Monday, March 13, 2006

100 days of Cameron

Well, despite an unfortunate period of lassitude brought on by too much wine and not enough sleep, it is time for this blog to have a look at the reaction to DC's first hundred days. To be honest, some of the coverage has been a bit peculiar. Mike Smithson comments that, even though Cameron has given the Tories a 5% bounce in the polls, transforming a solid Tory 32/3% poll to a solid 37/8% poll, this is nothing like enough for the Tories even to become the largest party in the Commons, let alone form a majority.

Over at the Guardian, they are even less impressed, hopefully predicting that, at the first sign of a setback, all progress thus far will be rejected as Tories bolt back to immigration and Europe - those perennial vote-winners. 'There's a long way to go yet' is the recurring theme. Well of course there bloody is. 100 days is really not a very long time in the sheme of things. What is important is the shift in narrative. Cameron has managed, more through his personal style than anything concrete, to make the Conservatives look new and fresh, rather than a throwback to the Major years.

This, by itself, is an important achievement. To have the Conservatives as a good news story is a radical change. Remember the local elections under Duncan Smith? The result was actually quite good for the Tories, but because the narrative was of a failing party in permanent crisis that part got ignored. In the May elections the narrative will be of a party on the front foot, and, unless the results are catastrophic, this will be the story the press want to publish.

There is a wide perception that the media create public atmosphere. I don't necessarily agree. Often they re-affirm and re-inforce pre-existing feeling. When the Press get it wrong it is obvious - the attempt to Diana-ify Jill Dando for example. It has been said that the best way to get a dog (especially for some reason an Airedale terrier) to obey you is to wait until he is doing something, and then tell him to do it. That's a better explanation of the media effect than any other.

2 Comments:

Blogger Lagwolf said...

Personally I don't see Cameron making it as leader to the next election. He is heamoraging members and volunteers while at the same time ditching any policy he can find. Unless he suddenly starts consistently getting higher poll numbers than Labour he is toast.

12:27 pm  
Anonymous Bint said...

Cameron has managed, more through his personal style than anything concrete, to make the Conservatives look new and fresh, rather than a throwback to the Major years

Transpose 'Cameron' with 'Blair', 'Conservatives' with 'Labour', 'Major' with any 'Labour' ex PM of your choosing and read it back.

Reaching for a gun..

11:07 pm  

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