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Mr Cameron described London's Mayor as an "ageing far left politician"

So where is the Conservative alternative?


More meaningless fuzz from "Red Dave". Am I entirely alone with wondering about a man who is happy to preach but not practice? I have not seen too many Comprehensive educated men or women in Dave's inner circle, let alone from ethnic minorities.


Thats Red Ken then is it? The Red Ken who is now calling for an inquiry into the 'foreign' bid for the Stock Exchange, so concerned is he that such an asset to London should be damaged in any way: how things have changed.

Winchester whisperer

"The fact is that it's not enough to open the door to ethnic minorities. If people look in and a see an all-white room they are less likely to hang around."

How does this equate with the fact that many of these people chose to live in our (majority white)country?


Ethnic monitoring? And just how will CCHQ gather that information? What are they going to do when Councillors, Candidates and Chairmen simply refuse to gather and pass on the information?

If you offer internships to a group of people solely on ethnic data they will be hampered by the impressionthat they are not the best candidates as they will not have been subject to normal competitive processes. anon (9:14) makes a very valid point. Where are the ordinary non public school educated people in the inner circle?

DC needs to recognise that it is not he who wins elections but the local candidates and associations on the ground. The associations select the best candidates to WIN the elections- they do not select to lose. If an ethnic minority is best placed to win that seat, that candidate is selected as the best candidate. In my experience if you are good enough, you are good enough.

Sally Roberts

I don't think we should be going around describing people as "ageing" - it isn't helpful and sends out the wrong message. HOWEVER - Ken is most certainly "far left" and we should be broadcasting that fact loudly and clearly!

Dave B

This "ethnic monitoring" business makes it sound as if Cameron has given in to political correctness rather than attempting to make the argument for meritocracy.

Sean Fear

"According to the BBC Mr Cameron described London's Mayor as an "ageing far left politician"

As opposed to a youthful left wing politician.


I believe it is wrong to offer internships just on the basis of colour or ethnicity. What happened to equality of opportunity. This is discrimination - calling it "positive action" is merely giving it a euphemism.


Mary Ann Sieghart makes similar points as DC in today's Times 2


Tam Large

Ethnic monitoring is racism - pure and undiluted. The last society to record and monitor race was - yes, the nazis... Dividing society by emphasising the diferences - instead of uniting, by ignoring those differences and treating each person as an individual.

True non-racism is colour-blind. Now we look at a person and officialdom asks us to be aware of the racial and ethnic category he/she represents: non-racism just sees the person, and his/her abilities and personal attributes. Race and colour are irrelevant to all matters but those which are imagined by racists. Let us outgrown this pigeon-hole view of society, and grow up into a truly non-racial, non-separational, culture.

Once more Dave is taking us into old-fashioned quasi-socialist modes of thought.


Sorry Sally, what do you mean by 'far left'. Once upon a time it was used to describe a member of the Labour Party who was sympathetic to the Soviet Union and its economic model. Ken Livingstone would hardly fit that description. In fact many of the social attitudes being embraced by David Cameron you can trace back to the old GLC of the eighties. Ethnic minority programmes, gay rights etc, in fact many of DC's speeches come straight from the KL song book of that period. KL's congestion charge, initially opposed by the Conservative Party, is now embraced as part of DC's green agenda. If KL is 'far left' DC isn't far behind.


If anyone wants to look at the broader PC picture I suggest an excellent new Civitas pamphlet "We're nearly all victims now".

Cameron has given in to the PC lobby and why should internships be offered to people because of their race?

What about internships for white people from poor backgrounds, they are at the back of queue, which just gives succour to the BNP.

E L Marberry

DC should (again) be congratulated for taking this issue seriously. I am sure there will be the usual flood of "I'm not a racist but..." comments, but if Wandsworth council can run ethnic monitoring of its employees, why shouldn't the voluntary Party follow its lead?

On the mayor, we desperately need a new candidate who will fight on issues of competence. Reapeating Norris's mistake of turning it into a referendum on the Congestion Charge will only help Ken and embarrass the rest of the party by questioning our environmental credentials.


Offering 20 Internships to 'young Asian and Black people' is discrimination - age and race.


As opposed to young and nicely left like Dave?

michael mcgough

Positive discrimination is wrong .There should be no preference or prejudice of any kind if you are serious about social justice.

Sean Fear

Wandsworth council is compelled by law to conduct ethnic monitoring - and other forms of affirmative action.

The Conservative Party isn't.

David, quite right. The views expressed by the Conservative Party leadership on social and cultural issues are virtually indistinguishable from those of Ken Livingstone and his colleagues c.1982. Horace Cutler must be turning in his grave.


So DC can be ageist to Ken, that's OK - but then on the other hand wants to monitor ethnicity. D'oh David!

Martin Hoscik

I look forward to Cameron ensuring the next slate of London Assembly members contains more members of BME communities that the current one.

He might then have something to lecture Livingstone on.

Michael McGowan

Good to see the cultural Marxist wing of the Conservative Party is in full voice under the title "E.L. Marberry", who with a name like that sounds like Captian Mainwaring's brother-in-law. Marberry's "contribution" of course includes the standard Guardianista smear that those who prefer a level playing field, to a politically correct caste system, are "racist".

