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Nothing will stop Cameron winning. In that narrow case Cameron does not have a 'lightweight problem'. But will he be a serious, heavyweight Prime Minister? Voters are usually right and they worry about Cameron. Perhaps they think he is lightweight because of his CV. He has been a politician nearly all his life. He briefly worked for Carlton TV and was involved in ITV Digital. Remember that disaster? Business journalists Ian King and Jeff Randall remember and remember Cameron's bad role in that disaster. Cameron is also lightweight in the sense that the Conservative manifesto is thin.

BUT I don't think Cameron can do anything much about this in opposition.

David Cameron is a fascinating pop-culture figure. Like Sarah Palin he confounds his opponents, who have collapsed into a mesmerised trance.

Unlike her, his popluarity does not rest on long-standing principled action against the relativism of today's world. Oh no, he points in the direction of every political wind. Where he won't bend of course, is in tolerating any lese majeste towards himself or any conservative but un-media-friendly comments or policies by his colleagues. They are terrified members of the cult of the Dear Leader. DC is a pre-modern figure. Clueless but all-powerful.

Francis Elliot's biographical sketch highlighted in the Time cover article yesterday, is utterly brilliant: 'I've come to think that the word that best describes Cameron's personality is glassy. 'Smooth, cold, so flawless and polished you forget its a barrier - until you try to cross it.'

That is a hugely vulnerable personality for a politician in as powerful, relentless and exposed a position as the modern British prime minister. When the going gets tough as it did in a small way over the EPP and Grammar schools ('sort it!'), David Cameron cannot cope. He has no principles that he has tested over the years in non-political jobs and no bedrock of support on which to lean. His position is due to his ability to make Michael Howard think he was a good chap (once George Osborne wasn't interested!) his sex appeal to a desperate party electorate, and the fact that he wasn't the clunking, internally-conflicted and oh-so-un-smooth David Davis.

He is heading to be a truly despised prime minister in my rather cheeky opinion, and that's a shame for us all because there are a couple of problems that would have been good to sort, in fact, it is essential that they are sorted.

So, yeah, he is a bit of a lightweight, but if you're reading this Dave, don't hurt me!

I would love to know what was involved in getting a First in PPE at Oxford in the 80's. Yes, I can see him as a world-class teachers' pet, but surely he must have had to show some excitement towards and understanding of the principles behind Britain's rise to global domination, first in trade, then in politics? Perhaps boring stuff like that is beneath the great Dave, who will lead us onwards if not forward by the bright light of his persona.

He has got a lightweight problem. He failed to carry out his promise to take his MEPs out of the federalist EPP - that promise probably was they key to his winning the leadership.

Other areas where he is weak and wishy-washy:

Climate change/global warming. Still apparently supports solar panels and wind farms. Can`t see that the lights will go outunder that policy. He should sack Z.Goldsmith

Lower taxes

The EU, particularly the Lisbon Tereaty/Copnstitutio9n. We are all fed up with "We won`t leave it there".He must say he would give us a referendum on this, regardless. Still clings to the pathetic belief that the EU can be reformed. Yes people are fed up with Labour, but that alone will not be enough to ensure a Tory victory.

Correction, should be "the key" and "Treaty/Constitution". Pressed the wrong button!

Disappointing to read the usual predictable comments from Henry and Edward! Let's wait and see what David Cameron may or may not have to say in his Conference speech before casting judgement!

I just thought I'd say... as an occaisional vistor to Conservative Home and a swing voter, if ever half the people who comment on these sites were in charge of the Tory Party they would achieve the impossibile: Gordon Brown would be seen as a popular Prime Minister.

Every time there is an opportunity to criticise David Cameron, half of those who comment do it on the same two issues: taxes and Europe.

I have never seen a comment about how David Cameron needs to do more work on his health care policy or that he needs to have a policy on transport infrasture. (Maybe I am wrong and there are a flood of these comments after I leave the site, but I'm guessing not)

The Europe and tax agenda lost you two elections, but still you don't learn. For good or ill, the public are just not as obsessed with these topics as you. Yes, maybe they do want taxes to be brought down, but they also want good public services and they know that Labour are emotionally committed to those public services. They don't know to the same degree that the Tories are.

Anyway, all I wanted to say was that I am part of the country that you need to win... and if anything were to stop voting Conservative at the next election it would be you.

Oh, yeah and I do expect a barrage of abuse.

I think he has the potential to be heavyweight and will be if he becomes prime minister, but has had to hold back to not slaughter brown and not give away too many great policy ideas (or they'll steal them) and not say anything too controversial (don't mention the EU!) so as not to hand the media a bone for them to say there's a split in the party.

Edward Huxley,

"The EU, particularly the Lisbon Tereaty/Copnstitutio9n (sic). We are all fed up with "We won`t leave it there"."

I am assuming that "all" is defined in this context as yourself?

"if ever half the people who comment on these sites were in charge of the Tory Party they would achieve the impossibile: Gordon Brown would be seen as a popular Prime Minister."

Don't worry Anonymouse - they're not (much as they would like to protest to the contrary)

David Cameron will lead us into the Euro. I bet there may be some vague, warm weasel words, but no equivalent, unequivocal written pledge to retain the GB£ in his general election manifesto as there was during his leadership campaign.

As PM, he will be the ultimate lightweight when it comes to standing up against the EU because all he has now is insincere political game playing to 'look tough' which he will not be able to get away with when in office.

Come on, let's hear Cameron stick to his leadership pledge and publicly state that Britain will never adopt the Euro whilst he is in charge.

It's not going to happen is it?

"David Cameron will lead us into the Euro."

In the current economic climate I would doubt it very much!

Anonymouse - completely agree with you.

I come from a different angle to you - I write on here as a Conservative activist. Probably the best thing I can say is that the right-wing single-minded obsessives on here actually don't matter. They don't have any power in the Party any more, and some of the comments on here are rather like watching a beheaded chicken still running around! More seriously, they really just don't get how deeply unattractive they are.

Henry/Edward - I'm not going to take political advice from advocates of a nutty fringe party that's polling in single digits and falling badly behind in local government by-elections at every opportunity...

Aeneas. Have corrected my careless typing slip. I do know to spell (most words anyway). Although now UKIP I am stll a Conservative at heart, but cannot vote for the present lot. I want out of the EU and a Conservative government - in that order.

Of course I do not speak for everybody, but think a large number, including Tories, share my views on a lot of things. We all want Mr. Cameron to show us what he is made of - what`s wrong with saying that?

It might help if he withdrew his "fruitcakes and closet racists" insult. With his education he should know better

In the current economic climate I would doubt it very much!

Quite the opposite Sally. The weaker the UK economy becomes in relation to the EU countries, the easier it will be for Cameron to argue that it will be in our 'best interests' to join the strong Euro. A scary repeat of the EEC arguments in 1975.

Remember, Cameron pledged to unconditionally keep the GB£ in his leadership manifesto.

I bet that one quietly disappears come election manifesto time.

"I'm not going to take political advice from advocates of a nutty fringe party that's polling in single digits and falling badly behind in local government by-elections at every opportunity..."

Labour?

To be a respected heavy weight politician, you need a vision, you need to explain that vision, you need to receive a mandate to deliver that vision, and then you need to work to deliver that vision.

As long as you are honestly and effectively consistent in attempting to deliver the vision then the public can be very forgiving for genuine shortfalls. Equally, trying to quietly drop parts of the vision on which you are mandated (or not actually working towards delivering it) will be treated very harshly indeed.

Cameron needs to drop the EPP, and he needs to not tolerate corruption (actual or perceived) or clealry explain how he is working towards these goals - that what he said he would do, he must deliver.

"It might help if he withdrew his "fruitcakes and closet racists" insult."

Edward I certainly wouldn't say you come into that category, but if your people perhaps did a little internal housekeeping then you wouldn't all leave yourselves rather a hostage to fortune!

ConservativeHome's comment sections are slowly starting to feel a lot like 4chan.

Edward,

I was quoting not correcting and I am sure you know *how* to spell (Sorry couldn't resist). I'm certainly not one to correct on grammar, spelling and typing.

I honestly respect your views. But just don't pretend that they are everyone's views, that was my point. A large number of Conservatives may share your views; a large number of the voting public may share your views (but some of those will be Bennite "eurosceptics") but more people care about tax, pensions, health and education and that's where DC should show what he's made of.

Personally I would vote for a donkey with a blue rossette if it promised to reverse the smoking ban, reverse the fox hunting ban and give us a proper constitutional framework with an elected second chamber, but i recognise that these are not mainstream issues.

Europe is the most important issue for you. That's cool. For most people its not. Accept it.

Post scriptum:

Failing the donkey, I'll probably vote Conservative.

Look chaps, Cameron will always be a lightweight, he is simply lightweight, that is it! He is after all a washy pink liberal and could never win an election by a landslide, he hasn't the metal in him such as have the likes of Clarke. However, he can most certainly, as could anybody else who happened to be leader at the time rely on the current muppets losing the next election by a landslide! All he can do between now and then is muck it up so lets all hope he keeps his head down and doesn't manage that.

David Cameron may have had a good academic education, but I fear that his privileged background is no preparation for understanding of the anxieties faced by the majority of the general public day by day. Cameron may give lip-service to empathising with those who are suffering in this difficult financial environment, but his knowledge of the lives of most Brits is secondhand and not in the least convincing.

It will be a classic case of Brown losing a general election, not Cameron winning.

I am told Cameron is a 'nice chap', but for my money he has not got enough firsthand experiecne on anything, and he would be too dependant on 'advisors' from either side of the pond. I would be concerned to have him in charge of the country in a 'war' situation.

He is a crowd pleaser. Does he have enough guts for the job of PM? Does he have the enough strength to stand firm? Or is he too frothy?

He was the nearest Blair look-alike the Conservatice party had at the time. But that is now history, what the country needs now is a PM in whom they can have complete faith to take care of them and this country. Is Cameron seriously the best this country can produce? We are told that he would learn on the job ... Oh dear! At what cost? Not a reassuring thought!

That Europe trades with countries outside itself is not in doubt.
We will not lose business if we leave Europe (as the Europhiles try to threaten us with).
We could stop all the EU's VAT which is a good deal of the 17.5% on most of our purchases and the shedloads of cash that are gived every week to the EU out of our pockets that alone could let us reduce other taxes.
We could ditch the EU's STUPID directives, control our own lives, and our Borders and reinstate our fishing limits.
Certainly we could keep the £.
If Cameron decides to Beat the Drum for Britain he would indeed frustrate the Left and make the Greens shriek, but who cares? He would indeed be a Heavyweight, and he would carry much of the now very angry electorate with him.

Did anyone see that little hedgehog in The Telegraph yesterday?

Now, thats worth commenting on.

(God. I'm so political it kills me)

Sally, its good to hear! But why does every topic seem to end up as a debate on Europe? I honestly just don't get it.

It can be difficult to overcome perceptions of lightweight when you are not in power but there are various ways you can address this. Perhaps one of the other factors was that Brown was portrayed as heavyweight before he started crumbling and he is physically and visually heavy looking. In a strange way people may be saying Cameron is not like Brown but don't mind too much. Its hard to say really but it has to be right to continue to lend weight to the overall top team in the Shadow cabinet to show we are a Govt in waiting. One thing that did make a big difference was the real courage Cameron showed in autumn last year when he kept on going and he saw down Brown when Brown bottled it over an early election.

"Europe is the most important issue for you. That's cool. For most people its not. Accept it"

Aeneas, would you mind listing what you consider to be the top 5 issues in the minds of the British people and what action they demand.

Could you then explain if these demanded actions can be achieved within the rules of our EU membership?

That would at least help us to understand whether or not 'Europe' is the non-issue you claim.

I don't know, Anonymouse! I assume it is because there are so many UKIPPERS who come here because their own website isn't as good as Con Home - it's a sort of compliment I suppose...

"Did anyone see that little hedgehog in The Telegraph yesterday?"

I asked for no publicity!

(Sorry Editor - couldn't resist!!)

Anonymouse. The comments are the most disappointing aspect of ConHome. Tim M runs a site that is essential reading for all British conservatives whether you agree with all his opinions or not.
Unfortunately, rather than becoming the real 'voice of the grassroots', the comments have become dominated by those who shout the loudest, and they tend to be anti-Europe, pro-tax-cuts, anti-BBC and in large number anti-Cameron. It's a shame, but there it is.

I do not want a Prime Minister who is loved and liked my the masses - I want someone who is respected. I was a sceptic until last Autumn and used to despair at the way we were drifting during those summer months, post Ealing & Southall debacle. Since then, David Cameron has earned my respect on three counts:
a) he has successfully ended the constant naval gazing which engulfed the party for nearly 13 years;
b) he has established that the Conservatives can talk about health and education and show the population at large that we can set the agenda; and
c) he is very steely in his determination.

I am convinced that Cameron will be ruthles in his determination to take the right decisions when the chips are down.

No.

Sadly Cameron and Co. will be content to be in office without being in power.

It is 99.9% certain he will do nothing to reclaim powers from the EU.

Gordon Brown is the archetypal heavyweight and look where it's got him. He's even got Toynbee eating her own words (they must taste bitter).

"Lightweight" is meaningless.

The truth is we won't know for sure until after he has been elected.Most people outside diehard Conservatives did not have a particularly high opinion of Margaret Thatcher before she was elected and she turned out to be great and most people except diehard Conservatives liked Tony Blair who turned out to be generally devoid of principle, incompetent at governing (although a superb campaigner) and a liar.
My judgement of David Cameron is that he will be good but he could possibly turn out to be as good an actor as Blair was.

