« 'Tories should relaunch as Labour think tank' | Main | 10/8 »

Comments

Whilst instinctively offended by Heffer, I am slightly confused by Letwin's interpretation of the situation. Police Mergers were abandoned as the police were not interested in them. Home information packs have been postponed by a year since the resources were not in place (whether they ever will be is another matter), and ID Cards are being slowly watered down as the support from Labour MP's to get it through is not there.

Our record at present is an interesting one. Most of our victories are a result of the Governments incompetence not as a result of any strategic decisions or policy (what policy) statements. Perhaps the strategy is to let the Government implode whilst being nice?

I read Letwin's letter...........I am not impressed. Letwin gives the impression whatever outcomes occur is all for the best and he is just a participant. You never have the feeling he has a stake in any of it, something to lose, that his bread is buttered whichever way it lands.

That is why the Conservative Party looks like a debating club for Old Etonians deciding which hat the wife should wear to Ascot or whether to attend Henley Regatta.

The usual whining in the comments above. I say 10/10 for my local MP. Heffer has become a ridiculous self-parody, resembling a cross between John Junor and Billy Bunter.

Oliver Letwin is correct. There are some in the Conservative Party who would not be happy if the the Tories were 15 points clear in the polls and heading for a Blair like 97 landslide as long as some totemic point of policy wasn't included from their personal manifesto.

As for Heffer, every time he attacks Cameron there should be cheering in Dave's office, much like when Hatton attacked Kinnock in the 80's.

I am only surprised he didn't mention the new logo.
The ID cards may currently be in deep freeze but is promised to be thawed for the next Labour manifesto.The consistent lead in the polls is not of sufficient magnitude to bring a Tory victory so it looks like we'll get them.
May I tactfully suggest Ollie gets back to policy making asnd desists from idle boasts.Joe public won't wait forever ,remember Bromley.

Good move this - it'll wind up Hefferlump even more. I can't remember the last time he wrote an article that wasn't about Cameron. His predictably unthinking response on Saturday will no doubt aid young Dave even more.

Very few people appreciate what the Cameron method is, I'm not entirely sure what Heffer's prefered direction is, but I do think it is one of the Tories in opposition.
Furthermore, it is very difficult to formulate foreign policy from opposition, more so than anything else.

As for policy, either you wait for the research process to be completed, or you get sound bites with no substance, pick one Heffer

More eternal moaning from someone who optimizes everything that was wrong with the Tories pre-Cameron. The classic line within his barrage of abuse was the fact that "Natural Tories" feel unrepresented! Who are these "Natural Tories" that we absolutely can't win the next election without? These people need to understand that in order to regain power, the party needs to attract broader support. If this means moving the party to the centre-right ground, so be it. The "Natural Tories" who threaten to vote UKIP will simply be voting for a party that has no change of gaining parliamentary power. You either vote for some of what you believe in or you will get nothing! The fact that the party is changing doesn't make it any less Conservative, it simply acknowledges the idea that broader support is required.

Keep up the good work Mr. C.

Heffer for Tory Leader I say. Then we and the voters will know there are real Tories out there - ready to say what people are thinking and demand what people are wanting: not afraid of the PC neo-socialist Blairoons.

Simon Heffer reminds me of General Melchett in Blackadder with his constant argument that the Tories should keep using the strategy that failed them in both the 2001 and 2005 elections.

"And that is what is so brilliant about it - doing exactly what we've done nineteen times before..."

There's a better letter immediately underneath Letwin's from a Merseyside councillor - and he's aged 28!!

Heffer speaks for the core Tory voters - those that didn't vote at Bromley ? --Ignore us at the party's peril. Letwin will find it hard to keep his seat as he was pressured last time but many of those who saved him have now rejected him. One said this month that Letwin has totally "lost the plot" since the election and is rabbitting on about "Beauty" and not things that actually matter and which governments are supposed to deal with.

