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I presume Douglas Alexander is being rewarded for his Scottish Elections success!!

We can take heart from that Andrew. Loyalty to people regardless of competence is not clever.

Incompetance is the issue we need to attack Brown on. The incompetance on Pensions that have resulted in millions losing there pensions, the incompetance on tax credits that as resulted in millions being wasted in overpayments, the incompetance in the NHS which as seen billions spent with very little improvement.The list could go on and on and on.
Labour portray the Chancellor as being competant and successful when in fact the opposite is in truth. We need to destroy Browns reputation. Do that and we will win the election.

You're right Jack - tax credits complexity should have been in my list of ten. I also agree with you on incompetence (two 'e's) as I posted yesterday.

It was a very good speech.


"Being on the side of rural communities"

HA! Yeah right! He has a nerve to say that after what this Labour government has done to rural people during the last 10 years.

You may be right Jennifer. Why appoint a General Election Co-ordinator otherwise!!


Your lowlights is superficial. In particular:

"2. Gold reserves sold at the low point of the market;" obviously a mistake but less I think than the ERM.

"6. Extraordinary waste from the Dome to the Olympics and everything inbetween;"

Whose stupid idea was the Dome and didn't the Tories support the Olympics in principle
when anyone with a passing brain cell would have remembered the Dome and realised it would be a an even bigger failure.

"8. The HIPS fiasco;2: again something the Tories did not object to from in principle from the start.

"9. A neglect of green issues in every Budget until very recently;": who really cares about green issues as they are over-articulated today. The way the Tories go on about them anyone would think they were some sort of of upper class privilege: windmills etc.

I am sorry Tim, but if you want a fight with Labour the nation's paymaster you'd better pick on more real issues.

Interviewed on News 24 Blears and Alexander both attacked Cameron as weak. It is definitely going to be Labour's line of attack.

Not a word about the gigantic constitutional injustice to England in the 2007 British state ie no English parliament or self government . Barnett Rules also just airbrushed away .

Those phrases which use to resonate including that key one " The British Paeople " , don't resonate much any more . It was Brown himself , in 1997 , who first used " the nations of Britain ".
And he has got away with it so far and probably will for a while yet .

Will Dave challenge him on this . After all , Brown is committed uniquely to Scotland with these words

"We, gathered as the Scottish Constitutional Convention, do hereby acknowledge the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs, and do hereby declare and pledge that in all our actions and deliberations their interests shall be paramount."

This was a public oath , uttered i 1988 to which he is still committed .

This man is to be BRITISH Prime Minister .

Will Dave go for this wide open goal ?

I doubt it . The Conservative Party's dislike of the English probably exceeds their desire to win .

Will there be a fisk of this speech, to show how Brown at the Treasury helped cause the issues to which he now wants to solve. It's a bit like hiring the arsonist who burnt your house down to come and redecorate.

Jennifer Wells is correct.

Brown's first 100 days are vital and if the polls work in his favour he may well cut and run this October thus destroying our party conference and wrong-footing all the strategists.

[email protected]: I think Blears and Alexander may be right but let's wait and see. Perhaps if Dave took the fight to Labour he might get more support from natural Tories.

I agree, I think this might be the start of the Election Campaign.

I hope the party is ready!

A quick thought. Will the Brown's New Labour Government get the same sickening honeymoon from the media that his predecessor got. I hope not but given the old media's institutional lefty bias I won't hold my breath.

It was a good speech well delivered, however I think those 10 lowlights are even better, and certainly need publicising....as does the massive enchroachment on our private lives by the state over the last 10 years, never mind all this change stuff, how about "set the people free"....that is except the 25,000 criminals from prisons. ;)

The ten points are a bit lame - we will not win an election going on about gold reserves and HIPs. The very fact that Taliban Tim has put it at number 2 shows his lack of reality when it comes to politics.

Jake @ 16:32 - "Not a word about the gigantic constitutional injustice to England in the 2007 British state ie no English parliament or self government"

I was getting a bit bored by that point so I may be mistaken, but I think that he referred to England as one of the nations in the Union, and did not mention the word "regions" as in the previous formulation of "nations and regions". If I heard that correctly it could be that he'll ditch the unelected euro-regional assemblies
in England before Cameron has a chance to abolish them. Except for the GLA,
of course - there's always been a good case for having that, as a successor to the LCC and the GLC. However that would still mean four nations but only three national assemblies and governments, and Cameron should think on that.

