David Blackburn

Cameron must not radically change his style at PMQs

Cameron must not radically change his style at PMQs
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Watching David Cameron’s mannequin-like performance during the TV election debates, it became apparent just how good he is at the dispatch box. Quick witted, funny and incisive, Cameron invariably demolished Gordon Brown at PMQs.

Daniel Finkelstein’s column is a must read today, bludgeoning the absurd guff about  the ‘new politics’. But Finkelstein argues:

‘David Cameron is very good at being combative in the chamber. He has won many battles. And it will seem unecessarily risky to change his style. But the prize is great. For he can be a national leader, not a party one. And he can make a reality out of the nonsense of the new politics.’

Answering questions is a different skill to asking them, but there is no reason to make anything other than slight moderations in tempo and emphasis. The adversarial ceremony of PMQs may not permeate beyond SW1, but Cameron was at his most fluent and confident at in opposition when at PMQs, and his confidence spread to and inspired his backbenchers. To change his style, to suppress his personality, as Gordon Brown did and as Cameron himself did during the TV debates, invites inertia.