Friday, September 28, 2007

What Cameron should and SHOULDN'T say next week...

This is a follow up to the post below on how the Conservatives should respond to Brown's speech this week and an expanded version of a comment I left over on Iain Dale's piece from today's telegraph on the same theme.

Given the possibility of an autumn election party unity is key for the Tories in Blackpool next week and I really hope anyone tempted to have a pop at Cameron heeds Iain's advice and holds their tongue. As to Iain's other suggestion that the Conservatives should launch a full on attack on Brown he couldn't be more wrong.

Unity IS key but you can only build that around a positive campaign - one built on a clear vision of what Britain under the Conservatives would look like. It's almost certainly impossible to build it around the sort of negative or critical campaign many Conservatives are urging (see ConHome's Wrong man campaign etc). The reason this won't work is that no matter how gifted your communications team or your speechwriters the public tend to associate you with one broad theme or defining characteristic - either you're a positive alternative, full of ideas and refreshing policies and the embodiment of change or you're a player, a politician whose first instinct is to rubbish their opponents and squabble over who's best. This is why Brown didn't even mention the Conservatives or Cameron at the start of the week - it's a deliberate move to pitch him as above the fray and disdainful of party politics.

As I mentioned below David can't really get through his speech next week without referencing the last 10 years because he's an opposition leader. But that doesn't mean you run a campaign built around what you're not and attacking Gordon Brown. The public needs to know what you are and how things would change under a Conservative government. I would dearly love to see David speak for 90mins next week without mentioning Brown by name once. The Labour party yes, and regular references to their failings over the last decade but each one immediately followed by a positive reference to what the Conservatives would do differently. If Cameron stands up next week and delivers lengthy passages on Brown's failings and character flaws, laced with jokes to please the floor, the Telegraph and right-wing blogs, there may be a superficial bounce and some soothing noises from his recent critics but comes Christmas the polls will be right back where they are today.


At 12:42 PM , Newmania said...

I can`t open your site half of it is missing

At 2:35 PM , Newmania said...

Cas i think its your Boris thingy iot goes across the whole page

At 3:47 PM , Cassilis said...

Cheers NM - should be sorted now so let me know if not.

I'm also assuming since you're focusing on cosmetics you agree completely with my call on what DC should say this week?!?

At 9:00 PM , Newmania said...

Not really , Brown`s attempt to be above Party politics is not playing all that well and I suspect they will be remembering what triumphalsim did for them whne Major suprised them.
I would laugh at his preposterous delusions and do the opposite showing myself to be a beliver in robust democracy not a "One Party State" Stalinist but I do not mean cameron himself

Cameron has to bring the threads together and his criticism will be by implication chiefly but do not try to be Brown , be approachable , balanced funny and not be afraid to strike a emotional note and do not apologise people will appreciate steadfastness
I may be wrong I seem to be one of those unusual people that likes David Cameron . I would very much like him to continue as leader


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