The Conservative Party has to unite behind Cameron and stop the bickering or Brown will call an early election and walk it.

You are quite right anti-taliban. Tim's list of tax, gold sales, pensions, armed forces, prisons, waste, child poverty, housing, green issues and Europe was very narrow. Not!

Definitely agree that the gold reserves thing is a bit lame. Who can call the right point in any market? Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It's the lack of foresight where he should have had foresight - Pensions, impact of throwing resources at unreformed public services etc, that we need to focus on. Incompetence is right.

The Brown camp are clearly going to use experience as a way to differntiate themselves from Cameron. They will see themselves as experienced in Government and all about substance - and they will try to show Cameron as having no experience and being obsessed with spin.

That's why its vital we constantly highlight just what ordinary people have actually experienced under Brown's rule at No. 11 - as highlighted by the editor.

As already suggested to Jack - tax credit complexity/ overpayments etc should have been in the list - and probably instead of gold sales.

I think there was also only one reference to the EU, and that was framed in such a way that anyone who didn't know better might assume we weren't actually in it - some phrase like "we will work with the United States and the European Union", rather than WITH the one and WITHIN the other.

Instead of wandering around opportunistic centrist issues the Tories need to have the courage of their convictions (joke?) and be ready and able to go for the jugular on some issues whilst at the same time being able to fight a war of attrition with New Labour.

I have to say I really, really hope that is the last bit of praise for Gordon Brown I read on ConHome!

The media will use it, you realise - "Tory grassroots praise Brown speech" and it will aid Lab's honeymoon and directly negatively affect our candidates in council by elections, Ealing Southall and Lab-Con marginals.

As will articles here flagging up Cornerstone style MPs differences with the leadership. The site is read by the media and as such what it chooses to focus on has great power.

I have tried to bite my tongue but seeing Brown called "inspirational" on a Tory site is just too much. All hands on deck!

On a positive note the duality of the Blair / Brown pact has enabled Labour to get away with far more than they would have done otherwise. This is in contrast with the Tories where historic divisions between chancellors and the pm have been a source of weakness. (Of course it may be that the media have operated double standards which were never permitted when the Tories were in power). Nevertheless the buck will well and truly stop with Brown now and the Tories should capitalise on it. For too long the governance of this country has been treated by the media as one long extended series of Coronation Street, Payton Place, or Eastenders. Choose your era, the story is the same.

Tory T:

Only the small are afraid to praise their opponents. Understanding your opponent's strengths, as well as his weakness, is virtually a pre-requisite for victory in any hard fight.

"If I heard that correctly it could be that he'll ditch the unelected euro-regional assemblies
in England before Cameron has a chance to abolish them. " Denis Cooper 16.56

I do hope you are right Denis .
Brown has the opportunity to be the (Scots)man who caled a referendum in England on an English Parliament . He could thus convert a weak point in his defences into a gigantic strength . And still be British PM .

If he were to do this he would receive large majority approval from both England and Scotland . Warm thoughts towards him in England and the SNP atavists in Scotland left behind .
And the Tories . Left looking utterly foolish , sqeaking " hey , we think that too " , belatedly , from the sidelines .

Mr Brown has an historic opportunity and he also has the initiative . He might just use it .

anti- taliban. I 'm not really very impressed with someone who comes onto this blog seemingly just to attack the Editor but who is far too cowardly to post under their real name. Unless you have something constructive to say why don't you go forth and multiply?
As regards our tactics, Brown is going to have a while in the sun whatever we do. Let's keep quiet for a while but then go all out unremmitingly day after day with the same message.Brown has wasted billions of your money on x,y and z.Do not stop making these points or become distracted by other things until the entire electorate have been made aware of them.

"That's why its vital we constantly highlight just what ordinary people have actually experienced under Brown's rule at No. 11."

Ten years of economic growth, low interest rates, low unemployment and low inflation?

Thank you Andrew re Tory T.

This site, Tory T, will be more critical of Labour as we enter the second half of the parliament and Tory policy etc is settled but we must also be honest about our opponents' strengths as well as their weakness. Relentless negativity won't persuade anyone. Neither is it grown up.

malcolm at 17.24

anti-taliban made a good point (echoed by others) to which your uncharacteristic response was "Unless you have something constructive to say why don't you go forth and multiply?".

Rising interest rates. Unemployment at levels around in 1979 when it was the top political issue. Lack of final salary pension schemes for anyone outside the public sectr. Council tax almost doubling under his rules.

If you think Brown hasnt done any damageI beg to differ.


You say "Relentless negativity won't persuade anyone. " Really it worked for New Labour.

This is the official CCHQ response:

"Francis Maude said:

“Harriet Harman is the first appointment of the Brown era and she believes in more money for the unions and a review of Trident. The country will be interested in how the unelected Gordon Brown responds to the views of the newly elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.”

On becoming leader of the Labour Party, Gordon Brown talked about making housing a priority. Reacting, Shadow Housing Minister Michael Gove said:

“Housing has been the Blair Government’s biggest domestic policy failure. The number of households on local housing authority registers waiting for a decent home has gone up by 60%, the number of households in temporary accommodation has doubled and the affordability crisis is now so bad that half of working households under 40 in the South East cannot get on the property ladder.

“Gordon Brown must share responsibility for this housing crisis and it cannot be solved by more of the same command and control from the centre.”"

The Conservative Party has to unite behind Cameron and stop the bickering or Brown will call an early election and walk it.

Posted by: cleo | June 24, 2007 at 16:57

Absolutely spot on Cleo.

Divided parties do not win elections and it would not be fair to the leaflet distributors, the council candidates, the members, the people who run the coffee mornings and the grass roots as a whole.

Get behind our great leader or face five more years of Labour rule!


if we cannot come up with ten things that matter, don't make a list of ten - it looks silly. My point is that the tactics of this site do the party no favours and making silly lists like that one is an example of silly tactics.

What's your strategy for beating GB anti-taliban?

A bit of a strange comment by Maude about Gordon Brown's not being elected. Was he thinking of unelected like Michael Howard, or unelected like John Major?

Actually, bufton tufton, it's now coming up to fifteen years of economic growth, basically since September 16th 1992. True, Labour was not in office for the first four and half of those years, but that's no reason why they shouldn't claim the credit for them - and in fact Brown has done so in the past.

I cannot agree Ed. The only semi-relentless negativity is found in the comments columns and directed towards our leadership, easily the most successful since Thatcher.

Whilst the posts on the polls are to be commended, every one of them is interspersed with another attacking the Cameron project, flagging up what a handful of the more rightwing MPs think and promoting the idea of division. The grammar schools constant barrage did immense damage.

Now we are not simply saying "Solid speech, don't let's underestimate Gordon Brown - but here's his dire record", no, we are offering ammo to tomorrows papers and columnists. I think it a duty to point out just how damaging to the party this is.

What if there is an autumn election? Is praise for Brown and digs at Cameron what we want to be proferring on our most important media outlets?

Those are my two pennyworth, anyway.

I think we need to be a bit careful about mocking Harman's opposition to Trident. A number of the better-informed Conservatives felt that the government's approach was rather premature, and we may yet wish to finesse our own position on this. (In particular, what about the question "Trident vs smaller nuclear weapons that we might more credibly use against Iran etc."?)

Lots of commenters on this site seem to have been talking about an early election. The chance of that are almost precisely nil. You seriously think that Gordon Brown is going to wait 13 years to become Labour Leader and 10 to become Prime Minister, then risk losing it all after four months? That is what Tim Haines would call a "planet conference" fantasy.

If he's confident of winning, Brown will go in summer or autumn 2009. We need to make him not confident of winning...

Bufton Tufton "Ten years of economic growth, low interest rates, low unemployment and low inflation?"

It is good that Labour trolls appear here robotically spouting the same old on message nonsense. It provides the perfect opportunity to point out that anybody not so brainwashed would know that ten years of economic growth has included such gems as profits from buy to let in the growth figures (I wonder why I doubt the strength of our economy?), Low interest rates - interest rates are relative to income and expenditure, if you are spending a third to half your wages on repaying a mortgage low interest rates are not really a great thing as chances are they are going to go up and take your house with them. Low unemployment, no actually lowish levels of unemployment benefit - record levels of incapacity benefit. Low inflation is and has been dependent on low Chinese wages, I always find it funny when Labour supporters harp on about minimum wage in the UK whilst being absolutely scared to death of the Chinese getting the same right.


Re "A number of the better-informed Conservatives": do please give us the benefit of your knowledge as to who the "better informed" and less informed Conservatives are on this issue (and any others one might care to mention).

