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On Thursday Labour put out a 'Labour Party Conference Political Broadcast' which I saw by chance after the 6.30pm news on ITV. It must have cost them a tidy bit to make, but reluctantly I thought it was a very good bit of propaganda, and undoubtedly would have had some effect on that poll that was taken.

It consisted of a series of assertions of positive things that Labour has achieved under its tenure, all quoted by different groups of people (my recollection, now, is that they were all in sunny light places!!!)--- propaganda? --- but with a sharp ear one could pick up at least one 'over-enthusiastic claim'!, and that is that now, we free entry to all museums and art galleries. I don't recollect paying to get into museums and art galleries - except for either special shows or private galleries - EVER. Yes on the continent, but not here. Am I right or wrong??


Looking beyond the headline of Conservatives lose lead, we see that this poll shows that conservative support has fallen by just 1% so no dramatic change in support there all within the margin of error, we also see a further fall of 2% in Lib dem support with them now down to 16% a very worrying poll rating for them.

Obviously this comes with the usual warnings about not to place too much significance on one isolated poll. Though I'm not so sure it is an entirely bad thing to get a pre conference warning that now is no time for complacency and that winning the next general election isn't something that is going to be handed to us on a plate.

I hope nobody's surprised. If anybody saw that speech or the coverage that followed it, it's no wonder Labout have picked up a few points in the polls.

It's important to remember that this is only a bounce, not a sustained rise, and hopefully David Cameron's speech will give us something similar to boast about.

This is disappointing to go into the conference with but both Labour and the Liberals had rather better conferences than expected. It seems voters want Blair to stay, not wanting any of the others, while a lot of his party want him to go so I see further troubles ahead particularly when they return to Westminster.

Well I don't want to say "I told you so"...

...but I will ;)

I also saw the Labour 'conference political broadcast'. It was noticeable that almost all of the people featured were looking at something above and behind the camera - I wonder what it was.

Perhaps a large board carrying the words they were reading, or a large man with a gun, or someone from party HQ waving a bunch of tenners.

It all looked a bit contrived.

Nulab have done some good things:
- free museums/galleries (great if you live in London!)
- "Early Years Funding" for parents who send their kids to nursery - only it's very much like the "Vouchers for schools" idea so they never mention it.
- apparently, a million more adults have bank accounts now than ten years ago (not sure why Nulab take credit for this, but fair enough).

And that is it, as far as I am aware everything else has been absolutely dire.

Most pathetic of all is this list here, some of which you may recognise from the broadcast ...


It is (nearly) all complete rubbish - my favourite is "36. Banned handguns" Try telling that to people who work at McDonald's.

Patsy @ 0815.

Most of the sampling for this YouGov was undertaken before the party political had time to make any difference.

More likely the widespread acclaimation from most media outlets over the Blair speech and the broadly "warm glow" conference Labour enjoyed has bumped Labours rating.

What is noticeable from a Tory standpoint is the trend that has seen the Conservatives rating slip to the mid thirties in the polls. Although disappointing it should be recalled that in the round these are better figures than the Tories have enjoyed for many a year.

All still to play for, with an election not likely for at least two and a half years.

Again re Patsy Sergeant at 8.15

Here is (I think) the broadcast you mention.

Here is Labour's 50 achievements that has been on their site for at least six months (and maybe much longer)

Pathetic if you ask me, tricking innocent members of the public into reeling off this nonsense. I bet some of them didn;t even get paid.

When it comes down to the wire, it ought to be a matter of which of the two main parties has the better story to tell, rather than who is the better story-teller (though Cameron v Brown should be a non-contest).
"Value for taxpayers' money" should be the real criterion. Nulab has patently failed that test; over now to DC and his team.

"All still to play for, with an election not likely for at least two and a half years"


Plenty of time for us to thank Dave for whatever it is that he's achieved and elect a "grown up" Conservative as our leader.

We'll be glad we did it.

This was to be expected following that brilliant speech by Blair. Now we have a chance to put forward a Tory speech and not be a Blair Mk 2. We are Tories and should be putting forward Tory solutions to the ills that this country is soon to face. Take Brown head on and expose his achillies heel which is his ruining of all private pension schemes during his period as Chancellor. Go for them and do not water down our principles for cheap electoral gain.If we don't then we will not be taken seriously by the electorate. They expect us to show that we can run the country as only we can.

We'll be glad we did it.

It really speaks volumes for this site that it is dominated by someone called "Monday Clubber" who thinks that the Conservatives need a leadership election! This is deeply weird on so many levels that it must be a parody!

The truth about this poll is

(a) Labour Conference boost

(b) we've still got an awfully long way to go to change our party

Monday Clubber is, I think, a troll Changetowin.But what do you want to change our party into?

Strange. I've just expressed similar views on changetowin who is currently behaving like a pet puppy on speed, he's so thrilled about the conference.

What's a "troll" Malcolm? I suspect I've been a Tory a lot longer than you have.

At least one very longstanding named poster here knows exactly who I am, indeed I was talking to him about conservativehome at a social event earlier this month.

Sadly, he won't be revealing my identity either, but I daresay he'll confirm my bona fides.

So sorry to spoil your pet theory.

Go and read David Cameron's leadership manifesto, supported by over two-thirds of voting members or Built to Last, supported by over 90% of voting members. That should give you a good idea.

I want to change our party into a winning party. That would be a change!

