Sunday, October 01, 2006

A nude erection?

The Tory conference slogan is ‘A new direction’. Try saying it quickly a few times.

Meanwhile, David Cameron is continuing his campaign to end personalised ‘Punch-and-Judy’ politics by telling the Sunday Telegraph that Gordon Brown is “weak”, “tragic” and “laughable”. He clarifies this bid to shed the ‘nasty party’ label, saying that he means Brown is being “pushed around” by image consultants.

Dave, of course, never gives a moment’s thought to his own image.

He also told BBC1’s Sunday AM this morning: “We’ve fought elections before on upfront, unfunded tax cuts. I’m not going to do that, I’m not going down that path.” Three questions leap to mind. First, does that means he’s going to go for unfunded tax cuts that are kept secret rather than declared up front? Second, why instead can’t he offer upfront tax cuts that are properly funded by spending cuts? And third, why has he come to reject so contemptuously the approach used in Michael Howard’s manifesto just last year (author: D Cameron)?

(He added: “You’ve got to stick to your guns.”)

But he had an interesting metaphor to explain his approach to preparing for government: “It’s like building a house. You’ve got to prepare the ground – that’s the centre ground. That’s ten months’ hard work. Then you’ve got to have your foundation – that’s the idea that links everything together, social responsibility. Then, brick by brick, you put in place the policy.”

Trouble is, when you just pile bricks on top of each other without having a detailed architect’s plan from the start, you end up with a ramshackle, “shaky and wobbly” building that can’t stand up to much pressure. Perhaps this incoherent, bare, unfurnished structure is the ‘nude erection’.

Well, you didn’t think it could mean something else, did you?

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