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Perhaps he's subdued as hes not looking forward to getting rid of his Jag.

I saw a picture yesterday (BBCi / Telegraph?) showing the Jag parked in a barn - perhaps Ming and Jag have agreed a trial separation, loking to making up after he leaves the leadership.

In a country with an Established Church, Tapsell's remark was profoundly unconservative. He should be ashamed of himself.

Is Tapsell likely to retire at the end this Parliament? Must be nearly 80 now.

In a country with an Established Church, Tapsell's remark was profoundly unconservative. He should be ashamed of himself.

Rubbish. It was extremely funny. It was also the only question which floored Blair.

Blair looked a bit like a schizophrenic when he answered the question. First the jokey laughing off then suddenly Mr Angry appeared.

I didn't see PMQs this week but Cameron must have done well as the BBCs Nick Assinder hasn't put it down as a total victory for Blair for a change.

So flooring Blair, whatever the insult to the national religion, is conservative now, is it?

O tempora! O mores!

Blair's policies on every moral issue I can think of are in direct contradiction to Christianity and he tried to use public religious events such as Princess Diana's and the Queen Mother's funerals for his own political ends. The only person who has insulted the national religion is Blair himself.

Burkean,how did Tapsell insult the national religion?I'd thought he'd only insulted Blair.

Missed PMQs again, woke up after they had finished for the second week in a row. What was Cameron like?

I reckon Sir Peter is hanging on to be Father of the House, it would have been his had he not lost his seat in 1964.

Well at least you're awake in the afternoons Rob.When I was at University in the '80's there was a chap who was continually having to borrow money as there were no ATMs on campus and he was never awake when the banks were open!Those were the days.....

all you stay in beds can hear PMQs on BBC Radio 5 listen again.

I thought Cameron was good, not great but a good line on Sir Nigel - but Blair seemed a bit off his game, familiar not answering but spouting statistics. Almost got the feeling he agreed with main point about how how he's directed so much of our money at NHS but still wards closing?

Malcolm,

Tapsell ridiculed the practice of prayer, one of the glories of the Church of England and one of the most important ways of putting faith into practice. If any man can (and should) pray for guidance, the Prime Minister can as well, without being laughed at for doing so. Tapsell insulted every prayerful Christian by going for the cheap laugh. He's contributing to the secularization of this Christian nation. That's not a conservative stance in my book.

Wasnt it the Conseravtives that voted against the religious hatred law that would amongst other things amde certain religious jokes illegal?

But enough of that- I think there are other issues that Blair needs to be pulled up on.

Being a conservative but not a Christian (or a believer in any religion) I am concerned when people with political power mix politics and religion. Political decisions should be rational and based on evidence, not on someone's religious beliefs.

Apart from fighting Wednesbury in a byelection in 1957 all Sir Peter Tapsell's career has been in the East Midlands in Nottingham West, Horncastle, Lindsey East, and then Louth and Horncastle. Great character, fine Constituency MP. Just turned 76 and fit as a fiddle last I heard.

Shame about the break. Would have been father of the house I presume.

Nice to see Cameron mention Africa, just a shame he hasn't mentioned it much before. When is Darfur ever mentioned these days? DC couldn't go 5 minutes without mentioning it during the leadership campaign. Can't this blog and it's Editor put pressure on the leadership to do more about the situation in Sudan and the genocide there?

DC was actually a lot weaker than DD in the specifics on Darfur. All DC suggested was that it should be formally termed a genocide. Davis had the necessary details about the need to replace the AU peacekeeping force with the UN, the possibility of NATO providing logisitical and training support and enforcing a no-fly zone, and the pressure that needs to be applied on Khartoum.

I entirely agree with you RobC, Religion and Politics should not mix, to suggest that Conservative = Christian is utterly incorrect.

Perhaps it's time fr DD and DC to have a joint press conference and statement on the subject of Darfur.

