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I'm not a Tory member, but have do ask: why does this debate have to be conducted via articles in the press?

Is everyone concerned so vain?

Oh dear, if Cambo's managed to persuade Howard to 'dilute' his planned Telegraph piece it shows he's worried. Very worried. If he wants a 'full and frank' debate about policy why try and shy away from Howard's point of view? Tactically, it was a very stupid thing to do. For both of them. First , for 'team-Cambo' to interfere with the proposed column. Second, Howard for allowing 'team-Cambo' to interfere. So much for a change from the odious merchants of spin currently entrenched in the bunker...Downing Street!

If Michael Howard wants somewhere else to publish his article - I'll be happy to oblige.

There's no pretending this hasn't happened. Labour party supporters are already seeing this as the green light to abolish all Grammar schools and selection.

This needs sorting.

How much longer is the Telegraph going to employ the UKIP supporting Heffer?

Of course the other issue is why our PR staff continue to cock things up?

It is shocking that Cameron is bullying Howard and censoring his writings. It is also shocking that Howard allows him to.

Stifling the views of those who disagree with you is not the way a leader should lead. He should be able to engage in debate and persuade us of the virtues of his views.

But when he finds that 71% of Torys don't agree with him he should change his policy - or change his job.

Funny headline...it is clearly not Howard's article but one penned for his name by Conservative Central Office......no reason for any newspaper to accept such pieces, it is at their discretion.

If the Conservatives are so enthused about this piece publish it on their own Website.

How much longer is the Telegraph going to employ the UKIP supporting Heffer?

Interesting question but not one for political parties. It was tiresome to hear of Mandelson threatening journalists with him whispering to their proprietors in bed..... it gets to the point where I think politicians should stop interfering in the media

The Times notes that David Willetts sought to defuse MPs' anger by offering to "repeal laws that allow parents to vote to scrap existing grammar schools".

Hang on! If the grammar school system is supposedly failing bright but poor children, surely we should want to keep mechanisms in place that would allow parents and local organisations to replace them with schools that don't have the same failings.

Or is the message here getting hopelessly mixed?

49% in favour and the opposition split between pure comprehensive and partially comprehensive. Will Cameron follow public opinion on this one?

How much longer is the Telegraph going to employ the UKIP supporting Heffer?

As long as they want?

I'm not Simon Heffer's hugest fan, and I'm saddened he sees fit so support UKIP over the Tories, but the Daily Telegraph is not the Tory Pravda, nor is it desirable that it should be.

A couple of questions. Simon Heffer is not the editor of the DT. Why does he therefore have a veto of what appears or doesn't appear within its pages?
James Hellyer 14.04 Exactly!

James & Malcolm: Does seem a strange thing to say. Did he actually say that?

Thomas: You a right. But with Murdoch & the BBC against us, to have the right wing press working against us too is fustrating. Heffer is in danger of turning what could be good constructive challenge of party policy into a vindictive crusade. Just why the Telegraph are determined to undermine the Conservatives beats me, the whole thing could prove destructive for everyone in the end.

It would be nice to have at least one national daily supporting the Tory leadership.

Perhaps Oberon it is not so much a case of the Telegraph undermining the Conservatives but rather more a case of the Telegraph objecting to what it see as the Cameron clique undermining the Conservatives and conservatism.

"Heffer is in danger of turning what could be good constructive challenge of party policy into a vindictive crusade. Just why the Telegraph are determined to undermine the Conservatives beats me, the whole thing could prove destructive for everyone in the end."

Agree with your comments Oberon regarding Simon Heffer, be interested to know what the Telegraph sales figures are like these days?

With regard to grammar schools, I am more interested in finding a solution to our very damaged curriculum and exam system which is in danger of not being worth the paper it is written on. Now that is harming all children of various abilities or social background.

Thomas Bridge and others, I don't think that Simon Heffer has changed his tune greatly over the years, if anything he has got more moderate.

Simon Heffer supports UKIP's policies by default, they are saying what he has always been saying.

