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Eton. White's. Hunts with hounds. Bullingdon.

I don't agree with John Bercow about very much at all but about this much, he is right.


What no-one (as far as I can see ) has drawn attention to is the real point of why people despise Cameron and the rest of his silver-spoon milksop never-had-to-struggle-for-anything-in their lives public schoolboys which is this: he / they clearly believe in NOTHING WHATSOEVER SAVE THEIR OWN PERSONAL ADVANCEMENT. To take the simplest example: it is possible to argue the case for allowing grammar schools if local electors vote for them (as Tories used to do) or equally to argue that they are a Bad Thing (as Labour used to do).

What is wholly incoherent intellectually and morally is to have as your policy 'The electors of Kent may vote for grammar schools if they wish BUT NOT THE ELECTORS OF SUSSEX / YORKSHIRE / Wherever' ....... [ Esp. from a party one of whose most recent obsessions claims to be 'Localism' ]. This is totally unprincipled and probably impossible anyway from a legal point of view [Human Rights and EU law ( which Cameron has not undertaken to abolish [ not that any such promise would be believable after the EPP-ED sole promise 'I will withdraw!' fiasco ] ) both frown on treating citizens unequally within the same State so a national law which purported to allow GSs in Kent but not elsewhere would be struck down by Judges. ]
I loathe Brown and all his last 10 years' works but despite all the terrible mistakes he has made over tax credits, grotesquely uncontrolled immigration, giving free rein to the overpaid head-in-the-clouds judges, and all the rest of it, at least one can see a degree of coherence and principle in what he is trying to do (or claims he is trying to do).

He and his colleagues are incompetent (largely because like Dave et al none of them has ever done any work apart from in academia and bag-carrying at Party HQ before baggsing safe seats ) but at least some of them believe a bit in what they are doing so the public gives them a reluctant half marks. With Lord Snooty and Yoiks Johnson and the rest the public can see that not only are they incompetent, never having had to do a serious day's work in the whole of their over-privileged , Champagne- quaffing, worthless lives, - but they are not even pretending to possess an ounce (or should that be gramme ) of principle - so they get zero marks.
Quite seriously, on major issues Brown is now positioned a bit to the right of Cameron - so for Tories, other than tribal loyalty, what exactly is the point of voting for the present 'Tory' party ? So its jeunesse Bullingdone'e can play at administering left-liberal taurine excrement-ary policies ? Why vote for Labour's pale imitation when you can have Labour in the first place ??

RIV: Please keep your comments to the subject of the thread in future please.

Are you going to post the full graph this time?

At some point Richard, yes.

I always argued that Cameron's standing with the public was 'soft'. Now it seems the same can even be said about the normally bovine ‘loyalist‘ element of the party.

I'm old enough to recall the foam-flecked outrage among the blue rinse brigade when Heath was given the bum's rush, so I learnt at a very early stage that blind loyalty to any donkey bearing a blue rosette is nothing more than blind, bigoted, stupidity.

So it seems the party really is changing, and changing for the better. Let's unite to pin the tail on this particular donkey before he wrecks everything.

Cameron was in trouble with the grassroots before "grammargate", especially on tax and candidates. It was Cameron's arrogant Etonian attitude and language on grammars that offenced activists (and voters in recent opinion polls).

"Grammargate" has proved to be the "tipping point". Associations have been losing members at an alarming and increasing rate. The Cameroon jibes at UKIP's membership in this site are equally applicable to the Conservative Party.

The appointment of the homophobic Sayeeda Warsi to the Lords and Shadow Cabinet on "community relations" is a sick joke.

I ceased donating large sums to the party about a year ago. I have recently allowed my party membership to lapse after 30 years after 30 years service as a party officer (at local, regional and national level) and Parliamentary candidate. Friends with similar records of service have resigned too.

I will only return when Cameron pursues real Conservative policies, abandons political correctness or resigns.

Fascinating results. Until this ConservativeHome survey came along the party leadership could pretend the grassroots were fully behind the leadership. Now they are held accountable and that's a very good thing.

The appointment of the homophobic Sayeeda Warsi to the Lords and Shadow Cabinet on "community relations" is a sick joke.

The 'Roons have been lecturing the rest of us (ie 90% of the party) on 'homophobia' ever since they slithered up the food chain.

But since the elevation of la Warsi they have fallen uncharacteristically silent on this tedious subject.

I wonder why?

There may be some who take part in this sites survey thst are grassroots Conservative Party members but its also clear from the comments on this site that there are many taking part in the survey who are supporters and members of the partys opponents.
The findings are interesting but representative I think not!

Did anyone else have problems with question 4 in the Conservative Home June Survey.

"Who would you like to be the next Conservative Party Chairman? (These are the most likely candidates)".

I tried to put other, but obviously it didn't want anyone else in the choices because it refused to accept my choice!!! I wonder why?

The survey contained 1,316 Conservative MEMBERS Jack. Given the size of the party I think most statisticians would agree that the poll is likely to be very accurate. Not suprising I think given the events of the last couple of months.
On some of the commentators on this site I agree with you. Look at them above! A whole bunch of people who are so confident in what they're saying that they have to hide pseudonyms.

Thats right Jack Stone dismiss the result when it doesn't go your way.

Malcolm, absolutely not. ConHome does not check its sample against membership records. It is a survey not of the Conservative grassroots, but of readers of Conservative Home. Statistically it doesn't mean a thing.

A whole bunch of people who are so confident in what they're saying that they have to hide pseudonyms

Dreadful isn't it, Malcolm?

People like changetowin, bluepatriot, Scotty, Cardinal Pirelli, not to mention 'Jack Stone' who, whatever he may or may not be, is definitely not a 'known' party activist in Southend.

Double standards?

Every month Jack the sample is compared to previous months to check that the population size is relatively stable.

The same people who were 70%+ satisfied with Cameron a few months ago are now less than 60% satisfied.

This was the same survey that accurately predicted the 2005 leadership race.

The people who are invited by email - email lists compiled from the Davis and Cameron campaigns and various Conservative membership organisations - are voting in almost exactly the same proportion as people who complete the survey from a hyperlink on this site.

Members who voted for Cameron in 2005 are still in the survey in as large numbers as Davis voters.

Tory T: You were happy to support the validity of the survey just two months ago when it was much more positive about the leadership.

