Bruce Anderson says it is "time to advance" from Mr Nice Guy and say some "hard things about the Government":
"The wish to ensure that the electorate would re-evaluate the Tory party
explains Mr Cameron’s reluctance to fall back on the comfort zone of
traditional themes. Though many Tory supporters would have preferred to
hear more about tax and crime, Mr Cameron insists that it is hard to
overstate the voters’ sales resistance to familiar political sales
Anderson believes this strategy has worked, but that it has limited usefulness:
"Inevitably, that tactic could only be successful in
the short term. An opposition challenging for government cannot just
raise new and interesting concerns. It has, eventually, to address the
anxieties that most voters feel. There is nothing
to prevent Mr Cameron from doing this, and when he does, he will prove
to be good at it. But it is a prerequisite for further Tory advance."
If any recent Conservative leader had enough political capital to "get away" with going on traditional themes to attack the Government, it is Cameron. That this advice is coming from a strong supporter of his leadership adds to its weight.