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David Cameron's leadership so far:

Equality: the drive to make the parliamentary party more representative

Liberty: opposition to the government's 'ineffective authoritarianism'

and now... Fraternity

Equality, Liberty, Fraternity - now where have I heard that before?

Do not be so cynical, Comrade Vince-Archevsky.

I'm surprised to hear DC promoting "fraternity". Doesn't it exclude women?

Denis, you have revealed yourself to be a Zinovievite-Bukharinite Rightist counter-revolutionary and splitter.

Mr K is too good for Mr C. He must not become his intellectual apologist.

I'm really sorry but the red text from Editor made me gasp out loud. A fresh, big, interesting intellectual development in Tory thinking ... and the editorial line is about the supposed contradiction with the policy for candidate selection?! Clearly this issue matters more to you than anything else but (1) it most certainly does not to everyone (isn't it all about the EU?), (2) I am not a subscriber to this oratorical game, where we pretend that if you can find some supposed contradiction you have made the entire philosophy collapse ... this is politics, not mathematics, remember? ... and (3) in any case, even if I get into your game, how does requiring an Open Primary contradict localism? Localism is about empowering communities, not about upholding the power of a self-selected group to determine the name of the Conservative candidate.

A less Candidate Selection obsessed viewpoint might be -- it's easy to talk about the beauty of localism; are we ready to do it? (a pejorative synonym for "localism", and the phrase that will be used by the left, is "postcode lottery").

Yours from the split-split post-Trotskyite revolutionary wing,
Archerski 16.

I don't have many problems with the general concept, but I do have a problem with the language ... not just "fraternity", but "civil society". That's the kind of sociological jargon beloved by the EU - if Margot Wallström visits a city or region of the Union she'll usually have a meeeting with members of "local civil society".


But when was the last time you heard somebody down the pub talking about "civil society"? Try talking about "civil society" on most British doorsteps, and you'd be met with a blank stare of incomprehension.

I also don't know how there can really be any kind of society, when people from other societies are free to come here in unlimited numbers, take up residence and even vote in local elections. How can it possibly be right that maybe 10% of the electorate in Reading has arrived from Poland in the last two years?

We don't need to "define ourselves with reference to the other", as some on the left like to say, but we do need boundaries because otherwise there can only be one "society", and everybody in the world is a member.

I have stated on here my criticisms of Francis and his teenage scribblers at CCHQ over their campaign inadequacies.

But the comments from conHome above are inappropriate. Things that are said by the party's spokesmen in the wider media should be directed to the target voters i.e. people who are not Tory voters. ConHome's process of analysing this into how it matches with the present core Tory voters view is like asking French speakers what they think of some thing said in English and then complaining that it makes little sense.

This article illustrates the point that Mike Lib Dem Smithson makes in political betting today "2. ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie. The site, run by Iain Duncan Smith’s former aide, has developed into a vehicle for internal opposition to the leadership. Non-Tory visitors are constantly amused by the delight that appears when things go wrong for Cameron. Mongomerie is rapidly taking the role that Arthur Scargill adopted in the early days of NuLab. Thus you could feel for him on Tuesday when that ICM 9% Tory lead had to be reported. If this had been any other party there would have been jubilation- instead Montgomerie’s headline was about the Lib Dem surge. Eh?"

Tim Scargill?


Thanks for posting that - I certainly found it really interesting. Since I frequent this site regularly, I think it is an excellent place to get Conservative news and opinion. BUT I know that many of my Conservative friends are becoming increasingly frustrated by the growing Editorial spin put on every story. I never remember this spin being so strong. It seems that Conservativehome is slowly moving from being a place where Conservative news is reported to a series of opinion pieces by Tim Montgomerie. Of course, Mr Montgomerie is a bright man and there is nothing wrong with this per se. But it does make those of us who broadly agree with the leadership feel very cold. What I mean is that for some of us Conservativehome is feeling much less of a home than it used to be.

