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I don't disagree with this in principle. But if we have a majority it would be up to the Lib Dems to come to us rather than we to them.
Whilst we have some areas where we are in broad agreement there are others where we are completely opposed. I would hope a new Conservative government would enact laws to restore FPTP to European and GLA elections.
I wonder how the Lib Dems would feel about that.
Please let's not turn this thread though into another EU debate with the majority of commenters being UKIP supporters. I don't agree with Jack Stone on the fact that discussing European issues is boring but we should be able to discuss other subjects too.

No. This would be quite a ridiculous thing to do. Why would we lend help and credibility to a party that threatens many of our former safe seats? Even talk about it now will send out the wrong message to those that want rid of the Labour Government, but who currently have a Lib Dem MP. We have a real chance to deal a major blow to the wishy-washy Lib Dem party that acts like a cancer in many Conservative and former Conservative seats.

I don't know. The Liberal democrats, still contain the rump of the SDP. Do we really want to make our beds with the wine swilling liberals? Tony Blair's change of heart was almost certainly down to the Liberals love of proportional representation. Wasn't that on offer in the event of yet another lib-lab pact? We would be insane to allow then to wreck our FPTP system which works so well and which keeps the loonies out. I suspect that is the price that they would ask of us for co-operation. We don't need the liberals anymore than we need the Labour party. Lets not forget that before thick Nick the Liberals were further to the left than Labour and quickly going further. No I'd rather co-operate with UKKIP than the useless and mostly irellevant Lib-Dem's

I disagree with Malcolm and Smurf.

We are going to need coalition partners in future.

Let's woo the Cleggites from a position of strength.

"We are going to need coalition partners in future" When FPTP delivers us a landslide victory (which it will) then all this silly talk will stop. Thick Nick is still a liberal even if he is stealing some of our clothing. Far better to grind them back into the dust of a one taxi party, than allow short term political advantage to encourage us to make a pact with these wine soaked devils.

Go right ahead. Anything to avoid giving the voters a genuine choice!

I certainly agree with the principle of managing expectations. Whatever you're up to, it's always better to deliver more than you said you would.

I am not sure how things are viewed from the Westminster Village, but out in the constituencies, where we have been fighting the pernicious and duplicitous tactics of Liberal Democrats for many years, this will be viewed with dismay.

"fighting the pernicious and duplicitous tactics of Liberal Democrats"

Exactly they are not worthy of our contempt let alone our trust. I honestly prefer Labour activists, at least they believe in something more than power at any cost. Be honest other than Vince Cable who can we admire in their ranks? This is weak thinking by defeatist office boys.

No. No. No. I'm PPC in one of those former safe seats against a Lib Dem. A clear choice between Labour and Conservative is essential and any talk that undermines this would be a gift to my opponent. It allows swing voters a 'get out of jail free card'.

What on earth can be gained by getting closer to the Lib Dems??

It isn't 1 April is it?

Let's just be thankful that they are likely to have less MPs.

"Please let's not turn this thread though into another EU debate with the majority of commenters being UKIP supporters."

The fact that this strategy is even being considered by "Senior Tories" does rather give the game away on the views of theses same "Senior Tories" about the EU, does it not?

Sorry Malcolm, I will now go away and find something else to think about!

Of all the parties the Lib Dems are by far and away the most dishonest and deceitful, we should not have any dealings with such a disreputable party who are the say anything to anyone to get a vote party. They in the past have shown that they cannot be trusted and Julia is absolutely right.

Julia Mulligan PPC.

Just in case I don't get the chance later, may I wish you the very best of luck. Although everything is looking good for a resounding win for your good self. Lets hope the boys at the top don't shoot us all in the foot with this lib-Dem nonsense.

Can we have a clue as to the identity of these 'senior Tories?'

Are they close to Cameron?

What on earth for! Where would any rational Tory overlap with them on anything other than Civil Liberty issues?

No thanks. Not under any circumstances.

Sarah Teather. Ed Davey. Lembit Opik. Laughable political chancers, cloaked in a veil of sanctimony. Cable and Clegg just as bad.

Where Lib Dems are concerned, I find myself in rare agreement with John Prescott. I would love to bury the hatchet with them- straight between their shoulder blades.

If we go down this route, it should be on he understanding that the Lib Dems would be expected to end their malicious, deceitful campaigning methods.

The British public have little enough choice with three main parties (likely to be two following the next election).

Any coalition between those few parties would be a complete betrayal of the electorate, and should be condemned by the public in the strongest possible terms.

