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loyal_tory

Charles Moore's point about Euroscepticism and the candidates doesn't survive close examination. In what sense did Davis "have his chance" to help Euroscepticism when he was a whip in John Major's Government? And what did Cameron during that administration? According to The Times a few weeks ago, he was, as special adviser to Chancellor Norman Lamont, supporting the government's then position that Britain should rejoin the ERM when the time was right.

And correct me if I'm wrong but it was my understanding that David Davis had said a future decision on EPP membership should be for the Conservative MEPs to decide. I am personally opposed to our membership of the EPP but I don't see how Davis's position can reasonably be construed as showing insufficient commitment to Euroscepticism. Indeed, in the Question Time debate, Davis was far more Eurosceptic about the range of powers that should be repartriated than Cameron. And the negotiation tactics he was prepared to consider were much tougher than Cameron's.

Selsdon Man

Charles Moore succeeded Michael Gove at Policy Exchange. Nick Boles, its Director, is a Cameroon. Is this connection significant?

henry curteis

Charles Moore as ever is highly persuasive. I take issue with his analysis though - especially his bold statement that unlike when Mrs Thatcher was seeking power, there is currently no national crisis.

There are no three day weeks, winters of discontent and rocketing rates of inflation and interest.

But people are aware that our democracy is barely functioning. Pre-1990's a letter to an MP could often result in a review of the law or government policy - or at least an explanation. Now it will usually be met with a statement that the matter in question is not accessible due to either Treaty obligations or it is not an issue decided by the UK but the EU.

The power of Parliament has not only been eroded by the EU. Blair was able to commit the country to war through lying and misleading us all. When people like David Kelly tried to speak up about the deception being practised, he and people in the BBC - only their careers in that case - were eliminated. Again the power to decide has been removed from Parliament by one method or another, and this time the shots were being called from Washington.

When enquiries were held into Blair's lies and it became obvious that Blair had lied, the media covered his tracks for him, mindful of the favours to be gained(Murdoch) or keeping silent out of fear (BBC). How can Chales Moore believe that this does not amount to a crisis?

The General Election was substantially rigged by a farcical postal voting system. Of labour's 9.5 million total votes about 4.5 million were postally acquired. The only journalist who dared to report on postal vote fraud has been the victim of a typical Campbell character assassination. I personally believe that Labour lost the general election, but as no one is prepared to even ask the simple question - what actually happned? - we will never know.

Charles Moore must be aware that the media frequently runs coordinated campaigns such as the assassination of IDS, the recent deification of David Cameron for example. The government narrative has to be adhered to quite closely if the journalists and papers etc are to be invited to the government lobby briefings. There is little press freedom combined with enormous media power crushing the Parliamentary process.

Cameron was produced out of a two week coordinated media campaign. When he is asked to talk about any policy issues he has almost a complete blank. Can we be forgiven for being sceptical?

David Davis' eurosceptic credentials are not as good as Liam Fox's. CM's points about DD and the the EPP and the Maastricht Treaty are right. But David Davis' offer of a twin referendum is a good way to put power back with the people of this country.

The media blanked Liam Fox completely during the Parliamentary rounds, and gave him no opportunity to get his message across. Where was Charles Moore then?

loyal_tory

I don't think so. The work done by Michael Gove and Nicholas Boles at Policy Exchange is very far sighted but Charles Moore's choices for future Tory leaders are often less so. He backed Redwood in '95, Lilley in '97, IDS in '01. "Cameron the closet Thatcherite" is the strangest Moore endorsement we have seen yet.

His argument is even more odd when one considers that he is Thatcher's biographer. The simple fact is that Thatcher stood because Keith Joseph decided not to. She did so on the grounds that someone would have to represent their point of view. David Cameron is representing the modernisers' point of view--the part of the Conservative Party least enthusiastic about applying Thathcerite ideas to taxes and the public services.

Bruce

Perhpas Mr. Moore is merely being friendly to his fellow Telegraph columnist Ferdinand Mount (Sir William Ferdinand Mount, Bt.), who is David Cameron's cousin and who has also written pro-Cameron columns.