I continue to think that there is a place for an editorially neutral Conservative website - where we can discuss Conservative news, and read our opinion pieces (separate from news). I really doubt that Conservativehome is providing this any more. It is (as I said in a post the other day) starting to feel like a pressure group for a particular brand of Conservatism - the Christian, social justice wing associated with IDS.

Again, I stress it is the Editor's right to run whatever website he sees fit - but does anyone else miss the less editorially biased Conservativehome? And wish that a Conservative website could be just a teeny bit more positive about things like a 9% point opinion poll lead?!?!

The headline actually, HF, was "LibDem surge lifts 40% Tories to election-winning lead." "40% Tories". "Election-winning lead". Not too unfair I think.

This is only a personal blog. It is biased but I've been open about my biases and always allowed free discussion - not least on YourPlatform. I've never pretended that ConservativeHome is not opinionated. It began as an opponent of Michael Howard's efforts to take the vote away from party members. I declared for Liam Fox's agenda during the first round of last year's leadership election. The site has always stood for 'the politics of and' - blending core conservative values on tax and crime and Europe with breadth messages on social and international justice.

Last week I welcomed David Cameron's new emphasis on homeland security, Damian Green's immigration message and the housing policy. This week I've criticised the changes to candidate selection and the party's Kyoto environmentalism but welcomed the focus on Africa.

I try and say it as I see it but yes - it's only my opinion. If you want the party line go to conservatives.com! More and more people are coming to ConservativeHome, however. August, for example, has already been a record month and there's still six days left for more traffic...

Where's the equality and liberty?
A complete load of rot.
Why won't they stick to the simple issues that attract people's eye, rather than all this claptrap. It only serves to alienate the target audience, along with the faithful.
Try adopting a few leaves from Thatcher.

Which 'comments from Conhome are inappropiate' HF? Are you referring to the editorial ine or the posters comments?

"For the left individuals are largely connected with one another through the state... For the right, in contrast, individuals are largely joined together by society."
You what? Anyway, I thought we'd now entered the brave new era of third-way, free-market, consensus-democracy political transvestism where left and right are for losers and the snazzy neoleebral soundbite is king. Or did poor old Edna dream the last 10 years?

Er George, I think it was DVA who mentioned Equality and Liberty in his post above!
BTW What KISS are you refering to?


Thanks for engaging. I think part of the concern is that with many other sites it is crystal clear that they represent the opinion of the author. For example, on Iain Dale's blog nobody could be in any doubt that this is his opinion given it's name. But the very name Conservativehome definitely gives the impression that the opinions expressed are somehow more official and less the view of one person. Journalists sometimes talk about Consrvativehome as if it is an official site and I wouldn't be surprised if a member of the public stumbled on this site and thought the same. This is partly a credit to the very professional appearance of the site. Perhaps it might help if you placed a note somewhere on the front page which conveyed the message that this site is not endorsed by the Conservatives and does not represent official Conservative party policy.

To all those who have a similar hatred for the bastardisation of the English language - please excuse my misuse of the apostrophe above! ;-)

Denis how can a member of the Polly Toynbee Progressive Conservative Splitter group like yourself attack Mr Vince-Archer :-)

I am also concerned that every pronouncement of philosophy is looked at quite so sceptically. ConservativeHome is Tim's site and editorially he has every right to post his views. CHome can be proud of its defence of the individual members right to vote for the leadership and understandably remains concerned by moves to make party less democratic.

Sorry Tim but does everything have to be viewed through prism of of tax, immigration & now candidate selection and every move DC makes be judged against the US & Australian view of conservatism? Your editorial above is welcoming to the thoughts but very sceptical about its application.

DC challenged us to vote for change, we did so now lets be less defensive about every proposal. Some could be improved and we have in CHome a great vehicle for getting consensus on the improvements necessary but its possible to do that constructively and I feel in the last few months CHome has become less constructive and more obstuctive.

I look forward to that meeting at Conference btw, changetowin, that you proposed yesterday... but how will I know who you are...!?

I'll give some thought to a subheading on the frontpage that makes it clear that ConsHome is proudly independent of the Conservative Party.

