01 October 2006

What is the Economist Thinking?

David Cameron is on the front of the Economist this week and they lead with the article "Who is David Cameron?" with the baffling sub-headline "What the Conservatives' bright new hope can learn from Gordon Brown"

The article offers no new insights and it's a pretty trivial article, but I have to take issue with the three things the Economist counsels that he "needs" to do.

I set out their "recommendations" in order of ridiculousness

1 Ditch the pledge to leave the centre-right EPP altogether in order not to lose influence in Europe. This would be a wholly inconsistent and unprincipled stance. We have a great opportunity to lead the way in Europe by creating a non-federalist grouping in 2009. If Cameron wants a real schism in the party, he should take the Economist's advice here.

2 Follow up on his intention of making his party look as though it represents modern Britain by pushing through organisational changes and tightening his grip on how the chooses its Parliamentary candidates. Rightly or wrongly, I perceive Cameron to be less authoritarian than Howard - and I like that. When it comes to running the country he correctly espouses localism and decentralisation which I think is a powerful contrast to Labour. Why should he run roughshod over local members re candidate selection? I don't think any tightening of the grip is required, thanks. The foot-soldiers are already restless.

3 Hand the job of delivering public services to providers from the private or voluntary sector. We're Tories. We will always look at these type of initiatives on a case-by-case basis. We don't "need" to do this. We've always done it.

I used to subscribe the Economist. It won't take many more deadhead leading articles for this rag to be taken off the menu.


MJ Martin said...

I picked up that edition of the Economist and I agree. It was an absolutely dire article. And the picture of him on the front was terrible; he looked isolated, back against the wall, bathed in a cold sort of lighting, looking as if he hasn't sleep in a week.

Couldn't agree more with everything you said. Ditching the EPP pledge would be patently moronic. And I also like that Cameron appears less authoritarian than Howard (although the way he is refusing to budge when it comes to promising tax cuts early makes me suspect that, despite the fluffy exterior, there's a tough cookie lurking under there somewhere). Every bit of "advice" given was stupid - I don't think I'll be buying that magazine again for a while.

Praguetory said...

Thanks for the back up. Does anyone have any more reasonable advice for DC?