Alastair Campbell comments on the strangely ineffectual Conservative campaign so far:
Miliband looks, sounds and acts like he is up for the fight. Cameron doesn’t.
Either he just resents all this challenging of his record and being held to account, and frankly sees this election as something of an irritant. Or, he has had enough and can’t wait for the day he is off doing something else. Whatever it is, he is not giving the sense – to the public or, importantly, his team – of a man with a winning mindset.We know from five years of PMQs that Cameron's inner Flashman is never far from the surface, so the former explanation may be the right one. Who are these people to question me?
But Campbell prefers the latter explanation and offers some ingenious evidence for it:
A few straws in the wind to support my view. The refusal to go head to head with Ed Miliband after all he said about the importance of such debates. The fact that he signalled, under no pressure to do so, that he would not fight a third election if he won this one. T
he fact that his wife and children sat in the gallery for the final PMQs of this session. It reminded me of footballers taking their kids out as mascots on the last home game before retirement. Was he thinking, even subconsciously, that they might never get the chance to see him at that Despatch Box again?
The lack of energy and imagination in the campaign. The lack of hunger, as shown by the decision to keep him away from any risk, any member of the public other than those his handlers know are ‘safe.’ (The media are letting him away with this but that will change when boredom really sets in.)
The fact that he seems to prefer talking about his family than he does about policy and the big challenges facing the country and the world. The fact he has yet to say or do anything interesting or memorable since the campaign began.Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that Conservative strategy is in trouble. Having found that attacking Ed Miliband and saying "long-term economic plan" a lot is not going to cut it, they have now fallen back on attempting to bribe the electorate.