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Try not to gloat too much, eh?

Exactly what I was thinking when reading the Guardian report on yesterdays action a moment ago. One concern is what do the Tories do? Its completely sidelining our policy announcements...

True James, but it's a nice problem to have surely!

I think we (Cameron et al.) need to push the "these guys are 'whats in it for me', and the good of the Country is being left behind here."

ps - it was rather surreal yesterday - I was walking past the RSA on John Adam St. and there was Blunkett on the pavement with range Rover, Lakeys, Security bozo's and Rangey Rover giving his 'pull back from the brink' interview on the pavement.

This is the thing with a spin obsessed organisation, once the wheels come off it really goes topsy turvy. Oh happy days.

What should the Tories do? Well, let's not be seen to be nasty, or offend against the mores of the BBC and Guardian. In fact let's talk about increasing taxes and being more Blairesque than the man himself. What's that? You say he's going? - no matter, Mr Cameron is his true inheritor so his legacy must be cherished.

Oh well, waiting for Labour to self-destruct is a kind of strategy I suppose. Like waiting for the Black Death to run its natural course. But underneath the media excitement the work of government, or more correctly mis-government, continues as usual. For example, none of this will stop Reid giving up our veto on Justice and Home Affairs on September 22nd, so that the EU will be able to dictate our criminal law and our police and court procedures by QMV. David Davis is the Shadow Home Secretary; isn't he concerned that if he ever becomes the real Home Secretary he'll find that his hands are tied by EU decisions imposed by majority voting? Which cat has got his tongue, I wonder?

The Tories should reinforce the message that Labour MPs and the Labour Party are out to do what's best for them whereas we want what's best for the country.

The Blair premiership is effectively dead. We cannot afford such a 'non-prime minister' at a time of international crisis and while we have troops engaged in a 'shooting war'.

Everybody knows Blair will be gone within a year, he will not be listened to or taken seriously on either the international stage or domestically. For at least the next 8 weeks, with troops daily under fire in Afghanistan, the UK will be rudderless....

If Labour do not force Blair to go immediately then they will have betrayed their country yet again....

From George Osborne's ConservativeHome diary "...And now back to Britain where it seems the Government is falling to pieces. Getting the morning news summary has been a highlight of the trip."!!!

Sit back and enjoy the experience with relish.

(Meanwhile feign mock indignation at how bad this is for the country etc. etc.)

Leader away abroad and regarded as focussed on presentation, jollies and nothing else, MPs disagree with policy, senior party members plotting, party membership wanting principled policies....

But enough of David Cameron, Labour's inability to see that Blair is the best leader they have ever had is most amusing

Taxctter if you want lower taxes in the future you want to start backing David Cameron because if you don`t your going to get a full term Brown government and you certainly won`t get lower taxes with Gordon!

Nice logic there Jack Stone. Back Cameron because youll never get tax cuts under Brown...how do we know were gonna get tax cuts under Cameron?

The BBC is indicating a year will be the time scale spoken by Blair today. Brown will not be happy.

The row between Blair and Brown is like two bald headed men fighting over a hair brush. Blair should do what John Howard did in Australia ie sack Brown.

James Maskell,

Because "sharing the proceeds of growth between better public services and tax cuts" does involve the phrase 'tax cuts'.

If you cant see any difference between Brown and Cameron then God help you.

Joe, John Howard didn't sack Peter Costello, if that is what you are implying.

Alexander is correct. John Howard did not sack Peter Costello. However, he did give him the two finger sign.

Bearing in mind what Letwin said earlier this week, how can we trust Cameron to give us tax cuts?

About the Guardian article earlier, I think I need to clarify I read it off the website, I dont buy the paper...I dont think your political affiliation should restrict your reading choice in terms of newspapers though.

Unfortunately in politics this is cyclical and it will happen to us in 10-14 years time. Bring on Brown - a head to head with him will see our ratings soar. Brown is not a media performer and has been conspicuous in his silence all summer whilst wiedling the knife. When Cameron exposes his past record and comparisons are made on personality and looks (sad but true these days) we will win. Parties generally do not take kindly to those that are dis-loyal even though the Labour Party want Blair to go sooner rather than later.


now: bye bye tony

later: bye bye labour

oh happy day, oh happy day. This is a delight and I'm not going to bother pretending otherwise.

As for DC and co, they just need to keep up the 'look what their doing to the country; more interested in their egos than the people of Britain etc' line. I don't think they're allowed to enjoy it as much as the rest of us.

Janice, a head to head between Cameron and Brown would be interesting. Polling evidence suggests that the public regard Brown as more trustworthy and competent than Cameron, while viewing Cameron as more likeable than Brown.

Blair's own poll ratings are terrible, and doing terrible damage to Labour. Brown's ratings are a good deal better than Blair's.

Wow, Gordon is smiling!

Gordon's smiling because he thinks the hand-over is a given and he gets handed the baton.
Things are never so simple in the Labour world.
If Blair is toppled then the party will insist on a vote for a successor and for all party positions. That will be a policy decision that you can guarantee the unions will have big say in. They are after-all now bankrolling the party.
Such an event could lead to a lot of factional in-fighting as the lefties and centrists fight for control over the jobs and writing the future directional manifesto.
Not all is sweetness and smiles in the world of the left, there are many who feel that Blair has taken the party away from its leftwing roots and sold out. That is an opinion that many party members hold.
Gordon, despite the alleged enmity, is seen as the ally of Blair and tarred with the same distaste. His decision to freeze public sector pay rises will not be forgiven.
He most defintely shouldn't be smiling, more a worried frown.
The decision of the junior rankers to step down is the beginnings of the civil war, as all the factions take up positions and look for support before going for the others throats.
So bless it may well be the last smile for Gordon.

There is nothing beautiful about the morning.

The behaviour of labour politicians has brought disrepute to british politics.

Politicians have been exposed as power hungry, unprincipled and disloyal.

So which end of May...I reckon soon after the local elections...first half of May I think.

Michael, interested to know when you think it has ever been different?

Wonderful stuff. What should the tories do? Sit back , get a cold drink out of the fridge , and enjoy every fabulous second of this titanic implosion.

It hasnt been posted here but to update you on what replacements there were, Derek Twigg MP is Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Ministry of Defence and Tom Harris MP is Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department for Transport.

Whatever else is in store, stable government is not a prospect.

I agree with David Banks @11:25.

Apologies for using this quote because it is so often distorted by opponents and it comes from such a far, far better PM but . . .

"Just rejoice at that news"

BBC reports that Blair will speak between 2 and 3 this afternoon...he will not name a date!

Oh pahhlease Michael Ehioze-Ediae - We're all like Pigs in Sh*t this morning. SShhhh tho, we cant let anyone know how much we are loving it. I think this thread should self-destruct in 16 Hours.

Yes , indeed - the keynote here should be celebration. Can't believe some of the hand wringing ' lets not look pleased ' posts above. Labour hate us , and you bet if we were having one of our past leadership debacles ( thank God they stopped!) Blair would be lapping it up and we would be struggling to look electable. Not to put too fine a point on it - lets bask in the warmth of this long awaited nuclear explosion

Its schadenfreude. Its hardly like Labour were being kind to us when we were having trouble. They were doing the same as we are now. This is long due.

What should Tories do? Stop reading the bloody Guardian for a start!!

If Blair doesn't give a date this afternoon he'll just pour petrol on the flames.

If he names a date and goes before the devolved elections he might survive.

I can't believe we have all forgotten what DC has done recently to us over the Priority List and Christi - we don't him as Prime Minister. Let us not rejoice, let us fear what Cameron as PM will mean for our party and country.

Theres a lot of different stories...


Thanks for that David Walker. Despite my own disagreement over that particular issue, I would very much rather Mr Cameron in 10 Downing Street than any Labour PM.

David, no one is forgetting what Cameron is doing to our Party, we are all aware of it, but Cameron wont be announcing many big things at the moment because the Tories arent the big story...theres no press time for it.

What will happen if Gordon does become leader just ahead of next year's local and Scottish elections?

