23rd Aug 2010

Cameron's First 100 Days in Office

On Leading the Coalition:

Yes, did a good job in setting this up and leading it forward. He took the media and political pundits by surprise early on and gave himself an advantage by making a virtue of the situation rather than it appearing to be a half-hearted compromise. Survived the unexpected and unfortunate departure from office of David Laws 18 days in. Nick’s profile has been appropriately low key whilst clearly remaining a supportive number 2. No obvious breaking of ranks.

On Having Courage to Make Difficult Decisions:

Cameron has led on cuts at home, and stood up to the Americans abroad. At home, he has set out an aggressive course of action (rightly or wrongly? – only time will tell). Abroad, he has made a good early attempt on ‘de-poodleing’ the relationship with America (eg not acquiescing to congress inferences re BP/Magrahi) – whilst also being realistic and making clear that the UK is the ‘junior partner’. Obama likes him and there is a definite ‘sizzle’ factor in their relationship.

On Early Gaffes:

Diplomatic incidents on historic dates, and remarks re Pakistan as ‘exporter of terror’ led to some hairy moments, media frenzy – and a burning effigy! Fortunately for him the matter was resolved and re-harmonised within his Pakistan peer within days.

Overall Result:

I can’t point to any real results yet – and for that we shall have to postpone judgment until end of his first 12 months. But my overall sense now is that, although no Roosevelt, Cameron has done well in his first 100 days. It’s too early to say whether he will achieve success during his whole term, and what his legacy will be – but a good strong leadership start is what we needed and it is what he delivered. Good luck David!

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