon trust idiots wanting more tax.
(8), Bloated pay and salaries for BBC executives paid from the liscence fee.
(9) Hikes in Train fares and cuts in the number of trains.
(10), Stealth tax's still being implimented by Labour hidden in the small print by Brown.
(11) A Prime Minister and Chancellor who are nothing but useless and have no concern for the British people other than to control the masses by what ever devious means possible
*12) To stop copying ideas from America.
(13) to tell Brussels where to get off and mind their own business and keep their noses out of British affairs.
(!4) To declare the Lisbon Treaty Dead stuff Europe and America they caused this mess ,and like the idiots our Government is they got on the tread mill and followed suite.
Now you think this is personal, but i can say hand on heart that this is view most ENGLISH MEN, AND WOMEN agree with.

The above fron Nick Robinsons usual mauling by real people! Pretty sound stuff and needs shouting over and over again by DC and our leadership.
The awful DEPRESSION we are entering might well provide millions of relieved voters out in Hyde Park for DC after the GE. Hopefully no need of bullet proof glass either.

The McCain at conf thing is a non issue. Obama wasn't on the scence, the race hadn't started, and McCain was pretty much seen as a good guy across the lines. Labour had Bill Clinton at their conf while Blair was in office, and working closely with Bush. It's no big deal.

To have had him this year would have been a very different message.

DC needs to go on the attack - no more Mr Nice Guy! He must articulate what Gordon and Labour have done, and how we will be effected negatively by it! When Gordon tells a Brownie, Cameron and Osborne just look lost and shocked, as if they have been slapped! This needs to stop.

Could backfire spectacularly...

Obama represents a multi-racial country a true rainbow nation. He also came from humble family circumstances (rose swiftly along the lines of the American dream).

Do Cameron and our current top team represent the UK as it currently stands? No, not even close....how many kids in a comprehensive in Sunderland, Solihull or Stirling will be thinking I could be PM, Chancellor or in the cabinet?

This is where the stuffy Old Etonian (clique) line could stick. Our shadow team looks priviledged mainly male and very middle class....

We need to look more balanced or it will become an an achilles heel...get people like Pickles involved...some of our talented female MPs, etc...a big tent!

I'm a Conservative, but I also wanted Obama to triumph. For me, Obama has shown just how lacking not only Gordon Brown is when it comes to presenting an argument, but also David Cameron. Of course it's not all about presentation. But Obama is able to attack his opponents thoughtfully and calmly, while Cameron just seems to sound like an annoying school boy most of the time. I thought Cameron was the one, but I have started to wonder. Brown has made just about every mistake possible, he should be dead and buried, and you have to blame Cameron for the fact he is not. There is no way Obama can live up to the hype he has created, he got in without the majority of voters knowing what he really wants to do in the White House, but he played the right mood music, to an audience who wanted to be inspired. Maybe Cameron can do the same. For him to do that however, he needs to hold Brown to account. The same is true for the whole shadow cabinet. I would rather a rude/forthright MP who held the government to account than a polite one who did not.

The front page of the Telegraph makes a couple of important points today.
Obama won because he offered a message of Hope and Change. He represented a Plan B to the electorate, a hopeful future against the grim present. Objectively, of course he did no such thing as you could put very little space between his and McCain's policy positions. But because he is the first black man in the White House he embodied newness in his person.

DC can win the election in Britain with the same message because our electorate is every bit as tired and a good deal more cynical than the US. However, as a pink cheeked Old Etonian, he is going to experience great difficulty in embodying it in his person and he is going to have to actually offer it in policy terms.
DC and the entire invisible shadow cabinet are going to have to rise from their chaise longue, eschew the drawing rooms of Notting Hill and fight.

Two Brains and Leftwing have not lived up to their advance billing as savants. Its 13mnths since we last heard an inspiring idea. Its probably not much more than 13 mths to the election and may be a lot less.

Cameron could only represent change if he had definite policies and had used his peak this year to explain them in bold, stark terms.

Since he didn't I agree with Jonathan @13.56.

Not sure I care for all the "Etonian" jibes. I thought that our party had become a classless one. I don't give a hoot where our leader was educated, so long as he leads -- or whether it's a woman, or a gay, or a lesbian, or one-legged or in pink and blue stripes. We need to win the next election to save our country and we won't do it fighting ourselves. We need unity and support for the leader that we have.
Incidentally, and for his critics, you don't lay all your cards on the table until you've won the hand.

The Democrats' victory is already being used by certain back bench Labour MPs as a victory for them too.

I suppose they will grasp at any straw to try and cling, by their fingernails, to power.

