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Having read this article I'm quite glad Lord Saatchi has nothing to do with the party anymore.He's a good ad man but as a political theorist he's a joke. Blairs reforms won Labour a reputation for economic competence 'the earth shook'. Really? What reforms were they? The repeal of clause 4 and a promise to keep to our spending plans for two years. Earth shattering isn't it?
Once again I really do wonder what was the point of giving this story such prominence.

Both Lady Thatcher and Tony Blair had lawyers as leading ministers. Lawyers deal in facts. The new post 1997 Tory Party despises lawyers, and prefers branding
and P.R. jargon to facts. The voters like facts, and want to be offered factual commitments by politicians. The modern Tory
Party lives in fairy land. It refuses to offer facts. With the UKIP now financially bankrupt, the centre-right in Britain is largely dead and leaderless. Rule Britannia has given way to gay rights...it really is quite pitiful.

Was this the same former co-Chairman of our party with the strategy of 164 target seats? The post 2005 election analysis of Lord Ashcroft described this as "by setting their sights on 164 seats the Conservatives effectively had no targets at all". "The party used scarce resources campaigning heavily in constituencies that it had no realistic prospect of winning; therefore it failed to win not only those constituencies, but others higher up the list where it might have had a real chance of victory."

Frankly I prefer the strategic advice of Lord Ashcroft.

Malcolm I agree.

I thought the much of Project Cameron was predicated on marketing/positioning/branding.
If so the words of Lord Saatchi should be taken very seriously. But of course there are none so blind as those who will not see.

Lord Saatchi states "Not a single poll in a single month in the past 15 years has given the Conservative Party a sufficient lead to win a general election,"

Er.... WRONG. Did he sleep through 2006?

Here are a couple of polls I found very quickly. If Saatchi has such a weak grasp of numbers no wonder we did so badly in campaigns under him.

ICM/Guardian 17/12/2006 Con 40 Lab 32 LD 18 Tory majority of 26.
ICM/Guardian 22/10/2006 Con 39 Lab 29 LD 22 Tory majority of 26.

Mlud I rest my case.

Yet again, we have the "we keep losing because the voters are stupid" line from Malcolm - the people who believe Labour today is essentially the same as Labour in 1983 - it's just that they somehow fooled the voters that they had changed.

It just won't wash - and what's bizarre about that line of argument is that it's in favour of spin over substance, which in other posts Malcolm promotes a "traditionalist" line.

The sooner Tories appreciate that Lord Saatchi is right: that Labour changed both stylistically and substantively, and stop allowing their own bitter hatred of Labour blind them that the last three elections have been won by the Party actually in tune with the times the sooner they might get back to being a credible electoral force.

HF - not disputing your research, but I think it's entirely legitimate to question whether uniform national swing would actually occur.

All the polls that have measured this (and admittedly there have only been two to my knowledge, both with large margins of error) show the Tories making marginal, if any, progress in the north - something borne out by this year's council elections (and before I get the "there are more Tory councils in the north than Labour ones" line, that's true, but in the big urban councils where most of the marginals lie, Tories either stayed still or lost the odd seat).

So even with a poll showing an 8% Conservative lead (at mid term, let's remember), it's entirely possible that all this means is Conservatives piling up thumping majorities in the South East while losing the Burys, Boltons, Cheadles, Batleys and Keighleys of this world. Enough to remove a Labour majority, but probably not give the Tories one themselves.

"Rule Britannia has given way to gay rights...it really is quite pitiful."

Not pitiful - gay rights are a core conservative value. Valuing individual rights is at the core of conservatism. Guy rights are fundamentally human rights and are about respecting the right of each person to be who they are and to live their life anyway they choose as long as they do no harm to their fellows.

Saatchi is one of those embarrassing uncles you desperately hope won't turn up to your wedding.

I remember the Bournemouth conference before the election when he announced to the assembled throng that we were on the verge of winning a majority through private polling and some dubious statistical analysis.

