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James Maskell

1, 3, 6, 7, 9 could easily apply to Cameron in my opinion.

James Burdett

Mr Maskell - Cheer up it is after all Christmas, the season of goodwill to ALL men! This is a perspicuous and timely deconstruction of Mr Brown's 6 months.

TFA Tory

Didn't David Cameron promise an end to Punch & Judy politics when he was elected Leader? This article is a classic example of such pointless name calling. We have heard it all before. Yawn!!!

Where is the alternative Conservative vision that we can use to persuade and excite swing voters? If we offered such vision, we would be up around 45% in the polls and Labour would be below 30%.

It is time for the Shadow Cabinet to improve their performance. Abandoning paid outside interests would be a start. Poor performers should be sent to backbenches to allow new hungry MPs to take the fight to Labour.

Big Phil

TFA Tory - explain to me how you can "take the fight to Labour" without criticising the Government? To win an election we're going to need to highlight every single failure of Gordon Brown's government and articulate a Conservative vision. Theresa has recently written about rape policy, equal pay policy (she is Shadow Minister for Women), and European laws policy (as Shadow Leader of the House). Are they not positive policies?

I love these amateur strategists who post on Conservative Home. Who needs Steve Hilton and Andy Coulson when you have TFA Tory?

Edison Smith

James Maskell - Cameron an 'absolute disaster'?? Come off it now.

Jennifer Wells

Excellent piece Theresa. Thank you.

James Burdett

TFA Tory displays the same schizophrenic relationship with politics that most of the public share. If the opposition is constructive then it is accused of being weak, if it opposes the government and highlights the failings it is accused of meanness and 'punch and judy' is referenced. The public like the idea of the boot being put into governments more than the reality of when opposition boot meets government backside. There is nothing wrong with pointing out in stark terms that this government is useless, it is what will create the space and the incentive for the public to seek an alternative.

TFA Tory

Big Phil wrote "Theresa has recently written about rape policy, equal pay policy (she is Shadow Minister for Women), and European laws policy (as Shadow Leader of the House). Are they not positive policies?"

They are not the issues that swing voters raise on the doorstep. They talk about crime, immigration, transport, health, education and red tape. Swing voters on the doorstep want to know what we will do for them. Cameron was right when he said that Punch and Judy politics turn them off.

The voters know that the Government is failing. The polls show that they don't believe that the Conservatives can do better. Tackling that perception must be the first task of CCHQ.

Have learnt nothing from the last 10 years?

Big Phil

Well in that case, TFA Tory, we'd only need a shadow cabinet of five people.

But you failed to answer my question - how can we "take the fight to Labour" without criticising the Government?

TFA Tory

This is Benedict Brogan's view on his Daily Mail blog

"We've just had the last PMQs of the year, and Dave gave Mr Brown a Christmas present of sorts by using most of his questions to reprise his "Gordon's a disaster" shtick. Now, he does it well. Mr Cameron can nail a punchline like nobody else in that arena. But to my ear it sounded a little bit stale, like a Christmas repeat: comfortable, familiar, but not enough to overcome the festive lethargy. It allowed Mr Brown to escape in a flurry of indignation about the Tory leader's refusal to ask about serious issues...They next meet on January 9, and perhaps by then Mr Cameron will have found something new to ask about."

Spot on!

TFA Tory

Big Phil, it seems that we only have around five of the Shadow Cabinet working at any one time. So many have paid outside interests. Others like Peter Ainsworth, Oliver Letwin and David Willetts appear to have gone on strike.

James Burdett may accuse me of being schizophrenic but he at least acknowledges that I am representing the views of the voters accurately. They want vision and policies that will clearly improve the lives of them and their families. Negative campaigning appeals to the core vote but not swing voters. Ben Brogan agrees as the above quote shows.

Posters here know how bad the government is. We are committed activists and deserve better than a lazy puff piece that preaches to the choir.

James Burdett

TFA Tory - You seem to be a master at reading what you want to see rather than what is actually written. Christmas doesn't come without the loss of a few turkeys, if the Conservative party wants an electoral Christmas it needs to slaughter the current bunch of turkeys. It is fast coming to the point at which everyone needs to work out whether they they want this cretinous mob to continue in office. If they don't then they are going to have to put up with sound of industrial scale plucking from the Conservatives as they seek to shred the reputation of this government. I'll extend the Christmas metaphor no further but suffice it to say that no party can win when the other side is not seen unfavourably, that is the point of keeping the heat on Labour. To that end Theresa's article is a cracker!

Jane Cadet

Well done Theresa. Brown is like an elderly relative who comes to stay, takes over most of the house, demands to be fed, drinks all your best wine and is too busy to talk to you. And then they win the lottery and finally leave, and you find they've sold your house. Still, what can you expect from a classic case of introverted narcissism?

David Sergeant

I particularly like 1 & 8. It seems to me that too many "establishment" types (the Tory party is full of them) can't get their heads round new labour and Brown. Some of Brown's "sound bites" are actually brought out as policies and get taken seriously when they are only headline grabbing attempts at one upmanship against the Tories.

E.g. His incompetence and anti-British military lead directly to the Nimrod crash but "the establishment" just let the point sink in technicalities. Also, the sending back of the four Russian "diplomats" was probably a stunt to make Brown look internationally tough.

I suspect Brown is dead by now. What needs to be done is to relate individual foulups to what you would expect from a Labour government. E.g. I cannot understand why the recent international education statistics havn't been made something of, they are a disater that makes Black Wednesday only a little less of good news than the Argentinian surrender.

Patsy Sergeant

I quite agree with you Big Phil @ 11.40am, and I am quite sure TFA Tory @ 12.34pm that Theresa May will get to crime, immigration, transport, health, education and red tape in due course, she could hardly tackle them all in one thread!!


The news wires seem to be hinting at the sounds of sharpening stones being wielded in the backrooms of nuLab. When you look at polls that would result in Straw and Millburn losing their seats it is no real surprise.


Typing as somone in the marginal seat world, the Conservative policies are hitting home.

In the poorer sections, a focus on the loan sharks that prey on the poor, particularly at this time of year is hitting home

In the commuter belt both around London and in the North, a focus on the p*ss poor performance of the rail operators and network rail is gaining support for us

All be need is to promise to revise the anti smoking legislation to take us over 50%...

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