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I'm not sure that publishing this is a wise idea until and unless we have policies that will address these failures.

Malcolm has a good point, but on this occasion it's worth it to burst Tony's tiny bubble. A carefully timed move and I like it!

Does this mean that we oppose Labour's tax increases?

I agree with Mark but I also agree with Malcolm. I am particularly intrigued about point 42 given that immigration is now officially a non-topic for the Tory Party.

Good work. As sad as it sounds, this is going on my kitchen wall for a bit!

A suggestion for a number 51...Looked After Children.

5% of children in care get 5 A*-C GCSEs and of those only 1% go to University. Local Authorities send their problems elsewhere as Thanet has found. Thanet is one of the most deprived parts of the South East. Tens of thousands of kids to be perfectly frank have been abandoned by this Government. Three-quarters of them, if not more, have no future and Labour is to blame for not dealing with this.

4 . NHS Deficits. The NHS in England is this year forecasting a gross deficit of £883 million.

- and meanwhile much more than that is spent on the Scottish NHS , The Welsh NHS and the NI NHS .

the British govts figs for 2002/3 were
England £1085 per head pa
Scotland £1262 per head pa

therefore true figs almost certainly worse and trend worsening +++ since then .

So why doesn't the Tory party defend its supporters - mainly English - and stop diluting its arguments with the endless and deceptive use of the word British ?

I was speaking to a chap - never met him before - this morning re Falconer's remarks -
he butted in and said " the union can end tomorrow morning as far as I am concerned - the sooner the better " -

- just one voice from the crowd .
The danger to the union comes not from the celts but from the English who are becoming quite cheesed off with it .

Look at Falconer's comments reported in the DT - English people asking for English-only legislation days in the Commons are guilty of fragmenting the Union, but it's OK for the Welsh and the Scots to have their own Legislatures untainted by the English, 'cos that ain't fragmentary!?!!?

About the Truancy one, how many of them are regular truants and how many of them are those doing it as a one off? If we are going to post statistics like the ones above, I hope those statistics arent mislkeading ones... Kids having a one off skive arent the problem. Its the kids who rarely turn up for school who the Conservatives should be highlighting.

Thank God - maybe we are an Opposition after all!

There's a lot of tax rises there for a CCHQ that doesn't believe in tax cuts

On NHS deficits what the party should be doing is coming out and opposing PFI which in a lot of cases is responsible for much of these deficits and they should also start opposing the use of private treatment centres that are apparantly being paid for 100% of the operations its been contracted to complete when only completing 59% of the operations in contrast to NHS hospitals who only get paid for work they complete.
The governments record on the way they have brought private companies into the NHS as been expensive and ineffiecient and we should start saying so.
Its about time Andrew Lansley stopped acting as if he was the invisable man and started to do his job!

Is the borrowing figure (36% of gdp) correct? This will surely make tax cuts difficult

" On NHS deficits what the party should be doing is coming out - - - "

er - there are no deficits in the scottish , Welsh and Ulster NHS's -

- only in the English one

now can anyone get to grips with that

or does the state of denial continue enlessly ?

( there are four now separate NHS's - yet Labour goes on continually about "the NHS " and the Tories never take them to task on that ( and thereby waste their argument - why not ? )

Are all these details factually correct? I find it hard to believe No 2 that almost 50% of 11 year olds cannot read, write or add up. I know it is unacceptably high a figure but 50%?
We have to get out of the virtual world of Tony Blair and into the real world of high taxation, high levels of crime, public services that should be so much better given the expenditure on them etc.
If the publication of this list is the start of vigorous - and fair - opposition to this government, let us all use these 50 failures as our text.
Let us repeat them consistently and frequently to awaken the electorate to the realities of a Blair/Brown government - the past - but, at the same time, let us urge our party - the future - to formulate strong, principled policies to put things right.

It's all very well complaining about gun crime, but the fact is that Conservative policy on it has been for all practical purposes identical to Labour's for several decades now, viz, let's victimise sports shooters and hope that this will magically affect inner city drug dealers as well. If Labour's record is to be attacked then the party ought to come up with some sort of alternative approach. After of course apologising to people like myself for spending years pretending to the public that we threaten their safety, a pretence everyone seriously interested in the subject knows is not true.

