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How Cameron can win

The race for the White House might be expensive and long, but one thing is for sure - no candidate can win without stating their case. On a range of issues from health insurance to the troubled housing market, messers Clinton, Obama and co. are being forced through a series of debates to come off the fence. And there is still 14 months to go until the election.

David Cameron has resisted calls to lay his cards on the table. His fear of doing so is completely understandable - Labour are very good at stealing Tory clothes (casinos, cannibas classification, border police) and the grammar school fiasco demonstrated the unbending nature of the Conservative right wing.

But no one is going to go into an election booth and say, "I know, I'll vote Tory because Cameron cares about the environment." Sooner, rather than later, the Conservatives have to make a stand.

There is one issue upon which Cameron could touch upon without upsetting his base and which could help the party steal a march on the Brown government: the racket that is the housing market. The party could oppose Labour's housebuilding programme in the name of the environment and as a sop to the Nimby middle classes who do not appreciate Heathrow Terminal 5 at the bottom of their gardens.

At the same time, the party could deflect criticism that it is against affordable housing by promising to scrap stamp duty for first time buyers, which would appeal to upwardly mobile graduates in their 20s and 30s, precisely the kinds of people who Cameron needs to win over.

Cameron could go even further. He could suggest restrictions on arrangement fees, the charge placed by lenders for simply saying yes and which can cost anywhere between £1-4,000. He could also insist a uniform rate for surveyors - they should not be able to charge £300-600 for turning on a light switch.

America the 50/50 nation

America should stay AND go