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Well said Mr Brady.

Actually the reality in the media this morning is that Brady opens his mouth and attacks our Leader and damages the parties image. I had a little sympathy for him over grammar scholls but these latest attacks are very foolish and very dangerous. Voters do not vote for disunited parties and that is the image that fools like Brady are creating.

"David Cameron is failing to reach out to voters in the north and Midlands, an ex-Tory frontbencher has told the BBC.

Graham Brady said the Conservative leader was not making sufficient headway in the key battlegrounds which will decide the next general election.

Mr Brady, who quit as shadow Europe minister over the grammar schools row, said Mr Cameron's appeal was limited to urban liberal circles around London."

The bits you quote above Deputy Editor are the less damaging things.

Yes Brady opens his mouth and provides our opponents with ammunition. Frankly we should remove the tory whip from him for such disloyalty. If I was on his local Exec I would move to deselect him. He shares one thing in common with Willetts and that is both of them open their mouths before engaging their brains.

But, where are the shadow cabinet ministers filling the airwaves with attacks on Labour to drown out this stuff?

Isn't the chair of the Local Executive his mother?

What nonsense to suggest we should remove the whip from a tory MP.All that Graham Brady has done is to articulate the views of a considerable number of Conservative MPS,activists and supporters.It is time for the leadership to listen to this and reach out to hisown side.He needs to find and give voice to the thigs that UNITE all Conservatives not pursue an agenda that some feel is turning the Tories into an irrelevant "social Democratic option"

"Tories lack appeal in Midlands and in the North - Says Tory MP"


Our opponents (Lib Dems) are already using Brady's attacks against us. The above blog is one of the main Lib Dem ones.

This is why Brady should have the whip withdrawn.

I thought the modern caring compassionate Conservative Party so beloved by the Cameroons was meant to be a broad church. If it isn't then it is the Cameroons who should go and pitch their tent elsewhere.

Bill, the issue is not a broad church but one of not tolerating someone who is vandalising the church windows.

The answer is to improve the perception of the tories in the midlands and the north! A glance at the Conservative representation in our najor city's of the north and midlands is sobering indeed.If you beleive that the leadership's agenda will deliver seats in the midlands and north then I understand the line above.I do not however share this believe.Graham Brady is giving voice to a concern for our party silencing him will not make this go away.

Our opponents (Lib Dems) are already using Brady's attacks against us. The above blog is one of the main Lib Dem ones.

This is why Brady should have the whip withdrawn.

Posted by: HF | July 29, 2007 at 10:07

People in The North of England had not noticed the absence of the Conservatives until Graham Brady mentioned it....will he be the first to the Gulag in Tory Britain for alerting us to this ?

Perhaps there could be a chain of camps run by Group 4 to lock up critics of the New Tory Party....maybe Labour looks a safer bet on freedom of speech !

The suggestion that David Cameron is pandering to some mythical metropolitain liberal set is ridiculous. The argument is so abstract it is absurd. The idea that people in the north and the midlands have some earthier non-metroliberal world view is equally absurd.

David Cameron, as Conservative party leader has to deal with the real world and not some fanciful abstraction. Thats why David will formulate a strategy that is right for our country and not one that pacifies divisive factions in the Conservative party.

The idea that people in the north and the midlands have some earthier non-metroliberal world view is equally absurd.

Well outside your little circle in Bolton (is Ruth Kelly your MP ?) noone really cares about windmills and the rest of it....they are more concerned with Council Tax, house prices, pay freezes, and the cost of living, tuition fees, PCTs interfering in GP referrals to hospitals, immigration, transport, - wait until the food price increases feed through - milk prices due to increase 50% in Germany as in the USA - wath inflation lift off as vegetable and dairy prices lift off.

That's the ones who are stuck here - the rest are filling in visa aplication for Australia or moving to Spain

Dealing with real world means what exactly?supporting a liberal blairite agenda? Why do so many electors fail to know what we stand for after 18 months of project Cameron? The strategy to appeal to all should be built upon non negotiable conservative predispositions.There are things that unite us all and we need to hear about these now!

Scotland is also a key battleground, given its number of Labour Westminster MPs(unless one can hope that some of their seats are under threat by SNP).

However, as Scotland appears to want more separation from us, maybe it's time to focus on England go for English Parliament, federation, etc.(or of course keep heads stuck in sand)


"…MSPs from all the main parties are poised to join forces to produce a list of powers they want moved from London to Edinburgh, which could include household and business taxes and control over North Sea oil revenues...

..The so-called 'Devolution Max' plan could also see MSPs attempt to wrest control from Westminster over responsibility for broadcasting and energy and marine policy….

