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Sadly I am forced to agree with Fraser Nelson. David Cameron might lead us to victory at the next general election but it won't be a victory for conservatism.

Personally I think it is far far too early to say what Cameronism will be like.People seem to be over interpreting his words depending on the perception of these individuals already hold.
My hope is that Cameron has some core beliefs and is not just another 'soundbite 'politician like Blair or Clinton who would say absolutely anything to get elected.

A heartfelt thank you to Rod Dreher. I am not alone. I am a cruchy conservative!

An excellent article from D'Ancona too. I would beg the Cameron-sceptics to engage with this accurate depiction of the new thinking, not the ludicrous socialist straw man that keeps cropping up in the comments section of this blog.

Amazing..Cameronism exist just days into his leadership!

Lets be honest, Thatcherism changed over her time as PM, without a doubt, I'm betting Cameron will show his true conservative colouyr swell into his time as PM.

"Lets be honest, Thatcherism changed over her time as PM, without a doubt, I'm betting Cameron will show his true conservative colouyr swell into his time as PM."

Thatcherism became *clearer*. It didn't metamorphisise from one thing to another. There is a big difference there.

This is a painful phase we probably have to go through - let's hope we will feel better when it's over.

Cameron is a marketing man and as we know the key stages of any sales process are Attention, Interest, Desire and Action (AIDA)

Well he has certainly got 'Attention' and this has produced massive 'Interest'within the party and Media. Whether this will lead to a 'Desire' for Conservative Government and then 'Action' in voting for us will depend on the detail of 'Cameronism' and the specific policy positions taken.

So far it has all been about tactical withdrawal from long held positions (secured by blood sweat & tears by the foot soldiers) - hopefully these sacrifices will be followed by a new unstoppable advance with all guns blazing !!

Whatever 'Cameronism' turns out to be, it needs to be clear and coherent in time for the May Elections

Thatcherism "became clearer".

Forgive me if i missed it, has there been any discussion on here of Bruce Anderson's article a couple of days ago?

Ed: another "thank you" for the Rod Dreher article. A very helpful contribution to the debate on what it means to be a "true conservative".

Fraser Nelson seems to be distorting the facts in order to support his argument. He accuses Oliver Letwin of proposing to "whack" the rich. Actually Rachel Sylvester's article reported Letwin as saying that the party would never "clobber the rich". The aim should be to empower those who have least to advance - not in the sense of trying to do down those with most.

But, hey, why spoil a good argument with anything as inconvenient as the facts!

Thanks to Rod Dreher's article - which I read over my honey-soaked, hand-prepared muesli, bought last Saturday at the farmer's market - I know I'm a crunchy Conservative now too. And I thought I was just cuddly? Oh dear ...

PS Hear, hear to Peter Franklin.

"Fraser Nelson seems to be distorting the facts in order to support his argument. He accuses Oliver Letwin of proposing to "whack" the rich."

I think you're distorting the facts in order to support your argument. Fraser Nelson's article doesn't accuse Letwin of wanting to "whack" the rich, but points out that this is the end result of policies aimed at "equality".

See a clear copy of the Tory ad by accessing this...


Oliver Letwyn and Miss Whiplash. What a combo! Fraser Nelson has graphic imagination.

Surely this could be put to good use - designing dungeons as tourist attractions maybe? Politics needs bringing to life like this - marvellous for fantasists! whacking the rich. what else? seducing the poor. Cameron boy sex toys for metrosexuals. We could rival Alistair Campbell's efforts in Forum magazine.

"If you're interested in a battle of political parties Mr Cameron has made your life more interesting but the battle for ideas has not been helped by the new Tory leader's early tactics, Mr Nelson suggests".

Talk is cheap, Mr Nelson - especially when you're just another journo sitting on the sidelines and not a participant in hand-to-hand political combat.

"Talk is cheap, Mr Nelson - especially when you're just another journo sitting on the sidelines and not a participant in hand-to-hand political combat."

What do you want him to do? Run for Prime Minister?

No, but I do think journos develop a one-dimension of what political involvement means - there's a big jump between sitting in the crusty old bar for journos up near the roof in Westminster, and campaigning for your party in marginal seats.

Indeed there is Alexander, and campaigning for your party in marginal seat becomes much less important if it ceases to represent the ideas you believe in.

Rod Dreher's was an excellent article, & I would own to at least some crunchy characteristics as well.

But, as our Editor would say, it's cunchy AND conservative. And at the moment, how does the balance lie?

There's been a lot about the last month to applaud, and some things which make me distinctly uneasy. DC's commitment to social justice and poverty-fighting are really welcome. Tied in with his recognition of the value of marriage in sustaining families and communities, there is a genuine possibility that we could come up with some serious conservative solutions to the brokenness caused by generations of failed social policy. I would like to see Geldof feed into our domestic agenda on the family, as well as Africa.

Our party's tone on imigration has sometimes left me feeling a little queasy (in 2001 I did not use imigration in my personal election literature), and I am glad that is to be reviewed.

On the other side of the scales, the A list is a dispiritingly reactionary and centralising measure. Whilst I am delighted by the emphasis on the environment and conservation, we need an authentically conservative set of policies - the worry at the moment is that we are buying into Kyoto just as its shortcomings, long-predicted by many conservatives, are becoming clear even to the left. We also need to tie environment policy to energy.

The key to it is that conservatives need have no fear about accepting that sometimes (very far from always) the left asks the right questions, and identifies them before we do. Poverty and the environment are two examples of that. But just because the left may occasionally get the questions right, it doesn't follow that their answers are right as well. We can agree on the issues, but disagree on the solutions.

But to answer the Editor's question about where the "conservative" part of "And theory conservatism" is at the moment, we need to keep a sense of context and perspective. This is still very early days - DC has been in post less than a month, and he has done a huge amount in that time. If he wants to create a concrete perception that the party has changed, he needs to do that early. It's no use identifying which old policies he intends to keep first, and then producing new ones.

It must be this way round - new ideas and new thinking first, whilst he is still attracting media and public attention. There will be time for AND conservatism in due course.

I may of course be proved wrong - there may be no conservatism to follow. But as well as being a considerable disappointment, that would be a massive surprise. Assuming that we are seeing the early days of a long-term strategy, the only thing that makes any strategic sense at all is to emphasise first the ways in which you are going to break with the past, not the ways in which you are going to maintain continuity. Continuity can, and must, come later.

I don't think it becomes less important, James - I think it just makes the task of selling your policy ideas within the party more worthwhile.

Mr Cameron said recently that he does not like "isms" as he is a pragmatist. Is Conservatism out too?

Hes a follower of Conservat. Havent you heard about it. Its like Conservatism but its just short of the full thing.

Is pragmatism an ism?

Just heard Geoffrey Whjeatcroft on The world tonight just discussing Cameron's rejection of '-isms' (including capitalism). GW came up with the neat line that all the '-isms' are now '-wasms'.

Andrew Lansley came after GW. Asked what was the defining feature of DC's conservatism the Shadow Health Secretary said something like it was about acting against Britain's growing inqualities of life expectancy and ensuring the wealthy and privileged helped society's poorest.

If you hear "consensus politics" used, the wets are definitely back.

Oh dear! Did Mr Cameron really study PPE at Oxford? The first duty of any government is not "economic stability" but defence. In 1940, Winston Churchill was not worried about economic stability !!
A country that cannot defend itself has no moral right to exist.
That is the law of history from the beginning.

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