No. Cameron should not apologise. He should use the Grammar Games as the moment to launch a new narrative for what his leadership will be about.
He should lessen his reliance on William Hague who has been far too influential to date, and so often persuaded Cameron into an anti-democratic corner. Cameron should use the arrival of Coulson to open up the Party’s willingness to openly debate policy, and publicly look for the best solutions we can find to the problems the country faces…which must be localist and democratic, the two fundamental ideas that Cameron believes in.
The period of trying to ape Blair should end immediately. Hague should go or be reduced in influence, and Cameron should start to be his own man. He need not apologise. It is much to his credit that so many MP’s have felt able to speak out against a policy that seemed to be going in the wrong direction, or at least had not been fully thought through by Head Office. Once you get down to local level, the policy clearly had holes in it,and these needed exposing and quickly. Well done Brady for speaking out.
Because Cameron has refused to do deals with Murdoch and court the media at every turn, it has left the field open, which is why there is space there for mere MP’s to open up on policy.
It’s a great moment for British politics, and for the Conservatives.
Not all parties are the same any more. There is one which doesn’t do deals with Murdoch, or bow down to the BBC. It’s a Party which is trying to have new ideas – and find ways to improve things. Cameron can wear his amazing technicolour dream coat, and announce that ‘any dream will do’ – but he must allow his Party and ordinary people to turn those dreams into reality – and stop trying to out-Blair Blair.
Blair only got away with implementing appallingly wrong policies for ten years because he ruthlessly buried all opposition, and kept a close realtionship with the media. If Cameron is bringing the Blair era of spin to an end, he should be making sure people realise that’s what he’s about and claim the credit for it. Blair’s gone. Cameron’s coming. The air is lighter. No apology required.