So David Cameron reckons a "positive vision of change" as Britain heads into tough financial times is what is going to make him the next Prime Minister. Personally I think it will be more the fact that Gordon Brown has been the worst performing Prime Minister in recent memory, but I'll humour 'Call Me Dave' for a few moments.
Unfortunately I don't believe that Cameron's Conservatives can deliver a positive vision of change. Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure they will succeed in spinning the Obama-lite rhetoric all the way up the opinion polls - especially with a European Election scheduled for June 2009 - but Cameron is going to leave those who are currently utterly disgusted with the three main parties, still with nothing but a great sense of antipathy towards the political class.
You see Cameron himself is a card carrying member of a group I like the Rosette Club. This exclusive elite of inter-changeable metropolitan politicians currently rule Britain on a consensus of opinion. For them, politics is purely about a popularity contest based on spin and name-calling with very little gritty political debate. Its members are not hard to spot. Indeed, it is fast becoming easier nowadays to point out those who aren't a member of The Rosette Club. MPs like Frank Field, David Davis, Douglas Carswell, Phillip Hollobone and Austin Mitchell are some good examples from both the Tory and Labour side. Individuals with an independent outlook based on what they believe to be right rather than climbing the career ladder. Subsequently none of these men are likely to have any real political power in the immediate future, though Davis could be Cameron's successor if the Blue Labour project goes tits up.
So what of Cameron's "positive change" theme? Well so far all I can tell is a lot of policy change for the worse. He wants to keep the current failing state school system, scrapping Conservative policy on the revival of grammar schools. By doing this he condeamns millions of children to a standard of education he could not possibly imagine as an old Etonian. He of course famously muscled into the alarmist global warming bloc, a clique who earn kudos amongst each other by proposing greater levels of tax on ordinary people for living their lives. This was a mission deemed so important that the Tory logo changed to that of a tree, yet we don't hear much from Cameron about the environment now as green is out and we're now entering the blue and gold season.
That leads us to the issue of the EU. Cameron has scrapped his predecessor Michael Howard's plan of attempting to get negotiate the Common Fisheries Policy. On top of that, he is of course fully supportive of continued membership of the European Union, membership that costs £56 billion per year and gets rid of British borders for nearly half a billion EU citizens. This organistion intends to impose its will on the peoples of Europe without so much as a referendum anywhere it can avoid giving one - but Cameron's policy of "positive change" will not subscribe to any idea that is seen by his entourage of media advisers as unfashionable or risky. The simple fact is that David Cameron is standing on a platform of Blue Labour vs. New Labour. Just like the rest of The Rosette Club, it is simply a matter of voting for a sound bite, a name and a brand instead of a vision or principle. Whether he or Brown wins the next election, very little will actually change for ordinary people.
This need not be an endless cycle. If UKIP can stun the Rosette Club like they did in the 2004 European Election, then there may be the chance for the momentum to translate finally into MPs for the party. On a more short term basis however, the British people are fully justified in feeling powerless and angry towards this champagne-swigging group of elites. Anyone else who says different probably works from an office in Westminster.