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O.K now you Tories can panic!

No need for that.
But the policy aims should be sharpened up - and I'd have said so before. Lower taxes (which medium term bring in more tax revenue), greater accounability for your tax, developing some of the housing policies started by Caroline Spelman, reforming taxes on pension funds.

We need someone with more intellectual gravitas to handle the money - like Dominic Grieve or Phillip Hammond.

Cameron contributed to a 40 per cent share in the council elections two years running and there was a swing from LD to Con in the Ealing Cleveland ward by-election last Thursday.

Give him some credit - the image problems before were real and serious.
But the strategy should have been moved onto stage 2 - more on policy - ready for Brown who don't forget, has had a long time to plan his strategy.

I give Brown about 3 months before the wheels start falling off.

I do hope that when people, quite rightly, voice criticisms of Cameron's failing strategy, the usual suspects don't pop up and screech [Labour] "trolls!" at them. Labour trolls, who wished the Tory party ill, would plainly post pro-Cameron remarks. Ohhh . . . that *does* explain a lot!

I'd like to know thr results of TODAY'S YouGov poll. That one was quite extensive asking questions about likelihood to vote, questions of trust, etc. The poll result from before the by-elections on Thursday show polls are extremely volatile, but no real appetite for a change of Government. Labour may be disliked- but they are not despised as much as the Party during Major's 'titanic' years. At the moment the Party just appears to want to 'manage' people, not actually DO anything for them. Housing, Immigration, EU, Taxation ( be it local or national) are not being tackled by us at the moment that have any real resonance out there in the wider electorate. I still blame the current state of the Party on the Thatcher assassination of 1990, effectively giving the stewardship of the Party to Heseltine and Clarke- and what a bloody disaster that was! If Brown doesn't call a GenElec in October i'll be surprised.

On Cameron:

"He's not the mesire,,,, he's a very naughty boy"

Anon:

What is a mesire? Do you mean MESSIAH?

TO FOLLOW UP (THIS IS POST 2 - to the one above)


I fear that Cameron and Osborne are actually slightly out of touch how heavily taxed the country feels and are missing a number of opportunities to formualate policies that would resonate.

Also, there have been some incredibly high handed interventions - for example the situation in Tynemouth which has produced really excellent Council election results since around 2000 under the leadership of a strong local candidate who has been pushed aside for an unknown outsider.
Things like that will cost us seats.

However, overall Cameron has made the party more electable and policy work is being looked at afresh without past baggage and arguments of the past.

The unfortunate thing is some of the policies should have been concluded by now and a much sharper set of aims developed on tax.

Cameron's turning out to be as much use as the proverbial chocolate teapot. Let's hope he melts in Rwanda and has to be replaced....

We should ignore this poll until we get the YouGov figures. What? These are the YouGov figures?

Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttt!!!!!!

Surely Stephan could at least help to massage the YouGov numbers?

There will be an election in the next couple of months. Are we ready? No.

Right now, Gordon Brown is getting his face all over the news because he is at the scene of the floods (despite making vastly inaccurate comments such as 'these floods could not be predicted')....and Dave...well he is in central Africa somewhere- obviously going to convince tens of thousands of lefties to vote for us that one (NOT).

Sorry to be negative- but 10 years of Labour has been hard enough .

Well those figures if plugged into ElectoralCalculus give Broon an increased majority of 118!

The right-wing nuts are dragging us down to pre-David levels. Are hope you are happy.

Cameron's on Channel Five on Friday 27th July, taking viewers questions.

http://news.five.tv/your_news_your_story.asp?id=620&fid=2


I hope he uses such a high-profile opportunity to announce something substantial - a policy commitment on something, anything!

There won't be an election until June 11th, 2009.

Any rumours of an earlier date is scare-mongering by Labour to get our blessed Opposition in a tizz.

It is clearly going to take a lot of effort from a wide group of "centre right" people to replace Labour.

If it was just about policies then the Lib Dems would never succeed in by elections as they have prospered through an "anti-govt", "our candidates more local", "here's the faults in the other candidates" "working all the year round" and "only we can defeat ...." set of messages.

They rarely talk about what their policies are in campaigns. Guess what, up until ES this won them every by election in a Govt seat where the LDs started in 2nd place.

The Lib Dems have proved that it is more about organisation, messages and leaflets than it is about policies or who the Leader is. They actually won Dunfermline whilst Leaderless.

We need a competent organisation in CCHQ. Caroline?

I have yet to see any conservative MP come out fighting and at least showing some determination to win. Open goals seem not only to be missed but ignored.

It is as if they seem to accept another period on the same benches.