Clearly, any government must recognise that it is the government of all of the people (not just those who voted for them); however this must be done by working with all of the people, not by working with another political party - whose 'supporters' may well support only a tiny fraction of what 'their party' stands for but that tiny fraction being more than they have in common with any other party...

If there are 'senior' people in favour of such a stitch up, they should be outed and sent the way of the expenses cheats.

I would hope a new Conservative government would enact laws to restore FPTP to European and GLA elections.

You did much better under the PR (top-up) aspect of the last GLA election than the FPTP aspect.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Forming a LibCon pact would freeze out Labour for a very very long time.

Don't have anything to do with the Bandwaggon Party, they lie through their teeth and sow doubt and discord in their 'Focus' literature in an effort to gain political advantage. They're not to be trusted.

Don't get excited please. These are just the murmurations and twitterings of the political class in their version of the Victorian vicarage tea-party.

The arithmetic and the distribution of LibDem seats and the realities of power will determine what happens. Meanwhile civilised discussions with your opponents never hurt anyone!

"Yes! Yes! Yes!

Forming a LibCon pact would freeze out Labour for a very very long time."

No! No! No!

When I vote Conservative I do not vote for or express any kind of support for the Lib-Dems. I recall exactly the same talk before Blair's first landslide. Then it was talk of a Lib-Lab pact to freeze us out for a generation. It would be an utter betrayal of Conservative voters to play footsie with the Lib-Dems, and it would further undermine our democratic system, giving the public the impression of no choice.

"Don't have anything to do with the Bandwaggon Party, they lie through their teeth and sow doubt and discord in their 'Focus' literature in an effort to gain political advantage. They're not to be trusted"

I totally agree with you Sir, the Lib-Dem's are an unprincipled lot.Most especially their activists who lie and cheat and use dirty tricks at every opportunity. Maybe a few misguided souls imagine that liberals and libertarians have something in common, for the most part they do not. The liberals have not formed a government for a very long time, doesn't that tell us something about the way the British public view them.

No. No. No. No.

Most importantly, recovery from New Labour's awesome economic/financial mess, is going to need coherent vision and strong leadership. NOT often found in coalition arrangements.

The Lib Dems also do a great job as they are splitting the lefty vote. Most who see themselves as lefty, would never entertain supporting 'the Tories'.

The Lib Dems would insist on Proportional Representation. This system would guarantee that the Lib Dems would be permanently in Office.

And finally, what would this do to our Euro-Sceptic position. Forget it probably. Surrender once and for all and be run by an unelected bureaucracy in Brussels.

Surely any possibility of such an arrangement instantly removes the 'wasted vote' argument?

I must say I can quite see Julia Mulligan's exasperation on this, as I'm currently sitting in an important LibDem seat, with a highly popular MP (yes, really) that the Tories desperately want to take back, using the 'get rid of Gordon' card.

There - nothing about Europe!

What an outrageous idea ! Our Party already has a vague and ill thought-out approach to the European Union and any contact with the Liberal Democrats is likely to contaminate us further with the daft ideas of the left about about even further integration into the Union.
As for the “green agenda” we have already gone too far in that. In spite of the huge sums of money spent trying to brainwash the public about the alleged effects of carbon emissions, etc., on the world’s climate it seems that more & more people are seeing through this ignorant propaganda.
Please can we have a Conservative Party again ?

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Not in this case. All campaigns I ahve been involved in against LD opposition have left a bad taste. Untrustworthy would sum them up for me.
Give me a straightforward Labour Candidate -old or new - any day.

As a sometimes LD supporter, I think they would be insane to jump into bed with the Tories. Sleeeping with snakes is not a great idea.

The Liberals are a left wing party who benefited from our disenchanted vote in 1997. If we are to get those votes back, we need to show them for what they are, and others have done an excellent job earlier in this thread.

In Scotland we have the further complication that the Liberals will get into bed with the Labour Party or the Nationalists to get their tentacles on power. They have no shame, and no principles.

Under no circumstances can we allow this story to run.

Comstock, strange as it may seem my preference for FPTP is based on the fact that it produces strong government and a connection with a local constituency rather than any aspect of party political advantage. In recent years the PLP has benefitted most from FPTP.

The Libdems are great supporters of windmills and solar panels in the fight against global warming.(Mustn`t mention the EU of course) Is that why senior tories want to embrace them?

More wooing of the right of centre conservatives who make up our electorate, and are the backbone of the Conservative party is what is needed in government, not yet more pandering to the left in the form of the LibDems, a party who cannot be trusted in coalition as any Council groups who have tried that with them could tell the Cameroons if they would bother to listen to anyone but themselves.

