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It's bizarre that the Libdems are still attacking the Conservatives, even though Labour have been in power for a decade. They don't seem to realise that voters will conclude that they are Labour-allies. If there is a hung parliament, who will they support? Obviously Labour, like in the 1970's and in Scotland.

If you are a voter who wants to get rid of Labour, this is a very good reason not to vote Libdem. Overall, it's not very clever political tactics for the Libdems to keep attacking the Conservatives.

As a Conservative, the more I see of it, the happier I'll be!

Typical Lib Dem spitefulness!! Hope it backfires on him - and them!

It's not at all bizzare that the Lib Dems are spending more time attacking the Tories. They despise us just as much as we despise them and they will jump into bed with Labour at the first opportunity.
Our strategy should be to point out that they are still a far left party and we should not consider a coalition deal with them at all!
The fact that Sir Ming has said today that PR will NOT be a condition of a coalition deal just goes to show that they are prepared to abandon the last of their principles to get their feet under the cabinet table.
However, by dropping their committment to PR, they have made themselves slightly more acceptable to me than they were previously.

I still maintain that if the result of the next election is a hung parliament, we should allow the Lib-Lab coalition to go ahead rather than forming our own coalition or minority government (with little actual power) that will probably put us in an election losing position in two elections time. It is better to be patient and win a 1997 like landslide so that we can actually DO somthing.
This next election could well be a repeat of 1992-i.e. an election that will give the greatest long-term advantage to the party that actually LOSES!

So much for wanting to end "Punch and Judy politics"!!! See http://hunterandshooter.blogspot.com/

I don't think it's too bizarre. He could already see us winning the next election and want to start landing punches now. Pity he has to resort to criticising Daves past. Not sure we have enough space in our election literature to account for the many mistakes in the eons spanning his life.

"Ming gets mean against Cameron"

Ooh hark at her! Is being savaged by a lame duck the modern equivalent of the famous 'being savaged by a dead sheep' line?

Just look at the www.libdems.org.uk website and read the whole speech, and you will see Ming attacked Labour as well as the Conservatives. While you are on the website have a look at the policies. You will probably find you agree with many of them. You can also then join the liberal Democrats - the annual subscription is lower than the Conservative one.

"Dave's been ducking and weaving. He wants to keep his past private. Well, I can understand that. If I had his past I’d want to keep it private too. Come on Dave - it's time to come clean. Admit your guilty secret."

One wonders what Messrs Ashdown, Hughes, Kennedy, Oaten and Opik made of this.

Ming Campbell should remember that what's sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander, or lame duck in his case.

Timberwolf, I very much doubt that most Conservatives believe in surrendering the government of Britain to a federal EU superstate, to breaking the country up into regions, creating a federal authority within our own country, to fiddling the electoral system to give the party with the least votes the most influence, to increasing taxes so high that people cannot afford to live etc, etc, etc. That is why Lib Dems are coming over to the Conservatives rather than the other way round-the latest defection is a Lib Dem councillor on Warwickshire county and Warwick district councils who jumped over to us this week.
And incidentally, The Lib Dem subscription is still HIGHER than the Tory subscription! So if Lib Dems cannot even be honest about the cost of joining them ,how can believe that they will be honest about the cost of voting for them!?

When did old men bitching about younger men last attract electoral support?

I'd rather be a tory Boy than a shrivelled Liberal.

Ming has got in wrong - Tory boy was meant to be a politically obsessed middle class twerp. Tory Boy would have dropped leaflets and canvassed in his youth in order to climb up the party. Sadly, Dave is not a Tory Boy. Dave got to be an MP because he went to Eaton - his greatest struggles probably involved getting vomit out of his moring suit after a heavy night out with Boris and trying to score weed without having to get too close to his working class dealer.

More importantly I think Ming is making his pitch for a coalition with Labour. I don't think Brown will have much difficulty meeting Mings' 5 tests even if he justs throws a sop to the Lib Dems. These 5 tests can be interpreted in so many different ways and can be met or not met by doing the same thing!