This is a betrayal of their supporters and a trgady for the country

I'd be more concerned about this:


TORY MPs 'CALL FOR NO CONFIDENCE VOTE ON CAMERON'
By Andrew Woodcock, PA Chief Political Correspondent
At least two Conservative MPs – and possibly as many as six – have called for a vote of no confidence in David Cameron’s leadership of the party, it was reported today.
The report, in the Sunday Telegraph, did not name any of the MPs supposedly involved, and aides indicated that it was not being taken seriously by the party leadership.
But its appearance in a paper read by many Conservative activists and sympathisers will add to the pressure on Mr Cameron following a string of poor polls and the party’s third place in this week’s by-elections in Sedgefield and Ealing Southall.
According to the paper, at least two MPs and possibly as many as six have written to the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Michael Spicer, requesting a vote of no confidence.
A vote would automatically be triggered if letters were received from 15% of the parliamentary party – currently 29 MPs – as happened when Iain Duncan Smith was ousted as leader in 2003.
While there is no prospect of that threshold being reached, the dispatch of any letters would indicate a level of concern on the Tory backbenches about the direction Mr Cameron is taking the party in.
Discontent with his approach surfaced in the recent row over grammar schools, which saw Altrincham MP Graham Brady quit the frontbench in protest.
And there were criticisms of Mr Cameron’s handling of the Ealing Southall by-election from some Tories, including Westminster MP Mark Field, who publicly criticised the campaign for alienating ethnic minorities in the constituency.
Mr Cameron’s espousal of causes like climate change and social responsibility ahead of traditional Tory concerns like tax cuts and immigration have led to grumbling among right-wingers.
The Sunday Telegraph quoted an unnamed MP as saying he had written a letter: “I felt I had to register my deep-seated dissatisfaction. I am not the only one and I know there are a number of others who are thinking of writing.”
The paper said that Sir Michael Spicer refused to confirm or deny whether he had received any letters, and he made no immediate response to a request for a comment from the Press Association tonight.
There is no requirement on Sir Michael to inform Conservative headquarters or Mr Cameron if he receives a letter, and in the normal course of events it is understood that the party machine would not expect to be told.
A party spokesman tonight declined to comment on the report.

Are these the first signs of a spine developing in the parliamentary party?

POST 3 (continued from my 2 above)

Re What David Teller has found -

Anyone who wants to re-open the leadership issue which was thoroughly debated at the time and voted on should, frankly, be told firmly where to go.
We need to get it into perspective - 911 seats were gained in May and a Council by-election was won in Ealing Cavendish last Thursday with a swing from the LDs.

But the policy work on tax, pensions, housing, less regulation should have been sharpened up and needs to be dealt with urgently. Osborne needs replacing urgently too. But the leadership is settled. I actually supported DD and went to help him in his seat in 2005 and leadership in Nov 2005, but we really mustn't reopen all the divisions up.


Why is Cameron continually fretting about non-issues like Rwanda and 'climate change' ?? He's not the Member of Parliament for Darfur or the Antarctic. How many votes do africans and penguins have?

He needs to be concentrating 101% on issues that directly affect the UK population: excessive taxation, cloying government bureaucracy, unreformed dinosaur soviet-era public services, their jobs being taken by undocumented immigrants - things that affect UK voters on a daily basis.

Get real - connect with the issues ordinary people are complaining about over their pint at the local pub.

Don't panic, the Autumn will bring a fresh approach from the electorate.

Actually my advice to Cameron is to go deeper with the changes he is making. The problem with Ealing is that no one believes we have changed. Ignore the siren voices and use some of the tremendous policy work that has gone on.

Two 7% Labour leads cannot be dismissed. We are back to 33% core vote of the 2005 general election. The problem is that former Labour supporters are backing Brown after a dalliance with the Dim Lebs.

Cancel your Blackpool conference bookings and prepare for an October general election.

Dismayed - We are at the very lowest possible base in opinion polling terms. The Tory base, if held at or above 33% is actually rather encouraging as Labour have sunk to below 30% a few times lately.

We will, I predict, start bouncing as soon as the policy commissions report.

"Are these the first signs of a spine developing in the parliamentary party?" What spine do you need to be this disloyal in secret at this time?

No, if this report is true its just the usual signs of a few disloyal MP's getting ready to stab their leader in the back, its what some have done on more than one occasion over the last 17 years. But with the possibility of a GE in months rather than years they have really shown where their interests lie and it is not in either improving our position or electing a Conservative government!!!
After a leadership contest less than two years ago and with consistently good polls and council results if this happens I really will tear up my membership of the party and give up on politics.
If they cannot see how much we needed a strong and united party to face Brown and this government and that cannot be Cameron's responsibility alone then they don't deserve to be in the party.

It is interesting that the rise of the BNP as confirmed at Sedgefield is predicted to hit Labour hardest. According to comment I have read in the last few days it will more than counteract UKIP's impact on the Tories, which may equate to 25 seats at the last GE.

How fickle and ungrateful some people are. How easily they panic. Gordon Brown has nothing new to offer the British people. It wont be long before he is exposed. Brown cannot fix the NHS. Brown cannot put the unemployed into work. Brown cannot correct the overheating economy. Brown cannot deliver. If he could do any of these things he would have done them already. Opinion polls are snapshots, they cannot be seen as reliable in the long run.

Permission to panic sir!!

No, we said before all this (when we were in the lead), that polls are meaningless until party conference season. One or two things though. Firstly, it would be interesting to know where these extra votes are coming from for Labour. Heartlands or midlands and southern marginals

Secondly our campiagn seems to be seriously lacking direction. We come out with policy ideas and then say it's not policy. That's what we ridiculed the Lib Dems for. Let's start selling our good policies such as more drug rehab centres, and develop policies to go alongside them, rather than this seemingly PR stunt mentality.

I’m sorry but if people are talking about confidence motions then their living in “cloud cookoo-land” and more to the point doing Labour’s work for them, the party needs to sharpen up its “message” and harden it’s core policy approach and (dare I use such a Blair-ite term) “narrative”… but talk of votes of confidence are senseless and deeply damaging, for goodness sake this is the “bounce” of a new PM this panic by a minority within the party is wholly disproportionate and counterproductive… GET A GRIP!

There a things we need to do to tackle this, and yes mistakes have been made but some people are running around like headless chickens with no reason… utterly barmy on their part!

We look like losers again - this will lead to further slips in support. The electorate do not like to say they support losers so they will tell pollsers they will not vote Conservative, which will make us look even more like losers and no one votes for losers - we will lose another election and prove to electorate that we are losers.
Unless Dave takes some action we are possibly finished as a party - can we cope with another defeat without going into meltdown.

"ToryHome" is Chad Noble. He is trolling as a Cameroon.

We need to get it into perspective - 911 seats were gained in May and a Council by-election was won in Ealing Cavendish last Thursday with a swing from the LDs.

Council Elections are unimportant because Councils are unimportant....Central Government is the only game in town in a highly-centralised country like England....there is no point in running councils if their spending is controlled by Whitehall, if planning is controlled by whitehall, if Education is controlled from Whitehall

David Teller

A confidence vote might deal with the issue of Cameron's leadership once and for all - if he can't muster a clear majority of his MPs then dragging on would be a bad idea. But if he survives (especially if he does well) then the critics surely have to accept they're in a minority.

Of course, getting rid of him because of Brown's bounce and the by-election results would be a big joke.

Cameron has blown it. Why not put the boot in while he's wasting everybody's time and our money in Rwanda or wherever it is he's enjoying a free holiday.

The Cornerstone Club seem to have the "right" ideas. I would like to see them lead the call for the removal of this dork of a so-called leader.

But this is a Yougov poll. Yougov have far and away the best polling record.

I wish the Cameroons would stop trying to defend their abject failure by hiding behind the straw man of a return to core vote. Everyone has learned that lesson. That is not the alternative.

The alternative is a radical conservative strategy that breaks the 3 party fix, that ditches heir to Blair, that sacks Hilton, that offers the British public a chance of a better Britain with reform of the public services, tougher crime and lower taxes.
England and Education, Wealth and Health.

If Cameron and his crew of pretty, media savvy friends cant bring themselves to do it, there are people who can. Come October it looks like they are going to get the chance.

mori has labour 6% ahead as well

I think its time to challenge Cameron before it is too late.Still behind in the polls with all the bad press this lot have had it is not feasible is it.

Grammar Schools, Osborne's lack of performance, Boris for Mayor, parachuting in Lit and David Cameron's Conservative Party, it just looks terrible for Conservatives.

Cameron has staked it all on his image and trying to re-brand as Liberal, it is not working and much of the gloss is coming off.

Have an Election now, I would back a leadership of DD and Tebbit to give us a backbone again.

Remember these polls were taken before the by election results, and the negative press Cameron has had since. Now Tory MP's are calling for a vote of no confidence in the leadership: can it get worse, yes.