A good start is to rid our party of all the negative perceptions which held us back from winning for so long e.g. reputation for racism, lack of concern for the poor etc.

I also want to change our party into one that relentlessly focuses on the major challenges facing our country and planet e.g. global warming, global poverty, terrorism, broken communities and society, competitiveness etc. We need to bring fresh thinking and ideas to all these problems.

Yes, I am excited about my party's conference. The fact that you find this surprising suggests that you really hate our party...

We need to face up quickly to what the telegraph you gov poll is telling us.The headline numbers relating to party support are not too crucial at the present time.It is however interesting to see the slip in Cameron's personal standing.

No politician however slick he or she is can duck the big ticket issues for ever.We must now see a positive statement of intent.The vague and meaningless built to last document has excited nobody including our own members.

We now have the very worrying prospect of open warfare as the policy groups squabble over their own bit of turf.The leadership must resolve this.We must articulate a truly tory agenda contrasting it starkly with new Labour nannying.

I have argued previously that failure to do this will lead to defeat again.The electorate will simply see no reason to change allegiance as our identity melts into new labour's.

It is a shame that much of that, that is positive today is done outside our party.Thank God for groups like Taxpayers Alliance,Civitas and Reform.It is the duty of the Conservative Party to articulate these agendas into a coherent and attractive political programme.

What is wrong with talking openly and commiting to public service reform.What is wrong with rewarding enterprise and supporting tax cuts throughout the Economy.Indeed without the above how are we going to sustain growth and competiveness moving forward.

What is wrong with promising to firm up our criminal justice system to ensure violent criminals are put behind bars and stay there. Why can we not argue that multi culturalism has failed and call for a new approach centred upon traditional British values tried and tested over genrations.

I am deeply concerend that failure to do these things is driving away our traditional supporters and ensuring we can not win again in our own right.The best the Cameron approach can deliver is a hung parliamnet.If that is what we aspire to then that is realliy disappointing.

I don't want to gloat but......ha ha ha

Thank you 'Greg' nice to know you people are watching.

And thank you Mark Wadsworth @ 9.52, I have never seen it before, but I am sure that is quite likely however the announcer did give it that title, which wouldn't have been appropriate six months ago.

At the moment I cannot access anything from those sort of links - I have tried - but I am sure I am doing the wrong thing. When I have done the project course no doubt I shall have learned how to achieve that sort of link!!

A troll Monday Clubber is someone who poses as something they're not. I had fun trolling during the last election campaign attacking the Labour Party from the left on a Labour supporting website urging Labour voters to vote for Respect/Green etc but unlike you had the courage to do so using my real name and email address.
Your hatred for our party together with your oft repeated admiration of Blair and Brown lead me to believe that you're no kind of Tory at all.

Really changetowin,you really must get real.When the Country is showing signs to want to get away from all spin and no substance politics,it seems that we are now adopting it. When many of what are Tory supporting newspapers are questioning our tactics then it is time to sit up and take notice. Now I suppose that you will come back and say we don't care what the papers say.If you do,it shows how little you know about real politics.There is no sense of changing things if the result is that the heart of the Party is torn out. If this continues then it will in my view,cause irreparable damage.I do speak from some long experience and I love the Tory Party so don't want to hear anything otherwise suggested by those who are wet behind the ears. It seems if anyone is critical of the path the Party seems to be taking them they are ostracised. What price to pay for membership of an Open and Democratic Party!!

we're all doomed i tell you, doomed.

What is up with Ming! he's nowhere!

what do you want to gloat about; the fact the LimpDums are losing support to a discredited government or that the best the socialists can do after a supposedly triumphant conference is achieve level pegging in a poll? If that's a cause for gloating then you gloat very easily - normally it requires a crushing victory in something to warrant a gloat.

The Telegraph is on a mission to ensure that the government of the country is kept in the hands of Gordon Brown. People like Monday Clubber are the human representation of the Heffer virus and bemuse me. It is the UKIP mentality - better to have 100% of 0 than get 50% of what you want to achieve by actually being in power.

Yeah , lets burn Monday Clubber at the stake , out out out , carrier of the Heffer virus, i exorcise thee in the name of Dave the Father Dave the son and Franci Maude the wholly goat.

sorry thats Francis not'franci' . i have offended the name of Jehoover.

Not sure Changetowin how seriously we should take your list of 'changes'. It seems to have been cribbed from BtL and is therefore really 'motherhood and apple pie', I can't think that anyone within the party would disagree with a commitment to dealing with competiveness,broken societies etc but then I don't think these are genuine changes at all.

Sandbagger: "There is no sense of changing things if the result is that the heart of the Party is torn out. If this continues then it will in my view,cause irreparable damage."
What do you actually believe David Cameron is doing to rip the heart out of the conservative party when you say something like this? It seems to me he is repositioning the Conservative party. Thatcher repositioned the Conservative Party. Churchill repositioned the Conservative Party. They did it because it was what was needed to be done at the time, As is Cameron.

Please don't get personal with fellow bloggers - let's focus always on playing the ball, not each other. I won't hesitate to ban people who adopt a nasty tone. Attack people's arguments by all means but no trading of personal insults please.

Cameron strategy. Objective No 1. Hit Lib Dems. This is going well if poll is to be believed. Even before Conservative Conference and after Lib Dem conference, they are at 16%. Next week 14%?

