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James Maskell

"Bring it on"? What a stupid tactic. We arent prepared and our manifesto would be half arsed. We are going to be beaten badly in the next election. We need to be putting the election off instead of trying to show some fake macho bring it on tactics which just make us look silly.


All the evidence points to an ever greater Labour win next time round and she wants the turkeys to vote for Christmas. The Conservative Party associations even in safe seats are dying, there's a really half arsed approach to policy making andDave is trying to alienate every traditional Conservative in the Party. The silly Season for David Cameron shows no signs of ending any time soon.

Phil Simmonds

James, it's not silly. We have to be ready for whatever Brown chooses. Personally, I can't see him calling an election due to boundary changes and his poll lead isn't yet consolidated. But what do you expect Theresa to say? "Please don't call an election"?

Matt Wright

There is something unreal about the current situation, including the polls. Obviously Brown has had a bounce and we need to be more focused but I'm not sure that voters are expressing an opinion based on the stark reality of voting for a Govt. When a GE campaign gets underway and they go to the polling booths, will they really want to elect yet another Labour Govt apparently with a bigger majority (in fact run by the same bloke who mismanaged it for the last decade when Blair was off launching wars abroad). Will all those people who voted Conservative in May just disappear? Maybe some will stay home (or maybe Labour voters will think their ahead and stay at home) but maybe those Conservatives will be in the habit of voting for us and will come down to the polls again. The party will keep up the pressure and any further polls will be interesting,



As if having my flight delayed wasn't bad enough, the only remaining English newspaper was The Independent. Surprisingly, there was actually an interesting article in there.

Of course, it was anti-Tory but it pointed out that Brown shouldn't take things for granted - that polls have underestimated our support in the last few elections, that the economy isnt looking all that healthy, ditto the NHS and crime.

James is quite right to say that we would benefit by putting the election off. Unfortunately, that isn't our call.


I spent all day out campaigning yesterday in our key northern marginal and there were no signs of a Brown bounce on the ground. I could be mistaken of course but the feel we received was quite positive.

At the end of the day, who really knows what will happen. The best thing we can all do is stop worrying, get us heads down and start working in the marginals.

Win or lose, at least we can then say we all did our best. And if we do lose there is always Australia, so many seem to be heading there already :)

James Maskell

I expect Theresa May to keep her head firmly on instead of coming out with this nonsense. We arent ready for an election and our so called bare-knuckled fight over the NHS was so badly cocked up that even before we got into the ring, we had tripped over the ropes and landed flat on our faces.

Tony Sharp

Personally I think these polls will be largely irrelevant to the parties. Their electoral confidence is likely to be rooted in private polling results which suggest we are neck and neck with Labour.

As has been mentioned above, Tories usually do better in the booth than polls before an election suggest and Labour's support is usually overstated. An election campaign will give us a platform we currently do not have and will make it harder for Labour to avoid scrutiny on their record.

Tories should not be so down at heart. The election outcome is far from certain and there is everything to fight for. Constituency campaigns will have a huge impact. If we get our message across effectively on the doorstep, put Labour's record under the microscope and outline our positive vision, we can make significant gains.


"There is something unreal about the current situation, including the polls."

Yes, Brown should not be this high and he wouldn't be if it weren't for Cameron. Dave "Wannabe Blair" Cameron has lost all credibility and the Conservative Party will be decimated unless it gets rid of him.


//"Bring it on"//

//"In the coming months, solid policies and a clear philosophy for government will emerge"//

Give me strength!!! - Does this silly woman really believe that 'talking a good fight' is the key to a Conservative election victory.

Tony Makara

Good to hear that the party is going to keep a high profile. Labour has been knocked off the news of late and that must be maintained. All the good work of the last few weeks will go down the drain if it is not built on. Stay in the public's eye. Stay in the public's mind.

Helen Smith

There is one other reason why Brown is unlikely to call a snap election: the unions.

He isn't on best terms with them at the moment because of the prison pay disputes and the EU treaty - but he will be relying on them for election expenses.

Moral minority

"Personally I think these polls will be largely irrelevant to the parties. Their electoral confidence is likely to be rooted in private polling results which suggest we are neck and neck with Labour."

This is wishful thinking. The experience of the 2005 General Election is that Yougov's last poll got it right and that CCHQ's private polling was over-optimistic. There is a clear pattern emerging with Labour on 40-41%, Tories on 32-33% and Lib Dems on 15-16%.

