Overall Tory strategy: There had been progress in opinion polls but the party must go further and faster David Cameron has said. The party is "halfway up
the mountain" and part of getting to the summit would involve the public appreciating the strength of the Tory team. He highlighted the experience of William Hague,
the toughness of David Davis and Andrew Lansley’s commitment to the NHS. There would be no pandering to the core vote, he insisted. Elections weren’t won at fringes. The NHS would continue to be front and
centre for the Conservatives and securing a good and green environment would be as big a priority as the need for a
strong society and economy.
Directly-elected police commissioners: Ken Clarke may think the idea is "mad" but the Conservative leader used his interview for this lunchtime’s BBC1 Politics Show to make it clear that he is determined to deliver directly-elected police commissioners so that the police service would be more responsive to the demands of the public. He pointed to the example of London and indirectly praised Ken Livingstone for his success in using his mayoral office to deliver more community-based, on-the-beat policing (although I would suggest Tory boroughs like Wandsworth, Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster could afford more policing if it wasn’t for Mayor Livingstone’s tax grabs):
"The police are supposed to be accountable to police authorities, but I don’t think anybody knows who sits on police authorities or what they do. And so we’ve said why not replace the police authorities with a single elected police commissioner, not a police chief – he or she wouldn’t run the police – but they would be the chief focus for public accountability."
ID cards: David Cameron also used the interview to attack Identity cards. They were a "gigantic waste of money" he said and highlighted the fact that this "plastic poll tax" could – according to parliamentary answers – force the elderly and infirm to travel up to sixty miles to fingerprinting centres. The Tory leader said he had no confidence that a Government that couldn’t run its child maintenance system or the Rural Payments Agency could deliver an ID cards scheme. The Tories would scrap the scheme and invest the savings in more prisons and drug rehab.
Drugs: Interviewer Jon Sopel ended the interview with a series of questions on David Cameron’s drug past. The Tory leader continued to insist that he had nothing further to say on the matter. Interesting how David Cameron was probed on this sensitive topic but in a thirty minute interview with Andrew Marr this morning the Prime Minister did not face a single question on cash-for-peerages.