HF, there are plenty of other Conservative sites keen to receive your custom (linked to this site).

ConHome would be dull without an editorial line as would any blog/newspaper. If you write letters against editorial line to newspapers, they are rarely used. Here you get on straightaway with your comment - open house 24 hrs a day to criticise and debate as much as you like. What a moaner you are.

Edna Sweetlove, a tendency to political cross-dressing does not necessarily tell you what 'sex' Cameron's politics are. People buy the Cameron product because of the packaging, but you need to read up Compassionate Conservatism (look in rt hand column) to get the thinking behind the state vs society theme, or read Built To Last for some real policy details.

It's like the small print in the insurance policy. No one bothers if the salesmen seems charming enough or went to a good school. They only find out what they bought later on when the house burns down.

It is interesting that the Editor shows the gap between Danny Kruiger's excellent philosophy and David Cameron's disappointing policy agenda and what do the Cameroons on this site do?


Denis, the term "civil society" is widely used in conservative circles (albeit more amongst the think tanks and intellectuals). Even the traditionalist Conservative Roger Scruton (no friend of the EU) used it in his book The Meaning of Conservatism.

Of course it isn't the sort of language we'd use on the doorstep but there's nothing wrong with having a discussion about our ideology and outlook in various political journals.

"This is only a personal blog. It is biased but I've been open about my biases and always allowed free discussion - not least on YourPlatform....."

The problem with this is that the very (commendable) openness of discussion here has drawn in a larger audience, and made it more than a personal thing :-)

I suppose it depends on how you see the site developing. Is it to remain "your blog", or a true mass grassroots voice? I don't see how you can possibly do both.

"Er George, I think it was DVA who mentioned Equality and Liberty in his post above!
BTW What KISS are you refering to?"

And I was only joking...

I think George meant 'keep it simple, stupid'.

To respond to a few of the replies.

My issue with the article above is the way that a conceptual piece from Danny Kruger about fraternity and Conservatism is used to run the following attack from Conhome's writer.

"But are David Cameron's instincts really localist? There wasn't much localism on show earlier this week when the ability of local Conservative parties to choose their own candidates was sacrificed in order to meet CCHQ's centralised target for more women MPs."

That comment could have been written by Heffer (now with UKIP) or the Lib Dems!

Regarding the issue of the Candidate selection changes, I actually posted on here my thoughts that CCHQ were going about this in the wrong way.

So I am not a "Cameroonie", what I have aired on here is my view that ConHome is in danger of becoming like Heffer an attack dog against Cameroon.

Yes ConHome may be attracting lots of views but maybe they are just purple folk like Chad who want a distraction from their awful UKIP leadership election. And so for fun come on here to take pot shots at the Tories who they seem to dislike more than the LibDem/Labour?

I always thought CCHQ was one big frat house.

"Denis, the term "civil society" is widely used in conservative circles (albeit more amongst the think tanks and intellectuals). "

....and by the lefties also. For them the appeal seems to be a potential source of the social equality they once (vainly) hoped for from the state, while the right looks to it as a defence against or alternative to state power - or, in more traditional/instinctive terms, a way to reweave the social fabric. Interesting contrast imo, but the fact the concept attracts attention from all over the pol spectrum should relieve suspicion it's merely some new metrosexual/liberal/[insert other faux imprecise insult here]/woolly/Guardianista fad.

As for KISS - different audience. Nothing wrong with presenting underpinning philosophy to those interested, while targetting crudely simplified slogans to others. Sadly, the latter is what mass modern politics is all about, but at least some still want the former.

For what it's worth I think the site treads the line between the editor's subjective bias and objective reporting very well. It's unfair to say (Ted) that everything here is "looked at through the prism of tax, immigration & now candidate selection" - Tim was one of the first people to argue that these core issues need to be balanced with others. I remember from the early days of conshome - it must be somewhere on this site - a brilliant cartoon showing a pinstriped Tory in a dark room, aspidistra wilting on the windowledge, typing at an old type writer with all the keys missing except those needed to type "tax" "crime" and "immigration". Tim knows that more is necessary than these essentials - but also (as per the AND theory) that these essentials should not be neglected either.