I don't know what you're all arguing about. I gave up on the useless Tories the day call me Dave became leader. You're all discussing opinion polls, fretting and worrying, some of you calling this a blip. IT DOESN'T MATTER!! They're the same damn party! There's not a cigarette paper between the three main parties. As the electorate, we have a choice, and that is a choice between three social democratic parties who agree with high taxation, nanny statism, (remember the WH Smith chocolate oranges lecture)? and whoolly liberalism of the "I feel your pain" brand. "Sunshine" Dave and "heir to Blair" George haven't the slightest idea what affects the ordinary people of this country, all they care about is getting an Asian candidate, (nothing wrong with that) but not giving a monkeys about his past, or consulting the local association, as long as Dave gets across his inclusive credentials. I have voted Conservative all my life, but I genuinely hope that Gordon Brown wins the next election, so the party I used to support can come to it's senses and have a proper Conservative to make our country better.

Firstly this poll just shows a Brown bounce. If we keep our heads it will pass.

Secondly, those two MP's are so disloyal they need a slap. A seriously big one.

They could have just written to the 1922 committee and lobbied others to do the same, but oh no, they went to the press as well.

If I knew their names I would campaign to get them deselected.

Winning elections is hard work and disunity destroys hard work.

Yes it's going to be a lot worse now after the election disasters and the unmasking of Tony Lit.

Is there any way we the ordinary members can force a confidence vote on Cameron?

Is anybody here a member of the Cornerstone Club? Maybe they can lance this boil

Very disappointing polls but not surprising.

But I can't believe we've sunk back down to that steady 33% level so quickly.

And with this small backbench revolt happening, I'm not sure it's wise for Cameron to be in Darfur right now. I'm willing to give him more time, but if things don't start improving then he might have to go.

Come on, chaps! Recognise the inevitable. The Young Master has been totally outflanked, flummoxed, and consigned to the smallest font of the footnotes of history.

Redevelop on the Cornerstone principles, or adopt Simon Heffer's, or whomsoever you like, but don't, please don't, persist in this rush to extinction. Don't continue to build on the present feet on clay and head of ... well, what? At the moment the Tory Party seems to be rudderless, meaningless, hopeless. For the first time ever, the principles of Conservatism seem to bear the imprint of the last person to sit upon them.

At the moment, after three Labour election victories, in mid-Parliament, the once-great Conservative Party (in Sedgefield) cannot muster double the vote of a fascist fringe. Elsewhere in by-elections and even in local elections, repeatedly and consistently, we run far behind the children's crusade of the LibDems. Seats, which historically belong to the Conservative Party, are represented in Parliament by the Guardianistas. The Party has either got to change (starting at the top) or we, and all we ought to stand for are political carrion.

Doesn't England, Britain, the United Kingdom deserve better?

Three weeks ago the editor posted a piece about being ready for a bumpy ride - reading most of the asinine posts above it looks like a load of headless chickens have taken to posting because there's little display of any brains just squawks and panic.

As for the 2 (or is it 6) MPs I am tired after 15 years of our parliamentary party indulging themselves - many in the safest seats who seem happier as backbenchers in opposition because they haven't shown the least interest in winning power. Deselect them, take the whip away, throw them out. They can't accept what the membership voted for so perhaps they would be happier elsewhere.

Gosh three weeks of bad polling and the sky has fallen. It will though if this stupidity and panic from a small minority take the headlines.

Cameron is on a puke-making exploitation trip in Rwanda: in Whitney British voters' lives are being ruined by the floods. Lucky, lucky them with their uesless, useless MP.

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN BY THE EDITOR.

The last people who can complain about MPs writing to the chairman of the '22 are those dozen or so hardcore Cameroonian MPs - them being the bulk of the folk who wrote to Spicer to get the vote of no confidence in IDS called. What goes around comes around.

The news that patriotic Tory MPs are arising to challenge Cameron's appalling leadership is fantastic. I think it's probably that they will now command the support of a majority nof the grassroots which has been turning against Cameron for months.

Let's go with this. A swift vote of no-confidence and Cameron quietly stands down. Then, long before the end of the year, we can all rally round a worthy new leader.

It's got to happen. The alternative doesn't bear thinking about.

Stuff and nonsense about a leadership challenge. Just a Labour teenage fantasy.

We need to get right away from this business of being spooked by opinion polls, by-election results and the like. We need to get right what it is that we want to argue for, and then argue for that. The business of tacking this way and that in response to "Our focus group said X..." and "...but people on the doorstep at this by-election said Y..." and "however, Z worked well in the European elections" has got us consistently into terrible messes over the past 10 years. We've listened to sermon after sermon along the lines of "We're a political party that exists to win power, so we must offer a platform that will appeal to voters". That was the nonsense that gave us "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" and platforms based on dirty hospitals, nothing-to-say-except-Save-The-Pound, and endless verbiage about immigrants. *THIS* *HAS* *TO* *STOP*!!!!