Happy Tory @ 16.58:
"Definitely agree that the gold reserves thing is a bit lame".

I agree that this probably rates far less high in incompetence than the tax credits fiasco, though giving prior notice of the sale was not too bright.

I also agree that the 100 tax rises, depriving the military of the proper equipment in a war that Brown apparently supported and the devastation caused to private pensions schemes were much more important issues.

Someone mentioned the ERM as being worse than the gold reserves sale; undoubtedly it was but did not Brown support joining it in the first place?

Can someone remind me (i) what was the balance of payments surplus handed over to Brown by the outgoing tories, (ii) what is the balance of payments deficit now and (iii) how much are the next two generations in hock to pay for Brown's PFIs?

Finally, how bright (or honest) is a chancellor who announces he is cutting taxes when what he also achieves is to give the very lowest taxpayers a 10% increase in tax?

Certain Labour MPs have suggested to me that if the polls were close enough he may well cut and run, though his cautious nature makes me thinks this won't happen.

If he had any sort of honeymoon period where he was ahead in the polls why would he hang around, with our party needing to be so far ahead in the polls to get a majority.

I have also been led to believe that instead of a withdrawal from Iraq you may well see barrack by barrack being brought home under Brown so that over the next 24 months a line can be drawn under the Blair era and the new Brown era - and THEN he will go to the polls.

Get behind our great leader

Which 'great leader' would that be, Geoffrey?

Chairman Mao? Kim Il Sung? Gordon Brown?

Oh no of course you're talking about our Dave.

Well, that kind of fatuous hyperbole is more likely to drive away support - much of which is at best sullen and unenthusiastic - rather than rally the troops to what, at present, looks dangerously like a flagging cause.

My advice would be to take the spotlight off Cameron - he's starting to wilt round the edges - and turn it on the truly inspirational Tories most of us really want to talk about. People like David Davis and William Hague.

As predicted, the modernisation plan is fizzling out like a damp squib. Time to get back to the sincere principles and values in which most of us believe.

Andrew Lilico:

I thought so too but I thought about it and.

The Case for Brown going to the country soon:

1) Polls are moving his way and based on them would give him a comfortable majority
2) Conservative policies are not yet ready let alone understood by MP's and the party
3) He is just beginning his honeymoon period with the country and the media.
4) People are relieved that Blair is gone.
5) His party is in election campaign mood and are already mobilised.
6) It deals with the question of whether he has a mandate or not.
7) It will answer the EU referendum question as well
8) Conservative Party has just had a row. Labour hasn't.
9) Conservative Party has very questionable communications. Labour doesn't.
10) Stops any effect that Andy Coulson can have.
11) Cameron has just backed down on an issue Brown hasn't.

I'm not saying that there aren't good reasons to wait but there are a lot of good reasons to go early as well.

If Brown has freshened policies ready then I think its possible.

"Traditional Tory"- if Messrs Hague and Davis are "truly inspirational" then we would have won the 2001 election and Davis would have beaten Cameron.

Please get real and into the 21st century

Michael Miller

Do expressions like "get real and into the 21st century" really mean anything or are they meaningless slogans?


They are used to make a very valid point.

The banner on the Labour party website now says "new Labour for Britain". Put the word "a" at the start of that phrase and one gets the true meaning

Michael says he joined the party in 1959 so the chances are that he's now around 70.

There's nothing sadder than the sight of seniors desperately trying to 'act cool'.

They have a habit of turning into the Oldest Swingers in Town.

Alan S.

1 Close down silly blogs and get out and campaign like mad instead of ripping each other apart after trolls plant silly posts
2 Leave Cameron to get defeated at the next election
3 In the aftermath of the election defeat, have a sensible and balanced review of policy free from Dave's daft ideas

Auntie Taliban

Have you started blogging because it's raining outside or something?

You gave me a girls name - how funny! I bet you are a hit with the ladies.

I don't do so bad. I just wanted to see whether you were just here to annoy people or had something serious to say.

I was right you are here for the former.