In my essay for Prospect I try to argue that David Cameron's emphasis on Fraternity (wellbeing, families, local communities etc) represents a coherent, and authentically Conservative, addition to the staples of Liberty (low tax and personal responsibility). A shift in emphasis away from individualism is not to abandon Liberty altogether - but to buttress it with the Fraternal associations and conventions (tradition, trust, belonging) which make Liberty both possible and safe.

David's emphasis (following IDS) on social justice represents authentic conservatism as much as any taxcutter. Fraternal solidarity is part of the Conservative inheritence as much as Liberal individualism. Adam Smith, he say: "How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it."

Phwoar , kising tories , this is more like it.

Thank you Danny!

I have been a reader of Cons Home for some time and enjoyed the debate a great deal. I have not posted before, however I am posting today as some of the negative commentary from a couple of commentators has the smell of being inspired by Central Office. The suggestion that Cons Home should put a disclaimer on it masthead sounds like some of the criticism is getting through. Also the suggestion that the blog should be more supportive and sing the praises of the Party is nonesense. In case they hadn't noticed, if you want that sort of commentary you can go to the Conservative Party website. There you will join doctor Pangloss and his team of cheerleaders who are all consenting believers in Cameron Conservatism, wherever it goes. This blog is surely meant to be different. The reason why it is so well read particularly by the media is that it is independent. It is interesting because it lifts the veil on the Conservative party and lets us see whether there is anything underneath. Of course the Party doesn't like the criticism but that is to be expected and a sign that the blog is doing its job. It ensures that complacency can become the preserve of the Conservative Party and its web. The key to a healthy and credible conservative movement is that its beliefs, values and attendant policies stand up to scrutiny. That cannot be achieved if everyone sighs when DC does another photo shoot. That is illustrared by the recent poll. Yes it is good news for all conservatives that the lead has grown, if you are complacent then you stop thinking about it and smile at that point. However if you like your politics to bear scrutiny, you then ask why when the Labour party is in free fall, the movement is from Lab to the Libs, at a time the Lib leader is also seen as poor. You ask why the public jury is still out on the Cons and what the Party is doing to correct it and you think of Bromley. That is why you come to Cons Home, unless, as it seems to me, some of you got the wrong address.It could be that some of the commentators have a 'working' relationship with Central Office. My advice is that out of sight of their paymasters, they come to this site as free conservatives and give us their real views, unless of course one of you is the paymaster!? By the way, before you ask, I am not Tim Montgomerie just interested in seeing a good and constructive debate.



How can I complain now with Danny Kruger riding to your defence!

CHome was founded just as I rejoined the Party and it is a great site. It might be a reaction to the July/August lack of parliamentary action (just as PoliticalBetting seems endlessly to be working around the Brown should he/will he/when will he be Labour leader story) but there has been in my perception a lot more critical than supportive opinion recently.

Maybe it's just fear of the fragility of our current polling - the party should be strong enough for robust debate but sometimes feel it's still a delicate patient in recovery and so am a bit concerned when the old causes raise their heads and CHome is swamped by the reactionary tendency.

Great comments Gadfly.

"Fraternal solidarity is part of the Conservative inheritence as much as Liberal individualism"

Absolutely. Smith's Moral Sentiments is overlooked for WoN almost universally, which is especially absurd when Smith himself thought the former much his best work.

HF - Heffer said he was backing Farage at Bromley but did not state that he was permanently converting to UKIP - he said something like 'you can draw your own conclusions'. Our candidate at Bromley was a europhile, which might have played a bigger part in our near loss of the seat than has been reported.

If the Editor just adds a phrase in the heading which explains that this is a personal blog that has become far too successful, and not an official party site, I imagine that would cover the objections raised.

Danny Kruger's piece is quite long, reads well and fits nicely alongside Compassionate Conservatism, Built To Last, Direct Democracy and all the other originally-IDS-initiated policy developments, now being developed with Cameron approval.

