Johann Hari's piece
in the Independent
today is a good hint of what the line of attack on David Cameron is likely to be over the run up to the next election. It's essentially a variation on the same theme run by Hitchens earlier - with a slightly more pointed focus. For Hari, it is clear, Cameron is disqualified from the leadership by one simple factor: privilege.
Cameron has claimed he had "a normal childhood" and "a normal university experience", but the facts are rather different. He was born to a millionaire stockbroker and a debutante, with a bloodline that connects him to Elizabeth Windsor. As a child he had a swimming pool, a tennis court and nannies.
So no deviation from the the norm can be allowed. The presence of a swimming pool in Cameron's parents' garden disbars him from attaining public office.
At a time when the biggest issue facing Britain domestically is worsening inequality, do we want to put somebody from the richest 0.01 per cent - with no understanding of ordinary life - in charge?
I'd dispute the fact that the biggest domestic issue is inequality - most conservatives would - but even so, it is absurd to suggest that the social background of a politician should be a factor. Incidentally, I have always hated the phrase 'ordinary life' - like 'the real world' I think it's reflective of lazy thinking and a belief that only what is experienced by the writer counts as 'real'.
The rest of the article is the usual rubbish:
In 2005, he called wind farms "giant bird-blenders"; in 2006, he built one on to the side of his house.
No he didn't, he put a small domestic windmill on his house. It's like saying that a diesel generator is the same thing as an oil-fired power station "In 2005 David Cameron said that oil fired power stations were polluting and expensive - but now he's bought one for his house!"
He called Thatcher "Mother", then announced, "There is such a thing as society."
Which is, of course, pretty much what Thatcher was saying. If Hari hasn't read, or understood, what Thatcher actually said then he's a fool. If he has and is using it to misrepresent her views then he's being extremely disingenuous.
Or look at other pro-poor policies the Cameroons cannot understand and would wipe out. The European Social Chapter gives part-time workers - who are often on the minimum wage - the right to parental leave, regular holidays and other basic protections.
Regardless of the rights and wrongs of this (and it's a justifiable argument to say that, if the Social Chapter acts in this way to cut jobs, by making them uneconomic for the employers, then it is the most equitable thing to so to leave it) to suggest that his opposition to the Social Chapter is entirely because of his rich and privileged background is ridiculous. John Major was fiercely opposed to the Social Chapter - was that because of his fantastically privileged background? David Davis is opposed to it - is that because of his huge family wealth? It's just nonsense.
The people who created the idea of flat taxes - academics Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka - explain, "It is an obvious mathematical law that [flatter] taxes on the successful will have to be made up for by higher taxes on average people."
Well, or by reduction in the size of the state - a concept that Hari cannot even contemplate.
If we do not want to be ruled by a Brideshead Regurgitated clique, we need to get to work now to ensure Cameron's rising star ends up as merely a shooting star. Then he can return to his true vocation - as a shooting-hunting-and-fishing star.
And there, I think, we have the basis of the coming line of argument: that Cameron is a posh person and thus unfit to rule. I think it will be a thumping great mistake by the Labour Party if they follow this line (I know Hari is not attached to the Labour Party by the way, it's just that he is articulating what a significant proportion of that party think is the best attack against Cameron). What evidence there is shows that Cameron is more popular than his party - exposure of Cameron in the press increases Conservative support. Far from neutralising this factor, a campaign of explicit class hatred risks increasing support for Cameron, while simultaneously reminding the electorate of what it was that they disliked about Labour in the 1980s.