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Are we speaking of David OWEN, friend of Peter and Margaret Jay, Labour pseudo-Foreign Secretary in return for appointing the son-in-law of PM Callaghan as British Ambassador to Washington ?

The same David Owen whose wife Deborah is literary agent for Jeffrey Archer and business partner of Delia Smith in the Sainsbury's Magazine ?

The same David Owen involved in mining companies in Russia ?

The one that the LibDems loathe ?

This is excellent news. The future of politics is all in the centre ground. We can dominate it as a party if we lead a coalition of moderate LibDems and New Labour exiles from a Brownite Labour Party.

No it isn't excellent news. I don't mind David Owen, but wrt the others, we should not be seeking to recruit people who don't have a Conservative bone in their bodies.

Peter M is the very epitome of double speaking, spinning, political slime. We do not want to be associated with him - it can only harm us. His support for Cameraon would be the kiss of death!

Anyone who believes this tripe needs their head examined. If Peter Mandelson has a very core belief upon which everything else is founded it is an unyielding contempt for the Conservative Party.

Peter took a lot of grief to break the Tory Party - it took him 8 years to do it and aside from Blair and Kinnock he did more than anyone else to make it happen.

This is just the latest piece of focus group driven spin from Camp Cameron. And it's see-through garbage.

"We can dominate it as a party if we lead a coalition of moderate LibDems and New Labour exiles from a Brownite Labour Party."

With what end in view? Will such people support civil liberties and, especially, small government? Would they - for example - support educational reforms to re-impose school discipline and high standards? Would they fight to reform CAP? Would they fight EU anti-Americanism?

Or would we see a British version of the EU nomenklatura, a ruling elite which imposes its views on the rest of us, and spends our money, because it always knows better?

Even though I have a pretty darn' strong distaste for Gordon Brown, there's a small part of me that cheers him for having nothing to do with Mandleson - a man who perhaps best embodies the bland, cynical, cultural conformity of modern politics.

Oh well, if he's best friends with Cameron now I'll guess we will just have to accept him as an "ally" now; just like those other apostles of conservatism, Al Gore, Polly Toynbee and Nye Bevan.

What on earth do we need Lord Owen for? Half the country haven't heard of him and the other half remember him as a has-been!

God help us, because those four won't!

It is nonsense like this that driving traditional conservatives to UKIP. There is more politics than expediency and power. Values and principles come first.

Laws refused on the grounds that he was not a Tory.

Maybe he felt that he as a LibDem was too rightwing for the Tory Party?

But hats off for a politician showing a principled stance! He is one of the few.

But the Cameroons don't care Thatcherite. If they lose 1000 blue rinsers but gain David Laws they and the BBC will be happy.

I am filled with complete and utter despair at this news. What has the party I've voted-for for the last 25 years become? The LibDems are the wacky left-wing big-state redistributionist eco-wacko enemy fringe for god's sake! You don't talk to such people about possible alliances, you poke them with pointy sticks and laugh at them.

No more of this nonsense - please!

"Team Cameron does not believe that a traditional Conservative agenda can secure another parliamentary majority for the Tory Party."

Then why don't they try to promote such an agenda to advocate to voters the rightness of a Euro-sceptic, law & order, pro-marriage, low tax, (and so on), agenda. That would be leadership, rather than ditching principals to woo the likes of Mandelson who stand for virually everything true Consevratives would be opoposed to.

Also Gummer on R4 Any Questions had a dig at ukip, in context of criticism of the BNP. I don't think ukip are racists, but Mr gummer must be so opposed to any thought of better off out of the EU, and so determined are the establishment to keep us in!

People don't like Peter Mandelson or his methods, I'm sure Gordon Brown is eager to offload him and his spin which in the 1980's and first half of the 1990's helped Labour but really became the news and was not popular and hastened the fall in Labour support from 1997 to 2003, with the possible exception of David Laws these are all yesterdays men and David Cameron is severely mistaken if he thinks he can win by aping Tony Blair.