Summary of Kruger -
Fraternity is seen as the same as equality by the left - (Gordon Brown e.g.), which has to be delivered by State intervention. To us, fraternity happens beyond the influence of the state. It is an expression of our liberty.

I look forward to that meeting at Conference btw, changetowin, that you proposed yesterday... but how will I know who you are...!?

But I thought you knew everything, Editor!

I'm sure you'll recognise me - I'll be wearing a hoodie and a "I love DC" badge! Or perhaps I'll be one of those black, lesbian dwarves one of the commentators on this site mentioned the other day!!!

Seriously - I will come and say hi at the CH event - whatever that will be.

And since this thread is about Danny's article, I must say that I really enjoyed it. Certainly worth buying Prospect for.

HF, I don't know why I do it but I always read Heffers articles in the DT. To date I'm pretty sure he has never written a single one even vaguely supportive of anything the leadership has done this year.His pieces are always full of morose bile and invective.
Conhomes' editorials are most often supportive and are always measured in their criticism. To lump the two together as 'attack dogs' seems most unfair and wholly inacurrate.

It is great news that Danny Kruger is writing speeches for David Cameron. A definite move in the right direction, philisophically. I am less sure about Cameron's chief speech writer, Douglas Smith, who is a pretty controversial character and does not seem to write stuff under his own name as Danny does although, to be fair, I did find one good article he wrote on direct democracy in the Ecologist.

apestry said "Heffer said he was backing Farage at Bromley but did not state that he was permanently converting to UKIP - he said something like 'you can draw your own conclusions'. Our candidate at Bromley was a europhile, which might have played a bigger part in our near loss of the seat than has been reported.".

I disagree, Heffer endorsed UKIP so he has nailed his coat to the purple flag.

We nearly lost Bromley because of a badly run campaign and a candidate who seems to lack political common sense. The Lib Dem party we nearly lost to are the most europhile of all. UKIPs vote barely increased, so the eurosceptics did not flock there. The reality is the Lib Dems chucked their muck at "3 jobs Bob" and some of it stuck, causing our voters to sit on their hands and Labour's to join the LDs.

There has been some very unfair attacks on the editor on this thread. What those who have attacked the editorial line have failed to do is answer the pints he raises. I'm a great advocate of localism and was encouraged by DC's speech to the power enquiry. The level of central control over candidates does rather contradict that. I'd prefer to see people playing the ball instead of the man.

Francis Maude said that the post mortem survey from Bromley revealed why Conservatives did not vote but instead stayed at home, bt he has never stated what the reason was.

The story of Bromley was that half of Conservative voters stayed at home, not that they voted LD or UKIP or anything else.

I think that Eric Forth's voters would have been dismayed to be presented with a europhile, and would have sat at home in disgust. If only the seat had selected Julia Manning.

I am sure that Heffer did not endorse UKIP. He agreed to speak at a pre-poll meeting of Farage. I don't think you have quite enough evidence to state that Heffer is now UKIP. He has not publicly stated support for the party other than for Farage at Bromley.

The fact that he spends so much time attacking Cameron suggests that he doesn't see UKIP as a vehicle for winning elections and bringing about change. He saw support for Farage as a way of protesting against Cameron's leadership strategy. His main efforts are going into trying to influence the Conservative Party.

He's still part of the Conservative 'fraternity' while he's putting his energy into attacking. It's when they go quiet you want to worry.

The fact that Cameron's speechwriting team contribute to left wing magazines, the Ecologist and Prospect, says everything about the ideological complexion of the new Tory Party.

I enjoyed, and agree with the Editor's red text. If DC is to win the next BGE he must send out a clear and consistent message.

Future US presidents and LibDems believe in wishy-washy concepts like fraternity, not the pragmatic British public. DC will win the election if he has policies to cut crime, cut taxes and improve the provision of health and education.

This site is, in part, an electronic newspaper. It has a worldview and its editorials reflect it. To its credit, and through electronic technology, it then allows rapid-fire and robust debate in the blog columns.

What could be wrong with that? Carry on the good work.

