Anorak News | Beyond Ken

Beyond Ken

by | 19th, October 2005

‘THERE’S a game of spot the difference on the cover of the Telegraph. Can you spot the key difference between the four faces?

Odd man out

Each of the faces is white. Each of the faces is male. Each of the faces is topped by hair. And each of the faces features a pair of light-coloured eyes.

It’s a tricky one. But after giving it careful study, we have an answer. Whereas the three faces on the rights are smiling, the one on the left is tight-lipped and downcast.

There is also an “x” above it. And we soon learn that this “x” stands for exit, as Ken Clarke, for it’s his mug, is ejected in the first round of the Tory leadership contest.

For those of you interested in numbers, Clarke polled 38 votes of his fellow Tory MPs, Liam Fox got 42, David Cameron 56 and David Davis 62.

On the face of these statistics, it looks very much like Davis is the favourite to succeed Michael Howard as the leader of the Conservative Party.

But what do statistics prove, other than that the Telegraph costs 60 pence and today is October 19th, facts which also appear on the paper’s front page?

The feeling is that Cameron is now seen as the favourite to win the contest. The Times agrees, and on its front page – with its own mug shots of unhappy Clarke and happy Cameron, says that the younger man is in pole position to lead the party.

“It’s time for a younger leader, probably,” says Clarke, “though I stood not thinking my age would be relevant.”

That was his misfortune – age matters. And at just 38 years young, Cameron looks very much the fresh faced vision of the Tory future.

And Clarke’s fans seem to agree. As the Times says, at least two thirds of Clarke’s Westminster supporters are predicted to switch to the Cameron camp.

Michael Mates, a former minister, has made just that move, as has Sir Malcolm Rifkind, another of the so-called Tory big beasts.

Politicians are a practical bunch. And visibly backing the likely winner can surely do little damage to any ambitions they harbour of getting a decent job in Cameron’s shadow cabinet.

But the Tories should be a little wary of choosing the young blade – anyone who remembers how Clarke lost the leadership contest to a young William Hague and again to Iain Duncan Smith will tell you that…’

Posted: 19th, October 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink