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Cameron falls on his face

October 3, 2007

Some thoughts on Cameron’s speech

My main impression from reading the text of the speech is that it was underwhelming. David Cameron needed a big speech that would reset the agenda enough to move the polls enough to make an election too risky for Brown. Instead, it was shot through with lightweight pop culture references, gimmicks and hypocrisy. Indeed, while I’m not exactly thrilled about Brown pledging ‘British jobs for British worker’s’, few people will hear Cameron’s accusations of dog whistle on immigration there and a word about crime here ’ without recognising the hypocrisy of his words (especially since he pushes a hard-line anti-immigration measure a few paragraphs later). I’m also gagging at the hypocrisy of a man who has continually played to the anti-war gallery claiming credit for the renewal of Trident. There were of course the obligatory ‘WebCameron’ panders to the technology crowd.

However, what really struck me was the sense that the tone of his speech (or at least the text) seemed almost valedictory. With this reminiscences about past Conservative conferences Cameron sounded like someone who knew that he is unlikely to be leader of the Conservative party this time next year. While it is true that one journalist described Ted Heath as ‘fighting for the soul of the Conservative party in defeat’ on the eve of the 1970 election (which the Tories would go on to win), I am convinced enough by Cameron’s underwhelming performance to put some money on Labour getting the most seats. Although I generally like dark horse bets, or at least better than even money odds, I have just bought 9 contracts at Intrade.com on Labour being the largest party for a total (excluding trading fees) of $60.03. This leaves me with $406.95 in cash.

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