…The Scottish Conservatives have already suggested a Royal Commission should be set up to discuss the matter..."

Q: What public statements has Graham Brady made this July attacking the Govt on anything?

A: His own website lists none.

So he prefers to spend more time in the media attacking David Cameron than the Government.

Q: What public statements has Graham Brady made this July attacking the Govt on anything?

A: His own website lists none.

So he prefers to spend more time in the media attacking David Cameron than the Government.

Our country needs pragmatic and realistic government. The old days of ideological dogma are gone forever. Dogma has only ever brought the world misery. Our country needs a prime minister like David Cameron. Ten years ago Tony Blair had wide appeal because people believed he represented the change that the country needed, they saw Blair as representing a new pragmatic and non-ideological approach to politics. However Blair failed to live up to expectations. I believe David Cameron will succeed where Blair failed. That is in taking us away from the destructive politics of ideology and in giving Britain the pragmatism it needs in the 21st century. We need a prime minister that will do what is right for Britain and not what he thinks is right for his party, or in the case of Tony Blair, what was right for himself.

I have to say I agree with HF's first comment. I had sympathy with him on Grammar Schools, but he would have served his Party better if he had kept his mouth shut in public.

We are behind in the polls, and the way in which certain members and MPs have lost their nerve within a matter of weeks is deeply concerning; how can we present ourselves as an alternative government in waiting if all we do every time we're confronted with a bad poll is to descend into bickering and backbiting? I am hopeful that this ‘wobble’ will be just that and in a month or two we will have recovered our purpose and our standing in the opinion polls.

Now despite what I’ve just said, I do have some sympathy towards Graham Brady’s comments, but I firmly believe that these concerns should have been raised in private. When certain elements of the media are trying to portray the Party is in crisis, all Brady has served to do is to further underline that impression. Either that, or Brady has become an embittered hack.

Tony Makara - do you ever rise above banality ? This is so trite. Obviously Mogadon Man is well at home in this party...but don't expect the voters to take much interest in a David Cameron Fan Club.....they are more interesed in the specifications of the product than the glitz of the wrapper

CCTV, We are all concerned with the subjects you mention. David Cameron has merely highlighted the green agenda because it is very important. Environmental factors account for much of the food inflation that you refer to. On the subject of Ruth K, well she can share my copy of the FT with me anytime :)

Pragmatism and realism are admirable notions for all governements.However it is true for every political party that people are drawn in by the attractiveness of ideas and philosophy.There are core values that bind party's and their adherents together shared view and conception.When one looks at the world it is through a filter peculiar to ourselves.As a consequence our chosen policy solutions are inherently driven by "idelogy".For example I am naturally inclined to a low tax economy to transfer power back to the individual.That is a core principle.I support marraige and two parent duel sex relationships as the best vehicle to raise the next generation that is another core principle driven by ideology.I want other people to accept this agenda therefore I would argue for itnot retreat onto other ground.Like it or not ideology is important in the choices we make

Instead of the political headline of the day being 'Gisela Stuart asks: If Brown doesn't keep his promise on the referendum how can we trust him on anything else?', poor Mr Brady put his own ego ahead of the good of the party and gave the BBC another excuse to promote their agenda that the Tories are divided, backward-looking, etc.

Environmental factors account for much of the food inflation that you refer to.

No it doesn't.

It is stupid idiots who wanted to turn grain into fuel. Half the world's grain is animal feed.

It was also stupid idiots who wanted to industrialise China. If only 20% China's population go into industry it will equal the world's largest industrial nation - the USA.

China could require ALL the world's oil, iron ore, bauxite, soya, coal, gas....and they could afford to send 50 million out to fight for it

Confused you did it Uda - two thoughts in one day !

Good job most voters are able to cope with things or Cameron would have to keep quiet during Test Matches and soccer games

As far as i'm concerned Brady is absolutely correct. DC (apart from a flying start) has got the tone all wrong;and GB's dig about the 'liberalmetroploitan' slant is bang on target. What i want is a 'hardnosed' leader on law and order, immigration, low taxes, and the EU; but committed to public services (re-nationalise Water and Rail), housing,the 'green' agenda -with a socialliberal agenda- based on reality- not PCorrectness. DC is on the slippery slope of becoming a joke faux LibbyDem. Time for him to get off that slope and (borrowing a soundbite) 'change to win'.

This just wreaks of sour grapes. His comments are not good for the party.

The Grammar school issue was just starting to quieten when he stirred it up again.

Now the hysteria over the by elections is dying down he does the same.

I am becoming suspicious of Brady's motives.

I saw him on PMQ's this week, his question was poor and his delivery dreadful. Perhaps he should keep his mouth shut and work on his own performance rather than worrying about his leader who is evidently far more capable than he is.

Ideology means being tied into a set way of thinking. That is not the way to run a country. Situations change continually and require a pragmatic and flexible politics. Those who find comfort in ideology become prisoners of ideology. They become intellectually ghettoized with no room for manoeuvre. Such a mentality has been a major cause of problems in our country and the wider world. Politicians have stuck 'faith-like' to dogma when the correct course of action would have been to act in the national interest. David Cameron has the vision to see that politics needs to be played out in the centre ground, the pragmatic ground, being boxed into corners, left and right, is an ideological dead-end.

Perhaps he should keep his mouth shut and work on his own performance rather than worrying about his leader who is evidently far more capable than he is.

Posted by: John Leonard | July 29, 2007 at 12:02

If you really believed that you would not have needed to say it. Every comment attacking criticism of Cameron is a nail in his coffin.

That is not the way to run a country. Situations change continually and require a pragmatic and flexible politics.

People used to think Harold Wilson was especially good at this

Speaking as a candidate in the East Midlands, I must, respectfully, disagree with Mr. Brady. David Cameron came to Corby last year and received very positive coverage with his call for a train station and understanding of local issues in East Northants - and this is given a local paper where Conservatives have found it hard to get our message across.

We had excellent local election results in East Northants and key former Labour strongholds like Irthlingborough, and in Corby proper overall very substantially increased our share of the vote which will count at the General Election. There is no doubt that David's leadership is paying dividends in our neck of the woods.

Furthermore, I note that the East Midlands region as a whole did well in the locals, as I suppose, given the gains in the North West, most places did.

as I suppose, given the gains in the North West, most places did.

Posted by: Louise Bagshawe | July 29, 2007 at 12:38

West Yorkshire did not

Ideology does not mean one is intellectuallt ghettoized.Policy in pracical terms flows from ideas and ideas derive from ideology ,in the political arena.There fundamental differences between a "socialist" world view and a conservative one.Policy groups such as Civitas , reform and TPA give expression to the solutions I prefer as a conservative.We should build a consensus on these issues not accept them as outdated or irrelevant.Satist solutions deployed in the last 10 years have delivered a massive reduction in social mobility ,fracture in society and outright lawlessness in certain communities.We need a Conservative ideology to solve these problems.What alternative to this does anyone else want?

I certainly agree with Graham Brady's comments above. I think the vitriolic attacks on him are unhelpful, to say the least. This isn't about old duffers vs bright young things - I'm 34 now, I joined the Conservative party in late 2005 because I saw it as the party of aspiration and of the striving classes, not the party of media liberalism. Somebody needs to stick up for the upper-working and lower-middle classes, New Labour and the Lib Dems sure as hell won't.

This man is clearly a liability (who can't even get his facts straight). Surely withdrawing the whip and halting his candidature for the next election can be the only suitable punishment? There's no risk; no other party has a meaningful chance in his seat of Altrincham and Sale West.

Certain people can subscribe to a political ideology, belief in a world-view that explains everything can be very reassuring. However at this time most people are eclectic. This is what puts the majority of voters in the centre ground. That is where the next election will be won and lost. The party that is able to engage the majority, and reflect the concerns of that majority will win their votes. Representative democracy, if it is to work properly, has to reflect the aspirations of the majority. To take an ideological stance and then attempt to impose it on everyone else is undemocratic. Unless of course the majority subscribes to that ideological view. Which, at this time in history, they clearly do not.

There's a difference between a philosophy and an ideology!

Another show of petulance from a so so MP, what is it with these people who, when they are in power or have shadow seats are up front telling us all how wonderful everything is yet the minute they are pushed/sacked/resign the bad mouthing starts and the party will only be any good when it does THEIR way.
Meanwhile the voluntary side of the Party keeps on working, winning 900 seats in the council elections, winning in Wales, steadily building the membership. However a lot of this can be so easily undone by 1 spoilt brat who cannot get his own way, I dont know of his personal circumstances but I doubt if he's ever had a proper job in his life, if he had he would have learnt how to deal with the setbacks most of us have to face in real life, and its not by throwing a strop everytime something doesn't go your way.
Get over it man, if this is the worst you have to face in your life then count yourself very lucky.

Well said Graham Brady - thank goodness we have some MP's who are brave enough to talk some sense.

His Parliamentary nickname is 'Shergar', and reflects his brainpower as much as his looks.

His 'martyrdom' over grammar schools was designed to win him friends on the right of the party who might save him. The Brady strategy (becoming the Roger Helmer of Westminster) continues.

