"Tieless was Year 1. In Year 1 the huskies were great, the moody shots with starving kids were affecting, the shirtsleeves and high-fives made a useful point, and the webcam and the messy kitchen were fine. Year 2 wants some rather formal poses, more suits, handshakes with US Democrats who might become President, and a backdrop sometimes of marble halls."
That is Matthew Parris’ advice to David Cameron in this morning’s Times. Mr Parris (ConservativeHomies’ favourite writer in last year’s awards) believes that ‘Operation Tory Detox’ needs to end and be replaced with ‘Operation Boss Cameron.’ OBC needs to "encompass not just command of an emerging manifesto, but a sense of personal command too." All this is necessary if Cameron is to avoid looking like blancmange to Brown’s basalt.
One of the things you do as Prime Minister, of course, is focus on the big issues facing Britain and one of the very biggest issues is Europe. As Ken Worthy writes on today’s Platform the EU is responsible for a huge share of British legislation and a large part of the regulatory burden on British business. If PM Cameron needs to be focused on Europe are we so sure that Candidate for PM Cameron needs to talk about Europe?
The danger of talking about Europe is that we give parties like UKIP the opportunity that has been enjoyed by the Greens over the last year. The focus on climate change and other environmental issues by the Tories and other mainstream parties hasn’t caused Green Party support to collapse. Quite the contrary. Green support registered 5% in a recent survey.
"When 79% of voters tell the pollsters that they don’t trust any MPs, the party promising "independence" – for Britain from the EU, but also for the individual from the state – suddenly seems appealing. This is the sort of territory that Mr Cameron should not cede by default."
But, as The Telegraph notes, UKIP’s Nigel Farage has been talking surprisingly little about Europe. Farage is talking about school selection and immigration and tax. He may rebrand the party as The Independence Party. David Cameron’s task in this year of the striver – is not to talk a lot about Europe but to address the concerns of the millions of hard-working families who have had enough of Labour’s taxes, regulations, crime and failing public services. When he gets into Downing Street we must hope that he realises that succeeding in championing strivers will require a lot of Eurosceptic action.