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I think a lot of us will agree with Anderson here. We need some grit and to stop treating the Government with kid gloves. Politics is a serious business and we need to start stepping up instead of dropping the balls. The Conservatives have a golden opportunity to drive a stake through the heart of the Government and I think its reluctant due to having Brown in charge. Why should we be worried? The Blairites wont be happy to see their idol go and they will kick up a stink. There will be a split in the government. What is Cameron scared of?

Cameron is right about making the Tories an anti-racist party WRONG about supporting homosexualists and other such elements.

This needs to be a party of family values an decent behaviour, something the young Tory Muslims I am proud to work with know only too well.

There are too many cliques in the Tory Party. They need to be purged.

[email protected]

What on Earth are you on about? What is a 'homosexualist'? Too many cliques? Would you rather have one mind, one idea, one party? Sounds a bit commie to me?

What most people don't seem to realise that a party needs to have internal discussion and dialogue. The day I blithely agree with everything the party says, will be the day I lost my marbles.

As to the point in hand, DC has been a little fluffy on most things so far, but we are still waiting for the reports from the policy groups, and I think there will be little real output in the near future. It will be another year before firm policy is settled.

"It will be another year before firm policy is settled".

No doubt Tim @ 09.00 will be proved correct but if nothing more solid emerges in the interim, we are going to lose a large number of would-be tory voters who would agree wholeheartedly with Bruce Anderson's comments.
There is absolutely no need to put people off like this; as I have suggested several times, surely the policy chairmen could give interim reports to the conference in the autumn to remind people that policy is in the making and that it does include immigration (John Reid is stealing our thunder now), law and order, tax etc.

I am a big supporter of Cameron and I am very pleased at his progress but I too feel now is the time for a little more bite. We don't need to rush to policy yet but he must be more confident in setting out a tory vision for the future and speaking up on foreign affairs. This weekend's Israel bashing comments have infuritated me however we should be offering Israel our full support not pandering to rampant anti-americanism by Israeli proxy.

The most important job task that still needs our leaders attention however is reforming the party structure to make it a modern effective campaigning force. We need modern Northern City Association's and by-election taskforces to attack as hard as the Lib Dems do. We are still too complacent at fighting elections and too disorganised.

Michael at 08:31 has clearly been spending too long in the com pany of those who don't value liberal democracy or otherwise he would retract his rather rude comment about 'homesexualists'. The last thing a modern compassionate conservative party needs is more teachings inspired by scripture (muslim or otherwise).

This is an important issue. Cameron has succeeded in phase one - people not only listen to him but they seem to like him (which encourages them to listen to him). I have thought for some time that he could capitalise on this credibility by selling some conservative policies on, say, tax and public sector reform in a measured, credible way - which would contrast with the more aggressive way that such policies and principles may have been sold to the electorate in the past.

The Home Secretaries announcement today on Immigration is what David Cameron should have been saying weeks ago. Reid won the backing of Immigration Watch on this morning's Today programme.

This is ineptitude of the first order. Anderson is right about Maude and Letwin. Maud lost the battle on A Lists and the bypassing of Constituency Associations well and truly and as a good democrat he has brought it in without a vote (Very Stalinistic). Letwin is to politics what Enid Blyton is to fairy tales! He should be put in a sealed room and forgotten.

Real Policies that articulate the real anger out here in the real world else Davie Baby will be ousted. (Old Bores prediction!)

Mind you with the Sunday Telegraph article yesterday and Anderson today perhaps there is a little bit of whispering going on behind the scenes. We should be told!

Homosexuality is condemned by the Bible and the Koran. I have no time for atheists and the like who support anti-family behaviour. The Nazi Party was stuffed with these people.

When I was Vice-Chair of my association we had a Ward officer who was an appalling effeminate drunk. I was advised to "keep an eye on him" by a senior policeman who was a member of my lodge.

I did my best, but of course he was arrested one night with another man in a toilet. It could have been predicted!

Luckily I was able to pull strings behind the scenes to keep the good name of the party out of the press.

The Labour Party and the Liberal Party have always been stuffed with them. It was Labour who made it legal - not us.

You are entitled to your opinion but personally I would never support one of these people.

What exactly does Anderson mean by "harder edge" policy ??

So far Cameron has carved out successfully an image of a Conservative leader that doesn't repel swing voters and has to some degree cast out the image of the "nasty party". I have a worrying feeling that "harder edge" = "nasty party".

Cameron is wisely playing the long game, There will be no election until 2009/10 and thus he has plenty of time to frame the Tories Party and its policies in a voter friendly context. Having said that a flavour of interesting policies to tempt us would be nice, else one's opponennt are likely to make them up for you.

Michael @ 8.31am .."homosexualist".

As a heterosexualist I welcome the homo of the species into the community of mankind. This is 2006 not 1806 and fortunately this country is not a theocracy !

Michael @ 9.44am.

Are you for real ??

If you are living your life through biblical tenets perhaps you would advise us how much you received when you sold any of your children into slavery. Did you take part in the stoning of farmers for crop crimes. Tell us about your coat of many colours !

I'd also remind you that the Nazi's murdered homosexuals in the concerntration camps. It's clear you like to crimilize homosexuality again. Tell us how long Alan Duncan would spend in prison for his "crime" or perhaps you'd prefer a more final solution.

Michael is such a ridiculous parody of a right wing nutcase, that he is probably employed by either Labour or the LibDems to come on this site and see how many Conservatives he can get to agree with his headbanging ideas.

