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I think Labour have just as much chance of having " perhaps the next occupant of the White House ". Living quarters not oval office though !

Blair is the great illusionist. With the illusionist gone the awful reality that is New Labour, charmless and power-grabbing Brown, greedy and woman-grabbing Prescott and many more horrific goings-on will emerge from the shadows. People are in for a shock. Cameron need only maintain a steady ship. The storms will be in the enemy's fleet.

fresh red meat for the cameron critics on here and no doubt aimed at the Norman Tebbit Tendency as much as Lab activists. Hug a hoodie comes up again even though it emanated from a Labour spin doctor and Cammers never actually said it. The rest is old venom from a spent force desperately trying to unite his feuding party, not with what they might have achieved, but with what they hate and FEAR.

I have to say that line about not worrying about Cherie running off with the bloke door was inspired - did we get to see Gordy's bewildered phizzog when that gag was cracked?

Robson - yes, Brown was laughing. It was a good joke, whatever one thinks of Blair.

The Hug a Hoodie thing is going to be a Labour theme you can bet your life on it. It is a potent line of attack.

I'm not sure about the headline Tim. I didn't really see Blair's speech as an attack from the right. More from the authoritarian left. That view that the great and the good know better.

Cameron has had a lot of open goals over the last year, whilst the Labour Party tore itself apart. My interpretation of yesterday's speech and their conference as a whole has been their realisation that they need to bury their differences. They know Blair is going and that is probably cathartic for them. We have a fight on now for the first time this parliament.

Jonathan Mackie is absolutely spot on.

Blair buried Major and even from a back seat I don't see him having much trouble burying the Major Mk II we've got now.

Brown would of course laugh because his brain could tell it was a joke, and he knows that that requires the laughter response. Otherwise people think you are socially backward, and not a potential leader if you don't laugh at jokes. Blair's supreme instinctive (acting) skills are the perfect foil to Gordon's inability to function in a social environment, except in an unnatural contrived and calculated way.

Monday Clubber - Cameron is not a Major. Major sought alliances with the media as Blair has lived by them. Cameron is revolutionary in that he stands aside from doing deals with Murdoch and should be greatly respected for so doing.

It would make his life much easier if he succumbed, but he is too independent-minded to give in to the likes of Murdoch. Cameron should get a lot more crdedit for his genuine independence. We are sick of Prime Ministers who sell their souls to the media.

Cameron's popularity is undeniable. Blair would not find it so easy to blow away as you think. If Cameron has decided to live without media deals, and he's also running roughshod over traditional Conservative policy pre-election, he'll be facing a lot of choppy water, including the odd swipe from monday-clubber.

The Editor of the New Statesman was interviewed by Newsnight yesterday and highlighted Blairs attack from the right Jonathan.He did express suprise that the audience liked it as much as they did. I guess Labour activists will cheer anything.
Good to see 'Monday Clubber' maintaining his adulation of all thins nuLabour!

Jonathan Mackie - "We have a fight on now for the first time this parliament."

It takes two to fight. That there hasn't been a fight up to now is because The Conservative leadership have resolutely refused to pick one! Resolute in irresolution.

Tapestry- " Cameron should get a lot more crdedit for his genuine independence. We are sick of Prime Ministers who sell their souls to the media. "

Was this the same Cameron who went Beckham's party as a guest of Rebekah Wade ?

Oh well Malcolm, if the editor of the New Statesman said it, it must be true. Tell me what was right wing about Blair's speech - you and I obviously have very different ideas about what is right and left. Blair's speech was authoritarian, not right wing.

Christina - I perhaps should have more accurately said something like for the first time this parliament we have a competitor for public attention. I do agree we have bee timid where perhaps we could have moved the agenda much further towards our ballast view as Labour looked inward.

Murdoch has said publicly that he doesn't rate Cameron - code for Cameron's not buyable.

Cameron should accept invitations to parties from key media figures, but he should not allow them to bribe him with soft media in return for policy favours. Blair has permitted Murdoch to dictate his European policy according to Lance Price.

Without going through the whole damned speech again, I would say that Blairs sudden conversion to nuclear power, his support for ID Cards and his rasmpant pro Americanism are all things that most reasonable people would consider rightwing.The amazing thing for me was that the Labour activists were cheering as he spoke about them. As Mrs Thatcher once said 'it's a funny old world!'

They know Blair is going and that is probably cathartic for them.

Yes, Blair’s speech has generated some bonhomie within the Labour party – but in less than a week it will be forgotten. The fact of the matter is that there’s a leadership up for grabs and Tony doesn’t want it to go to Gordon. There will be fighting.

“Hug a hoodie” sums up New Labour for me: it’s basically a smeer campaign (always this government’s first response) against what was a genuinely thoughtful conference. I wonder what the charities (such as Kids Company) who were at the day think of Tony Blair’s attacks – was it a revealing insight into New Labour or had the veneer long gone?