Are these 'Senior' Tories of the Uber New Blue Labour party prosing this as an attempt to dump the core of their party by making a alliance with a 'progressive' party that's to more of their taste? After all they contemptuously see us as swivel eyed closet racist sour face little Englanders, and no doubt they see the Libdems as 'enlightened' in their devolution policies that has made English people second class citizens, and better still see the Libdem Minster in Scotland, Jim Wallace, as a hero for he was the one to bring in a bill to discriminate against English students studying in Scotland by penalising them with extra student charges. Now may be the Ubder Modernisers see this act of discrimination something that chimes with their dislike of English people, but as an English person I don't care for it, and they cosy up to the nasty anti English Libdems at a price.

My advice would be:

1. Continue with the 'love bombing' strategy - it's rather effective - though, personally, I find it difficult to do locally;

2. Work with sensible Lib Dems (you could count them on one hand!) and seek defections;

3. Never trust one – ever (until, of course, he or she sees the light and joins us)!

This is dangerous stuff. I want nothing whatsoever to do with the Lib Dems.

Many Lib Dems are nothing more than failed/disappointed Labour Party retreads.

Not unlike some of our A listers, in fact.

Are you so bereft of ideas that you have to turn to the Liberal (they are not) Democrats (they are not)? Cameron for God's sake GO and put a conservative in charge.

This gets more stupid by the minute, the Lib-dems are part of the problem and should not be trusted at all. They lie and cheat all the time. Mind you, it does seem that Cameron is batting for them, we now have another candidate from London foisted on us, so an easy run for the local lib-dem shysters again.

Derek

I have no doubt that the majority of the Conservative Party would oppose ties with a moderate party like the Lib/Dems I doubt if that would be the same if the senior Tories were proposing closer ties with the BNP!!!

Co-operating with the Lib Dems and 'Blair's mistake'.

Two big differences, imho.

Tony Blair had delivered a landslide victory for his party in 1997 and yet he still wanted to form some sort of coalition if a merger was not on the cards. He was operating from a position of strength. The Tories, even if they win the next election, would be unlikely to be in that position.

The reason for the Blair/Ashdown working ambitions (which did for a limited period lead to Ashdown and others attending some cabinet meetings, in case you have forgotten) was to end the fact that although the Tories had been in power more than Labour in the 20th century, they had done so while most people voted against them. (Due to the absence of PR, of course).

But the reasons for Blair's failure to work with them in a long term time-frame is misleading, and needs to be clarified:

"...one of Tony Blair's bigger strategic mistakes was to row back on co-operation with the Liberal Democrats when he won such a large Commons majority in 1997."

Two big beasts in Labour put an end to Blair's ambitions, after he had had secret talks with Ashdown for years (1994-1999 - yes 1999!)

Brown and Prescott.

The equivalent would apply if the Tories were to try to work with the Lib Dems. It may not be Kenneth Clarke, due to his own political preferences, particularly anti-Iraq and pro-Europe, but there would be a furore like none you have recently seen if that party were to be considered as trustworthy allies. And Tory grassroots would ad to the revolt if this were to be proposed seriously

But of course the Conservatives may be forced to think/act in those terms as no party is likely to secure a landslide like Blair's of 1997. Not for many years, imho.

The other main reason this will not work - people were inspired by Blair's message, vision and leadership qualities after the Thatcher/Major years. They trusted him - oh, yes they did! And they admired Ahsdown as not completely of the LD left due to his forces history. After the Blair/Brown years people will not, imho, be inspired by David Cameron. Certainly not by the Lib Dems.

There is just no vision or commanding leadership right now in any of the main parties, imho.

Such a 'sleeping with the devil' move would be seen, and rightly, as opportunistic and self-serving.

At least Blair's New Labour shared policies with the LDs over devolution and Europe to name but two.

Quite where exactly do Lib Dem and Tories views coincide?

I have written more about the background to the Secret liaisons between Blair & Ashdown here.

http://keeptonyblairforpm.wordpress.com/ashdown-blair-the-great-coalitionmerger-plan/

To even suggest that we should consider cosying up to the LibDems in any way whatsoever is one of the most stupid ideas. They are as much the enemy as the Labour party and should be treated accordingly. Rather than trying to boost them we should be out to smash them - and smash them for good. We should treat them with the derision and contempt they deserve. Has nobody in the Conservative leadership any faith in the party, any true Conservative principles or any guts ? With very few notable exceptions they mostly all give an excellent impression of being spinelessly afraid of their own shadow.

Can we have a clue as to the identity of these 'senior Tories?'

Not hard to guess is it?

Action on green issues:
Cameron, Ainsworth, Mitchell, Junior Goldsmith, and the rest of the SDP Tendency.

