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Either Boris Johnson so he has to start doing some work......or Norman Tebbit

It is time for Francis Maude to go. After doing some good initial work, he seems to be a lost soul at the moment with nothing positive or worthy to say and do. Chris Grayling would shake up the grassroots and be a good motivator for activists. Maude sometimes is far too wet for his and the party's good.

Ken Clarke - a nice, high profile role for him and a chance for a Tory who's popular with the country to be on the telly a bit more often

Ken Clarke

I would give the role to George Osborne.

Ken Clarke?! Have you been nibbling magic mushrooms? He's supporting Brown on the anti-democratic option (ie - no referendum) and shows no inclination to exercise collective responsibility.

If Ken could control his raging Europhilia he would have been leader a long time ago. He simply can't.

Personally, I'd keep Francis Maude. He's a good guy and has done a lot of excellent work behind the scenes. Chris Grayling is an effective hit man but doesn't come across as a particularly sympathetic character.

Quentin Davies - would keep him out of mischief.

John Redwood - he has been very loyal to DC, is a good manager and would reassure the right-wing party faithful.

I am afraid the quoted list does nothing to raise spirits or will get the troops mobilised.
How about this for a radical idea:- in 1975
Margaret Thatcher put Peter Thornycroft into Central Office- a well respected statesman who prodced the goods.

Dare I say that Lord Patten should now be brought back(that's if he wants to return). He has an excellent track record and we did at least win with him and Hong Kong is the better for his leadership.

We must really think beyond the narrow box we seem to be in

If Ken could control his raging Europhilia he would have been leader a long time ago.

Er... I think it's rather that Ken could and should have been leader a long time ago, if the foaming EU-bashing nutters on the right had controlled their raging Euroscepticism

Ken Clarke , Boris? My God you guys really have poltical nous don't you? It's hard to think of people less suitable!
My choice would be someone who is in sympathy with the leadership has man management experience but is not neccessarily a Cameroon. IDS ? Fox? or even DD himself?
This might all be premature of course, Francis Maude may still keep his job.

You're in the wrong party, honestly, LT. Love of our nation state and a refusal to surrender its sovereignty our baseline, sine qua non principles of Conservatism.

I would rather see Britain governed by socialists for a thousand years than see it reduced to the rank of New Jersey in a U.S.E.

My loyalty is to this country.

Francis Maude has done a wonderful job, as I posted on the earlier thread. Sustained pinion poll leads, soaring donations, outstanding local elections, months of positive media coverage. I would be happy to see him stay just where he is. If not, his successor will have a lot to live up to.

Keep Francis Maude- he is doing a good job

"are" not "our"!

Its got to be Chris Grayling.

He can continue to do his attack dog role, and has a great eye for detail. He is always well briefed and would be popular with the grassroots, as he is not too showy.

HAS to be a radical choice to counter Brown. Patten or Clarke would be big gambles, but well worth the risk.


There seems to be a technical problem with Q4 of the survey (re. Party Chairman), at least on my PC. There's no 'radio button' associated with the box to name an alternative candidate so, when you try to get to the next question, the system doesn't think you've provided an answer unless you've checked one of the named candidates.

Redwood is too spectral, Clarke too European, Maude maunders and Boris remains something of a buffoon. The fact that we call him "Boris" in this chummy, light hearted way reflects badly on a man aspiring to high office. Who, then? A steady, avuncular, efficient elder statesman willing to reach out to right wing liberals and reassure the Tory faithful. Why not Michael Howard?

John Hayes. a natural choice.

You're in the wrong party, honestly, LT

No, this party has been hijacked by a group of fanatics. This is the party that took us into Europe in the first place, the greatest international achievement of any government in post-war British politics.

People like Ted Heath and his generation had lived through world war II, and we must never allow such a situation to develop again - we should be working with partners in Europe as equals, not setting them up as enemies.

Anyway, the lunatics may have taken over the asylum for the moment, but it's only temporary. Once we're back in power our leaders will revert to Euro-realism.

I'm only afraid that pandering to the anti-EU brigade won't help us win the next election - it certainly didn't help us win the last three!

Following my heart, I'd say Boris. Following my head - and knowing that sometimes the job will call for a wise and sensible decision maker to sort out problems and disputes, not simply a standard bearer for the party faithful - we could do far worse than Iain Duncan Smith.

Actually Simon that may not be a bad idea at all. Would he take it would be the biggest question.
As regards Clarke and Patten you've just got to be joking. Every question lobbed at them by the media would be about Europe and both would flatly contradict party policy. Please do grow up!

Tory T, I sincerely doubt that Liberal Tory is a member of our party anyway.Not one of his/her posts would suggest that.

Quite right, Mr Cooper. Party chairmen should be effective, courteous and self-effacing, not star turns. IDS fits the bill perfectly. He would reassure the party faithful, too.

As for Liberal Tory's clapped out, inaccurate garbage on the EU, I am astounded that anyone can still believe it. Does he really think that a gaggle of small-town hagglers like Adenauer and co were responsible for peace? Is it not obvious that peace arose from Europe's bankruptcy, division and exhaustion? Russia was squatting over one half of the continent, the Americans had the west bound in golden chains and the Germans - authors of the conflict - were down and out. The EU grew up as one of the many results of the peace and was in no way its cause. Nor did it have anything to do with the maintenance of that peace, which must be credited to NATO.

Just keep Maude - for crying out loud, what has the man done wrong? What kind of message will it send to sack someone at such a key moment when all they've done has been loyal, diligent, and mostly successful? Morale boost I think not!

Ken Clarke , Boris? My God you guys really have poltical nous don't you?

I find it ironic to be accused of lacking political nous by someone who then goes on to suggest David Davis as the next Chairman! He was a disaster last time.

Let's just keep Maude shall we, don't make a bad situation worse.

Malcolm, I also doubt if Neither Liberal Nor Tory is a Conservative Party member.

Someone who's extremely efficient organisationally would be the best choice for Chairman, IMHO.

Maude has been a disaster. Disliked by staff, ineffective, disloyal and the epitome of everything he claims to want to rid the party of.

Simon Denis at 1257 once again hits the nail on the head.

IDS? not sure really, much as I admired him as leader. John Hayes has proven organisational abilities, and can construct an effective approach to election strategy. He'd win us the election.

William Hague if he'd take the job (combine it with Leader of the House, so he still deputises for Cameron at PMQs)

People like Ted Heath and his generation had lived through world war II, and we must never allow such a situation to develop again - we should be working with partners in Europe as equals, not setting them up as enemies.

Anyway, the lunatics may have taken over the asylum for the moment, but it's only temporary. Once we're back in power our leaders will revert to Euro-realism
Posted by: Liberal Tory | June 29, 2007 at 12:46

As pointed out elsewhere it is Nato underwritten mainly be the Americans that has kept Europe safe and at peace.
It will be the Europeans, (Britain, Germany and France) that are far more likely to be the culprits responsible for starting another war by their appeasement of the Iranian theocratic nutters.

You are right the lunatics have taken over the asylum but run by the EU and despite cries from the Tories about a referendum nothing will change should they ever be lucky (or unlucky) enough to get their staus quo fingers on the levers of power.

The MS political consensus parties are quite happy with the present EU arrangements. They think we have nowhere else to go (but there is). WE are being pushed that way. It is not the policy of "And" that Cameron should be concentrating on; it should be the policy of "Or Else". Cameron will soon have to pay attention to genuine Conservatives "Or Else".

John Hayes was previously Deputy Chairman.

See his CV here.


Try Ed Vaizey. Someone totally fresh and unattached to the past

Someone supportive of the leadership, not a Europhile, reasonably serious and competent.

Vaizey is too young however bright. Hayes is not a europhile, Simon, and would be Party and Cameron loyal. He's remained loyal throughout the phoney pre-Brown period, and had many powerful insights into electoral strategy at Constituency level, where we need to direct focus. If we want to win, he'd be a natural choice.

It is important that the Party Chairman not oppose David Cameron on candidate selection. The party cannot have leader and chairman at loggerheads. I'm sure DC has factored this in already though.

How about John Whittingdale - he has organisational skills and carries no baggage or Crispin Blunt?

OK Boris is popular, gets lot of media coverage, etc.

But talk about a loose cannon!

And he could never be relied on to turn up for meetings or media interviews.

People like Ted Heath and his generation had lived through world war II, and we must never allow such a situation to develop again

Presumably because if we fail to ratifiy the Constitution Mark II, the Germans will invade Belgium.

Liberal Tory's posts are a laugh a minute.

One of the "few" journalists worth reading in the Daily Telegraph is Jeff Randall. His article in todays paper is a well written denounciation of Blair and Brown.
He also comes across very well on TV and radio and tells it like it is, unlike the sycophantic labour supporters he used to work with at the BBC.
He would be an excellent recruit and a very good spokesman for the party.
Frankly its time to move away from the likes of Francis Maude, Oliver Letwin and his Groucho Marx theories and two brains Willets because because they are not good communicators, indeed for the past few weeks they have only attracted derision from the public and the media.
And one more thing how about politiicans, especially our Tory ones, how about answering yes or no to questions before explaining why its yes or no.
When they deliver a load of waffle instead of yes or no, even to the simplest of questions they come across as shifty, untrustworthy chancers like Del boy or Arthur Dailly.

