By their friends shall we know the new caring Tories – such is the worry about Cameron. The debacle not only calls into question how far the Tories have changed to become tolerant, but also the political judgment of David Cameron. If he allows his party to ally with reputed antisemitic homophobes, what hope for him doing a good job governing a Britain ravaged by recession?
"Our biggest asset is David Cameron," asserts Greg Clark. And clearly he's right: this week's Populus poll found that the Cameron brand is stronger than that of the Conservative party. Cameron may be a Bullingdon toff but – what a conjuring trick! – he is cuddlier than Gordon Brown. That Webcameron has really paid dividends in humanising the Tories.
All of which makes the speech that Cameron gives this afternoon in Manchester a compelling prospect. Can he convince the British electorate at his last conference before the general election that his party has changed, and truly cast off its unsavoury past? That it can steer us out of recession better than Labour? The answers are uncertain, but Pickles is certainly right. The Tories shouldn't start popping champagne corks just yet.
Conservative conference: portrait of a government in waiting | Politics | The Guardian