He is the leader all right and that may be all that's needed. He looked down on his Cabinet – George the Cruel, William the Bald, Eric the Fat, George the Tall. He was head and shoulders above them, not least as he was on the stage with the cameras trained on him. And outside the hall, Ed the Odd and Ed the Exophthalmic must have felt their size and stature. For Nick the Nick – too pallid to deserve a soubriquet – it may not matter what he and his party think while they patiently await annihilation.
They must all have been throwing things at the screen and dwelling on his leaderly flaws.
"What bags under his eyes! His voice has gone. He's copying Ed with his quiet delivery. Oh God, it's the starving children intro YAWN! He's hoarse. He can't take the pace. 'We need to be energised not paralysed' – what does that mean! No one's clapping! And what, pray, is 'too much can't-do sogginess'?"
Whatever they say, Dave is it all right, he is the Prince. He is the King. He is Elvis. He is Diana Ross and the rest are auditioning to get into the Supremes.
His speech flatlined virtuously until he said: "If you don't stick with it, it won't work." Then he changed speech writers and it started to work. Never join the euro, not while I'm in charge! That's the sort of thing they liked. The audience had eaten their diet and now they were having their dinner.
"Never, ever let these people near the economy again!" Some cheers at the front. "Britain didn't rule the waves with its armbands on!" Applause drowning out the rest. And on liberals: "The age-old irony. They practise oppression and call it equality."
The "we don't boo our leaders" piece was swallowed up by loyalist noise. He covered all his natural bases and some new ones. He supported gay marriage because of, not despite, his Conservatism. Two million votes right there.
The optimism was exhausting, the good nature relentless, the decency unquestionable.
The next election is going to be determined by how much each of the party leaders appeal to vicars and plumbers. None of the others come anywhere near Cameron and it's very unlikely any of them will.Reuse content