Tuesday, October 06, 2009

All got up by the media?

"David Cameron was attempting to quell a growing rift within his party over Europe last night, as it threatened to overshadow the Manchester conference." So says The Daily Telegraph.

In an unscheduled speech from the Conservative conference podium, Mr Cameron said: "Let's make this week not one where we talk to ourselves. Let this be the week we talk to the country."

For someone who is supposed to have his finger on the pulse, did Cameron really think that he could park "Europe" and that people would be satisfied with Hague's "dance of the seven veils"?

His pre-conference e-mail telling the faithful that "... there will be no change in our policy on Europe and no new announcements at the conference," looks to be a major error of judgement - more so his apparent belief that talking about "Europe" is an internal matter for the Conservative Party.

Even Rees-Mogg is now writing about "this conspiracy" which has "changed the political question about Europe more than most politicians have yet realised." It has made the "better off out" policy a respectable part of political debate, says Rees Mogg.

Did Cameron really think that everybody would obediently fall into line and talk about retirement ages - that there would be no debate, that the media would roll over and spend the week happily chirping about "compassionate Conservatism?"

If so, who is advising him?