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I recieved one of David Cameron's newspapers lastnight on my way home from work, it was tosh! On the back page there is a "personals" section in which and I quote it says,

"Optimistic male (39) seeks individuals - any age, gender, race, religion, sexuality or salary. To help realise vision of a stronger society."

and

"United Kingdom seeks strong, visionary leader (fully paid-up member of the human race essential) to make life better for all."

Newsnight lastnight and some of the comments in today's Telegraph are also quite worrying.

If this is the sort of thing we have to look forward to over the coming years then God help us!

Cameron has only been leader for less than a day and already I am disturbed by what he has done. Where the hell does the notion that we are "Cameron's conservatives" come from. I thought that we were a political party not a personality cult.

I'm deeply impressed by such rapid and proactive marketing of the Conservative party. It's the sort of thing we need and it demonstrates how capable we are at running things.

Agreed.

And as for those six 'characteristics' ... they are very Blairite, in the sense that where they are not entirely bland in their unarguability (is there really anyone out there who is against 'inner city revival' or 'constructive opposition'?) they are virtually meaningless. E.g. couldn't 'a new approach to politics' mean pretty much anything? And doesn't this 'more women candidates' tell us very little indeed about the how, where, when or why of this whole grossly tokenistic, 'let's choose our candidates based on their genitals, not on their hearts, minds or CVs' project?

I think that, if I don't choke on my own bile before PMQs, I might try to see what odds I can get that DC won't even last as long as poor IDS did. (At least IDS waited a few months before letting the moderisers take over ... that probably bought him a bit of time ... whereas under Portillo they didn't even manage to make it past first base.)

From today's Telegraph:

"If David Cameron won hands down at Blackpool, the best speech yesterday was given by David Davis. His simple point, made with humour and good grace, was that, although he had failed to win, he did at least push the winner to excel. And so he did."

"Paradoxically, however, the intimations that Mr Cameron gave yesterday of his future leadership suggest as much stability as excitement. Reasonably enough, he is keen to come across to voters as a man of decency and good sense, rather than as a ranting obsessive with an ideology instead of a heart. But the impression he gives, therefore, is of a nice man with a winning manner, but no plans for radical reform."

"He hinted strongly that he is more concerned to satisfy the concerns of public sector workers than public sector users, and repeated his meaningless mantra about "sharing the proceeds of growth" between spending increases and tax cuts. It was a skilful, but somewhat uninspiring, start."

So much for "hitting the ground running". This far worse than even I expected. I only hope he does better at PMQs.

Richard, what are you trying to achieve with these negative posts?

Last night we achieved stunning meida coverage and are capitalising on it with a million letters and 300,000 leaflets.

To start carping less than 24hours after Cameron won a decisive victory is more than a little mean spirited dont you think?

Let's get positive!

Then can we have less cringe worthy leaflets?

It's worth noting that the media gloves are now off. Jonathan Freedland does quite a hatchet job in The Guardian (mainly by asserting that Cameron supports all the policies from the last manifesto that Guardian readers won't like).

Oh, and why those six feeble characteristics? Why not his six points for action, which are at least more of interest to people than the exact number of women MPs.

"Then can we have less cringe worthy leaflets?"

How to successfully change the Party brand. The Hellyer test. If it makes James cringe, then it's working.

"How to successfully change the Party brand. The Michael test. If it makes Michael gush, then it's not going to impress sensible people."

Fixed that for you.

James, how long before Maurice Saatchi produces the 'CRINGE-GUSH TEST' pamphlet?

It's worth noting that the media gloves are now off. Jonathan Freedland does quite a hatchet job in The Guardian (mainly by asserting that Cameron supports all the policies from the last manifesto that Guardian readers won't like).

It's interesting that Michael doesn't comment on James's main point, though, isn't it?

In the weeks and months to come, we're all going to discover why the Guardian & Co gave Cameron such a cosy time in the run-up to his election. It isn't because they reckon he's a lovely, cuddly, modernising leftie-liberal just like they are - it's because they know that, ultimately, in many ways he's an easier target than Davis would have been.

A friend of mine - a Mancunian socialist factory-worker whose father was a miner - emailed me about this last night. Unfortunately the extact terms he used would, rightly, be banned by Tim from this site. So I paraphrase: 'Your lot used to have posh [leaders], and then you had not-very-posh [leaders], and now you have a super-posh [leader] leading you again - why is that supposed to be any better?'

Somehow, I don't think that rhetoric about a lot of ex-investment-banker women MPs with full-time nannies, public-school-boy ethnic MPs who live at smart addresses, and nice-career-in-media-thanks gay MPs would have clarified matters much for my friend, either. He's a socialist - he isn't going to vote for a Conservative, no matter what, despite the fact that the NHS has let his father down, and welfare state has done nothing to support him throughout a long and really tragic illness.

I only mention this as a cautionary tale about the limits of being 'inclusive' - it is very easy to come across as a patronising, err, 'leader'.


I havent seen the leaflet myself. BUt heres my views on the six ooints.

1) Women2Wins got a lot of influence on this Party. Im worried about it. Because its going to be given a prominent space in the Party, something radical is going to happen, which doesnt bode well with me.

2) How are we going to revive the Inner cities? He didnt really give much of an indication as to his intentions during the campaign.

3) What is modern Britain? Again going back to point 1, discrimination based on race, gender, age or otherwise isnt fair.

4) The new approach being not to Oppose the Government? Good to see the new Leader of the Opposition is planning on doing his job!

5) So thats the extension of point 4 then...why make it two separate points...whats the difference?

6) Nothing more than an aspiration. Punch and Judy Politics is a fact of life and to say you'll do different is ridiculous. Give him 6 months and he'll be doing punch and Judy Politics. The only way you can push hard is by doing it.

The 6 points dont sound very encouraging, but like others have said, it is very impressive that they've started a PR campaign already. Has anyone noticed on Conservatives.com the changed beliefs section, it reads more like an apology for conservative principles rather than anything that could inspire people to join the party.

Fingers crossed on PMQs today.

Has anyone noticed that the party website has changed remarkably in style... I might visit it more often now!!

Yes I did notice. Its the light blue hue of Cameron's campaign site. He needs to start tightening up the langage though. As we've all said during the campaign, when we look at the detail of Cameron's campaign and his policies, cracks appear. He has to start working on it.

"Where the hell does the notion that we are "Cameron's Conservatives" come from. I thought that we were a political party not a personality cult."

Good point. Those concerned with the centralisation of the party and a power grab by those in charge should take note. Conservatives should remind Cameron it's their party, not his party.

There seems a lot of unnecessary bile on here. I haven't seen the "newspaper", but I thought those jokey "personal " ads sounded quite amusing. I like things being done in a light-hearted way whenever possible. At last the party has a leader who is setting about getting elected in the way I have always thought was the right way - building up a humorous rapport with the general public, as a foundation for whatever might have to be said in stronger terms later. This is really why so many people voted for DC - they see a very intelligent, humorous chap, who will build up "friendship" and trust with the public. The Tory Party hasn't had anyone who could do this for a very long time.

There seems a lot of unnecessary bile on here. I haven't seen the "newspaper", but I thought those jokey "personal " ads sounded quite amusing. I like things being done in a light-hearted way whenever possible. At last the party has a leader who is setting about getting elected in the way I have always thought was the right way - building up a humorous rapport with the general public, as a foundation for whatever might have to be said in stronger terms later. This is really why so many people voted for DC - they see a very intelligent, humorous chap, who will build up "friendship" and trust with the public. The Tory Party hasn't had anyone who could do this for a very long time.

Not one of Freedland's better pieces. In fact George W.Bush has been a social liberal and very high spender, far less fiscally conservative than 'liberal' Clinton, his only 'conservatism' has been 'neo-conservatism' which isn't really that conservative at all.

And if Cameron's such a 'right winger' what about having more women MPs and abandoning any belief that people can spend their own money better than the state can? Aren't abilities and commitment more important than sex? By what conceivable definition is Cameron even conservative on the economy? (See Heffer in today's (Weds) Telegraph).

And what if the Tory cause is actually dead, like the Daily Express, a ghost brand worth selling but not worth marketing, whose consumers will all soon be in the grave?

When he turns the party more like the Liberal Democrats annd New Labour to get more votes, why should anyone bother to vote for him, since his government would be identical to the other two? And why would a New labour or Liberal Democrat supporter vote Tory under any circumstances? Yet the North-East refrendumn shows that there is a an anti-government majority vote available, which is more conservative than the other two parties on key issues, provided that the Tory Party isn't the main opposition force.


"There seems a lot of unnecessary bile on here"

I'm afraid I have to agree. Modern politics is about communicating. If people aren't listening, there's no point even opening your mouth. DC has got people listening, after almost a DECADE of them being deaf to us. This is praiseworthy, so at least appreciate the communication strategy, please!

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