Take a look at the "forced choice" result on the Telegraph website. Brown is surging ahead of Cameron due a large drop in the don't knows. This means that the swing voters are opting for Brown.

Cameron is in big trouble. Wake and smell the coffee.

Moral minority

I must highlight Theresa's statement.

"In the coming months, solid policies and a clear philosophy for government will emerge. These will define the battle that will be fought at the next general election."

That is a year too late. Theresa is acknowledging that the voters do not know what Cameron stands for nearly two years after his election as Leader. That is a frankly astonishing statement from a leading member of the Shadow Cabinet. It is an indictment of the spin and PC froth that has characterised Cameron's leadership.

The next election will be in October if Brown can raise the money. There is not enough time to hammer the philosophy and policies into the heads of the electorate.

CCHQ did not have a strategy to deal with a Brown bounce. It was assumed that voters would not like the Dour One in Downing Street. In fact, they prefer the gravitas of Brown to the "heir to Blair".

We will pay a heavy price for choosing an inexperienced and arrogant Leader whose career has been limited to politics and a few years in PR. The price will be heavier because our frontbenchers were too frit to question Hilton's strategy and put their careers first.

The Conservative Party is not fit for purpose - Leader, Shadow Cabinet, CCHQ and Parliamentary party. If the Party was a listed company, the shareholders would oust the Chairman and demand a new Chief Executive. It is time for the Party's shareholders', i.e. the members, to voice their displeasure at the "AGM" in Blackpool. Remember IDS!!

Andrew Ian Dodge

What do the Conservatives want their number of seats to go down? Do they not realise they are way behind in the polls? Last I heard there are not candidates in every seat.

David Phillips

Everyone seems very gloomy about our chances. As I understand her piece, Theresa is saying that the fightback is beginning. One poll, commissioned before our work on crime and other stuff this week, doesn't disprove a thing.

And Moral Minority, "remember IDS"? What exactly do you want? Another leadership election? Madness.

Bruges Group NG

Something does not feel right.

We should be doing so much better at this stage, yet the Telegraph poll is reckoned to be about the most accurate in the business and for the second month running it shows a 100 Labour majority- ten years in.

I am 100% convinced that our problem in the main is that we do not look like a credible alternative Govt, and that many of our leading players are gauche, lightweight and naive (and a mixture of all three). The electorate can see this. To name but three who have had media exposure in recent weeks- Boris Johnson, Theresa Villiers, Andrew Lansley. All likeable, all lightweight, all hopeless

I ask you all again- can you picture George Osbourne standing on the steps of No.11 in 8 weeks time, about to present his first budget? We are the party of Lawson, Ridley, Joseph and Thatcher for Gods sake.

I am a supporter of Cameron but I fear the strategy is doomed to failure.

Its the Shadow Cabinet who are too green- not the policies.

Moral minority

We are stuck with Cameron until the autumn. The polls show that the public has no confidence in Dave and that he is an electoral liability, much more than IDS was.

Cameron's PC and green nonsense has alienated a large proportion of Conservative members and voters. Associations have seen members leave in large numbers and donations nosedive. Many, including safe and target seats, are in big financial trouble. Several have had to sack agents and campaign staff.

If Brown does not have the guts or money for an autumn election, we should replace the hapless Cameron with William Hague at Christmas (just as Howard replaced IDS). William would reunify the party and attract back many of the lost members and voters, especially in the North.

Project Cameron has failed. We must cut our losses and take decisive action as soon as possible.

Bruges Group NG

@Moral minority

Don't disagree with your analysis- if we continue to flatline in the polls up to Xmas, another "Michael Howard moment" could be necessary.

Another factor- how much of our pitiful 33% would peel off if the Libs wised-up and got rid of Ming ?

Moral minority

Bruges, it would appear that Brown, rather than Cameron, has benefited most from Ming's pathetic leadership. Huhne or Clegg would put the heat on Cameron in Middle England.

Cameron has benefited from UKIP's failure to establish itself as a credible alternative home for traditional conservatives. The promised rebranding has not materialised, probably due to its fights with the Electoral Commission.

If the LDs and UKIP get their respective acts together, Conservative support could slump well below 30%. Our Party, due to Cameron's lurch to the PC and green Left, is facing electoral meltdown.

Yet Another Anon

>>>>The promised rebranding has not materialised, probably due to its fights with the Electoral Commission.<<<<
UKIP already had a fully policy manifesto, the problem is one of the public perception of UKIP as being solely a single issue party on withdrawal from the EU.