Will he bring about a bounce or just get fried at his first outing? I think he'll get fried and heartily wish he'd allowed Blair to stay till those elections were over.

Does anybody think he is smart to get in before May?

Blair should hold on, if he sticks on as leader for a bit and lets the venom build he'll get his legacy. As the party goes into meltdown people will hark back to the good old days of Blair (labour members anyway), much like Tories look at the Thatcher years as glorious when they really weren't.
I do have to say though, as a 9 year old when Blair was elected, I will miss him in a strange kind of way.

A Cameron Government? Early indications are that it could be very much like an Heath/Thorpe love-in. Er... not such a beautiful morning after all is it?

no one is forgetting what Cameron is doing to our Party

nope that's right. Making us electable to the government of Britain is something I will personally remember for a long time :-)

I wonder how people can bring themselves to make posts like this James - you rejoined the party but if you dislike the leadership so much it must be a miserable experience.

Look, having any Conservative back in Downing St is a step in the right direction. Is Cameron perfect? No. But he's the best on offer and we've just got to make do with it and work within theparty structure to try and promote the issues we want to see discussed. A heck of a lot easier if you're in government than in opposition, by the way.

As for what we do now? Well, we are not the story. We're not going to get any coverage. I don't see how any intervention by the Tories is going to do anything that we want to see happen. Should we gloat? In public, no. We just need to say that we are getting on with the business of opposing the government's damaging policies and formulating our alternatives and that the issue of who leads their party is an internal matter for them. In private....HELL YEAH!

Blair is toast. I can't see how he can carry on. In fact, if Labour allows him to carry on that would be a fatal mistake for them. There must be a lot going on behind the scenes. I cannot believe that Labour MPs would be tactically stupid enough to allow this present paralysis and in-fighting to continue.

I wonder what Bush is thinking in Washington. His final years in the White House will be a bit lonely without Blair. What are the odds that Blair has promised him he'll be with him until the end?

“Is Cameron perfect? No.”

Yes He is.

The government is in disarray and will remain so as long as Blair is allowed to continue on his ego trip trying to rescue his "legacy". Ironically, it is his own party that might, at this late stage, prevent him from achieving his ambition of outlasting Margaret Thatcher as PM.
Now Gordon Brown is itching to embark on his own ego trip: where do the needs of the country figure in all this?
At least, it should not be difficult to attack Brown if he becomes PM; he has been a prime mover in the Nulab project and, coming out of his sulk at the last minute to help Blair secure a victory at the last GE, he cannot stand aside from Blair's failing policies. As he has not resigned, he clearly still endorses Nulab and is, therefore, wide open to attack.

From what he said when he was making his leadership bid I could envisage advantages in having Cameron as Prime Minister rather than Blair or Brown.

Now I almost think that it would be better to continue with the devil we know.

The fact that people are happy to post on this web site that they dont want a Conservative victory at the next election just sums up the sad decline of Conhome. Last week I even saw one poster put inverted commas round the George in George Osborne. No webite associated with the Conservative party should be prepared to tolerate that sort of distasteful nonsense.

Everyone type " Failure " into Google, and see what the top result is...

ThePrince...if you were 9 years old when Blair became PM (he was NOT F*****G elected except by the voters of Sedgefield by the way) then you ought not to be disparaging Mrs T.

She was the best peacetime PM of the 20th Century and I (as someone who actually remembers her tenure at No.10) do consider her time a glorious (well, except maybe the last couple of years of course.)

"Does anybody think he (Brown)is smart to get in before May?"

He has to, otherwise Alan Johnson and Reid will overtake him as favourite.

Bush could always offer Tony a job at the White House, like Butler, or Head Gardener.

I agree, Brown will be desperate to get this over with quickly - like before Christmas. To wait until May is going to be a huge risk for him. The whole thing is getting wildly unstable - Brown is desperate to topple Blair quickly - but he is getting much of the fall-out as a result, something he also needs to avoid as it in itself may jepordise his chances of becoming PM, and even if he does, the result could be continuing civil war.

The whole thing is a mess, and I'm delighted.