All Cameron seems to have done is persuade some "Lefty" [her description] actress to like him but not vote for him. (See Telegraph SPY today)

Too many people on this blog refuse to see the abyss ahead and face facts. If Cameron were to win the only person who would have made that happen would be Blair. Remember a 40% poll share is the MINIMUM to form a government.

Simon Heffer came out at the B&C by election and backed UKIP. So he has nailed his colours to the mast, so how much longer can the Telegraph justify paying so biased a journalist for his rantings? At least with the articles from MPs and party members their allegiance is clearly stated at the bottom of each article. With Heffer at the Telegraph it is not. Heffer of course has a wider influence at the Telegraph than his own articles as he is listed on the Editorial staff as an "Associate Editor". So the anti-Cameroon influence pervades the Telegraph.

I don't entirely agree HF- the fact is all commentators on politics have politics of their own-Rawmsley (Of the Observer) doesn't have to acknowledge his a strong Labour man at the bottom of each column. I like the fact there's one journalist to the tory party's right to compensate for the hundreds to our left


Why shouldn't the Telegraph employ a UKIP supporter? The paper owes nothing to the Conservative Party, and is not an offical organ of the Conservative Party.

I disagree with much that Heffer writes. But then I disagree, also, with much of the Cameron project. What should really worry Cameron's admirers is not Heffer's hostility, but the scepticism of so many centre-right journalists.

Sean @ 11.21am.

Come, come Sean, the "Telegraph" may not be the official organ of the Conservative Party, but they're as near two peas in a pod that makes no difference.

When did the "Telegraph" support any other party save the Tories and I can't see the paper throwing in its lot with the Lib Dems or Labour at the next general election can you ?..... not knicknamed the Torygraph for no reason !

You have simply sidestepped Sean's point. It may be disappointing to Oliver Letwin but why should the Telegraph simply function as Izvestia to the Tory Party? It has a centre-right focus but why should that make it an uncritical admirer of the Tory High Command? All leading broadsheets carry a range of comment columns and Cameron does pretty well out of the Telegraph's columnists: Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thompson. In any case, I thought he preferred the plaudits of the Guardian and The Tehran Bugle (sorry, the Independent).


I imagine that a significant proportion of the Telegraph's readership doesn't vote Conservative Jack, so why should the paper not be critical of the Party?

Michael M. @ 11.45am.

I'm unconcerned who the "Telegraph" have as columnists, but the fact remains that the only significant paper and party of the right are the "Telegraph" and the Conservative Party.

Thus the relationship of the two members of the conservative family is obvious, if like other families they fall out from time to time. However when the crunch comes they always make up and mend. Was ever and will ever be thus.

To respond to the points on Heffer I had a look back on his recent articles and he is obsessed with attacking one person in the Conservative party, Dave Cameron. He attacks Dave in 3 of his last 6 articles. Blair gets attacked in two (one with Dave) and Becket and Reid get one each.

9 Aug attacks David Cameron’s lack of foreign policy
2 Aug attacks Margaret Beckett
26 July attacks Cameron
22 July attacks John Reid
19 July attacks lack of Central govt foreign policy
15 July attacks “dodgey Dave” Cameron and in another piece Blair and Levy.

Balanced about Dave Cameron? I think not.
Obsessed about Dave Cameron? Clearly so.

Thus the relationship of the two members of the conservative family is obvious

The Telegraph is generally conservative in its editorial views but it has never been a slavish supporter of the Conservatives (its nickname of Torygraph is part of the graunoid lexicon). Did Max Hastings ever say anything positive about Thatcher? Many of the paper’s journalists are significantly inclined to the left – George Jones, Rachel Sylvester, Alice Thomson, Sam Leith, Vicki Woods…

UKIP is a rival conservative party and there is no reason why one of its supporters shouldn’t use a Telegraph platform to criticise DC’s retreat into patricianism.

Sean @ 11.56am.

The last polling on voting intention of "Telegraph" readers by MORI saw the Tories at nearly two thirds !

I'm not saying that the "Telegraph" shouldn't critisize the Conservatives, but that when push comes to shove they'll be as partizan in the Tory cause as the Mirror is for Labour !

Who are these "Natural Tories" that we absolutely can't win the next election without? These people need to understand that in order to regain power, the party needs to attract broader support

I’m afraid that’s the rhetoric of a belligerent loser. In the commercial world any director who said of his customer base “These people need to understand…” would have the skids under him before the stock market closed.

Phil Jackson @ 12.10pm.

UKIP is a blip on the wider politcal landscape and is no more a rival to the Conservative Party than Nicholas Soames is a contender to be the slimmer of the year !!

Then don't worry yourself with the blip's voice!

Phil Jackson @ 12.21pm.

Worry ??? No .... Laugh .. Oh Yes !!

if the the Tories were 15 points clear in the polls and heading for a Blair like 97 landslide


IF

Get a 15-point lead first and we shall see...........

Tories like Heffer, see themselves as the 'keepers of the flame'. People like him are there to ensure that 'Toryism' does not stray from the true path, the monarchy,constitution, the Union etc. They find the likes of Cameron/Letwin abhorrent, heretics who are destroying all that Toryism is about. The problem the Tory party has, along with Hitchens/Littlejohn, Heffer speaks for a lot of people, perhaps even the majority of Tory voters. People like Hatton and militant were really a cult, with very little support outside the hard left, and none at all with Labour voters.

I agree with AV up there @ 10.39. It's a two-way relationship though. Hardcore, won't-budge-an-inch, Right-wingers have no choice other than the Conservatives. If they don't vote Conservative, Labour will get in again. It's almost as simple as that.

As the same time, David Cameron can't expect to get their votes whatever he does. He has to try and get a balance in policies, as Tony Blair did back in the mid-1990s. He had enough in there to satisfy the socialists, such as reform of the House of Lords, whilst appealing to everyone else with general platitudes about reform and whiter-than-whiteness.

May be some solid Right-wing policies on Europe would be enough for Mr Cameron? As the majority of British people are sceptical of the EU anyway, he must be able to get some balance. But then, of course, there is a lot of history with the Conservatives and Europe, and not much of it good or constructive.


The problem is EML, there is *no* balance at present.

I struggle to think of a single speech that Cameron, Maude, or Letwin have given that contains anything to appeal to a core Conservative.

May be some solid Right-wing policies on Europe would be enough for Mr Cameron?

Forget it.........when GM and Ford announce closure of their West European manufacturing operations to be superseded by new factories in Poland, Slovakia and Russia expect the EU to implode as unemployment explodes budget deficits..............the announcements cannot be far off

It's always interesting to see that the critics of Simon Heffer never actually address his criticisms of Cameron and his politbureau. The critics always have a go at the concept of "Natural Tories" and scoff at those who have serious reservations about the direction in which Cameron is taking the Party. Unfortunately for the Cameroons, those who have reservations provide the core of the Conservative vote. I can tell you that Heffer speaks for this core; Cameron doesn't. Councillor Barber's letter (also in the Telegraph) was far more in tune with the voters. I for one - being a "natural conservative" - will not vote Conservative at the next GE if the manifesto at the GE contains the present vacuous, PR-led, Blairite-inspired policies at present being promulgated by Her Majesty's (non-)Opposition.

UKIP is a blip on the wider politcal landscape and is no more a rival to the Conservative Party than Nicholas Soames is a contender to be the slimmer of the year !!
A party that so far has made advances in every set of nationwide elections it has contested, only formed in 1992 has gone from total obscurity to 2.5 million votes in the 2004 Euro Elections and 2.2% of the vote in the 2005 General Election, the Liberals were saying the same sort of thing about the Independent Labour Party when that was formed and that blip ultimately captured much of their former support and pushed them into a situation in which the Liberal Party and it's successors have not achieved an overall majority for a century.

about the Independent Labour Party when that was formed
In the sense that it lead to the Labour Representation Committee that lead to the Labour Party, not the party later on that remained seperate from Labour.