Wat Tyler

I've never been altogether sure what a "High Tory" is, but I'm pretty certain Charles Moore is one. They must have their place, but I don't think it's in helping us to choose our leaders (as Loyal Tory says, just look at his record).

Cllr Iain Lindley

The General Election was substantially rigged by a farcical postal voting system. Of labour's 9.5 million total votes about 4.5 million were postally acquired. The only journalist who dared to report on postal vote fraud has been the victim of a typical Campbell character assassination. I personally believe that Labour lost the general election, but as no one is prepared to even ask the simple question - what actually happned? - we will never know.

Wishful thinking of the highest order - "we won, really!"

Yes, there were substantial problems with the postal ballot system, but the idea that it would have substantially altered the result is utter bunkum.

Most marginals had perhaps 15% of the electorate voting by post (at most), of which 70-80% were probably returned. There was a huge effort to get core Conservative voters onto postal votes and our known voters represented a substantial chunk of the postal voting total.

I instinctively dislike increased postal voting, I don't think there is any doubt that it usually helps Labour, and there are undoubtedly isolated incidents of fraudulent practice, but the idea that the entire election was stolen is arrant nonsense at best.

loyal_tory

I don't think Charles Moore is being influenced by Ferdinand Mount when it comes to Cameron. There are other Telegraph columnists and ex-columnists on both sides of the divide. But I think Ferdinand Mount is obviously influenced by the family connection. He used to write the most wonderful columns about how the Tories weren't focusing on the big problems facing Britain and offering solutions whereas that has not, to say the least, been the focus of Cameron's campaign.

That said there does seem to be a certain type of Eurosceptic Old Etonian Tory who is backing Cameron. David Heathcoat-Amery comes to mind. I find it hard to believe they Old Etonian Eurosceptics are drawn to Cameron simply because of a shared educational experience but perhaps it is not too much of a stretch to say that they feel comfortable with him and find it easy to identify with him because of that shared experience.

Alternatively, though a Eurosceptic myself I do find that some of our MPs of this persuasion will judge a candidate on their positions on this (yes or no to the euro, yes or no to EPP membership) without caring about the bigger picture. And it is, of course, that bigger picture that Cameron is refusing to draw in this election.

 pigmalion

Sorry to interrupt your discussions but as a person who has always accepted the thesis that democracy is mathemaically unsound, and a novice to real politics, I assume that by the statement "the ballots were all sent out" it implies that the Conservative Leadership election is a 100% postal ballot. If that is the case then what measures are taken by the Conservative Party to prevent electoral fraud.

Editor

It is a 100% postal ballot but it is being overseen by the independent and respected Elecoral Reform Services - http://www.erbs.co.uk/

pigmalion

Thanks for that info, and since I haven't mentioned it yet, great site as well, but I assume that given the partie's membership comprises of so many old people that Electoral Reform Services and the Conservative Party check that when a lapsed membership is renewed that you - I know that this sounds callous but it has to be said - check if the member has not elapsed.

Cutting taxes win elections

So Charles Moore is Chairman of Policy Exchange and supports Cameron. Is it me, or isn't Policy Exchange (which has some good people behind it) very close to some of the Notting Hill set, so hardly a big shock.


Basic research on ERS shows that its dealt with
-grammar school ballots and petition
-Election in Peru
-NHS Foundation Trusts
the last of which included the Nunneley experienece where it was said that "Kafka could not have made this up".
Sounds like the people who orquestrated the Gore/Bush election might be able to learn a thing or two from them.

I am all in favour of the Conservatives getting out of the EPP. The day that happens champagne will be flowing so much in my flat in the middle of Brussels that the street below will be flooded. However, it is not an end but a means to a political end. It is beginning of playing hardball in Europe. For this you can't wait years for policies and you need leadership. But Mr "Softly, Softly" Cameron confined his EU concerns to employment and social policy in the televised debate. Sabre rattling is not going to win this particular battle either at home or abroad.