If latest rumours are correct Blair is either actually willing to be the scapegoat for Labour losses on May 3rd or perhaps the plan is he resigns on 4th May and no-one takes much notice of results.

Our public stance on all this should be in the Hazel Blears mode of concentrate on good governance (poor woman - between questions on Nesnight she really did look like a rabbit cornered by a fox) - ie This country is facing real problems, the ongoing terrorist threat, soldiers exposed due to lack of resources & clear direction, communal problems driven by violent crime and under-resourced policing....while the Labour Party is riven by dissent. A defense minister spends the weekend on a letter calling for the PMs departure in a week where British soldiers were being killed & wounded in the fiercest fighting since Korea.

Yup, and Blair should stick two fingers up at Brown and not name any date whatsoever.

Good point Ted, I hope some of the commentators pick up on this. I'm hoping for some damming editorials too.

Well Brown's speech was pretty, um, dull. I wonder if a deal has been struck. It's like the MacMillan and the Magic Circle all over again with these two men determining the future of the Labour party on their own, and without telling anyone else. Does anyone in their party have any balls (apart from Ed)?

Lord Haw Haw (what a stupid pseudonym) @ 12:46 - "The fact that people are happy to post on this web site that they dont want a Conservative victory at the next election just sums up the sad decline of Conhome"

Rubbish, nothing to do with any imagined decline of Conhome, more to do with the decline in the perceived benefits of having Cameron as a Prime Minister.

There's no point in installing a new Prime Minister just because he calls himself "Conservative", if he's then going to carry on in pretty much the same way as the previous Prime Minister who called himself "Labour". In fact it would be much better for the country not to give the same project of deceit and betrayal a fresh lease of life by doing that.

Denis now why would Cameron be like a Labour PM? ConHome survey suggests 74% are satisfied, so belt up! Cameron is the greatest thing to happen to our party since Thatcher, so just supports him or go home!

G Wild, it would probably be quicker if you told me how Cameron would be different from a Labour PM, on present showing.

"ConHome survey suggests 74% are satisfied, so belt up!"

That's what I like about this blog - the tolerance and commitment to free-speech!

This page was just shown on live BBC news...

Quick, everybody say something profound!

Astonishing that the Labour Party has not learnt the lessons from the fall of Margaret Thatcher: leaders who win three elections deserve to go at a time of their own choosing and getting rid of them creates lasting bitterness and turns the party into a bunch of serial assassins. Looking forward to Labour's turn for 15 years in the wilderness.

It is quite clear to me, having watched his lame performance this afternoon watching both Sky and BBC news, Tony Blair is at last acutely aware he is a 'lame duck' PM today. He cannot sustain a leadership of the Labour party for more than 10 weeks let alone 10 months in my opinion. But we conservatives must not add any comment to this appalling mess. It appears to me this government is in its dying throws and any new PM will have a huge mountain to climb to regain its previous position amoungst the electors. We can only watch and listen to them. We will have our chance to scuttle Mr Brown or any other leader in plenty of time before the next election. But for now, lets quietly enjoy all this. Afterall we have been there before.

Ask Gordon Brown this question, and see if he's willing to answer it.

"Do you rule out British membership of the single currency at least for the next ten years?"

He's not committed himself yet. Brown's a major risk to Sterling.

Denis Cooper,
WOW - I never thought I would hear another person to be so obtuse as to draw a similarity between Blair and DC again. I thought this was an 'old hat' comment made by critics before DC had began to show his reform programme and argue his reasons for introducing them. Its seems to me you are about 6 months behind the times - and a week's a long time ....etc

Blair seemed almost on the brink of tears during his statement earlier, and was hardly conveying his words in a confident manner, as he glanced at the floor.

Anyone know when the next polling figures are due in? Shame Populus' came in just before this all errupted.

There is nothing beautiful about the morning.

The behaviour of labour politicians has brought disrepute to british politics.

I agree, Michael. Personally I find the antics of some of the posters here extremely distasteful. It's a clear example of some rather childish people emulating Labour by putting party before country.

Not only distasteful, but rather stupid. The next General Election is years away and Blair will be long gone by then, however long he takes to go.