Apparently DC has tried to compensate for our disappointment at not seeing Michael Howard's article by putting one of his own in today's Evening Standard.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6669291.stm

Any chance of a full version anyone?


The Telegraph is now selling barely 900,000 copies a day which is the lowest it has been in my 20 years in the industry. Having said that it is still by a wide margin the market leader and the sales of all the other broadsheets are declining too.
I didn't see much support for Cameron/Willetts in the Times either and the other two are unlikely to have many Conservative voters. Whilst Cameron is right not to announce policy to curry favour with powerful media owners as Labour does it might be helpful to have some support for the ideas from somewhere!

"It would be nice to have at least one national daily supporting the Tory leadership.
Posted by: sbjme19 | May 18, 2007 at 14:38"

Just as it would be nice to have at least one major political party leadership reflecting the feelings of many Daily Telegraph readers.

Simon Heffer is Comment Editor of The Telegraph, Malcolm.

Excellent said, Occasional Visitor.

So, Michael Howard has gone wet too. A shame.

So, Michael Howard has gone wet too.

He went the way of the modernisers long ago, he just thought he wasn't the right man to sell that line at a general election.

"It would be nice to have at least one national daily supporting the Tory leadership"

Well, the Guardian's quite supportive.

The 900,000 figure includes bulk low cost sales. For full rate sales, i.e. what you & I pay in the shop, the Telegraph is currently on (18th May) 408,226 versus The Times which is on 426,698.

The data is held at "www.abc.org.uk", you need a subscription to access the trend data, but current is free.

James, you are rght, but interestingly he initially thought Cameron was too young and inexperienced. Ironically it was Cameron who 'converted' to the moderniser camp very late on, for a long time he was sceptical about the need to change.

Fascinating Oberon. I hadn't realised things were that bad for The Telegraph.

Who buys newspapers.....people without internet connection ?

"So, Michael Howard has gone wet too. A shame." Howard confirmed his wetness when, contrary to normal practice, he secretly became a Patron of the Tory Reform Group whilst he was Leader.

Liam Fox, on Howard's instructions, threated the 2004 European candidates with deselection if they did provide written support for Howard's deal with the EPP.

Howard may have been a social authoritarian but he was also a Europhile wet - not "one of us" as the Iron Lady used to say.

So censorship is now as rife as positive discrimination in the Conservative party.

I don't think this is as straightforward as is being made out.

What is clear is that htis has been a huge PR cock up for the Tory press office and bodes ill for the Brown era if the same amateurs who have let this get out of control remain in place.

James Hellyer @ 14:04 -

"If the grammar school system is supposedly failing bright but poor children, surely we should want to keep mechanisms in place that would allow parents
and local organisations to replace them with schools that don't have the same failings."

Good and logical point, but surely it should go beyond that to a promise that all these failing grammar schools will be shut down and replaced by a better type
of school. To do any less would be to allow this harm to the children to continue indefinitely. How could that be right?

James at 14:04"Hang on! If the grammar school system is supposedly failing bright but poor children, surely we should want to keep mechanisms in place that would allow parents and local organisations to replace them with schools that don't have the same failings. ".


Probably because they don't cause any harm to anyone and, although not enough of the poor-but-bright kids get in, "For those children from modest backgrounds who do get to grammar schools the benefits are enormous".

That's why. Although they aren't THE solution (freeing up schools and then moving to education vouchers is the solution), they do no harm and do some good (although not enough to justify a programme of mass-openings - which would in any case distract from the core solution of freeing schools from state control.

Did any of the members who are railing against the lack of a massive programme of grammar-school openings belong to the Party in the days of the Thatcher and Major Governments? And if so, why didn't you tear up your cards then in protest?

"Did any of the members who are railing against the lack of a massive programme of grammar-school openings belong to the Party in the days of the Thatcher and Major Governments? And if so, why didn't you tear up your cards then in protest?"