Unreported in most polls, the progress of the Far Right. Anecdotally support is growing still for parties of the Far Right. If Lib Dems continue to self destruct, the 3rd force in British politics could well be an unmentionable party by 2009. The authorities are about to make the classic mistake of imprisoning the party leader creating a martyrdom which will act as recruiting beacon.

Local elections next year will give a better guide than all these polls which I see as more part of the need for newspapers to attract readership. Polls are false news.

I agree with changetowin. This is a Labour bounce after Blairs wonderful speech. But remember its not one poll that changes the landscape, but polling trends.

Those who think Cameron has no substance clearly aren't clever enough to understand what he has been trying to do over the past year. That is to change the image and pre-conceived perceptions of the Conservative Party. Yes it has been a PR Job, and YES he has suceeded in that job.

Im sure its not going to be too long before the shadow cabinet start thrashing out ideas and policy, after all in the past Labour has just stolen our ideas when we announce them too early.

That's alright Patsy ;)

Expanding, of the big London ones I think you used to have to pay to get in the three Kensington museums (certainly the NatHist and Science museums - personally you'd have to pay me to go in the V&A!). The British Museum was always free though, as were the National Gallery and Portrait Gallery at Trafalgar square. Not sure about the old Tate.

Don't give up on the leader now. Give him another week or two.

G-MaN Wild - it's all in the timing. The Tories need any Labour leadership contest to be about Labour personalities, not an opportunity to attack a Tory policy for free in every debate. Beyond that it will be a judgment call whether to try and rain on Gordon's parade by announcing policies during his honeymoon period, or wait for him to commit himself across the board.

Labour will definitely have a new leader by next election. Lib Dems probably will too. Our opponents today are so different from those we’ll be fighting in the next election that, while these polls are interesting topics of conversation, they’re not very relevant.

Luckily for us, Labour seem to have convinced themselves that Gordon Brown will be their next leader. Despite the fact that we detest most of what he’s done in the Treasury and know precious little about what he’d do elsewhere, Gordon Brown is being presented as a man of substance. If he is, it’s a noxious substance and it will repel voters.

I see no reason why the Labour Party, or any other political party, should have its propaganda broadcast free of charge. Let them pay for the airtime, if they want it. Otherwise let them go out and talk face to face with voters, rather talking at them through television screens. Or are they afraid that the voters might answer back?

Jack W @ 09:51 - "Although disappointing it should be recalled that in the round these are better figures than the Tories have enjoyed for many a year."

I recall it being claimed that there were similar poll figures during those dark days of IDS when the Tory party was obsessed with "Europe" - an obsession which may shortly be forced back into the limelight, by the way:


Select group of politicians to tackle EU constitution

28.09.2006 - 17:42 CET | By Honor Mahony
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Work on the EU constitution is to begin again in an informal manner when a "wise" group of politicians and officials from across Europe meet this weekend to see if they can come up with solutions to pull Europe out of its institutional impasse.

Italian former prime minister Giuliano Amato, who was vice-president of the 200-strong body that drew up the constitution six years ago, is the driver behind the group which will have its first meeting in Rome on Saturday (30 September).

Supported by the European Commission which is sending two commissioners - Danuta Hubner (regional policy) and Margot Wallstom (communications) - the group also includes British ex-commissioner Chris Patten, former French foreign minister Michel Barnier, ex-German justice minister Otto Schily, former prime ministers Paavo Lipponen and Wim Kok of Finland and the Netherlands.

The group represents the first public attempt at resuscitating the document which has been languishing in the political hinterlands since it was rejected last year by French and Dutch voters.


My interpretation is that yes Labour has lifted itself up slightly due to their conference and because with Blair saying goodbye some of the anti-Blair LD voters have gone back to Labour.

On the policy issues frankly we are starting to look like a shambles with the groups and shadow ministers saying conflicting things.

How can policy be effectively developed by a group outside of the shadow minister? It is bizarre and runs a high risk of conflict.

I have come round to the idea of income tax cuts BUT they have to be decided early and we need to be saying it for several years (not weeks) before an election.

Like others here, I think Labour's boost will be a temporary one. That said, I doubt if we'll be more than c.3% ahead of Labour by the end of the month.

It is telling, that the underlying figures have deteriorated for us since February. All polls are now showing quite a steady decline in public perceptions of David Cameron. It's noteable also, that slightly more people should find the Conservative Party attractive, than find David Cameron attractive.

Plainly, we're not going to get elected on the back of PR stunts, and apologising for our past, alone.

Sorry if I've missed it, but no-one has queried the subjective use of the word "temporarily" at the head of this string.(I'm not having a go Tim!)

It interests me that so many people can think/assume in such a manner.

What happens to 'project Cameron' if it isn't only "temporary" ?

I wish all Conservatives will get a grip- it is not a good idea to put policies forward at this time..if they are good, Labour will copy them....if they are defective, Labour wil exploit that. Cameron is right to play a long game. The way some people carry on on this site, you would swear we are the government with a 20 % lead on the polls.

I say it time and again- this site should charge for posting- I am sure there are Labour plants here- indeed, it has become such an anti-Cameron site this.

True Tories should stop this Victor Meldrew nonsence or put up with yet another 5 years of this rabble running our great country into the ground. Northern parents are feeding their kids chips through the school fence- well done to them- even they are sick to death of Taliban-like politically correct interfering nonsense that we get from this pile of rancid poo that runs the country.

