David_cameron_3The 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?"

Deputy Editor