I do not say that the survey is perfect but it is indicative. The month to month changes are particularly so.

Torygirl: Yes, there were problems with being able to choose 'other' in the vote on Chairman. It was a software issue that affected too many people and not a deliberate attempt to deny you a voice!

All I can say is that if this is representative, the party is doomed to continue in opposition, squabbling amongst itself as the right of the party resist any attempt to move away from what they see as an ideological purity which has never in truth been the hallmark of the Conservative Party.

Had the internet been around in the early 80s, Labour would have never recovered.

There are times when every Tory leader has to hold his (or her) nerve and not simply respond to the baying of the left or right of the Party, each of which can behave pretty badly if they perceive the leader not to be on their side or listening.

On the other hand not to listen and respond is often foolhardy. It's a test of leadership.

So far, I'm happy with the shape the reshuffle has taken. I hope we'll have a more collegiate leadership that accepts the challenge of Gordon Brown is not spin, but the substance of policy.

Cameron still has it in him to win. Brown has his weaknesses and a track record to defend.

But the days of halo polishing for Team Cameron are over and the ball-busting work of producing a credible alternative agenda for government has begun.

We'll know more of the way the Conservatives shall govern Britain by the Party conference. We must. A General Election is coming up much more quickly than we appreciate and we must not be wrong footed.



With respect - how is what I have written above not relevant to this thread?

It uses the grammar school pseudo policy fiasco (which is in the thread's heading) to illustrate the more general point - that the know-nothing selfish self-regarding self important ( would it not have been common courtesy to at least reply politely to Quentin Davies and his papers rather than ignore him on the assumption that he had nothing they wanted ?) Notting Hill soi-disant intelligentsia who have captured the Party machine are lacking in even a semblance of principle.

It is therefore not surprising that now their main opponent has been changed from someone equally lacking in principle (and it's no longer a youth-and-beauty contest) that the general electorate is turning away in disgusted droves at the obviousness of the leadership's shallowness and superciliousness.

Being able to learn by heart a long speech is an excellent qualification for being Best Man at a wedding - not so useful for running the country. I'm still in the Party and still paying my dues - but after 2 decades of so doing I can wait a bit longer till Tim Nice but Dim (and he is dim, however many Oxford firsts he scraped [they started giving them away in the '80s anyway]) collapses under the weight of his own contradictions.
' Sayeeda Waarsi???? Sayeeda Shmaarsi!!! '

Editor: I can't search the comments, but I believe I've always said that ConHome readers are more indicative than ConHome commenters. Your almost 60% approval rating from your readers (again, not the Tory grassroots, but this site's readers) contrasts to this day with the relentless negativity spewed in the comments columns. Were the reader to go by the comments, one would think Cameron's entire party was ready to depose him in favour of Ann Widdecombe.

Nonetheless, I will continue to object every time this particular self-selecting group is trotted out as "the grassroots". The real pollsters poll Conservative party supporters and we can be sure, because of scientific methods, that they are Conservative party supporters. The up and down of that sample is the only one that counts.

By definition, any reader of Conservative Home will have been subjected to weeks of slanted coverage of grammars (including the title of this very post). That sort of thing skews a sample. Most Conservative party members, I would be prepared to bet, are not yet on the internet or at the very least don't read blogs. They are influenced by the broadcast media and the printed press and better reflect the general public. ICM, Populus, YouGov, the major polling firms - that is what the media should trust to tell them the views of the true grassroots.

I notice that you don't respond to my main points, Tory T, which is fine but many of the people who take part in ConservativeHome surveys are not ConservativeHome readers. They are on our email lists supplied by other Conservative organisations as I noted above. They are hardly different in their views from those who do read ConservativeHome although they are older and less socially liberal.

It is clear that the Ealing by election will now be huge for any number of reasons.

A bad showing for the Lib Dems will spell the end of Ming the Hapless, giving them a Clegg-type bounce and making the Teinbridge's and Yeovil's that bit more difficult next time.

A bad showing for us will provoke shrieks from the Ostrich -like tendency within our own ranks, who will no doubt demand Shadow Cabinet roles for Cash and Leigh and the Party Chaiman's role for Ann Winterton with a mainifesto pledge to reintroduce ducking stools and the cat'o'nine tails.

I totally approve of the direction Cameron is taking us in, but would like to see a bit more fire in the belly from the front bench. The standing ovation for Blair was a huge mistake.

Contrast the tone of the likes of Kevin Maguire, Toynbee, Vera Baird, Caroline Flint and Ed Balls on the Left- real tribal hatred towards us 10 years into the Labour Govt, with the chummy complacent tone from too many of our guys.

Spelman's appalling elevation can only make this worse.


You are right to defend your methodology.

Cameroons should be less concerned about trad Tories scepticism/cynicism about Cameron as evinced here and more worried about the wider public's perception of Cameron and the silver spoon mob versus the son of the manse.

"All I can say is that if this is representative, the party is doomed to continue in opposition, squabbling amongst itself as the right of the party resist any attempt to move away from what they see as an ideological purity which has never in truth been the hallmark of the Conservative Party.

Had the internet been around in the early 80s, Labour would have never recovered".

Right is Right and Left is Left and never the twain shall meet (except in the middle of the road where it is dangerous).
We are often told that the majority of the country is by nature of a conservative outlook - someone should tell the Tories.

The internet has given us the ability to hold politicians to instant scutiny and account - before they could get away with it.

"We are often told that the majority of the country is by nature of a conservative outlook - someone should tell the Tories."

That must be why that recent survey indicated the public saw the party as far to the right of their own outlook then.......

"The internet has given us the ability to hold politicians to instant scutiny and account - before they could get away with it."

The internet has given us the ability to royally screw any serious campaign to atttract a broad church by giving voice to the loudest ideologues. Kinnock was able to sideline Militant; unfortunately the Conservatives will no longer be able to do the same with their own equivalent.

Cameron may lead the Conservative Party but it is not his plaything to do with as he chooses.

We members deserve a say in the party's affairs.

I'm glad Conservativehome gives us that say.

No double standards from me Traditional Tory. I have made the same point to intelligent posters like Londoner or Scotty as I would to someone like you.

Dontmakemelaugh is right on the money when he says:

"The internet has given us the ability to hold politicians to instant scutiny and account".

And I don't think they like it. We now have instant reporting. We can now contextualise events without the media or political parties doing it for us. When our MPs say something we can research the topic ourselves and look for weaknesses and inconsistencies in their views.

I now know a lot more about Tory MPs in general than I ever would have done in pre-internet days. I am far more sceptical than I ever was before and that is a good thing. MPs of all parties have got to raise their game (which makes a change given how often they tell the rest of us what to do).

I think Team Cameron are in danger of trying to fight today's battle with yesterday's tools. We are now in a post Blair era (and have been for some time). Of course there will always be spin but the public are more resistant to it today and they have the means to contradict it via the net.

"We members deserve a say in the party's affairs."


But it's the equation ConservativeHome=Members that is the problem. Many of Militant were members of Labour, but they did not equal the Labour party; they were simply the loudest idealogues.

That must be why that recent survey indicated the public saw the party as far to the right of their own outlook....

David: Do you have a link? I don’t doubt what you’ve said. I’d just like to see who carried out the survey and their methodology.

Most people don’t even think in terms of the left-right spectrum. It is merely a device - a very clumsy one - used by academics and commentators to batch the world into manageable groups.

The latest survey reflects what I hear out and about, and friends report, that any mention of Cameron is now greeted by a rolling of the eyes. People generally are not inimical to Eton, public schools, good education or even the Bullingdon.

What they don’t like is lack of principles - however nice a chap DC may be - gloss, PR, no experience of world most of us live in, never done anything - nor have many of his team - and all the things everyone here has heard about ad infinitum.

When Michael Howard became leader he put up a list of principles - it was on the wall at Smith Sq. - it was circulated to everyone. We may not have agreed with all of them but we knew where we stood.

I for one respected him for that - and campaigned and voted Conservative.

What is DC for? On the main issues of national leadership I don’t think he really knows. He comes across as a waffler who intermittently turns the broadcast knob to hector what sees as the die hards who are not green or libertarian on social issues – the whole left wing agenda.

And he is so very, very wrong.

Editor, it is true that (I think) your last survey chimed with the findings of one main pollster, was it ICM, but it also and more pertinently true that over the months ConservativeHome has reflected the exact opposite of what the actual grassroots - as recorded by major pollsters - were saying about Cameron and his leadership.

While the teeth gnashing and grumbling continued in the comments columns here, poll after poll showed natural Conservative supporters overwhelmingly staying with the party when prompted by Cameron's name, whereas Labour and LibDem supporters deserted when reminded of Ming and Brown. And of course Cameron picked up plenty of non-Conservative supportes, consistently outpolling his party.

Mike Smithson at politicalbetting has a theory, which polls have consistently borne out, that when David Cameron is on the news - as he presently is not - the Tory position improves. This was certainly true after the grammars affair, which was the last time he received sustained coverage, coverage Conservative Home and many other commenters described as negative. But Cameron's mere presence on the news agenda pushed us into our highest ever position with YouGov, 39%.

What we are seeing now is a lack of Cameron because the news media has the Brown honeymoon and terror narratives. When he returns to our screens, our polls will revert to their default position.

You know my respect for this site as one of its most prolific posters! But I also must - as you do - call it as I see it.

Sometimes I am so exasperated I wish to heavens Cameron would call a second leadership contest or a third endorsement ballot of the party membership. Anybody who thinks the results would be different to the last leadership election is deluding themselves. In fact I daresay that leader loyalty would see DC's position improve from 67% to about 85%. Perhaps that way we could hear less of "the grassroots disapprove". In my experience, the active membership have been expecting a Brown honeymoon and are entirely unfazed by it. We wait til after conference season, as your YouTube videos of the main pollsters recently told us to do.

"David: Do you have a link?"

Sorry, no. I don't tend to keep links to things I see in passing on the off chance I might comment on it on a blog.

"Most people don’t even think in terms of the left-right spectrum. It is merely a device - a very clumsy one - used by academics and commentators to batch the world into manageable groups."

I'd have thought it the other way around actually. Most people are used to thinking in terms of left and right, and still put things into that category, while is the acedemics that perform more complex analysis (the horseshoe, the libertarian/authoritarian axis etc).

The internet has given us the ability to royally screw any serious campaign to atttract a broad church by giving voice to the loudest ideologues. Kinnock was able to sideline Militant; unfortunately the Conservatives will no longer be able to do the same with their own equivalent.

We still had a broad church at Maggie’s last election when we had (a) the core vote, and (b) 4 million others.

By Major’s last election the 4 million had disappeared and we were left with the core vote only.

Are you saying that those who want to recover the 4 million (the broad church people) are equivalent to Militant? But Militant lost votes for Labour.

ConHome is basically a platform for dissent. ConHome makes it difficult for The Tories to move forward because the bile spewed out here makes it into the MSM. Tim, you're doing Labour's work for theM!

I have severe doubts as to whether DC can actually bounce back from the damage that he has inflicted on himself. He needs to ditch the 'Pimms' brigade and concentrate on 'bread and butter' issues like housing, low-tax, the environment, immigration, infrastructure and so on. If he continues the PC-esque statements and sideshows ( that one living with a well-off Asian family was priceless) he is doomed to failure.

I'd have thought it the other way around actually.

It isn’t. Only a tiny minority of academics/commentators make use of the authoritarian/libertarian thing. On the other hand the ordinary citizen will often have a jumble of beliefs that come from all parts of the spectrum (and is thus despised as a “politically illiterate” by the elites).


What utter nonsense. ConHome is a platform for people of all political affiliations to comment on conservative party and policy issues. Its what politics should be about. ConHome helps the Tories move forward not hinders it - go read the 'your platform' and 'tory diary' sections for excellent threads and discussions.

"We still had a broad church at Maggie’s last election "

CAse in point. It's all about Maggie. Still.

The country has moved on.

"Are you saying that those who want to recover the 4 million (the broad church people) are equivalent to Militant? But Militant lost votes for Labour"

And the purists are losing votes for the Conservatives. Harking back to a slightly mythical notion of Thatcherite purity is not going for a broad church.

Cameron could rapidly restore his popularity if he would spend more time being The Leader of the Opposition.

We are being lied to by Brown and his dishonesty is not being exposed enough by our Shadow Cabinet.

Morale is low due to poor leadership.

A Conservative's loyalty is to Queen and country and party rather than to an individual leader. Just as respect has to be earned - loyalty has to be earned to.

I'd like Cameron to be more Conservative, more democratic, more patriotic and more combative in opposition to the left wing policis of the other two parties.

First rule of war and politics as exemplified By Julius Caesar and William the Conqueror--secure your base.
Second rule-dont open fire on your own supporters.
Third rule-appoint as your officers those who your soldiers support and respect dont impose a motley collection of ethnics gays and women candidates who demonstrably lose you votes as they did in 2005.

It seems few in the party have learnt anything from the shambles we became in the mid-90s over Europe.

At least Europe was an issue worth getting worked up on, this time members are busy destroying themselves about a school system that no longer exists and hasn't existed for decades.

The changes Cameron has been pushing through are our party's last shot at reviving our fortunes, fail this time and we can look forward to permanent opposition.

If this carries on the current generation of members will go down in history as the wreckers of a party that has lasted for centuries.

When I filled in a CH survey a few months ago I ticked the party affiliation box as Other. I can't believe there are a lot of people who will go through the effort of filling out a survey to misrepresent their party adherence in order to skew a survey. Perhaps I am wrong and there are legions of 'astroturfers' and 'UKIP Trolls' with nothing better to do with their time than insinuate themselves into the Tories. Why would anyone be that fascinated by a declining party?

I have always seen CH as ch, a discussion board for people of a conservative frame of mind rather than solely members of the official Conservative Party who have to support that party. Therefore, I have recently started adding - Ukipper - to my post name so that readers do not confuse my views with those of Conservative Party members.

It would be useful to have confirmation or otherwise from the Editor that ordinary conservatives like me who have conservative principles but oppose the Conservative Party can post. If not, I won't.

Finally, I know the Editor feels that PPCs and others should be allowed to post under pseudonyms to avoid upsetting unspecified local members, but disagree. I would like to see everyone posting above their own name and also party affiliation. I believe that would increase the quality of debate but then I like policy discussions rather than trading abuse (most of the time).

Hold on AS@10:51. 'Don't impose a motley collection of ethnics gays and women candidates'. What a statement to make. Yes, the A-List was a pc disaster but blame DC etc for that! Constituencies can say NO to the a-list and select candidates on MERIT alone. I fall into the 'gay' category and don't find your comment remotely abusive or upsetting - just sad and hilarious. If you automatically discount a candidate just because of gender, sexuality or colour that's your loss.

I see the survey is on p1 of The Telegraph. Perhaps Mr Cameron will finally realise how unhappy we all are.


It's called humble pie and very hard for all of us to swallow.

CAse in point. It's all about Maggie. Still.

Ah, I thought so! An argument-avoiding Old Guarder trying to pass himself off as a 'moderniser'.

Look, it's very simple: If she got us (a) the core vote, and (b) an extra 4 million, then she could hardly have been a purist. Got it? A tough one eh?

Time to move on indeed. You people led us to the worst election defeat of any major party since 1832. And now you want to do it again.

Get over it. Old boy.

Perdix:ConHome is basically a platform for dissent. ConHome makes it difficult for The Tories to move forward because the bile spewed out here makes it into the MSM. Tim, you're doing Labour's work for theM!

This one crops up repeatedly, and I have some sympathy with Perdix's comments about bile and the media (although less with the view that the monthly survey is unreliable).

The problem always comes down to this, though: where is the mass readership pro-Cameroon blog? There used to be something called "The Cameron Leadership" (or something like that) but it seems to have died.

You'd think there would be a vast reservoir of loyalist non-bile dispensers keen to tell the world why DC deserves support, but apparently people are either very shy or not loyal enough to vote on the CH survey or form their own website? That can't be right.

Go on, Perdix - set up CameroonHome. I'd read it.


I think you scored a hole in one there.

Recover from Grammargate? What about Standing ovation-gate? Or "heir to Blair"-gate Or Not-having-a-Homeland-Security-minister-gate when the country is hit by Islamists.

"Look, it's very simple: If she got us (a) the core vote, and (b) an extra 4 million, then she could hardly have been a purist. Got it? A tough one eh?"

Not really. As I said, the country has moved on, and thinking that a platform based on a quasi-mythological view of what Thatcher stood for will not take the party forward or cause it to capture the necessary broad church. The issue of ideological purity refers to those who believe any deviation from that platform should not occur. Constantly referring back to 'the good old days' of Thatcher will not win.

Bill @11.15: I'm not trying to score anything. I'm just making the point that if ConHome were really unrepresentative, it would be replaced rapidly by a rival.

As I said, I have a lot of sympathy with Perdix - there's a bit too much pointscoring here; at times it almost gets as childish as Political Betting.....

(warning: message may contain irony)

cameron gets rid of Patrick Mercer and sits on his hands for months while we could have been at the forefront in dealing with the issue of security while Labour had its leadership contest (or lack of one). Now we appoint two non-politicians to deal with security when Brown and Smith are in charge and are competently dealing with the whole issue, so much so that David Davis is singing their praises! Denis Mcshane has a good piece in the Telegraph today - cameron would do well to read it and pass it around his shadow cabinet.

Political parties must evolve or die. In the past that process of evolution was in the hands of a few who controlled the strings. Often parties took paths that were anthema to any of their members who suffered in silence or deserted them. The internet now offers the grassroots to show above the ground and inform politicians of its feelings.
The process of debate is valuable but must necessarily bring out opposing views. People who post here in fury that an opposite view has been expressed are not involved in mature debate but in an attempt to convert the heathen.

Willetts and Swires did the Party disservice with politically naive outbursts. Cameron has been so overcome by the reaction that he has become invisible. The front-bench spokesman are mute or are in total agreement with Brown's government. So, where else can our party debate the future or even current events? Can we only be heard at the ballot box?

Victor @ 11.57 - Swire's comments were stupid beyond belief, but Willetts is right school vouchers are the way forward not reviving school systems abolished many years ago. What few grammar schools remain aren't helping the poorest achieve.

As an ex Constituency Chairman whose association had one of the best results in the General election, I too am not renewing my membership, have resigned from the Patrons Club, and want nothing more to do with the Conservative Party under Cameron's leadership. He doesn't want the likes of me, and I don't intend supporting him. How many long standing members feel like this, I know many do in this constituency that I lead successfully for 4 years.

“That must be why that recent survey indicated the public saw the party as far to the right of their own outlook then…........” See David @10 09

Well, lets have a look at the re birth of Genghis Khan alias David Cameron’ and his Tories and a man far “to the right of their own outlook”. He:

Promised to leave the EPP as soon as he was made leader (kicked into the long grass)

Voted against extending detention period of 28 days for terrorists. (Police will not arrest a suspect bomber in hospital - being guarded – because the 28-day clock will start running).

Left himself open to a charge of wanting to hug hoodies.

Decided to criticise America on the last 9/11 anniversary.

Equates family life between married men and women as being on par with civil partnerships between gays.

Voted to repeal S 28

Wants to tax air travel in the belief that it will save the planet ( questionable science promoted by Al Gore and the EU)

Dropped his predecessor’s policy of negotiating for the return of our fishing rights.

Was said to be the driving force behind the last Tory manifesto, but has since done an about turn.
(Banged on about the EU and immigration - wrongly?)

Appointed Clarke, the man reputed to have said that he wanted Parliament to have all the power of a parish council (he succeeded)) in charge of his “Democracy” policy.

Did not want the membership to choose MEP members..

Had Maude appointed party chairman.

Does not want an English parliament.

The above are just some of Dave’s “right wing” policies, which we are to assume are far to the right of the average Briton (“far to the right their own outlook”).

You are right Dave, I am a militant in the sense that the Conservative Party has been hijacked by the Left – I don’t like it. I hope things are going to change.
To cap it all, Dave requested a standing ovation for Blair.
Come the next election Dave will probably be seen to be to the left of Brown.
If Dave is seen as some to be a rabid right winger Michael Foot would have been pleased.

Wow! The local elections where the Tories won over 900 seats seems such a long time ago now.


In answer to your question "where is the mass readership pro-Cameroon blog?" I wonder if you ever read the fora on WebCameron? There's a good number of people there who think DC is wonderful, although it has to be said many of them appear to be youngish and/or people who have not in the past voted Conservative.

So very different to most CH posters in all respects I suspect :-)

ConHome is basically a platform for dissent. ConHome makes it difficult for The Tories to move forward because the bile spewed out here makes it into the MSM. Tim, you're doing Labour's work for theM!

Posted by: Perdix | July 03, 2007 at 10:40

Agree entirely with these sentiments - I'd return your party subscriptions to the lot of you. Try attacking that thieving and deeply flawed individual gordon brown before waffling on about Cameron !

Forty-odd years on the political left has taught me a thing or a million about back-biting.

However, the continuing bitching and internecine feuding (for example on Iain Dale and here on Conservativehome) speaks wonders. And there was Anne Winterton (no “Lady” she, of cockles and bananas fame) skewering the leadership in Parliamentary Monitor, and reported overnight at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6263486.stm:

Lady Winterton, an MP for 24 years, said the leadership needed to realise that “those with grey hair” would be the largest group of people voting at the next general election and called for greater consultation with them.

“It is vital that they are not neglected as the policies are formulated.”

She added: “David Cameron is young, by parliamentary standards and many of those advising him are very young.

“I think that there is a learning curve and experience is a great teacher.”

Phew! Anyone daft enough to have been spread-betting on Cameron would be well advised to lay the commitment off, fast: Guido please note.

Testing times for "Dave" eh? Given the events of the weekend why haven't the Tories highlighted the fact that many of the problems we face with Islamic fundamentalism are a consequence of this government's policies: the catastrophic loss of control of our borders and the inability of the State to deport criminals and terrorist suspects because of Human Rights legislation.
Instead we get more of the same focus-group driven softly, softly approach. This may be a good time to bury bad new - hard luck Mr Maude but, is the public, interested or bothered? I doubt it.
About time the current leadership started to realise that presentation is no substitute for content. In the French presidential elections the people were offered a clear choice between two distinct political philosophies and 80% turned out to vote. What's the difference between Nu-Labour and Tory-Lite?

People in these threads just need to calm down. Gordon Frown is a dirty operator and his luck has held longer than expected. But the economy's on the turn now with interest rates ratcheting up to 6%. Taxes and inflation are squeezing living standards, and as for pensions, well we all know about that.

Frown's past is catching up with him.

He can try a bit more stealth - this time playing around with voting systems, - but not many are being fooled. His scheme to unstitch the Lib Dems will probably backfire.

It's only in the Conservative Party that Cameron's less popular. He's rebulding his position now, and has moved a long way since Bliar left, saying it's time for the 'and theory' now. There was no point in doing anything real while Bliar was around. As Cameron said, it was a phoney era of shifting sands.

Give Cameron two weeks to readjust the programme to face Frown, and see Frown's lead evaporate on the rock of his economic failures. The hype's wearing out.

If Conservatives could act like Conservatives, and be a bit steadier, it would be entirely sensible, at this moment of change from Bliar to Frown to be a little more patient with Cameron who did well facing Bliar. This part of the game's only just started.

Gordon Brown doesn't have any trust fund Old Etonians in his cabinet. Just shows how much we're doing under David Cameron.

In my admittedly limited experience of the grass roots, they are generally humble, easy going people with small taste for ideology. Even ideology which supports their own vision gets short shrift. In the old days it was deference which held them together and tethered them mumbling in the wake of whomsoever was selected to lead them. They probably don't differ much from this today.

Arthur Waik @ 12.42: I might give WebCameron another look, although it's always seemed a bit, well, thin in the past. Does anyone know what the relative traffic figures are?

"There used to be something called "The Cameron Leadership" (or something like that)"

It died a death through a severe lack of interest. Interest started to die just days after DC's election as leader - when most Tories realised that Cameron was just disguised as a Tory and was Bliar's even more evil twin.

"Wow! The local elections where the Tories won over 900 seats seems such a long time ago now."

Yes, but of course that was more to do with the English electorate's desperation to be rid of or to punish ZaNu Labour. Nothing to do with them actually liking DC - he's mostly seen as a vacuous steam vessel by the electorate, and by the Tory membership.

"Yes, but of course that was more to do with the English electorate's desperation to be rid of or to punish ZaNu Labour. Nothing to do with them actually liking DC -"

Really? Can you explain then why the LibDems lost over 250 seats (to us)?