I've been reading these comments as to who
should be the next Party Chairman and I've also just completed this months survey rating each member of the shadow cabinet.

It all makes such depressing reading for me about this once great party, I don't actually rate any of them particularly highly, including David Cameron. There are none of them who I would "follow over the top" or get excited about. None of them appear to me to have any conviction anymore or to say what they really believe in.

i said this earlier on the Caroline Spellman thread and still believe Nadien Dorries would be a great choice. she is very warm, kind, human and gorgeous and has a fantastic blog! or Anne milton, both ex nurses i believe.

As I said on the Caroline Spelman thread, Alan Duncan.

Not because I'm a big supporter of him, but because I couldn't think of as many negatives against him as prospective chairman than other realistic contenders.

Shouldn't they quietly drop their plans for "postive" discrimination? The left wing theory behind it is dangerous nonsense. If certain groups in society are "disadvantaged" they will by definition field a smaller pool of talent from which to draw. The thing is to recruit the most ingenious people without regard to background. In office, such people might then do something ABOUT the disadvantages which hold others back. Orwell once described liberal reforms as trying to cure acne by cutting off pimples. In fact liberalism is the true antibiotic and it is socialism which tries to slice away the eruptions. This is nowhere more evident than in the bone headed policies of "affirmative action".

Even worse is the way it implicitly demonises the agent or institution carrying out the process of selection. They are blamed for results which merely reflect a particular condition of society - a condition which may well be changing anyway.

In fact, people are scapegoated - made to carry the can for disadvantages which are part of a large, complex, shifting scenario. In practice, this means accusing tory associations of racial prejudice instead of identifying and remedying the real causes of minority disadvantage. Briefly these are crime, drugs, continuous immigration and comprehensive schools, but no statesman, it seems, has the courage to say so.

We don't need a shiny wonderful media performer (there are plenty in the Shadow Cabinet for that - not to mention Cameron himself). What we need in a Party Chairman is someone who can get down to the dull and dreary work on rebuilding the membership and party structures in constituencies across the country; someone who will be happy sorting out the basics.

Actually, scrap the Alan Duncan suggestion. I've just read Iain Dale's article and Andrew Mitchell would make more sense.

Nadine Dorries MP would be a good choice, she combines both experience of business, as well as a background in one of the caring professions as an ex nurse. Combined with her natural charm and approachable manner (must be because she is a Liverpudlian) she would be an instant signal that the Conservative Party is really changing.

Agree with John F re the shiftiness of Oliver Leftwing, Frances Maude and David 'no brains' Willets. John Randall's column in the Telegraph is very good. I even sugegsted that he be our mayoral candidate.
Michael Howard is very incisive and gets the vote of the grassroots - but Cameron may not want his immediate predecessor stealing the show.

I stand by my suggestion of getting Lord Patten back- he knows how to handle the press etc( in fact he does not really have to be front-line- Lord Thornycroft certainly was not) and he is a winner.

I agree that the present beauty parade from the House of Commons is dreary and uninspiring.

As an alternative, why do we have to have a member of either house as Chairman- surely there is someone out there who can do the job ( unfortunately Brown has snapped up the City men for his " forum") and bring non political skills as well.


He is disorganized, perpertually late, lacks basic political and communication skills, and leans on CCHQ rather than leading it.

Almost any of the shadow cabinet would be better but Chris Grayling would be my choice.

People moan about lack of polciy content. Cameron is ridiculed by Piers Morgan on Question Time for it. Time to put some meat into the Cameron sandwich - John Hayes would be suitable...and would reset the tone to a more serious level.

The froth and spin of the A List period was ideal to face Blair - but not to face Brown, and his continuing attempt to slide the Constitution through and break us up into regions without democratic reference.

We have our more serious members who have strategic ability at grass roots level which you need as we are moving towards an election footing. John Hayes would reset the tone, just as required. We don't just need an Iain Dale pleasing reshuffle. The game's moved on from the light touch of the Blair era, where spin outplayed content. Great clunking fists don't even notice intelligence and gentility. Hayes has those but also a tougher and determined side - equal to the measure of the Brown fist.

The light touch of Cameron needs a foil. Osborne is light touch. So is Hague. Hayes is a different flavour.


