If I could go back in time to my Oxford days, I’d warn myself against idolising Cameron | James Delingpole

April 8, 2010

How odd to think that there was a time when I looked up to David Cameron. From the moment we were introduced at the beginning of my second year at Oxford, I remember being mesmerised by his confidence, his charisma, his looks, that amused plummy accent and — yes — perhaps, also, that slight vibe so many Etonians projected in those days that if you hadn’t been to ‘School’ you really weren’t quite the thing. It all made you want to get to know him better. Which I did. And I very much liked what I found.

If you’d told me then that David Cameron would one day be prime minister, I’m sure I would have been tickled pink. I didn’t know what his politics were but I had my vague suspicions: a belief in traditional English values spiced with a love of liberty and a healthy disrespect for arbitrary authority; almost certainly a distrust of big government and a hatred of political correctness and joyless, snarling, bitter socialism. Just the kind of brave captain you’d want at the helm if ever there was another national crisis.

But now look at him… (to read more, click here)

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General Election 2010: My mate Dave…

Dave and his wife Sam meet supporters in London today (Photo: Reuters)

Dave and his wife Sam meet supporters in London today (Photo: Reuters)

“Every time a friend succeeds I die a little,” said Gore Vidal.

Not a problem I’m going to be having any time soon with my old Oxford chum David Cameron, as you’ll see from my You Know It Makes Sense column in this week’s Spectator.

Here is a guy who had the chance of a lifetime: he could have gone down in history as the man who saved Britain from its greatest crisis since the second world war. He could have rescued our economy, restored our national sense of self-worth, given us back our stolen liberty, rolled back the state, regained our sovereignty, slashed taxes and red tape, stemmed the tide of immigration, clamped down on Islamist aggression and undone all the damage that has been inflicted on us by Blair and Brown.

And what’s he offering instead? Some nice photographs taken ten years ago showing just how fit his wife is. The exciting news that Sam is pregnant. A big poster of a young black woman saying she wouldn’t have voted Conservative before but now she will because Britain’s Broken. Another one showing how baby-soft and pink Dave’s cheeks are. Have I missed anything? Not a lot. Cameron’s future claim to fame will surely be as a prime minister so floppy and useless he makes Ted Heath look like Winston Churchill.

If you want more in that vein, read the piece. It’s the last anti-Cameron stuff you’re getting me before the election. (Unless of course, he does something quite egregiously stupid, in which case all promises are suspended.) Why? Because like the mighty Lord Tebbit I agree that however much we all loathe these despicable, Saul-Alinsky-loving Fabian faux-Tories, they are nonetheless our least worst option in this General Election.

Everyone in their heart knows this, which is why I make a prediction – as indeed I have been predicting for some time – that the Conservatives are going to win with a decent working majority. They don’t deserve it, they haven’t earned it. But the cynical calculation that Team Dave has made is right: serious conservatives, for the most part, have nowhere else to go. For all our blustering about how cross we are and how we’re going to punish the Tories at the polls, the fact is that when the moment of truth comes in the polling booth, our consideration above all else will be: don’t let those New Labour b******s get into power again.

There are a few exceptions to this rule – Tory MPs you shouldn’t vote for, no matter what. But let us save them for another column.