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Immigration? Changing the status quo with the European Union? And as far as the matter of political parties being funded by the state, I think it contemptible that the Conservative party is prepared to contemplate such an arrangement.
Red meat policy? More like tired spam.

The happier Tim Montgomerie gets the more worried I am. Tim had his days with Hague and IDS and they were a disaster. The danger now is that Cameron is about repeat Hague's mistake and start trying to shore up his right wing flank. That is the road to perdition.

Stand by Guiness Book of Records, the record for the world's largest tent is about to be broken!

It's noticeable that Murdoch moved against Gordon Brown last weekend in the Sun and the ST, coincidentally! the same moment exactly that Cameron has moved to the right.

E L Marberry, don't move into the future looking backwards into the past. I will suspect you of being an accountant.

Tim is part of the Conservative family and is entitled to his views. But the ideoligical right on this website, who think the only problem with our party in 1997, 2001 and 2005 was that we weren't right wing enough, should not think that Cameron will repeat the mistakes of Hague and IDS.

We elected a leader with two-thirds of the vote on a mandate of change. He pledged a "completely new party" during his leadership campaign. We again endorsed his aims and values of modern, compassionate Conservatism this summer, with an even bigger margin of victory. Yes, UKIP-leaning Tories have been unsettled, including many fanatics on this site. But the country and the mainstream majority in our party (as shown by real votes with thousands of people) are behind Cameron and want to see evidence that he really means what he is saying.

David Cameron, as he put it in the launch speech of his leadership campaign, believes in the need to change "to the core of [his] being". He believes in marriage and strong families and was elected on this basis. So this in nothing new. But he has watched as his predecessors got blown off course and reduced themselves to screaming (or croaking?!) right wing slogans into the wind. That consigned our party to defeat and Cameron will not repeat that mistake. Go back and read the speeches he made when we elected him if you want to know the direction he will take the party. No turning back.

Yeah, right.... he needs us, so he changes message.... like when he needed our votes for the leadership & pledged on the EPP. I see no reason to assume he is any more truthful now than he was then.

Wants caps on union funding as part of his dirty deal with Labour? He should be opposing state funding completely. Why should the British public pay more taxes to pay for the financial incompetence of political parties they don't like, and which have ignored and disenfranchised them on issues they want action on? The "none of the above" party is the one the majority accord with... If funding dries up, it is because the people donating don't like what the Party is doing - that's real life guys.

Changetowin trots out the tedious motheaten mantras of Portilloism which if they ever came to pass would give the UK yet another left-leaning high-taxing statist eurofederating authoritarian party. You would have thought that even Changetowin had realised by now that that corner of the market is already quite crowded. Why on earth would anyone on the centre-right want to vote for the monkey when we have already had nine years of the organ grinder?

All I can say Tim is I hope you're right! I doubt that Cameron will take the party much to the Right but I hope that he is able to put the 'and theory' into practical use by balancing the moderniser agenda with consistency on traditional Tory values.
I still don't understand Changetowin what you want the party to change into.I've asked you several times and all you answered was that you wanted us to be compassionate (how?) and anti-racist which I think (with few exceptions) we are anyway.
EL Marberry,are you really a Conservative? I haven't seen a single post from you which is in any way positive about our party.


Read Built to Last! I voted for it...

I voted for it too. But that's not an answer is it?

I don't think we lost in 2001 because we were too right wing but because the campaign failed to inspire anyone (myself, a right-winger, included) and concentrated on too few issues. On issues such as immigration, the EU and law and order the public are almost always behind us. The problem is that the electorate at the last few elections were more concerned with public services where we were behind Labour. So my suggestion would be to maintain the right-wing beliefs on law and order, the EU and immigration but put more emphasis on other things (which is what I believe Cameron is trying to do). However, this shouldn't mean that there is no mention of law and order, the EU and immigration.

Tim is right - as usual.

Please let's not make the key mistake of believing that an electorate which is sick and tired of New Labour's spin, smoke and mirrors, gimmicks and lies are going to turn to a Tory version of the same thing. It is possible that the slight improvement in our standing in the, notoriously unreliable, opinion polls is because Cameron has lurched to the left but is is also just as possible that it is actually as a result of the voters' disenchantment with Bliar and co. Equally it is just as possible that our spectacular defeats in '97,'01 & '05 would have occured however left wing our policies were because of the electorate's having had their fill of the Conservatives after 18 years in power.I'm afraid that the likes of changetowin are living in a dreamworld and are in for a very nasty shock come election time. Sadly so are those of us who desperately want to see an actual Conservative Government, mind you we are going to be disappointed whichever version of Labour, New or Blue, does in fact win.

I don't think we lost in 2001 because we were too right wing but because the campaign failed to inspire anyone

Richard is right: we need someone that sells Conservative policies enthusiasticly. Cameron's message 1) implies leftie policies, 2) is not winning and 3) neither side will trust him if he changes his message now. He has had his chance.

Changetowin: "We again endorsed his aims and values of modern, compassionate Conservatism this summer, with an even bigger margin of victory."

Are you referring to the 'Built to Last' ballot, in which only 24% of the membership voted? That was hardly a ringing endorsement was it?

Thw bigger the tent the more compromises there will have to be. The problem we have is that we appear so pre-occupied with enlarging the tent that red meat is completely off the menu.

I don't think we lost in 2001 because we were too right wing but because the campaign failed to inspire anyone
At the very end of the election campaign there was an emphasis on Mrs Thatcher as Willian Hague became desperate at how things were going and he took a backseat and rather let her take the limelight, in a way this just reinforced the media image of him as a sort of schoolboy back at the 1979 Conservative conference and ofhim being ineffectual and only a sort of shadow of Thatcher and then of course when she referred to the sequel to the 1998 version of The Mummy and said "The Mummy Returns" - I think that was rather the killer blow, the Conservatives would have lost anyway but as in 1997 it didn't have to have been by nearly as much of a margin, they easily could have ended up with 35% of the vote in both those elections if the campaigns hadn't been such disasters.

I don`t think David Cameron will be foolish enougth to repeat the mistakes of the past and start rowing back to the right again. The Editor and others on this site are just hearing what they want to hear from DC`s remarks.

"There has been no panic inside Team Cameron"

And the Lost City of Atlantis has just been discovered underneath the Manchester Ship Canal.

While its nice that Cameron acknowledges there is a portion of the Party unhappy at the change of policy emphasis, the big question is how can he keep the tent wide without tearing it? He cannot be all things to all men (and women) and he should not try to be. A tent, if it becomes to big is simply an umbrella...

How's your memebership application for the Labour Party coming along, Jack? One thing's for sure: they need your subs.

I'd have thought Respect would be more his scene, Michael.

"I don't think we lost in 2001 because we were too right wing but because the campaign failed to inspire anyone"

We lost in 2001 and 2005 not because we were too right-wing, but because we were SEEN as too right-wing and "nasty" (yes its true, whether you like Theresa May or not)and fears that we would cut public services.

Cameron's job is too change that image - which he does through talking about non-traditional, more caring subjects like the environment and so on.

We have had a year of improving the image, so Cameron can now afford to talk about the importance of marriage without everyone screaming "Same old Tories" and dismising it out of hand. The "And Theory" (DC actually used that phrase the other day by the way) can now come into play after a year of Party rehabilitation.

There are many reasons why we didn't win the last 2 elections. I think a certain amount can be put down to being seen as too right wing. The last campiagn was very unbalanced. The amount of immigration leaflets our association recieved compared to health and eduation was on a 20:1 scale. My parents got that same immigration leaflet 3 times through the post as well. A balanced campiagn would certainly have helped.

We're still arguing about why we lost. Until we get that agreed (and right) we have no signpost forward
1997 we lost because everyone hated Major for being sleezy and incompetent, for engineering the 1990 recession on purpose just to get us in the ERM and for breaking his promise on tax rises
2001 we lost because Labour deserved a longer go and hague was facially challenged, had nothing new to say and had not apologised for Major
2005 we lost because we had nothing new to say about the things that mattered, the public services and the economy was still OK for most people.