Don't rise to the bait!

Unreal stuff from Michael. Can't believe people like that still exist.

Bruce Anderson is spot on in this analysis. David Cameron will not be taken seriously unless he adds a bit of edge to his announcements. Whatever the merits of hug a hoodie, it was spun in an awful way. People who's lives are being ruined by the problem of crime need reassurement. Time David Cameron gave it.

It's possible that the post by Michael is a spoof, if not then it is woefully ignorant.
There have always been homosexuals actively involved with the Conservative party, many at the highest level, too numerous to mention. The sexual offences act of 1967 was privately moved, it was not a government bill. The pressure to decriminalise homosexuality had been growing since the Beaulieu/Pitt-Rivers case, that case led to the inclusion of homosexuality into the Wolfenden report 1957. I must say I found all that stuff about lodges/police officers string pulling etc. very disturbing. If Michael is typical of the sort of person who dominates the Conservative Party at local level, Mr Cameron has an impossible job: I wish him well. Oh in case your interested I'm a happily married heterosexual. I think its also fair to point out, if homosexuality had been an exclusively working class practice, it would still be illegal.

Good Morning Lucy.

Sadly I still meet the likes of "Michael" in Tory ranks. Fortunately they are a small and shrinking minority, although highly vocal.

I do feel they need challenging at every opportunity.

Editor
I think Lucy74 has it right - michael exhibits the typical posts of a troll. Homophobic on one thread, anti Jewish on another. Suggest you look at his comments and decide if you want this on ConservativeHome.

Ted @ 10.19.

I'm not sure censoring "Michael" is the answer. It's up to level headed individuals to show what a marginal figure he is.

Thank you Lucy74 and Ted: I have attempted to stop Michael from posting by banning his IP address.

If Bruce ASnderson is saying this then I think DC will take notice.Anderson is a Cameroon outrider and even though he writes for an increasingly ludicrous newspaper I suspect that the Tory high command will listen to his views with respect.
Listened to Cameron on Radio 5 yesterday and I thought he was very good indeed.He solidly defended his line on the Israel/Lebanon conflict and was most skilful when discussing those issues were I don't agree with him such as the A list and the Mayoral candidate.Julian Worricker who can be quite a tough interviewer did not lay a glove on him.

I agree with Bruce Anderson's comments, we need to have a harder edge to be taken seriously.

Good morning to you Jack!

You are of course quite right that these kinds of ideas need challenging at every opportunity. I too meet people like that still but tend to find that they are implacably opposed to any new ideas and are just so angry all the time!

What worries me is that there will be as many in agreement with Michael as appalled by his views.

But of course, he should not be censored; he has as much right to free speech as anyone else.

"DC has been a little fluffy on most things" [Tim]

That qualifies for the most absurd understatement of the year!

Caneron is a busted flush. He's "fluffy" through and through. The public treat him as a joke!

A 5% lead when our armed forces are being pushed beyond the limit and are under-equipped! A 5% lead when the debt mountain is crahing about our heads !! A 5% lead when hospitals with spare capacity are being made to turn away patients ?

A 5% lead when immigration and law and order are out of control? A 5% lead when Prescott's successor is proposing to concrete over much of rural Britain? A 5% lead when every minister is incmmpetent? A 5% lead when the Islamic jihad draws nearer to US ? A 5% lead when taxes including council tax go through the roof? A 5% lead when Gordon Brown uses a rigged inflatiuon index ?

WHAT has Cameron said about ANY of this ? Damn all. "FLUFFY" - I hope you're joking!

Editor @ 1026am.

It is of course your call on banning "Michael" and I'm unaware of his previous postings, so you may well have more cause than I'm aware of.

However may I suggest than banning him only serves to give him greater credence than he deserves and might appear that the site is "frit" of his views.

Perhaps the best arguement is the simplest. ConservativeHome doesn't act as like the Labour Party Conference/Wolfgang henchman. Free speech is too important to make "Michael" a minor internet martyr.

Accordingly and despite my highly critical take on Michael, might I ask you to reconsider unless there are considerations I am unaware of.

Christina

You might wish to have a look at the Conservatives website to see what Cameron and his shadow cabinet are saying about all of these issues.

But I reiterate that the party is undergoing a period of evidence gathering and policy study so that it can come up with coherent policy that a. will actually solve many of these problems and b. make the party electable.

Perhaps you would prefer that we just launch into rash policy making in response to headlines.

Unfortunately, I don't see that getting us into power and actually in a position to do anything about these problems.

I think Michael is a wind-up, so good for Ed in banning him.

As for DC's harder-edge, the sooner we get it the better. But I'm not holding my breath.

Except of course the public don't treat him as a joke Christina.All the problems that you outline existed in 2005 and we still fought a poor campaign under Michael Howard and got stuffed. I have a feeling reading your endless criticism of the party that there is no one we could choose as leader that would satisfy you and still give us the remotest chance of victory.

Matt Johnson @ 09:13 - Cameron "must be more confident in setting out a tory vision for the future". Does he have one, in fact is there one at all, beyond a vision of the Tories winning a general election and forming a government? I'm not even sure that Cameron wants the UK to continue to exist. I'm not sure whether he accepts that Britons have any greater entitlement in the UK than foreigners. I'm not sure whether he believes that we should govern ourselves, or be governed from Brussels. I'm not sure whether he wants a unified society, or assumes that the rich will live in gated communities safe from the rabble. What is his vision?

This is my first posting here after an initially very favourable view of this site.