Spooner, please take your misspelled politics of envy elsewhere.

Sorry CDM, but your post also contains a typo, as do many others - Malcolm needs to learn how use the apostophe for example. Can I suggest you actually think again about my post - Dave is a Hooray, I do not envy him. He spent his youth in a rather shady little group that does not like its photograph taken. No wonder he wants to hug a hoodie - he was a upper-class version himself.

Ming makes his intervention after a narrow conference victory on Trident. By 454 to 414 he defeated a call for Trident to be scrapped. The strength of the anti-Trident vote is a reminder of the gulf between Tory and LibDem activists.

Grrr, this is a f-ing stich up between the parties to waste 25 billion on this thing.

Apart from the loony left, is it only me who is against Trident?

spooner; as a thought experiment let's accept your premise - DC was an 80's 'hoodie' (Armani version).

His policy of engaging with young people rather than fearing and hating them is therefore informed by his awareness of what it means to feel outside of society.

Alternatively, young 'hoodies' of whatever class, should all be locked up forever and should they change their behaviour they should still never ever be allowed to participate in society.

whatever way you cut it your point is illogical to the point of incoherency. In fact you don't seem to have a point, beyond making disconnected attacks on people.

Oh dear, Spooner! The politics of class envy are writ large in your soul!!!! I wonder which party you actually belong to yourself? Probably Lib Dem!

Shaun Bennett, the Liberal Democrat membership subscription starts at £9. The Conservative Party standard membership is £25. How do you reckon the Conservative subscription is lower than the Liberal Democrat one?

You obviously did not study Lib Dem policies on their website before writing you piece, Shaun Bennett. Apart from anything else the Liberal Democrats would bring income tax down. And which party took us into Europe?

Well that Ming speech has motivated me to do a couple of extra canvassing sessions. We really do need to defeat the Lib Dems this May.

That foreign policy is in the news and the LibDems are the only party to have opposed the Iraq war
Only one of the three main parties frontbenches to have opposed the war, although it has to be pointed out that they were happy for it to go ahead if there was a resolution for it and no doubt especially the Green Party will point this out. I supported and continue to support the war and am annoyed by the varying degrees of hypocrisy and opportunism of virtually all the political parties I can think of in one way or another on this issue - the government messed up the promotion of the cause, that the war was justified because it was an evil regime that was destroying Iraq's ecomomy, environment and ethnic groupings and it's threats to neighbours including past usuage of chemical weapons and attempts in the past to develop nuclear weaponry and dragging their feet over destruction of prohibited missiles. After the war new missiles with new guidance systems that had not been declared and exceeded the 150km limit were found, chemical weapons may not have been found in Iraq but who knows, it's a big country and if they were sold by the regime or stolen during the war by a terrorist group it might never be known, or if they are hidden somewhere in a bunker in the desert they could remain forgotten for thousands of years.

Many in other parties were happy to switch sides whenever it was in their political interests.

The War in Iraq is likely to diminish in terms of it's effects on government support and already there are signs it has began to do so!

Apart from the loony left, is it only me who is against Trident?
You, the Socialist Campaign Group, Michael Meacher, the Liberal Party (the Michael Meadowcroft one), Respect, the Green Party, many Liberal Democrat activists and as I understand it John Biffen and Michael Portillo - all outside government and may they remain so.

"You can also then join the liberal Democrats - the annual subscription is lower than the Conservative one."

You've convinced me, just need to sell my soul to raise the cash.

"Grrr, this is a f-ing stich up between the parties to waste 25 billion on this thing."

While I'm actually in favour of "this thing" I agree it does look rather undemocratic when the three major parties all agree on an issue where there is unlikely to be a similar consensus amongst the public.

Sally - I will say it again - I do not envy David Cameron or his class. I do not want to be governed by a man who has never had to worry about everyday things or try hard to get on.

Of course Spooner, having a child with cerebral palsy and epilepsy is something that Eton prepares you for.

Ming gets mean with Cameron

Sorry, but when I read that headline, I just heard this deep, forboding voice in my head (you know, the one that does the movie trailers...):

"He's back, he's mean - and this time, he's put his teath in...."

No wonder he wants to hug a hoodie

Spooner, you should be aware that quoting Labour spin is a poor (although seemingly popular) way to start a debate on ConservativeHome. I thought the only person who actually said that was the Labour Minister for Police Reform, Tony McNulty, who got his job by being moved from immigration when he wasn't much good...

Having the LibDem trolls on here does make a change from our usual minority party entertainment, though...

YOu are already governed by someone who doesn't understand the real world. In fact you're governed by a whole party that doesn't understand the real world. Cameron doesn't have a messiah complex, he isn't a marxist nutter and he's going to scrap ID cards. All good reasons for any non-tory to vote for him.

I must say the sprinkling of Desperate LimpDums makes a change from the UKIP wingnuts. Equally fruitcakey though.

The LD membership fee might be cheaper at the moment, wait for the £2.4 million bill to drop on the mat. Also receiving almost all of your funding from a charity is a bit desperate. You might feel sorry for the LDs if only so many of them weren't deeply unpleasant.

"He's back, he's mean - and this time, he's put his teath in...."

A witticism that would of course have far more impact without the typo...

This speech, critical as it was about Labour, set no conditions for a coalition with the Conservatives, whilst these 'tests' were set for Gordon Brown.

Same old Liberals - tribal, visceral dislike for the Conservatives overiding any sort of democratic consideration for what might be best for the country in the event of a hung Parliament.

It should however clarify just what voting Lib Dem means - four more years of Gordon Brown with a Lib Dem for Foreign Secretary and much higher taxation.

Carry on attacking David Cameron, Ming, you're doing us Tories nothing but favours. This is great publicity!

Sorry Timberwolf and Rebecca, but I will not apologise for being a Conservative on a Conservative website. Get back off to Monster Raving Liberal's Home where you will be more at home.

And in respect of the membership fees. The situation in our local asscoiation is that we use the £25 fee as a guideline but with many members in particular hardship, or if they elderly, students or unemployed being able to join for as little as £5. I am sure that this is also the practice of associations up and down the land. Membership fees are arranged to suit the needs of the local party and also the members that wish to join. I should know, as I am the local Membership Secretary!

It's bizarre that the Libdems are still attacking the Conservatives

Not really. Watch Blair in the Commons during PMQs - often he is trying to rally his own side and gets highly partisan.....that is Campbell's problem....his party is only united by what it is against.

They have no positive policy and know that it is in marginal seats they may lose to Conservatives - his fear is losing seats that Kennedy gained

Well TomTom at least the Liberal Democrats have policies, and are not a policy free party like the Conservatives.

Sorry Shaun Bennett, but I love to come to this website and read what Tories really think. What a contrast to those press and television reports! The pure hatred shown towards Liberal Democrats encourages me to keep up the fight.
Nice to know you slash subscription charges to keep up your membership numbers.

"Nice to know you slash subscription charges to keep up your membership numbers."

Glad you approve - but they've actually always been the lowest of the three major parties. It helps poorer members join and express their support - sorry that upsets you.

Time to alter the subscription of £25 quoted on the Conservative Party website then?

"That foreign policy is in the news and the LibDems are the only party to have opposed the Iraq war;" Hmm. UKIP policy is anti-war too - they even ran some anti-war ads in the last general election...

"They have no positive policy and know that it is in marginal seats they may lose to Conservatives - his fear is losing seats that Kennedy gained."

If his fear is losing Con/LD marginals, I don't see how prostrating himself in front of Gordon Brown in the hope of a cosy stitch-up with Labour is going to help - surely that would just drive the anti-Labour vote in those seats to the Conservatives?

This speech was about nothing more than Ming Campbell desperately trying to paper over the widening cracks in his doomed leadership by playing the tough guy - a sort of IDS 2.0 if you like.

Instead of "the quiet man is here to stay and he's turning up the volume", we now have "the old man is here to stay and he's putting on his slippers".

O for a tough attack on the LDems! I'd go for the jugular on these cretins. Let's start using LDem campaigning techniques against THEM! In Tory/LDem marginals let's throw the kitchen sink- and more at 'em. They are dirty at local and at national level. Why are the Party holding back on destroying these numpties?

Does Liberal Conservative David Cameron know about and approve of people like Simon?

Simon, we cannot win the election without the support of liberal Democrat voters. Intemporate remarks like yours will only scare them off from supporting us. You must learn to be reasonable and tolerant. Tell Lib Dem voters you are really a Liberal and only in the Conservative Party to make it more liberal.You MUST change your attitude!

My God- LDem sympathisers! Uck! If Lucy and Gunther are LDems i suggest they go off and 'hug an Oaten' or invite CK out for a drink.

What a rude person you are Simon. I hope I never meet anyone like you.

can i say i'm relieved!

I do not want to know about your lavatorial state.

If Timberwolf, Rebecca and Lucy do not have anything constructive to say but to spread their Monster Raving Liberal propaganda, could they kindly go away!

""He's back, he's mean - and this time, he's put his teath in....""
Richard forget the typo, that is one of the best lines I have read on this site.
I am still laughing!
If he joins up with Brown will they represent the "chattering or teeth rattling" classes

"If Timberwolf, Rebecca and Lucy do not have anything constructive to say..."

Timberwold, Rebecca and Lucy - I apologise on behalf of some of my fellow "Conservatives". Nobody is quite sure where they come from, but humouring them here on ToryDiary is an online version of care in the community. Elsewhere on ConservativeHome you can actually find thoughtful debate and people who are prepared to take on your arguments.

Just wanted to say well done to kingbongo for a great blog.

When I read the headline I thought that the Lib Dems might just have come up with another new strategy to try and make Ming look like a tough guy, but I was not worried at all as I have lost count of the number of new starts he has had.

We all remember the almost weekly launch of the all new 'tough Ming' at PMQs. There were the spectacles in the hand and then a week later they were not in the hand, using notes and then not using notes, there was the daring kung fu chop motion at one PMQ and then the much more restrained approach. Has any one, even amongst the most devout Lib Dems, thought any of these have worked?

…I did not think so!

What Ming has done, I think is a massive political mistake that will haunt the Lib Dems over the next 3 years. To say that he would prop up a party that does not enjoy the popular support in England, is on the verge of annihilation in Scotland that is obsessed with spin and mired with sleaze is a spectacular own goal, which I know will be used by some of my colleagues who are standing against the Lib Dems.

If the Lib Dems are happy to join with Labour then I hope that as Conservatives we will do everything in our power to help them.

I would guess that there are already many Lib Dems who want to ditch Ming and replace him with someone who actually has a personality and is likely to appeal to voters. I personally hope that they keep Ming in place for as long as possible, as with the latest poll suggesting that just 6% think that Ming would make the best PM out of the three most likely party leaders it show how uninspired his own supporters are with him.

Contrast this with David Cameron who is gaining support in the polls, who has charisma and a vision for the Country. I am not surprised that the Lib Dems are so worried.

One last thing the only time when Ming looked tough was when he stuck the knife into Charles Kennedy and he did this, we are told through briefing the media.

This act more than any other showed what the Lib Dems are really like.

Did Ming say he wanted to go into coalition with Labour? The 5 tests for Gordon Brown were not conditions for coalition.
If there is a hung election, and with the FPTP voting system and an unknown election date no-one can tell, then the Liberal Democrats should sit tight and see what proposals the other parties come up with.

It could be a Conservative/Labour Grand Coalition. Both parties have a lot in common (pro Iraq war, authoritarian, arrogant, pro nuclear pwer stations,opposed to Proportional Representation,etc), and Cameron likes to work together with Labour.

They would probably both be keen to go to war against Iran, resulting in a prolonged oil crisis and disaster for the economy with millions unemployed.

But at least the Liberal Democrats would be kept out of the corridors of power, and the Conservatives would be happy. That is what is important.

Are you sure that "put his teath in..." was a typo and not a reference to Sarah Teather?

Let's stop this nonsense that the LDems are 'purer than pure'. LDems are the most arrogant party in the UK. Look at their actions in Scotland- they claim every successful policy for their own ( free personal care for the elderly- which is sporadic at best- and it was Labour First Minister Henry McLeish's baby). Not only that, their own MSP's who stood on a platform of 'cutting the sleaze' in politics and helping the 'least well off' , have in-fact been 'helping themselves' (ie) getting homes funded by tax-payers money in Edinburgh, and selling them off)! The LDems talk about leadership. I wouldn't let them lead a dog. The dog would have a better idea where it is going! I'm sure many readers have more examples of LDem duplicity.

"You obviously did not study Lib Dem policies on their website before writing you piece, Shaun Bennett. Apart from anything else the Liberal Democrats would bring income tax down.


In agreement with Lib Dems:

  • I don’t think that Europe is a swear-word and I’m not scared of further integration,

  • I never supported the war on Iraq (although now we’re there we have no choice but to see it through),
  • I don’t agree that it’s the government’s job to moralise on lifestyle choices,
  • I don’t think that religion should hold any place in politics,
  • I do believe that power should be held more locally,
  • I have always believed that we’re dangerously disregarding the environment,
  • I’m not at all convinced that Trident serves any further purpose,
  • I am convinced that disregarding the NNPT harms our moral authority,

However, despite so much agreement, I am a Conservative existing alongside people who view the above as heresy because of Lib Dem views on PR and taxation. In 2005 you imagined that a majority would be happy to vote that the top few percent of earners should foot the bill with an extra 10% taxation. Even the left-wing media scorned that idea, so the Lib Dem funding proposal is now updated as follows:

However, we no longer believe that a higher rate on income tax is necessary. We have now identified alternative ways of making the overall tax system more progressive by raising money from the well off (see 2.3 below) These measures will raise net approximately three times as much money from this group than the 50p rate proposed in our last Manifesto,...

So the 50% rate has gone, but not the socialist belief that the "well off" deserve to pay for everything. In fact, so much do you believe that the well off should pay for everything that you now want to raise "three times as much money from this group" (allowing you to extend the tax bribe to the 40% tax bracket).

If the Lib Dems could get away from the idea that there are rich people who should pay for everything, you might have wider appeal. Most of us aspire to becoming rich, so we don’t vote for something that removes that aspiration. Lib Dem tax policy would allow anyone earning under £10,000 to vote for a spendthrift government without worrying about how the spending is financed. I fundamentally believe that the effects of all taxation have to be felt fairly across the whole scale and, while Lib Dems see becoming well off as an evil to be punished, they will never get my vote.

Welcome back Mark Fulford,although we often disagree you have been missed by me at least!

I always had a sort of soft spot for Ming. Thought he was a well informed buffer out of his depth in to-day's spin and Punch and Judy politics that Kennedy did so well. I see he has a problem, Cameron is attracting his supporters from one side and, at the next election, anti-war voters will return to Labour. So, he makes anti Tory noises for consumption by Labour supporters. And they are so silly and chidish they are pathetic; "Tory boy", the man's lost it. (However, we still havn't got the self confidence to see sillyness for what it is - "Ming gets mean with Cameron"?, come on, how about "Frightened Ming has tantrum"?)

Ming has reduced himself to the level of Lib/Dems generally and sounds completely lost.

I have a soft spot for Ming too - it's in my garden -LOL
Seriously, the guy is as the previous poster stated 'out of his depth'. Surely this is good news for 99.9% of this blog?

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