Wednesday, 5 September 2007

What is Michael Ancram up to?

Just as the Tories close the gap in the opinion polls (and are ahead in many key marginals), Brown is slipping and David Cameron sees a chance once again of becoming PM, Michael Ancram launches an attack on Cameron, accusing him of 'trashing' Thatcherism.

I am confused. There must be two Michael Ancrams around. One has twice lost seats in Scotland, and that Michael Ancram would surely be aware of the near-terminal decline of the Conservative Party in Scotland, Wales and the North of England in recent decades, and accelerated exponentially by Thatcher's influence - Scots, Welsh and northerners found it difficult if not impossible to identify themselves as what she called 'our people', after all. I know, because I was one of them. The other Michael Ancram has a nice safe seat in Devizes and can be excused for being unfamiliar with the situation north of Watford.

David Cameron has set himself the very tough task of reaching out to non-traditional Tories. At the local elections in May, this worked spectacularly. We won seats and councils in areas which had never voted Tory before, or had not done so for decades. These voters would not have elected neo-Thatcherites for the blindingly obvious reason that 25 years ago they did not vote for the originals.

Dave may be getting things right. Ancram has, in my humble opinion, little track record of his own with which to attack him.