Norman Tebbit mauls David Cameron

From The Mirror

Norman Tebbit yesterday launched a stinging attack on David Cameron for being all spin and no substance.

The former Tory chairman said the Conservative leader’s reliance on slick PR techniques had backfired.

“I am not sure that it is possible to sell politics quite like soap powders or organic vegetables,” Lord Tebbit wrote on his blog.

“Margaret Thatcher would sometimes listen to a clever plan from one of her ministers quietly, then dismiss it out of hand with the words ‘Far too clever’.

“So if I were an election planner in Camp Cameron I would be beginning to ask myself why there has now been a slow erosion of the Tory lead over the last year or 18 months.”

Erosion The criticism from the man once regarded as Mrs Thatcher’s chief rottweiler follows a similar attack by Lord Tebbit in 2007 when he dismissed Mr Cameron as being “out of touch” with ordinary British people.

Lord Tebbit spoke out after a string of recent polls showed a whittling down of the Tories’ lead over Labour. A survey this week said the gap between the two main parties was now just seven points, with Mr Cameron’s party flatlining on 38 points.

Lord Tebbit said that without a “major change of tactics” Mr Cameron might struggle to win the general election.

He added: “The polls were giving the Tories a point or two over 40% until quite recently. The odd rogue polls were giving a bit more, but the steady rating was 40% plus.

“Now, with the exception of the rogues, the rating is 40% or less. The 40% floor has become a ceiling.

“The trouble for Mr Cameron is that the vagaries of constituency boundaries and tactical voting and the poor showing of the Conservative Party in Wales and Scotland mean that he needs an opinion poll lead of about 10% to be sure of a majority in the House of Commons after the election.”

Cameron Lord Tebbit again accused Mr Cameron of being out of touch with voters and said he should spend more time talking to people in “supermarket checkout lines”.

He went on: “It may be the Conservative Party’s polling in critical seats has led the tacticians to lose sight of what is happening on the wider electoral battlefield.”

In 2007 Lord Tebbit dismissed David Cameron as “a public relations guy”.

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