Please tell me though, on a democratic site, why should it be necessary to ban anybody unless he is being unnecessarily abusive?

Can't we have a civilised argument with these people?

Cameron has been essential to the Tory Party's recovery.

The question is, will he carry the party to victory, or has he gone to far creating a different kind of imbalance? If this is true, it is still good news for the party in the long run, but maybe not so for Cameron himself.

Either way, Cameron was the right choice to begin the long process of recovery, but I can help but think he personally may be the Tory 'Kinnock' with the next leader promising balance between the 'old' approach and the 'new'.

I banned Michael because I suspect he is a troll but he was also clearly off subject. He can contact me and we can discuss reinstatement if he can promise to address the subject of the thread.

Malcolm - "All the problems that you outline existed in 2005" UNTRUE! Not one of them did, AND the Labour party was not in disarray AND Howard won more votes for us in England than Labour could muster. This man Cameron is WET and never says anything hard-edged at all. The cartoonists lampoon him; the satire shows mock him {Lucy - Did you not see the Blair-Cameron echo sketch at the end of the prime time show last week "Time Trumpet" Thursday 10pm BBC2]

Without tax cuts the country will disappear down the plug-hole. without stopping immigration - ditto. By backing Hizbollah =[by attacking Israel] the jihad gets closer to Britain. Israel is fighting OUR war.

Cameron goes to a rear echelon Afghan post and says how wonderful the troops are [OK with that!] but doesn't spot the shortage of helicopters, the desperate lack of infantry and the inadwequate protection our men have. So he's contributing to their deaths

Read the Tory website.?? It's like watching paint dry. What's up today ?? A "me-too" on Reid's immigration plan and handing out ice-creams to "save the great British holiday" - At least we are spared Letwin rambling on about "Beauty".

Assuming that he wants to carry the party to victory, the question is - why?

Christina good to see you here. We met at an anti-EU meeting in London some years ago. I think you were UKIP then.

I don't agree with you on Israel though. I support Cameron's moderate approach

Well said Denis. Part of the trouble with Cameron is that he and his wife have so much money - as has Osborne - that they don't know how the rest of us live. Cameron has never done a proper job - just an unsuccessful PR bag-carrier.

He " assumes that the rich will live in gated communities safe from the rabble" Spot on!

I cannot stand the man as Malcolm appears to have noticed -Well spotted!. But he's wrong in saying "there is no one we could choose as leader that would satisfy you" Personally I was devastated that Howard gave it up. He was on his way and had his teeth into Blair. He would be making hay now. Failing him I would have been happy with Liam Fox or David Davis. Both have spunk. This emasculated prat has "disaster" written all over him.

Christina

Of course all the problems you outlined existed in 2005! Or do you think that John Prescott's plans, immigration chaos, underfunding of the armed services, and law and order were all being adequately dealt with under Labour until December 2nd 2005?

Bruce Anderson makes an interesting point - which tallies with the one made by Iain Martin in yesterday's Sunday Telegraph - that (surprisingly) too many around DC underestimate his powers of persuasion.

Francis Maude has long relied on his "killer slide" - which shows that voters liked our policies, until they heard that they originated from the Conservative party. They approved of the message, but their mistrust of the messenger got in the way.

The logic of that, surely, is that we needed to find a new messenger. We have done that - DC is much more effective at engaging with people than any of his predecessors since 1997. However, the core elements of the message - the policies that people liked the sound of - should not readily be ditched. We have not yet seen a leading politician, liked and trusted by the public, make the case for meaningful public service reform coupled with tax cuts & simplification.

Looking at the campaigns of 2001 & 2005, and listening to some of our leading members now, it is almost as if the party itself has forgotten how to make that case with credibility and conviction and needs to rediscover it.

There is a growing realisation that Britain has reached the sort of stage it was in the mid-70s, with some difficult political decisions to be made across an arrray of issues. The electorate will be looking for leadership capable of making the right decisions and then ensuring that they are implemented effectively.

Donal Blaney @9:16 had it right. The sadness will be if DC & his advisors don't take the opportunity they they have created.

Christina

A me too on Reids plan...now where do I remember reading it wsn't racist to talk about immigration? NuLab stealing our clothes again. Reid has a habit of doing that - remember the Foot & Mouth epidemic, rubbished calls from Tories to use troopps; a few weeks later taking credit for using the army.

Cameron said on Afghanistan that he was concerned that the troops had the right equipment and a clear mission. Sensibly he didn't try to base his comments on attacking the government but as in PMQs on drawing attention to what could be improved.

We won a few thousand more votes in England than Labour but overall we got about 1% more votes than in 2001 so it wasn't a great victory for dog whistlers - our majority of votes came more from Labour stay at homes or defectors to Lib Dems than anything we did.

Cameron inspires me with zero confidence and the same goes for his pathetic shadow cabinet.

Christina, I'm amazed at you!How could you possibly support David Davis.He was happy to leave our MEP s siting within the federalist EPP grouping and is therefore a traitor and communist etc,etc,etc !
Fox too appears to have supported Cameron quite loyally over the past 9 months so he can't be a 'proper' Conservative either!

I agree with what Anderson has written. Cameron is liked and listened to, and his "presentational skills" give him the opportunity to make conservative arguments without being caricatured as a reactionary. A five point lead in the polls is good, but we can do much better.

That said, there may be good reasons for treading water for the time being. Firstly, the policy review is not yet finished - it's very important that when we do present policies to the electorate, they have a coherent theme and message and work as a policy platform. Secondly, it may not be in our interests to hasten Blair's departure. It is much better that he be brought down from within his own party: hopefully the new / old labour divisions can really be brought to the surface.