ID cards are also classic Tony Blair / New Labour. As Jonathan Mackie says, this government wants ID cards not because it is right-wing, but because it’s authoritarian. Like Iraq, we’ve had a progression of justifications for ID cards and, as each justification is disproved, another one pops up. First they would prevent terrorism, then they would prevent ID theft, then they would prevent benefit fraud, now they’ll control illegal immigration. None of it is true.

It is also typical of this government that the solution to immigration is always in the future and requires something new and more spending. If only “back to basics” could be applied to government!

There's nothing 'right wing' about nuclear power - unsafe, centralised, state subsidised energy beloved of the dirigiste French and Swedes.

You might as well say support for the EU is 'right wing' because in the early 80s Ted and Maggie backed it and Foot and Kinnock were against.

There is nothing right wing about nuclear power - the French love it! At least they are right about one thing...

On ID cards both Mark Fulford and Jonathon Mackie are right. Blair's government only like them because of the ability to use them for control. Prevent immigration? Since most illegal immigrants are provided with forged papers, how in hell would that work? Oh, yes, sorry, it would be supported by a clever government computer system. Now where have I heard that before...

Why we spend ages fighting Blair I don't know. Accept he's gone, prepare for Gordon, and move on. Fight Gordon, not Tony. Waste of time fighting Tony. Might as well fight Harold Wilson.

Hug a hoodie maybe a smear but where is the challenge to it?

It has been allowed to hand around for weeks with no effective challenge.

Per TB, "If we can't take this lot apart in the next few years we shouldn't be in the business of politics at all."

TB made it clear on Andrew Marr's show last week that New Labour's electoral gambit is going to be stoking up fear (immigration, terrorism, recession, global warming, doesn't matter) and then positioning itself as the authoritarian capable party (whether left or right is irrelevant).

So you are warned.

What depresses me about the Conservatives is that they are too gentlemanly. Labour main strategy in the nineties was accusations of "sleaze". As Sir John Major has pointed out, Tory sleaze pales into complete insignifiance compared to New Labour's excesses over the decade.

So take off the gloves and get stuck in!

Draw up a list of all this black-hole spending and draw attention to it continually e.g. £8bn VAT fraud!

Point out that John Reid has quietly given up the hunt for the foreign criminals that brought down Charles Clarke!

Point out how NuLabour's tax and benefit policies are destroying the family, most voters are married, don't forget!

And so on!

Looking back at Blair's "legacy" of waste and failure, he should be an easy target to attack: all fur coat and no knickers. What a horrible thought!

Europe is not right wing orleft. It's Murdoch. He has to keep the EU Competition Commissioner off his back, so he'll do the EU's bidding in the UK. Blair has always depended on Murdoch so Blair backs the EU. He used to be against the EU.

We're in the EU because Murdoch makes money out of us being there.

Karl Marx could attack David Cameron from the right.

Tapestry, you are living in a dream world.

Early in Dave's reign there were a bunch of misty-eyed Eurosceptics who had fooled themselves into believing "he's one of us".

One by one I've seen them drop away, and the EPP debacle gave this tendency the final coup-de-grace.

You must be sui generis.

Attacking DC for his eurosceptic position on Europe is surely an attack from the left not the right. As for ID Cards they will be next to useless in dealing with illegal immigration or any other matter. They are a complete waste of time and money. By all accounts TB is about the only person in the labour party who still supports them. Expect the next labour leader probably GB to drop the idea completely.

Maybe this blurring of left and right was inevitable.

Why shouldn't the next election be fought between
- "authoritarian". Meddling, regulating, form filling, high tax and spend, control freakery, Thought Police aka PC, but for some reason letting out violent criminals after ten minutes; and
- "libertarian". Deregulating, low tax and spend, small government, freedom of expression even if it causes offence and law'n'order as prerequisite for life and liberty of the vast majority of us who aren't career criminals?

A good idea, Mark. Will there be any mainstream party championing the latter alternative?

If Murdoch wants us to stay in the EU, he has a funny way of showing it, the Sun is a pretty eurosceptic newspaper. Remember it was the Tory party that took us in, kept us in, and signed every piece of legislation that took us further in.

We should try to make ourselves distinct from Labour. Unfotunately it doesnt seem forthcoming. I know weve made some pledges about ID cards, which is all well and good, but the Lib Dems have done that from the very outset and didnt go in with the compromise over it. We have left ourselves open to attack as we agreed with Labour over ID Cards.

Arthur, Blair signed the EU Constitution.

monday clubber. i may or may not be living in a dream world. If Gordon Brown takes over Labour, I think some kind of alternative reality would be preferable to having to cope with having a dinosaur as Prime Minister.

Your analysis is shared by a few on CH, I know. In fact I was writing heavily against the EPP decision as it was taken, and was angry with Hague for the cop-out.

But there are two ways of looking at the situation. The eurosceptic MEP's were stunned into silence. Helmer was due for the chop. But he's now reprieved, and the voices of the eurosceptics are gradually returning. In fact Helmer is outside the EPP, and still a Conservative.

There could have been reasons why Cameron ducked the EPP choice. He was certainly being threatened with a sustained campaign against him by Ken Clarke while he was still new to position and vulnerable. If he'd been assaulted for being a little englander etc, it might have set back his primary strategy which is still to pick up centre ground voters.

As far as I know Helmer is still loyal. Carswell. Redwood. IDS. Cash. Paterson. And others. Also Hannan. Are you saying that you believe all these to be misjudging the party leader, or sacrificing their beliefs for party position? I've read the kind of things you say, have much sympathy, but i do believe that Cameron is, as Thatcher might say, sound - and that you are wrong.

Hannan was wrong to support him in the first place, and now he's been betrayed.

A short while after Cameron was elected a well-connected old-style Tory said to me "You're wrong about Cameron. He's much more Conservative than you think. All this nonsense we dislike is just window-dressing"

Months later he ran into me and said "You were right all along"

You'll come round to saying the same, Tapestry.

Arthur: If Murdoch wants us to stay in the EU, he has a funny way of showing it...

The Sun can write as many eurosceptic pieces as it likes. The crucial part is which governments it puts in and keeps in power. In fact, to get away with the kind of power leverage I describe, the paper would have to run a cover-up of the real game it's playing, for it to work.

John Major was eurocompliant - forcing through maastricht. He benefited greatly from Murdoch's backing. By chance and coincidence under Major Murdoch acquired the rights to 100% of satellite TV and the Premier league.

Maggie started off being well in with Murdoch, signing into all the Treaties. Murdoch had the Times and the Sunday Times handed to him although strictly only The Times came into the rules because it was losing money. But the ST was lumped in with it. Once Maggie realised that she was not in favour of further European Treaties, she was assassinated without Murdoch coming to her aid, and possibly assisting in the gradual destruction of her character.

Blair read the tealeaves, and signed up to the Murdoch/EU game 100% having previously been an arch-eurosceptic. Murdoch's kept his privileges under Blair, and has gained more - including the recent addition of Test Cricket which most people can now no longer watch as a result.

IDS stood against the EU. Murdoch's editors lead the campaign to assassinate IDS, and he was disposed of, despite his relatively successful gains in the polls.

Gordon Brown is now inheriting the Murdoch/EU Crown. That's 5 cases in a row over 25 years that conform to my theory, Arthur. Not final proof, but persuasive. The fact that Cameron is not approved by Murdoch is strong evidence that Cameron is not eurocompliant, despite his willingness to appear to be so for PR purposes.

monday clubber. anecdotal is fun, but not strongly persuasive against other evidence.

For Hannan's position, ask Hannan. Obviously disappointed by the EPP betrayal, he has not declared any disloyalty to Cameron. Same goes for Helmer, who is not known for calling a spade a flat piece of metal connected to a wooden handle used for digging earth.

My own position is that I was a Fox supporter during the leadership contest, and deeply suspicious of Cameron. Where did all Cameron's media backing come from? It seemed to be programmed around stopping Fox to me.

I stayed Cameron-sceptic right through to the EPP betrayal. But after speaking to relevant MEP's, well connected MP's, Conservative party workers and also meeting David Cameron briefly, I now see a broader picture, and support Cameron.

You might be right monday clubber, and i will swing away from him again, but as each day goes by, I become more convinced that Cameron is 'sound', despite all the confusing evidence created by his PR positioning.

While Labour descends towards internal conflagration, Cameron should bide his time and keep going as he is. There's no point in setting off any internal Conservative Party disputes at this moment. Cameron has to build a sustainable position of strength before he can become assertive as you would like him to be. He should be and is keeping his powder dry. My prediction is that it is you and your anecdotal friend who will be changing your views later on - and not me!

Tapestry - "Cameron should bide his time and keep going as he is. " What? Are you satisfied with a puny and shrinking lead - far below what's necessary to win?

AND - "Cameron has to build a sustainable position of strength before he can become assertive" He was handed the opportunity of a demoralised government and missed an open goal. He HAD enormous goodwill and has blown it.

Alienating many of those who've kept the party going for years [just when Howard had healed that breach) is hardly "build(ing) a sustainable position of strength" I call it shooting oneself in the foot.

He HAD enormous goodwill and has blown it.

Christina, when did he ever have your goodwill?

Blairs attack was from the left!
The Hug-a-Hoodie isnt attacking Cameron, but forever even more doing what Cameron was actually talking about when making his speech on the youth - alienating them and causing more havoc for the "old lady" (another ineffective term alienating & possibly offending more people) on the street.
Good speech from Blair, but full of inconsistant holes, typical New Labour!

"... I become more convinced that Cameron is 'sound', despite all the confusing evidence created by his PR positioning."

I really do hope you're right, Tapestry, but I'm afraid my instincts are rather more with Monday Clubber at the moment.

'Have you tried drafting anything with a committee of lawyers' -----

Well Mr. Blair your government - stuffed to the gunnels with lawyers, has formulated enough useless laws to last us a lifetime, so YOU SHOULD know all about that!!!!!!

If anybody wants to find their position on both of the two axes, "left- right" and "authoritarian-libertarian", there's a quick test on www.politicalcompass.org .

Sorry tapestry, but wasn't there something about coming out of the EPP? Has coming out of the EPP been put on the back burner for ever, or is it still a firm promise and if so when?

Thanks for that Denis at 13.50! I'm ever so slightly to the right and to the libertarian of dead centre, I'm happy to say.

Here's another fun online poll...


I'm not sure how Lord Snooty Macaroon is going to respond to Lionel Blair's speech yesterday. Can Snooty tap-dance ? I think not...

As for his ventriloquism act nobody will ever believe that his Blank-Faced Osborne dummy is actually speaking for itself.

Must try harder is the verdict.


Please stop associating yourself with those who kept the party going for years when times were hard. We long ago established that you jumped ship when times were at their hardest back in the early 1990's. You conspired with our enemies when loyalists struggled on and only briefly returned before stropping off again.

Mark - please use your loaf and don't ask questions ( "Christina, when did he ever have your goodwill?) with such an easy answer
- which is- - - "Before I came on this blog, which I did precisely because C: is leading us to disaster". Geddit?

In any case - unless you're just being rude - I was talking about PUBLIC goodwill as was perfectly obvious.

Gareth - I've told you before. I was a party worker and at CCO helping successfully to get Attlee out and put Churchill in. I supported all the tory leaders through Eden, Heath, Douglas Home (vg!), to Mrs T: and yes even Major till he betrayed his country and lied over Maastricht and destroyed the party. That was a total of 45 years unbroken active membership - "core" I'd say.

The party had wrecked itself by deserting its principles aznd - being principled - couldn't stay with it.

I (with reservations) backed Hague and IDS (see my FFPh publication) but came back without reservations with Michael Howard. But this present man who breaks his promises is beyond the pale. Parties exist to serve the country - not just to win elections

That's a damned good pedigree of which I'm proud. What have you ever done and for how long??

If labour can attack from the right, then where does that leave the tories...

That idea never entered the moonbat modernisers clever little brains. Labour can pretend it is the serious party, while the two opposition parties fight about who is the nicest/greenest.

Neither of which means a damn thing in the real world, the Tories, tks to the rebranding of the modernisers are just as unelectable as the Lib-Dems.

That's what you get by making a bloke who thinks putting a windmill on his house, that can't even boil a kettle, leader.

Joined the party aged 14 in 1986 (although campaigned really, since I can remember). Held pretty much every party position over the years at branch and association level. Councillor for 8 years from 1998 in L.B. Lambeth. Parliamentary candidate in 2001. Contesting Labour held seat in next May's local elections in Birmingham.

I was by no means a great fan of Hague or IDS, but I NEVER left the party. Unlike you, I worked for the party in the hard years rather than help our enemies.

We have just had a demonstration of the power of Blair. For example, he says Cameron isn't up to being prime minister because he is expressing some independence from the EU and USA. So, giving in to EU and USA is how to run the country.

Most of Blair's attack on Cameron was raving rubbish, but, Blair gets people to take the rubbish seriously. One reason is that, up to now, the Tory party just lets him get away with it *it'll be over in a week or two".

Another reason, as demonstrated by these blogs is we are more interested in arcane fights among ourselves, usually over Europe, than fighting Blair or Labour.

Oh yes, Afghanistan, who sent our toops there just to tidy up the infrastructure? Now who was the Defence Minister at the time?

Gareth - If you don't think "the hard years" included the Attlee and Wilson governments then you're a bit self-centred. And as I pointed out Major betrayed his country and the party, so any decent patriot would have taken the stance I did - AND VERY MANY DID! Only the apparatchiks clung on putting party before country.

And I probably did more good in your version of the hard years than many members.

A mere 20 years in total - or 16 from voting age. Wet behind the ears boy! :-)

Christine: Your pedigree is impeccable. Thank you for the years of service. Whilst I share your dissapointment with some aspects of DC, and totally agree with your assessment of Major, I do not understand how someone with your pedgree can not want DC to win? Surely, the most important thing is to get NuLab out, and soon.

I would rather the other David had won the leadershp election. I would rather Mrs. Thatcher was still our leader too! However, the reality is that as Tories we have a choice - we can work to put a Conservative (albeit a 'liberal' one) into No. 10, or we can let NuLab in again. Seriously, which would you rather have?

The more we build up cameron's lead by supporting him and selling the Party, the sooner he can become more assertive on policy. It's chicken and egg. While his position is vulnerable and he only has 4% leads, he is bound to tread carefully.

What is the point in attacking him now? First build him up to a big lead, then moan like hell if he doesn't perform. Activists should not be in the business of defeating themselves.

No politics is risk free. Any politican could be saying one thing and doing another. UKIP are a waste of effort unless PR is introduced, which Brown (if elected tom leader - ugghhh) will not do this side of a general election. All the talk about UKIP is completely barmy.