I asked my GP this morning what he thought of Sir Nigel. Reply who is he anyway? I said I had understood he used to run a Mint factory. Says it all really. I only go to talk shop and get a salve for the rheumatics. Nothing the matter with me, and I'd like it to stay like that, if folks like the soon to Lord Nigel of Nether Bottom and his ilk are in charge now. I had retired by the time he took the hot seat, and our health authority was in the black then.

johnC, thanks for pointing that out, my memory is hazy when it comes to the specifics of the leadership campaign. DD's proposals seem sensible to me (and I'm sure the majority of people who are disgusted by the images coming out of Sudan). Why can't DC provide leadership on this issue, which would also serve his interests of making the Conservatives more compassionate to 3rd World issues? The people of Darfur need Britain to act. If the Govt or the Archbishop of Canterbury will not put pressure on the international community then we must.

Does one have to be conservative to be a Conservative?

I think Ming must have been subdued because he's had a busy time of it just lately and it's only natural he needs a bit of a rest. Why, things have got so on top of him he's forgotten to give David Laws a job.

(so far as I can find out).

He's probably also heard Nick Clegg on the Radio, as I did for the first time today. I almost fell asleep at the wheel. Far from being any sort of a threat he seems to fit right into the sleepy world of the LD snoozathon. Very disappointing if you're a LimpDem voter but quite a relief for those like me who had read what a great prospect he was.

"Perhaps it's time fr DD and DC to have a joint press conference and statement on the subject of Darfur."

It might be an idea for William Hague, Liam Fox and Andrew Mitchell to tag along as well. Just a thought.

"Why, things have got so on top of him he's forgotten to give David Laws a job."

David Laws has retained the position of LD Work and Pensions Spokesperson. See here!

On something completely different, have a look at this:

http://progcon.org/blog/permalink.asp?id=72

.David Laws has retained the position of LD Work and Pensions Spokesperson.

so Emperor Ming's not the only doddery one around here!

It's just I couldn't see it being mentioned anywhere like the Lib Dem website or the BBC. Wishful thinking that he is so close to defecting he'd been left out of the (LOL) "shadow" cabinet.

my thoughts on Clegg though are soundly based on primary research (my own ears) and it's made me feel that whatever job he does after the next election it shouldn't involve public speaking.

"My thoughts on Clegg though are soundly based on primary research (my own ears) and it's made me feel that whatever job he does after the next election it shouldn't involve public speaking."

I agree - I too was duped by all the hype coming from the Catholic plotter and the ramping of Clegg by his allies in the media.

"On something completely different, have a look at this: http://progcon.org/blog/permalink.asp?id=72"

That is both surprising and disappointing. Two questions though: why is Chad's site still plastered with images and links supporting the Conservatives? will his Coolservative ad box still be raising money for the Conservatives?

"That is both surprising and disappointing. Two questions though: why is Chad's site still plastered with images and links supporting the Conservatives? will his Coolservative ad box still be raising money for the Conservatives?" - Daniel Vince-Archer

He hasn't had a chance to remove them yet?

"On something completely different, have a look at this: http://progcon.org/blog/permalink.asp?id=72"

That was unexpected.

"Thanks and regards"...hehehe. Polite to the end! Well, thats quite something. I thought I would be the first off this site to do that...damn!

"On something completely different, have a look at this: http://progcon.org/blog/permalink.asp?id=72"

Rob - that wasn't really unexpected at all.

Chad Noble's arrogance has lead him to attempt to establish an opposition party before. He claims to have been a Conservative supporter. That is some way to show it!

I'm quite prepared to help ensure that any candidate that his "Internationalist" party stands loses their deposit in a parliamentary election, or is soundly defeated in local government polls by a Conservative. I just wish we didn't have to - what a waste of time, effort and money that could be spent fighting Labour.

Thanks, Chad!

I'm very sorry too about Chads decision.I met him recently in the Question Time audience and he seemed a very decent and principled chap.
I have some sympathy with the points he makes (particularly the Alist)but feel that resigning now is the wrong decision.Surely he should have waited at least until the conclusion of the policy reviews in 2007 where it will be clearer as to the direction of our party.
His decision to form an opposition party is bound to fail and is therefore very foolish.

I seem to remember another Party which had trouble with chads and they went on to win two elections in a row.

I agree Malcolm, I think Chad is being a bit silly to leave after just three months. As someone who sat through two years of Hague's lurch into populist politics, I'd have given it a little longer and at least until we have some policies to look at.

"Internationalist"? Surely forming a right-wing party that sounds similar to the title of a socialist anthem isn't the best of ideas.