If Brown takes office tainted by internal troubles our task will be much easier.

This is 2006 not 1886.

The overwhelming majority of people could not give two hoots about gays and lesbians.

Just look at civil partnerships - did the sky fall in - NO.

You cannot talk about gay and lesbian people if they are some sort of aberration.

Society has moved on - it is no longer an issue.

When I was younger it was an issue becasue it was the 'right' wing thing to be against - but as you grow up and become more mature its really not a big deal.

Gay and lesbians are real people not some political football to kick to try and gain votes. It is also hypocritical as we have many gay and lesbian party members - they just are not vocal - perhaps if they wrapped themselves in a rainbow flag and held a protest march - it would make those dinosaurs wake up and realise that the Conservative party has changed and we are more diverse and tolerant than we have been in the past.

Editor @ 1136am.

At the risk of incuring the wrath of our host, surely suspicion of being a troll shouldn't incur a ban. Further if "Michael" was off topic then a substantial chunk of the comments on the site should be deleted and their authors banned too. Posters such as "Michael" may irritate but if a committment to free speech is to be more than just a casual throw away line then ConservativeHome should be a shining beacon and not a dim light.

It's surely not the best of conservative or Conservative values to casually fetter free speech. May I ask you to reconsider. Thank you.

Howard brought many "absent" Tory voters back. Cameron is losing them. Davis - Yes I regret his EPP attitude but on every other issue he was - and IS - sound. Liam was sound all along and he's just not rocking the boat now.

Cameron gives us nothing to fight for. He is a rich spoiled brat with no experience of real life and whispers sweet nothings.and is liked, as a cuddly teddy bear is liked. He's no guts, no backbone, no vision. And with all the issues I listed WHICH WERE NOT ISSUES IN 2005, but which ARE what the media talk about today, he has nothing to say.

And Ted 1159 "Cameron said on Afghanistan that he was concerned that the troops had the right equipment and a clear mission. Sensibly he didn't try to base his comments on attacking the government"

He ought to have attacked the government uphill and downhill for putting the lives of the best we have at risk and failing to look to our defences. But you won't hear anything robust from Cameron - He's WET.

Some of us are vocal, "UKIP fiend" :-0). Other than the platform pieces, I would like to point out that the only time I mention homosexuality, mine or anyone else's, is when a sad little man like that loser above posts his poison spite all over the web. It would be wonderful, and a sign of maturity, if a slightly higher proportion of the debates about the direction of the party were able to be made without reference to homosexuality. I mean - I know I'm fascinating - just not always getting the point about Cameron's direction vis a vis whether I'm attacted to an XX or an XY?

It's the Editor's call about whether being deliberately offensive to a high proportion of your readership is worthy of a ban. If the loser keeps posting his rubbish then it probably does deserve a banning order, because too many decent Tories care too much about our party's image to let it lie (see all the comments above from non-gay Tories who disagree with his hatred) and so the thread gets filled up with everyone saying, basically "I don't agree with your unpleasant assertions about sexuality" rather than addressing the topic of interest. Were I to be an Editor it would drive me up the wall.

PS what is a "harder-edge"? Is it the same thing as a "harder edge"?

Jack W - what a pompous post. Are you worried about getting banned yourself by any chance?

Why cant CH posters see the "bigger picture" NUlab's time is absolutely littered with the law of unintended concequences, caused by policy making on the hoof. Viz 24 hour drinking=more drink related street crime and domestic violence.
Bringing in new expansive gaming laws will probably herald a lot more bankrupts.
Gordons raid on the pension funds as soon as he got the keys to the treasury, and before he had checked with the best brains in the city, wrecked the pension of possibly millions of people.
Bringing in PFI without much thought sent too many NHS managers running for their architects, and now look at the debt levels.
There are many more. Check Iain Dales Little Red Book of Labour Sleaze for the full picture.
All caused by lack of patience. Lack of taking enough time to think a new policy through. Their good ones were pinched from us. We HAD thought them through. THAT is what the policy groups are doing now.
Tony B will be here until the Nulab conference 2007. He has said as much.
Gordon Brown is a passive aggressive who likes power to come to him. He will sulk, and chew his finger nails down to the quick, but he will not fight.
So for goodness sake, patience folks, perhaps there could be an interim report at Conference, but there again, would Nulabs observers be ready and waiting in the shadows, with tape recorders at the ready, to nab the best bits????Hmmmmm!!

Personally I think homosexuality is something I would prefer not to talk about.

If Graeme and others are of that persuasion that's fine by me as long as they keep it firmly to themselves.

I am not prejudiced against these people. I am just as keen that heterosexuals do not talk openly about their conquests or extra-marital activities.

Yellow Belly @ 1311pm.

Thank you for that thoughtful comment on the maxim of free speech.

I'm sure if I fail to meet some criteria when posting I'll be so advised.

John G

I don't imagine anyone here, straight or gay, has ever talked about their conquests.

I imagine what you mean is that it's perfectly ok to talk about heterosexuality within the boundaries of "polite conversation" as long as no actual conquests as mentioned but that homosexuality should never be mentioned.

Could you please clarify.

Lucy74 - you make me smile and I'm so glad the world contains people like you - but I'm guessing that my happiness isn't going to be increased by hearing John G answer your question :-0)

"The cartoonists lampoon him; the satire shows mock him"

Don't they do that to everyone? Did you never see Spitting Image... Can you believe they had the nerve to mock Maggie, she was obviously no good either... Surely not being mocked or satirised is worse, as that would mean one was irrelevant.

"He was on his way and had his teeth into Blair"

Sorry but the 2005 campaign was an unmitigated disaster concentrating on bogeyman issues without a single shred of optimistic campaigning, we even cancelled a press conference about our education policies to call Blair names.

In the circles in which I move, including my Conservative Association, heterosexuality is - rightly or wrongly - taken for granted.

Graeme seems to be very touchy on the subject.

Jack W

Quote "a troll is someone who comes into an established community such as an online discussion forum, and posts inflammatory, rude, repetitive or offensive messages designed intentionally to annoy or antagonize the existing members or disrupt the flow of discussion, including the personal attack of calling others trolls." I asked the Editor to examine a pattern of postings that suggested such behaviour.

michael has been quite successful in disrupting the flow of discussion - look at how a post on DC's record has been hijacked. Many on this blog have views I do not share and I welcome thier engagement. A troll does not engage but attempts to destoy others discussion.

On the subject of the thread I have supported the strategy of sofeter, less confrontational approaches but we are approaching the conference season and there is a need now to make more solid our appproach and philosophy. The party needs to be less careless on things like A list, London mayor, EVoEL and start on the definition of what a Britain under a Conservative Government would look like.

No more discussion of homosexuality on this thread please.

Personally, I don't want the Conservative Party to "atriculate voter anger"...I want us to articulate voter aspirations and ambitions.

Cameron's speeches on well being and quality of life are actually very in touch with the lives of many.

Developing messages (hard edged or otherwise) as a response to opinion polls, will lead us back down the populist, knee jerk politics which did for Hague and Howard.

Ted @ 1347.

Thank you for your response.

I appreciate your misgivings over "trolls". However within the context of the thread and even to some degree outwith any site worth its measure should be able to repel boarders with some ease.

Additionally I wouldn't now want to clog the thread with the free speech theme.

Editor,

Why don't you set up a thread called "Irrelevant" or something similar, and simply divert all seriously off-thread posts to it - you might even be able to set up an default divert for some contributors. If of course they managed to post on-thread you could over-ride the divert.

I am afraid that, although he says he is posting for the first time today, John G's comments above would qualify him for an automatic divert. You wouldn't be censoring him - his views would still be on-line. But the rest of us could then focus on the subject in hand.

Ultimately David Cameron has to come out with positions and say what he believes, he can't simply stand for what is according to opinion polls the most important matter at a particular time, even Tony Blair from 1994-97 was clearly not just standing on the platform he was for political purposes, he genuinely had decided that the position of the Pacifist Ultra-Radical tendencies of the 1980's were wrong, Neil Kinnock on the other hand was always having to argue against his own instincts and indeed when Michael Foot stood on a platform of keeping Polaris in 1983, it was obvious it was something he didn't believe and had little committment to - the public want someone who has a clear view of the future and has a clear view of what government should do and why, and is determined to puruse their agenda even in the face of bitter opposition and in some cases the public will even prefer such people as leader even where apparently they are more at odds with the other leader who avoids controversy; George W. Bush, Ariel Sharon, Charles De Gaulle, Francois Mitterand, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair both have had some very clear views and pursued them doggedly. Even if you think to people whose regimes may have been questionable, they themselves attracted great support by their steely resolve - even if you take people such as Yasser Arafat, Ayatollah Khomenei, Fidel Castro, Stalin indeed, Robespierre - they all knew what they saw as important to be done and gained supporters (whatever the actual merits of their arguments) by arguing their positions and pushing ahead with them.

This is 2006 not 1886.
Doesn't matter what year it is, so far as changes in social attitudes go they may be hardening up because of increases in numbers of Socially Conservative Muslims, people hold what attitudes they hold, so far as what is extreme goes if you take Iran for example it is socially acceptable for people to switch sex and live their life as someone of the opposite sex, in this country although at an official level it is now accepted it is not generally approved of by most people including many who would be considered socially liberal, this doesn't mean that they are "more extreme" than people in Iran, just that they hold a different view, that's the whole problem with this view that somehow everything is a choice between permitting everything or rejecting everything, ultimately everything has to be looked at seperately on it's merits, simply trying to permit everything that most or a largest group in society might think is OK is not the way a party system works, people and partys hold principles which they advocate - if you want a system that always goes for the majority view then the answer is to decide everything by referenda as the Swiss do.

Simon Chapman, you are extremely rude if I may say so.

I responded to an intemperate post by another member of the forum. The editor has banned all further talk on that subject and in my view very properly too.

I suggest that discourtesy should be ruled out of this forum.

I'll delete all future comments that do not focus on the subject of this post. I'll ponder the idea of a general/ irrelevant posts thread...

Don't they do that to everyone? Did you never see Spitting Image... Can you believe they had the nerve to mock Maggie, she was obviously no good either... Surely not being mocked or satirised is worse, as that would mean one was irrelevant.
George W. Bush apparently loved the mini me satire of him and even did a very good impersonation of it himself, so it's not neccessarily all negative.

The talk of the Iron Lady that actually was started by the Kremlin and taken up by the opposition and the press actually worked in her favour - mostly leaders crave an image of strength and resolve and single mindedness.

Then of course there are these attempts to label Dubya as a sort of gun toting cowboy and actually this image went down very well among many Americans.

Michael f. at 1356 ".I want us to articulate voter aspirations and ambitions."