In fact, Tim, if every MP who mentions the 'And' strategy gets a mention on ConHome, you'll only feed these fools' egos.

As well as being factually wrong, since we did well across the Midlands and NW - and SW - at the locals, Graham Brady might like to consider the latest analysis of ICM data from Mike Smithson at political betting which backs up my recent arguments about where we truly stand in the polls:

"The above table has been clipped from the full data from ICM’s Guardian poll this week that had Labour’s margin down a point but still with a healthy 6% lead. What it shows is the view of people who said they actually voted last time for one of the three main parties and how their voting intentions have changed since.

Make no mistake - this is not good news for the Tories but it does suggest that the situation might not be quite as bleak as some headlines have suggested.

Cameron’s party’s retained vote proportion of 91% is at its lowest level than in any Guardian ICM poll this year. In January it was at 96%. But the Tories are still picking up more Labour and Lib Dem 2005 voters than they are losing so that overall amongst this group they are up.

Labour is doing substantially better on these figures than in any other Guardian ICM poll this year but it is still a net loser amongst 2005 voters

The Lib Dem retention figure is bigger than it has been in other ICM Guardian polls this year but still, overall, it is a net loser.

The big caveat about taking this data is that it is not the full sample. It only includes those who said they voted for the three main parties and does not take into account those who voted for SNP, PC, UKIP, Green or any other party at the last election. It also does not include those who for whatever reason did not vote in 2005 but intend to do so next time.

But you are looking at the intentions of those who said they were in the 61% of the electorate that actually voted in May 2005."

Labour's vote slipping down by 7% in Ealing, and plummeting 14% in Sedgefield. Labour should be worried. All this at the peak of the Brown bounce too!

Grammar school row in danger of dying down? Damaging naval gazing looks like ending? Never fear, here comes Brady to ensure it continues. Jolly good. Don't want the party to look electable now, do we.

Failing to reach out to voters?

I'd agree DC seems to be failing to make an impact. I recall in the run up to '97, Labour were savaging us relentlessly, on a daily basis. Labour have done far more damage, far more harm in the last 10 years, but where, by comparison, is our attack? - this is what registers with voters.

Where is the attack on the damage they've done to the NHS? On the closure of hospitals? On the vanishing A&E departments? On the obscene way that PFI deals are eating into budgets which are supposed to be used to treat the sick? The debacle of doctors we've trained but now face having to go abroad to continue to have a career?

There are 9 million voters over the age of 65 - are they worried about the decline of the NHS? Damn right. Would they be tempted to vote for a party which had some clear, concrete, detailed committments? (as opposed to fuzzy, yes we care, feel good waffle) Damn right.

Where's the attack on Labour's handling of the economy?

If Labour were in opposition now, and Conservatives had been in power for the last 10 years with the same record as Blair and Brown, they would be tearing us limb from limb.

more help for Brown from the Bone Headed Brady.

David Cameron has promised to keep the heat on Brown over the summer recess and it seems a public information campaign is planned. So let's see how Brown copes with a little summer exposure.

Tony M, that's good to see - I think we need an Alastair Campbell or a Peter Mandelson to make that work as it needs to though - do you think we have one?

more help for Brown from the Bone Headed Brady.

Posted by: His Eminence | July 29, 2007 at 15:41

Having listened myself to The World This Weekend I do not understand why you are throwing a hissy fit

Patriot, I think the best approach is to point out that a new prime minister doesn't equal new government. To stress that Gordon Brown and Tony Blair were very much in tandem, in spite of personality differences. A very simple public information campaign linking the two and reminding people of Labour's broken promises will hopefully jolt memories. Gordon Brown has had a very lucky start, events have fallen in his favour, but as we all know fortunes always change.

It might be an idea to have large posters of Brown with the word 'Unelected' Simple but getting the message across.

A very simple public information campaign linking the two and reminding people of Labour's broken promises will hopefully jolt memories.

Make it really simple or politicians won't understand it...

This thread is pathetic and proof of how shambolic Conservatives have become. It is pathetic. Rather than advocate policies people might actually want to vote for it is the negativity of attacking the government and hoping people will be desperate enough to vote for the unknown.

It begins to appear that when only 18% in a YouGov Poll think the Conservatives could win the next election they have been polling Conservatives rather than the general public.

The blame-game on this thread is about excuses not policies. There is nothing postive to articulate or encourage abstainers to vote; it is simply mindless.

TomTom, It is quite right and proper that the opposition, all opposition blame the government when there are problems in our country. What is wrong with that? For the last ten years Labour have had, in effect, a 100% control of parliament, so when there are problems, it is only right and proper to hold the government accountable. This isn't pathetic as you say, but rather this is democracy and accountability, our treasured checks and balances in action.

our treasured checks and balances in action.