Blair has made many foolish errors, and yet his Premiership has enjoyed considerable prestige. When one compares him to his predecessor, the utterly appalling Major, it is not difficult to see why the people voted as they did.

OTOH, our present poll successes can be put down, I would say about 70%, to Blair's current problems.

So it seems that we are celebrating the imminent demise of our party's chief asset!

Gordon Brown may have many failings, but a lack of commitment to sterling is not one of them. It was Brown who stopped Blair from trying to sign us up the euro.

Not sure what country you've been living in the last 9 years Mike Broadbridge. Is it the sleaze or the gross incompetence displayed by the Blair government time and time again that you've found so prestigous?

If you are unable to see that Blair has - deservedly or otherwise - made a name for himself as a "world statesman", Malcolm, then you have clearly been living on the Planet Tharg for the past 9 years.

As a small investor in property and shares I took a very bad hit under the stewardship of Messrs. Lamont and Lawson. The picture under Brown has been very, very different.

Indeed, if my voting pattern were purely determined by my economic preferences, I would almost certinly be a Labour voter at this moment.

Suggest you check your shares again.The ftse today is no higher than it was 6 years ago. Share prices rose significantly under Ken Clarkes tenure and Brown who followed his spending plans during his first two years.Since then ...stagnation. With the abolition of PEPs and dividend tax credits Brown has nt been good for the Private Investor.
As regards Blairs 'world statesman' mantle what was it you particularly liked, surrendering Mrs Thatchers hard won EU rebate or lying to get us into a disastrous war?

Well clearly Malcolm you have little recollection of the massive residential property crash of (from memory) 1988/89

That was an example of mismanagement which hit not only investors such as myself but homeowners also. It's one of the main reasons why the party has been disliked for so long.

I don't have an instant recall on the FTSE 100 but as far as I can make out (via google) it stood at around 4361 when Major (thank God) went and it is 5858 tonight.

I'm a pro-active investor Malcolm. I rarely sit on shares for 6 years.

Maybe you should apply the same principle to your politics.

What is the excitment about? A Cameron government would make almost no difference relative to the current one: we'd still be in the CFP and CAP, still be surrendering justice and home affairs to EU, still have no control over immigration, still be embracing more and more wasteful and corrupt bureaucracy...

Well clearly Mike if you are happy with a return on your shares of 3.6% p.a. which is what has been achieved under this 'prestigeous' Labour government you are extremely easily pleased so I can now easily see why you have come to see Blair as a 'world statesman'.
I do remember the property crash,I also remember how the economy of Britain was in 1979 when Mrs Thatcher came to power and how it was when we left power in 1997.I know which one I prefer.

Malcolm it's plain you are not an investor -proactive or otherwise - so it's pointless discussing that aspect except to point out that low interest rates/rates of return cut both ways and have - much as I dislike admitting it - been a mark of Brown's success.

When homeowners were paying 17% or more on their mortgages in the late eighties, investors enjoyed high rates of interest - those that had any money left to invest. Want to return to those times?

Yes, I do recall the mess that Mrs Thatcher inherited and the good work she did before everything went badly wrong. I don't blame her for that though.

The problem is that I also remember Major, and Cameron strikes me as Major Mk II.

BTW, you may also recall that Major enjoyed enormous popularity...for a while.

Peter Parker, I accept she was a good PM. However, I don't accept she was as glorious as some make her out to be, she was flawed and the party wasn't without failure at the time.
Anyway point is the worst things are after you leave, even if they are bad when you are in office or just about to leave, the better you look. It happenend with Maggie, Edward 1, Wilson, Richard the Lionheart, Macmillan and it will happen with Blair.

Mike Broadbridge - It was Mrs Thatcher that got us stuck in the D Mark rut so your memory of the economic policies of the Lamont/Clarke years is faulty at best. Lawson mucked up the economy and Mrs T I'm gutted to say went along with it.

You clearly have no knowledge of the empirical evidence relating to geting the most out of investments (the frictional costs of active investments outweigh the long run potential outperformance on any model for all but the fortunate few in the very long tail of the normal distribution). Typical CH - we get something to enjoy as our party is finally getting its act together and people pose as tories to criticse it all.

