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James Hellyer

This story itself is hardly an example of Cameron's press team keeping things under control. Did Cameron authorise his supporters to insinuate that Dr Fox's people were behhind yesterday's stories, or are they briefing on their own initiative?

Simon C

Tim,

The newspapers, who presumably know where their information came from, do not blame Fox supporters. They say that Cameron supporters blame Fox supporters. There is a difference.

Yeterday's papers were quite clear in attributing the speculation about Shadow Cabinet positions to...Cameron supporters as well!

Editor

Simon - you're right. That was sloppy of me. I've corrected.

William Randolph Hearst

Welcome to the new non-confrontational, anti-Punch & Judy politics. We support Blair and attack each other.

It's quite like the old politics.

Barbara Villiers

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss - courtesy of the Who

A.D.

Who's briefing? I know an MP who combines crazed ambition with a chronic tendency to gossip with Lobby correspondents, occasionally attempting to cover his tracks by meeting them away from the Houses of Parliament, instead luring whichever eager hack he's briefing to his home nearby. Can't name names though.

Peter C Glover

I fear Barbara Villiers is more than right (and I speak as a big fan of The Who also).

It is nearly all over. Step forward the modern 'Saviour' of the Conservative party. Mr Cameron it seems wants to bring joy - well to be precise Ecstasy - to Tory millions. But, as today's The Times article on the meltdown of the Party's national base makes abundantly clear makes clear, it'll take more than a liberal drugs policy to dull the pain of what Cameron is about to inflcit on the soul of historic conservatism.

To any overseas readers: do not be confused. Conservative views (54% want capital punishment reinstated, Gallup, 2004) IS alive and well in the UK. Just not in the 'Cameron-ised' Conservative Party.

But there are none so deaf as those who will not listen.

James Maskell

Cameron's throwing a hissy fit because he cant keep a lid on speculation about his plans for the Conservative Party? He has got to grow a thicker skin or else Blair will get under his skin and eat away. Hes about to be made Leader of the Opposition for heavens sake. He did a fine job of batting the drugs question away but when it comes to speculation on who he wants in his Cabinet (which was inevitably going to happen anyway) he cant do it and flails about?

Maybe Im lacking perspective since Ive never been Leader of the Opposition but this is Politics 101 here. Learn to slap a lid on these things.

Selsdon Man

What do the Who fans think of Pete Townsend's internet activities?

Neutral

"What do the Who fans think of Pete Townsend's internet activities?"

Dunno. Which Shadow post is he getting?

Newshound

"Who's briefing? I know an MP who combines crazed ambition with a chronic tendency to gossip with Lobby correspondents, occasionally attempting to cover his tracks by meeting them away from the Houses of Parliament, instead luring whichever eager hack he's briefing to his home nearby. Can't name names though."

AD - you're going to have to give us more of a clue than that. There's about 120 suspects.

Barbara Villiers

Selsdon Man,

If you are trying to cast aspersions on Pete Townsend's reputation - don't bother.

He was exonerated.

Jack Stone

Personally I think it would be in everyone`s interest if people on all sides just stopped gossiping, waited for tommorrows result and for David Cameron to announce his new cabinet later in the week.
Grown men should stop behaving like silly women like Barbara!

Backing a winner

This event highlights the need for DC to make an early appointment of a strong "Enforcer" to handle news & Media. The obvious person would be Ed Vaizey with his background.

R UK

It's the old game of power - divide and rule.

If the Fox people get too happy, the Davis people get jumpy and vice versa. All Cameron has to do is to drip non-specific hints of approval or disapproval, the juniors all start jumping, and he's established his power over them.

The other rule is to keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

This story seems par for the course for power negotiation!

Henry Cook

"Conservative views (54% want capital punishment reinstated, Gallup, 2004) IS alive and well in the UK."

I thought that at the heart of Conservatism was a respect for life and an optimistic view of human nature. I don't believe this encompasses state-sponsored murder.

James Maskell

Why say that about Barbara, Jack? On the Cameron thing its folly for him to have thought that there wouldnt be speculation by us all about his Cabinet. Theres nothing wrong with us all speculating about it. Its not going to hurt anybody's interests.