GB£

You ask what I think are the most important issues that the British people care about. I must stress this is not based on any current polls or anything (although I do read polls and none of them state Europe as a top priority. I am not so arrogant as to tell you what "the people" want to do about anything as different people want different things, innit?

So in no particular order...

1) Better schools and education - Labour has transformed education but not nearly enough which is why comparitively we have slipped. Cameron is right to make this a priority. How is this affected by our pernicious membership of the EU?
2) A better health service, - Hmmmmmm
3) Immigration - here I concede that the EU plays a role. Yet, you believe in free markets (therefore logically the free movement of people) so I assume you support immigration.
4) The economy generally - ie more than just taxation.
5) Crime.

So, what do you have to say?

Btw I agree with that the UK should not enter the eurozone (although I suspect for very different reason to you) but think its just paranoid to say that DC will enter it.

Its a right-wing Bennite cry of betrayal.

I only met him once, and was impressed with his drive and conviction. He believes in himself, and so should we. He has courted and largely won over the electorate, and as a man who appears to be in a happy and stable marriage, which is also what government of the country should be like, he should know that you don't do it with one big impressive hit but with a steady, reliable flow of the little things that add up to a lot.

Instead of trying to impress the press/TV, who have far too much influence in this country, he should just keep up the momentum of surprising us all with his steadiness and resolve to sort out the horrible mess that B & B have made of our country.

Lightweight in this regard to me is one of bonding to ideology. If Cameron has been a hard-core Thatcherite and had been heavily involved in policy, he would be seen far more weighty than someone who had just been involved in PR...like him in reality.

He spent so long avoiding winded policy debates that its going to be almost impossible to be seen as a heavyweight. He deliberately avoided it to cleanse the Tory brand. In some ways its the same thing Obama has done. Itll get him elected but it wont get him respected until he can learn to avoid the fence more.

We know how lightweight the Conservative Party has become when the Guardian now tells us the Conservative Party is becoming attractive to its readers!

We are talking power for power's sake - there are no longer any substantial Conservative political beliefs.

Hedgehog! Hedgehog! Hedgehog!

Very funny, Spiny.

Anyone else for the blond hedgehog for PM? He may be a lightweight hedgehog but he's cute as a pony in a pinkribbon and looks like he could master fiscal policy.

I think a running problem on this website is that posed by the number of individuals who record their views and then claim that they are speaking for the remainder of the British people. They certainly don`t speak for me! Furthermore, when Cameron is accused of strong language in his reference to "fruitcakes and closet racists," what he said pales into insignificance by comparison with some of the vicious and unpleasant outpourings posted here by others.
The constant obsession with some of our fellow-subscribers on the matter of the EU as well as that of tax cuts is understood but it is by no means the exclusive interest of many, as is evidenced by other posts here. I sometimes wish the UKIP tendency, to name but one, would give it a rest.
As to Cameron`s weight as a Party leader, try comparing him with Brown and Clegg, and Farage if it comes to that. He might have limited political experience (and what about the pre-government Blair?) but he has more of a hinterland in the broader aspects of life than others I could name. This ought to give him a better-balanced approach to government of this diverse nation than it has to the political-obsessive Brown, for instance.
We might see a landmark speech at the next Party Conference; I sincerely hope so, if only that it might silence (for a very short time anyway) the gallery of experts who all seem to think they could do a better job of running this country. In the meantime, if the heavyweight/lightweight problem is the worst we can think of, we`re not so badly off

For me the most important issue facing this country today is energy. Without it nothing else of policy substance can be delivered.

Being sound on tax or health becomes largely irrelevant if your power goes off in the middle of winter leaving you cold; or if hospitals are forced to rely on expensive private circuits and generators to keep people alive.

Where is Cameron on energy? The shortfall in generating capacity will happen and cannot be made up through renewables. Yet, frustratingly, only Labour is talking some measure of sense by stating we need a dramatic increase in nuclear power and we need to retain coal-fired power stations. Relying on gas is strategically nonsensical, particularly as we have no long term deal with Norway and Russia is resorting to blackmail for political reasons.

A heavyweight politician would tackle this issue head on and 'bang on' about the need for immediate action. But as things stand our policy looks disjointed and whimsical.

This is the sort of thing that leads to the poll response in the graphic above. Politicians need to say what they think and set out their vision in an unambiguous way. I am praying Cameron will do that soon. But it seems there is a fear factor in offering real leadership of this type in case some voters do not like what they hear.

If that prevents a clear statement of direction, then politics will continue to be seen as fundamentally evasive and dishonest. People will continue to treat politicians as snake oil salesman who only say what people want to hear, rather than potential leaders to whom they should give a mandate.

Sally, in what way am I not conservative? In what way is Davery conservative? This is Conservative Home, not Davery Home, but we are very tolerant of Daveists who would have absolutely no visitors if they had a website of their own. Oh, wait, they did have one whose name I forget and they do have conservatives.com. Enjoy.

Sorry I disappointed you with my predictable post. You know perfectly well that when the ed. asks if Mr Cameron is a bit of a lightweight he is looking for a little entertainment to wind down for his weekend.

Someone moaned about the obsession with tax and Europe. Yes, Europe is far and away the biggest, most epochal, problem we face but spending, transparency of government accounts and taxation come next.

After that would come world peace with particular focus on the Middle East and Russia. You can't be biased in favour of Israeli theft and oppression and attacking autonomous ethnic enclaves and call yourself a peacemaker.

Next is motivating and empowering people to improve their health, welfare and education by moving provision to mutual societies. Lloyd George has a lot to answer for in destroying working men's mutuals. It is time to move on from his dreadful policy of unfunded welfare and give power back to the people.

After that comes immigration, but wait, why don't you tell us what you believe in Sally? Calling all Daveists: stop criticising conservatives and tell us what you believe in. Please. I really hope it is good stuff because I have three children and my wife won't move to Dubai. Where's your beef, or do you have to wait for another Daveist conference to tell me? People are being crushed out there. Crushed.

I don't think that the word "lightweight" is particularly meaningful; most opposition MPs are "lightweight", in that they are not in power and cannot change very much in practice.
Cameron has, though, changed both his party and the nation's perception of his party. That is "leadership".
He has quite deliberately not announced formal policies on a number of matters, because Labour has already shown its ability to copy policies.
However, an election could be much closer than 2010 and if it is called next year, then the conservatives will have to publish a comprehensive and practical, fully costed manifesto.
I agree that DC has not successfully run big enterprises (name me a single Labour minister who has) and that George Osborne has even less experience of the big world outside school, university and politics. That does worry me but, as long and Cameron puts people of experience in his cabinet, I can live with it.

Bravo, John Parkes.

Sally/Victoria... Do UKIP even have a website?? I think its interesting why right-wing blogs are so much better (in general) than left wing ones. LabourHome is rather pathetic. Pepsi and Coke, I guess.

As I a said I'm not a Conservative member, I am a swing voter and declare that. But the impression I am leftw ith after visiting this site is that David Cameron has some very interesting things to say, but the party are still unreformed.

Good to hear (from you and a few others) that that is not the case. We may not agree on policy all the time, but I don't like to see a mainstream party become narrow and blinkered.

Even when i don't vote Conservative I try to be fair minded and defend Conservatives against silly liberal attacks.

Ho hum.

Hi Aeneas,

I was genuinely seeking your opinion, not seeking to trap you. However, in response:

1) I agree. I really support the European-style educational funding method where the funding follows the child.
2) I agree too and I think the European social insurance model is a good one.
3) I agree again. However, I believe we should be free to source the best people no matter where they were born in the world. I want a fair, equal approach, not a complete open door for some countries but harsh restrictions on others. If India (just for example) turns out a surplus of highly skilled people, the best in the world, why should we be not be free to let them in and to restrict movement from lesser skilled countries who happen to be in the EU club?
4) I agree yet again. EU restrictions are preventing us running our economy and building the most lucrative global trade deals that are in Britain's interests.
5) Another agreement. Unfortunately, we have no power to deport criminals who come from EU countries and thus, we do not have the power to keep Britain as safe as we could if we were not EU members.

So you see, we both agree on the top 5 issues and thus 60% of them cannot be addressed as *fully* as we would like if we were not bound by EU rules.

So the issue of the 'Europe' actually negatively impacts 60% of the key problems in the minds of the British people.

60% is hardly unimportant, is it? It's the majority!

Tony - you are right!

There is no meaningful energy policy at all and environmental policies lack substance.

As an example Eco-Towns are a global initiative - meeting climate change head on by meeting the highest standards of sustainability and generating renewable energy locally.

Whilst many countries go forward with Eco-Towns the Conservative Party opposes them because they see them as a Gordon Brown initiative - a classic example of party politics first and the needs of the country second!

I am not quite sure what lightweight means - - not yet a full programme? (- Blair had no progamme at all, only soundbites and rhetoric, when elected in 1997)

- mass or gravitas? - like the pompous Brown, - enough said!

- unable to compete in debates or intellectual ability? - is he any worse than most? He certainly seems quick.

- strength of purpose? He has been resolute and firm is disowning unacceptable practices and members.

- resolution? time will tell, but he is certainly gaining the initiative, and making "Ditherer" look just that.

He will turn some away as soon as policies are spelled out in detail, and as soon as he has to act. The test of strength will come then. So far many of his opponents have been able to smear him by accusing him of being an old unreformed Tory in disguise, or attributing policies that he does not share. Eventually this will become clear.

Sorry Henry - I am not joining in your game, especially after your remark about Israeli "theft" which I actually regard as rather offensive. It is also off topic so please don't bother to respond specifically to that!
As far as what I believe is concerned - I think you have had ample opportunity to work that out for yourself on many occasions so I am not going to go over and over old ground. I would say I am in the mainstream of the Party (as are many people - again as I have told you on more than one occasion!) That, I am afraid, will have to do.

"Ho Hum" indeed, Anonymouse! Nice to have you on board!

Thank you Sally for trying anyway. So it's not just Dave who's a lightweight.

Point 2: You started it today.

"That does worry me but, as long and Cameron puts people of experience in his cabinet, I can live with it."

If Cameron is seen as lightweight then he needs to counter it with heavy weight experience in the next most important department of state, the Treasury team, but here with Osborne in charge the Conservatives are even lighter weight. So Cameron appointing Osborne as Shadow Chancellor is probably accentuating the view people have of him being lightweight.


David Cameron IS lightweight for the simple reason that, before he became Leader of the Conservative Party at the age of 39, he had never had a proper job, never run anything and never had responsibility for making things happen. At 39, many people, certainly potential high flyers, have founded a flourishing SME, commanded an army battalion or a frigate, run a large engineering project, become a consultant surgeon, run the ancestral estate, managed a mid sized Civil Service department or run a large branch of Tesco.

Since we learn about life and how to succeed by doing things, and from our mistakes as well as our successes, it can only be concluded that Mr Cameron is still an immature personality. It may be, of course, that he will rise to the occasion and slip effortlessly into the job fate decreed (as in Shakespeare’s Prince Hal/Henry V) but, to date, there is little grounds for hope that this will be so.

There are ominous signs that, in the next few years, our country may face the prospect of economic and social collapse and yes, the EU WILL be an issue, not least because of the straightjacket it imposes upon any British Government which tries to tackle some of the fundamental problems we have.

So, I would guess that, during 4 or 5 years following the next General Election, there is a 15% chance Mr Cameroon will prove a great PM, a 25% chance he will somehow muddle through, a 25% chance he will soon be replaced by a more capable Tory leader, a 25% chance that the Tories will split and there will be a realignment of British politics leading to a National Government (as in the 1930s) and a 10% probability that our democracy will collapse and we will end up with a “Cromwell” type of dictator.

"If Cameron is seen as lightweight then he needs to counter it with heavy weight experience in the next most important department of state, the Treasury team, but here with Osborne in charge the Conservatives are even lighter weight. So Cameron appointing Osborne as Shadow Chancellor is probably accentuating the view people have of him being lightweight."

I agree. You can get away with an inexperienced Leader if they have experience around them. The combination of Boy Dave and Boy George creates the impression of two boys in a man's world!

Howard Flight is a true treasury heavyweight and was the obvious choice for Shadow Chancellor until Michael Howard decided to rip up the Conservative Party's constitution. After that experience why would anyone of ability want to leave private industry to represent the Conservative Party. We are stuck with Old Etonian career politicians.

Not sure how much this matters re winning the election. Maggie was way behind Calllaghan on virtually every characteristic as far as the public were concerned but still went on to win.Cameron in fact is actually doing better than her as he at least is ahead in piblic esteem of his Party's ratings.

The reason the boring subject of Europe keeps cropping up is that Mr. Cameron either is unaware, or does not care, that 80% of our laws now come from Brussels; all our parliament can do is rubber stamp them. The EU has already divided our country into regions and wants to make that 100%.

Of course the other subjects mentioned here today are important, but if we do not regain control over our affairs everything will be decided on the continent. What party is in power here will make no difference.

By the way, Cllr. Tony Sharp has brought up the vital matter of power supplies and I agree with him. No doubt he is a Conservative. Does Mr. Cameron still believe in solar panels and wind turbines? They seem to be going out of favour - fast.

Final point, sorry to go on so long. Although I am anti EU (not anti Europe) my view is that we should be either completely in or out. We can`t just pick out the bits we like. Brussels will not allow it anyway.

