The New Statesman hosted the first serious comparison of Tony Blair and David Cameron. Back in August Nick Cohen examined the similarities between the speeches of the two men. The acerbic Cohen was unimpressed:
”Derivative and dated, Conservative modernism is ultimately a counterfeit. You can almost catch the sweet reek of the caramelised sugar that holds the confection together. A public grown weary of PR will turn up its nose in an instant.”
Rory Bremner – whose regular NS column confirms why Bremner, Bird and Fortune is so culturally leftish – has another go at the comparison in his review of the year:
“I’m relieved that David Davis didn’t win, as I didn’t fancy having my nose broken in make-up every week; the arrival of Cameron at least gives me a new character to impersonate. I’m still working on him; but then so is he, along with a large number of dedicated advisers…
Cameron actually does Blair a lot better than I do. (And, in fact, a lot better than Blair does, now.) You only have to listen to his acceptance speech: all the talk is of opportunity, future, positive politics. It’s absolutely Blair circa 1995. Like the Labour Party, the Tories have realised that they need someone young, charismatic and appealing (relatively speaking) if they want to win power; and, like Blair, Cameron knows that if you want to be prime minister, you need to be the leader of a major political party. Now all he has to do is change that party completely.
If he can do that, he’ll deserve to do well. But not one of the major issues in recent politics has been solved by charisma alone. Once again, a political party may have fallen for the appeal of what someone once memorably described as "the winning yesterday"."