The usual, this is one poll, three years to go etc.
What this poll proves to me, is something I've suspected all along, in fact had some experience of it. There is a hard core of voters, not natural Labour voters, (lets be honest the amount of natural voters any party has is declining year by year) who were so scarred by the experience of 18 years of Tory government, (the job shedding etc.) they are very reluctant to commit themselves to voting Tory again. A few weeks ago when Labour was in the middle of its troubles there were posters to this site who believed Labour was close to collapse, if one speech can produce a 'bounce' that is obviously not the case!

This is yet another fall in the poll of polls to 36.6% and a you gov headline of 36%. I regard yougov as being very accurate on calling elections, starting with the 2001 GE. But, its not the snapshot, its the trend that matters.

So I am going to repeat my unanswered challenge for the 4th time to changetowin, greg, Jack Stone or anyone to outline the Cameron Strategy for getting us from 36.6% to the 43% necessary for us to win next September/October.

I think the newness or Dave is wearing off. People like him and think he was fresh once but are suspicious that he, like Blair, is all spin and no substance. The country is overtaxed, the public services are worse than ever, Europe is planning a new pustch on our sovereignty and manufacturing industry is in terminal decline. The voters know this but don't believe that any politican of any party has any idea how to fix it.
Dave has apparently ruled out policy, principle and lower taxation in favour of a new strategy to win the Sep 07 general election. What is it?

I think the policy groups are an excellent idea, I think they show we are properly looking at the potential future problems/opportunities for this country. Contrary to what Labour Spin doctor's are saying this is actually a substantive approach to policy making. I think it contrasts well with Brown's attempt at his party conference, which basically was show Jesse Norman's Compassionate Conservatism to a focus group and then mouth the bits that they like, without seeing the irony that most of what they like is the exact opposite of what he has been doing for 9 years.
I think any rational person would see idealogically offering tax cuts - whatever the state of the economy at the next election - right now would just be barmy. That is not to say that tax cuts in future are not desirable. I am no economist but if it can be shown in what circumstances cutting taxes actually increases revenue then maybe something like an annual test for likelihood of increased revenue would be a good idea. In other words you only cut taxes if it is likely to increase revenue. Which sounds like intelligent economic management to me.

CCHQ and Cameron's team must have heeded that a lack of substance is his main weakness and has been attacked with glee by both Labour and the Lib Dems. The main problem Cameron now faces is how to reconcile some "meat on the bones" policy with his rhetoric. For instance, the Tax Commission could report back saying there needs to be a lower tax for competitiveness and social mobility but this would have to be rejected if Cameron wanted to pay for extra public services. While he main win support from the Guardian he loses traditional Tory support, the growing voter block crying for lower taxes and businesses. This is an issue which Cameron obviously was not thinking of when he made some interesting rhetorical flourishes. Let us hope that he can reconcile policy with his headline-catching statements.

We don't need individual policies now, but we need in broad terms some indication where Cameron wants to take us. The public don't want to see anything more on chocolate oranges, windmills on houses or occasionally cycling to work. They are getting bored with all that and want to see something real. Less gimmicks and less motherhood/apple pie, instead some real direction.

If all it takes is one speech by a discredited PM on his way out to bring Labour, with all it's sleeze/incompetence/infighting, back level with us our election prospects don't look too promising at all.

Sky News is running a poll on whether David Cameron lacks substance. Around one o'clock it was running about two thirds to one third believing that he does.

Vapid Cameron is the problem not the other party conferences.

Starting saying something that will resonate with places like Yorkshire and maybe we will start to climb in the polls. This say nothing do nothing appraoch makes us look weak!

If Conservatives are ever to make a comeback not follow the Whigs into history they have only one choice - address the aspect of government that makes over 80% of our laws and thus provides the employ of 80% of our Police, Politicians, Civil Servants, Local Government & QUANGOcracy - The EU.
To endlessly hide the elephant in the room behind the legs of the dinosaurs like Clark, Maude, Rifkind and their ilk with an entire tribe of political pygmies following a flim flam PR man who had to lie about the EU to get elected is a recipe for failure.
Dump Vapid Cameron and his clearly failed attempt at leadership and announce a new Leadership election to be completed by Christmas to give someone/anyone of competence a chance to hone their skills at the May elections.
Find a leader NOW or just go on handing over to vassal status in the EUropean soviet with LibLab & Con all singing from the same failed hymn sheet!

I am becoming bemused by some of the replies to anyone who dares to question the direction the Party seems to be taking.I take it that many of those replies are penned by some of our younger members or people who have suddenly seen the light and now decided that it is fashionable to be a Tory.There is a lot more to being a real Tory than that. It is about principles and people can see through those who do not stick to Tory principles. Someone talked about Mr Thatcher and Churchill shifting the direction of the Party.They were Tories and political giants so any comparison with what is taking place now is misplaced. I do accept change but it must be done embracing the whole of the Party.

Sandbagger: What do you consider Tory Principles?

It really speaks volumes for this site that it is dominated by someone called "Monday Clubber"

Oh no changetowin, I'm not having that.

Christina Speight is the uncrowned Queen of this blog.

Long may she reign!

Sandbagger - As much as I like Maggie, she certainly did not embrace the party when embarking upon her crusade.