I am neither a lover of Nigel Farrago nor of the more ethnically excitable English nationalists. Sally et al. I am a Conservative through and through through thick and thin.

There is nothing I would like more than a Conservative government but not at any cost. Ends and justified means.

I understand the man for all seasons one size fits all keep it simple and do not frighten the horses methodology that we are currently deploying but, like many, I have concerns which largely arise from a paucity of hard information and clearly asserted direction.

Without hard information or communication of direction there will be fear, confusion, suspicion and rumour and this is the position that team Cameron has led us to. Earlier in the week we were vaguely informed that Barnett/WLQ would not be addressed and witness the fury seen here. This could have been averted by clearly stating why, what, when and why rather than dribbling out some undefined >sort-of> policy statement.

I would suggest that our lead actually provides opportunity rather than threat when it comes to broadcasting our USPs. Let us grasp that opportunity in Birmingham. Please.

"Thank you Sally for trying anyway. So it's not just Dave who's a lightweight.

Point 2: You started it today."

Yes, Henry I admit I did - but I didn't come out with the offensive comment re the Middle East!

Point 2 (from me): You clearly don't know me in real life otherwise you'd realise that although I am not physically very heavy, politically and argumentatively I am VERY far from being a "lightweight" (think belligerent Sparrow on the Attack!)

DC isnt a lightweight. He has an iron fist concealed in a velvet glove. He merely appears to be lightweight to confuse the enemy as Cassius Clay used to do in the ring. "Dance like a Butterfly, Sting like a Bee!" He dances rings around the big Clunking Fist every PMQs. You just wait Henry UKipper, You just wait!
Impatience will be the detractors downfall. DC has always been opposed initially, then the idiots see he has been right all along. He's used to it. It doesnt faze him. Unlike the big clunking fist, he really IS "getting on with the job"

The electorate regard Cameron as lightweight because he is lightweight - very lightweight. The polls do not lie. The Tory Party is leading these despite his leadership not because of it. Heaven knows the country is crying out for a real Conservative government sticking to true Conservative policies and proven successful right-wing principles such as individual freedom, low taxation, smaller government and far,far less state interference in all areas of national life. Alas,there is no sign it will ever get that from Cameron and Osborne etc. Far to often Cameron's past 'work' in public relations is only too evident in his Blair-like practise of always seeming to tailor his ideas to the audience he is addressing. He gives a strong impression of someone whose only principle is to gain power with no idea of what he is going to do with it if he finally gets it.

Given what he has achieved Cameron is clearly a heavyweight, it is rediculous to suggest otherwise. The problem is that he has been so successful that the only insult left to Labour is to call him lightweight and that word, therefore, lies around for anyone else to pick up and throw since it is completely meaningless and can be applied to any old beef such as Cameron hasn't a policy for this or that (often said when he has a policy).

The result is Posted by: Henry Mayhew - ukipper | September 12, 2008 at 07:07 where Henry just throws meaningless s--t at a wall with Cameron's picture on it. Unfortunately, perhaps deliberately, this gets noticed and one of Purnel's planks for saving Gordon Brown is to draw attention to the sort of attitude on this sort of blog.

One further comment.

What is received wisdom now may not be so 12 month hence. I well remember a heated argument in Summer 1978 where I argued that, since the TUC had no democratic mandate, it should not be consulted over beer and sandwiches at No 10, about how to run the country; my opponent was convinced that, since the Trades Unions were a major power in the land, it would be madness to try to run the country without their acquiescence.

So, for now, it may be obvious even to many Tories, that, for example, that support for multiculturalism and our membership of the EU are vital policies to pursue but, not many months down the line, things may seem rather different.

"Europe and taxes lost you the last two elections".

No - people not believing we would do anything about bringing powers back to Britian from the E.U., and reducing taxation, that is what lost us two elections. The majority of voters want the powers back (for example so that how the railways are organized is not a matter for people in Brussels) and they want taxes and government spending to be brought under control.

But they did not believe we would deliver on these things. They had no faith in us. Millions of people have not even voted since 1992 - they stayed home in 1997 and in 2001 and 2005.

"transport, education, heatlh...." if the last eleven years have proved anything it is that no matter how much tax money it spends, governments are just not any good at controlling such things.

Not just Conservative party governments (and, contrary to the myth, the governments led by Mrs Thatcher and Mr Major did not "cut" such things as N.H.S. funding - they greatly INCREASED it), but Labour party governments as well.

It is not a matter of how much money is tossed at an area, and it is not a matter of what party is in office. It is a matter of "the man in Whitehall does NOT know best".

One of best things this site (Conservative Home) has done is to campaign to get the Conservative party leadership to ditch the "we will spend whatever Labour is going to spend line".

That line made voting Conservative utterly pointless (as if we were going to increase spending as much as Labour any talk of tax cuts was a lie - so people could have no faith in us) - and this site was brave to campaign against it.

I have not said that before, and I apologize for not doing so.

DC - Lightweight - don't know?

Regarding - Victoria Street "Anonymouse. The comments are the most disappointing aspect of ConHome" Anonymouse 10:15 "But the impression I am leftw ith after visiting this site is that David Cameron has some very interesting things to say, but the party are still unreformed"

Give over, the comments section is what bring people back day after day, ask Tim what success CentreRight had before he allowed comments compared to after he allowed them.

Anonymouse - my understanding is that this site isn't a party site it is a conservative commentators site (little c) although it’s always more interesting when Passing Leftie and Comstock pass opinion. I'm sure when Conservatives.com set up their blog site and is contributed to by activists and members only it will produce a more sanitised version for your enjoyment - I suggest they only give registered members their say, asking for their membership number when they leave any comments, this would then give you a true grassroots members ra ra site of opinion that some of you seem to crave.

Firstly, it is beyond parody for the same old tired Ukippers who appear on here to lecture us about our leader, when they have Nigel Farage as theirs ! Farage is someone so obviously unpleasant and untelegenic, as to surely lead UKIP into a deserved political graveyard at the next Election.

David Cameron's simple genius since 2005 has been to identify that BRITAIN HAS CHANGED, and that the Conservative Party needed to change with it. It is no longer, with the best will in the world, the country where a blazered IDS could address a dwindling bunch of largely elderly activists, about Europe and immigration.

Don't try to pretend we're in agreement!!! Trust me, I wasn't worried about a trap and knew you would respond as you did. The key word is 'fully'. I acknowledge that the there has been a loss of sovereignty in joining the EU but to therefore argue that EU membership is in a paranoid way does not follow and which does not acknowledge the benefits of EU membership.

Trust me, I am no Ken Clarke but your position is extreme ("Today's extremism...") and out of the mainstream of politics.

Your point about building global trade deals is quite frankly nonsense. But we could if we were boring enough exchange statistics and arguments that would never convince the other.

And also you seem to be concerned about loss of sovereignty to the EU but not loss of economic sovereignty to global capitalism? (ref lucrative trade deals)

Surely some inconsistency there?

