If David Cameron wanted further proof that copying the style of the Prime Minister is a foolhardy tactic and no guarantee that it will get him into No.10 Downing Street then it has come from a most unexpected source.

Tony Blair himself has provided it by acknowledging his own policies on combating anti-social behaviour and his much-trumpeted attempt to restore “respect” to UK society have been misguided.

Throwing money at the problem has not made it go away and in some cases it has arguably made matters worse.

The surprisingly frank acknowledgement comes just a few days after the Conservative leader launched his own campaign for a “revolution of responsibility”.

His quest for increased civility captured the headlines, but did not seem to offer much in the way of clear solutions.

Indeed, Dave’s desire for more “responsibility” had far too many echoes of Tony’s search for “respect”.

Now the Prime Minister himself has pointed out the similarities and the reasons why Dave’s campaign has derailed even before it gets going, by discrediting his own futile attempts at tackling the same issue.

It is certainly a novel way of shooting your opponent down in flames. But maybe the honesty is best approach, although long overdue, might just help restore some of the goodwill the Prime Minister has lost in recent years.

It is a big ask though and at the moment Tony’s legacy is not likely to be the glittering one he so clearly covets.

As for Dave, the big question is whether it is now too late for him to rethink his strategy?

If the person you are evidently trying to copy in order to achieve success turns around and says: “Hang on a minute, I got it wrong so don’t copy me,” where does that leave the Tory leader?

It could well be that the real reason he’s invited the Governor of California over to talk at the Tory autumn conference has nothing to do with climate change.

Watching a successful, charismatic politician with his own unique style at close quarters could see Dave switching persona yet again.

Replace the flawed model provided by Tony with the pumped up, progressive, indestructible, super-politico that is Arnie.

It could work. 

After all, if our Prime Minister is ready to say: “I got it wrong”, then anything could happen.


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