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David Sargent "Hague and Howard both started well"

Yes that baseball hat really suited Hague. You could even have been forgiven for thinking he had some hair left under it.

And isn't it time Cameron visited the fun park and the Notting Hill Carnival before boasting about how many pints of beer he could consume and still remain upright?

David, are you so old and grumpy that your memory has deserted you?

I don't share Seth Gillete's optimism.It is Blair who sliding down the plug hole of history not the Labour Government.It is true that, in much the same way, as the awful Major years discredited our economic competence tag, Labour's integrity and reforming zeal is now undermined by Blair.

However all the polling evidence and analysis thereof indicates an electorate with little or enthusiasm for any party.Electors seem now to accept that whatever happens electoraly their lives will not improve.For any opposition this is a dangerous state of affairs.To some degree it is true that governments lose elections but the best I can see at present is a hung parliament.

As a Conservative this is not the favoured option.I am not by instinct drawn to a high tax economy ,ever increasing so called green taxes and the spread of the polictics of envy ever further into our social fabric.This politics is not for me. I have the impression that there is an elite drawn from the south east and particularly certain quarters of the capital who are controlling and manipulatiung the agenda.

The control is reenforced by the news media through the BBC and newspapers such as the Independent and Guardian who seem to wish to stop us thinking in a certain way.The Editor of this site has gone some way to attempting to address this imbalance.I was particularly pleased to read the stance taken on the gay adoption row.How any Conservative can deny the right of conscience to a religious group acting within the law is beyond me.Better to emphaise the totally illiberal and poor law making of new labour.

Many of those who have posted on this thread are part of the problem.They seem to be obsessed with labelling the right as" old and out of date" This is not analysis it is merely sloganising.A party must stand for a set of core values and to my mind cornerstone were emphasing the key principles attractive to the wider electorate.

I have the sense at the present that the Conservative Party is drifting.It may look a little more appealing to a middle to upper class clique in the south but it is not reaching the mass populations of the north and midlands.Come election time this will be dangerous.

Too true Martin.

I suppose a few of these "socially liberal" trendies do join the party, inspired by some of the guff put out on the media by the Cameroons.

I'd love to know what they think when they join the local committee and find out what the party's really all about.

Not that such commitees are dominated by ranting racists and homophobes of course.

My main memories of the last Tory meeting I attended were a half hour long conflab about how all social events should be held in the daytime "because our members don't like going out when it's dark" and a suggestion that the branch should make money by selling tat on eBay because (allegedly) "you can even put a plastic carrier bag on eBay and somebody will pay £25 for it".

Rivetting stuff.

Now do you understand why I don't bother with my local Tory meetings? I'm too busy making a fortune selling plastic bags on eBay.


"My main memories of the last Tory meeting I attended were a half hour long conflab about how all social events should be held in the daytime "because our members don't like going out when it's dark" and a suggestion that the branch should make money by selling tat on eBay because (allegedly) "you can even put a plastic carrier bag on eBay and somebody will pay £25 for it".

Rivetting stuff."

It must be so nice to be you Mr McCartney. You are, after all, so very superior to all the people around you aren't you?

The pertinent point Gareth is that the party is not in step with the Cameron project both on a practical or ideological basis.Many have been drawn to DC in despair at having lost 3 elections.I am not sensing a mass conversation to enviromentalism ,hoodie hugging or driving huskies, amongst ordinary constituency Tories.The concerns as Mark points out are more basic.

I personally don't feel superior to anybody.I would just like my concerns to be addressed by the wider party.It is my profound belief that a low tax economy is best for Britain.Cameron has got it the wrong way round.Low tax = growth not the other way around.I want to see a tory party arguing for traditional dual sex marriage even the Archbishop of Canterbury has come out fighting on this one.I want to see zero tolerance policing not hoodie hugging and control over our national borders and sovereignity would be nice too.

These are the concerns of many ordinary Tories I meet.I instictively believe them to be popular when articulated correctly and consistently.Many of the people coming into the so called "big tent" are not Conservatives.These people will melt away when the they find a new axe to grind over the dinner table.

Actually, UKIP DO have a worrying presence in the north. In 2001 they didn't put up a candidate in St Helens North. In 2005 they did. With no active campaigning, they polled 1100 votes, pushing the Tory (me) into third place behind the LDs. Didn't really matter in that seat but what about northern marginals?

Editor, I have to agree with those that say the UKIP obsession is getting ridiculous as are the obvious bogus posts("trolls", "sock-puppets" etc). There used to be really good quality debate on here. I don't want people just to be blind followers of DC etc but I think rational debate that leads to learning and building on each other with positive ideas, is really needed. Some people have left the site who were good contributors. I would ask the sensible people not to leave but to stay and fight. I do beleive it is the case that we tried to shout louder, more right-wing approach and generally it didn't work. I strongly believe that the main switch of voters shifted to new Labour as a mainstream party they percieved as sensible mild centre-right. Most of these people just aren't going to switch to us as a result of ever more shrill turn the clock back ideas. Broadly DCs approach has been right but I think there is sensible agreement amongst rational posters that there is scope to continue this approach but move it up a gear. This is the issue, not pandering to a tiny, very loud minority who want to de-rail the Conservative party and keep Labour in power just so they can hark back to some super-pure ideology. A pure ideology that actually never existed, even under Thatcher and certainly not under any of our leaders including the greatest of all, Churchill.

Matt

If Cameron is right, why are the Conservatives on 38% with Blair almost under arrest, the NHS in chaos and schools dumbed down until everyone laughs at their pretensions to quality?

even the Archbishop of Canterbury has come out fighting on this one.I want to see zero tolerance policing not hoodie hugging and control over our national borders and sovereignity would be nice too.

And I want to see "Conservatives" learn not to parrot Labour spin about our own policy positions, but then we all lead lives of quiet desperation…

I’m not sure I’d be adding anything by discussing the U-know-who party much further – I’ve written before about how easily we should be able to dismiss them as irrelevant children while not even mentioning them by name while we appear as a mature alternative government.

On the issue of Cornerstone, I think the tenor of the comments from Leigh, or at the very least the way in which he has allowed or encouraged them to be spun by the Mail, was highly inadvisable. While I frequently don’t personally agree with Cornerstone’s positions, they were the first serious contributors to the policy debate during the leadership contest in 2005, and their deeply-held commitment to social justice in particular is worthy of some respect.

In light of that, it’s a shame that they couldn’t have made a series of thoughtful submissions to the policy groups without the media spin, but I guess that is modern politics, in that groups will seek to promote their own agendas in the media even within their own party. As our policy groups are wide open, however, I hope that all other affiliated groups within the Conservative Party see it as their responsibility to make any relevant submissions they can to the commissions.

I've heard of ghost-writing, but this is ridiculous.

Yes, the term 'One Nation' was coined by Enoch Powell and Angus Maude (father of the absurd Francis Maude) whilst they were working for the Conservative Resarch Department in their 1950 pamphlet entitled 'One Nation'.

Yes, of course, Basildon Man didn't mind the negative equity because the stock market was performing so well. Presumably that's why John Major was re-elected by a landslide in 1997!

All is explained.

Reading the posts here it's obvious that the chasm between normal Tories and the hoodie-huggers is getting ever wider.

Can the party's position be saved? I'm not sure, but we can start by reining in Cameron and getting rid of Maude.

Then once the dust has settled we can start planning the future, majoring on the leadership question.

Mark, One sure way to oblivion is to think the answer to all our problems is just to keep changing leaders. Its a cop out to avoid listening to the majority of voters and moving forward as a party.

Matt

>>Mark, One sure way to oblivion is to think the answer to all our problems is just to keep changing leaders<<

Just one will do, Matt

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