If Dave is the Heir to Blair than Steve Hilton is Mandelson’s progeny. In 2006 his writ runs right across the Tory party as much as Mandy’s did in 1996 across Labour. Given that, according to reports, Steve told his New Labour friends that he last voted for the Green Party it is no surprise that he would ruffle true blue feathers.
In truth some of the Camerlot plays are so clearly out of the Mandelson rebuild-your-party manual as to be plagiarism. Replacing the outdated logo with a softer rose/tree. Projecting the party leader as a young optimistic family-man? Changing the vernacular of the party? Changing the subject from nationalisation/immigration to helping the family/the environment? In 1996 Brown promised to stick to Major’s spending plans, today Osborne is implicitly promising to stick to Gordon’s taxation levels in the interim. The list is endless.
Now, after a year, the negative mutterings from the party’s old guard about Hilton are reaching the papers in the same manner they did a decade ago about Mandelson. The Tories owe Hilton so much for dragging many of them on their knuckles back to the future. Liam Fox, the unamed “senior Tory source” behind some of the off-the-record briefings is an over-inflated idiot who would have led the Tories to annihilation with his flag and faith Neo-Con agenda. That has zero resonance with most voters today – windmills not flags are the way the wind is blowing. Steve gets it, those who are using him as a proxy to attack Dave don’t get it.