In order to deliver change takes real leadership like that of Thatcher, and I believe Cameron has those tough "shall not waver" attributes. He's gone far (not far enough yet) and said alot already which has been somewhat against the thread of times gone by, and good on him!

"What do you consider Tory Principles?"

No doubt Sandbagger has his own answer but I would say that there is just one governing Tory principle and it was formulated by Hume.

"Custom is the great guide of human life"

Everything else should flow from that.

G-Man - i take it you've overlooked Carrington, Pym, Gilmour, Walker et al who were in Thatcher's first cabinet in very senior positions. Hardly excluding the party from her agenda for change.

Crucially, Thatcher wanted to change the country not just the party.

Voreas 06 - try liberal economics, small state, big citizenship, to start with. Not affirmative action, not political correctness, not stalinistic environmentalism, not rhetoric, but action.

Thatcher's "Agenda for Change" was in a real sense deeply Conservative, because she sought to stop the advance of socialism in its tracks and to roll back the state to pre-socialist boundaries.

The above-named "Wet" cabinet ministers were all timeservers (and Eurofanatics) committed to the old Con-Lab consensus. They did all in their power to obstruct Thatcher, who should have cleared them out within a week of taking over.

At least Carrington was a nobleman with a sense of honour and a sly sense of humour. Walker, founder of the Eurofanatic "fifth column" TRG was an Archer-type spiv, but totally lacking Archer's bouncy personal charm.

The late Tory MP Sir Reginald Bennett once described Walker as "The evil genius of the Conservative Party"

I see the Cameron programme (such as it is) as an updated version of the same Wet non-agenda adhered to by these pink muppets, an agenda which has a pusillanimous pedigree running directly back to Butler and the other pre-war appeasers of Hitlerism.

It would seem that an increasing number of concerned Tories are coming to share my analysis of the Cameron Problem.

elrafa: I agree with liberal economics largely although sometimes you have to intervene in the market as the profit motive is not always an appropriate mechanism. The State should be as small as possible, but I do not regard the state as the route of all evil. I am not sure what you actually mean by big citizenship - could you elaborate. I agree that meritocracy rather than afirmative action is the way to go, and what we as a party should really be aiming for is better objective ways of judging performance. Agreed political correctness has largely been bad for society. I don't think Stalin had any environmental policies, but if you mean tackling climate change then frankly it is a business imperative, and if it helps to improve our energy security - through renewables - so we no longer have to rely on unstable energy supplies then fine by me. What rhetoric?, what action do you propose, The Conservative party is in opposition.

Tory principles ought in my view to be based upon the following.

Support for the traditional married dual sex family (in which stats tell us children's life chances are enhanced)

Support for the Free Market Economy as the most efficient means of allocating resources and deriving consumer value.

A deep dedication to the idea of nation states.

A desire to spread power downwards to people in their communities,especially in the field of eductaion,Health and policing.

Zero tolerance for criminal activity that blights the lives off so many.

A strong criminal justice system to underpin the above.

A strong affinity with tradition and custom and pride in the flag.

Monday Clubber: So what you are saying is that if you like the direction Cameron is taking the party chances are you would have appeased Hitler, and your basis for this is?

elrafa - I think u just made my point, but seem to be intent on disgreeing with me anyway.

Those Cabinet Ministers didnt like what Thatcher was doing, they wanted to "Heath It" forever and carry on the post-war socialist concensus. Thatcher battled hard for what she believed was right, and so should Cameron. Its the only way back to power.

Well, Voreas, the prevailing Cameroon line seems to be "If there are votes in it let's go for it - whatever it is."

This contemptible approach has already seen us smack our loyal allies America and Israel in the mouth, simply in order to impress the peacenik brigade.

In the 1930s there were perceived to be votes in appeasing the Nazis and that was the line taken by Halifax, Butler et al, some of whom - like Dave - were politicians on the centre-left of the party.

Cameron's sell-out to Political Correctness and Blairism comes straight out of the same mould.

To voreas06 and others.If you don't know what Tory principles are then you should perhaps look at the Thatcher era but others in here have adequately spelt out some of them but maybe a little longer on the streets canvassing might give you an idea of what people really want from us and it is not what we are giving them at the moment.So when are we going to listen and not pander to the Guardian readership

oh Monday clubber that really is the most ridiculous comment i have ever had the misfortune to stumble across in many years of listening to witless exchanges.

If Oliver Letwin's performance on Straight Talk this afternoon, where he was comprehensively trounced and trashed by the Scottish Andrew Neil, is a portent then Cameron's Conservative supporters (if he still retains any such) are in for a difficult conference.

The programme will be re-broadcast at 10:30 pm I believe - those unable to leave the bars for half an hour should make a point of catching the last five minutes where the achilles heel of the Cameroons is brilliantly targeted by Mr Neil - Eton and Oxford!

Monday Clubber: This contemptible approach has already seen us smack our loyal allies America and Israel in the mouth, simply in order to impress the peacenik brigade.

He did no such thing. He said that Israel's response was disproportionate which I agree with. To me Destroying parts of Lebanon's Civilian Infrastructure was a disproportionate response. Also Toadying up to Bush has not been in Britain's best interests. Do you seriously think John Mccain would be at the conference if Cameron had metaphorically smacked America in the Face.

