Leading article: Jolly good show, that Dave bloke

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The Independent Online

The Independent on Sunday was launched that same year, 1990. We are in a more knowing, postmodern, age. (We do not claim all the credit.) The idea of a public-school-educated hereditary oligarchy is an ironic half-truth, rather than a class conspiracy to grind the faces of the poor. Mr Hurd's mistake - hindsight can reveal - was not to call himself Dougie.

Congratulations, then, to Dave Cameron on his success in the qualifying heats. His dramatic entrance on the national stage has made politics lively, fresh and interesting again. Indeed, the Conservative Party has done itself - and the cause of democracy - a power of good by the openness of the campaign so far. The body politic has been poisoned for more than a decade by a perception of the Tory party as nasty, brutish and short of new ideas. It is this poison that causes floating voters to approve of policies until informed that they are the Conservatives' policies. Mr Cameron's sunny demeanour, and Michael Howard's decision to compère a beauty-contest hustings in Blackpool, have produced a surprising civic uplift.

Mr Cameron has made a sparkling start. As he himself said on Life FM in West London: keep it real.