Lightweight is an insult capable of any number of meanings. It certainly doesn't just refer to life experience.

What I think the public means and certainly my biggest worry about a Cameron government is :-
Is a Cameron government going to do the difficult and painful things necessary to turn Britain around into a successful economy and a peaceful Society?
If he does then he will be a heavyweight and if not a lightweight PM

Mrs Thatcher was a heavweight personality and PM
Blair was a lightweight personality and PM
Brown is a heavyweight personality and a very lightweight PM
Cameron is IMHO a lightweight personality. His tantrums about his own party over grammar schools and the A list are evidence of that. It does not mean that he cannot be a heavyweight PM.

His supporters say that the current Policy-lite approach is just window dressing or mood music and that after the election he will come out with those policies necessary to change Britain for the better. It is important not to scare the BBC now whilst the polls are in our favour.

There are however several reasons for doubt.

Most basically, the evidence of this poll is that the strategy is wrong. The voters are not fooled. They are not convinced, one might almost charge that they are convinced that Cameron will not break out of the current political three party fix, which is demonstrably harming this country. The omerta is thus counter-productive. Although arguably sensible two years ago, the voters have moved on in the face of the evidence (unlike CCHQ) and are now open to a new approach and new policies.

The second criticism is the number of actual avenues of change that have been deliberately and emphatically closed off; Limiting the room for manoeuvre of a Cameron government. Many of the things that need to be done will be painful. Unless the risk is taken that some of the majority is used up before the election in highlighting them, then it will be doubly difficult to argue the case for them after the election. No markers have been put done, few issues flagged up in anything but the most nebulous terms. This is not just about tax and the EU though of course it is those too. An English settlement, health, education, crime. In each of these radical reform has already been ruled out.

What is going to be the point of a Cameron government? Only 100 Conservatives will get ministerial cars and a driver. Only another 250 - 300 Conservatives will get salaries and pensions. What is in it for the rest of us, let alone for the nation. If Cameron's cry is that he will do less damage than Brown, then Yougov's panel will be right.

Lightweight.

Yes indeed, Dave is a lightweight in terms of becoming a powerful, responsible PM who might undo some of the damage. He's glib, a very smooth operator, but as has been said he has no credible form: he seems to me someone who decided to become a successful politician in the mould of Blair. He could be a truly great double-glazing salesman. As for Richard Carey's "I write on here as a Conservative activist. Probably the best thing I can say is that the right-wing single-minded obsessives on here actually don't matter. They don't have any power in the Party any more, and some of the comments on here are rather like watching a beheaded chicken still running around! More seriously, they really just don't get how deeply unattractive they are..." I haven't been here long but I'm guessing his "obsessives" probably include people I'd describe as principled folk concerned with fundamental issues to do with little things like sovereignty, liberty, personal freedom - as opposed to the trimmers, pragmatists and careerists running all the major parties, people with whom Mr Carey is perhaps in sympathy or even admires.
Those who insist the Conservative Party must do, well, practically anything to get elected spell out the reason why many people such as myself have felt pretty much disenfranchised for a decade or two. Who does one vote for if one actually believes in vital things like sovereignty & liberty (cf the EU, taxation, boring but important) - ? It's a poser. Very tempting to retreat from all involvement or interest in politics, keep one's head down, hope they don't notice me, and encourage my children to emigrate. Oh, did I say Dave's a lightweight? Yes, he is.

a-tracey

Its seems I will never get on with any work today. I never advocated closing down the site to outsiders nor restricting freedown of expression blah blah blah.

All I said was that my impression as an outsider is that there is a large pool of members who only care about Europe/tax.

Its up to you if that's your agenda, but as a swing voter (oh yeah and politics graduate) trust me you will never win an election on that platform. NEVER.

I think you have misrepresentated what the site purports to be about - "Comprehensive coverage of the Conserrvative Party", which seems to me to indicate a passing interest in the party. The tragedy for ConservativeHome which is by far the most interesting site of the political parties would be if this diversity which you speak of becomes a barage of blinkered EU/tax cutting obsession.

So it was actually more of a call for the moderates and fellow-travellers to drown out the EU/tax brigade rather than censor them.

Oh yeah and there's a great deal of difference beweetn small 'c' conservatives and big 'C', rather than just membership of a party.

Do I understand why David Cameron is considered a lightweight. Yes, he has not so far advocated a set of concrete policies to resolve the issues that face this country.

Is he a lightweight? I don't know, there are potentially good reasons why he has not provided a concrete policy portfolio (Labour mimicking them, providing advance warning of what they are and so forth). On the other hand is the lack of policy a signal of exactly that and he really doesn't have a clear idea of what needs to be done.

In some ways currently this seems to be the case. The lack of seeming consistency in his policies is a significant concern. Policies such as the Health policy to centralise the running of the NHS under an independent Quango goes against the concept of localism and the core conservative belief of small government and the general concept of democracy being an appointed unnaccountable institution. There are numerous similar cases.

However, there are a couple of considerations that counter this. Firstly, the polls suggest that people don't necessarily want heavyweight. Secondly, there is little point being a heavyweight when you can't do much about it - there is after all another 2 years almost before the election.

Last but not least there is evidence against him being a lightweight. When an election looked possible last Autumn, Cameron didn't flinch in the adversity (unlike his heavyweight adversary), he faced the challenge head on, rallied his troops, challenged Labour, caught the attention of the electorate and faced a more 'heavyweight' politician down.

So for me the jury's still out. What is clear though is that should Cameron become PM, as seems likely, he will have a couple of years of good grace from the electorate to deliver his initial commitments and after that he will need to have set out his stall in full (and likely proved he is a heavyweight). If he doesn't his political career could come to a premature end.

I actually thought Richard Carey had it absolutely spot on! Malcolm Stevas why are you so embittered?

tracey a

I went to a freak show years ago. I went back the next week. It was a very popular freak show. I do not want to ban freak shows.

I would never vote for a freak show though.

Of course, thats a complete non-sequiter.

"David Cameron's simple genius since 2005 has been to identify that BRITAIN HAS CHANGED, and that the Conservative Party needed to change with it."

If Britain has changed it is not because of some genetic mutation in the population but rather because the circumstances changed, or at least, have appeared to do so.

If, as now seems inevitable, we slip into a major and damaging recession bought on be excessive debt (both public and private) the circumstances will change again.

So, for example the current obsession with "green" issues and "gay" rights and the tendency to overlook the costs of the EU (both direct and indirect) may soon seem unimportant (first two) or highly significant (third).

Aeneas,

LoL. It is interesting times when simple equality is smeared as extremism.

I think our immigration policy should be based on skills alone, blind to race or nationality.

However I except that my view is not 'mainstream' (when defined as the consensus amongst the political class), because no major party is proposing to take on the EU and end the clear inequality of movement of people into the UK.

