Thursday, October 06, 2005

Five Men Saying the Same Thing

Isn't the Tory Party Conference fun? Look, guys - we got the message quite a long time ago. It's nice that you seem to have finally caught up, but the public has known at least since 1997 that more of the same just won't do. Picking a leader based on how "sound a chap" he is is no way to select a potential leader of the country.

The five candidates all seem so scared to offend people. As John Bercow said after David Cameron's speech, you can't win an election by pitching your camp in several different tents. As odious as Liam Fox can often be, at least you know he is appealing to one vote. Sadly, that's the Keystone group. And God help us if they ever get running the country.

For all that Michael Howard handled his resignation atrociously, he did give the Tories a great opportunity in one respect. Hanging out dirty laundry in the silly season may not be a good idea, but the protracted leadership debate gave the chance for the party to have an open debate about the future. It had the chance to work out where it needed to focus; and how a genuine right-wing alternative government could be formed. Instead, we have seen the cliched "beauty contest". What the Tories need to learn is that the clothes you wear and the shampoo you use matter far, far less than the substance of what you argue.