Make your choices and go for it. If Conservative eurosceptic, back cameron to the hilt and get him into the winning slot. If he is playing it clever media-wise but underneath is sound as a pound, it seems a shame not to give the benefit of the doubt until such doubt can be shown to be right. He is the best risk in the market. Put your money on him.


This is not a competition in earnestness and Major, Attlee and Wilson left the building some time ago. The matter at hand is "Blair attacks Cameron from the right".

Jon - It's not easy. IF - it's a big IF! - you start from my view that Cameron will wreck the party and the country if elected then if we want to preserve both, it's vital that the party does not win power with Cameron.

Firstly, on present showing he would be even worse than NuLabour and secondly if he loses he will be replaced - by a Conservative, I hope. There would then be something to fight FOR and with a Conservative party something to fight WITH.

Well Christine, I cannot share your viewpoint, I'm sorry. I admire your honesty in saying that you believe a Cameron lead Tory government would be worse than a Labour one, (presumably irrespective of who leads them), but I cannot endorse that.

There is much I and many others (obviously including yourself) would change about DC. But he is still a better choice for the country than NuLab.

My sadness is that someone with your experience, and pedigree in the field of electioneering will not be 'on board' to make that happen. I just hope that by the time that the GE does come around, you will have altered that viewpoint. From the strength of the conviction expressed in your posts however, I somewhat doubt that will occur.

it's vital that the party does not win power with Cameron.

Christina, I hate it that everything I write to you is full of questions, but I truly don’t have the first idea how you arrive at some of your conclusions.

What’s your evidence that Cameron will wreck the party and country? I genuinely, passionately believe he’s doing the right things. But even I didn’t, your theory also relies on our Labour opponent being less harmful. How on Earth do you arrive at that idea (especially since we don’t even know who it will be)?

Mark Fulford's question is valid. How could anyone be worse for the country than NuLab? I really think you should answer that Christine. Considering just how much damage this shower have done, I too cannot understand how you reach that conclusion.

Mark, you wouldnt do too bad ignoring those old drum bangers. They really are not at all constructive to the future of the Conservative Party.

I hope that it is Brown we are up against and we have enough on him to win.We do not make enough of his ploy in the 1998 budget re ACT , the result of which has ruined every private pension scheme. That alone should be enough to see him off.


Does it annoy you when certain people call you 'Christine'? Seems to happen a lot on here.

My apologies for mispelling your name Christina. I hate it when someone puts a 'h' in my name, so I have sympathy.

"so any decent patriot would have taken the stance I did - AND VERY MANY DID! Only the apparatchiks clung on putting party before country.

And I probably did more good in your version of the hard years than many members."

What a typically distasteful set of comments.

You apparently don't even recognise the irony that there'd have been no party left for the traitors to return to had some of us not stuck around to keep it going.

Christina, for someone who seems to view Cameron as a Wet it is surprising that you campaigned for Macmillan in the late 1950s!


I think this is all a bit rich coming from you. On many of the major issues of today, isn't CH a lot closer to Blair than Cameron? In fact, I PROPOSE THAT YOU RE-NAME YOUR SITE TONYBLAIRHOME.COM! Lets look at the facts:

Do you support neo-con foreign policy in a general? Blair & CH, yes. Cameron, no.

Was Israel "disproportionate" in its recent response to Hezbollah? Blair & CH, no. Cameron, yes.

Should we look favourably on expanding nuclear power? Blair & CH, yes. Cameron, no.

Should we make immigration more of a campaign issue? Blair & CH, yes. Cameron, no.

Should we have a Bill of Rights? Blair & CH, no. Cameron, yes.

Should we allow the police more powers to detain terror susupects? Blair & CH, yes. Cameron, no.

Given this, answer the following question truthfully: From 9/11 to today, would you rather have had Cameron or Blair as the leader of your nation? I don't expect an honest answer, but its obvious what you and many CH bloggers think. Don't get me wrong. I'm with you. I am a Conservative, but Blair has given me a lot more comfort in recent years on the issues that really matter than the jokers that have led our party. Remember the Reagan Democrats. I'm a Blair Conservative, and so, I think, are you Mr. Editor.

David, in a year of comments at CH I don't remember a better one. I'm a Cameron Conservative, but hats off to you!

I suppose I ought to begin with "I beg the indulgence of the House in making my maiden speech." Absolutely fascinating and excellent display of comments which I have read today, and please forgive me for adding my two pennyworth.

First, the confession - I was a Labour supporter in my youth, loathed Heath and his betrayal of our country, rejoiced when he fell, drifted away from Labour having seen the disaster of Wilson Mk II and Callaghan, spent 10 years out of politics, and joined the Tories having been attracted by Margaret's idealism, vision and enthusiasm, and the idea of letting people control their own lives.

So I think I qualify as a falling off the right-hand edge of the universe, eurosceptic libertarian Tory. I voted for David DAvis in the election and everything I've heard from the Tieless Wonder, Maude and May confirms my fears of the modernisers.