That's *no* *way* to conduct serious politics. We must work out among ourselves what we believe in, work out what aspects of what we believe in are feasible to deliver in our time, and then argue for that, saying what it is that we believe in and why, saying why we are different from Labour and why we believe we are better. Changing course in response to opinion polls is just another twirl in our downwardly-spiraling saga.

No! You do *not* have permission to panic. Not now. Not ever, as long as the Conservative Party aspires to lead the country and to better the lives of those around us.

Nobody's panicking.

Thiks is the moment we've been waiting for.

Firstly this poll just shows a Brown bounce. If we keep our heads it will pass.

Secondly, those two MP's are so disloyal they need a slap. A seriously big one.

They could have just written to the 1922 committee and lobbied others to do the same, but oh no, they went to the press as well.

If I knew their names I would campaign to get them deselected.

Winning elections is hard work and disunity destroys hard work.

Posted by: Benedict White | July 21, 2007 at 23:28

Nobody was deselected when the lefties in the Party removed IDS. I expect they were eventually promoted under Cameron.

Dontmakelaugh - one of those who wrote to Spicer to get the vote of no confidence called has been promoted very far indeed! Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

It does seem a bit ridiculous that he's in Rwanda this week.

He's not going to get in the news anyway given the floods (some even in his own constituency) are going to making the headlines as well as Brown's housing policy on Monday.

A swift vote of no-confidence and Cameron quietly stands down.

What if he won the vote of no-confidence, or not enough MPs supported the application. Would you actually get off Cameron's back then, or continue to snipe despite the fact it was clear you couldn't get anywhere a majority to agree with you?

If you read the comments in the Speaker's Corner in the Telegraph, "What should Cameron do to fight back", most people are telling him to resign. He is viewed as a prat and a bit of a joke. We need a strong Conservative Party, not the cuddly, fluffy image which seems to be what Dave wants for the party.

We need a strong Conservative Party, not the cuddly, fluffy image which seems to be what Dave wants for the party.

Were John Major, William Hague or Michael Howard presenting a "cuddly, fluffy image" in 1997, 2001 and 2005?

I have consistently asked why hardline, right-wing Tory policies will work in 2009/2010, when they didn't work at the last three general elections. Please, no rubbish about how the public want tax cuts now - all polls say that's nonsense, especially if there's no credible way of getting the money for it without cutting services (reducing "waste" is not credible).

Why does everybody assume that getting rid of cameron will mean we go back to being right wing? There are other options. Having policies instead of soundbites doesn't make you right wing.

Were John Major, William Hague or Michael Howard presenting a "cuddly, fluffy image" in 1997, 2001 and 2005?

John Major was

Cutting waste and therefore tax is very credible. Look at the myriad of government agencies which could be made more accountable, and the number of public sector projects which over-run.
The demographics of some constituencies have changed dramatically since 1997 - a large public sector middle class in very well paid jobs.

If we don't think we can give the individual and the private business some of their own money back - which ultimately will bring in more revenue to the Exchequer, then we are missing our core economic belief.

However, I entirely accept specific tax proposals shouldn't be published in opposition in advance. But the aims should be much more robust.

raj
the election could be weeks away. Not in 2009/10

Why does everybody assume that getting rid of cameron will mean we go back to being right wing? There are other options.

Maybe, but the people who are pressing for him to go are right-wing. They'd blackmail the party into appointing someone they could back, or do the same all over again.

Having policies instead of soundbites doesn't make you right wing.

If they're the same sort of tax-cutting agenda we see demands from on places like this, that would be right-wing.

John Major was

No he wasn't - he had just lost all charisma and gravitas (if he ever had any). Besides, he was 10 years ago - we've seen two general elections since with "traditional Tories" who did little better.

According to the telegraph david cameron may not go to rwanda after all.

Post 4 -
Sorry to come back again -
I heard there is another poll
showing 41 35 15

No Raj, I don't necessarily want the party to be 'more right-wing', I just want a better leader than what we have now. Somebody who is strong and will modernise in the right areas, but stay strictly conservative in others like privatisation and grammar schools.

Michae[email protected]:43

What makes you think that Cameron can't be persuaded to adapt in the way that you specify. He hasn't been at it very long yet, and we are just entering the most important phase since the outset - the policy reviews are all reporting, and come Conference we will all get to debate the findings of the policy reviews as the Party determines its policy angles. Join in!

Of course people should offer their critiques of Cameron's performance when they think he could do better - we're all human, we all have things to learn, and few of us get everything right first time. But that's a long way from calling for the leader to go. I've never done that, and I think the idea is plain daft. He's a splendid leader, and I hope that, with time, he will get even better.