Denis Cooper

"... if Wandsworth council can run ethnic monitoring of its employees, why shouldn't the voluntary Party follow its lead?"

More to the point, why should it?

Oh yes, because otherwise "... we have no way of remedying the situation."

I don't object so much to this kind of analysis, although I do think that all these additional hidden costs should be shown on the debit side of the accounts when working out the supposed benefits of immigration and the resultant multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural society.

However I do object to the guilt-laden presumption that every such analysis will show that there is a situation which needs to be "remedied".


The simple truth is that to win a mayoral election in London requires a well known public figure; the usual suspects from the Westminster Village need not apply.

Sadly Ken got in and continues to get in, despite his disastrous management of London's transport and policing, on the "I've been 'ard done by squire" sympathy vote and it will take an exceptional candidate to remove him.

Justin Hinchcliffe

I can't wait for us to select a candidate to take on this monster. What are we waiting for?

jeff randall

Memo to the inherited wealth/Tory boys from Eton and St. Paul's set: You don't attack racism by making ageist comments like this.

It steps on your message and reveals for all the world that your opinions on multiculturalism are driven by personal ambition rather than any kind of commitment.


... embarrass the rest of the party by questioning our environmental credentials."

An inconvenient truth for E.L. Marberry.

Michael Ehioze-Ediae

Mr Cameron,

Thank you for your well meaning offer. But, no thanks.

Politics is not for the weak.If a room full of white people scares us, then we should not be in politics in the first place.


Horace Cutler would be turning in his grave, if Lady Porter hadn't sold it off.
Sorry Sean couldn't resist it!


Amusing how the millionaire Trustafarian Dave launches such a strong attack on Re Ken (an admittedly hopeless Mayor of London). If he is so bad, where is the queue of Conservative candidates to take him on?

Jonathan Mackie

All about defining people according to their skin colour not the content of the character.

Not my kind of conservatism at all.


"The fact is that it's not enough to open the door to ethnic minorities... An unlocked door is not the same as a genuine invitation to come in."

Shouldn't the courage to knock on the door or give it a push be a basic requirement!! If they don't have the fortitude to step up to the plate (to use a baseball analogy) then they are not the type of people we would want representing the party. Cameron seems to be not only unlocking the door to minorities, but stuffing them through it.

If anyone is interested in reading about positive discrimination I highly recommend "Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study" by Thomas Sowell (who is black by the way, so it's not a rant from a middle-aged white guy)


"The fact is that it's not enough to open the door to ethnic minorities. If people look in and a see an all-white room they are less likely to hang around. An unlocked door is not the same as a genuine invitation to come in."

I'd prefer it if he'd advocate judging people by the content of their character rather than by their sex or the colour of their skin. I suppose though that his brand of traditionalist paternalist Conservatism is really quite comfortable with preferencing upper-middle-class black, Asian and female people, and discriminating against working-class whites. It's arguably not a betrayal of principles to the same extent as New Labour's embrace of the same. Of course it does give the lie to Cameron's claim to be a "liberal" Conservative, other than in the American socialist-to-cultural-Marxist sense of 'liberal'.

Michael McGowan

David Cameron's comments about Ken Livingstone as reported on the BBC made a lot of sense to me. Livingstone is the ultimate cultural Marxist who has systematically exploited the politics of grievance to promote social division, balkanisation and strife. His contempt for liberal values is total: hence his longstanding alliances with thugs and bigots from Gerry Adams to the Islamofascists he is now so keen to court.


Well said, Michael E-E. I hope your comment reaches Cameron's ears.


Fairly sensible speech by Cameron.

We need to attack what Livingstone has done, rather than the man himself.

Martin Hoscik


You're waiting for a winner and on current form you'll all be waiting a very long time.

Cameron attacking Livingstone isn't going to make any difference to how Londoners vote.

Matt Davis

I take my hat off to David Cameron for his remarks regarding Ken Livingstone's approach to racism. It is to my mind the best thing that he has ever said and at last a Tory has landed a punch that counts on the old marxist warhorse.I am not at all sure that I agree with the intention to institute "racial monitoring" into the party and am very uneasy indeed as to where that will lead but at least Cameron said what needed to be said about Loony Livingstone.


He said that Ken Livingstone held "a narrative about race that sees people from ethnic minorities as potential agents of revolutionary change. Instead, the Conservative leader continued, they should be seen as "full and equal citizens who would rather build a better life for themselves and their families than man the barricades at the behest of middle class white fantasists"."

Yes, I agree with Matt Davis above that this was a good point and one well worth making, even though he did muddy the waters with his talk of 'monitoring' & 'remedying'.


Isn't it a bit rich for Dave to accuse Livingstone to be ageing since Ken's about 15-20 years younger than the average Conservative Party member?


Seem to remember that when Livingstone, called for talks with Gerry Adams, and co. he was roundly attacked by John Major's government, who then had to admit, they where already having discussions with Adams in secret.

