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"We have been ahead in the polls for 18 months until Brown took over"

This is of course the salient point. How many of our gains were because of Cameron and how many were anti-Blair votes. Everyone knew Blair was off, and the last local elections were a final chance to give him a bloody nose.

Until Brown was in no-one knew. I suspect that our much trumpeted 900 extra councillors was not entirely down to “Dave”, and it certainly wasn’t down to our policies, and was mainly down to a certain Anthony Blair going, and everyone wanting to make sure he didn’t leave with his much vaunted ‘legacy’

Sadly, I think that Cameron may have left it too late to change. In most peoples eyes he may be a nice guy, but the PR gimmicks have stuck and now the public associate him as being all style and no substance.

Post-Blair the public was always likely to be in favour of something that wasn’t Blair. Brown is exactly that. He may be dull, and have no charisma, but he is the opposite of what they had before. Call it a rebound relationship, but I have said this before and will say it again, I think that we picked a Blair clone as the public fell out of love with Blair.

Dominic Paul, when I read comments like that where you advocate dropping the leader now when we could be facing an Autumn election with a new Labour PM then I realise that you do not want a Conservative government and would be happy with Brown leading us for another 3/5 years.
You are obviously not unhappy with the job he did in the treasury for the last 10 years and think that Labour under him is the safer option?
Or better still how about a Labour/Libdem coalition, what fun that would be on every issue!!!!
If you have the best interests of the Conservative party at heart then you will want the best result for us at the next GE even if you are not a fan of DC, because unless we start putting more backsides in the HoC's soon we are going to be irrelevant who ever the leader is or what the policies are.
Changing leaders now would be political suicide for our party. Choosing the wrong leader once is unlucky, twice careless but 6 times might really turn us into a British political joke.
As for the critics who accuse of style over substance, well I think that it is time that the rest of the party started providing that substance by backing him. Such an easy grenade to lobe at Cameron by those that can't see that it was the party behind Thatcher, Blair and now Brown who gave them substance.

"House prices have stopped moving up.
The stock market (unrelated) is taking a pounding- has been almost daily for weeks.
...and many many are getting their new higher mortgage letters.
The Labour wheels are falling off."

In a crowded Cameroon field, this post is remarkable for its vacuous stupidity. Talk about clutching at straws.

London Stocks have not been "taking a pounding almost daily for weeks". Certainly they have fallen significantly today and this week but they are largely taking their cue from Wall Street and US sub-prime lending problems - not from anything Brown has done.

This correction - back to the previously unprecedented levels of two or three months ago - is hardly likely to have a major effect upon voting intentions.

Care to tell us how the fact that house prices have (allegedly) stopped moving up is going to turn first-time buyers against Brown?

George Osborne has 'a loyal following among party donors'. Likely to be the next Leader then. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

scotty, what does it take for you to understand that Cameron can't win because the voters don't believe in him and/or believe in his policies/indications.

Who in the party is not publicly backing Cameron? All the MPs - God knows why - appear to support him.

You missed the point of that post Bloody Minded.

House prices have for the first time in more than a decade stopped moving up. That may be a turning point where negative equity starts to kick in. Most voters are happy with Labour because they can afford things, often raised against borrowing from their homes. Those that have not borrowed have a 'feel good' factor about their paper wealth. This is a fundamental reason why Labour has done so well.That may be over- most have stated that house prices are unsustainable and far overpriced.

The stock market turn- M and A activity has now peaked, the US has not dropped anywhere like our market and a factor encouraging Bear markets is good interest from a bank account...that the B of E have been forced to set in place owing to inflation being too out of control here.

It is Brown's cows coming home.That is where the feel good factor ends. That is where the wheels come off.

OK.

To achieve the appearance of unity then we must actually be united. That won't happen whilst we have a leader who specifically ignores and denigrates the vast majority of his own membership and pledged voters.If the Cameroonies want a united party then they are going to have to understand that and to start to address the concerns of Conservative voters and members and not just those of Steve Hilton and the Guardian.

Oh and Tapestry, your Murdoch conspiracy theory just doesn't stand up to scrutiny you know. Murdoch has always been and remains a Eurosceptic, mainly because a Federal Europe would massively dilute his power and influence. Whilst I agree that he is plainly anti Cameron that is because he will always back what he believes to be a winner and he doesn't believe that Cameron is one.I would also caution you about trusting Cameron too much on Europe, after all he has already broken one firm promise on that topic and since his views on Europe are few and far between and largely based upon what what he thinks will keep his very eurosceptic party quiet for a while there are no strong grounds for trusting him on this, the most important of issues.

