A Tory Panics

The venting here has an air of desperation about it. But it reveals just how tough it is for moderate conservatism to find a place in today's political climate:

[A Thatcherite's] advice – attack the Liberals precisely for their Liberalism – is right, but impossible for the current Tory leadership to put into effect. Cameron has spent his leadership calling himself a liberal Conservative and talking up his own place in the progressive pantheon. This was always a mistake, and compounded by Cameron's ill-advised folly in pushing for the television debates, has allowed the Liberals to make the breakthrough they have.

But the one thing that's even clearer is that if Cameron had retained a Thatcherite identity for the Tories, he would be in an even worse state. He is being out-flanked by a politician to his left, with more fiscal grit and more radical options for change: adopting the euro, the end of a nuclear deterrent, an amnesty for illegal immigrants. Money quote:

Clegg's lead is of course a bubble. The tragedy for the Tory party is, so was Cameron's. A flimsy, shiny lead, pumped up purely by Gordon Brown's premiership, and with the prospect of that ending, Cameron's lead has gone pop too. It will take more skill than Cameron, and his campaign manager Osborne have shown to date to make the Liberal bubble burst before it's lights out.