60%ish satisfaction rating isn't exactly *bad*. And about half of the members responding still say they think we'll win the next General Election. Hardly a disaster. More a blip.

In my view Cameron's pitch - we're neo-Blairite Paternalists - isn't really the best one - the best would be closer to the pitch Davis offered in 2005 (though Cameron was the superior candidate), using Whiggish solutions to address Paternalist (social) concerns. I think that Cameron's pitch creates an unnecessary wedge between him and the Party, which over time would risk many repetitions of the grammar schools debacle. And it is unnecessary, because I think his own beliefs and the policies he would actually follow in office are reflective of a clearly Whiggish viewpoint, in line with the vast majority of the Party. If he chooses to, he can perfectly authentically project the Whiggish-solutions-for-Paternalist-concerns pitch, for that is what he believes himself. Go for it!

"..why haven't the Tories highlighted the fact that many of the problems we face with Islamic fundamentalism are a consequence of this government's policies"

Because, Carlisle Mark, as we know: DC and his cabinet support unlimited and unchecked mass immigration from the third world whole heartedly. They're not going to dare to speak out against the liberal consensus - as they are part of the liberal consensus.

To stand up to Islam and to actually oppose its virulent ideology and its proponents residing in the UK would require a great deal of strength - a strength which even eluded Maggie. The Tories have no-one of her magnitude to lead them, let alone anyone stronger still.

NuLabour, BluLabour - they're both the same to me !

Stephen Tolkinghorne: thank you for your nuanced, nicely understated response. I expect the recent rain has been Cameron's fault, too?

"Really? Can you explain then why the LibDems lost over 250 seats (to us)?"

Certainly, the Lib Dems are just unmotivated by their leader and didn't turn out (they've a crisis too, if you hadn't noticed).

The reason why there are so many persistent negative posts on these websites is because they give people who are unhappy with the leadership a place to complain, and hopefully a chance to initiate change.

People with praise don't need a platform becuase they don't want to change anything!

Therefore, we get the impression most people are unhappy.

I am becoming more and more depressed. I am a Conservative, been a member for the past 21 years, but it is the first time that the Conservative Party is doing so much of posturing without any real policies. Contrary to whatever Cameron and Osborne say, we are not setting the agenda - there is no intellectual content in the argument except for the vacuous claim by Osborne that we the heir to Blair.

Cameron is an insult to Eton and Oxford because a large number of OEs are wringing their hands in despair. What Osborne and cameron must recognise is that people voted for the Conservatives not because they loved us - but they knew what we stood for and what they were getting. Alas it is no longer true.

Weasel words and PC posturing wont win votes any more (their time has gone with Blair). Social Liberalism - Yes, up to a point; PC - NO NO NO; fiscal conservatism - Yes please; tough immigration policy - a must (Brown is about to hijack this one if we are not careful!!); Foreign policy should be in the interest of Britain (not for the benefit of foreigners as Sir Humphrey Appleby once said).

"..I expect the recent rain has been Cameron's fault, too?"

No, its as a result of NATURAL global warming.

Although, of course, Dave would like us to think that it's all our fault - as he jets off to the North Pole to look at fluffy polar bears and seals to make us feel guilty.

Yet another example of DC nonsense.

At least wait for the policy review Yogi.


Foreign policy should be for the benefit of foreigners, but also for our own benefit in two senses - the general one that we all benefit from a peaceful just world; but more importantly that we benefit morally by grasping the opportunity to do The Right Thing. A foreign policy based on selfishness has not been the standard British approach for at least the past 250 years, and perhaps a little longer - except in brief periods where it was imposed on us by necessity (e.g. in the periods of retreat from Empire). No government with Cameron, Osborne and Gove at its heart is going to be anything but aggressively interventionist, duty-driven and unselfish in international affairs, whomever we appoint as our minor advisors...

A foreign policy based on selfishness has not been the standard British approach for at least the past 250 years,

Quite a satirist. I certainly hope we have pursued a self-interested foreign policy or it will have been pointless men dying....it would certainly be hard to justify taking over from The John Company or The Rhodesia Company, or fighting the Boer War; or fighting the Opium Wars; or fighting the Crimean War; or fighting Napoleon.......for altruistic reasons - in fact it would be positively demented

"Hardly a disaster. More a blip."

Unless you have a crystal ball, Andrew, that assertion seems a bit premature. Cameron's approval rating appears to be in steady decline, but I suppose future CH polls could prove you right.

The problem always comes down to this, though: where is the mass readership pro-Cameroon blog?

Yes, exactly. Mind you, a blog that consisted entirely of people endlessly praising St David could run out of steam after a very short time.

There was once an American newspaper dedicated to 'good news'. It went bust after a month.

As for the bright young things who apparently circle round the throne of grace at Webcameron or whatever his transparently phoney site is called I don't doubt that they are creations of CCHQ.

Dissatisfaction with Cameron isn't confined to CH. Three cheers for Mrs Hamilton, the excellent Chairman of Newark (?) Conservatives who went on R4 this lunchtime to speak for the thoroughly fed up grassroots.

You of course are no doubt an expert on climate change aren't you Stephen Tolkinghome?
Is this yet another example of your complete nonsense?

You need some memorable positive actions to supplant hoodie-hugging and grammargate in the public consciousness. (I don't condemn the ovation for Blair; it showed that you aren't mean-spirited, particularly given the customary yah-booh partisan exchanges in the Commons that we find such a turn-off.)

For starters, how about:

# Abolish inheritance tax on primary residence.

# Assuming you are serious about Europe referendum (generally, not just current Treatystution), then slogan
"Vote G.B.- Get E.U."

B.t.w. -Reforming NHS would take on a new dimension, given the professions of the recent would-be bombers!

