Saturday, April 15, 2006

A trip he can't afjord?

In his eagerness to convince us of his green credentials Cameron is heading to Norway to see the effects of global warming on a glacier. This coming just weeks before his first electoral test at the local council elections. The reasoning behind the trip is obvious. A picture of Cameron earnestly contemplating the future of our planet is worth several soundbites. The floating voter who has time only to glance at the newspaper headlines will add that image to the Cameron profile.

Alongside wanting to project the image of a changed Conservative party, Cameron's early focus on the environment may hide a more shrewd electoral tactic. The Green party have been increasingly strong in local elections and are fielding a record number of candidates this time around. As Cameron will be keenly it won't just be psephologists picking through the aftermath of May4th. Whilst Green voters may not seem like natural Conservative prey there is concern amongst the greens that the Cameron PR might squeeze their share of the vote.

They have rightly highlighted the lack of any real policies for Cameron to lay the foundations of his greener Britain. Given that the environment does not even feature on the list of key challenges at Conservatives.com this adds weight to the idea that the big green focus might just melt into hot air after the local elections.

I do not just base this forecast on scepticism and mistrust. Radio 4's Hugh Levinson produced a great edition of Analysis which highlights the long term incompatibility of seriously green policies with free market economics. As has long been the case, the market cannot solve the planets problems alone.

Whilst we are touching on the subject of Cameron's economics have a gander at this piece by Gabriel Glickman of the Neocon Henry Jackson Society. It suggests beneath the surface of Camerons shadowy cabinet lies a whiff of NeoConservatism. I'm inclined to think and hope not. Rest assured however that Cameron watch will have its nose to the ground on that one!

As an aside I have linked a speech which Cameron made to the Foreign Policy Centre. For any other Cameron watchers this outlines his thinking of foreign policy and is an insightful read, containing the occasional chunky paragraph of substance. I usually flirt with foreign policy on my other blog The Critical Aye but the ensuing mess with Iran probably means that Cameron will soon be drawn into the argument, and of course, wherever he goes we shall follow...

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