Andrew Lilico | June 24, 2007 at 17:20

Correct Andrew, as is the people who say that the attack is going to be portraying Mr Cameron as week.
However let's face it, Mr Cameron has given the Brown camp all the ammunition he needs. I think emphasis will also be placed on just how much of a flip-flopper Mr Cameron is.
Remember what happened in the American Presidential election.
I can see the same thing happening here with a vengeance.
Mr Cameron has attacked Mr Brown week after week during PMQ's when he was not in any position to defend himself, not only does this not go down well with British fair play. It was viewed by a good many as rather cowardly.
I can see Mr Brown putting Mr Cameron well and truly through the wringer for his troubles, Mr Cameron has been well and truly warned by a good many Tories just how formidable an opponent he is.
My guess is he is going to learn the hard way.

It is unfair to delete my posts.

anti-taliban: I have deleted some of your posts because you have revealed that you are not a serious poster. I was content to leave up your criticisms of me but you cannot post under multiple names. Whenever I discover that I take action.

At this juncture it's worth observing that well led parties are usually united.

It's seldom credible to blame the membership for failings of the leadership.

Now one honeymoon has ended, another is beginning and inspiring leadership will most definitely count on both sides.

We Conservatives can still prevail but nothing is guaranteed. It's down to the leadership to deliver.

Joseph "I can see Mr Brown putting Mr Cameron well and truly through the wringer for his troubles, Mr Cameron has been well and truly warned by a good many Tories just how formidable an opponent he is.
My guess is he is going to learn the hard way."

For heavens sake Brown is based almost completely on spin, he uses made up statistics, uses delaying tactics (commissions endless biased reports) is completely unprincipled (Changing the golden rule every five minutes, spending ten years briefing against the leader of his party), is a cowardly weasel - if he truly believed he was a better man than Blair or that he would be of benefit to Britain then surely he should have deposed him earlier if not then he should have kept his mouth shut. So far when any crisis has occurred Brown goes awol. He delegates responsibility where he doesn't want to risk taking it, and then claims credit if it goes well.

He is an incompetent wasteful buffoon. Just look at the Editor's list.

If Cameron can't beat Brown it won't have anything to do with Brown's "experience" or "brilliance". Also all this my leader is stronger than yours and he is going to put him through the wringer frankly It sounds suspiciously like you just stepped out of Primary school or something, but to come down to your level Brown is a walking target rich environment, and I reckon Cameron can beat him up so bad that he won't know his arse from his elbow (actually maybe he already has)

Old Hack:

I fully agree. The battle starts here and the leadership must ensure they do not make the sort of basic presentational errors that have been made recently.

The Cameron's message is being drowned out because of the noise over mistakes.

This must be a key consideration when David Cameron shuffles his team for what is likely the last time before the next General Election.

As shown above, there is plenty of ammunition. But I am not convinced that David Cameron and his team have the stomach for a proper fight - to hold Gordon Brown to account for his economic mismanagement and other policies over the past ten years. We have not seen them playing hard-ball so far.
Whatever happens, I think it would be unwise for team Cameron to make too much of green issues, and thus become boxed-in when - finally - the debate on the causes of climate change becomes rational.


You have every right to overwrite anything, I acknowledge that, but how long has objecting to swearing been childish and personal?

What does swearing add to any debate?

Swearing is in contradiction of the comments policy, too.

Editor, I must admit you removed whetever comment Joseph made before I was able to see it. I am not sure I agree with your policy as I believe others can be the judge and have a more effective response to inappropriate commenting, but I appreciate that might just degenerate the debate, and it is your site so fair enough.

I apologise if you felt I was swearing but as far as I am concerned the phrase I uttered has been fairly inoffensive for at least 30 years even on television.

Editor, please believe me when I say I do not mean to be thick. I simply do not understand what you mean by that.
Are you telling me that it is in order for people to swear just for the sake of it?
What does it add to the debate?
Has it never crossed your mind that some people find swearing quite objectionable?

Please email me via [email protected] if you want to continue this off-thread conversation.

I do accept what you are saying but I watch TV, listen to the radio, hear people in the street and I must admit I deplore some of the thing I see, hear and read.
It is time people took a pricipled stand on these things and stood up to be counted.
If being banned off a blog site or being reprimanded is my punishment for having principles then so-be-it.
I will keep my principles and allow others to find their own level.

Had a chance to watch Browns speech. It was quite good. Does it mean anything? I rather doubt it. Many people can give good speeches even people like Michael Foot. We shall see what Brown can do over the next few weeks but he will need to pull a few rabbits out of the hat because the people likely to be promoted on Wednesday (Balls, Cooper, Darling, Alexander and E Milliband) are to put it mildly as uncharismatic a bunch of people as you can find anywhere and none have a record of outstanding success.
I do hope we do not resort to name calling of Brown and his lacklustre mates though. As has been pointed out we have enough ammunition to be going on with just be talking about pensions,youth unemployment and tax credits.