Frankie Maude in particular seems to think that old Righties like me who've spent the last eternity wandering round streets in the rain in a hopeless cause will stay with his pseudogreenies because there's nowhere else to go. Wrong. We spent years building up Tory support on a large Council estate here: they've got BNP posters in their windows now. We can be outflanked from the right, and there's a lot nastier people than Mr Blair out there who are already doing it.

And yet - Dave the Rave +has+ broken the logjam, we may well be in with a chance, and for those who have suggested let Mr Cameron lose and we get a real Tory leader the election after next, given the views of some of the Labour lot whom I saw at work in NUS many years ago, what election after next?

It may be that something was needed to break Labour's spell, and having seen at first hand the sort of environmentalist half-truths and downright lies with which our children have been brainwashed for the last 10 years it might well be that if we don't address some of these concerns we will be seen as irrelevant.

So IMHO (and I do mean humble) we must stick with DAve, swallow hard, work with him and hope against hope that he will succeed in marrying libertarianism with Conservatism and saving the country. I'm not very hopeful, and if I were 30 years younger I'd be on the boat out of here, but it's the best chance we've got. The alternative, from the left and the very far right, really is too dreadful to contemplate.

Sorry to go on so long, and thanks for your patience.

Excellent 'maiden speech' dcj! Hope that we hear more from you. An eminently sensible post.

Shame you have to ruin your post by calling Cameron stupid names dci.
Do you really think that Blair has made immigration an election issue David Clive? From where I sit I think he and his government have lied through their teeth (13,000 workers from Eastern Europe anyone) and mismanaged the whole issue.
Should we allow more police power? Huh? Wasn't it Cameron who demanded the acceptance of intercept evidence in court.This more than anything else was what was being asked for by the security services and was being opposed by Blairs ludicrous flatmate. The fact that Blair wanted 90 days detention (something that no case has ever been lost because of) is irrelevant.
Bill Of Rights? Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Blair in favour of the European Constitution,far far more damaging than any bill of rights.
Nuclear power.Has Cameron rejected it? No.Has Blair put off making decisions until he knew he will not have to implement anything.Absolutely.
Would Cameron support a neo con foreign policy? No hopefully not. How much evidence do you need that it doesn't work?

Jon I didn't say that Cameron would be worse than NuLabour. I said that ON PRESENT SHOWING he'd be no better. THEREFORE it would be better to see Cameronian Tories lose so that we can later win with a Conservative leader who will do some good for our country.

As for Mark who doesn't agree with my opinions I can only say "hard cheese" I definitely don't agree with his.

Christina wrote:

Does it annoy you when certain people call you 'Christine'? Seems to happen a lot on here."

This one puts up with it as part of the problems of sticking your neck out! What does make my blood boil are puerile idiots who use deliberate variants on my name (usually surname) to make - - er - spiteful remarks.

But sticks and stones may break my bones but - - -

(The other) Christina!

Gareth - So what you kept going is what we've got now. Oh dear oh dear!

Richard - re: Macmillan you're surprised that I "campaigned for Macmillan in the late 1950s!
Well my first was born in 1953 and the next in 1956 and "campaigning" would be an overstatement. I did what I could but I had other things on my mind. As for Macmillan himself I had tea with him in the Glasgow Conservative Club in 1948 and was thoroughly disillusioned to the extent that I refused to back him for the Edinburgh University Rectorial candidate that year. Macmillan and Wilson were a devious pair but at least Harold McM: had Conservative views on most things.


Apologies - I was trying, possibly not too gently, to point out Mr Cameron's "modern" image, which grates not only on me but on, I believe, many of our natural (if ageing) supporters. And I did (and generally do) accord him the honorific: perhaps a sign that when I talk about pensions I'll very soon have to declare an interest!

It is possible that at the moment Mr Cameron is being extremely clever and tactical. Whatever one might think of Mr Blair in general, he has been a brilliant and totally unscrupulous political strategist. In 1994-97 he developed the "Big Tent" strategy, bringing in to tack on to the decaying body of the Labour Party many social groups who had supported us 1979-92. How else can we explain the horrors of the night of 1 May 1997? (OK, Sir J Goldsmith and UKIP had something to do with it, but not an awful lot) Now that false coalition is disintegrating but it might be argued that to complete this something is needed to break their residual loyalty to Mr Blair and put them "into the market" again. That might be what Mr Cameron is trying to do, avoiding major policy commitments, trying not to put anyone off and bring in the "peripheral" vote. There are dangers to this strategy - while we won't win with just the core vote, we will lose without it - but it might be that this is what he is striving to do so that we can get a modernised version of the traditional Conservative message across.

I just wish I believed it.

David - here here old chap! The real Tories will abandon this site soon me thinks! I too like Mark Fulford am a Cameron Conservative, he is our saviour and thats what the haters of modern Britain dont like. Well boohoo.
Your comment is the best ive seen on here since this site began!

David Clive | September 27, 2006 at 18:49

"Remember the Reagan Democrats. I'm a Blair Conservative, and so, I think, are you Mr. Editor."

A very incisive post from David Clive which everybody should read.