The one lesson we must learn from Blair is the importance of emotional intelligence in 21st century UK politics (albeit fake in his case)- without it we do not have a hope. If undecided voters do not like who is putting over the message, they switch off. Harsh, but a fact of life (times have changed since Thatcher, before she is mentioned).

Public empathy must be the 1st and foremost attribute of our new Chairman, especially with an Election approaching.

That rules out Redwood (please), Letwin (ditto- never let him near a TV), IDS and Chris Grayling. All are totally unsympathetic charcters, irrespective of their other qualities. John Hayes comes across like what he is- an angry and frustrated right winger. No way.

Caroline Spelman is hopeless (see recent Question Time). All Tories must ask themselves who our Chairman will be up against on TV at election time- answer- Andy Burnham, Milliband, Liam Hodge and Jacqui Smith. WE MUST produce someone who can match them on at least an equal basis- someone who looks like they want to live in Britain in 2007.

As it is either s*it or bust with the Cameroons now, we may as well throw our whole lot in and appoint someone similar.

Be radical- Boris Johnson, Greg Clark, Naddine Dorries, or Ed Vaizey.

Tony Blair would be the perfect fit for the heirs to Blair.

Those suggesting John Randall as chairman are forgetting that he has a long running feud with Cameron dating back to the Carlton days; it is quite ludicrous to suggest they could work together. Randall takes every opportunity he can get to attack Cameron, he is almost as vituperative as Heffer.

I agree that poor Caroline Spelman would be an awful choice. She was flattened on Question Time and has a dreadful tendency to whimper and flap. All points taken about vividness of personality so perhaps that rules out IDS. Rifkind? He's a doughty fighter.

for effectiveness give it to lord ashcroft and give him a "talker" to deal with the media. they are two a penny but could not organise CCHQ

for effectiveness give it to lord ashcroft and give him a "talker" to deal with the media. they are two a penny but could not organise CCHQ

Nadine Dorries is drop dead gorgeous - tell me a man that wouldn't deliver a thousand leaflets for her and run back for more!

Who is "John Randall?

John Hayes sorry non starter - looks too grim and pedantic.

Michael Howard is very incisive and gets the vote of the grassroots - What world do you live in?

It should go the chap who speaks clearly and decisively, who the public recognise, does exceptionally well on Question Time, often interviewed on TV and who should never have been removed as our leader.

The people against him are those who lost us the last General Election.

We actually owe him the job - Iain Duncan Smith. There is no competition.

Does the party chairman have to be someone who is at least recognisable if not 'known' to the largest number of party members? A large number of the names quoted here are quite unfamiliar to me.

And a second question, what is the actual function of a party chairman, I ask this because the answer dictates how well known to the largest number of people he needs to be!

Francis Maude was interesting to listen to on Tory Radio, but otherwise he seems to me a bit like the cheshire cat in Alice, but without the grin - you see him very occasionally and then he disappears for ages!

I would have thought - as someone posted above - the chairman should complement David Cameron. Someone who comes across as a strong character like David Davis - but NOT him, as he is much better where he is. I would NOT like Patten in this job, as I associate him with Labour since he took that job in NI!

I agree with Worried Tory that public empathy, preferably allied with media savvy and confidence, must surely be the most important attributes.

Clarke and Patten have these in spades but their Europhilia would clearly count against them - and I am assuming that Señor Portillo would be beyond the pale (even presuming that he would give up his media career; and one suspects not).

So, probably a totally batty suggestion, but : what about Steven Norris? He has the judicious ability of mixing answering a question straight on/candidly with effective and not too obvious evasion (at least in my impression of him in the media) and comes over as likeable and, of course, all too human… He's also completely outside of Parliament so, again assuming he would be willing to give up his business career, he could concentrate on the media and campaigning to the exclusion of all else.

Ed Vaizey or Lord Ashcroft would be my choices. Chris Grayling would be safe pair of hands but would be useless on the inevitable rubber chicken circuit as he sends audiences into a coma.

Steven Norris the one that had five mistresses simultaneously as well as a wife


We need a steady, committed person who will focus relentlessly and full time on the key factors in winning the next election and can unite people. We've got to knuckle down now with practical election winning actions and cut the crap,


Fred Baker - 'John Hayes sorry non starter - looks too grim and pedantic'

A mind for strategy in detail at Constituency level, will win an election, but looking good comes first as usual. Groan. So would you like Posh Spice then?

We need someone who can imbue into our activists the same desire to win as Gordon Brown has shown - the focus on re-positioning on each area he is weak on, the ability to compromise his previous positions if they weaken him, the absolute concentration on winning.