Lets hear it, 'The Conservative Party is a very broad church' 'The Conservative Party believes in the big tent approach to politics' How much bigger is the church and tent going to get?

" ConservativeHome believes that Team Cameron does not believe that a traditional Conservative agenda can secure another parliamentary majority for the Tory Party. For this reason it has a below-the-radar plan to build a Conservative Party that increasingly resembles the Liberal Democrats or/and can possibly form an alliance with the Liberal Democrats (and possibly some Blairites)."
Is this STAGE 2 of the Telegraph, Cornerstone and ConHom strategy to try and undermine the conservative leadership and hopefully steer the agenda in their direction?
Could I have a copy of the enshrined tablet of the so called "traditional conservative agenda" or is it just the name given by Cornerstone/Conhom to describe their views.
I wish you would be honest and say that, rather than trying to claim some "right" to having the only acceptable conservative agenda/policies by using the word "traditional".
I have watched with interest this blatant strategy to try and further a particular strand of conservative thinking within the party while trying to "package" it by hyping a non existent threat from UKIP and an equally non existent aim of David Cameron to turn us into the Libdems.
So far this strategy has resulted in an increased dominance of UKIP and now the occasional BNP trolls on the site while the conservative members who post here seem to be drifting away. Still this kind of article will be red meat to some of the new regulars here.

Putting aside all that diversionary nonsense Scotty are you denying that David Laws was offered a shadow cabinet position? Are you denying that on nuclear power, Iraq, taxes, Israel and public services the Tories are moving towards the LibDems? Are you suggesting that the current strategy is putting the Tories on course for a parliamentary majority?

"...on nuclear power, Iraq, taxes, Israel and public services the Tories are moving towards the LibDems..."

If this is truly the case then I for one am moving away from the Conservatives.

Just where are us eurosceptic tax-cuting minimal-government libertarian-types to turn to? Looks to me like the Abstention Party will get a good turnout at the next election. I may just vote Labour [holding my nose] on the basis that at least they've not yet fallen hopelessly in love with the greenies.

For me Tanuki the differences make it still worth supporting the Conservatives but the differences are narrowing.

For a bit of commonsense about UK politics see 'Straight Talk with Andrew Neil' on BBC News 24 at 10.30 tonight (or Sunday same time).

I can see the logic in all except Mandelson; the first two have as much in common with us as many current Conservatives and would split the lib dems, Adonis is little known but could be a stick to beat labour with. Mandelson is, as he always was, a slimy human being, steer clear.

"Are you denying that on nuclear power, Iraq, taxes, Israel and public services the Tories are moving towards the LibDems?
Yes, you are trying to promote the perception that David Cameron and his team are moving towards the Libdems before we have produced our policies, much in the way you have hyped UKIP and a failure to progress in the North, Scotland or Wales before a vote has been cast in the upcoming elections.
Cornerstone has produced a "mini manifesto" with a shopping list of their policies before David Cameron has produced his.
The obvious conclusion is that there is a worry that should the new conservative policies prove popular and increase the party's poll ratings further, then their power to influence the direction of the party back to a more right wing agenda decreases.
Tim we are a broad tent of opinion in the conservative party and I think that David Cameron is trying to move towards a policy agenda which reflects that, and to say that it is a move towards the Libdems is a bit disingenuous.
Moving away from an uber neocon stance on these policies is not moving towards the libdems, but simple towards the centre of the conservative tent.
David Laws is a known orange booker in the libdems, and some in that party regard them more as "conservatives" than Liberals!

"I can see the logic in all except Mandelson"
Cardinal Pirelli, I am not surprised by this development, and yet again it shows how politically astute Cameron and Osborne are!
They have seen Gordon Brown as the man they must attack and undermine and if that is achieved before he even reaches No 10 so much the better.
Who better to "chat" too about Gordon Brown the politician than Mandelson, the man who saw Blair as a much better choice to be Labour leader pre 97'.


