A Question of Leadership

Posted on Tue 18 October 2005 in general

So for some people (me included) today will be an interesting experience. Heck even if you oppose the Tories and all they stand for hopefully you'll appreciate the importance of having a strong opposition party. So my run-down of the candidates is:

Dr Liam Fox has always been someone I've admired, especially when he shadowed Health. However as leader I'm not as comfortable with his right wing euro-sceptic position. His speech to conference promoting "traditional tory values" smacks of preaching to the blue-rinse brigade and not reaching out to the broader electorate. Being un-apologetically insular will just not win an election these days no mater how well you can hold up your core vote.

Ken Clark is probably the most popular choice. He is well known, liberal and has a record in office that is pretty respectable. Un-spun would be a good counter to the New Labour media machine. However he is getting on a bit and much as I agree with his european agenda I can just see him getting messily entangled in his parties internal schism should we ever actually need to move forward on the issue. However if he does make it I'm not going to complain.

David Davies just leaves me cold. I did not find his party conference speech that inspiring although I don't believe you should write someone off for a bad day. I'm not sure if I can put my finger on what I dislike about him except maybe his known right-wing views. Maybe its just the fact that he is apparently popular to the party membership makes me fear the preaching to converted that hasn't gotten the party anywhere in the last 2 elections.

And finally media darling David Cameron. One small worry I do have is given all the media speculation on his drug taking in the past I haven't heard much about his policies. Having said that his reputation as a radical reformer is exactly what is needed at this point. And I think the fact he has handled the intense media storm without breaking and keeping smiling bodes well for the future.

So my preference? David Cameron. Failing that I'd accept Ken Clarke with Cameron in the cabinet ready to take over after the first term. I may accept Davies but I worry that I really won't.