In a few spare lines he effectively demonstrates the total moral bankruptcy of current Tory policies in comparison with the remarkable consistency of their Blairite equivalents

Yes, Blair does look like a political giant alongside Cameron, if only because Cameron is an intellectual dwarf.

It's not "trolling" to prefer that the Tory Party remains in reserve until it can come up with a worthy leader.

useful - "Cameron is our saviour and thats what the haters of modern Britain dont like"

I'm not sure which "Modern Britain" you're living in, useful, but the one I know and dislike was shaped by Blair and New Labour in their own image. Cameron had nothing to do with it.

Go back to sleep.

"Gareth - So what you kept going is what we've got now. Oh dear oh dear!"

We kept the party going so that it could, once again, challenge for power. Contrary to what you seem to think, it's not a debating society. Neither is it a retirement home for those nostalgic for the 1950's.

I sometimes have my doubts too dcj but Cameron has only been leader for 9 months he was elected by a massive majority and the polls have been far more favourable than anyone could have expected during the exceptionally gloomy days of 2005. For the moment I think we can do little other than trust him. The key will be when the policy groups report which is less than a year away. I suspect that after that we'll either fly high or crash and burn and it will be back to square one (again).
I apologise for being rude in my previous post.

"I suspect that after that we'll either fly high or crash and burn and it will be back to square one (again)."

Glad to see that even one or two dyed-in-the-wool Cameroons suffer nights of doubt and sorrow.

When the appalling Jeffery Archer became Party Chairman the Spectator commentated that he was a man for whom the overarching concern of the day was the temperature at which his gin and it would be served.

Cameron is a man from the same trite mould, with a few important bolt-on extras. In particular, he has learned that sincerity is everything.

Once you have mastered the art of faking it, the rest is easy.

"The key will be when the policy groups report which is less than a year away".

The policy groups are smoke and mirrors. It just gives the impression that the Conservatives are thinking about policy. The truth is that the policies announced since Camerons elections wont be amended as it looks like a u-turn. If the Competitiveness Policy Group calls for the Tories to call for radical tax cuts will Osborne change the already announced policy of stability before tax cuts...of course not because it looks like the leadership doesnt run the party.

What about the hoodie speech? If the Policy Groups report back that they feel we need to be tough on crime above giving love and understanding to young criminals, will Cameron take back what he has said in that infamous speech? Hell no.

Its smoke and mirrors. I dont expect policy to change at all in the light of the Policy Groups reporting back.

Gareth - "We kept the party going so that it could, once again, challenge for power." But what you've done is destroy the party but hijack the name.

"Power" seems to be the be all and END all for so many. Little thought about how that Power might benefit our country - just naked power - not service.

Oh dear, oh dear!

h dear!Oh dear, oh dear!Oh dear, oh dear! dear, o dear!

Except of course James we have hardly announced announced any policies at all so far so the policy groups are all working from a pretty blank canvas.
Sorry to see that you seem to have fallen hook,line and sinker for the new Labour spin on Camerons 'hoodie' speech.

If the Policy Groups report back that they feel we need to be tough on crime above giving love and understanding to young criminals...

James, you're doing Labour's smeer job for them. Let me give you of some less-reported excerpts from that speech:

Of course we should never excuse teenage crime, or tolerate the police ignoring it...

We need tough sanctions, protection and punishment...

Justice is about setting boundaries, and stepping over those boundaries should have painful consequences...

The CSJ speech was a serious discussion about treating the causes as well as the symptoms. And unlike Tony Blair’s efforts on the same theme, David Cameron’s ideas might actually work because they’re all about empowering the private sector to help children that are going off the rails. That so many people treat this speech with contempt is, itself, contemptible.

Mark, it is all very well quoting back the hoodie speech, but the message that was reported on the day and has since been accepted by the public at large as true is that Cameron said "give hoodies a hug".

It is the same as Thatcher's "no such thing as society speech". She didn't actually say that, but it hasn't stopped the mythology being built up.

Cameron dropped the ball with that speech because no-one in the inner circle was playing devil's advocate and considering how the Labour Party and our opponents would respond.

Like it or not, Cameron will be associated with the hug a hoodie line, despite him not actually saying it.

As for the policy groups, as someone who sits on part of one (waste) I can reassure you that there is serious policy reviews taking place. The narrative has been set but the policy groups have the opportunity to present any policy they like, no matter how radical. The challenge will be to see how the party adopts them.

"I'm not sure which "Modern Britain" you're living in, useful, but the one I know and dislike was shaped by Blair and New Labour in their own image. Cameron had nothing to do with it."

Thats exactly the attitude which wants to turn back the clock, wind back time. And that is impossible. Only a Cameron government can make things better, by following a progressive centre-right agenda fit for our time.

Mark, it is all very well quoting back the hoodie speech, but the message that was reported on the day and has since been accepted by the public at large as true is that Cameron said "give hoodies a hug".

And little-by-little I hope I can correct them - especially those within the party ;-)

"Thats exactly the attitude which wants to turn back the clock, wind back time. And that is impossible."