Voter aspirations are not things like "Beauty" and being nice to a hoodie but clearing yobbo gangs from the estates and making streets safe. They are about young people not being able to get a foot on the housing ladder. They ARE about peace, terrorism and war. They are about proper education. They ARE about not closing hospital admissions because the hospitals have been too successful. They are about immigrants crowding out native Britons from social services. They are about the total failure of the social services themselves and the political correctness with which they are run.

If you won't talk about THESE aspirations but rabbit on about middle-class abstractions then the Tory party is finished.

IMV Christina at 15.49 is absolutely correct; if the Party won't talk about the issues she mentions, then we have a chance to do so on ConHome. Maybe the Party will see them and eventually take some notice.

But until we have thrashed out exactly what is the sensible and productive way to go forward for the country, and un do all the harm Nulab has inflicted, how can we inspire voter confidence?? DC is going along a sensible steady route. What on earth is Christina going to do, when DC is proved right??

AND Nick Ferrari, billed as a prominent potential London mayoral candidate is reported today as saying that Cameron "is letting Blair off the hook". He is "without doubt a charismatic, good-looking leader but what does he actually stand for?"

He dismissed the "hug a hoodie"policy as "downright stupid" and mocked Mr Cameron "for having only a small opinion poll lead over a Labour government in disarray". In the NoW he said "That's playing a team down to 9 men and the goalkeeper's got cramp and you're still stuck with a no-score draw."

Annabel - The Boy Cameron could still win on Labour's failures but that will be no credit to him. My bet is that the Tory vote will be down and Labour's more so.

Christina your problems with the new leadership of the party - conservative that is - seem to be based on envy!

Personally, I don't want the Conservative Party to "atriculate voter anger"...I want us to articulate voter aspirations and ambitions.

Cameron's speeches on well being and quality of life are actually very in touch with the lives of many.
He hasn't said what the purpose of these speeches are, as a politician what he says has to somehow link into policy formulation - in fact on well being it seemed to be relating to businessmen and not to politics at all, is he indicating some kind of action on anything? Some kind of considerations to be made by Conservative frontbenchers, MP's and councillors when deciding on policy issues and either arguing for state action, or state inaction as a means of achieving this. If he simply wants to make an aesthetic statement then what he should say is that he is not making it in connection with politics or government policy but as his personal opinion in another capacity he thinks that he could have a role in.

Ah finally revealed: where Christina gets her facts from, the News of the World.

Completely agree with Annabel - there is absolutely no point in sounding off against Labour unless we actually have something productive and relevant to say.

Anyone can bang on about the country being in a mess - Christina manages to do it every day - but actually coming up with workable and effective solutions takes time and thought.

I really look forward to the policy review process ending of course so that we all have some nice meaty policy to get our teeth into, but until then, I will be patient.

If my memory serves me right, the Sun was one of the few papers which got it right and was against the ERM.

"I must say I found all that stuff about lodges/police officers string pulling etc. very disturbing."

Hence why I also think he's a troll.

Of course Tory spokemen should be sounding off against Labour - and people are now prepared to listen. However they should go beyond highlighting instances of incompetence, which on its own could be seen as negative and cynical, and take the opportunity to expound a positive philosophy, a general view on how things could and should be better. Maybe the government would swipe a few ideas and put them into practice, but if they're good ideas that would be for the good of the country, and it would be the job of the Tory spokesmen to remind the public that they first suggested this X months or Y years ago.

The problem is that there doesn't yet seem to be a coherent philosophy.

Lucy [email protected] 17.50.

Is that News of the World, that you seem to think is so detached from reality, the same News of the World that is largest selling newspaper in the country???

Thought so.

Like it or not, the majority of people subscribe to the views of the News of the World and the S*n. (much as it pains me to talk of that rag after what they printed following Hillsborough)

They promulgate the same opinions basically as the dog whistle views that Howard fought the last election on. It's Maude's killer slide concept, that people like (liked) our policies but not necessarily our party.

Personally I think that is the right diagnosis but I think we are taking the wrong medicine.

We also shouldn't forget Clinton's great aphorism, that it's the economy, stupid. People felt well off in 2001 and as their main asset has rocketed in value they also did so in 2005. We can talk all day about environmentalism, being nice to people, and the like, but until either the wheels fall of Brown's wagon (coming soon) or we have a more attractive economic policy we won't be winning elections.

Presently the worry is that when the economy falters we won't capitalise because we haven't set down in the public's mind our economic policy.

Patsy - "Christina your problems with the new leadership of the party - conservative that is - seem to be based on envy!" What are you on about? What envy ? What is there to envy - apart from his 'loadsamoney'?

Lucy - Don't be silly please. I got those quotes from the Telegraph not the NoW. [In any case it's what Ferrari said] An apology would not be out of place.

And Denis - again - puts it succinctly. There's no philosophy, no beliefs, no deep thought coming from the creep Cameron - just banal platitudes.

Something thats come up this week for me down here was the ElectorAl Administration Act (I try to keep up but theres a lot of stuff coming up). How does everybody feel about 18 year olds standing for your local Council or for your Parliamentary seat? Its now statute.

The relevance is to CF. You could be an MP for over 11 years and still be classed as a youth member... CF needs reform, serious reform. What plans are there to change CF to be more suited to todays youth?

