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« Hustings Report (7) - Part 2: Cambridge | Main | Hustings Report (8) - Part 2: Frimley »

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malcolm thomas

derek, well done asking DC and DD about the EPP timetable.

This question cropped up as an issue when rumours began to circulate that David Davis had done a deal with ex-Ken Clark supporters to stay in the EPP until after the next Euro elections. A policy delayed being a policy halted.

DC might have been portrayed as 'obsessed with Europe' if he had attacked Davis on this aggressively and tried to make a point that his timing would be quicker. So he defers the decision as to timing to his Shadow Foreign Secretary.

That makes good managerial sense as the SFS will have to deliver the deal, and doubters should chuckle when they remember who the SFS is most likely to be!!!

When you also remember that Cameron pulled key eurosceptics out of LF's camp early on, you have to also realise that they would not be supporting DC unless they were 100% convinced of his eurosceptic credentials.

DC has to play a 'clever' game, and when you think that he persuaded Alistair Campbell to give him the media and the benefits of the Labour smear department (the smears on DC about drugs were of home team origin. Those on Fox were Labour-derived according to Private Eye) you realise that he has to speak to many different audiences if he is to win.

And yet while he plays to the various audiences on this, I don't feel that Cameron has backed down on the EPP. He has given the executive orders to his SFS to get on with it, while sounding as if he and Davis are as one, and leadership plays are over. the last thing we need right now is a spat over a European issue when the whole leadership drama has played so well for Conservatives.

DC is not Blair playing on peoples' hopes and fears making false promises, but someone able to act Blair-like to get the media behind him, while unlike Blair he actually does have strong beliefs and values which inform his actions.

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