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I'm not as confident as you, Tim.

Cameron hasn't persuaded people that state-funded, centrally-contolled, civil-servant administered health, education and welfare policies don't work.

In fact, Cameron seems to think that they CAN be made to work (by him, though not by Labour).

Thus, he hasn't built up a mandate for the change that is actually required, which is why I think that the poll leads are built largely on the sand of presentation of spin, and not on anything more substantial.

On the EU, Cameron has shown himself to have little grasp of the institution, how it works, and he appeas to have learnt next to nothing from the history of the Conservative party's dealing with it.

I doubt that he has actually persuaded Dan Hannan of anything, despite what Hannan wrote.

I have written more on this issue here.

It's not vague political theorising that wins elections. It's policies. I've thought long about this, and have come up with the 10 policies which, were Cameron to go into the 2009 election with at the centre of his manifestos, would pretty much guarantee victory.

1) Promise to divide HM Revenue and Customs back into two separate bodies - Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise.

2) Repeal the Consolidate Fund Act 2005, stripping the Treasury of the power to issue funds out of the Consolidated Fund.

3) Scrap plans for a Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, restoring its power to the Law Lords.

4) Revoke the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, giving choice back to business.

5) Scrap plans for "super casinos".

6) Replace the rail watchdog group Passenger Focus with a series of geographically separated groups.

7) Revoke all pardons given to soldiers executed for cowardice and other offences during the First World War.

8) Scrap the Consmer Credit Act 2006.

9) Increase the age of candidacy for public elections from 18 to 21.

10) End the proposed Commission on Equality and Human Rights.

Cameron - if you're reading this, you can have those for free. I won't even ask for an honour when you're Prime Minister...

Cameron's knowledge of the EU is so poor that he promised to restore's opt out of the Social Chapter. He did not know that the Social Chapter had been incorporated into the Amstergam Treaty, signed by Blair with no provision for an opt-out.

With such ignorance of basic EU issues, how can we trust Dave when he talks of reforming the EU?

Neil - your policy list is so bizarre that I'm genuinely not sure whether you're joking.

Tim, an excellent article. I am glad to see you coming round to our way of thinking (the Cameroons who always thought DC was already practising the "and theory"). Funnily enough, when I read the superb Dan Hannan's blog piece I was just wondering to myself if Tim M was starting to think the same way when your Comment is Free article appeared.

Dan Hannan's piece is a must read for every modernising yet Eurosceptic Conservative, amongst whom I count myself.

Er, Neil, whilst they may be decent policies, I hardly think they're tremendous vote winners...

"Promise to divide HM Revenue and Customs back into two separate bodies - Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise."

The instituional organisation of off-shoots of the Tresure is hardly the stuff of tabloid newspaper headlines and pub banter, is it..?

I'm a huge supporter of Cameron. But I wonder, I do wonder, how much of the our success us actually due to the strategy he's followed, rather than the man?

For example, imagine William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith or Michael Howard following EXACTLY the same agenda as Cameron over the last 18 months??

I very much doubt we'd be where we are today. Nowhere near.

Much as I hate to say it, I think Camerons style, personality and (dare I say it?) appearance have a huge amount to do with people taking the Conseratives seriously. Especially amongst those swing voters less politically informed.

The leader (and style) of your party is absolutely paramount to electoral appeal these days.

And although an appealing leader doesn't guarantee an election win, an unappealing one certainly guarantees an election loss.

What has been the most cheering thing for me, Tory T, is the commitment to marriage and the family. Before I started this website I spent the best part of ten years campaigning for the party to take social justice and social structure seriously. That started under IDS - was essentially aborted under Michael Howard - but has come back strongly on to the Tory agenda with David Cameron.

I'm still underwhelmed by Project Cameron overall, however. I sense a timidity before pressing and great challenges. I also worry greatly about what I see as a lack of seriousness in the war on terror.

Tim, I agree. But once in office, events, dear boy, events will tell us soon enough whether Project Cameron is up to the challenge.....

I recognize that (although I was what was referred to as a "May Cameroon") I'm no longer in the mainstream on this site, and perhaps in the party and possibly in the country, but when I read Mr Cameron's Euro-article in the Telegraph today I found it hard not to want to vomit. Remind me again why I didn't just vote for Ken Clarke?

I mean Cameron wants Turkey to join the EU! Turkey! 75m inhabitants and growing quickly, a EU that already determines 70% of government policy, where population determines political weight and with free movement of persons are one of the basic principles of the EU. And he wants Turkey to join???

"I also worry greatly about what I see as a lack of seriousness in the war on terror."

