It must have been pretty dismal being a Conservative party activist over the past 12 years (apparently 1993 was the last time they had an approval rating of over about 30%). But what fun it must be to be at the party conference this week! Lots of opportunity to gossip, a feeling that for a moment the news spotlight is on you, that you have the opportunity to make a difference. It would almost be worth having to listen to Francis Maude and Theresa May telling you that you’re crap and outmoded.
Surely they need to pick a leader relatively untainted by the gloom of the past decade. Ken Clarke was the right choice in 1997, but it’s too late for him now. Ditto Rifkind. David Davis looks suspiciously like IDS Mk2 (in fact, wasn’t he nearly IDS Mk1?). So that leaves Fox and Cameron. Liam Fox has chosen to distinguish himself by dropping hints about leaving the EU, so he’s already made himself sound like just another rabidly inward-looking Tory. I haven’t really seen much of David Cameron yet, although he’s been getting some flattering buzz in the media over the past week. If nothing else – he’s new. They really need someone new.