Inspiring loyalty among the troops is a key attribute of any leader. So Mr Cameron may be somewhat perturbed that he doesn't have the backing of Stephen O'Brien, his higher education spokesman. Mr O'Brien is backing Liam Fox, the Shadow Foreign Secretary. But when asked why he didn't think Mr Cameron would make a good party leader or Prime Minister, Mr O'Brien hit a rich vein of diplomacy. "David is unquestionably a politician of talent and very important for the party," he said. Not quite talented enough, though, it seems.