On the list of low-lights why not mention uncontrolled immigration, family tax credits, ramping up of the poverty trap, 80%+ of our laws now made in Brussels, fishing industry decimated, near total loss of faith in politics.

Admittedly Brown's speech was very good and the fact that they elected Harman will probably please the Labour grassroots since she's not scared of appealing to the left and she's a woman.

Is Cameron really up to the job of taking him down at the next election given that he's already slipping behind in the polls? I can't help thinking we would have been better if we'd elected David Davis. Oh well, maybe next time.

I also think there is a good chance of an Autumn election. The debt/ economy may well start to unravel in the next few years. He may well decide to cut and run if the polls are favourable before this becomes apparent.

I can't believe there's ANY chance of an autumn election. Gordon Brown is Mr. Cautious.

Why would he risk a 66 seat majority which has three years to run, in exchange for at best a smaller majority or hung parliament which would probably be so unstable it wouldn't even last those three years?

"If he's confident of winning, Brown will go in summer or autumn 2009. We need to make him not confident of winning..."
Brown lacks courage when it comes to fighting a contest, he prefers a sure fire outcome which can be determined with back room deals before hand. And although the party is broke, just remember how generous he has been to all those PFI companies, the funding to modernise the Unions and add in that Brown will have people in the wings ready to come on stream with donations in the coming months.
If I was a betting person I would say the biggest chance he had of an outright victory was this year after a honeymoon bounce. The longer he lives it the more chance that "events" could derail his government.

Michael Davidson:

Re Harriet Harridan oops typo Harman - thats not what my partner said - I would tell you verbatum but its not PC and the Ed would delete it anyway.

I don't think she's going to be a major player, she'll be planning the election and organising the party.

(Ed, Incidentally how does Angela Browning compare to Harman?)

As for Brown's speech it sounded good but there are contradictions and omissions that can be exploited.

As for Cameron - we will see?

Cameron would have been very unwise to show his whole hand before Brown arrived.

Dont worry about the polls right now its the Libdems who have real worries.

Based on the Mori poll projections suggest that Labour still have their majority, the Conservatives have more seats but the Libdems number of seats will be halved.

Not good enough I agree but still progress from the last election and there is still much to play for.

I think Cameron's biggest Achilles heel is his membership of the Bullingdon Club

As stated in Wikipedia the Bullingdon Club is a socially exclusive student dining club at Oxford University, infamous for its members' wealth and destructive binges. Membership is by invitation only, and prohibitively expensive for most.

The club traditionally meets at a club dinner, as well as smaller initiation dinners, before which the rooms of new members are ceremonially wrecked.

Members traditionally dress for their annual dinner in specially made tailcoats in royal blue with ivory silk lapel facings, brass monogrammed buttons, and a mustard waistcoat.

Its modus operandi is to book a private dining room under an assumed name, then physically destroy it. Very large amounts of cash are then offered to the owners to pay them off for the destruction.

Downsize the NHS:

I agree it is not the best image.

One thing I noticed between Brown's speech and Cameron's earlier this week that I thought could be a more significant problem was the choice of language.

Brown used straightforward language in his speech whereas Cameron has a tendency to use business style 'buzz' phrases. These phrases tend to turn most people off.

Cameron seems to be having difficulty in getting his message over. Perhaps thats why ?

"I think Cameron's biggest Achilles heel is his membership of the Bullingdon Club"

YAWN, if he was normal he would have enjoyed a full student experience. Back in my students days the local agricultural college had a reputation that lives on to this day. Gatecrashing and then causing punch ups at other student events was their modus operandi.
I remember the police having to be called because they were trying to scale the hotel where we had a ceilidh.

The trouble is Cameron, compared to Brown, now looks like some aloof toff who's weak and flimsy, where as Brown, dull as he may be, gives the perception of being strong and determined.

George Osborne is even worse - he looks like a schoolboy in shorts. It doesn't help when Cameron keeps coming up with these ill-thought out policies that nobody wants and then he ends up u-turning on them.

Where is he today anyway? Why has he not come out to criticise Brown or Harman? There's been no sign of him whatsoever meaning Labour get all the coverage.