There are no checks and balances.....they disappeared when the guillotine was introduced (Heath ?). The system does not function - it did not function in the 1980s and it does not function now.

The political system is dross but soon it will be organised by the EU Commission so that problem will be solved.

The problem with this thread is that it is all about people looking for scapegoats for sheer inadequacy and laziness and third rate political opportunism. Thatcher ran a far better Opposition - this is truly pathetic...and you know it which is why we get this histrionic spiel on this thread

Brady should just shut up, as should they all. However unhappy any of us might be, it has to be better to get into Govt rather than spend our times arguing in opposition.

Go away Mr Brady, take a holiday or something, just stop giving the press the chance to present more splits in the party. However measured the statements are make no difference to the media and Mr Brady is naive if he thought his measured words would be presented as anything other than an assault on the leadership.

"This man (Mr Brady) is clearly a liability (who can't even get his facts straight). Surely withdrawing the whip and halting his candidature for the next election can be the only suitable punishment?" (CDM 13:40)

What about Kenneth Clarke who keeps undermining the leadership on the need for a referendum on the EU Constitution, giving ammunition for the BBC to use against us? Why the non-action against Mr Clarke while Mr Brady had to resign, and Mr Mercer who I recall – correctly? - was sacked, from the front bench?

Mr Brady said "The changes David Cameron has made in the Conservative Party have been very successful in some places, and have been better at reaching out to a more small 'L' liberal, metropolitan mindset,”

I totally agree.

It is important to talk about the environment, and to say we are concerned about general well-being and family life, not just about financial profit. But we also need to be ‘right-wing’ where voters tend to be more 'right-wing' – on security, crime, and fair immigration, support for traditional marriage etc. So all the talk about being on the “centre-ground” is unlikely to lead to success. We need to support the ordinary aspirational voter who just wants to do the best for his family, and wants the best for his children. Just attempting to impress metropolitan/media liberals will get us nowhere, particularly as Gordon Brown's apparent social conservatism (reviewing 24-hour pubs, casinos and classification of cannabis etc) seems popular.

Rb, You are right. Pragmatism is better than perpetual opposition. Our country is crying out for a change of direction yet all we get from some people is fratricide. This is a time to put Britain ahead of factional interests and set the focus on removing Labour from office.

So, we can conclude that the "Dave Cameron's Conservatives" are so far out that an MP raising even the slightest concern about any issue is a serious problem for the party?

Once thing is that an MP should follow the whip, another is that they are individuals with principles - or at least they are supposed to have principles.

Considering the last few weeks our party has had with a media's pen dripping with venom and inaccuracies, the need for loyalty, unity and a hungry parliamentary party fighting for power.
And ConHom dishes up a diary piece featuring none other than the MP who single handedly did the most damage from within the party outside a certain defector!!
I won't bother to comment on his interview because I don't normally get the chance to do so on diary piece when a Conservative MP has given a supportive interview on the same programme as happen earlier this week more than once. Just by appearing to undermine Cameron, or his colleagues and us his party at this moment shows a complete lack of political judgement .
I know that we have less than 200 MP's but surely ConHom could have managed to find a balance today. Funny how the Oborne article was also featured rather than Mathew Parris or Charles Moore? I think that lack of balance extremely telling and very disappointing from this site.

Well done Louise Bagshawe for coming on here and defending David Cameron and the party. Hope that other candidates or MP's follow.

Well done Louise Bagshawe for coming on here and defending David Cameron and the party. Hope that other candidates or MP's follow.

Posted by: Scotty | July 29, 2007 at 17:24

They could set it to music and sing The grand old Duke of York

Scotty, you have to understand that this is a platform for Conservatives and not the "David Cameron official fan club", though one sometimes would think so.

MPs also have a right to raise concerns in the form of mild criticism, even when Cameron is very weak.

MPs also have a right to raise concerns in the form of mild criticism, even when Cameron is very weak.

Ah, the last refuge of the yob: "I've got my rights, you know?"

Don't we as Conservatives (most of us here) also believe in rights being tempered by personal responsibility? Members of the Parliamentary Party might have a right to express concerns (which could have been done privately) but also have a responsibility to the rest of us to show some political judgement about it. Brady's reckless and arrogant lack of judgement has put us on the wrong end of another news cycle to lead us into the new week. Thanks for nothing from the trenches, Graham!