Christina doesn`t like Cameron because he is rich. Wonder if she had the same opinion about Maggie and Dennis! You judge people on the strngth of there character and there opinions not on there background.
Public services are in a bad way not because of immigrants but because we have a government that is simple incompetant in everything it does.
One thing all Consertvatives should be focusing on is the sheer incompetance of the government over the whole range of government policy not talking down the present leader and leadership of the party who who have put the party into a position in just seven short months of having in the opinion of most people with an open mind a good chance of winning the next election.

How does everybody feel about 18 year olds standing for your local Council or for your Parliamentary seat? Its now statute.
I favour the voting age for the main legislature being raised to 21, I think the no taxation without representation argument is bogus, after all children pay VAT on many things and can end up being charged Income Tax even though it is their parents who would handle it for them, actually if there is going to be a 2nd chamber it would make sense to have some kind of representation for children - there might be some seats in the Lords perhaps voted for by age, say 12-20, 21-34, 35-54, 55-74, 75+ or something along those lines. There could even be different minimum ages for voting for different sets of elections, in fact there is no reason why if something affects even those who would normally be considered under voting age if it is something that they could be thought to be able to have relevant thoughts on (and Lord knows probably more than half the adult population would fail that test) maybe they should be allowed to vote in say a referendum on such an issue if one comes up.

Being a local councillor on say a District Council is a lesser role than being an MP, or being a Council Leader, or being Prime Minister. In the US of course there are minimum ages higher than those for voting including 35 for the President although probably even if there weren't such a rule it would still be improbable that anyone much younger than that would get to that position, most likely any teenage MP's\Councillors etc... will be filtered out by the main parties and mostly will be single issue candidates or candidates for fringe parties.

Equally it could be argued that people could be required to meet minimal educational standards before being allowed to be candidates.

Jack Stone at 2011 -"Christina doesn`t like Cameron because he is rich.". Not what I said. One of the many reasons that I don't like Cameron is that he's never done a job in the real world and it doesn't matter to him becaause he's loaded. He has no idea how the rest of the world lives.

I dont think Christina will be satisfied until Cameron is hanging from a lamppost with a cheering crowd around!

The fact is that after several leaders who did not impress the public, Cameron is making a good fist of the leadership. His lead in the polls is also noticeably higher amongst women (Christina excepted).

However, I do agree with Bruce Anderson. Cameron needs to stop mucking about with A lists etc and get on with working out how to consolidate his support on the right whilst reaching out further to non-aligned voters. A few well chosen words on immigration and crime would not go amiss. I profoundly disagree with his reiteration of Hagues statement on Israel /Lebanon!

The fact is that after several leaders who did not impress the public
IDS was removed just as his policy reviews were coming through with carefully considered policies, he took action against elements with BNP links, but no one now will ever know for sure what would have happened had he been leader in 2005, he wouldn't have won but the Conservatives might have done rather better, Michael Howard instead went for a rather tabloid approach reacting to headlines and abandoning most of what had been well thought out new policies.

Several of course actually means 7, this would mean every leader back to Edward Heath, certainly the British public was rightly suspicous of Heath, actually saw him as a possible saviour for a bit and then fell out of favour to the extent of which by February 1974 and after there was really no prospect of the Conservative Party being able to win a General Election with him as leader and if he had been leader in 1979 then Jim Callaghan would have won a comfortable majority, however the public certainly was impressed by Margaret Thatcher and she commanded respect among opponents.

Richard Willis at 2243 "I dont think Christina will be satisfied until Cameron is hanging from a lamppost with a cheering crowd around!"

Nah! That'd be naff. In the stocks please with lots of salmonella eggs. Then all you lovers of the wet spineless gutless flabby unprincipled creep can go give him a hug

Christina! I have to ask. Are you, by any chance at all, a Troll?????

Bruce Anderson is right in so much as its time now to move up a gear. DC has great support from the vast majority of us and voters like the fresher Conservative image but they want to hear more practical stuff. Some comments say we can wait as there are no elections. Wrong. There are important elections in Wales and Scotland in May 2007 and the national picture must mesh with regional efforts. Each election builds on another. Also if we are perceived (wrongly or not) to be too light on policy the image may unfairly stick both to the party and DC.

Matt

Much as I like many aspects of David Cameron his 'project' was absolutely slaughtered on Newsnight last night.

It's not surprising that Tories are reacting against Positive Discrimination. It goes right against the grain.

Most people vote on the merits of the party or the individual. When they don't, sadly, there are those who will vote against ethnic minorities and women on the grounds of prejudice so I haven't the faintest idea where Cameron is coming from on this when he claims it's a votewinner.

Possibly somebody MIGHT say "I'll vote for Tory x because Tory y is a member of an ethnic minority" but - let's face it - it's extremely unlikely.

We're more likely to be confronted by the opposite point of view from Britain's growing racist population.

And the sad fact is, if the racists don't vote for what was - after all - the party of Enoch Powell, we could be scuppered electorally, whether we like it or not.

As so often, Maggie had the right idea on this. Nobody could accuse her of being either a racist or an anti-racist, which is by far the best policy.

It's often said that her remarks about "swampting" cut the ground from under the BNP and the NF. If the Tories fail to cut the ground from under today's BNP and UKIP, which are believed to be working together on this isue we could be sunk.

"BNP and UKIP, which are believed to be working together on this isue we could be sunk."

Oh please not this old chestnut. Believed by whom?

BNP is an authoritarian left wing party hence why it is picking up votes from disgruntled "old" labour supporters.

Every party has its bad apples, but you can't extrapolate their behaviour to make it representative of the party. If that was the case, it would be too easy to highlight all the senior Tories (like councillor Kenneth Leadbetter in June 14 counts of child porn) who have been convicted of paedophile or racist crimes.

