Much has been written about David Cameron being a Blair manquÃƒÂ©. The accusations of style over substance, the eye-catching initiatives, the willingness to alienate his party, the constant drive for modernisation, and the sleight of hand that leads one to believe that one day soon it will be necessary to count the spoons.
And here is some more evidence for the prosecution: grave robbing.
With the corpse of Billy Cox over his shoulder, Cameron declared the 15 year-old’s murder tells us…
…our society is badly broken and we need to make some big changes, starting now.
Needless to say, Blair – rightly – denounced the sickening hyperbole of it all:
This tragedy is not a metaphor for the state of British society, still less for the state of British youth today, the huge majority of whom are responsible and law-abiding young people.
If only he didn’t have previous form on the issue himself. Witness Blair’s wailing and gnashing of teeth over the still-warm cadaver of murdered toddler Jamie Bulger in 1993. The freakish murder he said was…
…the ugly manifestation of a society that is becoming unworthy of the name.
And the law and order arms race between Labour and the Conservatives was born. It goes without saying that we were no more up to our knees in murdered toddlers in 1993 than we are murdered teenagers in 2007.
Cameron might be a new dog but he knows the old tricks.
Update: Nick Robinson makes the same point.