Mrs T, had the same problem when she became a tory leader in opposition. Don't tell anyone but she really really wanted to win a GE and knew that she only had one chance to do it. She also knew that she needed to attract a few more than the party faithful or core vote and that meant occasionally having to think about how she was going to sell a policy to them which might attract those votes.
David Cameron might be better sitting down with her or Major to have chat about how you convince some in the party that it is not unprincipled to want to appeal to the majority of voters when trying to win GE's.
It is not unprincipled to want to gain power when you are elected leader of the main opposition party, it is in your job description!!!

If Simon spiked the Howard article it clearly wasn't worth reading. It's always refreshing to turn from the latest PC witterings of the Bluelabour Mafia to read Heffer's sound Tory commonsense.

And wasn't that article by Alice Thomson a turnup for the book? Cameroon support is haemorrhaging fast.

Alice Thomson's support is nothing to boast about - anyone remember her hagiography of Muhammad Bari? Sickeningly supine.

Mrs T, had the same problem when she became a tory leader in opposition. Don't tell anyone but she really really wanted to win a GE and knew that she only had one chance to do it

Oh right, Scotty. So you mean that in order to win that election Mrs Thatcher told the electorate she didn't believe in Grammar Schools.

Whatever she may have done, or not done, subsequently she actually gave people the impression that she and her government would favour grammar schools, but then you wouldn't know would you Scotty because you were either in short pants or wherever it is babies come from.

Some of us were out there rooting for her. WE do know what we're talking about.

Alice Thomson's support is nothing to boast about

Is her husband called Edward Heathcoat-Amery ?


Actually, Thatcher was accused of pandering to the core vote "retreating behind the privet hedge", by those who believed the job of the Conservative Party was to conserve socialism.

Her approach was to win over non-Conservatives (many Southern and Midlands working class voters) to core Conservative policies.

That's not really the approach that's being pursued today.

I don't know...

Traditional Tory:Cameroon support is haemorrhaging fast.

Control Tower to Porky Pig, you are cleared for take off...

Mrs Thatcher wanted to win a GE and she knew she had one chance to do it, now some people might prefer to gloss over the problems she faced from the minute she chose to take on Ted Heath right up to the 79' GE or they can try being a bit more honest about the hurdles she had to overcome to take the party with her.

Traditional Tory:Cameroon support is haemorrhaging fast.

Control Tower to Porky Pig, you are cleared for take off...

Oh really William. Well I would say that what I've been reading here from former slavish Cameroons added to that surprisingly good article from the hitherto sycophantic Ms Thomson could be indicative of trouble to come.

Not to mention d'Ancona - but of course his wife works for Brown, so perhaps we should not be surprised.

In may not be the beginning of the end for Cameron but it is most assuredly the end of the beginning.

All right Scotty. We'll buy it from Scotty the Scot from that highly-successful wildly Cameroon association sited at some unspecified location in Bonnie Scotland.

What exactly was Mrs Thatcher's message about grammar schools which you keep telling us was a crucial election-winner back in the 70's?

Beam us up!

I was only a YC Chairman at the time so I obviously wouldn't remember...

"All right Scotty. We'll buy it from Scotty the Scot from that highly-successful wildly Cameroon association sited at some unspecified location in Bonnie Scotland."

Your back, and sadly as unpleasant and creepy as ever!!!

Your back, and sadly as unpleasant and creepy as ever!!!

So true Scotty, but do we get an answer?

Let's not make this personal pleeeease!

In may not be the beginning of the end for Cameron but it is most assuredly the end of the beginning.

It seems that a modern Conservative Party can only be led by a Grammar School boy rather than Old Fogeys from Eton in frock coats and membership in gentleman's clubs in London

Why this obsession with 'schools for poor kids' why are they poor ? Inadequate parents most likely - - that is the issue and you will never solve it. Aspiration is the quality to be encouraged - read John Kampfer in the Telegraph today.

Scotty: ... how you convince some in the party that it is not unprincipled to want to appeal to the majority of voters when trying to win GE's.

All very good, Scotty, but noone ever doubted that Lady Thatcher was a real Conservative with capital 'C', whereas with Cameron, it's the other way round.

