It took Tony Blair 6 years before the shine was being removed from his persona. Teflon Tony was seen as someone who could chime with the public’s mood and very few Prime Ministers have ever been able to do that the way he did.
David Cameron has been seen in a very similar mould, as his party flounders in the polls, his personal rating remains high, and people tend to “believe” what he says even when it is the opposite to what he said a few months before. His U-Turns appear to bring the cry of a listening Prime Minister rather than an incompetent one. But this can only go on for so long.
Yesterday, as the government tried to steady it’s course, the Murdoch Empire again showed how it pulls the strings as it pulled the rug from under the feet of the governments strategy over the BSkyB take over by withdrawing it’s assurances over plurality concerns leaving the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt (That’s “H”unt for Radio 4 listeners) on his way to the commons to make up policy on the hoof by announcing that he was now referring the take over to the competition commission.
Ironic that Ed Miliband had been calling for this to be done for some time, Jeremy Hunt faced ridicule in the Commons as he announced yet another U-Turn in government policy .
The unlikely turn of events of the past few days has turned the Murdoch brand from a necessity for politicians to cozey up to, into a toxic brand that is rubbing off onto any politician that comes into contact with them.
The music of this media game has stopped with David Cameron holding the exploding situation. David Cameron has made poor decisions and is struggling to deal with the day to day revelations and having to react to events.
This is the difference between the government as it goes forward in its policy making and it’s honeymoon period where the government can largely dictate the agenda.
David Cameron has looked less and less comfortable as this phone hacking scandal has unravelled. Even yesterday when he made his strongest statement yet about News International, was distancing himself a few hours earlier from Nick Clegg’s comments which were urging the Murdoch’s to call off it’s take over of BSkyB.
Finally, as the facade of David Cameron’s invincibility slips the polls appear to be showing that he cannot escape the blame for his inept judgement over the Coulson affair as shown by the Comres Poll.
Labour are now 8-9% points ahead in the polls taken recently and questions over his handling of the phone hacking scandal and the Coulson affair show that people think he has handled it badly.
This toxic event will run in the public’s mind for at least another 2 years as more revelations come out and people are convicted.
His personal closeness to the Oxford triangle with Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks will not go away and will stick in the mind of the public.
This is potentially a game changing time for UK politics, however, the same polls show that Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg are not making headway in being able to obtain the trust of the public.
This is likely to take the shine off the support for the Conservative party over time and will ensure that over the next 2 years the Tory Party support will slump as the economic difficulties continue.
Maybe, David Cameron is finally being seen for what he is by the public and that can only be a good thing.