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I support DC, he is our best hope and he has brought us real hope. I am though becoming increasingly worried that the PR and policy building processes contain seeds of DC's own destruction.

Frank Luntz says that DC is "one poorly conceived stunt away from disaster".

"When voters compare you to Tony Blair, it's not a compliment," Mr Luntz said in an open letter to Mr Cameron. "You don't need to be cute to be effective. You must be a leader, not a brand. The new voters you are bringing back to the Conservatives see you as a political innovator and change agent, but I can already hear the scepticism creeping in. "Be careful. The electorate has grown cynical about the current government because it puts spin over substance."

Polly Toynbee, Hug a hoodie etc

This is not what you actually said, but what either others around you said or your PR has ill advisadly allowed to be stuck to your name. The image building needs to be more professional.

We also have the cock-ups in policy announcements that come out with you/shadow cabinet making statements that the policy group do not agree or vice versa. We end up looking unprofessional and disunited. This indicates that there are failings in policy co-ordination which falls at the feet of Steve Hilton and Oliver Letwin.

We need to manage these matters in a more professional manner.

Thanks for telling me this, but luckily BH with the fantastic Gwyneth Dunwoody told me the good news first ! She is ace that girl.

She made mincemeat of Louise 'Labour' Bagshawe on this morning's BH - you should at least be glad she mentioned ConservativeHome several times - no doubt she is on commission. Shame she sounds so shockingly naff in trying to hijack a paper review in a party political broadcast. And up against the Great Gwyneth, she sounded absolutely, abysmally, shockingly smug.

Never mind, if she marries a Tory MP, she might be allowed loose on making some jam.

That Frank Luntz is also one spoonerism away from a disaster..

Never mind, if she marries a Tory MP,

Do you think she should divorce her current husband first ?

Whilst Con Home is an accurate gauge of Tory opionion 99% of the time I suspect that problem of dissatisfaction is if anything understated.

Why? - well I include all manner of reservations, anxieties and frustrations being more vocally expressed by the rank and file membership who are not so internet literate as to post to a blog or respond to an online survey.

I'm beginning to get a sense of deja-vu on this Leadership issue.

a) Tory leader loses touch with grassroots and wanders off on som CCHQ agenda inspired by an adviser with little grip on reality or contempt for the grassroots/backbenchers.
b) Grumblings in the grassroots grow and are echoed by backbench MPs, followed by media exposure. Cue speculation, plots and briefings, possible contenders yada, yada.
c) More complaints by members and the a warning from the leader saying back me or we lose the next election.

Result: loss of confidence in the leader and a forced strategic u-turn to appeal to the base Tory vote to shore things up. One adviser is sacked with a huge pay-off and another is hired from the antipodes on a massive wage to sort out the mess.

Antidote? Perhaps Frank Luntz had a point today - David Cameron needs to worry about leadership a little more and branding a lot less.

This party knows where it wants to be taken, it elected a Leader capable of delivering it to that destination. Never mind the obsession with change - that is the means to the end, not an end in itself.

We want a Conservative government. We know what one looks like because we've had it before and we see it elsewhere abroad. Nothing else will do. It's what the Leader must deliver, nothing less will suffice.

Doesn't the fact that Murdoch has ditched the Tories make the views of party members a bit academic ? Defeat is inevitable without 'The Sun' shining on you.

Note from one article today that Gordon read our Tax Commission report - talk of a 2% basic rate tax cut to counter increased green taxes. NuLab still works on cherry-picking just enough of Tory policies to put us in check in the great chess game for power- see it with Reid on immigration, Miliband on the environment. We need to see what Gordon plans and hear his manifesto next summer before we commit in detail what we will do.

I suspect that satisfaction levels may be lower than the poll suggests as there is a loyalty factor which will tend to lead to party members giving Cameron the benefit of the doubt. If only he were to suggest taking more control back from the EU his ratings would soar.

A few things, the internet is used by those who oppose therefore people on here will necessarily be unrepresentative of the conservative party as a whole, people are more active when they are complaining, good for us as an opposition, bad for us as it promotes the opposition within the opposition.

Those who have power are busy exercising that power, hence labourhome is pretty useless and the top blogs are pretty much all from right wing opposition. Within the party those who take the time to comment are (usually) those with an axe to grind. The surveys are usually poorly executed in that respect.

More seriously, and the editors should note this danger, you are being reported by the left wing press as though those voting in polls are actually conservatives. That people are able to lie about who they are when voting should make anyone stop short, the left wing press can skew the poll and then report it as though it is true. Why you are allowing this to happen (potentially or in actuality) I cannot begin to imagine. Imagine a labourhome survey (do they have such things?), I would hope that we would all be on there attempting to destabilise them in that eventuality.

Secondly, 9% ahead in the latest poll. Anyone who thinks that's not a successful first year is Hazel Blears.

@Cardinal Pirelli

Well its DC that won't back identity cards, so we can all lie about our identity. Not a concept that your moniker shows you have had much trouble grasping, incidentally.

Cardinal Pirelli: You can read a defence of the accuracy of these ConservativeHome polls here. My instinct also tells me that the the CH poll numbers are right. Leaders in today's News of the World and Express - alongside regular misgivings in The Telegraph and Mail are also indicative of a widespread sense that the Tory leadership hasn't got the balance of its message right yet.

Jonathan -

Having given me the clues I just found a picture of you on the internet with what I presume is your home phone number. Imagine government being able to follow the minutest part of your life with all of the extra information they will demand of you.

Having been greatly concerned by Howard's words on ID cards I'm very relieved for Cameron to have come our completely against them.

Richard North reveals on www.eureferendum.blogspot.com that the Christopher Booker column has this week been censored and he publishes the missing text which is critical of Cameron.

Tim, I think you might have missed out the link.

It does worry me as, if we have an increasing number of infiltrators, it could easily show trends that are not representative. I do realise how costly an independent poll is to commision however. Maybe Stephan could do a free one?!?

Ah sorry, the link's there now!

@ Cardinal Pirelli
Google is a wonderful thing and a little research has shown that "Concerning some eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli" is a novel by Ronald Firbank, subsequently made into a film in 1997 , directed by Christina Rosati. The Vatican knows of no such Cardinal.
The Novel "concerns the demise of a priest while chasing an appealing choirboy around the altar." and "Firbank doesn't take anything seriously. Everything is a fantasy. You float through a world of handsome choirboys, old ladies talking scandal, schoolgirls preening for marriage. Corruption is everywhere, and no one points a finger."
Mr Firbank also wrote the novel "Prancing Nigger".

Perhaps you would say what office you hold in CCHQ and what your contribution to the Party's policy reviews has been so far?

And you have the cheek to attack us for using the internet inappropriately to the detriment of the Party!!!

"Having been greatly concerned by Howard's words on ID cards I'm very relieved for Cameron to have come our completely against them"

Fully agree. They are a complete waste of money. Mobile fingerprint scanners are the way forward

Michael Mcgough - leaving the Cardinal & his chum to fight it out, the point you make about the Sunday Telegraph's pathetic censoring of Booker is not surprising. For a while now the Telegraph has shown a softening in both its editorials and choice of columnists as it has tried to accommodate CCHQ's policies. The Business is the only truly conservative publication nowadays.
I thought I'd e-mail the Editor of the Sunday Telegraph later and send him the censored text asking for an "Errata" next week.

"If only he were to suggest taking more control back from the EU his ratings would soar"

I've never understood this anti EU obsession by some tory members. William Hague spent much time banging in about it and it go him no where. It is an issue extremely far down the list of people's concerns. In fact I'd say it doesn't even register for most people. And had the court case regarding cheap booze and fags over the net gone the other way, this country would be very much pro EU!

Jonathan - I didn't know it had been filmed, thanks, I'll look it up. Love the description, it makes it sound like parliament!

By the way, the other novel you mention was called 'Sorrow in Sunlight' in the UK, it was only in the US that they changed the title (inadvisedly).

As for CCHQ, not likely, I'm far too much of a maverick to cope with that.

Please keep on the subject of this thread please and use the homepage thread for other topics.

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa....

On the subject, the timing was, as mentioned, not the most opportune for any positive response towards Cameron, if we see the 9% poll lead replicated however I would be amazed if the satisfaction rating did not rise.

"One-third of Tory members are dissatisfied with David Cameron's leadership"
Wonderful headline which is a bit disingenuous! Bit like putting up the headline "One-third of tory members don't want David Cameron to lead the party the day after he won the leadership"

Looking at the figures in the ConHom survey I was struck by a couple of interesting points.
Back when ConHom very accurately predicted the leadership contest, David Cameron won two thirds of the vote.
He has consistently got a slightly better approval rating over the last year, why because he has performed well in the polls.
He dips in popularity when the conservatives slip in the polls.
There is a still minority group who will never be satisfied with his leadership of the party and although I was very impressed with David Cameron during the leadership contest, I know that some members must have had misgivings. Why then did they back him, because he had the X factor and ran an excellent campaign which left his opponents standing, he also told us we needed to CHANGE to be in touch with the electorate.
I am not surprised that many members do not want a leadership change, there is no appetite for it from either the grass roots or the Westminster party. Conclusion, one year on David Cameron is still regarded as our best hope at the next GE.
Looking back at the leadership contest I remember a political journalist remarking "The conservatives want to win again".
Will David Cameron and his team make mistake's , undoubtedly (get the policy announcements right please).
On the whole its been an excellent year of progress, and its good to be a tory again. Keep up the good work.

"This is not what you actually said, but what either others around you said or your PR has ill advisadly allowed to be stuck to your name. The image building needs to be more professional." HF

Just about everything needs to be more professional. We still have Tory MPs incapable, or too cowardly, to attack Labour but still can't resist the lure of a BBC spot to sound off attacking the party. We seem to still live in the 60s (even 1860s!) when it comes to the media with shadow ministers standing on their dignity when CCHQ should (note should) be more able to make media friendly statements imediately rather than Sir Humphreyesk burblings that voters don't bother with days after the interest has gone. And why can't they see problems before they come - e.g. missing the CBI conference without proper PR and allowing journalists room to put the boot in. And there's more. . .


There appears to have been an effort by UKIP members to sabotage the poll!

"It is an issue extremely far down the list of people's concerns."

In this case "it" happens to be the EU, but irrespective of what the "it" might be, part of political leadership is to draw to people's attention to important issues.

I suppose Churchill could have said "Oh well, the rise of Nazi Germany as a potentially aggressive military power is extremely far down the list of people's concerns, so I won't keep banging on about it".

It has been a good year with us making significant progress and well ahead in the polls (cue outrage from UKIP posters with this comment). DC has presented a fresher more in touch image which floating voters like. To some extent this is bound to upset some of our core supporters as change does worry some people especially some of our older supporters. I think he needs to continue on his trajectory but refine the emphasis to firm up what we stand for so people have a substantial idea of a future nation under the Conservatives,


This poll rings true. Few of my Assocviation workmates are enthusiastic about building Cameroonia. Melanie Phillips' Blue Labour jibe sums up the feeling. The overtaxed victims of crime throughout Britain want a change from Labour and not a pale imitation.

I've yet to meet any Conservative who didn't vote for Cameron last year but has subsequently come to support him (though I don't doubt they do exist) but I know plenty who voted for him and who are now thoroughly disillusioned.

As stated in the Telegraph there is a huge undercurrent of discontent within the party, but it dare not speak its name while the polls remain favourable.

The so-called focus group interviewed by Luntz consisted of 17 people - an absurdly tiny sample. Anyway, the views of people who normally can't be bothered to vote are precisely worthless.

Cameron is chasing sunbeams.

I think Cameron is fantastic.
All dissenters are headbangers and loonies.
They only let me write in green crayon from this particular institution.

Signed: Dave's mum.

DC has presented a fresher more in touch image which floating voters like.

No doubt. He is whispering soft-leftie soothing words to attract left-leaning votes. What we want is to win the election and then implement Conservative policies. Cameron takes the Conservative voters for given, but let us see if they vote for him in the end or if they in the last moment decide to vote for a Conservative party.

Good to see that this news - the real news - is reported in the Telegraph this morning.

Yes there are still Cameron supporters among the grassroots but their support is superficial.

In the Con Club Sunday lunchtime I was discussing Cameron with two others of like mind when someone piped up. "I think Cameron is going to win"

Three pairs of hostile eyes glared at him and I snapped "Why?"