I find 5 and 6) interesting

One minute the Conservatives attack Labour for taxing and spending too much and having too many public sector workers, the next for reducing staff in the NHS and having too many waiting lists!

How about surrender of the EU rebate ? How about failure to defend UK borders, to deport foreign criminals, that NuLab have made the UK the no. 1 'Asylum' destination for the third world, surrendered control of borders to EU (against 'red line' pledge that Bliar made to retain control), undermining marriage (e.g. removal of married couples' allowance).

I could go on and on, but then the Tories have ignored so many other issues which normal people see they've failed on. Of course, Cameron's Tory-lite party won't mention those because they fly in the face of political correctness. How pathetic.

UKIP, here we come.

The first comment (Malcolm) hits the nail on the head. If we point out a problem in our capacity as Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, but have no policy to address the problem, we look unprincipled, opportunistic, and unprepared for government.

Prudence & Betty fall off the chambers bicycle in a tiny blur showing not so much 50 ways to leave your lover as 50 reasons for the end of the affair.

"Manufacturing jobs. Since the second quarter of 1997, over 1.1 million manufacturing jobs have been lost."

I suspect there would have been a decline in manufacturing regardless of who won in 1997. We've been moving towards a more service-based economy for years. Whether or not this is a good thing is open to debate but I would be wary about blaming the Labour Party for this.

According to the WEF in the news today, Britain is not in 13th place in the world competitive stakes. Its tenth, falling one place from last year.


This is what Im talking about...the Tories have to make sure their numbers are right, otherwise this will look stupid...

Not easy to put into figures but the thing that makes me mad as hell about this government is the encroachment on our civil liberties. The approach of Brown is that when he gets us to pay for ID cards he can then sell our private details onto companies. He honestly believes he owns us and therefore has a right to do with us as he wishes. Meanwhile Blair wants a database of 50+ pieces of info about our Children (obviously not his children or David Beckham's as they are special) Oh yes and 400,000+ Civil Servants will have access to it. Not To mention Charlie Falkener ( does anyone get the feeling he is actually Herman Goering reincarnated) I think Henry Porter Sums him up best when he says "Suffice to say that this is a man who, while spouting in Australia about values and basic rights such as privacy, was preparing legislation in Britain to water down the privacy laws so that the electoral roll may be used to police the ID card database and levy fines of £2,500 from people who fail to register."

To answer Tory solicitor's question. 36% Debt/GDP is high by British standards but by international standards still fairly healthy. I don't think it rules out tax cuts it just means that we can't mess around too much with the public finances.

Japan's ratio was 111% in 2003.

Comstock you say "One minute the Conservatives attack Labour for taxing and spending too much and having too many public sector workers, the next for reducing staff in the NHS and having too many waiting lists!"

I believe conservatives attack Labour for taxing and wasting, they also would prefer to see front line NHS staff than wasting resources on smoking cessation officers and the like (can I suggest you take a look at Burning Our Money on the blog links). As for waiting lists I read recently that services privately contracted by the NHS and paid for even though not used, weren't being used through lack of co-ordination.

I know people who will put a healthy meal on the table every night for a large family on a tight budget and I see others on the tv that serve up rubbish and take-aways spending far more money in the process who couldn't budget for toffee - the latter is what we feel Labour do with our taxes.

My local hospital is cutting out little things like voluntary workers cups of tea to save money, and that ones saving practically nothing in the grand scheme of things. This NHS Trust is in tens of millions of pounds of debt. Two wards are being closed down and every NHS worker in the hospital is on notice basically. Two of my closest relatives work at that hospital. I expect voluntary redundancy notices to be released by the end of the year. The nearest hospital from Thanet if Thanet hospital didnt exist is Canterbury, a 45 minute drive, probably more now due to Westwood Cross...

This is Labour's legacy.

Seeing this appallingly long list of failures makes me feel quite depressed because of all the work that will be needed to undo or rectify all the bad laws, bad judgements, and collossal waste when a Conservative government gets back into power. Because it absolutely can't be just more of the same!!!

Interesting that Labour's attack on freedom (ID cards, the spurious "security" legislation, the granting of arrest powers to the police for any offence, the emasculation of Parliament etc) is not a Labour failure. But, of course, freedom is so old hat, so "unmodern", so boring compared with concerns about climate change and useless windmills on roofs of houses in Notting Hill.