"Christina! I have to ask. Are you, by any chance at all, a Troll?????

Posted by: Annabel Herriott"

I don't know what - if anything - Ms Herriott has ever achieved for her country, but I can assert that Christina is a great patriot and Tory activist who has spent many years fighting bravely for this country against the menace of the EU.

For a while she supported the UKIP but soon realised that they were little more than "The BNP in suits"

While I wouldn't go as far in my criticisms of David I must say that many alarm bells are already ringing. I think he may already have run out of steam.

Well Chad I can only repeat what I have heard from a Tory councillor whose brother is a member of UKIP and he is very extreme right wing indeed.

Are you a supporter of UKIP? You write as if you are.

"For a while she supported the UKIP but soon realised that they were little more than "The BNP in suits""

That's such a lazy attack. You'll find that almost all the reactionaries in UKIP (and yes there are lots but not as many as in the Tory Party) are actually ex-Conservative Party members.

With UKIP moving in a libertarian right direction, and with the chairman being the first politicians in any party to embrace "no preference no prejudice", it is becoming the anti-BNP party and the only British political party to pursue real equality, not positive discrimination measures.

Let's be honest, we know all this BNP stuff is intended to damage UKIP's growth, but these individuals you think are "BNP in blazers" are actually "ex Tories in blazers".

Yep, I'm a UKIP member John.

"With UKIP moving in a libertarian right direction, and with the chairman being the first politicians in any party to embrace "no preference no prejudice","

Was this the man who was caught in bed with a foreign prostitute?

That's certainly one way of embracing "no preference no prejudice" (whatever you mean by that)!!!!

Come on John, I think we should be raising the debate above this kind of thing.

I could fill the whole day reading from the Little Blue Book of Tory Sex Offenders and Racists, but I appreciate that Cameron is seeking to change things, even if I don't agree with his solutions.

It's time for small government supporters to raise their game and attack this rise of the state, not each other!

"Was this the man who was caught in bed with a foreign prostitute?"

No. That was not David Campbell Bannerman, who is the Chairman of UKIP.

Boris Johnson, anybody?

John Major? Edwina Currie?

Which is worse, a single man who pays a prostitute for sex, or a married man who commits adultery, and is also Prime Minister?

Tories criticising sex scandals!

Pot

Kettle


Black

BTW, who is it working for Cameron who used to organise orgies?

We are way off subject again.

Annabel - "Christina! I have to ask. Are you, by any chance at all, a Troll?????"
WORSE - I'm a true Conservative and not - as so many here - a neo LibDem - all hot air and refusal to face reality.

Cameron will lead the party to oblivion - unless Blair=Brown make even more SNAFUs There's a vast slug of the 2005 Tory vote that's fed to the back teeth with the man. (Up to 10k of them in Bromley alone)

I don't know who - if anybody - I WILL vote for but it's most unlikely to be Cameron. If it would unseat a Cameroon I could even hold my nose and vote BNP!!


Possibly somebody MIGHT say "I'll vote for Tory x because Tory y is a member of an ethnic minority" but - let's face it - it's extremely unlikely.
There have been suggestions that there have been trends in the Bengali and Pakistani communities to vote more along ethnic lines notably in Bradford especially in Local Elections regardless of actual party label, but obviously it was for someone from their own ethnic grouping and not just from any minority grouping and indeed possibly they may even be less likely to vote for people from other minority groupings (in some cases of course locally they may be in a majority or the largest grouping) because of religious or local political rivalries in the areas of origin of those grouping.

the party of Enoch Powell
He left the party, joined the Ulster Unionist Party and urged people in Mainland Britain to vote Labour.

The language he used in his Rivers of Blood speech certainly harked back to the British Empire and probably sounded far more racist than it probably was, but it was an ill judged speech at best and actually aggravated those divisions that he said he was worried about.

Enoch Powell was not a racist. To suggest he was is simply wrong and is more to do with accepting a left wing bias of history.

He did encourage people to vote labour, but the conservative party of the time had lost all credibility and he was totally disillusioned with the party.

He was a true conservative who tried to move the party towards the reality of free markets and the small state.

His downfall was political judgement, but that does not make him racist.

Who's to say his Rivers of Blood speech wasn't prescient anyway, given the times we live in.

"I don't know who - if anybody - I WILL vote for but it's most unlikely to be Cameron. If it would unseat a Cameroon I could even hold my nose and vote BNP!!"

Bye then, Christina. I don't think that any intelligent, politically-aware person who considers the BNP to be a viable alternative to the Conservatives really belongs in our party anyway.

Christina is only joking. Some people have no sense of humour at all.

Of course she's not going to vote for the racist BNP.

However, I'm willing to bet that she has already achieved more for the party and her country than Daniel Vince-Archer (whoever he may be) will achieve in his entire life.

I really think Christina shold be banned from this site. You can disagree with anyone but I don`t believe the sort of language used against David Cameron is justified or plain right. I don`t think Tony Blair should be refered to in such hateful, spiteful manner let alone the leader of our own party.
Anyone who could even contemplate voting for the BNP should be ashamed of themselves. With there incitement and encouragement of racial hatred they have been indiectly responsible for innocent people being attacked and in some cases murdered on our streets. When we talk about the BNP we are not talking about a serious electoral threat but we are talking about a serious law and order threat and I don`t think anyone at all should be giving any encouragement to the BNP.

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