All those are son of the ideas, Taxcutter. A new politics is being created so it won't sound like Thatcherism or be like Thatcherism. Do you want more money poured into State provision to little effect (Thatcher poured money in to public services as have Blair/Brown)?

A new way of getting society to work has to be found. Instead of looking at money, paying more and more to civil servants to produce less and less, Cameron is looking at the human qualities that make people succeed in their endeavours.

There is nowhere else to turn to. The old remedies have been proved conclusively by Brown and Blair who have doubled the size of the State in 10 years, to fail. Once society's misfunctioning has been addressed, then the money sums will be made, and those who believe that life is all about money could be pleasantly surprised. But first we must make things work.

As Cameron says, we're all in it together. If we don't discover Fraternity and improve our performance, we can say goodbye to a better life. Cameron's revolution will not be noisy and bloody. It will be quiet and considered, but nonetheless powerful. Don't underestimate the power of ideas.

Tim is right, this is his blog and he has no obligation to be balanced, the comments provide that anyway, so we know the views of the man and his readers.

My only criticism of Tim is that he still hasn't settled our EPP bet, and so the poor TPA are £100 short.... :-)

There seems to be an amount of backbiting on this site about the youth/inexperience of CCHQ staff. Having never had the pleasure of visiting Victoria Street-I couldn't possibly comment.

However, these are the people who have given us a 9% lead in the polls by spinning stories and whatnot-so the current employees are obviously doing something that previous older employees havent been able to do for any other leader for the last 9 years. Let them get on with it!

Tapestry said "I am sure that Heffer did not endorse UKIP. He agreed to speak at a pre-poll meeting of Farage. I don't think you have quite enough evidence to state that Heffer is now UKIP. He has not publicly stated support for the party other than for Farage at Bromley."

What Heffer said at one public meeting for Farage at Bromley included
"For most of my life I voted Tory. On several occasions I have voted UKIP". "I come among you as one fruitcake, looney..." I would urge you to get everyone you can to support him. “If he prevented a Conservative as a shoe in in this seat....” “You have a home to go to it is called UKIP…..”

Yes that is anti-Conservative, pro UKIP!

I am less sure about Cameron's chief speech writer, Douglas Smith

Is this the same Smith who was once Vice-Chairman of the notorious Federation of Conservative Students and had to resign because it turned out that he was not a student at all?

I am absolutely amazed if it is true that this person is writing the leader's speeches.

"The fact that Cameron's speechwriting team contribute to left wing magazines, the Ecologist and Prospect, says everything about the ideological complexion of the new Tory Party."

What's wrong with putting forward your views in "enemy territory"? Suzanne Moore, a lefty, writes for the Mail and Dominic Lawson, a righty, writes in The Independent. There's nothing to be gained by simply preaching to the converted.

Besides, Prospect it's as narrowly partisan as, for example, The New Statesman. I doubt the NS would have been as keen on David Goodhart's controversial (for the left) article on diversity and welfare.

Discussion, dissection or dissent?

Your view of this site will be defined by your own political philosophy, but I for one feel that I friend that won’t tell you the truth, as they see it, isn’t really a real friend.

The Conservative party has turned a corner and David Cameron can rightly take a lot of the credit for that but it is our duty to give feedback via whatever means is available. Many of the horrors of WW1 were brought about because Hague (the Earl not William) wasn’t told the truth by his staff officers.

David Cameron is confident and has thick skin so I don’t imagine he loses too much sleep because members of the party (and others) give their opinion on his decisions.

"For most of my life I voted Tory. On several occasions I have voted UKIP". HF.

Haven't we all?

James - it's HAIG in WW1 who was Lloyd George's fall guy.

Haig was convinced that Lloyd George nearly lost the war, and equally wasted the peace.

It is HAGUE who has wasted the eurosceptics in the Conservative delegation to the EuroParliament.