Richard - Britain gained 200,000 manufacturing jobs in the four years up to 1997 so Labour's disastrous performance since needs another explanation.

Editor - can we have a thread to put down additions to the 50 failures "posted" by CCHQ please. Umbongo is right in saying that various civil liberty erosions should be added - pity he ruins it with his bile towards Cameron.

Who put the list out in this order - it lacks any order or logic.
A £900m NHS deficit is peanuts and doesnt deserve to be so high up. Spending an extra £30billion for only a few more ops doesnt deserve so be so woolily expressed or so low down.
No mention of the constitutional imbalance re England.
All these mentions of tax rises should surely be excised since we are officially committed to doing nothing about them.

Still its nice to see someone in CCHQ realise we are in opposition and ought to attempt to oppose something, amidst the Blair lovefest.

Between 23 and 30 per cent of eligible people are not claiming the benefits that they are entitled to.
That's nothing new, certainly the benefits system is too complicated, benefit rates mostly are too high and means testing penalises thrift - a move towards strict residency based on ID information stored in a national ID database with proof of identity being an absolute requirement with people who cannot prove who they are getting nothing is the way forward, then again benefits still are not obligatory for people to claim and so it remain, many who don't claim benefits do so voluntarily, claiming benefits also can be attached to certain responsibilities as to how people spend their money and other criteria they may have to meet - people have a choice as to whether to claim benefits or not if they are eligible (and unfortunately at the moment even if they aren't as checks are very lax or missing and there would be too much to check because of how complex the actual way they are calculated is) and if they choose not to claim then they shouldn't be forced to and indeed non-claimants should be praised for not simply taking something because it is made freely available - it is part of ending welfarism whether it relates to a service or payment, that just because something is free doesn't mean that someone should claim it.

Stephen Talkinghome hits the nail on the head with all those things that are NOT on this list To the crucial issues he lists U would add the dreadful incompetence which has sent our soldiers to die because they are inadequate in numbers and woefully ill-equipped

The list seems to me like a draft circulating round an office for comment. It is disgracefully badly presented and designed with incoherent grouping. It's a mess. Was it designed by juveniles???
Tory Solicitor - 36% borrowing on GDP is manageable and wouldn't preclude tax cuts IF ONLY the figure hadn't been grotesquely nassaged by G Brown!
David Belchamber - the figure of almost 50% of 11 year olds cannot read, write or add up is from official figures.

Very useful things to put in leaflets. Well done CCHQ.

Are we really saying that increases in violent crime are not as bad as increases in carbon emissions?

Thanks, Christina @ 10.06: I knew the figure was appallingly high but thought it was something like 30%.
It is arguable that pupils with such low attainments in the basics should not be allowed into secondary school (where no doubt they would be disruptive) but be transferred to special units for remedial teaching.
You cannot achieve anything useful in life without the basic tools.

And what about the constitution? Devolution? Regional Assemblies? No English Parliament?

Togue writes "And what about the constitution? Devolution? Regional Assemblies? No English Parliament?"

AND ill-equipped servicemen dying; AND Blair allowing EU contribution to double; AND trebling (?) the number of paid "spin" doctoring officials; AND Wards, A&E departments and whole hospitals closing;AND doctors and nurses losing their jobs; AND newly trained doctors unable to find jobs; AND - - - (you name it)

The list was obviously rushed out without anyone being in charge or thinking about presentation. eg Why were the NHS items not grouped together (4, 5, 6, 22, 45, 46, 47, 48 and 49) ?? There's no coherence at all. Shoddy.

eg Why were the NHS items not grouped together (4, 5, 6, 22, 45, 46, 47, 48 and 49) ?? There's no coherence at all. Shoddy.

Christina, I love the way you write. If you don't see the reason, it's shoddy, incoherent, rushed, unplanned.

If I were writing that list I deliberately wouldn't group items because:

a) without grouping, any part of the list stands as a wide-ranging complaint. Many people won't read the whole thing.

b) grouped items would make it look like we're building the number by taking one complaint and subdividing it.