The ID cards may currently be in deep freeze but is promised to be thawed for the next Labour manifesto.The consistent lead in the polls is not of sufficient magnitude to bring a Tory victory so it looks like we'll get them.
The National ID Database scheme is pretty much a certainty and indeed a number of Conservative MP's are favourable or open minded to schemes along those lines, the cards aren't really neccessary anymore because of the capacity of checking people biometrically and indeed it is because of new technology that such a system has come to the fore because past ID schemes inevitably were based on easily forgeable ID and so were of limited use.

I sympathise with much of what Heffer says, eg on family morality. On most issues what we need is for the party to come to a position somewhere in the middle between Heffer and Cameron.

Where I do worry about Heffer (and the Telegraph) is the continuing support for warmongering in the Middle East.

That's the one issue where the Party has to move right to the centre and - yes - oppose the Heffers of this world along with the far-right militarists who have caused such appalling carnage.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind's article of disengagement from the War Party is a breath of fresh air.

HF says that Heffer is "Obsessed about Dave Cameron? Clearly so." OK! The problem is that a large lump of the core vote is also obsessed with the catastrophe that the creep Cameron IS. Heffer is in tune with core Conservative thinking. Cameron doesn't comprehend the very idea.

Do get it into your heads please that we will NOT vote Tory if Cameron is leader - unless the leopard changes his spots

chritina speight @ 1604pm.

YOU may not vote Conservative at the next election but the polls clearly show that that you are more that compensated for by the core vote loyal to Cameron, swing voters and especially woman who prefer the bigger tent of Cameron than the slit trench of the core alone.

Are 3 election defeats not enough for you ?

Christina what we need is a synthesis of the best of the views of Cameron and Heffer. A coming together of the two wings of the party.

If we can't achieve this then yes, I agree, the future looks grim.

You couldn't invent Heffer. He's too ridiculous.

Christina @ 1604

Calling David Cameron a "catastrophe" is almost too silly for words, unless I imagined all those local election gains and the reversal of fortunes in the polls.

I am with Umbongo on this. I do not agree with everything Heffer says but a lot of it is too much like common sense to resonate with the sensitive souls in their ivory metropolitan windmilled towers on the dank and wet left of the party. I only have to listen to a sentence from Letwin, Osborne or Cameron (maybe a sentence or two in his case) to feel the Tories are Tory in name only.

The Cameron strategy is based on the idea that the right wing of the Party has nowhere else to go.

Right now that strategy is mostly right - although B & C demonstrated that staying at home is also a definite possibility.

The B & C result could well have been caused by the selection of a eurofascist candidate in a eurosceptic seat.

If the minority view eurofascists increasingly dominate the party, then the B & C result could become the norm - as with Hague flunking the EPP decision and threatening Roger Helmer and the other sceptics with deselection - and now with the eurofascist MEP's lobbying so they will be automatically reselected without having to face the usual hustings - www.copov.org.uk

The continuing silence about the EU by Cameron with all the moves being towards assisting the EU, Heffer will have a ready and growing audience.

This section of the Conservative Party will become more vulnerable if the BNP surges, or if UKIP select a competent leadership. It will only come home if it sees a proper eurosceptic platform from Cameron. So far there isn't one.

What's a Eurofascist?

We've had enough nonsense about Islamofascists. Do we really need more emotive, divisive language.

Godwin's law ought to be extended to cover 'fascism' as well. Comparing anything in the modern world to the Holocaust is far beyond acceptable rhetoric imo.

Hey Henry (William),welcome back! I'd forgotten the fact that the EU is responsible for everything!

"Conservatives won the recent local elections handsomely"...but are heading for serious trouble next year.

The vast majority of readers here will think Im talking rubbish when I say this, but I cant be the only one thinking that the Great British public will see past this PR shine and see the vacuous space that is Tory policy and decide to go elsewhere...like staying inside?

I am genuinely concerned about our chances next year. Im not the only one.

"Conservatives won the recent local elections handsomely".