Not that anyone cares (well maybe I do), but I like the independence of CH very much - it's because it's independent that I feel free to write things like "for god's sake editor what sort of headline was that". "Tapestry" above said it's like a newspaper - this is a brilliant analogy - we're the Tory newspaper of the future, and we all contribute. Any newspaper, however, needs an Editor. And unless Tim starts pretending that he's the Only Voice Of True Conservatism (which I feel is a tad unlikely, though he'd probably get my vote (for god's sake! can you tell I'd like to write another Platform Piece :-0)) then before we moan that sometimes the editorial line isn't exactly what you'd get from, oh I don't know, say E9 7ND, then we should reflect that without Tim and this place we'd all be left, atomised, in isolation, gasping with horror at the BBC and writing spluttering letters to the Telegraph that never get printed. I don't think Tim should change the masthead - we all know this isn't an "official" Tory website - but mebbe we should get out there a bit more and write to any offending organ (phoo er) that pretends otherwise.

PS pace Danny Kruger's note - which I admit is rather a large pace - Tim's editorial comments this morning still made me gasp/laugh.

Gadfly @ 12.18 "The key to a healthy and credible conservative movement is that its beliefs, values and attendant policies stand up to scrutiny".

How very wise; is it Le Figaro that carries the motto: "sans la liberte de blamer, il n'est pas d'eloge flatteur"? Roughly translated that is "without the freedom to criticise, flattering praise is meaningless".
Conservatism is in a state of flux because we have a leader who realises the need for radical change; everything is up for grabs and CH can play its part in shaping policy. Those who oppose us politically post on it and we are happy that they do (we can't do the same on theirs). Many conservatives are unhappy that DC will not confront what they believe to be the important, gritty core issues but these will have to emerge well before an election when, as Gadfly, points out everything: "will have to stand up to scrutiny".
Such debate is very healthy and the Editor is to be congratulated for fostering it.

Yet another thread that ends up about Europe. I am sure many on this site couldn`t even comment about the weather without bringing Europe into it.

I think Danny's article is a very lucid unmasking of the lazy view that there are no vital and defining differences between the Conservative Party and New Labour. Danny's piece sets out the broad contours of what could develop into very powerful agenda. As for the debate about the editorial thrust of this site I think that politics needs more of this type of open, robust and critial debate and the idea that the editor is a Conservative Arthur Scargill, as said my the editor of politicalbetting.com, is a laughable comparison. This site plays an important role precisely because it publishes a range of views and has a cutting edge.

Yet another thread that ends up about Europe. I am sure many on this site couldn`t even comment about the weather without bringing Europe into it

I presume by "Europe" Jack you actually mean the tyrannical EU, aka the Fourth Reich.

Am I alone in looking forward to the day when our party leads us out of this disastrous organisation?

"Am I alone in looking forward to the day when our party leads us out of this disastrous organisation?"

I share your wish but sadly it won't be your party that does the leading ,especially under Dave's banner.

EPP today,gone tomorrow.

This is a superb article by Kruger and it shows the paths of thought we should now be exploring.

The above thread has become somewhat sidetracked - for whatever reason - and this is unfortunate.

Ed - assuming the article will be still accessible behind Prospect's site wall, could we return to it in, say, a month's time? Or whenever some of the current preoccupations have calmed down a little.

(or perhaps when the LibDem owner at pb.com decides to take a longer break).

'It is HAGUE who has wasted the eurosceptics in the Conservative delegation to the EuroParliament.'

One sentence referencing the EU Jack Stone did not change the thread at all. But since you've reacted, we might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.

I was delighted to see other contributors picking up on your comment. If Cameron does believe in FRATERNITY, it is indeed hard to understand how he can permit Hague to threaten MEP's with deselection if they speak openly about EU corruption. The action goes against all the talk of local democracy, compassionate conservatism, built to last and fraternity.

It is only possible to continue believing that Cameron is not a fraud, if we suspend disbelief about Hague's actions against Roger Helmer et al. OR ascribe them to Hague only.

Like it or not, the sweeteness of the Fraternity message is greatly polluted by the actions taken against the Conservative Eurosceptic MEP's by Hague, which could still be undone. But once trust has been broken, it is always harder to rebuild it again.

