Tory Conference quickie
Ditto this - it's time to sort yourselves out, chaps. We need a proper opposition.David Davis - too boring, too smug. Don't like him. Just a feeling.Ken Clarke - used to like him, but he's missed his chance. Too smug, not likely to unite the party and, because of that, not likely to be able to revitalise its image or policies sufficiently. He'd get some good hits on the government, but would have to be watching his own benches more. As such, not good for the country. (And then there's the whole tobacco thing...)Liam Fox - like him, though disagree with him. Seems affable. But too likely to turn into the Tories' Charles Kennedy - you wouldn't really want him in Number 10, though you'd probably be happy to have a beer with the guy.Malcolm Rifkind - my early favourite for his intelligence and experience, plus lack of taint from the last eight years of crap, but now I doubt he can overcome his "boring and old" image enough to appeal to the electorate. Would be great versus Blair, less so versus Brown - although at least he has the brains and gravitas to outwit the Chancellor over the dispatch box if/when he becomes PM. Still, probably a no-go unless the Tories are willing to look to 2013/14 rather than 2009/10 for a return to power, and for yet another bridging leader.David Cameron - young, seems fairly sincere, little enough known to the general public that he can position himself however he wants. After last night's Newsnight, it appears he could have popular appeal. Could prove to be a new William Hague, which could - if he avoids making the same mistakes Hague did - be no bad thing. Probably the best option for a proper, effective, reforming opposition.
After eight years of Labour fiddling and interference in every aspect of our lives, and expecially after the last few years of ever more intrusive trampling over our civil liberties, we need a Tory party returning to its traditional values of small government and the rights of the individual. Sod the image overhaul (although that's also, to an extent, needed) - sort out an ideology, as that's what the British political scene has been missing for the last decade.
As for the leaderhip contenders, my entirely unconsidered takes: