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© Ellie Foreman Peck 

There is something slightly fly about David Cameron. Or as Robin Harris, former director of the Conservative Research Department and Cameron's first employer, put it: "I don't think that in any shape or form he could be described as a Conservative in philosophical terms. He has no principled sense of direction; his only sense of direction is upwards. The opportunism he displays is deplorable."

David Cameron is not very nice. The only time I met him he was leader of the opposition and annoyed to have been introduced to me. He showed his displeasure by clicking his heels like a petulant Prussian aristocrat as he shook my hand. I had expected charm at the very least and, even though I understood why he was irritated to have been distracted from some powerplay of his own, I was surprised.

I had thought of Cameron as being a normal modern leader, a man whom the Tories had chosen because he was not weird like Michael Howard, Iain Duncan Smith or William Hague. But instead I was faced with a throwback to a bygone age which I was only dimly aware still existed.

It is this clinging to entitlement which is most strange about Cameron and leads some people to overrate him. But it is not enough to expect privilege, upbringing and money to give you the "right instincts" to rule. And it is that mixture of desire for power with petulance and a very limited sense of the strategic which marks Cameron out as a second-rate leader.

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Tom Burroughes
April 23rd, 2013
8:04 AM
This is a decidedly mixed article. Consider this: "A socially regressive Britain, dominated by white men, sold off to the highest bidder to pay debts we are not even sure all need settling, to the sole profit of a small privileged elite, is not the country that even the deepest blue ladies of the Tory shires dream of." Who exactly is "selling" the UK to the "highest bidder"? What sort of conspiracy-mongering is this? And then there is the swipe at how not all of the UK's massive debts need to be paid off? Well, given that Ms Gimson's own party - Labour - presided over a shockingly large rise in UK debt, despite inheriting a strong set of figures in 1997, maybe Ms Gimson imagines we can somehow avoid the difficult choices necessary to deal with such huge debt. Maybe she imagines that a more Keynesian-style administration will just inflate the debt away, and damn the consequences. But one such consequence is to hit people reliant on savings, and as such, is a deeply "socially regressive" measure. This is what maddens people about the nature of debate about politics in this country: we obsess about the accents and social backgrounds of MPs, but cannot be so bothered to rationally consider their actual arguments and principles. No wonder we have problems. For all that I agree with some of Gimson's views, I have to say that this is a very poor article, way below the usual standards of this fine publication.

April 9th, 2013
1:04 PM
If I wanted Gimson's opinion I'd read the Guardian. I couldn't agree with grimm more. We're sick to death of metropolitan bubble-dwellers like Gimson telling us what should and should not concern us. What actually concerns us in uncontrolled immigration, Islamisation, our decline into a Third World cesspit, the surrender of our sovereignty to the unelected trough-snufflers in Brussels and the iron grip of The Left on all our failing institutions.

April 5th, 2013
11:04 AM
grimm Your response has more validity than this article, and I write as someone who actively distrusts Cameron.

March 28th, 2013
10:03 PM
I had hoped that this article would provide some real insight into David Cameron's failings as politician and prime minister but, sadly, Sally Gimson just trots out the standard set of views of the metropolitan liberal left elite. These people now dominate the media and politics and are convinced, as Gimson is, that they speak for the majority of ordinary people (never bothering to find out what really concerns 'ordinary people'). So the ministers 'obsess about immigration'. Well, this is a subject that concerns many people. Why are Gimson and her kind so out of touch with these concerns while obsessing about equality and discrimination? You don't have to be an old Etonian, grouse-shooting toff to be out of touch with the electorate. Being a member of our inward looking political class will do just as well.

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