As others have said, this rubbish devalues Conservative Home.

Scotty - I agree

Editor - get out more! You seem to be spending too much time with the doomsday tendency. UKIP is a busted flush, Cameron isn't a Lib Dem but actually there are issues with Nuclear Power, with Israel's behaviour in occupied lands, Iraq has been a disaster, taxes are an issue but we made a hash of the economy in 1989-1993 (possibly beginning with Lawson's tax cuts in 1987 which drove an inflationary boom) and we need to move carefully, public services suffered as a result of our mismanagement in 1989-1993 and inability as a result to support the costs of change.

Big Tent? Camping with Mandelson anyone?

I had wondered what was going on with the site. To be fair though there is a real issue about current voting behaviour. I think it is broadly true that a shrill hard Conservative line will not attract enough voters to win an election. It would make a core of about 30% feel very comfortable but scare off swing voters who had switched to new Labour. I think the biggest weakness in the traditional approach is its tendency to be negative and backward looking. Where we push a very approachable positive line we do very well as a party. I do think DCs strategy is broadly correct and has attracted some extra middle ground voters who had previously drifted away from us. Has it got principles and is it Conservative. Yes I think it has. I think the central idea of social responsibility is a deeply Conservative notion and also the right one to have any chance of taking the UK forward again. At the moment the country is in limbo in the dying days of a failed Labour Govt.


Scotty 5.35 - you are completely right and should ignore Montgomerie's cries. His intepretations and subtle spins are designed to be blows below the belt at our Party as well as the leadership, to be sustained until the Party (re)adopts the failed "Europe-immigration-lawunordah" xenophobic and reactionary agenda of the past, with a nice bit of God-bothering and moralising to top it all off.

Rubbish such as "[Cameron] has a below-the-radar plan to build a Conservative Party that increasingly resembles the Liberal Democrats" should be treated with the contempt it deserves. Sure you might say this is Montgomerie's website and he can say what he likes, but not when he claims to be the voice of the grassroots.

David Laws joined the wrong party by mistake and is now too embarrassed to admit it.

David Owen is an old man who has friends in the UN and is worth cultiating for his contact book rather than his domestic influence.

Lord Adonis is a lefty who can't and won't ever admit that his solutions to problems are invariably Conservative minded. It's a psychological problem which means he would never change party but might support a minority tory government on certai issues.

Mandelson simply hates Brown. He is however Labour to his bones. He has said frequently that it is visceral for him; he would NEVER EVER have anything to do with the Conservative party in terms of supporting it. The feeling is mutual as nobody in the tory would want his support. That doesn't mean our leader shouldn't speak and be polite to an EU commissioner - it helps contrast our leader with the Goblin King.

Editor - accept your own polling! the overwhelming majority of tories don't want a Cornerstone Party - you speak for 27% of members (at the most). To say the party is only just about worth supporting shows you've spent too much time reading UKIP press releases and not enough time reading the ever-more authoritarian output from this corrupt, lying, murdering bunch of shysters who claim to be the government of this country. We need a Conservative government as soon as possible to at least begin the process of rolling back the state.

Tim Montgomery and Cornerstone/IDS/UKIP’s Going To Kill Us Off/God-Bothering/We Hate Gays and Vanessa Gearson/Climate Change Isn't A Problem/Hate Europe "Home" is the biggest obstacle to a Conservative Government than anything else. I have made my views known to senior figures. I continue posting here because I think people should know that there's a strong moderate voice in the Party which advocates changing to win, and winning for Britain.

kingbongo: I have never claimed that a Cornerstone agenda is wanted by any proportion of the Tory party. I do claim, however, and have done so since the initiation of this site - and have always been honest about it - that the Conservative party needs to be a broad church embracing social justice, environmentalism AND traditional approaches to crime and tax.