It is encouraging to see some activity in opposition, but (I always moan about this), we must do more. When New Labour were in opposition the hammered away day and night at the Major administration, we need to do the same if we want to win a majority Govt. at the nest election. We have too many MPs in Westminster tootling along.

We can hardly criticise them for sacking doctors and nurses when there are far more doctors and nurses than when we left office.

So uncontrolled immigration and a near total seizure of power by Brussels are not it seems things that CCHQ thinks are worth mentioning.

What an opposition!

Gareth - "We can hardly criticise them for sacking doctors and nurses when there are far more doctors and nurses than when we left office."

Oh yes we can when foreign doctors and nurses are so central to the staffing.

Mark Fulford -I said it was "it's shoddy, incoherent, rushed, unplanned." That's exactly what it was. It seemed to have been hurriedly assembled from the contributions of half-a-dozen undergraduates from a 2nd rate university. Any paid employee putting out such a ragbag of incomplete items should get his/her P45 pronto.

And since the NHS is on the brink right now I reject your suggestion that one strews the items around. That way the NHS's central danger gets missed. (They did miss it in fact by not mentioning hospital closures)

Any general will tell you that in an attack you concentrate your forces, not dissipate them.

I very much agree with your comment, Oberon @ 13.35:
"It is encouraging to see some activity in opposition, but (I always moan about this), we must do more".

It is important, I believe, to base opposition on facts and figures (the list of 50 failures gives us ample ammunition).
Even more important, every time conservative spokesmen castigate Nulab's record in print or on TV, they impress themselves on the mind of the electorate.
To govern, we need a wide range of ability on show, not just DC and David Davis.
Some of the shadow cabinet are too shadowy!

"Oh yes we can when foreign doctors and nurses are so central to the staffing."

What's that got to do with the price of stilton??

Gareth - (CS wrote) "Oh yes we can when foreign doctors and nurses are so central to the staffing."

Gareth - "What's that got to do with the price of stilton??"

Wake up!. What is that supposed to mean? If that army of administrators had got it right it would be British doctors and nurses instead of foreigners in jobs. AND the foreign nurses are not going to be too pleased to be here in Britain and no job.

They've now altered the rules (thanks to EU working time directive ) so that junior doctors are not experienced and after a 2 year probationary period from next year they still have to apply for senior posts but run slap-bang into the doctors under the old scheme with 5 year's experience after the same jobs. There will be 20k 2yr-doctors competing for 10k jobs. What are the rest to do? In the year I know of, many are investigating Australian posts. That would be a quarter of a million each down the drain.

You're no longer arguing your original point. This is typical of your debating style. You simply move the goal posts when you're losing an argument. It is VERY tiresome.

Gareth - You raised the question of doctors/nurses in the NHS. I pointed out that a large number of these were foreign and who would get the sack? You then went off into orbit about the price of Stilton. (VERY TIRESOME!)

I then answered what I thought you were saying but the stilton remark WAS a bit distracting - don't you think?

Then I added some other facts - not in reply to you -about NHS staffing which are highly relevant and furthermore not widely appreciated. If there's trouble at t'mill now you just wait till 10,000 doctors can't get a job. (It'll probably happen just AFTER the next election)

"The list was obviously rushed out without anyone being in charge or thinking about presentation. eg Why were the NHS items not grouped together (4, 5, 6, 22, 45, 46, 47, 48 and 49) ?? There's no coherence at all. Shoddy. "

Not shoddy at all - just devious and carefully designed to hide the fact that ALL the NHS topics apply only to the English NHS - the other three NHS's are rolling in money - ie English money ( even so they complian a lot - doubtless designed to disguise just how privileged they are .

One of most unpleasant themes of the 2000's , yet to be ventilated , is just how much the Tory party has conspired with the Labour government to supress the exetent of discrimination against England

- and why .

No Christina.

You said we should attack the govt. for sacking nurses and doctors. I pointed out that would be a little foolish given the huge overall increase in their nos. under this govt. You then changed your argument, twice. Firstly you responded marvellously non-sequitously by twittering about the extra nurses and doctors being 'foreign' and secondly, again non-sequitously, about the working time directive.

