Thursday, October 18, 2007

My reply to Iain Dale

Iain Dale has commented good-naturedly on the posting I wrote yesterday entitled "EXCLUSIVE: Iain Dale will choose the next LibDem leader". It would be a shame for his comment to be buried in the comments field, so here it is:

Now now, I thought I had written quite a thoughtful piece! I meant that the new leader shouldn't try to copy Cameron in style. Whoever it is will need to develop their own narrative.

Fair enough Iain and thank you for reading my post and commenting on it. Yes, your posting was a thoughtful piece and I agree that the "distinctive narrative" of the next LibDem leader is key. But I think you underestimate the disgust with which many LibDems regard David Cameron's unctuous and contemptibly superficial "style". I have to turn the TV off every time he comes on, to avoid apoplexy. But of course, you think this "style" appeals to the masses - I disagree.

You say we shouldn't copy Cameron because: "No one does David Cameron better than David Cameron". (One might say more accurately that "no one tries to do a cheap copy of Tony Blair worse than David Cameron") The way many LibDems look at this is that no one comes across as a too-slick-by-half PR man as much as David Cameron, so why the heck would we want to copy him?

So, yes, it was a thoughtful piece, Iain, but the "send-up" nature of my post was born out of incredulity and astonishment at your assumptions. Quite frankly, many of us in the LibDems think David Cameron is an utter joke and we would run a thousand miles not to "copy" his "style". So, to be told not to copy it, by your good self, was something which seemed to merit an attempt at a humorous, if cutting, response.

Do I "protesteth too much"? Did your post actually hit a raw nerve, revealing a hidden sub-conscious primeval desire, buried deep within me, to have David Cameron as the leader of the Liberal Democrats?

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