And in case anyone is in any doubt, yes I am enjoying Blair's agony and am totally unashamed of it.

Mike, you may be old but you clearly don't know too much about investment. Whether you like it or not the stockmarket did well both for most of the Thatcher years and for most of Majors too,certainly far better than all but the first two and a half of Blairs (which was caused primarily by the 'dot-com bubble').To be honest someone who doesn't really know that is hardly worth debating with.
Reading some of your comments on other threads were you imply that the average Tory member is racist do make me wonder if you're really a Tory at all.
Anyway it has been a good day for our party nothing is going to spoil it.

Kingbongo, if you want to celebrate the first day of the next 3¾ years of this government you can party all night if you want.

'fraid I won't be joining you.

I suppose in these days of unprecedented hysteria over football and other inconsequential fripperies this kind of childish nonsense is only to be expected.

Regarding investments kingbongo, it's obvious from your flourish of theoretical mumbo-jumbo that it is an area in which you have no experience whatsoever.

Likewise Malcolm, albeit less ludicrously. Perhaps you'd like to give us a rough idea of your exposure at the time of the 1987 crash?

In cash old boy! I made a small fortune although more by luck than judgement. The crash of '87 as I'm sure you know with your experience of investing was not that serious as most of the losses were made good within 18 months. As I'm sure you're aware they were also nothing to do with UK government policy as the crash originated in the USA.

In cash old boy! I made a small fortune although more by luck than judgement.

How fortunate for you. A success shared by few others I'm afraid.

Yes, of course it originated in the US, but it was the crash which pushed an already overheated property market over the edge.

And it should have been anticipated. I had a warning from my broker a month before, which I failed to heed. I remember similarly good advice being dispensed on TV about that time by none other than Nicholas van Hoogstraten

The withdrawal of double MIRAS tax relief caused major inflation in the residential property market that year. Just one of many bad misjudgments I'm afraid.

Incidentally I very much doubt that your hero Cameron will be touting the financial wizardry of the Thatcher/Major years.

More likely it will be the subject of his next public apology.

Well Mike thousands of far far better brains than yours in the City and on Wall Street did not anticipate the crash.Your broker if he really existed was obviously a farsighted genuis.I suggest if you really want to follow the advice of a man like van Hoogstraten that you would be far better taking your unbearably pompous comments to some Labour or UKIP blog and plague them instead. Enjoy what's left of this lovely day everyone else ,goodnight!

The thing about history's judgement is that it happens after you've gone... It focuses on how you shape the trend, not how well you match the zeitgeist, which is all that the media look at.

Go forward 30 years:

Will history record Brown's 'economic stability' as more important than the dramatic deterioration in global competitiveness and the destruction of public finances, and add those to his political cowardice in never openly challenging for the top job?

Will it look at the stabilisation of the economy under Major, the restoration of public finances and the productivity growth that saw an INCREASE in manufacturing jobs, and weigh those against the weakness of his political skills?

Impossible to tell how it will end. But compare the optimism of 9 short years ago, when everything was going well and people thought they only needed a new leader to make it even better, to the current state of affairs where the ranks of the disaffected and disillusioned have become the majority.

Blair will go down in history as a profoundly flawed individual who was finally brought down by his own mendacity and corruption in a debacle that permanently eclipsed his only achievements - winning 3 elections.

CDM - Brown blocked Blair (underlined) from putting the Euro to a referendum which they knew they would lose. If the Constitution slips through and is ratified, there will be no referendum on the Euro, as the EU can insist that we convert.

Brown said in 2003 that we should keep the £ for at least four years. That is all. He has made no statement on the Euro since.

If he states that our economies have now converged, and then seeks support from Murdoch to push through the Euro and back his leadership, the £ is in danger.

The wishes of our Party at large, 155,933 of us, who had probably contributed in excess of £5 million to party funds, were flouted by a pressure group seeming to be led by Howard and friends.

If Jack Straw became leader would Howard and his friends scupper our chances of winning an election once again?

Nasty question, but so are that lot.

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