James Maskell

Capital punishment is for those who really deserve it, not just for anyone. A murderer didnt respect the right to life of the victim, so why should the state respect theirs?

Barbara Villiers

Silly woman, Jack? You're treading on dangerous ground there, my boy!

Mark Fulford

I know that certain bloggers are gagging for excuses to rubbish David Cameron, but that smacks of same old bad loosers rather than same old boss. Why don't you just wait and see?

True Tory

Henry Cook says: "I thought that at the heart of Conservatism was a respect for life and an optimistic view of human nature. I don't believe this encompasses state-sponsored murder."

1) We do respect life. Those who collude with a justic system that hands down pathetically soft sentences do not. The punishment the state inflicts on a murderer reflects the esteem in whioh it holds the life of the victim. A society that hangs Huntley and his ilk is one that truly values life.

2) Tories have a realistic view of human nature. It is leftists whose "optimistic" view of human nature is a rationalisation for every demented and damaging social experiment. Only fools and socialists believe in the perfectability of man. The rest of us resist utopian fantasies and prefer to celebrate humanity in all its imperfections while striving to make the world a better place.

Barbara Villiers

Because the writing is on the wall! And we all can read! And it is still a free country!

True Tory

Henry Cook says: "I thought that at the heart of Conservatism was a respect for life and an optimistic view of human nature. I don't believe this encompasses state-sponsored murder."

1) We do respect life. Those who collude with a justic system that hands down pathetically soft sentences do not. The punishment the state inflicts on a murderer reflects the esteem in whioh it holds the life of the victim. A society that hangs Huntley and his ilk is one that truly values life.

2) Tories have a realistic view of human nature. It is leftists whose "optimistic" view of human nature is a rationalisation for every demented and damaging social experiment. Only fools and socialists believe in the perfectability of man. The rest of us resist utopian fantasies and prefer to celebrate humanity in all its imperfection while striving to make the world a better place.

True Tory

Henry Cook says: "I thought that at the heart of Conservatism was a respect for life and an optimistic view of human nature. I don't believe this encompasses state-sponsored murder."

1) We do respect life. Those who collude with a justic system that hands down pathetically soft sentences do not. The punishment the state inflicts on a murderer reflects the esteem in whioh it holds the life of the victim. A society that hangs Huntley and his ilk is one that truly values life.

2) Tories have a realistic view of human nature. It is leftists whose "optimistic" view of human nature is a rationalisation for every demented and damaging social experiment. Only fools and socialists believe in the perfectability of man. The rest of us resist utopian fantasies and prefer to celebrate humanity in all its imperfection while striving to make the world a better place.

Lord Denning (deceased)

Mr Cook: "State sponsored murder" as an argument against the death penalty is, of course, an example of Liberal moral equivalence which, by making a false comparison, presupposes that capital punishment is wrong. It's not an argument, but a prejudice.

An example to illustrate the category error:
(1) Killing people is evil.
(2) Al Qaeda killed 3 thousand people in New York.
(3) Therefore Al Qaeda are evil.
(4) American motorists kill 10 thousand people every year (or whatever the exact number is).
(5) Therefore American motorists are more evil than Al Qaeda.
(6) Therefore President Bush should launch a War On American Motorists.

The above argument presupposes an equivalence between Al Qaeda and American motorists which appears hard to justify. The moral content of their actions are NOT equivalent. Apples are being compared with oranges, not other apples.

Capital punishment is only "state sponsored murder" if you ignore the sanction of due process and criminal prosecution and decide that a death is a death is a death ie that a judge and jury are morally the same as a rapist or a mugger. But if you believe that, then it presupposes that capital punishment is wrong before you start making the argument.

Put another way, to be opposed to capital punishment solely on the grounds that it is state-sponsored murder is to also believe that judges and juries are morally equivalent to rapists and muggers. In which case, what moral grounds do you have for any form of punishment at all?

By all means be opposed to the death penalty, but please do so on the basis of a rigorous argument.

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