Tory blogs are alive with smears, allegations of smears, and smearing of smearers. Over at Tim Montgomerie’s ConservativeHome.Com (home of the Compassionate Conservative Christian Right) he has had to block some of the more outre comments. Over at the Social Affairs Unit’s blog the wonks are arguing over hypothetical allegations of Oxford Union cocaine binges. Even the non-Tory Mike Smithson’s PoliticalBetting.Com is seeing the comments section getting writ risky.
Cameron’s lunch with Lord Rothermere has not resulted in favourable coverage from the Daily Mail. Dacre today ladles hypocritical excrement all over Cameron: “the bitter truth is that there is a direct connection between this ambivalence over drugs among an affluent metropolitan elite and the hopeless, helpless junkies in bleak housing estates who are destroying their lives and blighting whole neighbourhoods through crime…. If he becomes Prime Minister, how can he possibly have a position on drugs if his own record remains shrouded in mystery?” (Guido suggests Dacre visits the convenient-for-the-office Roof Gardens nightclub to find out which of his elite metropolitan journalists are more than ambivalent in this area.)
Cameron’s rivals are gleeful, before all they had on him was that he was too posh and too young. For now Cameron’s team intend to hold the line (pardon the pun) at that was then, this is now. Cameron has also met with Murdoch, whose tabloids have a ruthless streak that Dacre’s drink addled journo’s lack, but it remains to be seen if he has impressed Murdoch enough for him to rein in his News of the Screws hacks.
Guido congratulates Tim Montgomerie for his masterful use of the Mandelsonian dark arts in bringing this issue into the mainstream. It was first the Mail’s ever abstemious Peter McKay and then Tim who publicly and repeatedly, again and again linked Cameron’s liberal comments to the Home Affairs Select Committee on drugs with his personal history. Tim boasted that his “post of Sunday on ‘Cameron and cannabis’ produced more than 160 reactions (at the time of writing this) and the subject is interesting commentators, too. Pundits are seeing Mr Cameron’s unwillingness to talk about his experience with illegal drugs as a betrayal of ‘the new kind of politics’ that they hope he might represent.” That will have diminished Cameron and benefitted the crucifix brandishing Dr Fox no end amongst the more socially conservative activist readers of his blog. Tim should however remember the fate of the Pharisees, who thought themselves holier than Jesus, and were eager to condemn him as a blasphemer. They crucified their own saviour as a result.
“This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust,” he told the PM, concluding: “I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election… I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom. I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit…”