Honesty. The best policy?

Published: Mar 27 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith

This morning (Tuesday 24th March) the news is awash with the revelation that the British Prime Minister says that he will not serve a third term as the leader of the Conservative party, and therefore leader of the country, should they be re-elected, again and again.

Now bearing in mind he has not won the next election it seems remarkably confident, or arrogant to think he could possibly win the one after.

It also ignites speculation about the future of the Conservative leadership as he suggests George Osborne, Boris Johnson and Theresa May would all be good candidates for the top job.

But it also sets up a tricky time for Cameron and the Conservatives about the man’s dedication to the top job in Britain. That may not play well. Only time will tell.

On one hand you can applaud his honesty. I always got the sense that Cameron was born for this job and his humanity in accepting that someday he will hand on the baton demonstrates both that humanity and the realisation that there is a life beyond politics.

He said the duration of being Prime Minister is like eating Shredded Wheat, two is great but three is just too many. He will not go the way of Blair or Thatcher and overstay his health or welcome.

On the other hand he has passed over the argument to the opposition who now say he is big headed, how can he talk about a third term when he has not completed his first.

Douglas Alexander, Labour’s chair of general election strategy, said in response to Cameron’s interview: “The Tories are taking the British public for granted. It is typically arrogant of David Cameron to presume a third Tory term in 2020 before the British public have been given the chance to have their say in this election.”

A Lib Dem spokesperson said: “It’s incredibly presumptuous of David Cameron to be worrying about a third term as Prime Minister weeks before the general election.”

Information, how we reveal it and when we reveal it has a fundamental impact on how we are perceived. The negotiator instinctively knows this and in my view tends to hold on to information that could possibly be useful in the cut and thrust for too long.

This is a judgement call. Cameron’s judgement will be seriously tested in the next couple of months.

Alan Smith


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