We lost by 66.

What a fool... keep him away from political reality and let him do what he does best; get us a good quote for billboard hoardings.

Tomorrow on Con Home - Screaming Lord Such, Jean Marie Le Pen, Garry Glitter and Gonzo from the muppets give their in-depth advice on where Cameron has gone wrong...

Peter Coe, I think an 8% lead probably would produce a Conservative majority, even if the swing was lower in the North, and greater in the South.

Racking up huge (but useless) majorities in safe seats isn't really a problem the Conservative Party faces at this stage. In fact no seat produced a Conservative vote in excess of 60% at the last election, whereas about 20 Labour seats did produce such a vote.

The Conservative vote is fairly well-distributed. The Conservatives' problem is that (due to anti-Conservative tactical voting) rather fewer of their candidates who won 35-45% of the vote got elected than their Labour equivalents did.

The sooner Tories appreciate that Lord Saatchi is right: that Labour changed both stylistically and substantively,

Actually Labour prior to the 1960s was quite right-wing - Attlee and Bevin certainly were; and Hugh Gaitskell made a Eurosceptic speech at the 1962 Conference no Tory would ever make

‘the end of Britain as an independent nation state... the end of a thousand years of history. You may say “let it end” but, my goodness, it is a decision that needs a little care and thought.’

Perhaps Blair and Brown have simply taken Labour back onto its traditional track from which it deviated after 1967.....if so the Conservative Party has a very arduous task ahead

Tomorrow on Con Home - Screaming Lord Such, Jean Marie Le Pen, Garry Glitter and Gonzo from the muppets give their in-depth advice on where Cameron has gone wrong...

Posted by: JimJam | July 30, 2007 at 17:42

You forgot to add Rachel Whetstone and Steve Hilton to the list

Peter Coe, yes the swing may have been uneven. But Saatchi was emphatic that NO poll, in any month, in the past 15 yrs gave us a majority.

By stating it in this way, it is the opposite of the Lib Dems "winning here". The Lib Dems have been far more effective in by elections that any strategy coming under Lord Saatchi's regime.

Saatchi labels us as losers that are unable to get a winning lead in the polls in 15 yrs. He would not publicly slate any other customer (of his) advertising, so why slate the brand image of an ex-customer of his advertising labeling us as perennial losers?

Particularly when he gets his basic facts wrong. A certain co-Chairman predicted in 04 we were going to win 100+ seats in 05. oops.

If I let a client down through a lousy strategy I would not publicly slag them off. Whatever happened to some humility Saatchi? How about sharing the blame for not winning more seats? And how about donating some cash to us for the first time in several years?

Lord Saatchi appears to have touched a raw nerve for some which can only be a good thing.

"Lord Saatchi appears to have touched a raw nerve for some which can only be a good thing."

Why? Are you a Labour supporter, or do you just enjoy hopeless old duffers creating division?

"gay rights are a core conservative value"

Since when?

Does this mean that you think Nulabour and the LibDims are opposed to Gay Rights?

Rightwingery (is that a joke)

Read my earlier post.

Rightwingery (is that a joke)

Could be the same guy who laughably calls himself Powellite. I think I'm going to rename myself Cameroon.

Of course Lord Saatchi is 100% right and the reaction of the crashingly familiar fan club shows that he has indeed touched a bunch of raw nerves.

The public have seen through the phoney Hug a Hoodie/Husky/Hutu "compassion" routine. Dave riding off into the sunset on his pushbike with his windmill on top of that plastic cowpat is no longer a novelty. He's become a figure of fun, and he's going to stay that way.

BTW is Dave still going with that "Hug a Hitler" invite to the Fuhrer of Rwanda? Yet another own goal.

Yawn...

DavidK, gay rights are not a part of "core conservative values". Conservative values are about supporting the family as the basic unit of society. Promoting gay rights undermines the institution of marriage.