Of course it is impossible to turn back time; it is not impossible to learn lessons from the past, including where we did things better before. But are you so "progressive" that it is impossible for you to accept that some things about Britain were better in the past?

"Power seems to be the be all and END all for so many. Little thought about how that Power might benefit our country - just naked power - not service."

1. How, exactly, does one 'serve' the nation when in opposition? One can't.

2. What on earth is a political party about if not exercising power?

3. It is a long and noble tradition of our party that we primarily seek to exercise power to stop anyone else exercising power, on the reasonable grounds they are likely to do a worse job than us.

I'm amazed these simple truths need to spelt out to you Christina.

Gareth - You admit there that what you do with power is quite secondary to getting your hands on it.

Totally unprincipled and empty just like a Cameroon.

I made no such concession.

I wrote this:

"It is a long and noble tradition of our party that we primarily seek to exercise power to stop anyone else exercising power, on the reasonable grounds they are likely to do a worse job than us."

I note you chose to ignore points (1) & (2) of my post but instead tacked on some random abuse.

Christina is worth a 100 Camerons. I like every word she writes.
This is what the party needs, strong principled views,without fudging, and a clear vision of the Britain she wants to see. This was the magic of Mrs Thatcher. So many people supported her who were not Conservatives because she gave them a clear vision and clear leadership. People will follow a leader even if they only half agree with his/her policies, because no-one can follow a general who doesn't know where he's going, and why. At the end of the day, those who voted for Mrs Thatcher knew that even if they didn't like all her policies, they knew she was honest, principled and determined, and inside her handbag she carried the soul of England. Mr Cameron may not want to be like Mrs Thatcher, but ultimately, does anyone trust Cameron? I don't.

Peter, you're very generous with your praise, but I'm not sure that Christina has ever given us a vision of the Britain she wants to see. I get the impression it's one with lots of warships, where junior doctors work 60 hours a week, where we have nothing to do with the EU and where Cameron has nothing to do with the Conservative Party.

p.s. And God forbid we buy anything from Italy!

What no Ferrarris? No Lavatza Coffee? No Pasta? No Armani clothes?

Would life be worth living?

I suspect all of the above would be illegal in Speight-land. We don't want no foreign muck, afterall, do we?

Mark has worked hard on that drivel! eg "lots of warships" Eh?

-"where junior doctors work 60 hours a week" Since half my family were, are or will be doctors they knew and know that they're b****y good as a doctor until they've met as many medical problems as possible. Now my grandson can't GET that experience and as he tells me "I'll be a worse doctor for it" (And Mark along with the rest of us may well die because of that inexperience.) Mark's dumbed-down Britain - typically Cameroonian.

=="where we have nothing to do with the EU" NO - where we are not MEMBERS of the EU - don't invent my views to suit your Cameroonian prejudices

== "and where Cameron has nothing to do with the Conservative Party". There's one you nearly gor right but you've missed the essential fact that he is NOT a Conservative and has said so.

And how does Italy come into it, please?

Your facile criticisms, all based on misrepresention, are only equalled by the even more puerile remark from Gareth who has no idea (see another thread) WHY he wants the Tories to win an election - He just DOES, that's all!!!

You two are the xenophobes - not me! I didn't make a very good living in Europe by selling my service, largely in their native languages, to be xenophobic. I still talk to my customers and most of them dislike the EU as much as I do. But then THEY are all involved in international trade.

"There's one you nearly gor right but you've missed the essential fact that he is NOT a Conservative and has said so."

When was this? Somewhat strange remark to make given his position....

Andrew - I can't recall the occasion but it was recently when he said "Im a Liberal-conservative - conservative with a small "c" "

The Liberal bit dominates.

When ordinary people say that bit about the small'c' they are making it clear that they are NOT Conservative politically.

Google says.....


"I am a liberal conservative, rather than a neo-conservative."

In the context, it's about ideology specific to foreign policy. Admittedly, I'm not sure the contrast makes much sense within British political history (ie the only non-liberal parties are the BNP/commies), but he's clearly placing himself within both conservative and Conservative traditions.

I wrote this: "It is a long and noble tradition of our party that we primarily seek to exercise power to stop anyone else exercising power, on the reasonable grounds they are likely to do a worse job than us."

Posted by: Gareth | September 28, 2006 at 17:42

Could there be a better example of a morally bankrupt political opportunist condemning himself in his own words?

I am proud to say that I have spent my adult life trying and very occasionally succeeding in preventing the Gareths of this world from getting their hands on any form of political power.

And it is very possible that we now have a "Gareth" at the head of our party.

Your failure to recognise elementary Tory thought exposes you as the ideologue you are Monday Clubber.

Without wishing to enter upon an endless ideological argument, Gareth, a little study will show you that the history of Toryism (as opposed to that of the Conservative Party) was usually one of principled underdoggery.

While there were indeed a minority of Tories who shared your corrosive cynicism they tended to be of the dubious moral character of Baron Jeffreys or General Kirke.

The latter jumped ship to the Whigs anyway.

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