Monday, July 18, 2011

There IS no life after Cameron

As the hackgate story claims scalp after scalp, Iain Dale wonders if the crisis will lap up against the feet at Number Ten, whilst speculates on who might be next if the PM is hit by that theoretical political bus.

I have no idea how far the investiagtions will go or what the outcome will be, but I am willing to bet at any odds that the PM will survive. And for 2 very good reasons.

Firstly there is absolutely nobody to replace him - there is, literally, no life after Cameron. Johnson isn't in the Commons, Osborne is not loved by the public and the election of Hunt would be too ironic given the circumstances. Hague? Doubtful. Even my own beloved Gove - along with Lansley - would be controversial given their reforming zeal in parliament has made them enemies. Some suggest David Davis, but he has languished too long on the backbenches to have a realistic powerbase. Theresa May is being "bigged up" by some and true she has made great strides at the home office but her leadership metal has yet to be tested. It therefore leaves Hague, but Hague would always be the caretaker leader and the public, coalition, party and parliament would know it. We've got this coalition because the nation needs stabilty and having a caretaker PM wouldn't deliver that. Until there is "another", Cameron is safe.

But also a second reason. The personal glue that holds this coalition together is Cameron and Clegg. Could any other leader hold this government together in the way that Cameron has? I very much doubt it. A lurch to the right - say under Fox - would destroy the coaltiion quickly and many of the other candidates would see a slower but equally painful death. The fact is that Cameron IS the coalition and without Cameron there is NO coalition. My view is simple - if Cameron falls, we are back into General Election territory within six months and that election would be without the smaller Commons and boundary changes the Tories crave.

As I say, I am not sure where the hackgate situation is going, but Cameron is going nowhere. The party needs him, the coalition needs him and, given the current polling (the Tories took the lead again tonight) the country still needs him.


Peter said...

If you want my advice. Don't listen to Iain Dale. He has a previous history of not wanting David Cameron to be leader of the Conservative Party. He was in David Davis' campaign team. I can't say for certain. Maybe he would secretly like David Cameron to go, or maybe he is just speculating.

I don't agree with the fourth paragraph in which you mention that "the personal glue that holds this coalition together is Cameron and Clegg". I wouldn't be so sure of that, after all it was a 'marriage' of convenience based on the fact that a coalition government was needed. They didn't display a personal question during the Leaders Debate. Plus I am sure if you ask a lot of university students or propective students the last thing they would say is Clegg is holding this coalition together, after breaking promises not to raise tuition fees. I've met more disgruntled Lib Dems who want to move towards Labour based on this fact.

Finally my criticism of your post comes down to the fact that if Cameron fails then we are back into General Election territory. There's a lot of hypotheticals in this equation. The party is bigger than one man (or woman) in Thatcher's case and the party went to win the 1992 General Election.

First-Time Voter said...

Very true, almost impossible to imagine any other possible leader or PM from the Conservative Party, never mind the opposition from Ed Miliband and the Labour Party.