Monday, April 10, 2006

David Cameron Should Sack The Shadow Cabinet Briefer

I woke up this morning to 9 inches of snow, no electricity, newspaper stories about a beleagured Prime Minister. Was I back in 1973 and experiencing a 'Life on Mars' moment? Sadly not. No Ford Cortina outside the front door - although being from Essex, you won't be surprised that my first car was an orange Cortina, which became known as the Big Jaffa. I wrote it off on my 20th birthday by hitting a Transit van head on at 50 miles an hour. Not nice. Especially as my two sisters were with me. And no seat-belts. Ouch. Anyway, I digress. The newspapers this morning carry a story about David Cameron's 3 day jaunt to Norway later in the month to research climate change. Apparently some prick of an anonymous "senior shadow minister" (I'm mincing my words this morning) doesn't approve and thinks that Dave should be out on the streets knocking on doors for the local elections. This person is quoted as saying: "I think it really is barmy to be jetting off to do this in the middle of an election campaign. There will be Conservatives all over the country knocking on doors, and where is he? He's off looking at glaciers in Norway. I'm afraid he's missed the target - it just has the feel of a gimmick." I have to say this is very odd language for a 'senior' Shadow Cabinet member to use, but assuming it hasn't been made up who could it be? What I would dearly love is for the Cameroon Secret Police to find out who it was and then have a very public execution and sacking (not necessarily in that order). If people have criticism of David Cameron they should put their name to it, or at least have the guts to say it to his face, rather than creep behind the anonymity of a newspaper. Have we learned nothing from the past, where it became de rigeur to brief, brief and counterbrief? It must stop, and stop now, or Francis Maude's prediction on Saturday will come true.

15 comments:

Voice from the South West said...

But what if it was David Davis Iain?

Man in a shed said...

Knocking on doors is only to check if Conservative voters are alive (an ever increasing problem), know there is an election and need a postal vote.

So its a vote mobilisation exercise - David Cameron is about vote winning and conversion. The way to people's hearts is through their televisions not their front door.

Just shows how little the 'briefing' source understands.

Pulsar said...

Given that Dave's team NEVER do any backdoor briefing-did you never bump into Ed during the leadership campaign-this is shocking.
Any chance they planted this one themselves???

Bob Piper said...

My old 'Uncle Joe' would be very proud of you Iain. A public execution in the snow... that'll learn 'em. There's a thin line between discipline and freedom of expression. Perhaps you should join the lib dems... there the leader speaks and the sheep fall into line, with eveyone suddenly believing the line (apart from those sharpening the knives behind the leader's back).

Pulsar said...

Given Hattersley comment over weekend that must have been blogged from bitter experience!

Richard Bailey said...

Cameron can achieve vastly more on our TV screens promoting his interest in environmental issues (about which we may disagree!) than he can knocking on 50 doors in Salford.

People like me can then knock on doors the following day, knowing that they have seen Cameron doing something they approve of.

I hope this curmudgeonly briefer gets what's coming to him - and egg on face will do fine.

Pulsar said...

or her..............!

Matthew Sinclair said...

I completely agree. Free speech is one thing but if you're a senior member of the shadow cabinet you can speak in public like an adult or, a better solution, keep such minor disagreements private.

Lord Haw Haw said...

I thought Derek Conway had been sacked already?

Pulsar said...

Whatever happened to haw haw?

bebopper said...

I must admit I thought of Basher, Iain, but you know him as well as anyone and I guess it would be "more than his job's worth."
You also know about political journalism; is it possible that a left-wing journalist could make up a quote and hide behind the confidentiality code?
Re the Norway trip; television coverage is gold dust, so the carper is an idiot. Incidentally, Michael Howard will be on TV tomorrow, demonstrating that "prison works". I think it's on Newsnight, but you'd better check.

Daniel Vince-Archer said...

Do calm down, Iain. It's quite likely this has been made up by an over-imaginitive New Labour-supporting hack to divert attention from their own splits. Storm in a teacup.

Pulsar said...

The Norway story will make good television-but if your sitting at home trying to work out how to pay council tax it may look pretty and go down well in Notting Hill -but it WILL miss the mark!

henry, hereford said...

This environmental kick will help a lot in rural constituencies. Those who vote lib dem or who are thinking about throwing their vote away on a Green might be made to think twice. I agree with the balance of opinion. DC looking concernedly at a big bit of melting ice and talking about how we can really do something about it will be a big help. The comment wasn't helpful. When he's there it will just be "David Cameron came to Norway to highlight his party's new commitment to green issues, but doubts have been expressed in his party about the timing of the trip......" Cheers whoever it was. They sound like the whingers on Conservative Home.

Pulsar said...

What about a new party logo?-first suggestion in is a "GLACIER" mint(in time for the local elections of course)
Or perhaps a bike to represent healthy "family" values!