The main points of Jasper Gerard’s Sunday Times report on his time helicoptering around the country with David Cameron:
- Not all spin, has a real personality.
- Is charming, has a wry humour.
- Gets cross at the suggestion that he is seeing how far he can push traditional Tories: "They voted for change, I want to lead on my terms".
- Hits the right buttons to connect with Gen X.
- Seems sincere when talking about work/life balance.
- Has some core Conservative beliefs but offers gentler justifications for them.
- Said he would face down Zac Goldsmith on nuclear power – a power source he said was a last resort (Francis Maude was non-committal on this issue at Cardiff’s Built to Last).
- He floats the idea of basing school classes on ability rather than age, Jasper notes that he has substance not just style on education policy (expectedly)
- Does your move to the centre imply you, not Gordon Brown, are the heir to Blair? "I find that impossible to answer", and later: "I will never be as good at attacking Blair as Brown is".
- Says the Conservatives have been an effective opposition that has shredded the Government’s programme in the last seven months, with the exception of the education bill which he got through.
- Jasper comments in an aside that "many criticisms of Tone by Dave" can be turned on Dave by Tone.
- He vows to veto any proposals to exempt unions from a limit on party donations (which he wants to be set at £50,000).
- Wants to establish a commission to investigate corruption in football.
- He says he is fully geared for a snap election
Jasper ends his generally positive article by calling Cameron a class act, but ends on a surprisingly cynical note:
"But it is surely an act — isn’t it? And can he wing it all the way to Downing Street?"