Sunday, 1 November 2009

David Cameron's extreme image

Can you remember any of President Obama's policies that got him elected? Well there was something about health and I remember that he doesn't want to follow the British system. But wasn't that after the election? I also remember a lot of hostility to change, presumably from the powerful private health care lobby. The point is that image is often more important than policy. It was time for change in America and they got change.

So what sort of image is David Cameron portraying, in particular what are his party's views on Europe? Well they aren't mainstream. He hasn't aligned himself with the major right of centre parties. In fact he looked for support from the political fringes and he is facing criticism from many sources for his tactics of writing to the Czech president Vaclav Klaus. It doesn't matter that the Conservatives have abandoned the main centre-right grouping. It doesn't matter to him that their allies include fringe parties from the hard right. It matters to him that they show antipathy towards Europe.

Well I am afraid it does matter. David Cameron has isolated himself in Europe. It matters that his allies are extremists because regardless of extreme policies, this image of extreme allies will be remembered.

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