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I've watched Hitchens hideous programme tonight as well. Totally warped. Totally "Toffist" If one can be "done" for antisemitism, racism, homophobicism et al, then I think you should be done for being an antitoff as well. Is Hitchens got a problem with "old money" or "new money" as well.
I'm only a NHS pensioner, but I feel happier having the country run by someone with nothing to prove, and a total lack of resentment, than these angry, envious left wingers.

Annabelle Herriot seems to have a serious problem with the truth.

Hitchens's expose laid David Cameron's hypocrisy totally naked. It's obvious that Mr Cameron could pose as a politician of any shade if it suited him and "that photo" was a joy to behold. I can see it popping up everywhere now.

Congratulations to Mr Montgomerie for contributing to this attack on falsehood and delusion. I had heard a number of good reports of the editor of Conservative Home before I visited this site and I see they are justified. I doubt this will do his career in the New Tory Party much good though.

The programme should be compulsory viewing for every voter. We the British people do not wish to be ruled by the Bullingdon Club although I must say that their £3000+ regency suits are very sweet.


As an aside, I wonder if all this has added or subtracted to the Bullingdon's cachet
among some folk?

So Mr. Traditonal Conservative, what do you believe the traditional views are of the party?

Are you implying that there is no link at all between the aristocracy, the landed elite and the Conservative Party?

Thus, may I take it that you are then a one nation Conservative, and thus favour a wider remit of conservatism? Is this not what Cameron is setting out to do, to broaden the appeal of the Conservative Party?

I haven't watched the programme yet but will do at the weekend.

Heath made a packet as well

Posted by: Peter Crawford | March 26, 2007 at 18:55

Yes because Heath was a client of Slater-Walker and maintained an investment account at a London Merchant Bank which was profitably traded on his behalf throughout his political career

Heath

SIR Edward Heath, who once famously attacked the “unacceptable face of capitalism”, accumulated part of his wealth from an elaborate insider dealing operation.

A previously unpublished letter shows his involvement in a scheme that enriched privileged investors at the expense of public shareholders. He used a secret nominee account for the transactions, which would be illegal today.

New details have now emerged of how Heath enjoyed a return of up to 65% on short-term investments using inside information from a leading City firm. A letter on Commons paper to a financier shows his involvement in the scheme.

In the letter dated February 12 1969, Heath, then leader of the opposition, reveals he was “anxious” to discuss his investments with Jim Slater, one of the key financiers of the time. It names a company, Oriental Carpet Manufacturers, in which Heath’s money was subsequently invested using inside information.

I see. So Cameron's idea of inclusivity is to surround himself with fellow Etonians and Notting Hillers. LOL.

Haven't seen the programme. Like Tim, I may watch it at the weekend. It doesn't seem especially extreme: Hitchens is simply making the same points that George Walden has made about Cameron, many of which are true. In some ways, Walden is more effective because, unlike Hitchens, he is very hard to caricature as a died-in-the-wool reactionary (although that would be an unfair caricature of Hitchens too). The vituperation directed at Hitchens is revealing: Cameron may be trying to "broaden the appeal" of the Conservative Party but no dissent is allowed in the land of the personality cult and nothing must stop the Boy King's assumption body and soul into Downing Street.

Hitchens programme was a pathetic hatchet job. He rolled out a predictable lot of reactionaries - Montgomerie, Deane, Tebbit, Pierce. Who do these people represent? Who elected them? Nobody!

Hitchens is a polemicist and is an entertaining and bright one at that. But he is dedicated to the destruction of the Conservative Party and those who assisted him in his unpleasant hatchet job and who claim to be supporters of the Conservatives should be ashamed.

His argument was all over the place and wrong. One minute he was claiming that Cameron was an old-style country Tory and the next he is castigating him for being a metropolitan liberal. The truth is that Cameron and those around him came to believe in modern compassionate Conservatism after the 1997 defeat - part of the process that Michael Portillo went through. But they saw - which Portillo didn't - that they would have to work within the Conservative Party if they were ever to be in the position to make it electable. There is thus no inconsistency between the David Cameron of 2001 and the David Cameron of today. He was a modernsiser then and now. He was elected leader on his modernising beliefs and he is leading according to those values. Attack David Cameron for his beliefs (if you are an old fashioned reactionary) but don't attack him for not having any beliefs!

Mr Hitchens concluded with his weird idea that the Conservative Party should exist to give voice to extremist views - even if nobody wants to elect such a party. We did that in 1997, 2001 and 2005. Hitchens can't face up to the fact that his brand of politics will only ever be a minority brand. The Conservatives are here to serve the mass of the country and make their lives better - NOT to provide Hitchens and his ilk with a choice!

"Mr Hitchens concluded with his weird idea that the Conservative Party should exist to give voice to extremist views - even if nobody wants to elect such a party. We did that in 1997, 2001 and 2005."

What extremist views was the Party giving voice to in 1997, 2001, and 2005?

changetowin & Sean Fear, I think that our emphasis on dog whistle issues in the last few elections has encouraged and allowed the media to portray us as extremists in area's such as immigration.
Looking at some of the media headlines covering one Home Office fiasco after another over the last 18 months does now seem ironic and extremely hypocritical!


We were prescient, Scotty.

Try Section 28, island for asylum seekers...

Changetowin says: "The Conservatives are here to serve the mass of the counrty and make their lives better." If that were true, Changetolibdem, I might think about voting for them.

I note the usual level of malice and vituperation from the Portillista desperate for office and otherwise running on empty.


Well, I can't really see either as "extremist", although the latter might not be practical.

But your problem, Sean, is that you don't treat as gospel the editorial columns of the Guardian and the Voice of Hezbollah (sorry, the Independent).

The idea of modern compassionate conservatism is a meaningless insulting joke. Whatever compassionate is meant to mean (probably nothing) the phrase suggests the Tories did not care and did not try to better society for all when they were in power. That is of course a complete lie which the Tories were allowed to get away with. People are too lazy or dishonest to wind the clock back to pre-Thatcher Britain and what a disaster it was. The Tories did care. They certainly spent enough. To suggest otherwise is a load of cobblers.

"Whatever compassionate is meant to mean (probably nothing) the phrase suggests the Tories did not care and did not try to better society for all when they were in power"

Indeed. I think that Margaret Thatcher's (and in some respects John Major's) governments achieved a lot of good things for this country. I can't really say much for Ted Heath's government though.

Nice to see that vast bulk of those on "ConservativeHome" are lining up behind this creep whose stated aim is the destruction of the Conservative Party. In this I include the Editor of this site who appeared on the programme and has not condemned it.

ConservativeHome remains a cold house for modern compassionate Conservatives.

13.29, line 4, the word "Tories" should read "Tories' opponents".

Changetoachievebuggerall, I would not describe many of the so-called modernisers as either "modern" or "compassionate". Arrogant, bullying, power-mad patricians and chancers maybe...

I have many disagreements with Peter Hitchens but his criticisms of the Conservative Party's post-war record in office are very perceptive. So the joke's on the likes of you: how if at all will you be different?

"Equally I notice that you have deflected attention from the weakness in your advocacy of wind power by attacking me and then TomTom."

Oh Martin, I didn't attack you - I merely pointed out that your argument was inconsistent.

As for advocating wind power, I am under no illusions that wind power represents a panacea for our energy needs, but I do feel that it can play an important part in developing a co-ordinated sustainable energy strategy for the future, particularly at the micro-generation level, which is why I made my original point about David Cameron seeming to adopt a more sensible perspective on the merits of wind power since playing to the gallery in Scotland with the unfortunate 'giant bird blender' remarks.


Really Changetowin? I think that many people here find a lot to both praise, and criticise, in Peter Hitchens.

Why on Earth should the Editor condemn the programme? He is not a paid official of the Conservative Party, and his (constructive) criticism of the Conservative Party's current direction is no secret.

The Editor aided a programme by a man dedicated to the destruction of the Conservative Party. Rather than defend the Conservative Party and its leadership (as Michael Gove did) he used the opportunity to attack it.

Anyone committed to the Conservative Party should condemn this programme - it was a completely wild and unfair attack on our party and its democratically elected leader by a man who wants to destroy our party.

The fact that people on this site have to ask why someone who describes themselves as a Conservative should condemn a programme designed to attack the Conservatives by a man who wants to destroy the Conservatives shows how anti-Conservative this site has become!

I think changetowin's apparent paradox is easily explicable. Many people who are not arrivistes but have supported the Conservative Party through thick and thin over decades feel they have earned the right to criticise a leadership whose words and actions often seem very unconservative. They are also entitled to sympathise with critics of the party whose views they may share.


Michael Gove is paid to represent the Conservative Party. Tim Montgomerie isn't.

You have the advantage of me in that I have not yet watched the programme, but I'd be surprised if Tim Montgomerie was calling for the destruction of the Conservative Party. But he's not in a position where he owes any moral obligation to defend the direction of the Party, unlike Michael Gove.

Blimey, Changetowin, this tirade is getting a bit unhinged isn't it? When are you planning to demand the extermination of the capitalist and kulak running dogs, saboteurs and traitors? Tim, you look like a marked man. Perhaps you should make access to this site contingent on swearing an oath of allegiance to David Cameron....

Blimey, Changetowin, this tirade is getting a bit unhinged isn't it? When are you planning to demand the extermination of the capitalist and kulak running dogs, saboteurs and traitors? Tim, you look like a marked man. Perhaps you should make access to this site contingent on swearing an oath of allegiance to David Cameron....

Michael, to be called unhinged by you is a rare honour. You've made my day!

FWIW, the programme struck me as running out of steam a little by the half way mark. i began to wonder if I should have watched University Chall after all. I doubt if Cameron and his mates are bothered (as if they were in the first place).

With rapier-like wit like that, Changetowin, I'm not surprised you are such a big noise in the Tory Party that you have to post anonymously.

With rapier-like wit like that, Changetowin, I'm not surprised you are such a big noise in the Tory Party that you have to post anonymously.

Changetowin says "Attack David Cameron for his beliefs (if you are an old fashioned reactionary)". Do you have to be old fashioned and/or reactionary to think Cameron and his mates are wrong both in style and in substance? I think not.

Was it old fashioned for Cameron to go to Oxford and join the Bullingdon? Was it old fashioned for him then to embark on a career in politics with just a nod to the outside world?

While I normally have little time for extreme right-wingers like Hitchens he is at least honest about his opinions and last night he did a very good job in unmasking David Cameron.

In was interesting to see how Hitchens was able to make common cause with several Labour men against the appalling hypocrisy of Cameron's Eton-based "brat pack"

Who is this fool changetowin? He mentions Section 28 which he seems to have forgotten was imposed by his own party and removed by Labour.

He also seems totally unaware that leading journalist Andrew Pierce is gay and also that Cameron was exposed as having made a homophobic attack on Labour which I have no doubt represents his real views.

I look forward to further revelations exposing the ugly truth behind the supposedly modernised Conservative Party.

I did not think much of the usually sure footed straight batting Michael Gove's performance though.

Isn't Gove reputed to be a pro-war pro-Israeli pro-US 'Neocon'?

Says it all. Last night he was attempting to justify his lack of principle by saying it was his duty to toe the party line.

Utterly appalling.

"Totally "Toffist" If one can be "done" for antisemitism, racism, homophobicism et al, then I think you should be done for being an antitoff as well."

Although Peter is very defensive of the old aristocracy in his book The Abolition of Britain.

Changetowin, you refer to Section 28 as "extremist" despite the fact that opinion polls prior to the 2001 election showed a majority favouring its maintenance. One could argue that the legislation was flawed or wrong but "extremist" is just silly.

"Anyone committed to the Conservative Party should condemn this programme - it was a completely wild and unfair attack on our party and its democratically elected leader by a man who wants to destroy our party."

I wasn't aware you were appointed to give orders to Conservative Party members.

"Tebbit, Pierce. Who do these people represent? Who elected them? Nobody!"

I seem to recall Tebbit was elected.

Incidently I will probably vote Conservative and am pleased that Cameron seems to be putting the Tories ahead in the polls (although I think Hitchens makes a good point regarding undecided voters not being recorded). However, that doesn't mean that the leadership is perfect and beyond criticism.

I watched it and for all the hysteria it was pretty tame. The underlying message is spot on, unfortunately.

I am disappointed by the lack of any will on the part of the Cameron diehards to address the issues raised by Hitchens.The party leadership is centralising power and influence in the hands of a few "well bread" and powerfully connected individuals who have no empathy with the issues faced by the mass of the middle income electorate.

Out of this appraoch is coming an autocratic leadership which is ensuring that all dissent is marginalised and ideas that do not conform are ridiculed rather than addressed.

I find this very dispiriting and hard to take.It is a tendency I expect from the Blairites led by the truly awful spin doctors but to see the infection spread to our party is truly terrible.Only sites such as this and the Doughty street channel now contain content that raises a truly conservative perspective and philosophy.

I watched Dispatches last night with some interest. I think PH dwelt too long on Cameron's Eton & Oxford background. I don't think his criticism carried that much weight given Blair's background at Fettes and Oxford and the fact that Labour can hardly throw stones on that particular issue.

Where I think PH scored better was his criticism of how the Tories have moved towards the so called centre ground of politics otherwise known as the left of centre agenda. The last 10 years under this agenda have been pretty wretched for this country, that is if you care that much about it. Our competitiveness in the world economy has slumped alarmingly; 22 OECD countries grew faster than the UK last year; debt, both state and personal has soared to almost unimaginable levels; taxation has grown by such an extent that our public spending ratio of 45.3% has now overtaken Germany putting us top of the list in the EU. Add to that all the well publicised problems to do with education (or lack of it) crime, the NHS, immigration, the unchecked growth of the state in all areas of our life and there's not a lot to commend it. Why then does Mr Cameron think (or at least create the impression) this is the correct direction for the Conservative party to take? Urgent action in many of these areas is needed if we are to arrest the decline and so far I've heard pretty liitle from him and the Conservatives as to how they propose tackling these issues.

Furthermore, PH's unifying criticism that - given its failings - centre ground politics is alienating many voters is one that cannot be ignored. Some contributors to this site seem to think insults provide some form of cogent response to what PH is saying and the fact they don't like to hear it. Well they don't. If you disagree at least respond with objective, constructive criticism and articulate policies that are going to address an agenda that currently seems to offer little more than failure and continuing national decline.

Watching the Hitchens polemic was interesting – for about the first few minutes I saw, until the agenda became painfully obvious. I actually ended up feeling a little sorry for Hitchens, quite an achievement considering how patronising and obnoxious the man is. And no, Don, I'm not insulting him as a substitute for engaging with his arguments, I'm insulting him because I genuinely dislike the man's output and what he purports to stand for. The main theme seemed to be that the Conservative Party was no longer obsessing about his own personal right-wing hobby-horses, and that that was a bad thing. Well, boo-hoo, I’m sure we’ll get over it.

One of Hitch’s main concerns seems to be that our policies have changed over the years, and that by not eternally representing the same points, that’s bad for democracy in some way. I think that it was Robert Frum who said that when the electorate is offered ham and eggs and rejects them, the first impulse of a political party is to say “well, how about double ham and eggs?” Thank goodness we’ve now overcome that impulse. We’re not damaging democracy, we’re responding to it, and rightly so.

Finally, the Eton jibes are wearing a bit thin, I think. I don’t have any problems with the fact that Cameron went to a very good school. It’s not a bad thing for a man who offers himself as a candidate for PM to have had an excellent education. It is a bad thing that still in this country, in the 21st Century with record public spending, that every child does not have access to an excellent education, and that’s where these people should aim their bile, that’s where they should push us to work harder and do better. The fact that they prefer to focus on Cameron’s school reports tells you everything you need to know about their relevance to today’s politics.

Richard, I have no problem with Cameron's excellent education. I do have a problem with his willingness to go along with policies which deny the same to other children. I know a number of floating, uncommitted voters who feel the same. I would not be surprised if the New Model Conservative Party starts for example to attack the independent school sector in its efforts to appease the left. After all, it has already rejected parental choice.

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