Fraser Nelson

Cameron has a policy agenda to change Britain – he should tell us about it

Cameron has a policy agenda to change Britain – he should tell us about it
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Cameron has not, alas, broken free of the never-ending opinion poll bungee jump which is the story of his leadership of the Conservative Party. Cleggmania is a bubble – but the thing about bubbles is that one can never quite tell when they will burst. The Tories, who have lost the most votes due to this bubble, will have their needles out. But in my News of the World column today I suggest they focus on policy because they do have hard ideas that could radically change Britain.

Cameron missed a trick by failing to mention his single best policy, Gove's school reform, last week.  On immigration, his plan for reducing it is the most radical promise on the market, and his linking it with welfare shows maturity and sophistication. Immigration is an electric issue for the electorate, and so it makes sense for him to make much more of his immigration policy.

On crime, his plans for locally-elected police chiefs could be transformative: it would not hurt, now and again, to say why. On jobs, his “cut waste” mantra is the best way to ensure the recovery. He is, at least, quite good on this. On defence, he’s now pledged to protect the MoD budget this year. And if doubling the foreign aid budget is justified on the grounds that £4bn is not a lot of money, then the £35bn MoD budget can be defended on the same grounds. And schools, to get your kid into a private school, you have two options: win the lottery or vote Tory. Simples. These are hard answers to the questions “what would you do for me”.

It is said that Oliver Letwin, nominally the policy chief, over-complicates everything, and can hardly order a bag of chips without breaking into Latin. So then, don’t listen to him so much. Rather than being ruthless, Cameron has kept around him some people who should have been upgraded some time ago (next time your strategy chief says "I’m off to California," the response is "goodbye" rather than "cool, why don’t you just work from there?").

Cameron’s best weapon is his own instincts. He has great, powerful ideas for how to change Britain. To defy the bookies and win outright, he should just talk about these ideas some more. There is still time. Just.