Not in West Yorkshire where they only have one MP with a majority of 400 and the Council Elections went poorly

I have to say the continual Cameron-bashing from Christina et al got boring a long time ago. Some of us were not thrilled when John Major took over from Mrs T, and when IDS won the leadership in 2001. Did we rant on about how badly they were doing and disloyally proclaim to all and sundry our dissatisfaction with the party?

Of course not. The grass roots members continued canvassing, delivering literature, holding strawberry teas and raffles etc!

Granted Dave is not everyone's cup of tea but like it or not, he is the leader of the party. If we are to have any chance of winning at the next election it's time for all people who wish to see a Conservative government to start rowing in behind him.

Lucy, I take it you are a member of recent vintage, because I can tell you the grass roots were deeply deeply concerned with the IDS leadership. IDS like Hague before him won the leadership because of who he wasn't.

When it was clear things were going wrongly he was tapped on the shoulder and asked to go. The party moved against him.

I must admit the patronising, get behind him call, does nothing for me. If you fundamentally don't agree with the direction of the party you have a democratic right to voice that view. If you don't appreciate Christine's views, that is your choice but she has every right to voice them.

Lucy - You haven't got it I'm afraid. If I and lots of others think that Cameron is leading the party to disaster it is our duty to say so while there's still time. I repeat what I have said before that the Tory vote will go down and the Tories will only win if the Labour vote goes down more - unless Cameron changes his spots. Heffer - who this blog was about - articulates what a goodly proportion of members are thinking and saying.

Well James Maskell hits it right smack bang on the head as I 'am' a member of the British public and CAN see past the PR shine and for what it's worth I see it as total sheer bloody rubbish served up by your man Cameron, but you know what if it continues in this same vain from here the likely hood is I'll be sitting in my armchair on election day 2009 brought about by the total absence of a real solid choice of a 'proper' responsible and defineable government to elect.

It's precisely the total stupidity and disillusionment with the present odd balls we have in power (who I didn't elect either) that it is no surprise this country now lives in the shadow of the terrible threats of international terrorism we are faced with yet again today, mainly because of there sheer bloody incompetence with foreign policy issues and just about everything else to on the domestic front, so if the conservatives really want my vote it better get it's act up together and fast and start looking like a real opposition with real bite & not this touchy feely washy PR rubbish thats on offer now because with that you are simply flying to the wind in the eyes of those like me who are disilluisoned by the worth of politics.

John G. Europhiles appreciate French cheese and Italian wines. Eurofascists enjoy the fruits of corruption protected by a cartel, which bars all democratic process.

Conservatives elected Helmer and others to challenge the corruption. When they did they were threatened with deselection by hague who is sold out. The EPP promise was a farce. The Euro Parliament is a farce we now see. It's time to stop pretending. The term eurofascist is spot on.

"Too many people on this blog refuse to see the abyss ahead and face facts" Sorry Christina, but most of us have been hanging on by our fingertips looking at the abyss since 1997!
I am confused by your assumption that we are heading for disaster under David Cameron? You demand that he changes his spots, well I think that the electorate has sent a very clear message to the conservative party that it wants us to change.
All this talk of a core vote becoming disillusioned with the tory party and leaving, well go ahead and then we can welcome Gordon Brown as the next PM.
And then maybe we can go back to the same right wing dog whistle agenda which has proved so successful for the party and left us with a "core vote" and a rump of a party which cannot even muster enough MP's to be a serious opposition.

"Some of us were not thrilled when John Major took over from Mrs T, and when IDS won the leadership in 2001".

Im pretty young so I was never politically aware or involved under either or them. I became politically aware in 2000. That said, I have a lot of respect for John Major. He was in an uneviable position of trying to hold together the Party. As for IDS, he tried hard. Look at the Conservatives today to see the influence he has built up. He was talking about the whole "broken society" thing years ago.

As for the criticism of those of us who disagree with Camerons lines and style of leadership, I think we have a right to do this. I still campaign hard for the Party and am working my ass off to deliver a win next year, not only in the ward I want to be elected to, but also for the whole District. You may not like to see us criticising Cameron, but thats because we have good reason to.