In the 1930s there were perceived to be votes in appeasing the Nazis and that was the line taken by Halifax, Butler et al, some of whom - like Dave - were politicians on the centre-left of the party.
Sorry I see absolutely no correlation between now and the 1930s.

Monday Clubber is absolutely correct in his analysis above.However it is my strong contention that Cameron is totally wrong and there are no votes in his approach.

The electorate is ready to hear some conviction politics based upon principle.I can not understand what it is that people who argue for change want to change us in to.

I did think that this site was here for them to tell us .But much of what I read from the Cameron supporters has nothing tangible to say about principle or policy.There is simply nae calling and an attempt to paint everybody who disagrees with the leader as an outdated donosaur.

What can't thet tell us what they believe in !!

yeah too right, Michael Howards family fled the Nazi's and now your comparing his succesor to the appeassors of the 30's - bad doggie!

"yeah too right, Michael Howards family fled the Nazi's and now your comparing his succesor to the appeassors of the 30's - bad doggie!"

Michael Howard, David, is not David Cameron.

Are we to take it that you are an advocate of spelling and punctuation reform?

Martin Bristow: Monday Clubber is absolutely correct in his analysis above. why exactly?

The electorate is ready to hear some conviction politics based upon principle.I can not understand what it is that people who argue for change want to change us in to. - Read Built to Last for ideas of General Direction, it is not going to be Thatcherism. Thatcherism was right when the Unions ran the country and Publicly Run companies were the norm.

Get real. "Built to Last" is just a bit of froth.

It's a pitiful flimsy little booklet of (if I recall) 8 pages. 75% of the party couldn't even be bothered to vote on it.

No wonder!

I continue to remain deeply unimpressed by the current Conservative leadership. I entirely agree with those who are bemused by the Cameron's "leadership". But then principled, informed, and constructive leadership in the interests of this country has been largely bsent since Mrs Thatcher was overthrown.

Martin Bristow's 15.48 list is excellent, but I think he missed off "small government that gets the best possible value for taxpayers' money" I know that doesn't sound very grand but I think it should be on his list.

Eugene @ 13.01 puts forward Cameron's dilemma:

"I wish all Conservatives will get a grip- it is not a good idea to put policies forward at this time..if they are good, Labour will copy them....if they are defective, Labour wil exploit that. Cameron is right to play a long game".

While agreeing with the scenario, I do not agree that the present policy-lite situation should continue after the conference.
Unless DC meets head-on the legitimate criticisms that occupy much of this and most posts these days, there will be a significant falling away of support.

DC could start by reiterating his political beliefs.
He could report on the progress of the policy review groups and give firm dates for the publication of the final reports.
He could set out Gordon Brown's projected spending on the NHS and education over the next 5 years and commit the tories to match those figures at least.
He could set out just how much people earning between £15,000 and £35,000 a year actually pay in tax (i.e. including NI) under Gordon Brown.
He could repeat roughly how much of government expenditure is a total waste of taxpayers' money and promise to save that over a period of years.
He could promise that, once savings start being made, taxation will be reduced (but only when savings actually accrue).
He could, promise, in any event, to simplify the tax system.
He could promise to set businesses, schools, hospitals, police etc free from unnecessary red tape.
He could state unequivocally what the tories intend to do about curbing the powers of Brussels.
He could tell us what he intends to do with the HRA.
He could promise that the Home Office and any other parts of government that currently "are not fit for purpose" will be properly managed.
He could promise a return to grant maintained status for schools, so that they could manage themselves without government interference.
And no doubt many other things that Nulab is unlikely to copy.

Monday Clubber: Get real. "Built to Last" is just a bit of froth.

It's a pitiful flimsy little booklet of (if I recall) 8 pages. 75% of the party couldn't even be bothered to vote on it.

Yes it is supposed to show direction, not a manifesto.
I think the only thing that would satisfy you monday clubber is if Cameron jumped into his time machine went forward three years to the next general election found out the state of the economy. Discovered it was exactly the same as 1979 and re-released that manifesto had a sex change and changed his name to Margaret. You would probably still say it was not Thatcherite enough (Certainly not Like Mrs T in 1987)

Built to last is bereft of ideas and will not impress anybody.Leat of all us within the party who failed on mass to vote on it.
The Blair year have fundamentally weakened our country we have become a nanny state poisoned by political correctness.

Yet our leadership now gives the impression that we can not hope to change this direction.We must put up with a burgeoning public sector and high tax economy.I for one don't believe this we must make the case for a low tax economy and reformed public services because that is what we believe in.If the leadership believes in something else let them articulate it clearly.We will then see if we can distinguish the programme from New Labour's

Vapid Cameron does not please Murdoch and he campaigns against him as with the poll on Cameron Vapidness on Sky.

That means Cameron is refusing to do cosy deals with Murdoch. Which rather surprisingly proves he's not vapid.

The more Murdoch attacks Cameron, the more certain Conservatives can be that Cameron is not eurocompliant.

Sky, The Times, The Sun are all pitching against Cameron and for Gordon Brown. It will be a great day when Gordon stumbles, and Reid wins the Labour leadership, as neither party leader will owe their place to the EU's UK Press Officer, Rupert Murdoch.

The good ole Guardian is backing Dave the most.

David Belchamber @ 1731 sets forth an impressive list. Unhappily it demonstrates he too is entirely missing the main point.

Three years to go to a likely general election, as Francis Maude has just argued on Sky News, may well not be the time for specifics, but in that three years the electorate will rumble the true role of the EU which those such as Michael Heseltine have successfully obscured for so long.

The EU will be an issue in the next election. Not least because so much of what appears in the list given by Mr Belchamber is affected if not controlled from Brussels.

If UKIP are a single issue party it is at least the one issue that effects an estimated 80 per cent of the legislation binding British Citizens. The Cameroons risk becoming the multi-faceted, multi-policied facing all ways party that by then will encompass less than twenty per cent of the legislative process.

The days of pretending the EU is a powerless trading block are passed. The Conservative Party is at present worse than an irrelevance - hence I would suggest its present poll slump.

Martin Bristow writes that "The Blair year have fundamentally weakened our country we have become a nanny state poisoned by political correctness." and I could not agree more except to say the rot set in long before that. Acadmia, the legal profession, and the media (to name just a few parts of our society) were all genuflecting to post modern political correctness before Blair and the Tories failed to take them on and now appear to have surrendered. Blair et al could not have managed to get away with their cultural revolution without if the ground had not already been laid in a favourable manner.

Martin Bristow: we must make the case for a low tax economy and reformed public services because that is what we believe in.
As far as I am aware Cameron is not against these things. What makes you think he is?

I don't know if anyone has the archieve data, but I wonder what point the Conservatives were at in say 1990 (they went on to win, narrowly, in 1992 of course)

I'll bet it was worse than level pegging.

If this isn't a rogue poll, it is bloomin great news for Labour.

I don't know if anyone has the archieve data, but I wonder what point the Conservatives were at in say 1990 (they went on to win, narrowly, in 1992 of course)

I'll bet it was worse than level pegging.

If this isn't a rogue poll, it is bloomin great news for Labour.

Greetings to Conservative home readers from windy Bournemouth.
You are all invited to the launch of a Tax policy:
UKIP are launching their tax policy at a special one day mini conference in Bournemouth on Tuesday the 3rd of October. This will be held in the Abbeymount Room of the Bournemouth International Hotel in Priory road just up from the BIC. The conference opens at 11 am with John Whittaker, North West UKIP MEP introducing and explaining the policy. There will then be a break for lunch and at at 4.00 pm we will reconvene for Godfrey Bloom chairing a debate on the Criminal Justice system. David Fraser, author of the acclaimed book "A Land Fit for Criminals" which was serialised in the Daily Mail this year and campaigner John Stockton will be speaking along with others. We will end the mini conference with a chance to meet and chat with the new UKIP leader Nigel Farage in a drinks reception sponsored by TBO Corporate Benefit Consultants. Contact Gawain Towler for more details.

UKIP are launching their tax policy


Totally irrelevant to this thread and hardly likely to become a feature of government.

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair rightly judged that the Labour Conference would appreciate a reading from John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath and as you can see it was very successfully delivered in his speech

I have just cantered through the above thread -

yes , Dave is a bit vapid and vapidity as a policy is - well airy and frustrating and will not win a general election .

but what really hits one is that extent to which the Conservatives dodge the point all the time .

There is a whole country out there - England ie not the United Kingdom - looking for leadership and wanting to be championed . We need specific policies for England , not the UK , and we need it be expressed in concise language with the words England and English used , not the vague and carefully evasive word
" country " . The party ( which should have changed its name years ago from Tory to something less historically burdensome ) should reorganise on a country basis within the UK ie there should be an English " Conservative " party .

Oh - and the party should commit itself to an English Parliament . Batting on about Tory radicalism and free trade just aint going to cut it enough to get us elected .

Grasping the nettle of the miserable constitutional situation will win votes -
WHERE IT COUNTS ie in England .

The YouGov poll is a disappointment but not surprising. No, I don't understand the logic of a Labour bounce based upon an excellent speech by an OUTGOING PM either, but that's the electorate for you.

This is Dave's big week, his chance to put some flesh on the bones of the party's partial recovery in the public's esteem. A failure to do so would lead me to the following conclusions:

1. That he is rudderless when it comes to First Principles. An opportunist, really.

2. That the poll lead of the last few months has been entirely down to negative thoughts about Labour and the Libdems and not proactive Tory behaviour.

3. That we should prepare ourselves for the the prospect that NONE of the major parties will advocate a centre-right manifesto at the next election. Rather, it will be no more than a popularity contest between three types of liberal-left consensus tax 'n spend socialism.

I have some sympathy with some of the frothier types on this blog who are tearing their hair out at Cameron's astonishing centre-left strategic positioning, but unlike them I want him to to be the next Prime Minister, if only because I believe we have a better chance of making him see sense than the contestant's in the Blair succession race.

But he must see sense before the general election, that's for sure. Timidity and lack of philosphical belief has been the hallmark of his first ten months, yet he has enjoyed reasonable press, some of it even applauding his "courage" in trying to change his party. A few months of flatlining in the polls, however, will force his hand.

Are you a Tory, Dave? Are you a Tory peg? Because your party is a Tory hole, if you will forgive the metaphor. If you are Whig-shaped, no amount of forcing will make your leadership a good fit. Finding this out at a general election, with the possibility of a Bromley & Chislehurst-style revolt among long-standing Tory voters, is our worst nightmare.

I told you so.

Cameron and his sidekick Osborne have decided not to cut taxes AT ALL. This after 9 years of Gordon Brown!!!