I had sympathy for Brady over Grammar Schools and thought he acted honourably when he resigned but this interview was the height of stupidity and will I think put paid to any sort of ministerial career for him at all. What has he achieved with this speech? Absolutely nothing except a day of bad headlines. If he didn't realise that what would happen he is a fool and if he did then he is a disgrace to the party.
Very disappointed that Conservative Home has tried to put the interview far more positively than it deserved.There could have been a diary piece on the Hague or Davis interviews but instead we get something from a bitter backbencher, why?

Yet another "shut down debate" comment from a Cameroon. The modernisers were quick to snipe about IDS and Hague in public. Their hypocrisy is nauseating.

Ok. On a positive note. Here, surely is something for our media team and communications experts to take advantage of....a news item just up on the AOL headlines page.

""The Prime Minister's plan to raise the Union flag on public buildings every day will not apply to Scotland.

As part of a new scheme to increase a sense of Britishness, Gordon Brown said he wanted the national flag flown year round on Government buildings, and eventually on police stations and hospitals across the UK.
Currently the flag flies only on designated days such as royal birthdays. A consultation paper on the proposals was launched on Thursday.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw assured First Minister Alex Salmond that the new policy would not apply north of the border when he visited Scotland earlier this month, an SNP spokesman said.

He added: "Jack Straw agreed there are different considerations in Scotland than there are in England.

"He agreed that the issue of flags is best left for us to decide.""


What is nauseating 'Dismayed' is your dishonest attempt to suggest my comments were somehow designed to 'shut down debate'. I merely believe that by focusing on Graham Brady today this site is doing our opponents work .
I'm not a 'Cameroon' I'm a Conservative activist and I have tried to support all our leaders even when I've disagreed with them from Mrs Thatcher (Anglo-Irish agreement) to Cameron (Grammar Schools).
What I'm not is a snivelling little coward who makes a bunch of unsubstantiated attacks on fellow Conservatives cowering behind a pseudonym.

Brady's reckless and arrogant lack of judgement has put us on the wrong end of another news cycle to lead us into the new week.

I think your judgment needs a bit of an adjustment: his views are neither reckless, nor arrogant and I am convinced that he has considered the political circumstances carefully. As long as Cameron is not overreacting, his reputation will not be dented.

Malcolm, my comment was aimed at Richard Carey. Your post went up as I was writing mine.

I notice that you use only your Christian name so your "holier-than-thou" last sentence is amusing.

Brady's attack on Cameron is still one of the lead stories on the BBC News tonight.

Malcolm, my comment was aimed at Richard Carey.

Well, that's obviously all better then...

Especially since Malcolm has saved my keyboard from more wear & tear!

Don't we as Conservatives (most of us here) also believe in rights being tempered by personal responsibility?

Yes, which is why I'm grateful to you for dropping this subject which is getting redolent of poor Emmanuel Goldstein in Orwell's "1984"

"Especially since Malcolm has saved my keyboard from more wear & tear!"

Is it a 70s relic like your Heathite politics, Richard?

Malcolm 'Dismayed' may well be Traditional Tory. At any rate we see a heartening number of fed-up Tories critical of this childish and factually false attack, and just a handful of the same old ukippers and anti-DC ultras posting over and over again in an attempt to close down the criticism of this.

Brady has stated the obvious in the sense that the Midlands and the North were always going to be tougher nuts to crack than those areas of the South we didn't already dominate. The local elections showed people are turning to us there, but at a slower rate than they are doing so in the South.

He is wrong to say this is a failure. We are not being laughed at in the North anymore, which is the same type of progress there as winning coversions is in the South.

Furthermore, what concerns he had should have been aired in private.

His argument is quite well balanced if you read it, but surely he can't be so naive as to not realise that the media headline would be "senior Tory attacks Cameron," and would hence damage the Party.

Self before Party once again I am afraid.

The party seems determined to loose the next election.

Heaven knows I'm no Cameroon, but I'm beginning to think we've got the makings of a serious step backwards in our overall position at the next General Election if we don't get our collective act together, leadership included.

Graham Brady may have some valid points and I agree with much of what he says.

However I'm sorry to say that this is something that is better dealt with behind closed doors and away from the media spotlight.

We may be much, much closer to a General Election than is commonly perceived.

Brown is a safety first man and by continuing this debate about the leadership we are making a rod for our own backs.

Everyone needs to stop briefing and get focused on what is heading down the tracks. After the General we'll have a bit of time and space to consider the performance of the Leadership and deal with these issues of nuance and presentation.

But for now, button it (including you Mr Brady), start looking for poster sites, look for more deliverers, start drafting election addresses, election timetables and get ready for war.

If you don't we may end up with another Labour landslide.

I am not "Traditional Tory" (a socially liberal free marketeer in fact).

