I was 10 years old when Tony Blair won his first general election. I can still remember the sense of excitement that I felt even though I knew absolutely nothing about politics and nor did my parents. This moment still lives with me and it reminds me of the power that politics can have on ordinary people, it can excite and it can give hope.
Contrast this however with the sense of boredom and apathy that was endemic throughout the 2010 general election. Ordinary people simply did not care. No excitement, no inspiration, no hope. I often read of a disconnect between voters and politicians. I disagree. It is more of a great yawning gulf.
I did eventually learn about politics. Through my own reading I embarked on a long journey from left to right and finally found an uncomfortable home in the Conservative Party. Why? Because the one question that had always lead me on was quite simply 'how do you make people's lives better?' and the emphatic answer was that you give them the opportunity to help themselves.
Equality of opportunity is the key to Conservative politics and to a Conservative election victory. Tony Blair stole this idea from the Tories and the time has come to seize it back, but this will never happen as long as David Cameron remains Conservative leader. When Cameron makes attempts to claim this ground it comes across as false and condescending. When he talks of an 'aspiration nation', the sneering reply will always be 'yeah? and what would you know about it?'.
What made Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair winners was that they could distill complex ideas in to comprehensible language. This is something that Cameron has a staggering inability to achieve. For example why he continues to talk about the generally incomprehensible 'big society' is beyond belief.
There is however a much bigger problem. In these difficult economic times a Conservative leader should be talking about reward in hard work, the need to live within our means, and above all the need to ensure opportunities for our young people. People will never believe these things from the mouth of a Old Etonian, privileged beyond measure, a PR man and a career politician. Change is required or the Conservative Party will undoubtedly be driven from office in 2015.Suggest a correction