Earlier today I noted The Telegraph’s negative interpretation of its latest YouGov poll. Other ConservativeHome readers have pointed out Jeff Randall’s piece in the newspaper’s Business section. It doesn’t pull its punches. Comparing the Conservative Party to a company, Randall concludes:
"A company that’s rapidly losing touch with its heartlands. It’s akin to Waitrose suddenly abandoning its regulars in favour of those who prefer groceries from Kwik Save. Lightweight management. Underweight investment."
Great line although it’s the Kwik Save customers that Project Cameron can most accurately be accused of neglecting. Click on the graphic above to enlarge a section of the piece.
But if Project Cameron is losing friends at The Telegraph it is winning them at The Economist.
The Bagehot column, within its end-of-term report, describes the Tory leader as a "confident Commons performer", "an accomplished interviewee"* and a "disciplined strategist who has ruthlessly set about re-branding his party". The column concludes:
"To that end Mr Cameron’s speeches, while short on specifics, send out the signal that every day and in every way the Tories are becoming kinder, gentler and more at ease with modern Britain. So far his MPs, normally a mutinous lot, have done little more than mutter to themselves about the rumness of some of his sayings. It probably helps that for the first time since 1992 the Tories have a consistent, if modest, lead in opinion polls. But whether Mr Cameron’s bold marketing strategy can be reconciled with the beliefs and instincts of the party—beliefs and instincts that have lost it three elections on the trot—will only become apparent when he emerges from his self-imposed policy purdah next year."
* Few would disagree that Mr Cameron is an "accomplished interviewee" after he bested Jeremy Paxman during last year’s leadership election. There have been complaints, however, that he is now dodging the tougher interviews. The Diary column of Tuesday’s London Evening Standard carried a report that he has consistently been turning down Channel Four News requests. I can’t remember him returning to the Newsnight hotseat either.