Put aside for a moment what you think of the prime minister politically. Obviously if you are anywhere on the Left, Cameron is the champion of austerity, Thatcher times ten. If you are a Daily Mail reader, Dave is a lily-livered liberal somewhere to the left of Trotsky. No, what I’m after today is trying to figure out if Cameron is operating under an intensely thought out game plan – or if he’s just stumbling around randomly hoping everything works out.
Take Europe. The papers have been awash with stories of how Cameron is going to have to perform a big “climb down”; that people like Tusk and Merkel are having him for breakfast. But what if everything that’s going on is carefully stage managed? By that I mean, what if Cameron worked everything out with the relevant Europeans months ago, and what we are seeing unfold is a gigantic phony war, at the end of which David Cameron gets to announce he’s got everything out of the EU he was aiming for? Genuinely, genuinely, I have no idea at all anymore. I flip back and forth between believing one thing and then the other several times each day.
Or the general election: was Cameron lucky or was the general election win all down to his tactical brilliance? Again, it’s easy to fall into thinking he was just very fortunate; or that the credit should lie with Osborne and/or Crosby and that Cameron was just a passenger. But I don’t know anymore. Seriously, I really don’t.
This is the thing with Cameron; it was always been the thing with Cameron, actually. He’s often been denounced as a mere PR man – all flash, no substance Dave. But if that’s the case, and it’s all down to luck, he is one of the luckiest people to ever have lived. No, I think some credit has to be handed to him for what he’s achieved. The problem is, I have no idea how much, and thus trying to figure out if he knows what he’s doing now is next to impossible as a result.
In regards to the negotiations with the European Union, I really do hope the prime minister is in fact a genius, if on this and no other area, because hey, I’d really, really like us to stay in. But like I say, I don’t know what to expect anymore from the man who has managed to remain leader of the Conservative Party for over ten years now.