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        « 'Manifesto for a 44% Conservative Party' is launched | Main | Attracting defectors from Labour and the LibDems »


        Colin Ferris

        My message to Francis Maude is simple. Your poison has weakened the Conservative Party for too long. You have been treacherous far too often, though not, it seems, towards the present failed leader, whose speeches you and your cohorts have been writing from the very beginning of the coup which brought him the leadership. Now you, he and the other pygmies are establishing another coup as the parting shot of his leadership, one which has been so inimical to true Tories. Mr Maude, we do not want you as Party Chairman and we do not recognise you as such. If you care for the Party at all (though I suspect you do not from the comfort of your chattering class existence), do not split it asunder, as your mad plans undoubtedly will. Resign quietly and join the Liberal Democrats, where I suspect your odd, unrepresentative outlook on life will be more compatible.

        James Hellyer

        There's certainly a massive conflict of interest in Maude holding the Chairmanship if today's Times is to be believed.

        Maude will be in charge of the process drawing up new rules for the leadership election, so he should not be acting as rulemaker and kingmaker.

        James Hellyer

        On the subject of focus groups, I don't think they should be used a substitute for principled policy making.

        When Rover collapsed, I understand the Conservatives held a focus group which included two redundant Rover employees, who were naturally upset. So the Conservatives said nothing.

        Really they should have attacked the Government for its role in sabotaging the Moulton rescue deal for the company five years ago. That would have been the right and principled thing to do, and would have shown how Labour's interventionist instincts make problems worse.

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