David Cameron’s new election broadcast is on the Conservative website. Apparently this was rushed into production and the old one junked so that his Daveness could project a more positive message and reclaim the mantle of the candidate for change.
There’s a touch of a Richard Curtis movie about the clip. There’s Mr Cameron looking unruffled and charming in his Notting Hill back garden. The grass is lush, the sun is shining and there’s a simply super kid’s play area at the back of the shot. I didn’t see Hugh Grant in the background but you feel he was probably inside helping himself to the last brownie. There’s no soundtrack by Wet,Wet, Wet, but Take That’s Gary Barlow was in an earlier Cameron movie.
It’s something of a reprise of Mr Cameron’s early greatest hits; the open-neck casual shirt, the sunny disposition and “Hey. I’m a guy who’s comfortable in his skin,” tone in itself perfectly fine. Of course it won’t get the audience that the election debate did but perhaps he will get a snippet onto the news bulletin. There’s some faintly uplifting muzak in the background and he talks rather well to the camera, all about how the people want something new and how his “big society” is the big idea they have been waiting for. There is also a lot of Clegg-ery: he talks about the desperate need to change the “tired old way” of doing things. There’s a lot of slogans about strong leadership, strong values, the courage to tell it like it is.
Essentially it is Mr Cameron re-running the first debate in his back garden and rectifying everything he got wrong. He talks to camera, he looks sincere; passionate; he gets all his soundbites right and even remembers to mention the big society. In fact, he’s such as a success in this second, back garden debate that his rivals aren’t even in the picture; that’s how good it is.
On the other hand, he at least does not succumb to the negative tone many are urging on him and even his swipe at the Lib Dems and the danger of a hung parliament is made subtly rather than with a sledgehammer.
The broadcast is ok; it’s hard to believe it will be a gamechanger, but it does confirm that Mr Cameron is for now resisting the voices urging him to get nasty with the Liberal Democrats.