Can Green Politics Rescue the Tories?
"It hasn't been a good week for David Cameron" has become, over the summer, an increasingly common statement. And last week, alas, wasn't one to break the mould. Not only did he have to put a brave face on the appointment of two of his MPs as 'advisers' to Gordon Brown, but one of his former party Vice-Treasurers has now joined them. Brown is nothing if not thorough in his determination to denude the Tories of supporters. Johann Eliasch was a significant backer for the Tories, but the promise of more direct involvement in the formulation of environmental policies proved too tempting. After all, if you want to change things, government is the place to be.
Today, however, has seen a bit of a green surge on the part of the Tories. One of his many policy groups has reported back, recommending a range of tax incentives to go green. This is a difficult tight-rope walk for Mr. Cameron. On the one hand, his green credentials are at the heart of his attempt to modernise the Tory party and make it electable again. On the other, one of the Tories' most clearly defined policy positions is against high taxation. How he balances these two, and whether he can start to produce an upswing against Mr. Brown, still remains to be seen.