Hi Phil - Would you like to write a Platform piece about Danny's article so that we can have the discussion you rightly think the 'fraternity analysis' merits?

Thanks ed. Have responded by email.

>>Like it or not, the sweeteness of the Fraternity message is greatly polluted by the actions taken against the Conservative Eurosceptic MEP's by Hague<<

Hear! Hear!

Of course most threads will end up talking about the EU, whether or not Jack likes it. But if we no longer got 80% of our new laws from the EU we would no longer end up talking about it, so the solution to Jack's problem is obvious.

"the red text from Editor made me gasp out loud" (August 25th 10:07)

All I read into the Editor's remarks is that he seeks consistency of action and integrity in thinking from the Party Leadership, between and within the issues.

Is this setting the bar too high?

The Party will only be stronger for the contributions and vision of people like Tim & Danny, particularly if there is divergence, question and debate. The success of sites such as this may well be the best (indirect) indicator of future Party success.

Liberty, equality and fraternity are, of course, very emphatically not Conservative/Tory ideals.

I would suggest an alternative triad.

Tradition, Hierarchy, Order.

"Automated Robot" (quite) - yes, seeking consistency (according to one's own definition) between thought and action across a spectrum of behaviour is, of course, far too high an order to seek of any human agent. While there are many specific posts that irritate, the common irritation they all share, for me, is the pretence that deductive reasoning of a formal mathematical sort can be applied to human political discourse - particularly Tory discourse. The conceit is that ideas about governing human interaction can be formalised into a set of algorithms, so that a computer could be programmed to detect any internal contradictions. It's a pretence because, first of all, such purity is incompatible with any system that isn't purely mathematical (there is no set of "axioms" in political discourse: see the many heated, enlightening but ultimately fruitless attempts on this site to define "a real Conservative"), and, secondly, because the Contradiction Objectors seem rarely imbued with enough self-awareness to be aware of the prism through which their response to any political statement by the leadership is refracted. I am quite sure that I could find something "contradictory" within any speech by Blair. I'm also quite sure that my ability to do so is somewhat coloured by my loathing for his politics but also by the ancillary aspects of his political life that have nothing to do with his being left-wing but to which I appear to have antibodies. I wouldn't claim that any verbal evidence I found was therefore therefore uncoloured by my own perspective. The red editorialising did make me gasp out loud, but as I said it also made me laugh, because I found it a glaring example of someone forcing an (important and substantial) development in Tory thinking through the prism of their view about candidate selection, something this site is famous for ranking above nearly every other political consideration.

Europe and the party activites obsession with it is why the party is still in opposition and the party will stay in opposition unless it gets away from this obsession and onto the priorites of the people.Health, Education lack of housing, crime and a fourth rate transport system.
We mustn`t just reflect Britain by having more women and ethic minorities in Parliament we must talk fo it as well.

Danny argues, I think, that the traditional left-right dimension, which no longer divides the main parties, is underscored by the dimension of fraternity. Thus the parties are distinctive and distinguishable....

This suggests that politics is now formed of *four* dimensions...

Left-right, upon which the consensus towards 'equality of opportunity' seems to resolve some impossible extremes

Fraternity-isolationism, upon which community-related issues take shape

Nationalist-cosmopolitan, upon which views towards the EU might be located, which has distinguished the parties in recent years

Libertarian-authoritarian, upon which moral issues, attitudes to crime and punishment, lifestyle issues etc are located.

I think there are some interesting questions:

1. Is the distinction between the parties on this fraternity-based dimension one of substance or one of delivery? If it is mainly the latter then it is no less consensual than the left-right dimension.

2. Doesnt 'fraternity' simply mean 'communitarianism', and if not, how does it differ?

3. Is the 'fraternity' distinction a more significant dividing line than those on Europe or on moral issues or crime?

4. Should a 'fraternity' dimension be the main dividing line if voters are asking for a clear alternative on crime and security?

5. Where should the responsibility in government for 'fraternity' begin and end? Could this, under a certain guise, be a new form of social engineering?

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