On EU:
Clarke and the SDP Tendency.

This is just the latest instalment of Cameron's careening into Libdemmery.

There are some seriously smoke-darkened kettles on here! :lol:

Tony Blairs love in with the Libdems was an euphemism to 'keep the Tories out'. had Blair had his way, he would have signed up to PR for Westminster as well.

I am with the London Tory here. The LebDems are a sanctimonious - but unprincipled lot. To understand them all you need to do is to read their election literatures put out in Richmond and Lambeth. A real two faced bunch.

Jack Stone, I find your post rather offensive.

interesting debate on the one hand you have a lib dem party that seems to base it's policy on the last person they spoke to onthe other hand you have Nick Clegg who has without doubt moved the party much closer to the postion we are at as a centre right party.

I would not want to see lib dems in ministerial posts on the same hand i would live to see Norman baker chairing a commitee on mps expenses with the backing of our political leadership and then a three line whip applied to ours and lib dems mps when the changes are brought to the house.

ti those who say no deals what if the next parliament sees us as the largest party but without a majority do you really want to give labour an extra possible 5 years with a pr system that will undoubtly be set up to keep us out of power?

you may not like it but somtimes deals with the devil are a necessary evil.

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN.

"you may not like it but somtimes deals with the devil are a necessary evil."

Is it acceptable to make an alliance with racists? After all the discrimination the LibDems have enacted and sought to enact against English people is every bit as racist as that which the BNP would like to engage in!

"Keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Not in this case."

Jane Gould, I agree with you!

As others here have said - No, No, No. The Lib Dems are a party that like to be all things to all people! They are categorically not to be trusted.

No.

Not for their 'decapitation' strategy of a few years ago.

Split them by leaning into some of their policy areas and picking up a few defections no doubt.

However, expose their soft underbelly on some of their more unpalatable policies.

The Lib-Dems exist in the space between 'Not Labour' and 'Not Tory', squeeze that gap, squeeze the Lib Dems.

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN.

Some of the comments on this thread are puerile. Why isn't it possible to say whether you agree or not without being stupid?

Lets look forward a bit to, say, September 2010. David Cameron is PM and the Labour Party has been heavily defeated. The Lib Dems too have suffered some losses but unlike Labour have not lost everything they gained in 1997 and 2001. The Lib Dems also have a stronger local government base than Labour though of course we have a massive lead on either party.

Will there be talk at the Lib Dem and Labour conferences of some form of cooperation to take on the Tories? Undoubtedly yes.

Will the Lib Dems be salivating at the prospect of gaining local government seats from the Tories? Yes, you'll need mops for all the drooling.

Will the Lib Dems debate taking up cabinet appointments in a Conservative Government? Maybe. But in terms of tribal vitriol and ritual disembowelment for the Lib Dem who dares sup with David Cameron.

There are two constants to the Liberal Democrats:

a) The Lib Dems are an anti Tory party. Blair could talk to Ashdown for that reason alone. He and Ashdown were agin the Tories.

b) They are constantly seeking to differentiate and position themselves as being attractive to soft Tory and Labour voters. Lib Dems are a party constantly trying to justify and secure their own existence. Perpetually terrified of political extinction and constantly calculating the best odds of survival.

Both for reasons of tribalism and insecurity the Lib Dems will shun the Conservatives - unless....

We offer them Proportional Representation.

But are we prepared to do that? I suspect, as Tony Blair decided, that Messrs Cameron and Co. will find power is more attractive than buying off the Lib Dems in the final analysis.

Remember, Earl Grey failed to get Germany to uphold her duty as co guarantor of Belgian Neutrality so we got WW1. Remember David Lloyd George preferred the charms of hios mistress at the King George hotel in paris and missed many sessions of the Versailles Treaty so allowing a very agrieved France to extract too severe terms. This ensured WW2 was inevitable at some stage even though the prevailing fear was Bolshevism! Never trust a Liberal.

Besides our electorate would not stand for it, our current leadership is far, far too wet anyway. This is just the sort of they keep coming up with. If Liberals want to talk to us, yes lets listen, but remember they arer pro Europe and lttle England, not Great Brittons.

I agree with Malcom Dunn about peurile comments, eg. the recent conribution from The Rifle "Libdems make me sick". Absolutely pointless.

I agree with Malcolm and Edward. I've overwritten two of the most puerile comments.

PS Congratulations to Nick Clegg this morning. His wife has given birth to the couple's third child, a son.

Oh dear.
Jonathan Porritt: "I think having more than two children is irresponsible."
Does this mean that self-righteous greenery-spouting Clegg and the LibDems will be falling out with the equally odious Porritt?