Cutting waste and therefore tax is very credible. Look at the myriad of government agencies which could be made more accountable, and the number of public sector projects which over-run

No it is not credible, because the public doesn't believe you can run things any more efficiently. Don't tell me government was 100% lean muscle in Major's day! Maybe, just maybe, you could if you identified very specific things to axe/change. But you can't just say "fire bureaucrats" or the like.

In 2005, all the three main parties pledged to reduce waste. Howard suggested saving more money than Labour, but it didn't do him any good.

So, as I keep asking, why is any of this different now? From what I can see, there is no more trust for the Tories to manage finances more efficiently now than there was.

a large public sector middle class in very well paid jobs

Yet the polls still do not prioritise tax cuts.

If we don't think we can give the individual and the private business some of their own money back... then we are missing our core economic belief

I don't Cameron ever said that was a bad idea - I think it's a fair one. All he said was that economic stability and balancing the budget (maybe not the 2nd specifically) take precedent. Pledging to cut taxes come-what-may hurt his predecessors because Labour rolled out the "they can only do that by cutting services" mantra. Labour won't give it up, so you can't play their game - they'll always win at it.

-----

Leo, I think Brown is too cautious and will not call one in the Autumn. He should, but I think he may still want to play it safe and see if the Tories will self-destruct.

" They also gave Brown a strong lead on "sticking to his beliefs", 44% to Cameron's 12%, and on being perceived as strong, 35% to 8%."

These findings are, in my opinion, far more damaging and serious than the 7% Labour lead.This hints at something fundamental.Cameron has been leader for 20 months and has simply not convinced enough people he actually stands for something yet.It's probably too late for him ,or anyone else, to do that in time for the next election.The Tory Party need policies that remind the voters what the Tory party stands for.The voters do not want Blair mark 2 !!

Micheal Davidson "but stay strictly conservative in others like privatisation and grammar schools."

He is. grammar schools: We didn't build one in the 18 years we were in power last time and when Mrs Thatcher was education secretary we closed more than any other government.

Privatisation? What more do you want to privatise?

Choice, yes, a system tantamount to vouchers, fine, but a diversity of supply is better.

If he had any sense he could compensate for the other reforms he's doing, by promising to encourage more school selection. It would satisfy our core votes and could allow him to modernise in other areas.

A few tax cuts here and there would be nice as well.

But alas, we're not going to get them.

More Bad News on the way:

an Ipsos MORI poll for today's Observer puts Labour on 41 per cent, a six-point lead over the Tories on 35 per cent..

Raj - we're not making the economic case for tax cuts at present. And I don't believe we did much in 2005 either, so it's completely wrong to suggest we lost the election because we promised tax cuts.

I'm not saying we should promise massive cuts in advance before opening the books and discovering the Enron style off-balance liabilities, but the aims should be sharpened up.

Joe

we're not making the economic case for tax cuts at present

So you're saying in the past they were presented as being to make the middle class' lives easier? I can sort of understand what you mean, but I don't believe it will make a difference - the message has been made before even if not screamed out.

As I said, Labour have a well-tuned counter to any Tory tax cut proposals. They need to be specifically and carefully funded OR the "come-what-may" pledge has to be dropped.

Also, if you don't specify what to cut and how, it will be even worse because it will be seen as another "ideal". I thought the whole problem with Cameron is that he is full of ideals but not policies. Saying that cutting taxes is good for the economy is an ideal, not a policy.

Michael Davidson, "If he had any sense he could compensate for the other reforms he's doing, by promising to encourage more school selection."

He will, only it is the schools that will be selected on the basis of what they can do for the students.

The right sort of selection and if you think about it, the right wing sort of selection.

"A few tax cuts here and there would be nice as well."

You can't promise those until we have had a good look at the books including off balance sheet PFI. That said it is clear to all who will listen that tax cuts will come.

"As for the 2 (or is it 6) MPs I am tired after 15 years of our parliamentary party indulging themselves - many in the safest seats who seem happier as backbenchers in opposition because they haven't shown the least interest in winning power. Deselect them, take the whip away, throw them out. They can't accept what the membership voted for so perhaps they would be happier elsewhere."

Ted, the best and most sensible comment on this thread. I always check the constituency and majority of the MP's who tend to vocally and publically want to attack their own leader or party and funnily enough they tend to have a geographical and majority percentage in common!!
Just don't think that they are that interested in a Conservative government or actually implementing Conservative policies, pretty spineless and selfish really considering how long the rest of us have had to put up with a labour government and without a Conservative MP in our areas!!!

We had stupendous momentum, and I seriously don't think it has really stalled. We need to hold our nerve, and continue the project. I'm not interested in tax cuts.

