Report on Conservativehome suggests that Cameron has persuaded the Barclay Brothers, owners of The Telegraph to provide him and the Conservatives with solid editorial support.
Cameron seems able to swing people behind him when he meets them face to face. That’s a great skill. He appears to be offering nothing in terms of favours in return for support as he wins backers in the media and elsewhere.
Blair managed to get all behing him but only by agreeing to everything his targets requested. To the EU he promised the Euro. To Bush he promised unconditional support for the Iraq War. To others he promised all kinds of things most of which he failed to deliver – e.g PR to Paddy Ashdown.
Being tradeable for favours, in particular made Blair the all time favourite for Rupert Murdoch. According to Lance Price, Murdoch has more or less controlled Britain’s relations with the EU ‘under’ Blair.
It is pleasing that Murdoch is finding Cameron less of a sucker, and Murdoch is having to learn respect for Cameron, even if that means he is taking the occasional pot shot at him to see if he can bowl him over. Murdoch must be beginning to realise that taking pot shots at Cameron could soon become a highly counterproductive strategy in terms of hanging on to all his media/sports privileges.
The EU is the fountain of power in Murdoch’s mindset, and he imagines that if he keeps the EU sweet, all will flow for him in the UK. But with Turkey’s accession now stalled, Italy’s ability to remain within the eurozone in doubt, and France/Germany talking of consolidating a central EU bloc, allowing others to choose how far they want to be ‘in’ the game is opening up a new era of Europe a la carte.
(See Roger Helmer on Segolene Royal’s EU proposals – http://www.rogerhelmer.com/straighttalk58.asp)
Power could swing quickly back to Westminster under a new Conservatiove government with the EU reaching a period of less certainty as to how to stabilise let alone progress.
Murdoch has seen the light about Gordon Brown. Only Paul Dacre is getting that one completely wrong still. He will have to retract on that front or look pretty foolish before long, with the Brown/EU era of big government/centralisation about to crack, and power about to swing back the other way. Cameron is the vanguard.