Dear Editor,

Don't you think that the it is Bush administration that has shown the most worrying lack of seriousness in the war on terror? i.e. a serious plan for winning the, ahem, peace in Iraq?

Don't you think that it would be counter-productive for any Conservative leader to closely associate themselves with a failed US adminstration? Surely we'd do better towait until Bush, Cheney etc are out of the way before starting afresh with their successors?

'Remind me again why I didn't vote for Ken Clarke?'.Because you're thick Goldie.
I agree with Michael Mcgowan, it will only be in office where we can truly judge David Cameron.But it was ever thus, I would contend that both Mrs Thatcher and Tony Blair were both elected with only the very haziest of notions as to what they would do.
Probably unlike Michael, I am inclined to give DC the benefit of every doubt I have particularly when the serious alternatives are considered.

"I'm still underwhelmed by Project Cameron overall, however. I sense a timidity before pressing and great challenges. I also worry greatly about what I see as a lack of seriousness in the war on terror."
Tim, to be fair to David Cameron the strategy he has followed has been very successful and is about appealing to a wider audience. Do you alienate many of the voters you need win over to achieve electoral success by pushing a very hawkish stance on the war on terror from continued opposition, while leaving Labour or the "courting" Lab/Libdems to make these decisions in power?
The war on terror is a serious threat, but after all the deception and spin from Blair the public has no trust in politicians or an appetite for listening to further arguments which might lead to a continued and longer deployment of troops in Iraq or Afghanistan.

You can't fight a successful war on terror from the opposition benches, or from government without addressing the issue of trust or making a serious commitment to rebuilding our armed forces.

Neil....You are joking surely????

"Scrap the Disability Discrimination Act..." - Yep that alone would be a gift to the Lib/Labs.

Neil - interesting policies. I've put my thinking cap on and come up with 11 more policies Cameron would do well to adopt. These are exactly the kind of things that would actually have the public talking about us.

1) Revoke the Government of Wales Act 2006, ensuring no new powers are devolved to the Welsh Assembly after this year's election.

2) Scrap ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants.

3) Replace the National Police Improvement Agency with two agencies: a central police training and development authority and an IT organisation.

4) Scrap the offence of inciting hatred against a person on the grounds of their religion.

5) Repeal the Civil Partnership Act and annull all civil partnerships made in the time since its introdduction.

6) Repeal the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004.

7) Overturn the changes in the law made by Labour to allow people to change their legal gender; everybody who has done so in the interim to revert to their original gender (in the eyes of the law).

8) Repeal the ban on hunting.

9) Replace the Pensions Regulator with an occupational pensions regulatory authority with stripped-down powers.

10) Reintroduce The Crown’s immunity from planning processes, scrapped by Labour.

Don't think anybody could argue with any of those too much.

Mr Arthurs, I do hope you are joking! While several of those may be quite sensible at heart, others would go a long way to undoing a lot of the progress made in the last 18 months or so.

Oliver's post @ 16:38 has to be a spoof surely...?

Where have Neil Yates and Oliver Arthurs suddenly popped up from with these rib-tickling policy suggestions then?

Get back under your bridge, where you can delight each other and the rest of your dwindling band of comrades with your stereotypical perceptions of Conservatives as Colonel Blimp.

I thought that Neil & Oliver might be a couple of undercover Labour trolls judging by their demands. I think the lack of humorous entries in their top ten was the give away, having said that it might be a couple of UKIPpers being serious?

"I thought that Neil & Oliver might be a couple of undercover Labour trolls judging by their demands. I think the lack of humorous entries in their top ten was the give away, having said that it might be a couple of UKIPpers being serious?"

It doesn't really matter either way. They're clearly either crazy ideas and/or a poor joke.

"I'm still underwhelmed by Project Cameron overall, however."

Editor, I must say I'm disappointed by this remark. I would have thought that someone of your experience and stature would understand the reasons for a new approach and strategy and the importance of not being too overtly critical?

After all, we must have being getting quite a lot wrong to do as badly as we have over the last 15 years.

This looks fun. Can anyone else play at this game?

(1) Reverse the abolition of hanging for treason. Massive vote winner - we'll run a last week poster campaign of a gallows in Trafalgar Sq and one of those dodgy phone lines to invite punters to nominate the first Blairite cabinet minister for the drop.

(2) Scrap the Government Resource and Accounts Act 2000 with its requirement to publish annual departmental accounts on quasi-commercial basis. As far as I can work out, I'm the only person that actually reads any of the bumpf they push out (certainly Whitehall can't folow resource budgetting) and its a nice sop to the Greens to save all those trees.

(3) Unbuild the Dome. That'll rake in zillions.

(4) Bring back Old Money. Peter Hitchens will return to the fold in a flash - and who could possibly not want that?