"We had stupendous momentum, and I seriously don't think it has really stalled. We need to hold our nerve, and continue the project. I'm not interested in tax cuts."

Well the rest of us are

Raj - Well paid public sector jobs.
Have a look at the Guardian jobs on a Saturday. Quite a lot of them [not all of them].
It is true to indicate that cutting central government Civil Service is often the wrong target...it's usually other bodies.

Bernard White -
"
You can't promise those until we have had a good look at the books including off balance sheet PFI. That said it is clear to all who will listen that tax cuts will come."
- A very sensible comment. But, the point is we don't even hear the last bit very often atall. Indeed, in early 2006 they appeared to make a virtue of saying tax cuts maybe pretty much off the agenda. And I don't agree with that - it's missing an opportunity to craft policies which will improve people's lives.

I hope these polls do persuade Brown to call an early election. I love elections and it will really test what the electorate want. If Cameron is to be removed, he must be removed after something legitimate. Stabbing him in the back will not help the Conservatives.

As I've said before, if you take these polls to mean loss is inevitable, then you have two choices, lose with dignity and grace (stick with Cameron), or lose in disgrace (knife him). Changing leader now will not help the party to win. If Cammy was the wrong choice, then the party has to live with that decision.

But I think it is true that we should all wait until after the party conference season. Brown has a bounce. We're all feeling it. Wait a few months for it wear off before rushing to judgement. Knifing Cammy then will look treacherous and degrade the view of the party. But knifing him now will not only look treachreous, but reactionary and panicky as well.

Just wait a bit.

The right wing of the party is undermining the progress Cameron's made so far with their moronic attitude.

And unfortunately ConservativeHome which started as a sensible forum for debate is now little more than a gathering place for the worst elements in the party - those who demand policies but reject anything that doesn't confirm their own ill-thought out prejudices.

The national papers are constantly pointing to ConservativeHome as the real voice of the Conservative Party, but the truth is it doesn't represent me or a majority of the activists where I am.

Cameron's done more than any leader since Thatcher to put some substance into the party's policy making. The policy reviews are doing in-depth work to develop policies that will work. Unfortunately the "traditional" right undermine this work by agreeing with the Labour spin that Cameron has no policies.

Yet what are the policies advocated by the "traditionalists"? Poorly thought out ideas about tax, immigration and grammar schools. It seems some would be happier if the party didn't research or think through policies and instead just came up with a few slogans about lower taxes. It's the anti-Cameron camp that are policy lite, not the other way round.

I think that conservative home does represent the majority of tory activists. If it doesn't then what does?

I'm sure the Labour Party will be delighted by all the attacks on the Conservative leadership.

Labour have been desparate to undermine Cameron for months, and it seems that with a little temporary bounce for the non-entity of Gordon Brown, party division has once again in the forefront.

Sad that there are some people in the party who wish to undermine the party leader and prefer us to suffer under a further term of Gordon Brown.

Perhaps, if these 'Conservatives' could direct their energies to attack Gordon Brown instead of undermining Cameron then they would we could be in with a change in 2009/ 2010.

If you think that Gordon Brown's boost is temporary then you are a fool.

Cameron's done more than any leader since Thatcher to put some substance into the party's policy making.

Funny that - at least with the CPS I was getting invitations to meetings with Tim Congdon and Madson Pirie and they were setting an agenda....but the 1970s were a more vibrant era anyway and Letwin is simply preparing his next disaster

Privatisation? What more do you want to privatise?

Well Brown is privatising AWE Aldermaston so our warhead production will be completely American - Ernest Bevin must be turning in his grave in Westminster Abbey - all that effort in hard times to ensure we had our own warheads

The right wing of the party is undermining the progress Cameron's made so far with their moronic attitude.

What progress?? Getting cuddly with hoodies?

Cameron's done more than any leader since Thatcher to put some substance into the party's policy making.

Really? Are you talking about Oliver Letwin's pronouncements on social engineering? Most people think he was talking gobbledegook.

In my area people, who were born and brought up Conservatives, and have supported the Party through thick and thin, are not renewing their membership. They say they made a terrible mistake voting for Cameron. I suspect they will join the 40% who don't vote.

So the Conservatives are behind in the polls and we are surprised? Take five minutes, sit down with a cup of coffee, and think it through for a moment.

Did we really put "David Cameron's Conservatives" on the ballot papers? If we did, then I really do despair. The Conservative party should always be, has always been, much bigger, more solid, more substantial, than its leader or any other member who temporarily has the privilege of contributing. That CCHQ do not understand how this act trivialises and cheapens the party probably encapsulates the reasons behind the very real challenges we have yet to confront.