I suprised that this has already not been mentioned but what has happened today is not good for the Liberal Democrats.

In fact of the poll increase that was shown in the Observer most of the Labour poll increase has been gained from the Liberal Democrats poll rating(3%.

If there is any party that needs to be very worried at this moment in time it is them. In fact after today they can partically kiss goodbye any chance of trying to sneak the Ealing Southall By-election.

In terms of the potential general election it is not likely to happen. The reason being that A)Labour has not got the big financial power that it has at the moment in time and B) I don't think Gorden would want to risk power so soon after getting it.

In terms of how all the three parties are shaping up in terms of candidates it is the Conservative Party that is leading the way. The Conservative Party has 143 candidates to Labour's 21 and the Liberal Democrats 84.

In terms of the next general election and Gorden Brown the key will be to take on Brown blow for blow, attacking his spending record and also campaigning hard a vigiously in seats accross the country. If the Conservative party was able to do that then victory can be achieved.

YAWN, if he was normal he would have enjoyed a full student experience. Back in my students days the local agricultural college had a reputation that lives on to this day. Gatecrashing and then causing punch ups at other student events was their modus operandi.

Is this the kind of 'full student experience' you shared, Scotty? Sounds more like the experience of a minority of anti-social thugs outside your social circle.

If you were not involved in such capers during your 'student experience' why do you think special allowances should be made for Cameron?

"If you were not involved in such capers during your 'student experience' why do you think special allowances should be made for Cameron?"

Traditional Tory, I just don't assume that everyone who ever went to Agricultural college behaved in that way. I happen to be about the same age as Cameron give or take a few months, and I am honest enough to admit that there were plenty of high jinxs from students in every town no matter what their social background was.
I am sure that everyone who visits ConHom had a totally tame experience and was tucked up in bed at 10pm every night.

We are ready to fight and win, says Brown
Gordon Brown uses his coronation to prepare Labour for a general election.
Alan Johnston 'forced to wear a bomb belt'
All over-40s 'to be tested for heart disease'

The Daily Telegraph certainly shows the Brown Effect - Harman wins the deputy-leadership and her rival has to wear a bomb-belt, and Cameron has to be screened for signs of imminent heart attack...

I am sure that everyone who visits ConHom had a totally tame experience and was tucked up in bed at 10pm every night.

The built-in assumptions contained in that statement, Scotty, encapsulate much of what is wrong with attitudes in this party.

Firstly 'everyone' has been very far from enjoying the 'experience' you describe because the majority of our fellow-citizens went straight to work rather than enjoying a 'full student experience' at what was then taxpayers' expense.

Nor do I believe that most people would regard the unpleasant activities described above as harmless fun. So far I'm not aware of any evidence linking Cameron with the worst excesses of this gang of worthless high-born louts, but he was a fool to join the group in the first place.

It indicates a lack of judgment which as yet shows no sign of subsiding.

"I think Cameron's biggest Achilles heel is his membership of the Bullingdon Club"

YAWN, if he was normal he would have enjoyed a full student experience.

Hardly. Bullingdon is a very exclusive male club where Daddy's money is key to being invited to join. It is simply a Fraternity which depends upon parental wealth and has no redeeming qualities.

Nothing at Bullingdon relates to a student experience; everything relates to private aristocratic drinking clubs where money buys indulgence of asocial behaviour.

Why would he risk a 66 seat majority which has three years to run,

James Callaghan .........Callaghan could have won an election in 1977 but waited until the end of Wilson's term and was derailed by an Incomes Policy and industrial unrest.

Brown has an Incomes Policy on the NHS and local government which will come under strain this winter....he cancatch the Tories policy-lite and pummel Cameron and Osborne.

Brown will have a manifesto of costed programmes in his drawer to simply blow the Conservatives away as featherweight......tactically he can do his Stanley Baldwin/Jim Callaghan "Don't let them wreck it" routine as Cameron talks of "radical" and green issues and sounds out of touch with voter concerns.

Brown may well succeed in fracturing the Conservative Party

I wonder how Brown is going to equate "giving the party back it's soul" with a further curbing of union powers? There's a conundrum for him!

My issue with Cameron and the Conservatives is the over lengthy process of policy formulation and the dreadful monotony of middle ground politics that sidelines the party’s traditional core values and concepts, the middle of the road offers no real change and brings us even closer to the American style Presidential elections that so many of us abhor.

That Curly is your best comment...

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