I suppose he hopes that his actions might persuade the leadership to abolish their A List plan. Sadly I don't think he will succeed. The leadership are so set on having "representative" candidates that they believe bypassing local constituencies is a price worth paying. Ends justifying the means etc. Hopefully if constituency members also resign en masse they might change their minds.

"He claims to have been a Conservative supporter."

Hi Richard,

Holding conservative values is not the same as being a member of the Tory Party. I wish it was, but like the millions of people who stopped voting Tory, it is not the same and the two seem to be drifting further apart.

As you will see from my profile here, my guiding, core principle is one of "no preference, no prejudice".

However much I want a conservative government, I simply cannot be part of a process that deliberately fosters prejudice. which will back-fire leading to sub-standard candidates.

I can't tell you how much I wish the leadership would see sense and see how misplaced their judgement is on even entertaining the thought of "positive discrimination".

This will not create a more representative party, it will create a mixed bag of substandard candidates.

I want the best Conservatives picked democratically by local communities, not some centralisation control-freakery from CCO that delivers the exact opposite to the "trust local communities" pledge members are expect to vote on in 'Built To Last'.

I will always be a conservative, and if the party would remain true to its pledge to withdraw from the epp and would end its flirtation with positive discrimination then you can bet I'll be back fighting for a party that represents my conservative values, not rides roughshod over them.

I didn't expect opposition to prejudice to be deemed so provocative but I did expect the commendable pledge to trust local communities to really mean what it says, especially when we are expected to vote on it.

But Chad, there are more constructive ways to fight against the imposition of the priority list than withdrawing from the party and actively seeking to hinder its electoral performance.

Surely by seeking to take votes off the Conservatives with your Internationalist candidates, you are increasing the chances of an even worse outcome, namely an MP from the Labour Party?

Would it not have been more productive, for example, to remain within the Conservative Party and organise a members' petition against the priority list?

>>>>"Internationalist"? Surely forming a right-wing party that sounds similar to the title of a socialist anthem isn't the best of ideas.<<<<
The only people I can recall calling themselves Internationalists were the people who organised to go and fight on the Communist side in the Spanish Civil War.

There are worse names though - Veritas for example which was no more likely to catch on as a name than Consignia did.

Hi Daniel,

No, that is not the strategy.

Look what happened when the Labour machine tried to impose its unwanted candidate on the London Mayoral election.

Ken was ejected from the party, but the local electorate stood up to the party and democracy prevailed, Ken won, and was soon welcomed back, not out of love, but because it worked for both sides.

Ken showed how local communities can effectively stand up to a centrally imposed party candidate. The strategy is likely to succeed as it places real trust in local communities. Let the people, not the party or associations decide the right person to stand to represent them. Let real localism flourish, not just presentational lip-service.

ONLY in those constituencies where the party imposes an "A-List" candidate against local wishes, I encourage "Blue Kens" to stand up for democracy and will help them to do so.

By declaring this in advance, the party can avoid disaster. This way the party will know that it alone will be the author of vote splitting. If they trust local communities to pick the right candidate for that community then there will be no problem, however, if they ignore the text of the "localism" pledge and pursue a centralised imposition of party favourites on local communities then they face a revolt, and as you note, a damaging, UKIP like vote split.

It is time for the "Blue Kens" to stand up for local communities and time for the party to abandon prejudice based on some misplaced idea of "positive discrimination".

Hi Daniel,

I should have noted, that the reason I can't remain within the party and fight in the manner you suggest is that Cameron's strategy of forcing us to vote on his "Built to last" agenda this autumn has forced my hand.

We only voted on his last platform in December, with a single specific pledge to leave the EPP. People have noted that I should hang around and wait for the policy reviews, but the party is asking us to vote and give Cameron his "mandate" before those groups report back.

They want approval before policy, ie we will have no room to complain when the meat is added to the bones because they will keep referring back to the "built to last" vote and how it was vote in back a large margin etc.

How can we vote in this way when there is no sign of delivery on the pledge from the last vote, and there is no clear sign of policy direction?

It is a charade, of which localism and the positive discrimination was the worst, and I felt that voting 'no' was not enough. Simply being part of the charade was unexceptable to me.

um, unacceptable. Sorry :-)

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