D.Cs message of CHANGE is important and is a common factor here and in the States. Lets us hope that CHANGE can be brought about swiftly.

Those contributors who state that policies should be announced are making a mistake because we are suffering form a Government that is defunct of ideas and will employ the 'magpie effect' and utilise them as their own.

It's not Barack Obama's policies that David Cameron is endorsing. He is sensing the worldwide mood for change.
America has already changed government parties twice in the time since Tony Blair became PM - this Labour government cannot last forever.

@Terry 15.27 - this isn't poker, this is politics. In politics you have to have a good solid programme and put it out in time to get voters talking about you.

@B. Garvie - that wouldn't matter if the Tories had some ideas that Labour couldn't follow. The "magpie effect" is just an excuse for the Tories not doing any work on putting across an alternative viewpoint. As a person who is not a life-long Conservative, and joined the party because she thought they had a solid platform at the last election, I am waiting for policies. My parents have already gone back to Labour after a year or so supporting Cameron. You are losing people's attention and by the time of the next election if the Tories don't say something, Brown will have put his case forward, and we won't be ready with ours. Given that I have constantly asked MPs privately what the party plans to do about manifestos, and the answer since early 2007 has been "wait a few more months then we'll put something proper out", I don't think our hand is in any way as solid a win as Labour's.

Uncomfortable, but true. In no way do I want a Labour government again, but sadly I don't feel the Conservatives are doing enough to convince me even to vote for them again. In the real world you need to be out there pushing your brand for years before an election, and the party is treating it like a game of poker - gambling the coherency of a long-term government on the outcome of one hand of poker. I thought we had a chance of beating Labour, but the longer we leave it, the less time we have to make people aware of Conservatism in general, let alone anything specific. We need to be in there fighting - like the tortoise, Brown is banking on "slow and steady wins the race".

ChrisKing @ 10.40 - And all your comment illustrates is your sour envy - innit!

Both american parties are basically conservative - it is just that the democrats are rather wet.

Cameron is leader of the opposition he should do all he can to make the most of any relationship with Obama.

Brown is the UK's PM - it was grossly demeaning (and says a lot about brown) that he felt the need to try to get some 'reflected glory' - blair would have projected himself as obamas equal (or even superior) - Brown basically said "The cool kid likes me more than he likes you", absolutely pathetic.

"Uncomfortable, but true. In no way do I want a Labour government again, but sadly I don't feel the Conservatives are doing enough to convince me even to vote for them again."

Louise, then you cannot be that bothered about seeing another 5 years of Gordon Brown and this Labour government.
Sorry, but when I read this kind of drivel my BS antennae goes into overdrive. Quite frankly, you are either being naive or have not bothered to follow politics recently either!
"In the real world you need to be out there pushing your brand for years before an election"

You have obviously missed the big rebranding/detox strategy which this party underwent for the last 3 years. The clue was the amazing about turn in our fortunes in the polls after nearly 15 years tanking at barely core vote levels.

Also, the recent run of Labour be election losses in what should have been safe seats was a big clue too.

But this bit was the best.
"As a person who is not a life-long Conservative, and joined the party because she thought they had a solid platform at the last election, I am waiting for policies. My parents have already gone back to Labour after a year or so supporting Cameron. You are losing people's attention and by the time of the next election if the Tories don't say something"

Absolutely sublime in its subtle way, a masterclass in this genre.
So you are a Tory member, but you are not sure about voting Tory and kicking this lot out of power? Yeah right.

As a Scots Tory, someone asked me last night on PB.com if I would have voted tactically for the SNP in Glenrothes. The answer was no.

I'd say that the outcome of the US election, in British party political terms, is irrelevant.

I have no problem with a wealthy Leader or Chancellor (for that matter) who has "family" wealth and/or a good public school education. I think where we might suffer is if people think that is the only way to rise to the top of the modern Conservative party. Totally against this positive discrimination rubbish but there are talented people on the fringes of the "inner circle" who need to be let in...to make the top of the party look more like modern Britain...

Patsy Sergeant @ 16:21 - I'm clealry not alone in 'My sour envy 'The Times: Peter Riddell p22/23.

The problem for David Cameron is that comparisons with Barrack Obama leave him wanting. Obama is the personification of the american dream (mixed race son of a goat herder etc), Cameron is Eton, Oxford, london-centric, heiress wife etc. More importantly good as he might be - he is no where near as charismatic or as inspiring an orator as Obama.
If (when) Obama doesn't manage to walk on water or solve the financial crisis - people will say look at Blair, look at Obama - they were all style and no substance/delivery - will they want someone who is cut from the same cloth (but not quite so stylish?)

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