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BOOK REVIEWS: Cameron: The Rise of the New Conservative,; Cameron: The Rise of the New Conservative, by Francis Elliott and James Hanning, Fourth Estate, pounds 18.99.

Byline: Reviewed by Chris Moncrieff

Nothing appeals to the political anorak - and indeed to most newspaper readers - more than the warring and underhand dealing and savage back-stabbing that characterises Members of Parliament.

But it is at its most fascinating and prevalent by far when it involves Members of just one party, fighting against their so-called friends and colleagues than against their official political enemies.

This new book - really a superb read from start to finish - exposes often in dramatic detail the serpentine machinations, sometimes the plottings, that eventually led to David Cameron taking over the Conservative Party leadership.

The book - which has the advantage of not being official - shows how Cameron had plenty of doubts about himself. Was he, to use his own words "too posh to push" in an era when being, as he is, an Old Etonian, is a positive disadvantage.

Then there was the old Brown-Blair syndrome, involving the present shadow Chancellor, George Osborne. Should one of the pair agree not to stand so as to give the other a clear run?

And the authors show how Cameron had enough enemies or critics in the party to cause him more than once to doubt his ability to win through.

It explains that Cameron's defeat of David Davis for the prize was by no means as easy as it looked. The beauty of Cameron's victory speech at the crucial party conference was that he said nothing in particular, but said it very elegantly.

The authors have brilliantly set the scene for whatever lies ahead for the Conservative Party under its new and, some would say, endearing leader. But Cameron must beware. He still has plenty of enemies, in his own party, hiding in the long grass and ready to pounce.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 21, 2007
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