All the polls show the voters like our policies on crime and immigration and euroscepticism and there is a minority who could be energised with a bit more rigour there. But they still do not warm to the Conservatives. Camerons plan has worked quite well taking the chill off but huge numbers of voters are turned off by politics and believe nothing will ever be achieved. Labour's whole raison d'etre (throwing money at the public services) has been finally exploded and tested to detruction. Politics is a flat empty battlefield.
We will only win in 2007/8 if we can show how we would reform the public services to give better services. This requires Cameron to be "right wing" as the left has no plan or idea of reform but it has to be presented in a touchy feely way and Cameron is ideal for this. What he is tempted to do is ape Blair. What he needs to do is ape Thatcher BUT NOT as she did in economics and money - that was the challenge of the 70s but in public services the challenge of the 00s. On the back of that success we could bring in some quiet very right wing strategies elsewhere.

Actually Conservatives will win seats if they focus on LOCAL and have candidates who are known locally, know the issues, and are personable and respected.

The game is to win each and every seat, not to think you can stand on a sopabox on television and have seats delivered wholesale.

This is a retail business and it means every single seat with a candidate who is convincing on the local issues and can take the incumbent to task.

There is no point in saying what people do not believe, so have the local candidate FIGHT for the seat not hope there is a coattails effect from some London-based propaganda campaign

I don`t think David Cameron will be foolish enougth to repeat the mistakes of the past and start rowing back to the right again.

Some seats can ONLY be won from the right; others not........

I welcome any change of emphasis by Cameron. Let's face it, he won't resign before the next election, so any steps towards sanity are ok by me. He has spent this last year on a raw diet of changetowinners, whose fawning sycophancy prompted him to keep talking a socialist game, and rewarded him with, er, flatlining in the polls, some 12-15% behind Blair's rating at a comparable time before the 1997 election.

Any realisation on his part that he has overdone the me-tooism of consensus leftie politics is something that we should applaud. The change of emphasis might in due course manifest itself in proper conservative policy. Unless, that is, Dave wants to opt for political euthanasia by becoming the least credible of three centre-left big tax'n spend parties.

E L Marberry? More like E L Wisty if you ask me.

Changetowin, I have come to the conclusion that you are a "Conservative" only in the sense that blue is your favourite colour. Yellow suits you better.

Why do people on this site always like to suggest that others are not properly "Conservative". Just because we do not always agree on every single issue does not mean we cannot all belong to the same party. I believe in individual freedom, a low tax economy, freedom for schools and hospitals and not a overpowering European Union. These views have all been consistent with what Cameron has said.

Lets stop fighting between our self's and realise we agree on more than what we disagree on.

"Actually Conservatives will win seats if they focus on LOCAL and have candidates who are known locally, know the issues, and are personable and respected."

TomTom, I could not have put it better myself. Having local candidates is so important, more so probably in the marginals which everyone knows are the "most important" seats.

I welcome any change of emphasis by Cameron. He has spent this last year on a raw diet of changetowinners, whose fawning sycophancy prompted him to keep talking a socialist game.

I'm glad you guys think I have such influence with David Cameron! I rather doubt it...

I feel no need to defend my Conservatism other than to say the changes that I advocate in our party will give us a chance to put centre-right ideas to the service our country and planet. The Conservatism advocated by many on this site would confine us to permanent opposition with a centre-left government. I will continue to support moderate centre right ideas and support the leadership of the Conservative Party. Those who think this makes me a socialist really need to get out more (yes, that means away from your computer!!!).

What 'changes that I advocate in our party'?

Which Centre Right ideas do you actually believe in, Changetowin?

David is right to tread warily on taxes.
Gordo has saddled the state with some massive debts in future public pension liabilities, also of course the PFI deals are nothing short of a nuclear debacle waiting to unfold.
We need to be pushing for a public hearing into state finances and the legacy that is being left to us by NuLab.

Marberry and changetowin et al,
I don't involve myself much in these debates although I do read this blog. However, I had cause to urge the above two to grow up yesterday. They're at it again today. Why must everything they think about in politics be viewed through the prism of modernisers v traditional Tories. Most people don't think like that, they like to believe that their life is about problems and solutions. When the public looks at the inner cities, they see deepravation and breakdown; breakdown that too often fuels violent crime. They want to know why it is getting worse under this Government and what the Conservatives would do about it. We have to respond with careful analysis and logical proposals, if we do they will begin to listen. Surely that was what the Breakdown Britain report did, earlier this week. I have started reading it and it is a very powerful indictment of past governments failure to face up to a growing problem. Strangely it has been given strong reviews in the BBC, ITN, the radio, and newspapers as diverse as the Independent and the Sun. Yet all Changetowin and Marberry do is snipe and protest that it sent the wrong message. Furthermore, they also never miss an opportunity to heap scorn on William Hague and IDS who were leaders during enormously difficult times when Labour were hugely popular and the Conservative Party had descended into internal war. Even David Cameron has spoken of how his compassionate Conservatism was inherited from his predcessor but one. Could it be that they simply hate the Conservative Party so much that they cannot celebrate the slightest success, if it doesn't endorse a liberal left agenda. The Conservative party has always been the best social reforming party, (Shaftsbury, Wiberforce, Churchil etc),it is in it's DNA. So change shouldn't be about changing to the Labour party but changing back to our historical selves. This report seems to be in that vein.

Changetowin and marberry, it's time to leave the middle school common room and join the outside world and jettison those silly and shallow mantras you seem to spout. You never know, politics may just begin to give you some real purpose if you do.


Increasing the size of the Tory tent?

The Parliamentary Conservative Party and its leadership should get some focus on what it paid to do, that is OPPOSE.

Goodness knows there are plenty of opportunities. In recent days, a minister misleading Parliament and the public yet again, the Prime Minister claiming that it's the public's fault that Post Offices are to be closed (shades of Erich Honneger and 'change the electorate'), endless failures in respect of equipment supply to our troops, a UK business being closed down by special order in Parliament no less in contravention of both UK and EU law... ...

The failure to oppose in a sustained, organised, visible and determined fashion is a scandal - taking money under false pretences comes to mind.

It may be hard work and unpopular with the political bien pensant but by doing what HM's Opposition are paid to do, OPPOSING, rather than pulling stunts and phot ops like some second rate PR agency, the Tories might show that they are capable of dealing with the problems of government, look like a government in waiting, and encourage the opprobrium which our current government so richly deserves.

I have never, not once, seen changetowin advocate a single centre right or right policy, thought or proposition on this site.

So I would like to second Sean Fear's challenge to ctw to actually state which ones he or she does advocate exactly.

Gordo has saddled the state with some massive debts in future public pension liabilities, also of course the PFI deals are nothing short of a nuclear debacle waiting to unfold.

Yes that is true. The notion of lower taxes is akin to that of having corporations pay out high dividends - it keeps them from wasting money because they have to go back to shareholders to ask for more and justify themselves.

Govt is not like that unfortunately and yes, Brown has hidden liabilities and has caused the financial balance of the private sector to implode. He has privatised State assets and property to a select group of friends just as Yeltsin did in Russia...........PFI is simply the supply of lucrative deals to insiders in certain City banks to make excessive profits on ventures the taxpayer could have funded cheaper through Gilts.

Rather than future taxpayers redeeming those Gilts there is a 30 year lease on PFI which must be refinanced or a new lease taken out on existing assets.

Wedgwodd Benn only wanted to nationalise the pension funds...........Brown simply destroyed them

It is a shame that more people didn't take part in the click-and-buy Built To Last event, but 24% is a much higher proportion of the target electorate than most Associations make use of when selecting a candidate (surely more important). Yet I notice that the tendency who decry All About Dave are the largely the same tendency who would fight to the death (or, at least, resignation - repeatedly, it sometimes feels, though unlike Chad-once-of-this-parish I don't keep track so don't ask), to defend the "right" of associations to carry out candidate selection, untouched by wider input.

May I copyright All About Dave? Quite like that.

Umm... was it a slow news day Editor? I kept thinking "false dichotomy" as I read the article. But if you and the others feel more comfortable in the tent (dread thought) then who is to complain? Not I, who would rather perish than spend a night under canvas.


If you actually read what I say rather than want you want me to say, I praised IDS and the report as serious and focusing on a vital issue. My main quibble was a worry about how the report was being spun which I still believe might rebound on our party.

As for this ridiculous "challenge" for me to flaunt my political DNA to Mr Fear, I think not. I'm proud to have supported the Conservative Party for many years. I've never been a member of another party or threatened to join UKIP like many people on this site. The thing that infuriates people on this site is that I back David Cameron very strongly because I passionately believe in his agenda of modern compassionate Conservatism. As I've said many times, the fact that people here think the fact that I support the leadership means I must work at CCO, be a socialist or whatever shows how out of touch people on here are.

I express myself strongly sometimes because I remember how miserable it was to be a Conservative between 1997 and 2005 and I am proud of how much our party has changed for the better since we elected David Cameron. i fear that many people on this site would like to make us unelectable again as were under Hague and IDS. Is it so odd to support my party leader's pronouncements and policies. Do you think he is a socialist too?

I know I'm an easy target as one of the few pro-Cameron voices on this site which is frequented mainly by UKIP-leaners. But I hope that at least some of you would accept that it would be a shame if Mr Fear and his friends succeeded in scaring away one of the few remaining supporters of the Conservative Party (as it stands today).

Don't go Changetowin! Only I would be left, and as I said, I refuse to have anything to do with tents.

No, no, changetowin, you should reread your entry yesterday, before you try and change it. You attacked IDS for pushing the marriage line too hard when in actual fact David Cameron was the one to do that more than anyone. You also, strangely in the light of strong press support said that it had been cast as back to basics, however that line was Labours and was hardly covered anywhere, in fact Tony Blair endorsed the analysis of the problem at his press conference, killing that line of attack. My point still stands that their is a strange bitterness about other Tories in your commentary. Just out of interest, as IDS and others have made it clear what they mean by Compassionate Conservatism, why don't you have a stab?

Not only you Graeme - strange isn't it how often we hear "you're not Real Conservatives" from the more UKIP leaning critics. DC is doing a good job and we would be seeing more success for the party if a few critics actually read/listened and spouted less accusations.
O/T - was in a tent last month listening first to a couple of Hyaenas (FYI they have very strange sexual identities), then a lion padding past - much better than a comfy hotel bed.

Ted --
Only you could change my mind on tents.

I would also say that I'm generally pro Cameron too and get extremely irritated by those (Tory Loyalist,John Irvine etc) who use every post to lambast him and seem to hate our party.However there are some (including Changetowin,Jack Stone etc) who seem also to dislike much of the rest of the party too but seem extremely reluctant to justify themselves. I do wonder how many of these people on both sides are conservative or Conservative.

Hi Malcom

Regarding your query at 17.19, I'm a lifelong supporter of the Tory Party. I was at primary school when I got Ted Heath's autograph during the '73 I think it was election. I was still at school when I stayed up to watch Maggie win in '79. I have voted for a Tory MP ever since I have had the vote.

That said my loyalty has been sorely tested: Lawson losing control of inflation; joining ERM and even worse staying on for too long in spite of the evidence; Maastricht, the cones hot line and of course full circle regarding Heath and the EU. So I reckon I am a conservative; but I cannot stand Cameron and his supporters for the many reasons which are frequently aired here. Simple as that. And that is why I have not renewed my membership and why I cannot say I will vote Tory in any event at the next election.

As someone whose rural post office is probably under threat, will I be getting an absolute guarantee that the next Conservative government will, not close any rural post offices. Seem to remember a few went under, between 1979 and 1997.

The danger now is that Cameron is about repeat Hague's mistake and start trying to shore up his right wing flank. That is the road to perdition.

Don't worry Mr Marberry. There's not the slightest chance of that happening.

And nor is there any chance that the patriotic Tories Cameron has so freely alienated will come round to supporting him, now that he suddenly realises he's put his foot in it.

A friend who knew Cameron when he was in PR tells me he's prone to panic. I can well believe it.

I do wonder how many of these people on both sides are conservative or Conservative.

Well Malcolm the answer to your question is that the likes of changetolose are definitely not conservatives, although I can well believe that he pays a sub to the party probably in the vain hope of becoming "somebody" one of these days.

As for your strange belief that any right winger who despises Cameron and the Cameron line is some kind of agent provocateur you are sadly misguided.

As Sean Fear, whom I will be seeing socially Friday afternoon, knows very well, I have been a member of the Party since 1970.

I was an ultra-loyal Maggie supporter, and something of a Hague enthusiast also. I detested Heath, Major and now Cameron.

I always put my country before party. Sadly over the years I have encounter many Tories for whom the "tribe" is all.

Pity you lack the imagination to break out of that vicious (and desperately uncool) circle.

I share your distaste for the Cameroon nuts who post here. Why not turn your back on them and speak for Britain?

I do wonder how many of these people on both sides are conservative

The ones with the small "c" are the ones that matter at the ballot box


How do you feel about the views of people who are self-declaredly new to conservatism? Do you not think the views of people who have stuck by the Tory Party through thick and thin over the last thirty or more years count for more than arrivistes?

"I share your distaste for the Cameroon nuts who post here. Why not turn your back on them and speak for Britain?"

I suppose Tory Loylist you are a Tory loylist. But if you hate "Cameron nutters" on this blog, who usually are the only contributions that arn't nutty, unlike the UKIPers, I strongly suspect you have never voted Tory in your life.

Well said Malcolm.

I note that Changetowin still hasn't actually said what centre-right policies he supports.

Why all this labelling of people with views opposed to Cameron as being "rightwing". I do not like the twit because he is a twit, simple as that.

He has gagged his party members from discussing important issues, like how we get democratic accountability back from the EU law-makers over which we have little or no influence. It is not a "right-wing" thing to want to have this issue discussed, gagging people from debating issues is despotic and foolish.

Then he ditched the Fishing Policy, is it right-wing to want our over-fished seas managed again by the owners (who have an interest in their future productivity?)

Until the Conservatives grow up and learn that they will only get respect by being willing to talk rationally and sensibly about the issues and problems this country faces it will not deserve the respect or votes of the electorate.

Howard was not better, he refused to speak about the EU during the last election, as if we had the right to control immigration into the UK! And all that stuff about Blair being a liar, why did he wait until the second half of the campaign to raise this important issue, it was pathetic vindictive and won no respect.

I think the editor is a little too optimistic, and rather clutching at straws.

I feel like David Cameron has done so much to provoke anyone of a conservative disposition that when he says the slightest thing that *isn't* meant to provoke us, some are ready to leap on it as a huge (and I suppose understandable) reassurance.

I don't think it's overly cynical to look at the whole year of David Cameron's leadership and see that he offers almost nothing to those on the right of the party (both socially and economically).

Just because I might agree with the odd thing here and there that he says, that's not enough. I have even agreed with George Galloway before.

And I don't think his leadership is balanced at all.

I have even agreed with George Galloway before.

Not something to make a habit of... next time you feel the urge, just conjure up the image of Gorgeous George pretending to be a cat - that should do the trick!

"Not something to make a habit of... next time you feel the urge, just conjure up the image of Gorgeous George pretending to be a cat - that should do the trick!"

I don't make a habit of it, but George Galloway is very anti-drugs (or legalising them and such like), and, well, so am I.

I don't think David Cameron is very anti-drugs sadly.

David Sergeant - I strongly suspect you have never voted Tory in your life.

Well David, maybe you'd like to explain how you came to that extraordinary conclusion?

I would imagine that most of the UKIP members you deride voted Conservative before their party appeared on the scene. Anyway it's hardly some kind of badge of merit.

Past Conservative activists (who presumably also voted for the party) have included at least two serial killers, together with the executed Nazi traitor William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw) who was a member of the forerunner of FCS before he joined Mosley (another sometime Tory!).

So we're in good company.

As I said, I joined the party 36 years ago and if I met a total phoney who claimed to be a Tory of similar vintage I would not only be able to sniff him out in record time; I would be able to give sound logical (as opposed to silly emotional) reasons for my deductions.

Past Conservative activists (who presumably also voted for the party) have included at least two serial killers

So that's why people never invite canvassers in for a chat...

Richards comments at 11.35 are spot on. We lost the last elections largely because we were focussed on the wrong things when the public were focussed on public services (health, education). As Richard says that does not mean we ditch the harder issues but that we keep them there but in context. Of the three "harder" edge issues (crime, EU & Immigration) I think we can afford to highlight law & Order more and give David Davies more profile alongside DC,


Here we go with the same trite old fairy stories about "why we lost the last two elections".

Let's nail the lie that we "failed to focus on the NHS". Of course we focused on Labour's failure to deliver an efficient and effective NHS, but then as now the difficulty was to produce coherent and honest proposals for something better.

We currently have a NHS run on pseudo-Thatcherite lines by the same "apolitical" functionaries who would run it under a Tory government. The "Socialist" dimension is provided by Brown throwing vast sums of taxpayers' money down the bottomless NHS hole.

You can promise to spend less - a no no under Cameron - and you can promise to "do better" which has all the weight of motherhood and apple pie. That's it!

The fact is that because the Tories and Labour really do now occupy common ground on the NHS there is little room for manoeuvre and no room (under Cameron) for meaningful alternative policies.

On immigration, crime and the EU, however, we can propose policies which are diametrically opposed to the present disastrous Labour strategies.

Those who believe we lost the last two elections because the public don't like hardline policies in these areas - a ridiculous proposition - were clearly in nappies at the time that the left-liberal Major and his gang of sleaze-tainted bunglers were destroying our hard-won reputation for probity and efficency.

were focussed on the wrong things when the public were focussed on public services

Such Marketing Talk - if you want to "focus" promise a referendum.

Otherwise show people all-round competence rather than focus-group issues. Yes people want concerns about Europe addressed, schools, hospitals, defence..............but stop segmenting the electorate and "focusing" on women voters.............have a coherence.

William Hague went to the election on a campaign of Save The Pound - he won, we still have the Pound.

We had that idiotic campaign about "A Diet of Brussels" which was truly wacko but Hafue tried to use it as a General Election theme and was seen as a one-issue crank (I think he is).

Stop "focusing" or "emoting" and start thinking about government. If we live in a world where "Kremlin Inc" (Gazprom) will control our energy, and Us corporations will control our hospitals and GPs, and China will suck out all our industry, and pension funds will disappear so we all depend on The State in retirement; and debt-laden students live in huts because houses are only for rich foreigners....................just what is the Conservative Party proposing to do about it............?

Most people suspect that Labour is flowing the way the Tories want healthcare and immigration and jobs to go so will just continue Blairism as the updated Thatcherite approach. Tories could not break up the NHS like Labour is doing, nor abolish private pensions, but the Treasury has surely tried just as it tried with Keith Joseph to get tuition fees for students............but Conservative voters blocked it, and Labour voters accepted it

We did fail to focus on the NHS. Your argument is bizzare as you are effectively saying we did focus on the NHS but we didn't really! The fact is that if we didn't talk about the NHS in a meaningful way that got people on our side then we didn't focus on it.

On your other point frankly I think it is the case that many voters don't like "hardline" when those same voters also perceive its coming from people who are nasty and uncaring. That is why it is so important that we braodened our messages and image and DC has been very successful at doing that. It is now easier to get across harder messages in a credible way.


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