Richard Reeves – in the Labour conference edition of the New Statesman (not yet online) – thinks Brown et al should be worried. Reeves draws on George Lakoff‘s theory that voters are much less interested in a politician’s specific policy recommedndations and are much more interested in whether politicians "get" the issues that they are concerned with.
Reeves worries that the Tory leader – with his focus on "labour market mobility, giant supermarket chains, anonymous neighbourhoods and congealed roads" – is more in tune with voters and "the spirit of the age":
"Cameron is tapping into a growing unease about the state of our communities and the still-tattered state of our social fabric. He is making all the right noises about work/life balance, well-being, corporate power and the environment. People do not generally feel that their problem is poverty, or lack of individual freedom. Their problem is that, despite all our advances and advantages, neither market-driven growth nor state-funded public services seem to be delivering better communities and better lives."
Reeves is surely right that this Crunchy Conservatism is spot on for the ‘Waitrose voter’ and David Cameron should continue to pursue it. This site believes that it is also important for the Tory leader to ‘get’ the concerns of the average ‘Tesco voter’… value-for-money, safer streets, secure borders, action against terrorists/ militants and so on. But it is good that the party is rebuilding its connection with the socially-concerned ABC1s and Labour are right to worry about that.