Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Are David Cameron's political antennae broken?

A few days after the GateGate/PlebGate scandal blew up I was speaking to someone well connected in Westminster who asked me whether I thought Andrew Mitchell could survive as Chief Whip. I stated that I did not see how he could for the simple reason that he would no longer be able to command the respect of Tory MPs.

He then told me that was exactly what he had been hearing from Tory MPs who had talked to him about it.

I am a Lib Dem activist/blogger who is not often in Westminster. I don't regularly brush shoulders with parliamentarians and I had not spoken to a single "insider" about this until this conversation and yet I was clear as soon as I heard about it that he was no longer capable of doing his job and had to go.

David Cameron clearly disagreed and spent the last month desperately trying to cling on to his Chief Whip. Ultimately this strategy has failed and Mitchell resigned on Friday after his parliamentary colleagues made it clear to him his position was untenable.

What I don't understand is if I as essentially an "interested amatuer" could see this a month ago, why Cameron could not.

Are his political antennae broken? If so this is a dangerous development for a Prime Minister and does not bode well for the rest of his time in government.


Glyn said...

Yes, David Cameron is out of touch with the electorate. I doubt whether he has any political antennae at all.

I'm confident his days as Prime Minister are num,bered.

Jennie Rigg said...

Cameron's antennae aren't broken. He knew Mitchell's position was untenable the second the story broke. He was just saving his resignation up until something ELSE broke that needed burying - like the fact that his chancellor is a fare dodger. Mitchell's resignation came out an hour and a half after Osbourne was caught fare dodging...