The Spectator

Cameron’s gamble

Cameron's gamble
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Behold an extraordinary role reversal: the Tories used to define themselves by crunchy competence, and Labour by compassion and an emotional appeal to collective and international solidarity. Tonight, Gordon Brown is styling himself as the right man to steer the nation through its watery crisis: après la deluge, moi. David Cameron, meanwhile, has taken a colossal gamble, and gone ahead with his trip to Rwanda to mark the launch of the Conservatives' international poverty report. Tomorrow's papers will make for rough reading, I predict. As British voters worry about the cost of flood damage and the promise of further inundation, the Tories fly out of the country. But Dave calculates that, in the long term, the electorate will be impressed by his resolve and the political importance he attaches to Africa's plight. I am not sure he will be vindicated. But I have to admire his grit: right or wrong, no Tory leader since Thatcher has shown such determination. You turn if you want to: Dave's not for turning.