A 'mainstream' that in practice is heavily biased again non-whites is not one I would like to join you in.

I'm a go-along kind of guy, and am spending too much time checking these brilliant comments. Can we all agree to compromise and get on with some work? He does stand up for himself and terrorise opponents AND he doesn't have a programme for Britain.

Is ' vicious lightweight ' OK?

'except' s/b 'accept' of course. :-)

GB£,

I said extreme not incorrect. And there are plenty of things I believe in that are not mainstream. The centre ground of politics is defined only in part by politicians. It is also defined by voters in elections.

1) I notice you do not take on my point about economic sovereignty;

2) Are you saying that the system is biased against white people or the indigenous population Or merely hinting at it?

Sally Roberts:
"I actually thought Richard Carey had it absolutely spot on! Malcolm Stevas why are you so embittered?"
Transl: "Why do you criticise Dave, and why do you think things are bad and the Tories are unlikely to make them better?"
Do you actually take notice of what happens in the world - or at least, on the UK political scene? Are you interested in political philosophy to the extent of knowing what liberty is, the development of democracy and in particular post-Enlightenment progress toward democracy? Have you noticed the little differences that occur now and then, between (say) the MacMillan era, Wilson, Heath, Foot, Thatcher, Blair - ? Do you think political liberty and personal freedom have (a) improved during the past century, or (b) been diminished? Are you really just the shallow, perpetually cheery, constituency-Tory-coffee-morning-sandwich-making, uncritical Tory groupie that you tend to come across as? Sorry for all the rhetorical questions but it's either those or write an essay, which would take too long.

I'm afraid there are so many comments that I cannot possibly find time to read them all otherwise nobody will eat this weekend!

So to the original question - Some of us have been in near despair at ther inability or the unwillingness of Cameron to face up to the problems ahead:-

* Firstly he refuses to cut the Gordian knot over the festering wound that is the EU and its damned Treaty, He could do so at a stroke and save the Irish a few heartaches along the weay. He could also force the EU actually to listen to what the 'owners' of Europe want - the people.

Then he could cut his ties with the Green scam and be positive about where we are to get our energy from. Winfar,ms are a menace - Greenies are allowed to break the law - Climate change is the Sun's doing and it's been doing it for millennia.

He could also wake up to the economic challenge which faces us all. He seems in denial over this. He will HAVE TO cut expenditure whether he wants to or not (unless he insists on letting us go down the pan). Then he must cut taxes or we'll stay locked in recession.

Those are the 3 most vital areas where boldness is needed but I could list the rest - defence must rank high; He's OK on the soft, cuddly issues but he lacks gravitas, and seriousness ("bottom" was a phrase used once for what he lacks)

If he doesn't rise to the occasion a Tory win will be very short-lived.


"I'm a go-along kind of guy, and am spending too much time checking these brilliant comments. Can we all agree to compromise and get on with some work?"

Holy Christ. I am in agreement with a Ukipper.

Malcolm Stevas - leave Sally alone. She rocks.

Commie Ron a lightweight? He is a New World Order socialist shill. We need men with vision not EU lackeys and light entertainers. Any decent Conservative leader would have forced a general election by now. Perhaps given how absolutely dire the UK has become socially politically and economically not to mention immigration and the Great Green Lie Machine he does not WANT to be leader. Anyway he will never be PM as there are already moves afoot to replac e him. Thank God. GET OUT OF THE EU AND STOP WASTING HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS ON THOSE WHO ARE NOTHING TO DO WITH US. UNTIL COMMIE RON STATES CATEGORICALLY THAT EVER WERE THE EU CONSTITUTIONAL TREATY TO BE PASSED BY ALL NATIONS HE WOULD GIVE US A REFERENDUM THEN HE WILL END HIS POLITICAL DAYS ON THE SCRAP HEAP. THIS IS WHO HE IS FACING. HOW HARD CAN IT BE TO DESTROY BROWN? A CHILD COULD DO IT.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMi776jah1w

Hi Aeneas,

No, I am saying that the system is biased against non-whites.

If the best person to fit a skills gap in the UK is Indian, then that is the person we should employ.

We need a controlled, skills-based immigration policy that applies as equally to Europeans as Asians or Africans etc.

Race or nationality do not determine a person's ability, so why use that as a criteria to refuse or permit someone right of passage into the UK?

Unfortunately, the Tories, Labour and LibDems all support this inequality so it is never going to change.

"The Europe and tax agenda lost you two elections, but still you don't learn. For good or ill, the public are just not as obsessed with these topics as you. Yes, maybe they do want taxes to be brought down, but they also want good public services and they know that Labour are emotionally committed to those public services. They don't know to the same degree that the Tories are". Anonymouse.

Much of the public are ill-informed, but they wont always be so about the EU, taxes green garbage, immigration and Labour gerrymanders and its client State. Those are the issues that will decide whether or not Cameron is a lightweight.
Labour might well be committed "emotionally" to public services (prompted by the unions). We dont want emotion, we need practical, hard faced decisions.

"After that would come world peace with particular focus on the Middle East and Russia. You can't be biased in favour of Israeli theft and oppression and attacking autonomous ethnic enclaves and call yourself a peacemaker". Henry Mayhew

The, imho, Manchurian Candidate speaks, but forgets to mention that you will not achieve peace by threatening to obliterate Israel; Russia threatening neighbouring states with the use of nuclear weapons; nor Islamists being treated with kid gloves.
Hopefully, Henry you will soon (if you can persuade your wife) make it to your utopia in Dubia - a country that without western technology would still be cooking its dinners suspended over camel chips.


Posted by: J. Trudgill | September 12, 2008 at 10:20
Hi. Do you remember Tony's 10 promises that were pushed through every door in the run-up to 1997? That was supposed to be Labour's policy declaration to the British People. As I remember every promise had failed by the next election.

Sally. DC has got to come up with something sufficiently visionary to last 2, maybe 3 terms in office merely to heal the wounds the Socialists have inflicted on this country. I don't think Neo-Heathite policies will allow us to do that. Yes, I am an unreconstructed Maggie fan, and I remind you that in the majority of Conservative Associations across the land, you will find 3 portraits. One of Her Majesty, one of Churchill and one of Maggie. Maggie's strength was that she connected with the aspirations of the electorate. DC needs to find a way of doing that. I have all the time in the world for the EU as a trading bloc. I have no time for a profoundly undemocratic and institutionally corrupt socialist oligarchy
reducing Parliamentary Rule to a cypher.

Hi GB£,

Sorry I misread that one. I feel you are becoming almost like an old friend now.

An interesting post and one with which I am not in disgreement (he said, Majoresquely).

Its a matter of persective. Previously we have had an "uncontrolled immigration policy". Now we have one that is controled for people outide the EU and uncontrolled for people inside the EU (excepting those pesky Romanians). That is your point, yes?