I must say, I was a bit taken aback to read this from the Ed. I had no idea you misconceived Cameron to that degree Tim. It's almost as if you haven't read what he's been saying on tax, on Europe, on crime, on education. As a Eurosceptic Thatcherite I have no qualms whatsoever in supporting him fully.

Nor do I have qualms about working with the LibDems where we share interests nor with approaching politicians who are probably in the wrong party.

There is no possibility that Cameron approached Mandy to get him to switch parties. Mandy is Euro Commissioner and as your heading post makes clear, we should be dealing with him.

I can think of an immediate reason why it might be as well to have Mandelson's ear that has nothing to do with him joining the Tories, and I am sure you probably can as well if you think about it for half a second!

Justin Hinchliffe, you and your repellent anti-faith bigotry are a million times more of an obstacle than anything else. Luckily you are not a big fish.

It must really bother you that Cameron made Sayeeda Warsi an A-lister and Vice-Chairman of the party!

If you're the moderate voice Justin, then god help us.

Have you still got your list?

I have indeed

Let's not forget it was Justin, who has form on anti-semitism, who told a Jewish poster that he "wanted gays herded into the gas ovens"

Not really a credit to our party.

Dear Tory T,

On tax George Osborne has ruled out up-front tax cuts and stopped making the dynamic case for lower taxation.

On Europe David Cameron has abandoned the policy of leaving the CFP and reneged on the EPP.

On education no to grammar schools and school choice.

On crime there's been no to 90 days' detention weapon against suspected terrorists.

These are ALL moves taking the Conservatives nearer to the LibDem position.

It must really bother you that Cameron made Sayeeda Warsi an A-lister and Vice-Chairman of the party!
There are lots of highly talented Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Ba'hai people with ancestry going back to various parts of the world. There is a problem with her which I would have with anyone regardless of their religion or origins - she said that talks should be held with groups such as Al Qaeda, there is no reason to talk to groups such as Al Qaeda - they want a Pan-Islamist Caliphate whether the people in the areas that would be included in such a Caliphate would want it or not, they want to be given a free hand to do this and they are quite prepared to destroy Iraq and Afghanistan or Somalia or anywhere to achieve this. As such I do not think that it is appropriate for her to be in any kind of position of authority - her view is naive in the extreme.

Funny, funny. We get this amazing revelation from Peter Oborne about our party's leadership wanting to cozy up to the LimpDums and the Cameron loyalists resort to attacking the Editor. Talk about shooting the messenger!!!


On crime, Cameron demands build more prisons and an end to early release. He advocates local control of the police. LibDems aren't prison advocates (at least I think not).

On tax, Osborne has made it clear we are hugely overtaxed and he has stressed that taxation on the family and business will be cut. He has visited and talked to the Irish whose rate of business taxation is 15%. On a BBC lunchtime show recently - Tim remarked on it approvingly at the time - Cameron made it clear that over an electoral cycle sharing the proceeds of growth meant the Tories would indeed be able to cut taxes.

On Europe, Cameron will leave the EPP in 2009 and has demanded reform. He is setting up a group to do this. He spoke recently to Time magazine about why he had to leave the EPP, because the Tories will campaign vigorously as a party against the Constitution that the EPP supports. Even if Ken Clarke and the mighty Justin Hinchcliffe oppose this, they will be opposing settled party policy. In Europe: no to further integration, some clawback of powers eg Cameron pledges to leave the job-destroying Social Chapter.

On education, we will keep existing grammar schools and stream children by ability. There will be no more comprehensive schools built in England and Wales and every new school will be a Foundation school or Academy. Furthermore the syllabus will be overhauled.

On crime - I summarised above - 90 days detention without trial is anti civil liberties. We do not need to detain people without trial, instead we need to regain control of our borders and our immigration system, something else the Tories pledge to do.

It is risible to suggest we are anything like nearing a Simon Hughes leftie LibDem situation. Rather, Tim appears to be objecting that some wise LibDems are moving dramatically to the right, and approaching us.

"Have you still got your list?"

I am curious - what list is this?

Well you can't say we haven't been warned about the game plan.

I have posted on this site for six months asking what the strategy is to get to 43 % to win the next GE and had no coherent answer.

We now have the answer. Cameron is happy with 38% BECAUSE it will not give him a majority. He will do a deal with the Libdems offer them PR and be PM for years with Ming as his Foreign Secretary.

This is the death of the Thatcherite Conservative party. It is the death of any form of Tory party. It is the frankenstein re-creation of the Heathite Conservative party. Its forward to 1974.

Ditch the fix - be Independent.

I appreciate your optimistic reply to Umbrella man, Tory T, and you cite some of the reasons why there is enough of a difference between the Tories and the LibDems to reassure people like me. On crime DC is strongest. With prisons policy and police reform he offers real hope of delivering increased order. I also applaud his decision to keep the IDS-Howard policy on increasing drugs rehab. Europe is a mixed bag. Good on holding the line against the euro and constitution but disappointing on the Fisheries policy and delaying on the EPP. Education is also mixed. The greater independence for schools is welcome but I wish there could be a greater emphasis on choice. Tax is by far the most disappointing policy area of the four. The Forsyth Commission would have barely reversed one year of Brown's tax rises but Cameron-Osborne couldn't even commit to that. More serious is the intellectual surrender on the supply-side benefits of lower taxation - typified by the clumsy stability before tax cuts soundbite.

"If Peter Mandelson has a very core belief upon which everything else is founded it is an unyielding contempt for the Conservative Party."

YES, BUT the editor of the Daily Mail, has said on the record that Tories aren't conservative anymore - so no problemo there for Mandy... Hug a Lib-Dem or an EU commissioner, anyone?

You have taken what I said out of context, Tory T (at anon!).

Yet another thread where I anticipated some very "excitable" people within, and I wasn't disappointed!

Firstly, I'm pleased to see any critique of the Conservative Party based on the fact that we might be making our appeal too broad - if you're going to be tagged for something, that doesn't seem like a bad option...

While I understand Tim’s concerns, is it really a problem if LibDems on the economic right of their party see us as a good bet and decide to jump ship? Everyone likes a winner, and if people are joining us from unlikely corners that only reinforces the impression that we’re on a roll. To me, if you see something in the (definitely) Conservative agenda we’re developing that you like, you’re very welcome to come aboard. (BNP/UKIP trolls may find their invitations revoked!….)

While I hesitate to quote “The West Wing” on here for fear of being branded forever as an even bigger political geek than my fellow posters, I always seem to remember a line from Sam Seaborne when he said “Well, our base is happy, but when our base is happy there’s usually trouble someplace else”. In this instance, we do all need to make sure that we are handling the reverse case as well. Tim’s “and theory” may hold the answer to some of this – it is perfectly possible for us to talk about both sets of concerns. As both a Party campaigner whose home parliamentary constituency is probably far more “traditionally conservative” than I am, and a staunch supporter of DC’s efforts in broadening and modernising the Party, this blending of messages is of great interest to me (and something that I’ve written about a couple of times before, including here.)

I understand fellow posters’ objections to Peter Mandelson! However, I’ve thought from time to time that my fellow Conservatives have probably failed to respect the fact that however much you disagree with the politics and the often-ruthless tactics of the likes of Mandelson and Campbell they were damn good at what they did – perhaps that’s what we really resented at the time!

But on the subject of building a broader, winning Conservative Party: I too don’t think a so-called “Cornerstone agenda” on its own will ever get the job done. Combining the very best elements of it, such as their deep commitment to social justice, with a broader, moderate, centre-ground agenda just might, and I’ve seen no evidence that we can’t and won’t do exactly that.

"Editor - accept your own polling! the overwhelming majority of tories don't want a Cornerstone Party"

I liked the above quote by someone above. What they don't seem to realise is that possibly the 'overwhelming majority' are actually leaving the Tory party, or just aren't bothering to renew their membership fees, precisely because the Tories have rejected views of groups like Cornerstone. Hence, the only ones who are going to be left will be the pinko nuCon/Lab/Lib types. I thought people were sick of those after ten years of mis-government.

Those who dominate these pages are now almost exclusively the wets, who have no conservative instinct or beliefs at all. Their only aim is power - their little gang, as opposed to the current worthless incumbents. The perfect companions for Cameron and his potential treasonous recruits to the nu Gay Tories.

What a nasty and negative post from Mr. Tolkinghorne.

Can we get back onto the topic? Surely, when we take office, we want to be clear of ANY allegations of sleaze or financial chicancery. It was Mayor's abject failure to deal with such that helped send us into opposition.

So why, pray tell me, are we cosying up to Mandelson? Aside from his politics (which I hate), his personality (which I find equally repellant), the man is FINANCIALLY DISHONEST. He lost his job because he told lies on a signed mortgage application document. Had he not been a Blair toady, he would (and should) have had criminal charges brought against him. Do we really want to be associated with this, irrespective of his politics or influence?

(Oh, he also used and abused his position in government to speed through the paperwork for his partner to live in the UK too, but we'll overlook that one shall we).

"What a nasty and negative post"

Telling the truth would always be considered 'nasty' in your mind. Can't have that.

"Can we get back onto the topic?"

I think you'll find that the story is of how Cameron is now so un-conservative that he is now appealing for other non-Conservatives to join his party. It's symptomatic of the degeneration of what was once the Tory Party into an amoral morass.

As for "when we take office" - fat chance. Have you actually looked at the opinion polls ? You've a government absolutely rocked by scandal and incompetence at every level, and the 'Tories' are 4% points ahead. You've no chance. It'll be another ZaNu Labour victory. GB for another four years. But then, so what, they're just the same as the pinko nuTories anyway.

I think you'll find that the story is of how Cameron is now so un-conservative that he is now appealing for other non-Conservatives to join his party.

Given your bizarre closing comments, I'm really not sure what side you're on in this debate!

Non-Conservatives can't join the Conservative Party in your world, Stephen? How would you suggest that we expand our support if you have to be a member to be eligible to join? Think it through.

Beyond parody...

The Editor's caption to the picture is "Cameron looks left for defections..."

Call me picky but Cameron is looking to his right...

I hate to say "I told you so", but er... I told you so. Blue Labour = New Labour = LibDems. R.I.P. Conservative Party: Cameron has killed it.

"Can we get back onto the topic?"

I think you'll find that the story is of how Cameron is now so un-conservative that he is now appealing for other non-Conservatives to join his party. It's symptomatic of the degeneration of what was once the Tory Party into an amoral morass"

I thought that the topic was DC wooing the 4 people named above?

Wooing Peter Mandelson is a symptom of moral degeneracy, however.

So is your thinly disguised homophobia.

"Non-Conservatives can't join the Conservative Party in your world, Stephen? How would you suggest that we expand our support if you have to be a member to be eligible to join?"

Possibly it's because it's late, but you appear to be having trouble thinking and typing at the same time. 'Non-Conservative' is meant by those who are not Conservative in their politics, values, or thinking - nothing to do with being a member of a party, or otherwise.

Infact, non-Conservative like many people who post on this board. Including Jon White, whose rabid rantings about me being 'homophobic' are really rather sad.

I Don't suppose anyone actually believes Peter Mandleson the architect of the new labour project is about to out himself as a conservative.

I don't think we are becoming like the lib dems at all, there are areas like civil liberties where we broadly agree though so it would be plainly absurd to invent differences for the sake of them. On Iraq, Europe, tax , law & order etc etc we have very diferent views.

When I was scrolling down this thead these words appeared at the bottom of my screen: "Tim Montgomery and Cornerstone/IDS/UKIP’s Going To Kill Us Off/God-Bothering/We Hate Gays and Vanessa Gearson/Climate Change Isn't A Problem/Hate Europe "Home"..." I guessed that must be Justin Hinchclffe! I scrolled down a little further....(2012)

To make a serious point, I agree with Stephen Tolkinhorne. We should be doing a LOT better! We have a Government that is scandal-ridden, even under police investigation, loses dangerous criminals, while attacking basic freedoms, pumps vastly increased amounts of taxpayers money into the NHS resulting in hospital wards, A&E Depts, and maternity units closing. And we are only 4 points ahead! We should be 15 points ahead! Maybe after 10 years of the spin/create-appearances/do-anything-to-get-power approach, people are are wary of another Blair-type operation. Rather, perhaps they will respect adherence to principals and values, however unpopular these may be in some quarters.

As I said previously (1717) perhaps we need to advocate real conservative solutions rather than ditch our principals to woo Mandelson et al. As someone pointed out, it is a report in the Daily Mail by Peter Oborne that was the basis of the Editor's report, not CH promoting an agenda. The Editor is right to point out what seems to be going on.

What a load of rubbish! I'll bet eveything I own that not one of these will ever come close to even thinking about defecting. This story is a mixture of wishful thinking for some and doomsday predictions for others. I do think it would be a sign of our success if people from other parties started to defect (like it was for Labour in the 90s) but I think we perhaps needs to look elsewhere...

And I would add that the strategy of re-positioning to the centre-ground so as to appear the same as NuLab and LibDems has an additional problem that is illustrated by a comment made to me tonight by someone seemingly expressing confusion as "they (the main political parties) are all the same now".

I see. Because I don't dislike homosexual people, I'm a 'non-conservative'. Yeah, that really works, Stephen.

I'm a Thatcherite, through and through. I think Cameron's policies on the EU, on taxation, etc are far too left of centre. I feel disenfranchised as there is no longer a tax-cutting economically liberal option for which I can vote.

However, I don't use expressions such as 'nu-Gay tories' like you do. I am confident enough in my own (heterosexual) sexuality, not to condemn others for the way that make love. Sadly, it appears that the same cannot be said about you.

well politicial partys are not only the same but losing the bloody plot if what's written above has even the slightest element of truth in it, god help us all!, that offset by our present governing group of no hope shysters just shows how low politics is sinking without hope in this country, oh well, all I know is my vote is staying firmly put in my pocket until some kind of reasoned sense resumes to British politics and more over what defines political parties apart in our mainstream lunatic world of British politics, still in the mean while do carry on having your little fun playtime!, as at the very least its thoroughly amusing to see this new emerging 'nice' big tented 'not so' conservative party exceling at the best of insults, which may I ask, which part of David's party image re-brand does slagging each other off classify as 'nice' exactly?? ..do me a favour folks! why don't you political darlings take a long hard look at yourselves and see what an utter joke you really are under that image making crap you churn and shovel up to us ordinary masses in the hope we'll sucker for and believe in!, just get a bloody grip and focus on what you stand for as true Tories and failing in absense of that basic request just call it a day with a long earned retirement!

Possibly it's because it's late, but you appear to be having trouble thinking and typing at the same time.

Thank you for your concern, Stephen - but my thinking is perfectly clear.

Good to see that you have absolutely no problem with typing and being patronising at the same time, however...

One of the most amusing things about Con Home has to be how fanatical some pro and anti Cameron posters get. David it seems is either the messiah or satan.

However when you take a calm and sensible look at things it is fair to say that our position in the polls is certainly better than it has been since winning the 1992 General Election, but that is not to say it is yet good enough to guarantee success at the next General Election.

The accusation that all parties are the same is one often made by those who want to argue against all political parties, the flaw in it is that it isn't actually true. Yes the political divide today is less stark today than 20 years ago, but then that is largely a product of conservative success.

In order to revive its electoral fortunes the Labour party had to abandon much of its socialist baggage and pledge not to reverse changes brought about by 18 years of conservative government. When today do you hear a credible labour figure arguing full employment is a greater priority than low inflation or embracing unilateral nuclear disarmament for example.

If Conservatives abandoned the centre ground of politics that we created simply to create political difference from Labour it would naturally be absurd and a suicidal political strategy.

However big differences remain Labour are wedded to the belief that the state is the solution to everything rather than part of the problem, that the British national interest is best served by handing over our national sovereignty to Europe, their instinct is always to spend public money and be hostile to the case for lower taxes, they think you better protect the public from crime and terrorism by passing endless new laws rather than better enforcing the ones we have already.

The differences between the parties may well be more subtle but they are real all the same.

Mandelson is a Eurofanatic traitor with a dodgy private life.

No wonter Cameron is chasing this piece of Labour slime.

He advocates local control of the police.

and just how do you do that after the Conservatives regionalised the police forces ?

@Graham D'Amiral
The differences between the parties may well be more subtle but they are real all the same.

You are using real like statisticians use significant - to mean provable but that is very different from the way ordinary people use it - to mean important.

Ditch the Fix - be independent

Cameron is an utter fool. He's spent all this time wooing the media, without the foresight to realise that they can turn on him just as quickly as they built him up: look at all the headlines about the cannabis thing today.

Flashy PR campaigns may well win him short term support and high ratings in opinion polls, but the people have had enough of all that from New Labour. They want honesty, integrity, conviction, and Cameron is offering none of that.

His honeymoon is over, and he’s wasted a fantastic opportunity to bring the battle back onto our ground: liberty, choice, market-driven improvement, individual responsibility. Instead, he’s chosen to go and fight on somebody else’s, and there, he’s going to lose.

A real politician, a real leader, wouldn’t sacrifice principles for power. They’d convince people of their principles and make success of them. Cameron is a shallow, more-of-the-same, pause-for-effect politician, and I for one am sick of it.

Where the hell is Maggie?

I simply don't believe this. I agree with Sean Fear, Doc Owen would be alright ,the others are a dead loss and would encourage even a moderate like me to question my continued membership of the party. I simply don't believe that any of this is true.

I feel distinctly nauseous.

Whoever Cameron is or is not courting, I think it has been clear for months that given the failure to break the 40% polling barrier, the strategy is to seek a coalition with the Lib Dems.....and it will have to be all the Lib Dems because there aren't enough Orange Bookers to go around. There must be quite a high risk of significant tax rises if the Tories form a coalition with the Lib Dems.

Many Tories/Thatherites had a lot of time for David Owen in the 1980s - remember he was too right wing for the Lib Dems when they were founded. So hardly surprising if he endorses Cameron, although I would be surprised if he joins the Party. At the moment of course he has no vote in a General Election. His endorsement is worth someone spending time to try to get but he is forgotten by many now and I agree that it might not have a large impact although I think it would have some with older former SDP voters who have since voted New Labour.

Lord Adonis actually is quite possible after Blair is replaced by Brown, even if even less earthshattering. He was SDP before Labour and I understand from people who have known him a long time that he has flirted with the Tories in the past also. He is not dyed in the wool Labour and could easily support us from the Crossbenches. He could help us with credibility in education, particularly if a Brown Govt is seen as more socialist in this area than Blair's.

It is not a new thing to try to get "defectors" on the way to power. People have forgotten no doubt that Reg Prentice crossed the floor to us (I forget if it was straight from the Labour cabinet but, if not, a very short time after). This would be the equivalent of a somewhat better known John Hutton of today.

Where I think the Editor is wrong is that any of this has any great implications for direction. When parties are winning people back, they tend to bag a few politicians as well. As for Mandy, I agree that that is more about him being (our only UK) Euro Commissioner. Clearly sensible for both sides to have a line of communication open.

Oh my God.....thi comes on top of the support from Cameron for Gay adoption and no opt out for the catholic adoption agencies...UKIP here I come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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