There are many voters who are desperate to be rid of a labour government, who understand from direct experience the pit that labour has dug us into on tax, on crime, on housing, on pensions, on education, on uncontrolled immigration, on our criminally underfunded and overstretched armed forces. Despite this the Conservatives under this leadership continue, with staggering insouciance, to give the appearance of ignoring these core issues.

The current Conservative thrust on 'breakdown Britain', including the handout in yesterday's Daily Telegraph, highlights this apparent blindness - all the more surprising in a party led by a PR man - of course there are issues with family stability, education, juvenile crime, and so on, but these are just some on a long list - 'breakdown Britain' isn't THE issue on everyone's mind, whereas the specifics of tax, housing, pensions, uncontrolled immigration etc very much are.

IDS's report is a good, solid piece of work, and yes proposals such as transferable allowances for married couples do make sense, but for heavens sake let's have this as a sensible component of a larger thrust of policies which DO address potential Conservative voter's issues, rather than as what appears to be emerging as the Conservative party's central theme.

Because 'breakdown Britain' misses the core concerns, it makes the Telegraph handout smack of an ad agency's attempt to sell a marginal product, rather than a serious political statement - all of which, sadly, is crystalised by the act of putting "David Cameron's Conservatives" on a ballot paper.

The turn towards the Conservatives in the recent local elections was a visceral rejection of the existing party of government, HOWEVER, unless the Conservative party demonstrates that it isn't 'Labour Lite', that it understands the issues that DO concern people, and that it has policies to deal with those issues, then voters who could make a difference in the next general election will sit on their hands, Labour will win a fourth term, and I suspect, sadly, that Britain will be beyond recovery.

Just watched DC on sky news's Adam Boultons, why oh why hasn't anyone from his spin dept advised him Africa this week is ano no. And go visit those voters all over Britain that were flooded out that he actually considers them. And why does he always look so red?.

"And why does he always look so red?."

He's flushed with fear.

To put the two letters into perspective, they were written weeks ago. They're only being reported now because the Telegraph wants to try to put the knife in, so we may not hear much more about this.

However, I would still like to see the Cameron critics put their money where there mouth is and say they would back their leader if there was no leadership challenge, or if there was and didn't work - or at least stop the continual bleating. Alternatively, they could leave the party altogether.

But I think they're all mouth and no trousers, prefering to complain even when they know they are in a minority, even if it upsets what the majority want.

I read the "Breakdown Britain" manual this morning. I note that there is no mention of immigration, protecting our borders, terrorism, law and order and our relationship with the EU.

As Immigration is one of the top anxieties in Britain, regardless of what the new cuddly Conservative Party says, we need to be told what they are going to do about controlling our borders, which are already out of our control and in the hands of the EU.

What has Cameron or any other member of the Shadow Cabinet said about this:-

06/07/07 - Tories call for EU Coastguard

Leading MEP Tory Struan Stevenson has torn Conservative European policy into shreds by calling for an EU Coastguard. A vote will take place in Strasbourg next week which supports the establishment of an EU
coastguard.

The fundamental problem is that Cameron has been concentrating on the packaging of the Party and not the substance - it is something that polling is providing the evidence for. Early in his leadership Cameron enjoyed good net ratings, largely due to lots of 'undecideds'. His problem is now that many of those are firming up in terms of a negative view of him.

We are over-promising and under-delivering and the buck stops with our Leader.

We in the Party may disagree fundamentally with the way policy should go, but what Cameron and his people have failed to do is actually set the direction (regardless of what that is). We only need to look at the grammar school fiasco. While disagreeing with Willets and Cameron, Cameron looked weak and vacillating when there were almost daily changes to the policy. This is of course, not the only example.

The British public will not trust a man on issues such as national security and foreign policy if he can't even make up his mind on public services.

Until he starts to get a backbone, there will be no recovery for us. These policy groups he set up will only compound the problem - they will come up conflicting recommendations and further confuse the British public about what we stand for.

Look at Electoral Calculus and which Tory seats will be lost

"And why does he always look so red?."

He's flushed with fear.

Posted by: Bloody Minded | July 22, 2007 at 10:41

Make up under lights

Some of these posts attacking David Cameron personally are pretty depressing. Divided parties lose elections - it's not a cliche, it's true.

Whereas I recognise a lot of fresh policy work is being done behind the scenes, largely started under DC's leadership, my criticism is the public doesn't know that, and some of them should have reported by now.

And in particular, (please see my earlier posts here), cutting taxes has to be part of the strategy of empowering people. My criticism is entirely policy detail related, but anyone who wants to open up leadership plots really has to look at what happened between late 1992 and late 2003 to see it doesn't work.

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