If Lord Saatchi is such an expert on polls, surely he'd have read any recent poll on the public's top political concerns and seen that economics always got a low percentage. With low mortgage rates and a stable economy, real people simply aren't interested in any political party talking about it.

However, he's correct about "nicey-nicey" politics. At a time when violent crimes rates are constantly going up and yobbery plagues our cities and towns, people don't care about what a tragic childhood the little thugs have had.

Sam is only partly right. The economic stability is arguably more apparent than real;
and if one accepts the benign view of the economy that does not mean it is a non-issue so far as the Tories are concerned in the negative sense given the ERM debacle.

Sam, how does promoting gay rights- in employment, pensions, finance etc undermime 'marriage?' A gay man is no longer able to be sacked on account of his managers dislike of his orientation rather than skill. Who the hell thinks that undermimes marriage?

Regardless of whether gay rights are 'right' or 'wrong' they clearly have never been fundamental to conservatism, and it is quite ridiculous to suggest otherwise.

That's a matter of historical fact.

Anyway from a philosophical point of view any concept of 'group rights' runs counter to conservative principles.

"Promoting gay rights undermines the institution of marriage." Why do you feel the need to single out gay rights in this way?
I have been married for nearly 20 years and I can't say that has ever come up as a reason for me to think that, in fact I have always felt sympathy that gay couples in long term relations had no rights or the same choices under the law and therefore lost out unfairly. I was pleased to see this being finally corrected with civil partnerships. If anything that strengthens marriage as an institution rather than undermining it.

If Lord Saatchi is such an expert on polls, surely he'd have read any recent poll on the public's top political concerns and seen that economics always got a low percentage. With low mortgage rates and a stable economy, real people simply aren't interested in any political party talking about it.


Low mortgage rates = high house prices....Scottish Widows reports that 56% University Graduates since 1997 have been unable to get on the housing ladder

With Buy-to-Let lenders letting individuals fund £3 million property portfolios there is a lot of debt with falling rental yields

Personal Bankruptcy is going to be very common

If anything that strengthens marriage as an institution rather than undermining it.

Posted by: Scotty | July 30, 2007 at 20:30

That is one of your most fatuous statements, and you have many. It is not only illogical but idiotic.

I noticed a letter from Fredrick Forsyth in today's Telegraph which may be relevant - I'd be interested to know if anyone here can say if the figures he quotes are correct.

""In 1992, 14 million voters chose the Tories. In 1997, that number slumped to 9.5 million. By 2005 another million had gone. The figures prove that they did not switch to Labour or the Lib Dems. Maybe a million went to UKIP. About a million died or emigrated. And the rest? More than three million must be out there somewhere, refusing to vote at all.

If David Cameron can woo them back he goes to Downing Street. But they will not come for political correctness and they will not come for stunts. They will come for tough, patriotic leadership.""

Comments?

That is one of your most fatuous statements, and you have many. It is not only illogical but idiotic.

No more than one expects from the PC/Roon/TRG wing of the party.

I used to think that the party would simply split one day between pinkoes and Conservatives, but the way things are going it looks as if the left is going right down the plughole with their hero.

I've just seen Panorama with Rachel Whetsone defending YouTube (owned by the company that pays her, Google) for allowing videos of children fighting other children - to the point of blood and unconsciousness - to be posted and stay up. She said it was the police's responsibility to check for these things and demand their removal, not YouTube's. The police commented that companies like Google/YouTube made hundreds of millions of pounds of profit, in part from activities like these, and that YouTube could at least check for and remove these vidoes of extremely nasty random violence on kids.

Now Rachel Whetstone is the partner of Steve Hilton, who lectures us all on the need for companies to show corporate social responsibility. Oh yes, and she's godmother to David Cameron's elsest child.

