'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Sunday, 24 July 2011

David Cameron has suddenly changed behaviour. I can't think why....

David Cameron had a very good way of dealing with problems. It was the opposite of the Gordon Brown 'Macivity's not there' approach to a crisis. He would let things build, and then, when things were at breaking point, he would step into the fray, be seen to be taking charge, taking responsibility but not blame, looking like a leader.Then having stated how he wanted things sorted, he would step away again. The NHS proposals were a classic example of this, and it worked very well for him. And it's been a recurring pattern of his time in office.

Yet on 'hackgate', all of a sudden, he's changed strategy.

Suddenly, he's too busy making a speech about 'The Big Society' in Docklands to update The Commons on Hackgate (cue disastrous performance from Jeremy Hunt and questions from his own side about what he's up to). He puts out a statement saying he intends to vote on the opposition debate 'so long as diary commitments permit'. He flies to Africa on a trade mission and it feels like he has to be forced to come home early to speak to the House. It's like he'll do all he can to minimise his contact with the affair...

Which begs the question to be asked. Why the change of strategy?

And of course there are two possible answers.

One is that, unlike the other crises he's dealt with, he's inextricably linked to this one. He's the one who appointed Coulson, he's the one who's personal friends with Rebekah Brooks. It's hard to step into a crisis when you're largely responsible for starting it anyway.

But of course there's another possible answer.

When detectives search for the guilty they often look for changes in patterns of behaviour, people who normally act in one way suddenly acting out of character. Changes in behaviour often indicate the individual may have something to hide. And while I'm not suggesting David Caneron has committed any sort of crime, behavioural change equally applies to any sort of guilty conscience.

Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

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