(5) Dig up all bicycle lanes.

(6) Life imprisonment for any television presenter who says "Press the Red Button now".

(7) The directors of any company that makes or operates speed cameras to be forced to have CCTV installed in their homes.

(8) Impound and destroy all mobile phones and bring back old fashioned wall mounted telephones with proper circular dials that go "bring bring".

(9) Make all AA Patrolmen salute customers once more.

(10) All fast food shops should be shut down unless they serve decent respectable honest food like fish and chips or jellied eels.

(11) National Service for any one caught wearing a baseball cap back-to-front - and while we're at it, double VAT levied on baseball hats.

(12) Women seen drinking vodka direct from bottles in public without using the appropriate glass or unaccompanied by an amateur detective in formal evening dress to be interned in the nearest convent.

Plainly *some* of the ideas put forward by Neil and Oliver are good ones. Others aren't.

I'd vote for seven of those William!!!!

I'll vote for Norton's first four!

Is Neil's post a joke? Firstly few voters would understand many of his policies (if they hadn't fallen asleep half way through reading them) and secondly quite a lot of them look like vote losers to me!


Sensible policies for a happier Britain!

"7) Revoke all pardons given to soldiers executed for cowardice and other offences during the First World War."

Neil is absolutely right.

I've lost count of the numbers of undecided voters I've met on the doorstep who've said they would vote Tory, if it wasn't for the limp attitude of the leadership towards posthumous pardons.

This is a key issue which could win us dozens of marginal constituencies.

Why does Dave want to turn the EU into a Muslim State? Letting Turkey in would be a huge mistake.

He should read "How my eyes were opened to the barbarity of Islam"


Oliver and Neil, your policies are all very well and good, but I'd like to add a few more:

1) Re-introduce the community charge.

2) Reverse the rates of taxation, so those that earn the most pay the least, and those that earn the least pay the most.

3) Invade the Republic of Ireland.

4) Prevent Muslims from voting in General Elections (but we'll concede that they can vote in local ones).

5) Abolish the office of Prime Minister and allow the monarch to chair Cabinet.

6) Erect a bronze statue of David Cameron, one inch taller than that of Thatcher, in the Palace of Westminster. If there are no spaces, take down the statue of Churchill and put the Cameron one there.

7) Withdraw recognition of the independence of India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Fiji.

8) Offer a proposal of reunification to the United States.

9) Abolish all schools that are not private.

10) Dissolve the NHS. Sell it to Norman Tebbit.

Now you're being silly Ash. Norman Tebbit couldn't afford the NHS, perhaps Roman Abramovich....

Who are we and what are We getting?

There is no will to get out from under Europe

There is no will to cut taxes

There is no will for an English Parliament

There is no will to reform the public services

There is no point in voting Conservative

If we win we will do nothing different: we will share the blame.

Erm, Jonathan...what?

1. Not yet there isn't, but if we puruse a campaign to get the EU reformed, we will be left with three options: a) give up and remain in it, b) be successful and have the EU reformed or c) fail to have it reformed and leave. Obviously a) would be out of the question, so either way we win.

2. Of course there is, look at the council tax issue at the moment. People want their money for themselves, and at present they're not getting value for money.

3. I suppose that is true, but I've no interest in such a body anyway.

4. Hah.

5. As long as Cameron is leader, you're right there.


The headbangers have been let out again,


Here's a few

1. Finnish to be the official language.
2. Moustaches to be compulsory (for both sexes)
3. Cycling to be illegal on Tuesdays.
4. Age of consent to be raised to 47.
5. Beach volleyball to be the only legal sport.
6. National anthem to be Edison Lighthouse's 'Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes'.

William Norton : "..(7)The directors of any company that makes or operates speed cameras to be forced to have CCTV installed in their homes.
...(9)Make all AA Patrolmen salute customers once more."

I was beginning to be attracted by your proposed policies - until I saw these two. In olden times, if you weren't saluted by an AA or RAC patrolman (depending upon which badge you were displaying on your motor car), it was a warning that there was a speed trap down the road. In present times therefore, policy (9) is so obviously negated by the implication of policy (7) that I despair of your ability to produce a joined-up style of government.

-- Do something about recovering self-government from Europe, though, and I'll forgive you just about anything else!

Or, we could take a lead from the standing-at-the-back-dressed-stupidly-and-looking-stupid party??

(1) The COMPULSORY serving of asparagus at breakfast.
(2) Free corsets for the under-5's
(3) The Abolition of Slavery

Or from a mindless bigoted old fool?

(1) Eating servants
(2) Shooting poor people
(3) The extension of slavery to anyone who doesn't have a knighthood

What d'ya think?

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