On the eve of the Conservative Party conference the People's Republic takes a brief look at the contenders for the Tory party leadership and asks if any of them can roll back the years (at least 200 of them) and take them back to where they believe they belong - which unlike the rest of us isn't opposition (or extinction).
When it comes to Conservative Party leadership races, there are a few rules one has to live by. The first is the favourite never wins (unlucky David Davis - despite claiming to be against the politics of envy this rule is mainly due to jealousy). The second is that Ken Clarke never wins (as he is pro-European and will divide the party). So the third candidate (thank you Iain Duncan-Smith) comes through the field and leads the party to disaster (or at least they get rid of him before he can). So the real question is who is the third favourite?
Enter David Cameron. One of the new "Notting Hill" set (although I've never seen him at the carnival) he believes he is part of a natural succession that began with Margaret Thatcher and continues under Tony Blair. Don't rule him out though - unlike previous third favourites he speaks a surprising amount of sense for a Tory and it can appear that he actually cares. Before you think I'm crazy I hasten to add that his wife works in PR, so he doesn't really have to.
Cameron could even be the next Prime Minister. Yes, you read that correctly a Conservative in the 21st century could become Prime Minister by winning a democratic (or the British equivalent) vote. First however he will have to convince the party that he is the right man for the job.
His main problem lies in the fact that Liam Fox is a joke. Unfortunately for Cameron, the current Conservative party are too and so they may think Dr Fox is the perfect man for the job.
Finally of course, there are Malcolm Rifkind and (snigger) Edward Leigh.
Unfortunately for them, even the Conservative Party have their standards.