Gillibrand

I am all in favour of the Conservatives getting out of the EPP. The day that happens champagne will be flowing so much in my flat in the middle of Brussels that the street below will be flooded. However, it is not an end but a means to a political end. It is beginning of playing hardball in Europe. For this you can't wait years for policies and you need leadership. But Mr "Softly, Softly" Cameron confined his EU concerns to employment and social policy in the televised debate. Sabre rattling is not going to win this particular battle either at home or abroad.

Richard Allen

I'd like to see us out of the EPP but in grand scheme of things it is trivial. The Davis plan to repatriate powers (and to build a different kind of EU) is far more important.

Al G

The problem with withdrawing from the EPP is the impact it may have with Tory MEPs, who, I understand, are less Eurosceptic and less keen to break ties with the EPP.

It is good that Cameron is tough on this, but the danger must be that when it comes to improving our position in the EU, we may have less commitment from our MEPs should Cameron be calling the shots over what they get up to.

It seems to me that Davis is not less Eurosceptic. It seems that he is more aware of how to manage a complex wing of the party.

henry curteis

Cllr Lindley thinks it is bumkum to suggest that labour might have actually lost the last election, but he has only a very woolly non-specific idea as do most people.

Many marginals turned on less than 1000 votes. The number of postal votes nationally was 6,000,000. You only needed 500 votes in 50 key seats. The only Constituency that tried to analyse the number of fraudulent votes was Bethnal Green, and there labour were knee deep in fraud.

I am quite serious in saying it is very likely that Labour actually lost the last election.

The general point for Charles Moore who believes there is no crisis right now is that there is a crisis of truth - leading to a crisis of trust - a collapse of trust in our political system as is happening in France where riots are now a daily occurrence. We will not be far behind unless we rebuild the truth in politics.

Normally the first casualty in war. Now the casualty of media controlled politics. We need leaders who will deal in truth. David Davis or Cameron? Davis.

Cllr Iain Lindley

You only needed 500 votes in 50 key seats

I've been told that the seat which we need to regain now to have more seats than Labour (not to get a majority) is Rossendale & Darwen - Labour majority 3676. You need a lot more than 500 votes in 50 key seats.

Adrian Sherman

I'm surprised that Charles Moore backing 'Senor Slime', is actually news. If one thing has characterised this ludicrous 'leadership' election (for terminal opposition), then it's that Caviar Cameron has drawn upon his Old Etonian background to win over all the ex-public schoolboys and girlies who comprise the large chunks of the Tory Party, the media and opinion formers.

It's almost like a masonic lodge. I was reading when Harold Macmillan spluttered some anti-Semitic crap about the Cabinet (in Thatcher's day) being full of "Old Estonians, as opposed to Old Etonians". Well, anal public schoolboys have indeed got their own way, after an inter-regnum. Ideed, I recall last year, Charles Moore (Lord Snooty) jumping to fellow Old Etonian, Nick Soames' defence when he was accused of making an anti-Semitic slur on Philip Green.

Make no mistake,these people are some of the most racist, arrogant, nasty and avaristic people you could wish to meet, so it comes as no surprise they've over-run the so-called 'Tory' Party.

Oh, and we must not forget the slimey careerists and social climbers who have seen which way the wind is blowing, and have attached themselves to Cameron's bandwagon.

Cameron claims to be representative of "modern Britain" (a truly awful and squalid place, BTW). Hmmm... how many people, outside the hedonistic cesspits of metropolitan London, went to Eton, Oxford, are a member of the rabidly sexist White's Club, married a Baronet's daughter and have never really had a real job?

Still, the majority of crazed, deluded and gullible Tory members appear to have bought into this piece of media-spun plastic.

Oh dear, oh dear.

Selsdon Man

Adrian has reverted to vitriol and inverted snobbery. Those chips on your shoulders are HUGE!!!!

Go and join the Labour Party - you will many find others who share your prejudices.

modern conservative

I thought moore's article was spot on. We are electing a leader not a set of policies.

Although Davis core vote policies are more of a reason not to vote for him than his inability to inspire new support.

johnc

To the list of Charles Moore's eccentric leadership endorsements should be added his support for Douglas Hurd (Old Etonian) in 1990.

Bycycle Clip

And to be fair to Moore, he did back IDS in 2001, and *he* went to a Marine Borstal I believe.

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