I voted for Cameron because I was dismayed by the dreadful Davis campaign. The thought of Iain Dale and Andrew Mitchell running a general election campaign churned my stomach.

I did not expect Dave to be a Thatcher clone and was willing to embrace "change". But I have been dismayed such "changes" as PC candidates, the adoration of Al Gore's "Inconvenient Lies" film, new air tax proposals etc.

Peter, putting "David Cameron's Conservatives" beside the candidate's name in Ealing shows that Our Dear Leader was literally putting himself before the Party.

But like Traditional Tory you are a coward aren't you 'Dismayed' ?
I am perfectly happy to reveal my full name which is Malcolm Dunn. When I first registered onto this site my email address was published with each comment which is why I used only my Christian name on the signature. I do not know how to change it now, if I could I would.
I'm perfectly happy to stand behind my comments in public,why can't you?

The next election is likely to a poisoned chalice. We are close to a housing collapse (we are nearing the end of the traditional 17-18 years cycle) and due to the fact we have an economy built on debt, both govt debt and personal debt the odds of a recession between now and 2010 are high.

Truth be told, while I will work my socks off for the party, if Brown wants to go to the country before the expected downturn then I hope he wins so he can take the full brunt of the consequences. Should Cameron remain as leader in this scenario? Of course.

Graham Brady is right, so are most of the comments on this thread. HF is wrong and I daresay wasn't at all worried about the appearance of unity whilst cheering on those who constantly briefed against Hague, IDS & Howard. Calls for unity can only work when there is a conservative party to be loyal to, not this New Labour lite nonsense that the electorate plainly have had enough of. We will not move forward outside of Notting Hill by only pandering to the Polly Toynbee view of the world.

Afleitch, You are certainly right about the economy. Labour's spend, spend, spend mantra flies right in the face of all their preaching about prudence. Labour are fortunate for the moment that sterling is riding so high as it masks all those underlying inflationary pressures. However once sterling takes a tumble the Bank of England will no longer have the luxury of selective interest rate hikes. The BOE will be on a damage limitation exercize as those inflationary demons break free and haunt Gordon Brown's economy.

" The party seems determined to loose the next election. Posted by: Cleo"

Yes Cleo indeed it does because its leadership seem determined to fight the 1997 General Election and not the 2007/2008 one.

I do not post under my own name for legal and contractual reasons, Malcolm. You are too quick to accuse posters of cowardice.

Banging on about Europe, tax cuts, grammar schools will not win the 2007/2008 election.

"Banging on about Europe, tax cuts, grammar schools will not win the 2007/2008 election."

Maybe not. But even if Dave did get in at the next election it doesn't sound like he'll be offering anything much different to Gordon. So what have proper Conservatives got to lose by banging on about things that matter to proper Conservatives rather than all this London liberal stuff that Dave's camp are feeing us. Why, it might be really positive to bang on on the basis that if we bang on hard enough we might even get a proper Conservative Party back again. Frankly, as far as Dave stands at the moment, I'm not sure I give a monkey's if he does or doesn't get in. It's all going to be the same, innit?

Banging on about Europe, tax cuts, grammar schools will not win the 2007/2008 election.

Posted by: Cleo | July 29, 2007 at 19:50

That is rather a fatuous statement Cleo..you really must try better. Making claims that are stupid is not very helpful - noone has claimed "banging on" would win any election...in fact the track record is so poor that it might be an idea if voters had some idea what is the point in voting at all

I shall not vote in council elections again because it is pointless - the candidates were useless and I have been thoroughly unimpressed with LibDem and Conservative councillors who have done zilch and have no interest in Labour or Greens or Flat Earth Party......I may extend this abstention to the Euro-Elections because that is also a waste of time.....I shall vote at the General Election only because of my MP in a personal vote for an excellent constituency MP

In short the next general election will probably get 54% turnout as people are unable to discern any point in choosing one brand of petrol over another when it all comes from the same refinery

"Banging on about Europe, tax cuts, grammar schools will not win the 2007/2008 election."

They stand considerably more chance of doing so than claiming to be the heir to Blair does.

Don't any of you Cameroons ever talk to real people? Don't you understand that the voters are utterly fed up with the Blair school of politics and that the last thing that they want is yet more spin and lefty bollocks? Did you not notice the Ealing Southall and Sedgefield by election results? Why do you think that the "new" tough, right of centre Gordon Brown is proving to be so popular so far?

Voters want to hear about raising standards in education, improving the NHS, crime and the environment. They might think taxes are too high but they want economic stability and properly funded public services.

Afleitch. "due to the fact we have an economy built on debt, both govt debt and personal debt the odds of a recession between now and 2010 are high."