Well said Sally Roberts.


NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

you may not like it but somtimes deals with the devil are a necessary evil."

"Is it acceptable to make an alliance with racists? "

No it isn't but the lib dems for all their faults are not racist. the key word in the sentence above is sometimes as i say are people on here reallt happy to give Gordon i saved the world but screwed the country another 5 years if we were the largest party with no majority and in the other scenario we have a large majority can you think of a better MP to do a review in to MPs expenses than Norman Baker not with standing the obvious choice of Eric Pickles of course.

I seem to repeat this at least annually. In over thirty years of campaigning if I have learnt one thing it is to never, never, never, trust any Liberal (democrat) in any guise whatsoever.

Is my calendar wrong? Is it April 1st already?

At least one generally knows where one stands with Labour, be that Old or New, the Lib-Dems have the moral backbone of an amoeba and are all things to all men. Anyone who has stood against them in an election will know that!

If there is a hung Parliament, and I'd rather Labour won with a small John Major size majority than that, then it would be a different ball game but if the Conservatives win outright with a working majority then stuff the Lib-Dems!

All that any deals with them would achieve would be their demand for PR which would mean there would never again be a ruling Conservative Government in the UK. A move like this would split the Tory Party into a Traditional one joined no doubt to many of UKIP, and a New Conservative Party consisting of a ragbag of Wet Tories, Europhiles, Liberals, Greens etc.

The idiot(s) who came up with this nonsense should be hanged from Westminster Bridge for all to see and mock.

"No it isn't but the lib dems for all their faults are not racist"

Not racist? Well then how do you describe their policy to financially penalise English students studying in Scotland. This was a policy the Libdem Minister , Jim Wallace, in the LibLab Scottish Government, brought in. If this policy had been brought in to penalise any other nationality or race it would be described as racist and prosecuted as such, but just because its English people that are being discriminated against, the politically correct and a feeble Conservative opposition ignore it, but that doesn't make it any less racist.

Labour are two faced by tradition. The Liberals on the other hand are two faced by design.

Trust them - not.

This is an excellent idea. The LDs are an fragile mixture of true liberals (economically and socially) and social democrats (economic interventionists and social liberals). Reaching out to them with the promise of power would drive a wedge between them and likely see significant defections from the true liberals to the Tories.

Clearly no fantasies about a Cameron landslide here.

Lib Dems are mostly local communitarians and populists, and giving each of them the little thing that he or she wants on his or her patch would not necessarily be the worst way to shore up a majority, to say the least.

Individual Lib Dems also do sterling work on pet causes, and again a government could do a lot of good by striking the relevant deals in order to keep itself going; look forward to the opening up of the family courts, to a Coroner's Inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly, and so forth.

No one can deny the Lib Dems' prophetic voice against the lunatic foreign policy of the Blair years, a significant and most welcome break with their own record in the Nineties.

And dare we even hope for Vince Cable, if not as Chancellor, then certainly in a very senior position dealing with economic policy?

But the Lib Dems AS A PARTY are Eurofanatical, anti-family, pro-crime and pro-drugs. So yes, they are the perfect coalition partners for David Cameron.

"...When FPTP delivers us a landslide victory (which it will) then all this silly talk will stop...."

Could I just remind you that FPTP kept the Tories in the political wilderness for 12 years whilst Labour trashed the economy.

That's what FPTP is all about.....ELECTED DICTATORSHIPS who can do what they want with impugnity.

How the hell can it be right or fair that a tiny minority of the electorate in a handful of marginal constituencies are able to dictate the size and colour of our Government to the rest of us?

I think you may well be underestimating the desire for an end to the TweedleDee or Tweedledum politics..........If the Tories promised to bring in STV PR they would probably wipe out the LibDem vote at a stroke.

I don't vote LibDem but I would if I thought it would deliver PR.

If you cling onto FPTP; what makes you any different to ZaNuLabour?

Love-bombing Lib-Dems is a waste of time. They take it as a sign of weakness. Making overtures to Lib-Dem VOTERS is another matter altogether, at any rate to the kind of Lib Dem voter who thinks their Lib Dem MP is 'a good constituency MP' because he attended the opening of their gas bill or something.
The best people to do this are Conservative councillors and they do it by being out and about in their wards talking to and helping residents.
I often meet with Lib Dem councillors whose views are somewhere to the right of mine on many issues. Many of them have no real attachment to the party but they do have an attachment to the fact that they have become a councillor through it. These are people we could well extend a generous helping hand to. Helping them into the Tory Party, that is!

Proportional Representation would be a disastrous idea and somewhat goes against the grain of the British way of doing things i.e. we elect an individual who is an MP first and foremost and represents constituents regardless of any creed.

The Lib Dems have an obsession with damaging tried-and-tested institutions and the botched changes like to the House of Lords, the unwanted supreme court, Human Rights act and PR for EU elections are very much a result of their systematic co-operation with NuLab. Also many of their MPs voted to ban Hunting.

Their sanctimony is very much against the UK national interests as when they would rather have seen the sacrifuce of potentially thousands of UK manufatering jobs in the case of the Eurofighter deal with Saudi Arabia.

On economics they can either be highly socialst or anarchic lassiz-faire (Gladstonian liberal). Both approaches are outmoded.

If you want a party which combines support for a market economy with social responsibility, which supports society and institutions, is patriotic and for a strong UK then it can only be for a broad-based Conservative Party.

Don't even think of it. We will need to have clear and robust policies. Shacking up with the LibDems will introduce soggy, touchy-feely compromises and defocus our own strategies.

I see it is the 'Jack Stone' who can spell today!

I agree with the majority, a definite 'NO' to joining with LibDems.

Not such a very long time ago, as I said the other day, they were all in favour of unfettered immigration - I remember it being discussed aby Jon Snow on C4 News, and the Conservative Party were called racists at that time, if they dared to offer practical reasons why unfettered immigration was not practical...... What now LibDems??

Some of the comments here are rather hypocritical. Yes, I'm sure some Lib Dems are sneaky in how they run campaigns, but I've heard equally dastardly tactics used by Tory candidates/campaigns in Lib Dem seats. No political party has clean hands, so less finger-pointing please.

I do have Lib Dems friends who are extremely nice and not extreme in any way. Some are in favour of nuclear power, for example. There need not be any ideological reason for not working with the Lib Dems.

I'm also worried by the "why will we need them after we get a whopping majority" line. No one has suggested we're going to enter coalition with them or even rely on them to pass legislation. It's about trying to have some sort of bipartisanship to reassure the nation. In an economic crisis confidence counts for a lot. Labour couldn't be brought on board because they're tainted, but the Lib Dems could be involved in some ways. Again, no one is suggesting they would have a veto, decide policy, etc. But I like the idea of at least building bridges with them.

After all, who knows what elections after 2010 will bring? Think to the future - would you really want a situation like in 1997 again where Labour and the Lib Dems worked together to crush the Tories? Put aside ideas about "getting even" and grow up a bit. Being gracious in victory could reap benefits in the long-run. Labour made a mistake in ignoring the Lib Dems because they won a huge majority - the Tories shouldn't repeat that mistake.

Re the comments over changing how European elections are handled, I think that's rather sly and undemocratic. We currently use FPTP for general elections to make it easier for a single party to have a majority. But there is no such necessity when it comes to the European Parliament, so let the current system stand. It's quite fair.

Only a commie pinko could come up with such a stupid idea.

A mad idea. I would rather talk to the BNP. And how does the Green Agenda square with Nick Clegg having a third child. We are over populated already.

I have no doubt that the majority of the Conservative Party would oppose ties with a moderate party like the Lib/Dems I doubt if that would be the same if the senior Tories were proposing closer ties with the BNP!!!

In 1998 Labour allowed racist terrorist group the IRA special dispensation from UK weapons laws for as long as they wanted, and granted IRA terrorists early release from jail, in defiance of the UN's Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which forbids such favouritism.

I appreciate that left-wing people often struggle to understand that other people can genuinely possess political principle, as opposed to just pretending in order to fool the electorate, but I think that the vast majority of the Conservative Party, unlike Labourites, were genuinely repelled by this, and would always oppose racism in any form.

Incidentally, it's also worth pointing out that in Scotland, too, Labour has always been much closer to the SNP than the Conservatives have been. SNP anti-English racism is no better than the BNP variety; English people may tend to regard it as quaint rather than nasty but I can assure you from personal experience that it isn't fun being on the receiving end.

"Could I just remind you that FPTP kept the Tories in the political wilderness for 12 years whilst Labour trashed the economy."

Well at the very least its a system that returns strong governments more often than not. In addition it keeps the likes of the BNP and UKIP out in the cold where they belong. If we give up FPTP we effectively give up constituency MPs, further eroding the little trust that exists between the People and their elected representatives. The 12 years in the wilderness was the democratic judgement of the British people, and we have always respected that.

The Liberal Democrats want even more government spending - on top of the insane binge in government spending that Labour has announced.

And they favour nationalization of bankrupt banks - rather than letting them go bankrupt.

In short they are against allowing the market to clear and malinvestments to be liquidated - the only way a real economic recovery can be achieved.

As for the doctrine of increasing government spending being good in a recession - this is the exact opposite of the truth.

Oh and, of course, the Liberal Democrats favour giving the E.U. what is left of British independence.

I am often accused of speaking and writing in too harsh a way. However, there is a lack of SERIOUSNESS in ideas like "lets ally with the Liberal Democrats".

It is the sort of idea that could only be taken up by people who do not actually believe in anything - who have no principles whatever.

Not even a principle of "power at any price" because, as I mentioned above, the LDs favour handing what is left of power to the E.U.

I would like to concur with many posters – the Yellow Peril are arch political opportunists, and complete hypocrites with one policy in one constituency [to get the Conservative vote] – and the opposite policy in another [to get the Labour vote].

As an example – ‘Brutus’ Cable [who left the Labour Party when Ken Livingstone beat him as PPC for Hampstead] – who isn’t even loyal to his own party leaders – has a two-faced approach to the EU [along with many other issues]. Brutus’ constituency of Twickenham is Eurosceptic so he makes noises against the EU – until tripped up by his own party policy when he performs a complete volte face – or, as he’s so keen on ballroom dancing – a total ‘twirl’ – and embraces Europhilia.

The one constant about the Yellow Peril – wherever they are campaigning – are their dirty tricks. This will come as no surprise to anybody who has the misfortune to have them as their main political opponents – vicious personal attacks are the norm. Indeed, it is obvious they follow their now-notorious campaign booklet entitled “Effective Opposition” which has codified their dirty tricks. In this they are advised to: “be wicked, act shamelessly, stir endlessly”, and they are encouraged to “exaggerate”. I can testify that the South West London’s Yellow Peril slavishly follow these mantras.

And this is further proof positive that the Yellow Peril are truly the neo-Nasty Party.

Yes, Uncle Monty's been war-gaming this unlovely scenario for years now. Unfortunately that's not to say it won't happen, particularly given the impressive coup by the old Liberal elements in the Liberal Democrat party against the Social Democrat crazies (with the mutilated corpses of Kennedy, Campbell, and a whole host of other gruesome cases positively flying across the nation's TV screens). There's now not a lot to distinguish the people in charge of the Lib Dems from the party David Cameron likes to refer to as "the Liberal Conservatives".

Four years down the line, of course, the Social Democrats may have scampered back to a resurgently hard-left Labour Party, and the Right will be out of power for yet another generation.

Yes, Uncle Monty's been war-gaming this unlovely scenario for years now. Unfortunately that's not to say it won't happen, particularly given the impressive coup by the old Liberal elements in the Liberal Democrat party against the Social Democrat crazies (with the mutilated corpses of Kennedy, Campbell, and a whole host of other gruesome cases positively flying across the nation's TV screens). There's now not a lot to distinguish the people in charge of the Lib Dems from the party David Cameron likes to refer to as "the Liberal Conservatives".

Four years down the line, of course, the Social Democrats may have scampered back to a resurgently hard-left Labour Party, and the Right will be out of power for yet another generation.

Abolishing PR for the EU elections and reverting to the the tried and tested first past the post would be desirable (parliamentary time allowing). Under FPTP a constituency like West Sussex had its own MEP in Brussels with whom busimess could be done. Simpler. - And more democratic than these amorphous big regional party lists systems.

John Prendergast makes some most telling historical observations. - The First World War was without doubt damaging to the fabric of the British Empire and should have been prevented by a more resolute UK foreign policy.

And going further back a bit. The loss in 1906 of the Protectionist Conservatives to the Free Trade Liberals derailed highly practical ideas to unite the countries of the British Empire econimically and thus serve as a major world power block. - V. important given the emergence of the USA and Germany.

In these turbulent times future historians may well look upon the Tariff Reform League
as a cause tragically lost.

No.

What common ground does true Conservativism have with LibDemery? What principles would be diluted, and compromised?

They are EU-phile,

socially liberal (i.e. do-what-you-like-regardles-of-effects-on-others-and-society liberalism. They are worse than Labour.)

soft on crime,

insist on PR - most undemocratic as it gives parties that got few votes power in or to wreck a government.

They oppose ID cards, which is good. And are economically liberal - that is half of them are, the other half being tax and spend socialists.

The message in Lib-Dem seats must be a vote for Lib Dems would only help keep Labour in power, only Conservatives can bring the change that's needed.

Under FPTP a constituency like West Sussex had its own MEP in Brussels with whom busimess could be done. Simpler. - And more democratic than these amorphous big regional party lists systems.