"I have a lot of respect for John Major. He was in an uneviable position of trying to hold together the Party." James @23:52, we have had to many leader's devoting their time to "holding the party together" instead of trying to win enough new voter's to actual win a GE.
"You may not like to see us criticising Cameron, but that's because we have good reason to." Why?, because instead of pandering to your tailor made view of conservatism he is instead trying to appeal to a wider group of voter's with the aim of trying to actually deliver a conservative government instead of another 4/5 years of Labour under Gordon Brown.
We could carry on with the same formula we have been so unsuccessful with and it will achieve two things, a labour government and a delighted Libdem party mopping up a lot more votes than parties like UKIP. And if you are really lucky you get a Labour/Libdem coalition and your local GP asking you if you can afford to go private because he does not know when you will be seen at your local hospital? (Scottish NHS 2006)!


Don't worry if Cameron doesn't start listening to voters and there concerns your not going anywhere towards government simply serving up blair-lite conservatism is not enough not, not enough by far, the change you need to be looking at is something that strikes a new tone and feel with real policy than just the PR crap and speeches presently offered so we the voters know how to tell the bloody difference between the political partys!, but however if you can get round to being an opposition first by countering this present governments excuse of a record that would be nice to see at least we'd know you haven't fallen off your perch completely as a party.

"Don't worry if Cameron doesn't start listening to voters and there concerns your not going anywhere towards government"
I must have misread recent polls because I thought that the tories were ahead of Labour instead behind!
"but however if you can get round to being an opposition first by countering this present governments excuse of a record that would be nice to see at least we'd know you haven't fallen off your perch completely as a party." Sorry Chris but the tory party has been playing the "dead parrot" for a lot longer than David Cameron's leadership.

I must have misread recent polls because I thought that the tories were ahead of Labour instead behind!

Terms like Margin Of Error and Turnout should be considered

"instead of pandering to your tailor made view of conservatism he is instead trying to appeal to a wider group of voter's with the aim of trying to actually deliver a conservative government"

A conservative Conservative Government is the aim. Unfortunately Cameron sold his soul to the devil for power. No principles, no policies, no chance.

Chris Ryder is right, there is a distinct movement in the political air at the moment. People are looking for substance after the Blair years.

It is a trend which started in the US and resulted in Bush's election. People there had seen enough of the Clinton "I feel your pain" years and wanted something a bit more raw.

Hopefully Cameron sees that what the electorate want today is someone who will stand up and tell it like it is.

Brown and Reid have both moved towards this tough love position and we need to be there as well.

I have recently read a summary of Dave's recent speeches and articles. If I had read them in private eye, I would have thought that Hislop had gone over the top. Hoodies feeling alone and unloved? Showers for employees encouraging them to cycle to work? Does this man have any clue what worries people in their ordinary lives? Is he so obsessed with wooing the liberal media, that he has forgotten (or never knew) what matters to people in their everyday life. He talks about GWB rather than GDP. Fine for him with his party leader's salary. What about the GWP of a working family who are paying more tax than they have ever done? But Dave won't talk about tax will he? Dave won't talk about crime either. He talks to a Guardian reading elite he hopes will welcome him to their liberal fold. Many of you who have a go at Simon Heffer argue that as long as they come under the "Conservative" banner, we should celebrate and to discent is to be anti tory. I challenge anyone to tell me anything Dave has said that differs from the Labour party, or is true to Conservative values. You all tell me he's a winner. I support a winner who plays for my side. The country is calling out for a opposition that is on their side, an alternative to this lying government and all we get is a man so far out of touch with ordinary people, so obsessed with Blair, that there is now no home for traditional Conservative voters. I'm no rabid right winger, but I'm a Conservative. Dave ain't no Conservative.

The comments to this entry are closed.

#####here####

Categories

ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:
      Name:
      Email:
      Subscribe    
      Unsubscribe 

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker