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And of course we now learn that these policies were actually devised by Cameron's svengali, "Steve" Hilton.

Cameron is little more than a glove puppet parotting his master's voice.

Er...who elected Mr Hilton?

Could someone confirm at what point the author of the 2005 manifesto experienced St. Paul moment and metamorphesised into an Orange Booker. Whilst trying to remain optimistic I am concerned that the all style no substance label will begin to gain traction. Trident replacement will place Cameron in a difficult position. Does he support its replacement whilst being against nuclear power or does he want to abandon the nuclear deterrent?

Grammar schools surely deserve a mention?

There's also something rather poignant about heralding a "return to Majorism" as modernisation - see point 5 for health. Real modernisation in health would see local democratically-accountable decision-making.

Ignore my trident comment. I must learn to read everything before commenting.

It's good to see how last night's Evening Standard picked up on the true voice of pro-Davis Grassroots Tory opinion.

It's a real accolade for CH, the forum of the otherwise silenced majority of ordinary


Match of Today
David Cameron v David Davis
Ground: Leadership
Kick off : 2005

A year ago young Cameron was heading for a two-to-one victory over DD in the Tory leadership battle.

Today the match looks less settled. Can's ratings among Tory activists at conservativehome.com have plummeted to +35 , along with those of his closest allies George Osborne and Oliver Letwin.

At the same time Davis has crept up the ratings to 84+, making him the most popular shadow cabinet member - even beating grass roots favourite William Hague. Back at Westminster there are rumblings among Tory MPs. Davis has been loyal...yet everyone knows he would have been different.

A subtle victory.
Score: Cameron 1, Davis 2


Paul Waugh
Deputy Political Editor

A survey published today reveals that Mr Cameron’s satisfaction ratings among traditional Conservative activists have slumped.

The poll, commissioned by the Conservativehome.com website found that nearly half of grassroots Tories think Mr Cameron has gone "too far" in his bid to modernise the party, while one in six who voted for him in the leadership election now think they made a mistake.

This is a very useful summary which helps me to pinpoint why I'm so uneasy about the direction Cameron is taking. Of the ten points outlined, there's only No. 3 that I can wholeheartedly agree with.

As Simon Chapman pointed out, the list ignores the decision to rule out the creation of new grammar schools. (Also mistaken, in my view.)

Another omission is surely understanding the reason why young people turn to crime (characterised as "hug a hoodie"). Having read what DC actually said, that's another one I could actually sign up to!

The "And" theory of Conservatism is fine. The problem is that, on the whole, Cameron seems to want to push only the 'soft' half of the equation. (Or maybe that's just the message he's trying to put across?)

Davis gave a great speech at the Tory conference. That alone has probably secured his popularity.

Many of these are fairly cosmetic changes which can be amended later.The one that most worries me is point 4 ,but we haven't really seen yet how DC thinks it will work in practice. Personally I would need a huge amount of persuading to think that 'redistribution' is a good idea.
The A list has not really been a success on any terms other than the most superficial.A number of good candidates have been excluded and Associations have been irritated without any real gain in genuine diversity of PPCs.
Having said that compared to the deep gloom so many of us felt for the prospects for the party after our defeat in 2005 much of what DC has done has generally been positive.

The threat to 29 Accident & Emergency services, largely in Conservative areas, highlights the need for direct locally-accountable decision-making about health. Grantham is one of those hospitals where A&E services are in genuine peril. The focus of local anger is almost as much against the unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats who are making this decision as it is about the loss of a vital service to which there is a deep local attachment.

The party is in danger of missing a really important trick on this. DC & Andrew Lansley have announced that they will be publishing a draft NHS Bill designed to take party politics out of the NHS. The Bill proposes setting up an “independent” - i.e unelected - national Health Board, that reduces rather than enhances direct political scrutiny and accountability.

Quentin Davies, our MP in Grantham & Stamford, called this week in the Grantham Journal for directly elected local health boards (not online at the GJ website, but here’s a version in another local site). We have also recently seen Rachel Joyce’s excellent call for local health democracy in “100 policies”. The interesting thing in arch-moderniser Nick Boles’s article for the Telegraph today was that he too called on DC to drop the idea of the unelected national board.

True modernisation is about restoring power to local communities, with direct democracy as the ideal vehicle. This works on every level, from the NHS to candidate selection. Elected Health Boards – or another alternative, giving councils responsibility for health commissioning – are, with open primaries, modern ideas. More than that, they are consistent with the brand values of a party that prides itself on trusting the people, or, to put it another way, genuine ways of applying established conservative principles to 21st century challenges.

Ahhh... warms the heart!

Pretty much makes me want to vomit. Still, Dave had one positive effect: UKIP has one more member as I joined them after 20 years' service to the Conservative Party.

Seems like a decade under Cameron rather than one year.

MH, oh well... In my own honesty opinion, UKIP will never gain credibility in why eyes due to its politically and economically impossible stances on Europe.

I think George Walden's take on the modernisers is interesting:

"The idea that the Conservatives are diving head-first into the 21st century is a fallacy. What they are doing is reverting to their roots which are tribal rather than intellectual. That means turning away from ideology (frightfully earnest) towards old-time pragmatism and a top-down approach....Cameron is a moderniser in the sense of being an updated one-man distillation of Thatcher's wets. Willie Whitelaw with an iPod, Chris Patten in unctuous mode, St John Stevas in a stylish shirt. Why should anyone want to go back to that kind of patronising problem-dodging bullshit?"

Number 3 is the only one I can support and even then it wouldnt be as defined as immigration policy. I would say its a general broadening of policy, which I welcome. Im not completely happy with the new immigration policy though its an improvement.

At the time I was one of the few to defend Letwin over his comments on redistribution but have since turned to the dark side, as it were...

Still, Dave had one positive effect: UKIP has one more member...

For you it is a button issue that the UK must leave Europe. None of the leadership candidates would have led the Party in the direction that you want to go so, no matter who became leader, your vote and support was lost.

Good luck standing for election as a UKIP councillor.

It's difficult to take seriously lines like, 'the European worldview on Israel'. What is the 'the European worldview on Israel'? Is it a bad thing or a good thing? If it even exists, how exactly does it differ from 'the British worldview on Israel'? Agitprop like this is always a substitute for actual thought.

I think Editor was talking about the infamous "disproportionate" line...

Actually, economically and politically, the UK could and would flourish outside the EU. What stuck with me was the Cameron lie over the EPP.

What stuck with me was the Cameron lie over the EPP.

Not withstanding that I don't agree that the EPP pledge has turned into a lie, hadn't you made the decision slightly earlier?

So what is 'the European worldview on Israel'? Is there one? Is it different to the British one? And beyond that, is it right or wrong? No details I notice.

Mark F - I had low expectations and was profoundly disappointed even by the failure to meet those. The EPP lie was just cynical, but you are all welcome to him.

I disagree with Josh, Davis was unwatchable at the Conference, he swung from side to side so much that I felt quite sea-sick and had to turn him off. He was also hesitant and practicaly inarticulate when on the Sunday Politics show recently. To me he will always be the arch-plotter, and I cannot admire someone like that. I'm glad Cameron has got him in a high profile place where he can keep his eye on him.

Well I score myself as five and a half out of ten on these points which I suppose is why I am (just) still on board. But that's only 4 things with which I agree with him outright ("liberal" Conservatism, A List, immigration and climate change) and 3 half points (tax (disagree with rejecting Tax Commission but agree on green taxes), nuclear power (I'm probably in favour but I think that's where they've come out really) and foreign policy (agree with distancing from the US but not with attacking Mrs T for effect)).

I am particularly hostile on points 4 (relative poverty) and 9 (State funding of political parties). That only leaves the NHS where there is now absolutely no discernable difference between the parties, which is a radical change from the previous position where there was just one tiny weeny difference on one point. So who cares? If NHS mood music makes some people feel good, the rest of us can just keep quiet to hide our embarrassment I suppose.

Your list doesn't mention the pro-family pro-civil partnership blather (I'm against) or failing to be cowed by the inverted snobbery of the anti-Etonian brigade (I'm with Cameron on that - based on knowing a few Old Etonians, they are likely to be Conservatives which is a comfort).

I'm not sure whether 5 1/2 points puts me strongly Cameroon for this site, or deeply sceptical.

What do other regular posters score? No special prizes for scoring either 10 or nil.

"What do other regular posters score?"

Working through it, I'd say between one half and one point out of the ten.

About 4 for me.If point 9 is adopted I would question my future involvement with the party.

About 4 for me.If point 9 is adopted I would question my future involvement with the party.

I get 50 out of 10. I use the same algorithm as is used to construct the "CH Poll of Polls".

About 4 for me.If point 9 is adopted I would question my future involvement with the party.

Sorry don't know what's happening here

If point 9 is adopted I would question my future involvement with the party.

Malcolm, I agree that state funding is wrong, but which party would you go to? I can't imagine you becoming apolitical!

UKIP is not unambiguously opposed to state funding. They now say that they object to state funding because they wouldn't get a fair share. Seems like repositioning for a U turn to me...

Malcolm seems to be off the scale (4 + 4 + 4 = 12).

Sean, you must have noted there being no prizes for nought. I think 0.75/10 is an impressive score from you, and shows how broad our leader's support now goes.

6 out of 10 for me - guess that makes me 40% headbanger?

Not sure what point 9 has to with modernisation though, or is it that anything controversial is automatically defined as 'modernising'?

" Ithink 0.75/10 is an impressive score from you, and shows how broad our leader's support now goes"

LOL! To be fair, there have been things I approve of which aren't mentioned in that list.

I wouldn't go to any political party Mark.But I couldn't bear to give my money to a party that was being financed to a greater extent than now through my taxes.
What UKIP does or doesn't do is not really relevant to me. They are a single issue pressure group with no hope of being able to change anything.

Cuddling a husky on an ice hill was stupid, so he's a dog lover, which proves what? His green policies, as far as they exist mean higher prices for everything and everyone, ...oh sorry, MPs want 60% increase to cover the extra. At least we now know what he would not define when asked, ie "social justice". We are going to take all your money and you can sod off. Sounds a good definition to me, perhaps that why he couldn't/daren't define it.

I would not necessarily leave the party over State funding, but I agree there would be little point in paying a penny more more than the minimum sub if my tax is already doing it. No more raffle tickets either.

In such circumstances I would much rather divert the money to my Cambridge College, which, like others of the less well-endowed Colleges, is valiently attempting to make itself LESS financially dependant on the State rather than our party which seems to want to be MORE so.

I wonder how well-equipped a democratic political party would be to resist an extreme Government if it were dependent on the State for a large part of its funding (which could therefore be easily cut off)? Might be a bit late then to re-discover how to raise money from supporters.

David Cameron should spend a little time visiting a few Oxbridge common rooms to find out whether they think it has been wise to have made themselves so dependant on the State - and it was more understandable for Oxbridge to have done so because of the so much greater sums involved.

I think George Walden's take on the modernisers is interesting:


Indeed. It was excellent.

And here are highlights from Dr Richard North's verdict on Cameron.


The Boy Wimp scores again, with an interview in The Telegraph, heralded by a front page piece entitled: "Cameron to Tories: Back me or we will lose again".

To that I say to Cameron "We" will not lose again – you will lose it for us, you tosser. You and the phalanx of dim, dismal sycophants around you who are so wrapped up in their own egos that they actually think they know something of this world and the people in it – ye preening, posturing creatures of less value than the low-life scum that inhabit the increasingly lawless streets.

The full text of his interview reveals a vain, empty little man in a position far above his ability to sustain.

But what brings on the red mist is the blithe assumption of this poltroon that all that went on before his foetid little ego got on the scene was "outdated", simply a manifestation of "idle thinking" which the party must ditch. About some specifics, he says:

I think that was outdated thinking, sort of idle thinking, that needed to go. So there were things that needed to change and I think we have had the courage to change.

What this amorphous slime doesn't realise – is not even capable of realising – is that outside his Notting Hill love-fest, there are a lot of people who have been doing nothing else but thinking, people a lot more capable than he, people who put a great deal of effort into hard, detailed policies, the like of which are as far from "idle thinking" as the Boy is from having a brain.

The EU dimension is, of course, why the flaccid Boy had to ditch the policy, which he did as one of his first acts on stealing the leadership of the Party. But such is his moral turpitude, he did not even have the guts to declare this, leaving the news to drip out through his aides, the slow-motion realisation reducing the impact of his betrayal.

Of course, this is part of the real business of government, something on which the Notting Hill d***k-heads are far too grand to soil what passes for their intellects. So into the dustbin labelled "idle thinking" went that policy too, to the despair of the dozens of very expert and dedicated people who worked countless hours to produce it – people who saw hope in a rejuvenated Conservative Party and who will never, ever vote Tory as long as Cameron is even a smear on the face of this planet.

The man is a total, absolute loser. "I don't go out to annoy...", he tells the Telegraph. Well, we have an answer to all your problems Dave. Stop breathing. You owe it to yourself - to everyone. And think of the carbon you will save.

I couldn't have put it better myself, and I'm delighted to hear that Dr North has rejoined our party after his UKIP experiences.

We need plenty more like him.

Derek Buxton

If Cameron is/was a dog lover it would be one of the few things I could admire about him (provided it was not a lab or spaniel).

Whilst I actually respected/quite enjoyed Michael Howard's more-or-less rigorous if stark approach to the leadership, Cameron's overall warmth has done the Conservatives some favours over the last year.

Where he needs Howard's, or perhaps that should be, Nigel Lawson's rigour [-- Howard unfortunately went along with the ***bog-standard*** analysis coming from the UN (et al) on this one!] is on "Climate Change"TM: Gore's movie is essentially guff, as is much of what passes for so-called informed opinion on the subject in the UK press.

Whilst it might make sense to worry about CO2 levels over the next generation or two, piddling around with it at the moment, but not addressing adaptation issues (the lack of which caused the real Katrina aftermath) is foolishness beyond belief!

Computer models in this area are the other side of doubly damnable statistics, if you get my drift...

Watch tonight's Lawson interview on 18DoughtyStreet if you want some perspective on what is otherwise an almost sewn up debate amongst the UK's politico-/medio-rati.

If those really are Richard Norths views then I hope he leaves the party as soon as possible.

If those really are Richard Norths views then I hope he leaves the party as soon as possible.


So your party, Malcolm, is one where criticism of the leader is not permitted?

Sounds rather Stalinist to me.

So your party, Malcolm, is one where criticism of the leader is not permitted?Sounds rather Stalinist to me.

I have to concur with Malcolm, TL. Personally, North's conduct is pretty much what I'd expect from the puffed-up wally.

Whether it's compatible with his continued membership of the Party is not for you or I to judge in the final analysis. However, I'd have thought it would take a pretty creative interpretation of the Party Constitution for his local Association Executive not to see this article as an action liable to bring the Party into disrepute.

Anyone know which Association he's a member of? I feel a formal complaint coming on...

I feel a formal complaint coming on...

Surprise! Surprise!

The NuStalinist Cameron Party is becoming more like Nulabour every day. The clones can't argue with the opposition so they prefer to crush it instead.

When dissident OAPs are frogmarched by bouncers out of the next Cameronite Rally into waiting police vans we'll know that the "modernisation" programme is complete.

When dissident OAPs are frogmarched by bouncers out of the next Cameronite Rally into waiting police vans we'll know that the "modernisation" programme is complete.

You're ahead of me, TL! I've made sure the vans are padded too, as I wouldn't want you to come to any harm...

I score 8 out of 10 - guess that makes me a loyalist? LOL. I am totally against funding for political parties and saw merit in the patients' passport policy. Although it is not mentioned, I fully support having a Grammar school in every town - a key Major pledge made for the '97 GE.

It would make you a loyalist, but seeing as you are from Tottanham, its hardly suprizing.

No Richard Norths intemperate use of language and hatred for the modern Conservative party which hew illustrates every single day on his blog make me wonder what he thinks he's doing in this party.His views are not and have never been those of the mainstream Conservative party and I can see no benefit either to him or to us to have him as a member.
Still at least Richard has the courage to blog under his real name and not seek to hide behind a pseudonym so that he can remain a minor party functionary.
What some people will do for a meaningless title!

North has clearly joined the party in the sense that Militant joined labour, as an attempt to foment trouble from within.

I score 6.5/10. I'd prefer other things but I'm not so stupid as to put principle over pragmatism the way far too many on here do. In that sense those who do so really are the Militant of today.

"Still at least Richard has the courage to blog under his real name and not seek to hide behind a pseudonym so that he can remain a minor party functionary.
What some people will do for a meaningless title!"

Or, in the case of your co-Cameroon the Cardinal, two titles.

But in today's centralised, dictatorial Conservative Party I would guess that most titles are meaningless, even that of the so-called leader.

The only person with real power is Mr Hilton. Even Francis Maude has no power over this control freak who has hi-jacked our party.

I thought Richard North was a fictional character, like Heinz Kiosk in Way of the World? He's real? Like a real person?

I have my own top tips for Dave, who is surely lying awake at night gasping in horror at his failure to attract really horrible, unpleasant people to publicly support him. I know I would!

No. 1: Wear pinstripes at all times. The Tombstone group have been sickened by your prancing around in civvies - going shopping in chinos (dread word!). Pinstripe suits, pinstripe bathing shorts (dread word!), pinstripe burquas for your visit to Mosques. If a chap's not pinstriped, difficult to know where he stands on the really important issue of forcing religion into state schools, doncha know?

No. 2: Move to somewhere disgusting in Merseyside. The vitriol heaped on you for having a nice house in a nice bit of London isn't worth the candle, though the shrieking class envy of your detractors is sometimes enjoyable in and of itself.

No. 3: Bow down before the wisdom of the local associations (was going to write "wisdom of the crowds" but of course, in most assocs, that's the problem) - you know, the people who brought you the "success" of candidate selection in Plymouth Sutton. Stop pretending that you have any right whatsoever, as the elected party leader, in determining the conservative brand (dread word!) and put up with the bunch of chinless pinstriped losers that all the fantastic local associations would love to foist on you.

Are you all right, Mr Archer?

Cameron actually has some fans in this morning's paper, and a rag-tag group of leftist oddballs they are too.

They range from some homosexual weirdo, through a Muslim apologist for Islamofascism to the appalling Eurofanatic Heseltine, who is well pleased with the work of his protegee.

As a Jew, I detest and deplore the way Cameron has played up to the enemies of Israel who are also the enemies of decency and civilisation. The withdrawal of the goodwill of a swathe of Jewish Tories following Cameron's attack on Israel is the great untold story of the year.

What a joy to turn to the centre of the paper and read Simin Heffer's spot-on assessment of the current situation. Under Cameron, as he says, the Tories don't have a prayer.

The greatest truth spoken by any Tory leader in recent years was by William Hague when he warned that Britain had become a "foreign land" under Labour.

Many of my acquaintences agree that Britain increasingly resembles pre-Hitler Germany with increased violence, degeneracy and anti-Semitism.

We need a fighter to oppose these tndencies in our increasingly fragmented society. Cameron is very far from being that man.

It is you, Mr Green, that we're worried about!

Despite stiff competition, Graeme Archer's post at 07:29 must rank as one of the most moronic yet.

I do not know what "chinos" are, but if Cameron wears them I must make a note to avoid these garments.

However, what Mr Archer and the rest of our party's socialist tendency choose to ignore is that Cameron is not Joe Public. He is a product of Eton and the aristocracy masquerading as something he is not.

A phoney, in other words.

Despite stiff competition, Graeme Archer's post at 07:29 must rank as one of the most moronic yet.

I found it the most amusing by a long way! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it as I was brushing my teeth.

Chinos are trousers which, when branded by Tommy Stinkfinger (or whatever his name is) form part of a uniform worn by the type of "man" who, if it weren't an anatomical impossibility, would love to tell you he spent all evening breastfeeding baby.

Members of this deracinated, dehumanised species like to call themselves "New Men" although there is nothing new about the slithering presence of effete, effeminate limp-wristed weaklings.

I prefer to describe the type as "The Last Man", a concept which will be familiar to students of Nietzsche.

...and to Cameron-watchers.

North's article is infantile, if this is the sort of way he goes on (even allowing for him not agreeing with Cameron) then he is a very silly man. Maybe we should thank "Tory Loyalist" for giving us an insight into this!

On the other issue prompted by this post, that of people posting under pseudonyms, I personally think the editor should stop this. I know some have pointed out this might actually reduce more pro-DC people than anti-DC but regardless of that I think there is something basically wrong about not posting under a real name. I think the site should require some form of registration with proper name and details etc,


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