Right then. We finally know the inevitable – David Cameron is the new Tory leader. It”s been a contest that has been dragging on for months, and now it’s final. He beat David Davis 2 votes to 1. So what should we make of it all? Cameron is clearly trying to position the Tory party once more in the centre ground, wherever that is in Blair’s Britain. He’s clearly very aware of the environment even, cycling to work on his first day as leader – see this sketch. No 2 Jags Prescott here – for the moment.
He’s also trying to make UK politics less like – as he puts it – a Punch and Judy show. I’m not sure which of those approaches will last the lower amount of time… I have the scary sort of feeling that the Tories might get things together a bit more with Cameron as the leader. He”s clearly clever, knows how to play the media, and his tactic to say very little about policy might well be genius for the Tories. On the other side, he”s up against a battered Blair and the culture clash of him facing Gordon Brown will not be a pleasant spectacle. Let’s just hope that Labour gets on with its own leadership contest soon, and the real fight for the 2009/10 election can start in earnest.
[Updated – 09.12.2005]
Cameron has today written a piece in The Guardian about quality of life and the environment. Now, while I have basically no hope that the Tories are going to manage to make anything of such a review, the words that he writes sound quite decent and sound. Remarkable.