There are of course more solutions to this than leaving the EU. In fact the EU really is a minor part of the equation here.

I suspect you do not agree though.

And I will go back to saying that if you believe in global free trade/globalisation/deregulation etc etc (I assume here), surely it is not unreasonable to expect people to follow where the money/jobs are - black, white, Indian, European etc etc. So surely the solution (from your ideological perspective) is to remove all immigration barriers and let everyone compete in a global job market?

Lightweight is a meaningless phrase, and Cameron is anything but lightweight.

1. David Cameron has shown himself to have a steely resolve. He held his nerve throughout the summer poll 'wobble' during Brown's honeymoon. Some of the commentators on here ran around like headless chickens, demanding all sorts of suicidal responses to Brown's poll lead, but Cameron held his nerve, didn't blink, and turned out to be right. He has had a long term plan for turning around the Party, and he has stuck to it.

2. Many say he is lighweight because we don't have a detailed and fully costed manifesto published years ahead of the election. What madness is that. No political party ever does, nor should they. Cameron has made it increasingly clear the lines along which we will fight the next election, while maintaining enough flexibility to stay light on our feet as the situation changes (and thank god he has - looking at the economic situation). As time goes by, more detailed policy announcements trickle out. As the next election gets closer, expect more policies and more detail - I strongly suspect starting with Conference this year.

3. Some accuse him of being lightweight simply because he doesn't march to their particular tune - usually over Europe. Just take a look at our Party's recent history. What has done the most to tear us apart and keep us out of power for a decade? What kind of lunacy would it be now, twenty pounts ahead in the polls, to start banging on about Europe?

Those of you who would prefer ideologically pure Thatcherism and Opposition, to a pragmatic approach and government, are welcome to join UKIP right now.

The Conservative Party is the oldest and most successful political party in the history of representative democracy precisely because it knows when to be pragmatic and when to adapt, nto because it tries to preserve itself in aspic!

I personally am very Eurosceptic, but the last thing I want to see is Europe dominating the debate. Leave that until after the election.

And I have seen no evidence whatsoever that Cameron, or any of the enormous number of new Conservative MPs we can expect after the next election, have any desire to join the Euro.

"Are you really just the shallow, perpetually cheery, constituency-Tory-coffee-morning-sandwich-making, uncritical Tory groupie that you tend to come across as?"

No I can be quite vicious at times - just as you can, it seems, be quite sexist!

Hi Aeneas,

Ideologically, yes I agree completely.

However, until our welfare state is reformed (introducing social insurance etc) some controls are necessary to avoid abuse, but these controls should having *nothing* to do with race or nationality.

It is so frustrating because if you asked a QT panel if race or nationality are a determinant of someone's ability, they would all looked 'shocked' and disagree and yet if they were then asked why they then support an immigration policy that actively uses nationality as a bar to entrance they would give some waffle to avoid the EU question.

Let's be clear, EU rules clearly prevent the UK from introducing a non-prejudiced immigration policy and thus breaking the chains of these rules is a first step to achieving the ideological free movement ideal.

When you consider what David Cameron has done with the party he is far from lightweight. He has transformed the party into serious contenders - it is difficult to see how they cannot win the election from here. However the mass of the public who are not heavily interested in politics do not pick this up at the moment

When he is pm he will have plenty of opportunity to prove his heavy weight credentials. I am sure this will change then....

(think belligerent Sparrow on the Attack!)

Yes Windmill Dave is a lightweight, as his failure to sack Zac clearly shows.

Got it in one, Grumps! :-)

" Malcolm Stevas why are you so embittered?"

Posted by: Sally Roberts | September 12, 2008 at 11:37

Nothing particularly against Malcolm but he does make a point. Unfortunately the right does attract inadequate people who are looking for a "leader" to follow (I won't use the German word). In dear old Britain these people are just looking for a "leader's" ankles to kick. They go for Cameron rather than Brown for the same reason the left used to critisize South Africa and not Russia; when asked why they said they might have an effect on South Africa but not Russia. The problem is Labour have spotted these people and their rediculous ramblings and realising they have trouble getting at Cameron point to these people as "real Tories standing behind Cameron". This is proposed as a major plank in Labour's attempt at a come back and leads one to wonder how many of the people talking ignorant rubbish above are actually Labour trolls providing amunition for Labour.

George Bridges, probably the most unimpressive representative of any political party I've seen. Pathetic isn't the word to describe his contribution.

Surely, from your point of view, the trouble is not the EU but spineless politicians who do not stand up for free trade and its implications?

The EU is the ultimate social-capitalist experiment. It promotes free trade within Europe (depsite M. Sarkozy) while trying to temper its worst excesses. Good or bad: discuss.

Abuse from immigrants of the welfare state is such a minor issue (did the ONS claim that .4% of immigration calim beenfits?) but I agree in theory that social security etc should be the preserve of taxpayers. The issue becomes more complicated when one brings asylum seekers into the equation where I believe there is a moral duty to help.

Yes, political prevarication and hypocrisy is very annoying, but it has ever been thus.

Ideologically how do you justify you stance against the euro?

(Of course it is not necessary to justify it rationally. I accept that a lot of europscepticism is visceral and emotional. That does not always negate its import.)

Personally I find what is most annoying about the QT is that the word ideological does not get used. This exchange such as it is has been far more lucid than half the contributions to QT.

The above post was in reponse to GB£.

David, whoever told you that ridiculous is best spelled rediculous is not your friend. You have done that in every post I have read over the last few weeks. Please consult a fluffing dictionary.

Finally, Sack Zac! does have a certain ring to it, though I can't help admiring the man.

David Sergeant you make a good point and I am sure that at least some of the posters are indeed from other parties who would like to make capital out of the fact that the Conservative Party is and always has been a broad church! As for Malcolm - it is not the fact that he disagrees but the tone of his posts and it is not the first time I have observed the acerbic nature of his contributions. As for me, if anyone thinks I am "perpetually cheery" they REALLY don't know me...especially first thing in the morning - and as for "coffee mornings", well my own Association doesn't tend to hold them, but Malcolm please don't disaparage the women who run these events - they do a fantastic job and most Conservatives very much appreciate the hard work they put in.

Aeneas,

"Ideologically how do you justify you stance against the euro?

I'm not against the Euro. If some countries want to merge into one, a political union, then a single currency makes sense.

I'd even go so far as to say that being a member of the EU but not adopting the Euro is stupid. It's a U.S.E. project, it needs its own currency.

The EU destination is clear. It is not possible to change its path, just delay its arrival. The Tory 'reform' approach is either delusional or dishonest.

Cameron will keep banging this 'reform', 'return of powers' drum but it is dishonest and he knows it because in power, the integration will continue and he will not return any powers whilst remaining an EU member.

Britain should embrace it properly or get out. imho, I believe that Britain would be better off out.

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