With Buy-to-Let lenders letting individuals fund £3 million property portfolios there is a lot of debt with falling rental yields

Personal Bankruptcy is going to be very common

Bankruptcy is already common, but buy-to-let is not a major cause.

The house you buy to let is not your home, so if you aren't covering outgoings you simply sell the property and pay off the mortgage.

Been there, done it, made money, lost money, got out, got back in, made a lot more...

Most of the people who go on about the rental market don't do it, so they really haven't a clue what they're talking about.

"That is one of your most fatuous statements, and you have many. It is not only illogical but idiotic."

How so? To believe that civil partnerships can in any way undermine traditional marriages supposes that they are "competing" in the same market, which is not true in the slightest.

How so? To believe that civil partnerships can in any way undermine traditional marriages supposes that they are "competing" in the same market, which is not true in the slightest.

It may amaze you to learn that I was not at first in principle against these arrangements which I envisaged as a strictly formal legal arrangement repecting the wishes of those involved.

In fact these events have in many cases developed into a mockery of the marriage ceremony which I and a very large number of other Conservatives find deeply distasteful.

No doubt we're now stuck with these bunfights, but we're not obliged to either like them or pretend to like them.

The house you buy to let is not your home, so if you aren't covering outgoings you simply sell the property and pay off the mortgage.

It is good that the market finds a buyer for every property sufficient to redeem the mortgage especially since buy-to-let is usually on a balloon. There are people with experience of illiquid property markets and falling asset prices....

How so? To believe that civil partnerships can in any way undermine traditional marriages supposes that they are "competing" in the same market, which is not true in the slightest.

Posted by: CDM | July 30, 2007 at 21:50

Again an idiotic statement. Why did the ONS change the marriage certificate after 170 years ?

There should be no similarity between civil partnerships and civil marriage under the Nullity in Marriage Act 1971, so why were marriage Certificates changed ?

The matter that does undermine marriage is the principle that consanguinity rules do not permit siblings to form a civil partnership, nor anyone related by degrees....just as in marriage

The other issue is the notion of marriage by cohabitation where it is not a voluntary act of choice but is conferred by the State simply by two persons living together - unless they are related by blood ties

I would take it that Lord Saatchi is drawing our attention to the fact that the Conservative poll ratings fell to around 32% just after Black/White Wednesday, and essentially did not move from that until the (early part of the) Cameron era. His (not-unreasonable and, I think, fairly widely-shared-amongst-pollsters) interpretation of this is that the Conservative poll rating throughout that time reflected its loss of reputation as a party of economic competence. Without getting that reputation back, the story goes, we can't hope to win again. And, I suppose he would argue, we aren't going to win that reputation back by simply being quiet about the issue. We have to come up with some positive things to say.

Personally I don't buy this analysis in toto, but I agree with the main part of the conclusion: that we need to engage with Labour on the economy.

I shan't bore you with my own opinions on this particular issue now, since they suffer from being actually informed and even occasionally authoritative, and hence largely uninteresting to Conservatives (who think them staid and boring precisely where they disagree with the latest wacky opinion doing the rounds in right-wing circles and infeasibly wacky precisely where they are most authoritative). But although most economists long ago gave up hoping that the Conservative Party would take any interest in economics questions, I would nonetheless strongly urge you all to turn your attention to these topics once again. If you leave the ground to Labour, they will retain their reputation as having a lead on economics questions for as long as the economy prospers - and very hard to dislodge precisely because of that.

Andrew Lilico "I shan't bore you with my own opinions on this particular issue now, since they suffer from being actually informed and even occasionally authoritative"

By all means bore away it has got to better than yet another round of Labour/Ukipper/Masochistic weirdos bashing Cameron. Maybe we will learn something.

[email protected]:44

Hmmm... Well, I refer you to my back catalogue of YourPlatform and Tuesday Column articles. Count the numbers of comments on the economics pieces, and compare with the numbers on the non-economics pieces. Not, of course, a statistically decisive sample, but perhaps instructive.