How is it democratic to effectively burn the votes of everyone who doesn't vote for the "winning" candidate? Be honest - FPTP is not more democratic. It's a compromise between majority government and democracy.

Under FPTP a constituency like West Sussex had its own MEP in Brussels with whom busimess could be done. Simpler. - And more democratic than these amorphous big regional party lists systems.

If candidate A gets 5,000 votes and 4,999 people vote for someone else, how is it democratic to say the 4,999 people shouldn't be able to have any say in who represents them?

Be honest - FPTP is not more democratic. It's a compromise between majority government and democracy.

I have changed my mind following by councils budget tonight

No No No No no No

"Shacking up with the LibDems will introduce soggy, touchy-feely compromises and defocus our own strategies."

Crikey, I blinked and missed the coalition then?

I live in a constituency with a Dim-Lib MP and cannot be expected to fight local, European & General elections against these people only to be expected to invite them to sit with us as allies. We are not only fighting Labour, we are in a bitter struggle with the Dim-Libs. Those of you who are fighting Labour MPs have got it easy! Try fighting the slippery snakes that are the Liberal Democrats.

But Raj there is a beautiful simplicity to FPTP which can be understood by all electors regardless, namely that the candidate who gets the more votes wins. And on winning is a representative first and foremost looking after constituents whethher they voted for him or not.

The trouble with the PR lobby is that they're too clever by half.

Reading the comments above, the views expressed by Conservatives remind me why I, as a moderate, reasonable Liberal should never under any circumstances vote Conservative.

Please, NO! Not the Liberal Demo-crackpots! Cameron has already dallied with Monbiot and Toynbee, FoE and Greenpeas - so I guess Lib Demons were next.

" namely that the candidate who gets the more votes wins"

In that case, why not apply FPTP so that the party who gets most seats overall is then actually awarded 100% of all seats, as clearly the 'majority' want them to rule without the also-rans sabotaging parliamentary bills?

As you note John Barstow, the public understands "winner takes all".

Mandelson is determined to sell the Royal Mail. Hasn't the Crown got any say in this.
Why should we support him,isn't he just to dam clever for YOU. He is softening us for the Euro. So yes David Cameroon play along with him for now. This pustule needs popping.
If we must sell it then to our Aristocrats it should be sold. Come on then boys stand and deliver. We need a new privateer mindset.
The problem is Mr M. wants us to sell it to any Dick Tom or Harold that might be out there. I want a British Baron to pick it up.
England expects. Everything it appears is coming up for grabs. Best if the real owners hold the silver, but those who cannot hold on are the rightful pray of the upward rise of excallance. Should anyone ask who's estate I sit in, then I defer to the local Lord of the land becuse that is the truth of everything that is of relavance. I belong to this land I am its captive its bond servant.
My Lord of first call is the wacky Bath, he hath my loyal dues. Its only a breath away the new eden of Wiltshire, it would be only a small matter to make anew our commitment to right. When I walk in the evening and some punk spits on the sidewalk I see the problem and a symptom of a sickness that is abroad in this land. What should we do about this moral decline, shouldn't we be fighting it tooth and nail. Bring back large fines for spitting. I know some want the birch and the cane returned to daily usage.
We should certainly be considering some real tightening of the law. Swing them again, indeed we need the capital option. The unconfirmed should be sent into eternity with only the same regard for justice as the blood washed clean. We have lost our way if we loose sight of our duty to guide humanity in the right direction.That youth in the street who has spat his filthy germ war attack should be given the opportunity to change his ways and be leaved a big fine if observed by an officer. Should he it further transpires be later sued for spreading illness being a matter for the law and any circumstances that might arise. Of course we are not going to imprison for minor transgressions but larger sins against the state....my god we should throw the book at them. He that glittered and disappointed was a sad figure and probably hurt no one. On the other hand had he been evil it would be an utterly more drastic punishment meted out.
Those who are evil, should be hanged regardless almost of their crime. Its a matter of principles that are ancient and ingrained in our common law. Now that's what I call rambling.

The Conservative Party still don`t get it. After three election defeats they still don`t understand that you have got to have policies to appeal to moderates. People in the centre ground because its they who make up the majority of the British people.
Not the little Englanders or the two faced who pretend there not racist when its obvious they are. You have to appeal to those who believe in compassion, decency,putting those with the least before those with the most.
You need to build a coalition of moderates and the Lib/Dems should be part of that. If you don`t do that I think Brown will win no matter what the opinion polls say at present.

"Jack Stone, I find your post rather offensive."

Join the queue, Justin. Here he goes throwing phrases around tha he doesn't understand, just because his Labour party is sinking and he doesn't think it "fair".

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