The guy seemed to shrink into his shell. He mumbled something inaudible and buried himself in his beer.

A seventeenth-century observer (Clarendon?) observed that while the supporters of the Bishops outnumbered their detractors "those that loved the bishops loved them less than their dinners but those who loathed them hated them more than the devil"

It is the same with Cameron.

When Cameron first started many young people interested at least partly in politics got involved with the Conservative party. However that sentiment is changing, fast...

We feel that he is going against the very values and virtues that all of us believe in. If i wanted the wishy washy, leftish "weak" policies that David is starting to put out I would have voted Labour. Evidently I did not.

This country needs a strong, capable leader, with the the stones to talk tough about the tough issues and propel the UK, Britain and the Britsh people forward again.

If David doesn't change his tune soon, he'll find many people will be deserting him.

Good balanced judgement from Matt above. DC has earnt us a hearing, now we need to continue to paint a broad-brush picture of what life would be like under a COnservative government. As I think Matt commented elsewhere, people are beginning to allow for the possibility that we Conservatives come from the same planet (they obviously haven't been reading this thread...)

YMT: This country needs a strong, capable leader, with the the stones to talk tough about the tough issues.

Interesting post, YMT. I had dinner with a friend of mine the other night who is both a CF member and a Conservative councillor. He'd been canvassing a small sample door-to-door (20-30) in his ward on the weekend, and found that many of them disaproved of DC's environmentalism, as they believed it would lead to higher taxes.

Two points there; firstly, it is a tough issue that doesn't command unequivocal electoral support. Secondly, there's a part of our message that hasn't got through - that we plan to shift the burden of taxation from the good (hard work, families etc) to the bad (pollution,carbon emissions etc). We all need to bear in mind when working on a local level what we can do to help comunicate this aspect of balance.

Tory loyalist posted - "The so-called focus group interviewed by Luntz consisted of 17 people - an absurdly tiny sample"

The purpose of a focus group is not to give quantitative data but qualitative date eg feelings and ideas. The normal size of such groups is about 10 to 15. Anything more is unmanagebale. How do I know this stuff - well it was used by industry long before politicians and it always amuses me when people talk despondently about focus groups as if they represent what is wrong with modern politics and even that Blair invented the. Tory Loyalists comments illustrate he does not know what he is talking about on this subject,


Although one third of ConservativeHome members express dissatisfaction with David Cameron, the Editor senses little appetite for a change of leader at present.
How long will it be before we face up to the fact that we may have to do just that?

The Conservative share of the vote in the latest Populus poll is less than half a percent more than the actual share of the national vote secured by the Conservatives at the last General Election in May 2005,

Therefore I share your concern.

The membership were hoodwinked by a "stunt" when Cameron was elected.

Time to end this ridiculous experiment in Blairite leftism.

I want a party that will reinstate British sovereignty, will tax me less, will stop the rise of mass unemployment by controling immigration, will push power back to the people and remove Big Brother, nanny state meddling.

Dave offers nothing but variations of his heros at Real Labour.

I guess that's because he takes his orders from the same people they do.

I won't ever vote Conservative until that changes. NU Labour, Blue Labour or the pathetic Lib Dems. What an utter shower of gutless rubbish.

No wonder the "stay at home" and others vote is increasing all the time. Give the people an option soon, or become an irrelevance.

The editor is probably a friend of "Dave's", so it really comes as no surprise that he senses that members are "registering a protest" or without the stomach for a leadership challenge. You should hear what people in the real world have to say about him. Comments that are not too different from those by the above person. He really hasn't got a chance. We've got two New Labour parties. So if one fails the other just steps in and picks up where it left off. So the liberal, anti-British establishment really have nothing to fear at the moment. They're about the only group who are truly satisfied with Cameron (Polly Toynbee anyone?). Everybody else; the mass majority, people so disenfranchised that they no longer engage in the political process are left without a voice. A voice that used to be the natural tory constituency. We're dead with Cameron.

Maurice Saatchi in the Sunday Times sums it up for this particular ordinary voter:
"All that is on offer now is the barren landscape of the 'centre ground'..."
"....[Quoting T S Eliot that the lack of a philosophy]..can make a party so endlessly and obligingly adaptable to changing circumstances that it discredits itself by its indifference to principle..."

He cites examples from a recent study by the Centre for Policy Studies where, on a variety of questions, the majority choice of answer between Labour, Conservative and Neither was Neither.

Another indication from the survey was that people saw no real difference between the parties and that encapsulates my feeling precisely.

I'd like to vote Conservative again but it would have to show a bit more Eurosceptism before that could happen.In other respects I'd be amenable to consideration of anything else that might show a bit of clear water from NuLab's offerings.

Perhaps you should take note of Tam Large's posting on the concurrent thread re not banging on about Europe!

(Extract for convenience:)

Posted by: Tam Large | January 06| 10:43
Putting aside the fact the polls show consistently that a large majority of voters are sick of the current EU control and only want a "common market", and that a considerable number want withdrawal (good reasons for our party to mention the EU), it is a fact that many of our "domestic" issues are actually controlled by the EU. If voters were more aware of that fact. then the EU and its effects would become an even greater issue.

God, who are these people? (posters above). Sometimes the success and popularity of Conhome attracts some people who I think the Conservative party are much better off without.

Who is "Malcolm" I wonder?

I'm one of the growing band of Tories who are thoroughly fed up with the antics of Mr Cameron and I for one would like to see all the solid patriots of UKIP right back inside our party.

Re malcolm | January 07, 2007 at 23:01:

--depends whether you regard ConHome as simply an introspective club of mutual backslappers or a forum for those who would like the party to be successful, whilst having differing views on how that could be made to happen.

I'm someone who wishes to return to voting Tory if the party regains some sort of identifiable and differentiated philosophy, especially on Europe.

Top marks for erasing my posting. The one that wasn't very complimentary towards this sites man of the hour "Dave" Cameron. I was under the impression that conservativehome was democratic and open to free speech. But no. Posting's are subject to vigorous anti-Cameron filtering criteria. If your comments are too critical or disdainful they will be duly removed. Try it for yourself. Write something politically incorrect (by The Guardian's standards) or something that mocks "Daves" persona (e.g. he looks like Data from Star Trek but even being an android Data probably posseses more sincerity). If anybody out there wishes to visit a site which is truly conservative try RonaldReagan.com (forum) or LiberalScum.com. Yes, the latters name isn't as cuddly as this sites but it reflects honest conservative opinion. This site may as well change it's address to bbc/conservativehome.co.uk and start demanding a donation to me made to an African child every time you visit it. It's up to you what you do but this really is an insignificant little cyber world controlled by a bunch of former hooray henry's turned metropolitan liberal eco-mentalists. The amount of soft-liberal drivel spouted on this site is sickening. To those who indulge themselves in such fantasies; get out into the real world, try walking through a council estate, try walking around an NHS hospital, try walking around a working-class town in East-London and see the "real world" that the majority of Britain's citizens are subject to on a daily basis. It's hell. Maybe when you start to feel like a foreigner in your own town. Maybe when you can't get to your Grandparnets dingy council flat because of the scumbags smoking crack and threatening to cut you in the stairwells. Maybe when your parents have to take out a loan to pay for an operation to combat a life threatening illness because your local hospital is more concerned with allocating it's resources towards the high number of HIV/TB ridden immigrants in your catchment area. Maybe when on top of this your family, all of whom have strived to better themselves by gaining decent professional jobs, are taxed up to hilt after 5 to 6 days of hard work. Maybe then you might discover true conservative principles. Principles that have been obscured by privilige and detachment that have come with a comfortable and secure up-bringing. To anybody who really cares about (Great)Britain don't bother with the shower of lunatics who pump out the sewage on these pages and who put their faith in landed toff who would struggle to survive in Real Britain if he ever had the misfortune of falling down there.

Iain Duncan Smith tried to move the party in a more principled and compassionate direction. I was at his last conference as leader - every time he coughed he was applauded. Nevertheless within weeks his MPs had voted him out.

I did not vote for DC on account of his inexperience, but I thank God (I mean that) he has continued where IDS left off. Inevitably he will make mistakes. I do wish he would use more discretion in attacking the government - choose those issues on which there is a really strong case.

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