The problem with many of those in the Tory party, from the upper and upper middle classes, is that they do not understand what drives the C1s and C2s. In the 50s and 60s there was still a deferential vote which helped support the public school educated, grouse moor, landed gentry image of a Tory grandee. People accepted patronising drivel from their leaders ( "you've never had it so good" etc).
They didn't in the 70s and 80s, and this is
why Thatcher and Tebbit succeeded. They spoke the language of the C1s and C2s many of whom for the first time could see the Tory party as the vehicle for their own material advancement rather than the Labour party which they instinctively voted for.
Cameron's idiocy is to refuse to accept that in return for the support of Thatcherite C1s and C2s to the Tory fold, the Tories have to offer material benefits which will outweigh the benefits they know Labour will give them in welfare. The only way the Tories can do this is in tax cuts.
Offering a Blairite policy of public services first and tax cuts second gives no incentive to vote Tory. Cameron's idea of tax cuts after growth in the economy is naive. With interest rates rising, and tax rising under Labour, individuals and companies will struggle to have any disposable income to spend or invest - ie: no economic growth and presumably the Cameron tax burden will rise to offset the
downturn. This is socialism. The Tories must offer dramatic tax cuts to win the support of the aspirational C1s and C2s. Promising to scrap stamp duty, inheritance tax, and capital gains tax would be a powerful message as people will directly benefit. For every first time or second time buyer burdened with stamp duty, there is an extended family who will also approve its abolition. The Treasury gets little for these taxes in the overal scheme of things.
As Council tax has doubled in 10 years, there should be a policy of halving it immediately. Councils will then have to manage within reduced budgets and if it means central government reforming public sector pension contributions and paying for them centrally, then this should be done.
Get the tax income right, and then see what is left to spend, not the other way round.
If Cameron and Osborne knew what it was like to support a family on GBP800 a month after tax and mortgage, they might appreciate why tax cuts are not a luxury but a necessity.
Otherwise people will have to vote Labour in order to get some cash handouts - the money has to come from somewhere.
The other three big issues are
a)Immigration ( sending back illegals and controlling numbers is a priority ),
b) Zero tolerance for criminals is wanted - double the prison places on the basis that if they are locked up they cannot commit crime,
c) becoming semi-detached with the EU would be popular if we could spend the billions we hand over on ourselves instead. The people know the EU is a corrupt unaudited Franco-German racket which is set on destroying all our traditions and milking us dry - let's go for the Norway option. The EU needs us more than we need them. This will bring back many in UKIP back to the Tories.

What is absolutely certain is that the C1s and C2s do not buy into windmills on roof tops, or hugging hoodies. They want red meat policies which they can see will benefit them and their children. If the Tories prefer to be the heirs to Blair, then I cannot see them winning the next election against a sitting Prime Minister whose gravitas appeals to most men even if we don't agree with him ( in the same way people voted for Thatcher). Most people will prefer to follow someone who knows where he's going, even if in the wrong direction, than to follow a vacuous ditherer still wet behind the ears.

When will your correspondents get real.

1) The “traditional” policies lost us three elections in a row, so why do these old harumphers actually believe that a return to “conservative principles” are going to work this time
2) The continued sniping in public will simply undermine the leadership at a time when it needs support
3) The criticism of some that there are too many “young” people in the cabinet is nonsense. It is a sign of strength that we have such young and able politicians in our ranks

What we should be doing is showing loyalty and support to David Cameron, who after all decimated Labour in the recent elections, what short memories some people have.

The future lies in the centre ground some fanciful rose tinted right wing vision of a glorious past.

Keep on modernising David, get real the rest of you!

What we should be doing is showing loyalty and support to David Cameron, who after all decimated Labour in the recent elections

What a gross insult to all the men and women who worked hard for the party during the local elections.

The victory was their triumph - not Cameron's

No doubt 'Jeremy has been a member of the party for at least five minutes...

...assuming he's a member at all.

Peter | July 03,at 15:06

Hear, hear!

Got to say. I still think the Conservatives have it wrong getting wound up on Grammars. The whole fiasco makes the party look bad and shows you haven't moved forward. I agree that the ethos of a school and its ability to select pupils is important. As a "bright" child I hated being teased in my mixed class, where the majority weren't interested in study. However streaming can also be a way of solving this problem. What do you do for the borderline child who isn't ready at 11 or whenever to have their life decided. Can they change schools at 16 if their performance suddenly improves. Given the problems with girls "outperforming" boys do you intend to enforce a gender balance which was done in some Grammars in the 1950's.

Expectations are key, what middle class parent is going to write their child off for life which means tutoring or private school if they can't buy their way into the catchment area. This means that children from poorer backgrounds are the most likely to suffer. Numerous studies indicate children from more financially deprived backgrounds who are just as intelligent as middle class children at 5 see their performance drop away, because of the lack of help and expectations at home plus the fact that many schools don't seem to be able to maintain discipline even at primary school level, let alone teach. The fact that Euan Blair needed extra coaching despite his background and attendance at Brompton Oratory says it all. The impression one is left with is that by maintaining grammars the Conservatives are looking after their own kind and don't care about the education of the nation. I fully agree that for most parents the concerns are for the well being of their own children, but it isn't much of an inclusive party policy and yes despite what some of the commentators may think you do need to be more inclusive at least if you ever want to be voted into government again!

I would also concur with one of your other commentators that most of the people who write in are anti Cameron and really can't accept that the party needs to be more socially liberal if it is going to win middle Britain not just the party stalwarts. Most of the people in my office wouldn't consider themselves natural conservatives and yet I work in the Finance Industry and if they aren't naturally Tory leaning I don't know who is!

There is a myth that all of Cameron's critics are right-wing. Many are libertarians - social as well as economic liberals. Cameron, contrary to the spin, is an authoritarian centralist. His political correctness and positive discrimination are illiberal.

We have yet to see any policies, especially on health and education, that can be described as economically liberal. Those who have been announced retain the failed statist framework of state schooling and socialised medicine.

Willetts had ruled real school vouchers, i.e. redeemable against private school fees, as too expensive. Fox's excellent "patient's passport" was dropped in the name of political expediency.

The so-called modernisers are nothing of the sort. These Notting Hill "trustafarians" want to return to the "noblesse oblige" of the 50s, 60s and 70s when the "proles" knew their place.

It is time to fight the statist consensus of the establishment elite. Blair has ruined this country. The last thing we need is a Blair clone wearing a blue rosette.

Cameron's steadily increasing dissatisfaction ratings with grassroots Tory members is not just down to Grammergate Tim, that is simply the Cameroonian spin. It is about far more than that, principally his floundering attempts to turn the Conservative party into Blue Labour. There are now so many policy areas where he is completely at odds with the membership and with Tory voters that it really is impossible to know where to start in enumerating them.

