3 riffs 4 a bolder Toryism
I shall be in Manchester promoting my new book, Mr Cameron’s Makeover Politics: Or why old Tory stories matter. Here are three brief messages I am pitching to the media.
Riff #1: Rich Tory traditions
The Cameroons are perhaps right in thinking that Thatcher is the only Tory anyone’s heard of, and toxic. The country ought to get its brain round the variety of Conservatives, including Harold Macmillan and Stanley Baldwin. Enoch Powell and Lord Salisbury matter too, of course. No other party has this width and depth of influences, and it’s a pity not to draw on them.
Riff #2: Frank Tory authenticity
After New Labour’s spin, the country is ready for authenticity. Toff, tough whatever. The Cameroons can do well with evasion, but it comes with the inbuilt problem that it is Blairite and Brownite in not stressing the old Tory merit of being bluntly realistic.
Riff #3: Sound Tory government
After New Labour’s government by initiative-flurry from sofa, den and bunker, the country is ready for sound government. The Cameroons would do well to stress how they like and intend to energise and reform Westminster and Whitehall, but from respect and interest. More Cabinet, fewer apparatchiks.