Perhaps I'll put something in a column next week, unless I don't fancy boring everyone. After all, August is the silly season...

We need to take his advice seriously. Saatchi's legacy at CCHQ is the basis of much of our success today.

[email protected]:31

LOL!

Following Lord Saatchi's timely and courageous warnings one of the Conservative Party's ethnic chiefs has slammed Cameron.

Ali Miraj, who helped mastermind Cameron's 2005 leadership campaign has blasted Cameron's "PR Gimmickry". Miraj wouldn't attack Cameron unless he knew that he has really blown it and let down the side.

Coming from such an immpecable source the effect is devastating. It's impossible to predict who will slam Cameron next.

He's on the skids.

"That is one of your most fatuous statements, and you have many. It is not only illogical but idiotic."

It is neither illogical or idiotic to note that gay couples did not previously even have the choice of a legal commitment and more importantly no legal rights as a couple.
Civil partnerships have finally addressed this inequality and as such I applaud the only positive legislation this government has put forward which put the emphasis on a legally binding commitment made between two people what ever their sexual orientation.
The irony is that this government now seeks to undermine this commitment by giving couples who choose to live together rather than getting married the same rights, now that really would be undermining marriage as an institution.
So I repeat my view that civil partnerships strengthens marriage as an institution rather than undermining it.

Scotty - absolutely. The only possible argument those who say homosexuality damages the institution of marriage can come up with in support of such absurdity is that by condoning homosexuality somehow lots of straight young men on the conveyor belt towards marriage and family will be steered into this unseemly "lifestyle choice".

Or, in the case of Traditional Tory, because the Bible apparently states (somewhere he's been unable to specify to date) that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Logic and sticking to facts aren't strong suits of the "traditional" Conservative faction, evidently.

But the reason Conservatism is/should be supportive of gay rights is that Conservativism is about personal freedom where the individual action does no harm to others.

Consenting homosexuality does no harm to others (despite all the moaning Traditional Tory does on the subject).

The only failure of the Conservative Party on this issue (now) is that it could:

a) be stealing a march on the government on demanding tougher action on homophobic bullying in schools (still a massive and tolerated problem) and

b) demanding that the discrimination that affords homosexual couples a lesser status than heterosexual couples when it comes to union be ended (or - my preference - getting The State the hell out of the business altogether)

Warm words Peter, but how does all that tie up with the person who authored the new 'caring' Tory plan to solve social breakdown himself opposing gay marriage?

If IDS is such an open bigot how many more are there in the party? Does the editor here oppose gay marriage like his mentor?

Why is IDSs considered so caring when he holds such bigoted views as these?

Miraj is all about Tony Lit - yawn.
Saatchi's record's got stuck too.

Brown's bounce is illusory. His increased support comes almost entirely from previous non-voters and their likelihood of turning out should have been heavily discounted by pollsters. The Brown Bounce has been the media narrative for a month, and it needed to stretch every inch of spin it could.

Cameron is pulling 2:1. He is gaining two voters from people who actually voted in 2005, for every one he's losing. Brown is losing two for every one he's gaining.
ICM Guardian.

His strategy is working well. The bores like Saatchi who were big wheels 25 years ago might as well go and chew on someone else.

What I don't understand is, if Cameron is not anti unmarried couples as he claims, just trying to iron out bias and anomalies with his married tax-break plan, why has he left one enormous gaping anomaly in terms of inheritance tax?

Why should unmarried couples face a massive tax bill when their partner dies but not married couples?

Time for anyone, whatever their relationship to be allowed to enter civil partnerships to end this anomaly now.

That's only fair, isn't it?

Cameron is pulling 2:1. He is gaining two voters from people who actually voted in 2005, for every one he's losing. Brown is losing two for every one he's gaining.

You should learn to read - these figures do not include voters who moved to SNP, PC, BNP, UKIP, Greens or elsewhere. It is a purely academic exercise extrapolating from a small subset to reach wild conclusions.