That alone means that they don't deserve to, and won't, win.

And those of you clinging to the -mistaken- notion these poll numbers are due to some labour conference 'bounce': the con conference will produce exactly no bounce whatoever, becaue (apart from some metropolitan media type) britain is getting tired of "dave" already.

unless he changes back into a tory again he will lose the next general election.

Can there be any advantage in pandering to the younger Voter when it is them that seem never to bother to go to the Polls on Election day anyway? I am not at all surprised that the lead in the polls are melting away, as at present this is meaningless if it is not converted into action and real policy development. Cameron is in danger of alienating present Conservative supporters and NOT gaining any new ones to increase Conservative support regretfully.

The reason I believe Cameron is against a low tax economy is driven by that wholly nonsenical phrase both he and George Osborne trot out : Sharing the proceeds of Growth.

The above phrase presumes growth in the first place.Growth is dependant on enterprise,efficiency and consumer value unless ofcourse you simply wish to grow the public sector and squeeze all this initative out (As Gordon Brown has done)

To me only a low tax economy allows enterprise to flourish that produces real sustainable growth.Hand in hand with this should go reform of the public services to increase accountabiltiy and drive consumer value.This two pronged attack would allow us to chart a path to a steadily decreasing state sector and lower taxes.

What Cameron is saying is we will get growth and distribute that growth as an when.My questiion to him is how is he going to produce sustainable growth moving forward without the incentive that a low tax economy provides?

Fair question or not?

Cameron and his sidekick Osborne have decided not to cut taxes AT ALL

Not true. Dave's critics pretend not to understand "sharing the proceeds of growth", but it's a very simple formula which results in tax becoming a smaller percentage of GDP.

The problem with Cameron's leadership is that he has decided that his best strategy is to try to avoid all criticism from the liberal media. So, even though tax cuts are popular (so polling suggests), he will avoid them in case he gets scrutinized about it; even though curbing immigration is popular, he will avoid it in case he gets criticised; even though there is evidence that much of the population (especially prospective tory voters) are eurosceptic, Europe is an issue guaranteed to bring about criticism from the left and the liberal media; even though there is much evidence that the public would be open to a radical new approach to public services, he won't do that because, once again, his main objective is to avoid criticism.

While this has worked for a while, in the sense that the lack of negative media has made him seem likeable and inoffensive, it has had the result also of making him seem fluffy and insubstantial. He is also not seen as the person with the gravitas or nerve required to solve Britain's problems. So much of Britain's population is left looking around for a better option. The current rise in popularity of John Reid (especially in the Luntz focus group) suggests that people want a tough decision maker, and Cameron just doesn't offer that.

So, Cameron's courting of the liberal media, and avoiding of all criticism has had its upsides, but it's now having its downsides too. For a while I was thinking he would be Prime Minister after the next election; I've had second thoughts.

In fact, Martin, I actually agree very much with your comment @ 17.52:
"The EU will be an issue in the next election. Not least because so much of what appears in the list given by Mr Belchamber is affected if not controlled from Brussels".

I have posted elsewhere my thoughts on the EU; I am still very happy with the idea of the two main founding principles (i) to prevent Germany from starting WW3 and (ii) to establish a common market.
I am now appalled at what it has grown into: a monolithic socialist bureaucracy, inefficient, corrupt, and a greater micromanager of our lives than even Gordon Brown.
I had thought that, given the will, we might have been able to reform it from the inside.
Now I very much doubt that is possible, so, in the absence of better arguments to the contrary, I opt for BOO.
I hope that DC will promise us a referendum on the matter.

Not true. Dave's critics pretend not to understand "sharing the proceeds of growth", but it's a very simple formula which results in tax becoming a smaller percentage of GDP.

Bullsh*t. The growth is a product of Gordo Brown's public spending binge rather than export-driven growth.......so public deficits and trade deficits will grow if the economy does not switch its current bias towards consumption..............we now import oil and gas which means living standards have to fall

Don't remember you ever saying that you thought Cameron would be PM John. I can only remember relentlessly negative comments about him from you although you did stop posting for a while.Couldn't you bear it?
Agree with your comment Mr Speaker,Osborne does need to clarify what he means about 'sharing the proceeds of growth',this conference would be a good time to do it.

Last weekend we had a poll that showed the lead had dropped to four per cent, in midweek it had gone up to seven per cent now we are leval. It goes to show why it is stupied to take much notice of one single poll.
One of the things that as badly damaged the party in the last two elections is the Labour accusation that tax cuts amount to cuts in spending on health, education and other public services. I think Cameron is right not to offer tax cuts because to do so would be the eqvalient of the party shooting itself in the foot.
All the endless debate we have on this site about what we should do as a party if returned to power will be nothing more than a load of hot air unless we actually are able to win a general election.
David Cameron and his stratagy of fighting from the centre and changing the party`s image is our only hope. He deserves our support.

Wow monday clubber i never realised the paucity of your argumentative skills before.
Criticise my spelling? thats a new low , even for someone as subterranean as you.

Wonder what he would make of Jacks?! Anyone who can spell 'subterranean' can spell well in my opinion!

If this is the sort of mopping of the brow a level pegging poll produces what on earth will happen to the party if Labour starts to pull ahead? I think everyone is nervous because what has been achieved so far has been achieved on presentation , that can't last and it certainly won't get the party past a new Labour leader.

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