The name of the party was to be changed to the Independence Party, but there was if I recall a problem with there already being a party with a very similar name so the change was dropped. I think the dropping of the £ from the party logo is going ahead though.


"the fact that hospitals up and down the country face closure and cuts".
Is it possible for the Conservatives to point out that it is England's NHS they are talking about?. The Conservatives really make it tough on themselves.

Cancer drugs victory

A Shrewsbury cancer patient is “absolutely overcome” after winning an appeal for treatment which will extend her life for up to five years – and is planning one last trip to where she grew up in Scotland.

Jeannie Evans and her husband Fred were informed of their success just 15 minutes after a hearing with Shropshire County Primary Care Trust officials. The decision has saved the family a £35,000 bill to pay for treatment with the drug Avastin, without which Jeannie had been given just months to live.

The couple, of St George’s Court, Frankwell, thanked the Chronicle for its intervention after their story was revealed two weeks ago.

Shropshire PCT bosses had initially refused to fund the treatment, even though Welsh patients can access the drug at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital for free.

The situation has prompted town MP Daniel Kawczynski to write directly to Prime Minister Gordon Brown calling for an end to differences in treatment between Welsh and English patients.

Jeannie visited the RSH for a chemotherapy session on Tuesday, and her Avastin treatment is expected to start within the next two weeks.

The couple plan to travel to Invergordon in the far north of Scotland later this year. Her husband Fred said: “We are absolutely overcome – it’s amazing.

Our daughter Rachael and officials at Bowel Cancer UK put together a presentation for the appeal, and we were told within 15 minutes that they had agreed to fund the treatment.

“Now the decision has been made we can plan for the future.

“Jeannie wants to go back to visit the places of her youth in Scotland and see a lot of her relatives who still live north of the border.

“We cannot thank the Chronicle or MP Daniel Kawczynski(con) enough for their help and it has restored our faith in human nature.”

Jeannie said: “We’ve been ecstatic but it still doesn’t feel real yet, and I don’t think it will really sink in until the treatment starts.”

Mr Kawczynski said: “I am very pleased that the PCT has decided on appeal to give Jeannie the treatment she requires. But I will conitnue to fight this gross cross-border injustice until my constituents get health care parity with the Welsh.”
Mr Kawczynski can do it, why can't Cameron?

Andrew Lilico

It would be totally absurd for Gordon Brown to call an early General Election, *unless* he thought that by doing so he could damage *us*. What could he gain if he won? An additional year in office before calling the next General Election. What could he lose? Everything. In order to make that equation add up and make the risks of defeat worthwhile, he has to think that some larger prize than an extra year before another election is there for the taking. What could that be? Only, as far as I can see, the opportunity, if he were to secure a significant majority, to have us fall into internal recriminations and infighting.

But the solution to that is straightforward: Let's not do it! In my view, Cameron should just hold his nerve and progress according to the timetable he already had in place. We should not rush to produce policies. We should not rush at all. We should not try to change our positioning for *this* reason (we should change it, slightly, for other reasons that I've argued many times previously and won't rehearse here). Similarly, we should not be prevented from adjusting/honing our positioning because of the threat of an Election. Provided it would not cause us to panic, we need having nothing at all to lose from an Election this autumn, and everything to gain. But we must not be too hopeful on this point - for Brown is not a fool and has no internal need of fighting an election for two to three years yet. And we must not panic. That's the key. Change nothing. Adapt not at all. Don't let him phase us. If he is daft enough to fight an election this Autumn, then if we win - fabulous; and if we lose, it changes almost nothing - all it does is give us an extra year before the next Election in order to win the arguments we need to win.

Stephen Tolkinghorne

"This summer, we’ve experienced the usual silly season. Not content with the Cornish great white shark, the latest ‘discovery’ of Lord Lucan, and Jasmine the piglet, we’ve also seen our fair share of mad political stories...."

The maddest of all being the well publicised story that little Davie Cameron thinks that he will be Prime Minister and that Theresa May would make an effective and competent Minister.

That was quickly followed by ludicrous announcements that the Tories were going to get really tough on rotters and scoundrels who take domestic flights in the UK by taxing them more.

Then, the totally 'delusional' suggestion in the press that the Tories were jolly well going to think very seriously about getting really tough to sort out the rampant crime-wave sweeping Britain by threatening the thugs and criminals with putting their driving licences in the second-class post.

Clearly a time for mad, mad stories.


That's what I expected to see: lots of head-in-the-sand Tories, who wants the Conservative Party to go down with its leader; we - the electorate - will make this happen.

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