It is statistically rubbish

Or, in the case of Traditional Tory, because the Bible apparently states (somewhere he's been unable to specify to date) that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Try St Paul's Epistles......but in Britain you can read the Nullity in Marriage Act 1971 which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman

Genesis 2:24 (amongst many others).

So I repeat my view that civil partnerships strengthens marriage as an institution rather than undermining it.

Posted by: Scotty | July 31, 2007 at 01:22

You fail to comprehend so I put it down to brain chemistry. Civil Partnership is NOT marriage though it tries to be. The State has changed the Marriage Certificate after 170 years to render it basically meaningless - go see what the ONS did.

Then they made Civil Partnerships unavailable to siblings or parents and children thus sexualising a Civil Partnership while unable to offer non-consummation as separation grounds in court.

They subject same-sex couples to the complexities of divorce law and the costs even though in very few cases any children are involved.

Marriage Prohibited Degrees Relationship Act1931 applies to Civil Partnerships....

The prohibitions prevented someone marrying his or her:
(a) brother or sister (or their spouse);
(b) parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, child or grandchild (or their spouse);
(c) niece or nephew (or their spouse);
(d) spouse's child, grandchild, parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent.

Since Peter Coe you are obviously heathen and have never even read The Bible you might try:

Matthew 19
Divorce
1When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

3Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"

4"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'[a] 5and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'[b]? 6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

7"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"

8Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

10The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."

11Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage[c]because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."

4"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' Matt 19:4

Genesis 1:27

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them

Or, in the case of Traditional Tory, because the Bible apparently states (somewhere he's been unable to specify to date) that marriage is between a man and a woman

I don't recall ever being asked to cite the Bible, but it's not difficult to find the relevant references supporting conventional marriage together with outright condemnation of homosexuality in Leviticus and St Paul.

The idea that the Israelites of the Old Testment or the Jews of Jesus's era might even have envisaged 'same-sex marriage' as a possibility is, of course, a grotesque anachronism. In consequence specific condemnations of gay marriage are not found in the Bible.

However, Britain is not a theocracy and I favour toleration of homosexual conduct very much in the terms originally outlined by Lord Wolfenden, although I have much sympathy with Lord Devlin's counter-arguments.

By toleration I mean exactly that; not encouragement and/or approval.

I also believe in facing facts rather than living in a fantasy world. There is, and always has been, strong disapproval of of homosexual conduct among a very large number of Conservatives - I suspect a majority - whereas the Liberal Party and the Labour Party have openly promoted 'gay rights', presumably with a minority of dissenters.

Anybody who argues otherwise risks making a fool of himself.

@Patriot 20:47
Forsyth's argument that the lost voters of 1992 are easier to get and more certainly Conservative with a small c than the core voters of 2005 who will not change sides is one I have been making for 12 months on this site. But the argument is lost and Hilton has decided that DC must do it the hard way.

Sack Hilton now.

"Both Lady Thatcher and Tony Blair had lawyers as leading ministers. Lawyers deal in facts. The new post 1997 Tory Party despises lawyers"

Since when have lawyers dealt in facts? Most barristers will do their best to argue that black is white if it gets their client off. One of the reason why Blair acheived so little is his legal background.

The reason for Thatcher's success was that she had a cabinet full of people with real business experience. The sooner we can move to getting more people with business experience into the shadow cabinet, the sooner we will be able to show how a Conservative Government could bring benefits to the real world.

I agree with TimC's comments. And FWIW I believe Blair's government was more lawyered than the Tory opposition. But just as lawyers have too much say, so do the PR types.

I think I might Take Lord S a bit more seriously when he re-pays the money he scandalously took when advising the Party during his co-chairmanship.

read smell the coffe - a wake up call for the conservative party on www.lordashcroft.com and you will see that he thinks saatchi is a buffoon

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