Why this obsession with 'schools for poor kids' why are they poor ? Inadequate parents most likely - - that is the issue and you will never solve it. Aspiration is the quality to be encouraged - read John Kampfer in the Telegraph today.

Not being personal but suggest Traditional Tory (back in your umteenth variation) reads Mrs Thatchers views on Grammar Schools - she was in favour of choice, independence and variety. She put in place the law that enabled local councils to decide independently whether to retain or close grammars - and most closed them. They didn't come back. She wasn't that bothered because, while she defended them when Labour or SDP raised issue as a matter of principle in opposing Shirley Williams & co, she didn't really care. She preferred to develop on James Callaghan's ideas for a core curriculum, return to formal teaching methods, school inspections and changes to examinations plus new models in education provision.

In the 11 years she was PM she did nothing to bring them back, neither did Major in his 7 years. In those 18 years Education was a key area of interest but neither considered bringing back grammars - until Major put them in his losing manifesto as a sort of dog whistle.

on Education


CAmeron

on Education

He backed Labour's the expansion of Labour's city academy system instead.

Academies are non-fee paying, non-selective state schools, which operate outside the control of local education authorities and have private sponsors.

but Blair wants Eton and Harrow and Marlborough as Academies and so do I......all tax advantages to public schools should be ended and they should be integrated into the Academies

In the 11 years she was PM she did nothing to bring them back, neither did Major in his 7 years.

Because Thatcher did not care. She had Harrow for Mark and her grandchildren used private schools too.

Thatcher believed if you could pay for things you were "one of us" and if not you were not worthy anyway.

Conservatives are not interested in the broad mass of the population only in doing enough to protect their own privileges from the masses

Perhaps the leadership of the Conservative Party would confirm that, when they have control of the state sector of education, they will be sending their children to the local comprehensive. Pigs might fly.
The hypocrisy of the Labour Party was that whilst the common people had no choice in where their children went, the socialists sent their children to private schools. Great if you can afford it. What we would like, Mr Cameron, is the same freedom of choice that you have. Set education free from the state, close the LEAs, give parents vouchers and leave us alone to get on with the job.

TomTom as proved what I always suspected with his last sentence he is no Conservative.It is nonsense what he says and simply shows hatred for the party we have been lead to believe he supports.
I don`t post on this site as much as I did because it is full of people like him.
People from the right who are on here with there own agenda`s that as nothing to do with rescuing the country from Labour.
I think people seem to forget that just two weeks ago David Cameron and the party had the best results this party as had in the local elections for years.
We should be building on that not letting people like TomTom divide us with there hatred and spite!

I believe the Cameroons accepted that part of the price of their modernisation process might be losing part of what might be considered the Tories' core vote. There is however always a law of unintended consequences. It strikes me (particularly following the grammar school brouhaha) that they risk much greater losses than they anticipated because, to use their term, the paradigm on which they based their assumptions may already have shifted. They may well find themselves like the oft cited generals fighting the last century's wars. It would of course be the supreme irony for the soi disant modernisers to find themselves outdated.

I don`t post on this site as much as I did

Good.

Why don't you go and take some spelling lessons, or is it all part of the windup?

Oh Traditional Tory you are such a cowardly windbag, this site has been so much better since you left it. Please crawl back under the stone from wence you came or if you must remain try to post something INTELLIGENT or AMUSING.I seriously doubt that you are in any way capable of either.

Is "Traditional Tory" that bloke that was banned before by the Ed. Forget his pseudonym, what was it?

Matt

Does anyone in Tory circles seriously believe that the Willets speech is going to - a) reassure the core vote, b) attract new supporter, c) give core Tory voters another reason not to vote......


Posted under several names Matt, Mark McCartney was one and was probably Monday Clubber too. Probably the stupidest troll to post on here in a crowded field.

I was rather under the impression that 'Traditional Tory' is another infamous former contributor to ConservativeHome who was banned despite his earnest promises to stop posting comments here.

Neither noble nor humble, that one.

Nope Daniel. The man to whom you refer is an egomaniac. This one is just a moron.
There have been good people returning to the fold though today. First time a-tracey has posted in ages.

Oops... just spotted the ubiquitous reference to the Young Conservatives from 'Traditional Tory'/Alex Forsyth/Mark McCartney/Malvolio/Wallenstein.

If he mentions FCS and name-checks Sean Fear, I'd say the case is closed!

PS Good to see our old sparring partner Mr Hellyer back too - let's hope he's here to stay.

The Shameroonies always makes me laugh. They call for people to stop being so 'negative', then, when someone says something that dares to contradict their views, they start calling the dissenter in their midst all the names under the sun. It's like a kiddies playground with the yah, boo 'Punch and Judy politics' on this site at times. And the Shameroonies are to blame.

TomTom as proved what I always suspected with his last sentence he is no Conservative.It is nonsense what he says and simply shows hatred for the party we have been lead to believe he supports.
I don`t post on this site as much as I did because it is full of people like him.

Go take a hike Jack. You are way out of touch and a little reciter of mantras incapable of cognition. You have one vote just like the rest of us...your view has no greater value than anyone else....but you try to shout down anyone who does not share your facile view of the world and inability to debate let alone spell

when someone says something that dares to contradict their views, they start calling the dissenter in their midst all the names under the sun

Too true Stephen.

But right now I sense, more than ever, that the Cameroons have the wind up, and I do seem to upset them, don't I?

And no, I'm not Chad Noble. After all, before he saw sense he actually supported Cameron for a while.

That's one crime to which I plead not guilty.

Over here in Northern Ireland the only person who wanted Grammer Schools abolished was m mc guinness. He used to do other things you know.

It is interesting to compare Gordon Brown's approach of "listen and learn" with Dave's "slapped down" response to the 1922 Committee.
Having been a Tory supporter all my life, there have still been some parts ot it that I despise. One is the group of Upper Middle class housewives who as Conservative County councillors destroyed Grammar schools throughout the South East. Their bleeding heart advocation of the "Comprehensive Ideal" was usually shown as egregious hypocrisy by sending their sons to Harrow. People with the money to send their children to Eton, like Dave, have no understanding of the financial hardships less well off families endure to send their children to private grammar schools to escape the appalling treatment they themselves suffered in comprehensives. They have hoped for years that a Conservative government would someday relieve them or at least their children of this enormous burden by returning to decent schools. So now we hear that Dave believes that comprehensives are the way ahead. It is hard to describe the utter betrayal we feel.
So don't worry Dave, if we are starving we can always eat cake. Is that the sound of a tumbril?

The issue is not whether we are calling for more grammar schools. It is whether we support parental choice, diversity, local decision-making. The fact is that large numbers of parents (rightly in my view) want grammar schools for their children, and it is about time we started listening to them, rather than announcing "ex cathedra" what we will and we won't do.

Actually for me the immediate issue is more basic than that, and revolves round
a son who is (or was) as bright as, or even brighter, than his sister who went on to get a good degree at Oxford, but whose academic performance is now being degraded by going to the same school as children who are simply not interested in academic education and whose presence drags down those who are (or were, or should be) - despite the in-school streaming which Cameron seems to think solves that problem but which in practice does not. It would be much better for everybody if those children went to another school on a separate site with its
own buildings and budget and head teacher and staff, a different type of school with teachers chosen to offer those less bright children from all social classes their own excellent education, but one suited to their abilities and inclinations.

To think that a once great party is now headed by this egregious ass! Are there not enough true Conservative MPs with the will and the bottle to get rid of him, and sooner rather than later?

Is there no machinery to challenge him with a no confidence motion or in some other way, so as to get him to stand down as leader?

Malcolm said:
"The man to whom you refer is an egomaniac"

Nothing more vain than the middle-aged man bleaching his hair to look younger is there Malc? ;-)

I don't Chad. Probably don't have enough hair left to make it worthwhile. But then don't let truth get in the way of one of your stories eh?

What makes you think that I was referring to you Malcy? ;-)

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