I agree. UK's external debt has now reached $9 Trillion, second largest external debt in the world to the USA at $11 Trillion. Next are Germany at $4T and France at $3.5T.

UK external debt has doubled since '97 and continues to grow. Can't bode well for the future.

Matt, The only thing I noticed about Ealing and Sedgefield was the significant drop in the Labour vote. They won two very safe seats at the same time as they expected a feel-good-factor from having a new prime minister. Yet the Labour vote collapsed by 7% and 14%. All this indicates that people are not happy with Labour, in spite of what snapshot polls say. Matt, is Gordon Brown really the right-of-centre figure that you claim he is? The reality is that Brown has been very lucky media-wise in his opening few weeks. However the recent bi-elections tell me that all is not so rosy with Labour.

Brady is 101% correct: here in the South West, the Cameron message is certainly not winning us significant support. The 'green' message of increased taxation on life's essentials like diesel and transport doesn't play well with people who've spent a week using their Land Rover to ferry other people through the floods; the 'no significant tax cuts' policy doesn't help when you see your effective income falling every month; the "no grammar-schools" policy is a loser among the aspirational types who want the best for their kids.

We need to embrace a radical Conservatism - one of low taxes. low regulation, supporting those who look after themselves. Forget Cameron's fretting about Rwanda [where?] and other such nonsense - the real world is elsewhere - and it's passing us by.

Tony, you appear to have missed the fact that the Liberal Democrats, and the BNP in Sedgefield, benefited from the drop in the Labour votes.

Piara Khabra and Tony Blair also had strong personal votes that were not available to the Labour candidates.

Perhaps you can explain why the Conservatives gained hardly any votes at Labour's expense.

The by-election results were satisfactory for Labour, good for the Lib Dems and abysmal for the Tories.

"We need to embrace a radical Conservatism - one of low taxes. low regulation, supporting those who look after themselves. Forget Cameron's fretting about Rwanda [where?] and other such nonsense - the real world is elsewhere - and it's passing us by."

Nice one.

Tony, I think that you've swallowed one spin doctor too many old chap.Take a reality pill and call me again in the morning.

Dismayed, The Liberals always tend to do well at Labour's expense in Labour strongholds mid-term. The Conservative vote was steadily improved in both bi-elections. Remember these are both strong Labour areas, one formerly being the seat of the prime minister. These factors have to be taken into the general perspective overall. The great thing about Ealing was that David Cameron demonstrated that there are no longer any no-go areas for the Conservative party. The seat wasn't won, the vote remained steady, but inroads were made and the party can build on that.

Agree with Tanuki's post 100%. As a business owner in Cornwall, even running the company, Ecocats Ltd, that was awarded the title of Cornish "Sustainable company of the Year 2006", I know that he is right about the real pressures on people there as opposed to green nonsense. Cameron does not have a clue.

Tony, what inroads? The Tory vote increased by less than 1% in both by-elections. It was not statistically significant. Take Matt's advice to get rid of your delusions.

Dismayed, You might like to appreciate that it takes time to build a winning level of support in a die-hard Labour area like Ealing Southall. The fact that David Cameron invested so much time into Tony Lit's campaign shows that David wants to win such seats and that no community is beyond Conservative reach. The campaign in Ealing Southall was just the beginning. In Labour strongholds the Labour vote is taken for granted, such arrogance cannot be allowed to continue. The message coming from Ealing Southall is that the Conservative party is out to build, and to build-to-last in traditional Labour fiefdoms.

You can stand as a parliamentary candidate but can't reveal your real name on a blog for legal and contractual reasons 'Dismayed'? Are you the real James Bond or you working for Smersh now? Maybe you're real name is Oddjob? Please forgive my scepticism but you see..... I was born yesterday.

and properly funded public services.

Posted by: Cleo | July 29, 2007 at 20:17

Properly funded ? Do you know how much money is spent on Education, Health, Welfare, Transport Cleo ?

Do you understand how huge the increases are that Labour has made since 2001 ?

It is very hard to see how funding could be any higher....we spend more on primary education than any country in Europe....they have poured money into areas attractive to women voters

HF, I have missed the news today but I am angry and frustrated if as you suggest Brady has yet again caused us immense damage in the media. Just makes you wonder which little cabal was briefing in the last couple of weeks about letters to the 1922 committee in an attempt to undermine Cameron, and with no regard for the severe collateral damage they are causing to the party?

For the first time in a long time I bought the Telegraph (well it was acting like the Torygraph again!) I was delighted to see Davis on the front page using his political weight so effectively for Cameron and the party. Shame that it could be yet another wasted effort!

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