Gareth if non-sequitiously means no relevance (sorry best guess) the working time directive has had a big impact on the number of extra doctors and nurses that are required, if you reduce every nhs worker by 9 hours per week (due to wtd regulations) you would need an extra worker for every four to do the same amount of work.

a-tracy at 1501 -
Too right ! See this- - -

"Leading doctors groups have backed Government plans to close 60 hospital departments across the country, arguing that the decision to end junior doctors' opt-out from the rules has meant that there are not enough doctors to provide top-quality care for patients. Ian Gilmore, president of the RCP, said: "Leaving aside financial cutbacks, the pressure on medical staff due to reducing junior doctors' hours to comply with the European Working Time Directive has made it increasingly difficult to maintain full emergency services running 24 hours a day in many hospitals." (Observer, 17 September)"

And not only that but as a consequence the junior doctors are not getting the experience to go on on the consultants' ladder.

So under all these circumstances to be sacking doctors and nurses NOW is stupid at best and incompetent too. It smells riper than stilton too, Gareth. What WAS that about? (do stop nit-picking please)

a-tracy: you've entirely missed the point, which was about Christina constantly shifting her argument onto new ground when losing on the old ground. It was not about the merits of the working time directive or its effects on the health service.

Christina, either you really don't get it or you are being disingenuous. In any event, this is getting just too painful to continue.

Gareth - The Working Time Directive is indirectly going to be responsible for all those medics getting the boot ? If that isn't grounds for going for Blair, what is?

Any chance of CCHQ doing an update of this for 2007? It would be VERY helpful for campaign literature...

T Sinden I agree, the Conservatives silence on this issue is puzzling, if not dangerous, for if they look favourably on the Union then they had better get out there and respond to this gross inequality created by Labour, for nothing is going to see the finish of the Union more quickly than any than their failure to respond to the issue. Part of the explanation may be the fact that Cameron has installed Letwin as the policy wonk, and he seems at best oblivious of the issue, if not set his stall out against giving English people representation.

May I suggest one glaring failure of the Conservatives, is a failure to defend their corner, and a failure or lack of desire to politically knife their opponents.

I have just heard Chris Grayling on Any Questions. As usual the Labour Minister, in this instance Yvette Cooper, began the usual Labour monologue of how Conservative tax proposals didn't add up. Unfortunately Chris Grayling failed to defend the Conservative corner, for all he had to do to deflate the Labour attack was to point out the waste we have seen under Labour, or point out all the billions of expenditure Gordon Brown promised in his speech with no hint of how he was going to pay for it. The Conservative Shadow Cabinet don't even have to think up the argument for them selves , all they had to do was read Jeff Randall's comment in the Telegraph today.

On hearing Chris Grayling's bumbling, stumbling performance on Any Questions one fears the Conservative Conference was the exception, and are now back to the sloppy, ill informed, poorly briefed, poorly argued norm of the Conservative Shadow Cabinet.

George Osbourne on Question time and Andrew Lansley on newsnight were both excellent last night, keeping up the pressure and repeating David Cameron's call for a general election.

What a perfect cut out and keep guide to judge any future Conservative Government.

It contains specific performance figures classed as failure that if not bettered by a Con administration will come back to haunt them.

I can't help but think that the open-ended, uncosted and unfunded* Tory pension fund lifeboat scheme is a can of worms that could have a significant upward impact on overall taxation.

*(No sign of a hint of the offset tax rise to fund this from Osborne or anyone else.)

"" On NHS deficits what the party should be doing is coming out - - - "

er - there are no deficits in the scottish , Welsh and Ulster NHS's -

- only in the English one "

RUBBISH! We get some drugs which are not available in England, not because there is more funding in place, but because different priorities are at play in decision making.
Been in a Scottish hospital lately? Try getting a bed in some departments, or look at our waiting lists!!!

Nothing on the fact that Jack Straw turned off immigration controls in '97 and they've never been turned back on......?

David Belchamber:

"Are all these details factually correct? I find it hard to believe No 2 that almost 50% of 11 year olds cannot read, write or add up. I know it is unacceptably high a figure but 50%?"

The only explanation I can think of is that we have 25% of all schoolchildren from ethnic minorities and many are immigrants who do not speak English.

I remember a Pakistani lad who was in remedial class for the 5 years of secondary education because he came here without being able to speak English. He obtained 5 O levels though.

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