As a party we have indulged ourselves for two months in navel gazing rather than tried to engage with the electorate. The grammar schools debate could have been spun as the party arguing about social mobility, a robust discussion on how we help the weakest. But the leader was in Corfu and his stategist in Botswana. No-one was able to constrain the debate and bring it back onto the real issues.

This is party politics, there are no prizes for being ethically and philosophically pure, the only prize is winning. Then you can change the political mood, then you can advance new policies. If you lose the ground moves further away and the harder it is to re-direct the public to your ideas.

If you decide that compromise with the electorate, seeking policies that both attract their interest and are in line with your general beliefs, isn't a price worth paying then join a pressure group.

Tapestry: Of course looking good does not come first! I am sure he has his strengths, but for whatever reason John Hayes looks like he has been beaten to death with a shovel and has already had a job at CCHQ which was so unremarkable I can barely remember what it was. Rightly or wrongly you just can't put people like this on television. As a life long Conservative I am FOREVER grateful that the electors of Westmorland & Lonsdale voted out Tim Collins. Whatever your politics you simply cannot take people who look so completely absurd seriously. Don't even get me started on Michael Fabricant. IF CCHQ is actually as awash with homosexuals as it seems to be you would at least think that one of them would stand up and demand that our people at least have some sense of style LOL

Ted, totally agree with your analysis.

Indeed Liberal Tory the Lunatics have most certainly taken over the asylum; Merkel, Sarkozy, Prodi, Blair, you and all the rest of the eurofanatics so intent on completely ignoring the clearly expressed will of their peoples and bertaying their countries in pursuit of power beyond their wildest imaginings.

I also agree totally with Ted's analysis at 23.20 yesterday. His sentence 'This is party politics, there are no prizes for being ethically and philosophically pure, the only prize is winning.' says it all. Please note CCHQ.

Unfortunately Ted what you and the rest of the 'centrists' seem to forget is that people hold no great regard for parties per se except where they will follow the policies they believe in.

The majority of people in Britain who would potentially support the Conservatives are right of centre, eurosceptic, low tax people who believe in choice and freedom not centralised high tax nanny states. If Cameron decides that the COnservative party no longer stand for the basics then those people (including me and many others on here I believe) will simply decide the party is not worth supporting. I owe the Conservative party nothing if they are not going to follow policies that I believe in and which will make my life and my country better.

So you and Cameron can go chasing that mythical centre ground filled with milk, honey and millions of voters just waiting to choose the Conservatives because they are playing 'party politics' whilst I and the milions of disenfranchised real people on the right of the party watch sadly as you sink without trace.

Quentin Davies - would keep him out of mischief.
If you're appealing across parties (Quentin Davies of course now being a Labour MP) then why not Austin Mitchell, probably believes more like the sort of thing that the people who David Cameron is trying to appeal to and has a clear set of practical ideas based on addressing actual problems in the real world unlike David Cameron, and ultimately the goal of politics is or at least should be to implement policies that will solve problems then he is going about coming up with ideas in a far better way.

However I would have thought generally that IDS would make an excellent Chairman and was the best leader that the Conservative Party has had possibly since Winston Churchill, but took over in a situation of open hostility not just from the media but especially from Conservative MP's who in majority were at odds with the party membership - might be a good idea to re-address the method of Confidence motions to broaden it to be decided by some kind of electoral college including people at a more local level as well?

Keep Maude! He is the only person who has the courage to do the job, the strength to see it through, the knowledge to make the changes necessary and the belief to get the job done. Any change of Chairman will be a grave mistake.

Yes Ted, the very man. Highly competent, media savvy, a real business life outside of politics (hinterland, if you prefer) and capable and fantastically able on T.V.. Also, our candidate for the last two London Mayoral elections which, one therefore presumes, places him not totally beyond the pale...

Where do the various mistresses/wife/wives come in here please? That is a matter for him and them, surely...?

Many apologies Ted. Not you at all... I meant Fred Baker, not Ted. So sorry!

"He is also open about the relationships with five "mistresses" exposed by the tabloids during the "back to basics" era which earned him the nickname of "Shagger", although he insisted the affairs stretched over 25 years."

If you think that is going to win us votes then heaven help us!

No Fred, I don't think that will win us votes. I just don't see why it will loose us votes, that's all. It's ancient history and, in my opinion anyway, he is possessed of all of the attributes that we should surely be seeking after... I just don't see what his past life has to do with anything...

Again, many apologies - manifestly, I meant lose, not loose...

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