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Must admit,credit for a lot of what he says is due to him on this trio of topics.

Now,my only problem is,should I expect him to honour ALL of what he said?

Did he really mean what he said about scrapping regional assemblies,and are these the same Regional Assemblies that I know of?

We've been promising to scrap regional assemblies for a long term - part of the localism agenda that us Tories are signed up to.

I think DC has played the cash-for-peerages thing perfectly. Let Labour do the self-inflicted damage - let the police do the investigation - let the media do the outrage. Cameron chose his moment very well at this week's pmqs - sticking the knife in just at the time we can see how the sleaze induced lame duckness is contributing to the governmernt's incompetence.

Yes and Cameron is being properly cautious. If the police decline ot bring charges we would look pretty stupid having tried at the dispatch box. The best way forward is to do as DC is doing - attack TB on the grounds of govt paralysis, and demand an immediate election for Brown to get credibility.

ConHomers should read the full transcript. It's great how he goes for Brown - says "The prison crisis is his crisis." So true!

"We've been promising to scrap regional assemblies for a long term - part of the localism agenda that us Tories are signed up to"

And done sweet fanny adams about it!They are supported as much by Tory placemen as others.

So surely Dave must now pledge to remove the animal welfare & food health standards exemptions the muslims have for halal slaughter? Or the exeptions for kosher slaughter? Or the Sikh exemption for turbans on motorbikes? Etcetera, etcetera...

This country has always been tolerant of people's beliefs, but tolerance seems to be out of favour these days - at least for faith matters. Christopher Booker has shown, in his recent article, that the EU directive which has led to this actually has explicit opt-outs for beliefs/faith.

Is christianity now just a "superstition" in the eyes of the secular state, instead of a faith which should be respected?

Mr Cameron's answer on Catholic adoption is rubbish. I thought this man believed in localism? He should allow Catholic charities to order their own affairs so long as people have a genuine choice of adoption agencies. There is a world of difference between saying no to sharia law and to allowing Catholic charities to set biblical criteria for adopting children. Can Mr Cameron not understand that difference? This was once a Christian country. It's now the land of centralised and imposed political correctness.

Dave said "But in Britain we shouldn’t put up with discrimination on the basis of race or age or sexual orientation".

What about discrimination on the basis of religion / faith / belief ? That is what is created by the refusal of a faith exemption here.

Incidentally.. I am not a catholic myself: this is an issue which unites in potential discrimination all those with genuine religious beliefs, be they christian, muslim, jewish, or whatever.

I don’t think it would be right to allow carve outs for Muslim groups or Hindu groups or whoever

So he will be urging policemen to wear their boots when entering Muslim households - Avon & Somerset Police have been warned

And no doubt police officers will wear regulation headgear and not turbans or hijabs.....very reassuring

And school uniforms will be uniform and no room for jilbabs or niqabs - no doubt Cameron will be supporting the school in Buckingham

And kosher and halal meat is off the menu and the Hygiene Inspectors will be more rigorous in Muslim kitchens in future

Good to know

"And with that would have to go some modest state funding. We already have state funding. You are sitting in a state-funded parliamentary office."

Yes, a PARLIAMENTARY office so that our representatives can carry out their PARLIAMENTARY duties after we have elected them; not a PARTY office to help them get themselves elected. This is just plain deceit on Cameron's part.

"A modest increase could be offset by reducing the cost of politics by reducing the size of the House of Commons"

What a great trade off - bigger constituencies, and less representation of the people, so that there's a bit of spare cash in the public purse for self-seeking politicians to use for their party political purposes.

Totally outrageous suggestion, what is he thinking?

"scrapping regional assemblies"

Do we believe this, when Tory councillors like Keith Mitchell have clearly gone native and openly express support for euro-regional government?

"trimming ministerial offices"

Complicated, post-devolution, because we now have, for example, a Secretary of State for Health who is in fact only the Secretary of State for Health in England.

He should allow Catholic charities to order their own affairs so long as people have a genuine choice of adoption agencies.

Obviously. The UN Charter and ECHR guarantees the right of parents to have their children brought up in their faith - that is why Catholic adoption agencies exist

Cameron's PMQ tactics almost mirror that of Blair pre-1997: ie) act constructively 'on things on which we agree' and the odd attack. Which made his 'cash for peerages' line all the more odd. Blair in opposition would have been hammering home his way of 'cleaning up politics', by citing the policy, and then citing the 'cross party' support for it. Then he would pledge to bring his troops in line if the government agreed to do 'what is right, for the good of the country'. I don't disagree with much of what DC said in the Telegraph today ( except the BS about the Union) but i just get this nagging doubt that perhaps he isn't up for the job as Leader at all- he's too soft and cautious. I would prefer a more 'hawkish' attitude from DC.

I see the ukippers and fellow travellers are out in force today. Why don't they comment on their own site?

What worried me was the last line in the article, a quote from Cameron:
"People are really beginning to feel that this Government is like a house with a door that's rotting and they want to boot it off its hinges."
Spot on... but that doesn't mean we can just walk in - the electorate won't vote for us unless we show ourselves to be capable. In this respect he seems a little out of touch.
"People see a reinvigorated Conservative Party. It's got good ideas about the future, it's increasingly showing the grit and detail necessary for running the country."
We are only 4% ahead in the polls when the electorate wants to kick the door in. There is a message there. I do hope Cameron gets it.

Like Cameron, "I’m passionate that in this country we have one law that is obeyed by everybody", but I interpret that in a rather different way. There's no reason why the one law which is obeyed by everybody should not allow for particular exceptions to the general provisions, and in fact it would very difficult to pass some laws unless they allowed for such exceptions. The question in each case is not whether an exception to the general provisions could be embodied in the law, but whether an exception should be made - whether such an exception can be justified. On the other hand, in the absence of a legal exemption then I don't expect any individual or group to be given an illegal exemption because the police and CPS are reluctant to apply the law of the land in that case for spurious reasons of "cultural sensitivity" or "racial awareness". For example, nobody has been legally exempted from the law on incitement of murder, and it would be intolerable if anybody was allowed to incite murder with inpunity, so the police should apply that law to Muslims just as they would apply it to everybody else.

Deborah - so your message would be to go back a year or so to where we had a discredited government and were 6% behind in the polls?

The election in 2005 showed just how marginalised the Conservative Party had become - a discredited Government, with an unpopular war only managed 36% percent support, which should have lost them the election. However an even more discredited opposition party managed to increase its share marginally but still attracted just over 32% of the votes.

David Cameron and team has worked to get our Party back to a position that people will consider voting for it - and he's achieved in just over a year a position where we can consider possibility of winning the next election.

I joined a Conservative and Unionist Party that still had links with the Orange Order and contained MPs who belonged to the Monday Club - thank god that over the decades since we have had leaders who have moved us forward.

As for RC adoption row - as a Catholic I am saddened it's come to a State v Religion row and think there are common sense solutions but in the end the Church can continue to discriminate if it turns its back on tax payer funding otherwise it's a de facto agency of the state and an agency of the state cannot discriminate. There is anyway on the Church side more than a simple row over adoption, the Church does not approve of homosexuality, of civil partnerships and wants a blanket exemption from any legal requirement to deal on an equitable basis with homesexuals - it highlighted adoptions as this involves children and so plays on the hateful prejudices displayed on the recent thread on the subject.



Why is this man still posting on here? Go off to your own tinpot little party's site and whinge there. Hopefully others of your ilk on this, and other threads, will do the same. Remember - every time you read one of Mr Large posts you are merely listening to the rantings of a UKIP supporter, adjust your mirth accordingly.

I'm glad he's left anyway, if we get rid of more of his sort it makes us a much better party.

"a Conservative party which----------wanted to see powers returned from the EU"


I thought this interview a little bit lightweight sadly. I suppose until the policy groups report they are doomed to be so.
On the three subjects covered,again sadly I disagree with Cameron on two of them. The Catholic adoption agencies have worked well for years and if they close it won't be gay couplrs who will suffer it will be vulnerable children. Still at least he's given a free vote on the subject.
On the State Funding issue my disagreement is much more profound. For someone with finely tuned political sense I think Cameron completely underestimates the contempt and cynicism which will greet his proposals should he go ahead with them. The stuff about abolishing seats and regional assemblies I strongly suspect is a smokescreen, I'll believe it when I see it.Perhaps his ideas might have more credibility if he carries out these plans BEFORE he introduces any increases in State Funding. Pigs might fly, but I doubt it.
As regards the Union, wholly agree but I think he can do more both in Scoytland and England to sell the befits of maintaining the Union.

Complicated, post-devolution, because we now have, for example, a Secretary of State for Health who is in fact only the Secretary of State for Health in England.
Scotland and England were already semi seperate in terms of government position, the Home Secretary for example was always only responsible for police in England & Wales, Education was for England & Wales and the NHS in Scotland has always had some degree of seperation although until 1997 these things were seperate but decided by the same people mainly - the fact is that it needed a national Federal solution not more ad hoc changes such as have happened over centuries and caused all kinds of constitutional peculiarities.

I hope that DC will do as he promises (i) to support the government when they act in the country's best interests but otherwise attack them more vigorously when he judges them to be in the wrong and (ii) to bring forward the policy groups' findings, so that a mini-manifesto can be produced at short notice. In any event a mini-manifesto would be infinitely preferable to several volumes of impossible promises.
What is very irksome to the tv viewer is Blair's routine at PMGs. Cannot DC appeal to the Speaker to make Blair at least address the question put to him instead of routinely launching into a self-congratulatory party political broadcast?
Blair appears so infrequently in the HoC (apparently debates on Iraq are beneath him), so we want some value out of him when he does deign to appear.

and contained MPs who belonged to the Monday Club

Yes, whatever happened to John Bercow ?

TomTom - there must have been points on Bercow's journey when I agreed with him. He's one of those politicians who one can nearly agree with sometimes, close on substance but hardly ever on the way he expresses it. Still better to have returned the sheep that srayed and all that.

"if we get rid of more of his sort it"

You will.you will,don't fret.Only then will you be able to merge with the LibDems.

Mr Cameron said, “I’m passionate that in this country we have one law that is obeyed by everybody.”

So am I. Like Denis Cooper (1343), I say there should be no exemptions (even for “cultural sensitivity” or “racial awareness“) in applying laws that have no legal exemptions, such as laws against inciting murder. But the Sexual Orientation Regulation (SOR) is bad law and shouldn’t be proposed anyway. It overrides the consciences of religious people and their freedom to live according to their centuries-old beliefs and enforcing a controversial view of morality currently favoured by the State. The concern many have with this law is less about ‘gay rights’ and more about ending freedom of religion and conscience in this country. Mr Cameron must be so cocooned in a leftist metropolitan mind-set that he fails to appreciate this.

Mr Cameron says, “But in Britain we shouldn’t put up with discrimination on the basis of race or age or sexual orientation.”

The problem with lumping together race, age and sexual orientation is that whatever one’s views on homosexuality, it must be admitted that this has more to do with behaviour choice than do race and age! The problem many have with the SOR is that it forces people to facilitate behaviour and the promotion of behaviour, that they feel is wrong, thus overriding their consciences.

The transcript on the Daily Telegraph website has Mr Cameron saying, “all the evidence shows that children do better when brought up in a stable home with a mother and father.” But he supports a NuLab law that forbids adoption agencies acting on this very belief. If he really means this, he wouldn't support adoption by gay couples or single people.

As for Mr Cameron’s attempts to reassure voters that he doesn’t want a European Constitution, wants to keep the pound and to see powers returned from the EU, my confidence that he will act on these aspirations is dented by his delaying of the implementation of the promise to pull out of the EPP, and abandoning the commitment to leave the Common Fisheries Policy. So I’m not now so confident he can be relied on to defend, indeed restore, freedom within this nation, and to restore our sovereignty as a nation state.

I would remind those suggesting this isn't a UKIP site, that according to the editor of the Conservative Daily mail, Tories aren't conservatives these days - so do Camerloon's henchmen really belong here either :-)

The fact is we have too much Criminal Law dealing with interpersonal behaviour

If you read the whole interview one interesting little thing is that when discussing discrimination Cameron omits to say that he is against discrimination on the grounds of Gender. Perhaps just an oversight or perhaps because discriminating on the grounds of gender is being practised by the Conservatives right now in candidate selection.

I thought the article was good. I didn't agree with everything but its unlikely any one person would accept every point. I am pleased he is sticking to a plan that has begun to get people listening and attract back the middle ground, but I'm also pleased he talks about stepping up a gear. I think the DTs leader was about right in reflecting on the article.


I tend to agree with Malcolm on this. I'm opposed to any extension of state funding for political parties, and can see no good reason not to grant an exemption to Catholic Adoption Agencies from the SOR.

Unlike Ted, I'm quite happy to see Conservative MPs who are members of the Monday Club (although it's now moribund) or indeed the Orange Order (I know of one Conservative MP who is a member).

I don't really see the rationale behind trying to exclude people who are on the Right of the political spectrum, unless coalition with the Liberal Democrats is intended.

"We think the union is good for both Scotland and England"

Why exactly is the union good for England? So Scottish MP's can voting on English business? So we can send £11bn north of the border every year?

The references to sending money to Scotland are spurious because it could also be argued that we should not send money to other parts of England that are perceived as getting too much subsidy. Equally silly are arguments that parts of the UK can't vote in parliament on certain issues, where would that end? It seems to be pandering to old fashioned socialist seperatist parties. The real issue that needs exploring is localism which would transcend all this. Giving more powers back to communities is a better route and one that actually historically better reflects the roots of the British Isles anyway,


That £11bn pa "subsidy" is a fiction, Jack, because the GRES statistics present an incomplete picture. For example, they don't take into account oil revenues and corporation tax paid to London. I don't think anybody really knows whether England is subsidising Scotland or the other way round, and maybe it's actually impossible to disentangle all the factors and come up with an exact answer.

One such complex factor - the expenditure in Scotland includes the education and training of Scots who then come south and work and provide tax revenues in England rather than in Scotland. How do we include that in the calculation?

Should the Scottish Executive charge each Scot who leaves an exit fee, to cover the investment made in him? As the Soviet Union did with the Jews who wished to emigrate to Israel, see eg http://ajcarchives.org/AJC_DATA/Files/769.PDF

"The most notorious aspect of the decree is that a schedule of fees was set up for "reimbursement for education" from Soviet citizens who leave the USSR, especially those who, as in the case of Jews, have been forced to renounce their citizenship. While the new decree has not yet been widely publicized in the Soviet Union, local OVIR (Office of Visas and Registration) officials now have a printed schedule of the fees. In addition to a fee of 5400R for high school, the lowest single fee is 4500 rubles (5400) for a teacher's degree. The highest is 12,200R for a doctorate. The fees are incremental. Thus, a holder of the first degree (equivalent of Baccalaureate) would have to pay 5500R for that degree, plus the 5500R for high school. A candidate of Sciences, such as Dr. Benyamin Levich, would have to pay 12,200R plus 5500R (first degree) plus another 5500R (for high school) equalling 23,200R or approximately $25,000. There is also evidence that a fee of 72OOR is to be charged for anyone who defended his thesis, making the total about 33,000 dollars for Levich"]

However I do agree that MPs elected in Scotland should not vote on England-only legislation, and that needs to be sorted out one way or another.

Equally silly are arguments that parts of the UK can't vote in parliament on certain issues, where would that end?
With a Federal Solution there wouldn't be this problem, if an English Parliament were to be set up and the Welsh Assembly was to get parliamentary status with Welsh Law seperated out from English Law, I'm sure that Londoners would resist the abolition of the GLA which gives London local autonomy that nowhere else in England has to that extent - the Scottish Parliament as constituted was a mistake, there needed to be a more bottom up solution throughout the UK based on historic counties perhaps with some kinds of joint bodies for England, Scotland, Wales and Ulster.

Arguing over the statistics is where the unionist argument in Scotland falls between two stools.

Either Scotland is a country
that needs English subsidy, which is the main argument that Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems use against the SNP, or,
as you seem to be arguing Dennis, it could aford to go it alone, in which case what is the Union for?

I wouldn't include expenditure on education and training of Scots who then come south to work and pay tax rather than in Scotland, unless the purpose of the education and training was to send skilled workers south of the border at the expense of the Scottish taxpayer, which would be incredibly generous and not a little foolish of the Scots if it where true.

Mat I agree with you on localism, far to much power is concentrated in whitehall, and the cities and counties of England have far to little say over their own affairs (for example I remember a few years ago the Commons debating raising the toll on the Mersey Tunnel) but this has nothing to do with the benefits of the union, which was my original question: What does England get
out of this union? Even if for arguments sake I ignored Scotland, the English taxpayer still subsidises Ulster and Wales -
for what?

"Equally silly are arguments that parts of the UK can't vote in parliament on certain issues, where would that end?" I agree
that EVOEM is a silly argument, and it wasn't one I was making. But please try to answer my original question - How is the Union good for England?

The easy answer is Jack:- it isn't!

"How is the Union good for England?"
The same reason it was good for England 300 years ago!

You take far too much for granted, Jack. An independent Scotland would not necessarily always have a government which was friendly to England. Who can say what might happen in the future? The Chinese allowed military bases? The Scottish government conniving at illegal immigration and the trafficking of drugs, or arms, across the border into England? Whatever it was, with Scotland as an independent sovereign state the northern third of the island would be beyond the jurisdiction of the Parliament in London, so would we resort to force?

I don't know how much of the tax revenue raised in England should be attributed to Scots working in England, and could therefore be notionally used to offset some of the government expenditure in Scotland. I've read that there are about a million Scots living and working in England, which roughly makes sense because the population of Scotland has barely shifted since the war while the population of England has gone up by something like a quarter, so in comparison Scotland is short of over a million people. So that would be of the order of 2% of production in England, which as a ballpark figure would yield £10 billion a year in tax revenues.

From the other angle, from conception onwards each child in Scotland costs the state money for health and education and so on, and if they had more opportunity to spend their productive years in Scotland they could pay their taxes in Scotland and cover the cost of health and education for the next generation of Scots.

I think you're right about the population figures Denis, I've seen similar ones. So one milion Scots live in England, and five million people live in Scotland (I think about 300,000 English people live in Scotland). In England, that would be the equivalent of just over eight million English people living in another country. If that happened, do you think anyone would see it as a good thing?

As to a drug dealing, people trafficking, arms smuggling Scottish government backed by the Peoples Liberation Army, I think that is, to be polite, unlikely.

But, to repeat myself again - How does the union with scotland benefit England? I think a good way to answer this would be to imagine the current union didn't exist, but it was being proposed. How would you convince England to support it?

Yes, the taxes generated by English workers in Scotland should be subtracted from the taxes generated by Scottish workers in England ... still, I reckon if they had all stayed where they were born and raised, when they added to the cost of local public services, and were paying in the same taxes as they are paying now, then the budgetary position of Scotland would be significantly improved, perhaps by something like that £10 billion pa.

The problem of course is that investors prefer to put their capital into England, and especially south east England, rather than into Scotland or the other geographically peripheral parts of the UK, so there's a continuing net flow of productive adults southwards. One reason why it would make sense to vary business taxes across the UK according to the need to attract investment.

How would I convince the English that a Union of Parliaments would be in their interest? I'd point out that the Scottish leaders were working up to nominating a different monarch to the English monarch, breaking the Union of the Crowns, and planning to ally Scotland with our enemy France. And they'd probably say "That seems unlikely", until the Scottish army, armed and paid for by the French and reinforced with French troops, actually crossed the border, with the French fleet sailing down the coast alongside.

I think some form of Union is unquestionably good. If it didn't exist the chances are that today the nations of the UK would be asking for it and in that case I hope Conservatives would be forward-looking and supporting it. My argument is that we need to co-operate as we share an island and our peoples are completely inter-mingled. However people whereever they are want better more local decisions and they are not getting this from centralisation whether it is in London, Cardiff or Edinburgh. Historically we have stronger roots in areas that approximate the old counties. I think we should devolve powers to where they are best exercised. Some powers will stay in Westmisnter, Cardiff etc but other powers will go down the chain closer to people and where possible to the people themselves,


What a wonderful job David Cameron is doing.

Matt Wright is talking like a Liberal Democrat - 'devolve powers to where they are best exercised'.

Denis I agree that in 1707 the Union served a usefull purpose, I'm talking about now. What is the Union for? How is it in England's national interest?

Timberwolf, giving ordinary people more power over their own lives is a Conservative principle and one that Thatcher espoused,


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