If Cameron wants to survive as Tory leader, let alone actually win an election, then he is going to have to face up to the fact that only listening to non conservatives like Steve Hilton and the rest of the Notting Hillbillies is making him unpopular and unelectable. If he carries on as he is then Brown will trounce him and we are set for our own 18 years in the wilderness.

P.S. - TFA Tory, couldn't agree with you more!

"The “traditional” policies lost us three elections in a row, so why do these old harumphers actually believe that a return to “conservative principles” are going to work this time"

Would those be the "traditional" policies of John Major ("I want to be at the heart of Europe); No referendum on Maastricht; 15% interest rate; Clarke's parish council and fuel escalator plus sleaze and desire to join the euro?

Would those be the "traditional" policies of our man in the baseball cap (I think he was happy to keep the pound for one parliament; told us we were at risk of living in a foreign country, but changed his mind. Hague the vaigue and now he has so many fingers in so many pies he doesn't know what he does actually believe in.

By the time we get to Howard people were still sick to death of your version of "traditional" policies and it was decided that we shouldn't bang on about the EU or immigration (sorry to have to repeat myself), but these commenters that firmly believe along with Cameron that we lost the last three elections because of "traditional" policies are, to quote Cameron, "delusional". We never were following traditional policies, but Lib/Dim policies. Some never learn even after losing three "traditonal" elections.
Traditional my ....rear end.

Ahh once again the Big Lie is broiught out, this time by Dontmakemelaugh. That Big Lie is that the voters didn't and don't like proper conservative policies. In fact, and I do mean fact since Lord Ashcroft's extensive polling proved exactly this point, the electorate liked and stilkl do like the policies, it was the party leader and the party's image that they did not want to vote for.

So since the only thing that Cameron has achieved, other than seriously offending most of his own members and voters, is the rebranding that removes that voter dislike, then it is time to give the electorate the policies that they have unequivocally said time and time again that they do like, do want and will vote for. And those plicies are exactly the proper conservative ones that all those New Labourites masquerading as Tories (or LibDems in drag if you prefer) are so very afraid of because they know in their hearts that their agenda of destroying the Tory party from within by making it exactly the same as the other two left wing main parties will fail once we return to the policy platform that WON us 4 general elections in a row.

Jeremy: to get "real" is exactly what I have done. Not renewed my membership, because I no longer support Cameron's new Conservative Party, and certainly don't intend voting for it. That is the real position.

) The “traditional” policies lost us three elections in a row,

Okay list those policies then employ MORI or Gallup or some other pollster to market test them on the public.

It is about time the Conservative Party commissioned some polls on policies - let's see what it is that makes people turn away from the Conservative Party and give Labour a resounding 21.6% support in the last General Election

Posted by: Peter | July 03, 2007 at 15:06

I think that you have summed the situation up very well, Peter.

Genuine Conservative | July 03, 2007 at 18:00: I am not quite sure where my “big lie” comes in; perhaps irony isn’t my strong point.
It isn’t a lie that Major lost his election and I dispute the fact that he was following traditional Tory policies when he did so. He drove the Tory bus into a brick wall. Because of him the Tory Party was stymied and until the media finally fell out of love with Blair the Tories had no chance of gaining power.
I also dispute the fact that Howard was as right wing as he was portrayed to be and anyway, the media was still bamboozled by Blair.

I found your comment confusing, what do you regard as traditional conservative policies?
Cameron does not seem to have much in the way of traditional conservative policies.
If the general public is said to like the message but not the messenger, it is probably because they do not trust the messenger. In Cameron’s case they are said to like the messenger, but not the message (some in the Tory party do not like the messenger either). The grass roots are said to be confused. Aren’t we all? Who knows what traditional conservative principles and values are now supposed to be? LibLabCon Party maybe

Traditional Conservative values were lost when Thatcher rose to prominance (in the same manner to which the US Republic Party lost it's values after the Nixon/Ford era) and it has taken us nearly two decades to revert to type. Despites it's successes, Thatcherism fostered 'selfish Conservatism', within the party that still lingers, and rears its head when it feels neglected. 'Selfish Conservatism' is obessed with personal advancement and demands that the individuals core values are lauded over the values of the collective party membership and the values held by the nation. When you listen to them, as we did between 1997 and 2005, the party becomes the personal plaything of the disgruntled selfish right wing and remains out of power. And the Selfish Conservative secretly, has no problem with that idea, as the party still serves their interests regardless.

They then promptly air their pent up agression on internet forum, now the prefered method of choice rather than the local nad national press in the days of old. They slate Cameron and the modernisers, hark back to William Hague, demand a leadership contest (completely oblivious to Hagues own personal journey these past six years) get easily frightened by every insignificant statistical poll movement, evoke their halcyon days as party members years, or decades ago and then threaten to leave because Cameron dares to re-iterate Tory policy on grammar schools (ie; that we never built any since the days of Thatcher and we won't be doing so in the future).

The same people will probably tear this post to shreds, I expect that. I apologise in advance, i'm usually quite reserved by I'm sickened by the negative selfish attitudes expressed by some Conservative posters on this site.

Afleitch forgets that Thatcher won three general elections. Reagan, presumably the "target" of his comments re the post Nixon-Ford era, won two Presidential elections.

Ted Heath was elected on the Selsdon manifesto, did a famous u-turn and lost two general elections. George Bush Snr lost to Bill Clinton.

The disastrous decisions by Major and Lawson to shadow the Deutschemark and join the ERM resulted in inflation, record interest rates and negativity. It was their economic incompetence and sleaze that lost us the confidence of the electorate.

Hague inherited a poisoned chalice and never stood a chance in 2001. He has, however, been proved right about Europe, immigration and asylum.

AFleitch is apparently delighted that Cameron's Conservatives are returning to the "losing" policies of Heath and Major. The Thatcherites are expected to shut up and watch the disaster unfold.

How selfish and bloody stupid!

What on earth will you all have to say when we go ahead again in the polls, as we surely will.
GB has only been PM for a week and already your killing us off,the electorate and some of CH readers will soon remember that he has been joined at the hip with Blair for 10 years.
If you get yourselves in such a state over one poll thank god there isn't a war or something to really worry about.

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