The fear of the frontbencher

May 27, 2005

Talking of politicians... with the benefit of an Eton education and having taken a first at Oxford University, one might assume that David Cameron, the new Conservative Shadow Education spokesman, would be a man confident in his intellectual abilities.

But in a newspaper article some time ago he mused: "Politicians are just like anyone else who gets promoted: we worry deeply about being found out as too unimaginative, too idle or just too stupid to do the job we've just been given."

With a Tory leadership contest in the offing, could this explain why he decided it would be better to face Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, across the Commons dispatch box rather than, as rumoured, accept the post of Shadow Chancellor and face Gordon Brown?

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