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As usual GA your column is a good laugh- but has a serious point to it. The Libbies are incoherent because they are probably high on cannabis! About their next leader- forget Clegg or Huhne- George Michael would be perfect for them! I never listen to the CRE- almost everything they say is complete bs- and race/immigration will never be talked about openly and honestly because we all know what the public will vote for given the opportunity in a referendum. We have never had real substantive 'white flight' figures from areas with a high proportion of 'ethnic minority' background. I wonder why.....

Simon Walters

One sentiment that the wholly unappreciated Mr Major tried to express about Conservative Party values is exactly what Graeme Archer's weekly column espouses, namely rambling about motorbikes, sunshine, broken hearts, ozone, extras in Woody Allen movies, happiness, Mr Keith at New Year etc. and you have deleted it. I would propose that one of the Conservatives' difficulties is getting their message across to the public; that it isn't working. And this is a constant theme of Graeme's wonderful articles. The party leadership must cast a wider net and use all its talent.

Sally Roberts

Spot on as usual Graeme and an entertaining read as well!! Interestingly there was an item about air travel and the environment on "The Record Europe" where the point was made was that rather than discouraging air travel we should be working with the airlines to encourage them (as some are doing already) to become greener by using the most modern aircraft and implementing more environmentally-friendly practices.
So far as the Lib Dems are concerned - I hope they continue with Ming as long as possible as he is certainly their biggest asset (for us!!)
Finally on the subject of Crocs - I adore my several pairs in assorted colours so please can I come too next time? ;-)


In case there is any doubt, Simon, I did not delete Graeme's words - that was his joke!

Malcolm Dunn

I certainly hope Blackpool is not as grim a place as you've painted it Graeme or it will be 5 very long days indeed.I suspect you're right though, finding a half decent hotel wasn't easy ( I was booking on behalf of two other males and had to insist we weren't part of a stag party!).
I don't quite understand why all parties seem to want to go there so regularly.

Oberon Houston

The Liberal core vote - yes it's a strange one to get your head around that one. A wee bee in my bonnet these days is defining our core vote, what it currently is and more importantly, what is should be. I'm of the opinion that our core vote is largely those on the right of politics and who are dry. (i.e. Radical free-marketeer, Thatcherite europhobes).

I believe that one of the downsides to the Thatcher revolution, which was a game changer, but in terms of the Conservative Party, it cleared out the old core vote - unfortunately for us, most of the English voters, and many Scots fit into this category. 22 Scottish Conservative MP's under Heath (!!), now pretty much nothing. Our real core vote is either not voting, voting NuLab or Lib Dem. These people are instictive conservatives (small 'c') and are sceptical of change. We currently frighten them. They are:

1. Not particularly keen on European intergration, but worry about withdrawl and see us as very unstable in this area.

2. Are reasonably content to pay lots for an inefficient health service that is a bit ramshackle, because the alternative is provision by a private sector company with other drivers (profit). Who knows where that will go, don't like it (they are conservatives!).

3. Accept that today in modern Britain there are lots of ways to live your life, gay, partner, wife, husband, single etc. etc. and get worried when the Tories imply that they want to roll things back 40 years. Again, harking back to the old days is not really a conservative position.

We must face up to the fact that the electorate are simply not interested in a radical agenda. Virtually every time we open our mouths we reinforce their negative perceptions of us. We are simply not seen as a serious mainstream political party any more because we don't understand what the electorate want from a government. Cameron has lost his lead recenty because he is talking a core vote strategy, hence bingo, no lead any more. Broken Society, Lets hear it for married couples, privatise the NHS, it's all the same stuff that lost us three previous elections.

They will side with us and will vote for us, but only if we agree to moderate our plans to what they feel is acceptable change. Our 'real core vote' left us long ago and is going to vote Labour, and the core vote we DO have is not interested in listening to them. This is the problem we have.

Rant over, I'm talking to the wrong audience I think!

Sally Yorkshire

Couldn't agree with you more,Oberon.What's the chance of the conference just letting him get on with his job? They don't have to like it, just grin and bear it like other parties do with their leader. Gordon's big tent includes alot of people who can't stand him but they keep quiet and mumble stuff about respect in an attempt not to startle the electorate.They just have to realise Dave is alot better for us than GB.
According to Andrew Rawnsley it will only take a slight swing to us to leave GB with a hung Parliament.Watching GB struggle with that whilst his economic chickens come home to roost might be a prospect some on the right might savour.
I remember when TB was elected ,a senior union guy told a reporter that it was better than losing ,but only just. Now look ,if you are in the public sector you are sorted , not so the private.
On a seperate note ,I am I the only one whose stopped buying the Daily Gordon Telegraph?

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