Thursday, 26 November 2009

Crude politicking will hurt Cameron

Just got back from a visit to a client during which the conversation turned briefly towards David Cameron’s fact checking issue. As my client eloquently put it. “What a c#ck up. I bet he got back to his office and tore a strip off somebody.”

The facts of the case are almost immaterial but, for those not in the know, Dave accused the Prime Minister at PMQs of state funding two schools with links to Islamic extremism. The BBC this morning ran with the fact that the Conservatives had been forced to concede they had got some facts wrong.

Couple of points. Firstly, what beggars belief is why the Tory party chose this line of questioning yesterday. There are plenty of vulnerable areas to attack this Government on, domestic terrorism is not one of them.

Secondly, Cameron has now given a Brown a wonderful put down for PMQs. Expect Gordon to be asking “has the Leader of the Opposition got his facts right this time?” every time he gets to his feet.

These are dangerous times for the Conservatives. As many commentators have rightly pointed out there is no groundswell of popular support for them. In many ways they are the least worst option. And, as the Prime Minister himself has found out over the last two years, seemingly small issues can grow disproportionately in the public’s mind to become issues of leadership and credibility.

Cameron has benefited in the last year from the fact that the media spotlight has not been trained upon him. Any more c#ck ups like this and that spotlight may begin to turn.


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