TFA Tory

I agree with Gunther and wish to add an important point.

The article states that Mr Cameron announces that the party is recruiting 20 Asian and black interns. Interns are generally unpaid. So white staff will be paid whilst ethnic staff will not.

The Commission for Racial Equality will surely take up this issue as the plan appears to be genuinely racist.

Sean Fear

Cameron's remarks about Livingstone were fine. It's the fact that he then went on to endorse the sort of policies pioneered by Livingstone that's the problem.

George Hinton

Quota's quota's quota's, whatever happened to meritocracy.
Ethnic people and monitoring, that's a bit rich. With one breath he states that Trevor Phillips' assertion, that multi-culturism is dead and wrong and all aspire to the British way is right and Red Ken wrong and the usual leftie revisionista. Then he states he wants to monitor ethnic minorities, who do not exist, as all are British, and will establish internships, as a means of positive discrimination.
I'm sorry David, you cannot have it both ways. Either we are all British and equal with the same opportunities, or NuLab are running a society that is full of discrimination and apartheid. Which then begs the question, what are doing about that?
Trevor Phillips is of course quite right, that multi-culturism is a failure and very very divisive in today's society, as it does not help people to adapt and assimilate to British ways; in fact it enforces a ghettoisation of incomers, and allows radicalism to flourish.
On that basis David needs to re-address his plans and make them all inclusive, why no scheme for people from sink estates or the lower classes or the disadvantaged.
Back to the drawing board Cameron and 3/10 for this project. Must try harder.

Ali T

I would like to say a hearty well-done to E L Marberry for his/her recent comments regarding this whole Ken Livingstone story.

I don’t understand why so many contributors to this site are getting worked up over this latest effort to modernise our party. We have been monitoring who votes for us for years so that we can very accurately identify groups who we should be targeting either because they are likely to become members or those who we need to win their support, so what is the difference.

I was using this type of focused data myself at weekend to recruit new members so why should we not extend this monitoring to those who work for our party? Perhaps we might identify those who are more willing to volunteer for the party or even find a gap we need to plug?

In 1979 we won the under 25s vote and many of those people stayed with us for years to come. They gave our party a fantastic pool of volunteers who worked their socks off in election after election and the party owes them a debt of gratitude.

At the last general election we were faced with the horrendous situation that we came in third with the under 25s. Just have a look at ‘smell the coffee’ to see the scale of the problem we face. If the current trend in the under 25s continue we will eventually be where the Lib Dems are now in third place and I for one don’t want that.

As a youngish white male I see these latest changes by DC as a way of engaging not only with those from the country’s BME communities, whose votes we need, but also a way of engaging with more young people. We should be applauding this not trotting out the same old tired arguments about this being more PC nonsense.

It really dose seems to me that those who are complaining about this latest move are the same group of individuals who got so animated over the moves to attract more women in the party.

Come on guys this is 2006 not 1956!

E L Marberry

Intesting that the response to my point about the congestion charge was for someone to, in essence, claim that global warming does not exist. I expect the creationists will be on soon attacking DC for believing in evolution.

No wonder he has to work so hard at changing the party's image.


Quota's quota's quota's, whatever happened to meritocracy.

Meritocracy is "OlCon". "NuCon" is reverse discrimination.

John Hustings

Horrible. I don't understand why this article is headed as an attack on Ken Livingstone when it is actually an endorsement of everything he represents.

I opened the page hoping to be pleasantly surprised with reading that (for once) I might agree with something David Cameron had said.

I should know better by now.

Michael McGowan

Ali T, you really are predictable aren't you? If you don't understand that meritocracy requires people to be colour and race-blind, not obsessed with arbitrary quotas and crude classifications built around class and gender, then you really should join the Labour Party. The Conservative Party's real problem is that while Dave and his courtiers obsess about race and gender, their Party has effectively ceased to be a national party. It is running a poor third in the Midlands and the north of England. When I grew up in the Midlands in the seventies, it was running Labour a close second.

Marberry also misses the point about the congestion charge: it is nothing more than a tax grab - a pilot scheme in effect
for the tax grab being planned by both the Tories and Labour using the environment as flag of convenience.
Even Ken Livingstone doesn't claim that the congestion charge makes one iota of difference to global warming.


In 1979 we won the under 25s vote and many of those people stayed with us for years to come. They gave our party a fantastic pool of volunteers who worked their socks off in election after election and the party owes them a debt of gratitude. ...AliT

In '79 you won my vote and kept it until John Major voted himself and other MPs a hefty pension or pay increase. In those days the leader of the party was from somewhat ordinary origins and understood my needs. Now you seem to be back to the Etonians. DC will need to work hard to get my vote and I'd love to see TB/GB out.


In order to have a meritocracy you have to have a level playing field. In this country it is a sad fact the playing field is not level for people of many ethnic minorities, they have often faced discrimination for their whole lives which makes them feel they are not treated equally.

In common with many conservatives I am uncomfortable about positive discrimination. However, I trust that this will be a short rebalancing of the situation after which we can have a true meritocracy where white, black, female, male, gay, straight and bisexual people can be treated, and judged equally.

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