Arghhh, should be:
"and/or don't believe in his policies/indications".

To achieve the appearance of unity then we must actually be united. That won't happen whilst we have a leader who specifically ignores and denigrates the vast majority of his own membership and pledged voters.If the Cameroonies want a united party then they are going to have to understand that and to start to address the concerns of Conservative voters and members and not just those of Steve Hilton and the Guardian.

Oh and Tapestry, your Murdoch conspiracy theory just doesn't stand up to scrutiny you know. Murdoch has always been and remains a Eurosceptic, mainly because a Federal Europe would massively dilute his power and influence. Whilst I agree that he is plainly anti Cameron that is because he will always back what he believes to be a winner and he doesn't believe that Cameron is one.I would also caution you about trusting Cameron too much on Europe, after all he has already broken one firm promise on that topic and since his views on Europe are few and far between and largely based upon what what he thinks will keep his very eurosceptic party quiet for a while there are no strong grounds for trusting him on this, the most important of issues.

Dominic Paul:

'The other alternative would be to beef up the Cameron team with serious heavy
hitters with minds of their own who would gain voters'

So Dominic which heavy hitters might these be?

Go back to kindergarten, Eugene.

Why do you suppose that the Bank of England keeps raising interest rates if not to curb the rise in house prices? Whether it has succeeded we shall have to see. House price data is frequently inaccurate and contradictory.

Since it is the government's clear and entirely proper wish to control house price inflation I fail to see how an apparent success can be regarded as Brown's wheels coming off.

One wonders how would you like to see house prices performing under your hoped-for Cameron government. Average prices for 3 bedroomed houses running into seven figures perhaps?

The rest of your post reads as if it was written by a dalek on speed.

As a serious private investor I'm relaxed about recent falls. The average voter, of course, couldn't care less, and unless stockmarket reverses continue long enough to affect pension funds - which is highly unlikely - he will continue not to care.

Still, if these fantasies make you happy...

"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." So who thinks he or she is the perfect leader, or is sure there is another person who can topple Gordon and crush Labour at the next GE?

In politics, we listen, represent and lead. Our party elected David, so unless he stops listening and representing, we should support him to lead - very basic reasoning.

I thought perhaps I should not respond yet again Bloody Minded because you have clearly had a bad day at the office- rudeness and insults are symptoms of that.

However, go peak at the Business pages on the BBC website and there are many aspects there that completely agree with what I said.

Finally, take a lie down. You jump to so many conclusions in reading other peoples posts at the moment. Of course house prices must come down. It is overdue-I never wanted them to go to 7 figures. The fact is Mr Joe Voter out there does not like them coming down- look at the damage it did to the Conservatives in the early 90s.Now it is Brown's problem.

I'm confident that should an autumn election occur we will see the very best of David Cameron. An election will give three weeks mass exposure and David Cameron will have the opportunity to put forward his vision for the future. One of David's great strengths is his energy and I'm confident that in a fast-paced election campaign David Cameron will make Gordon Brown look like yesterdays man.

Any talk of electoral defeat and its aftermath is unproductive. What is required now is a united front against Labour. Each week our country is being laid to waste by an incompetent and egotistical government. We owe it to our country to oust Labour. The question is could Britain take another five years of faliure? Forget leadership questions and support the man who has the ability to lead us to victory at the next election. David Cameron.

What is required now is a united front against Labour.

As I said above: a lot of us want to see Dave's credentials before we give him any support or votes. He does not give me the impression that he is a Conservative.

The Cameron experiment will hopefully soon be over and a real Conservative taking over.

I don't see anything on the BBC site to support your view, Eugene. Stock markets have fallen worldwide over interest rate concerns. That registers with investors like me, but we're a small minority of the voting public and we're not blaming Brown anyway. We'll watch the markets over the days to come before rushing to any judgment.

The BBC also state that house prices were almost unchanged in July according to the Nationwide BS, as higher interest rates begin to bite. That means that the Bank of England is apparently achieving its goal. For a number of reasons I don't intend to detail here, there is little likelihood of a significant fall in house values.

But let's assume for the sake of argument that you are right and that the economy suddenly faces catastrophic collapse. It's so good to know that public-spirited caring Cameroons like you are preparing to dance in the street

I wouldn't put those silver shoes on just yet if I were you.

The newly appointed Shadow Minister for Cornwall, Mark Prisk MP was not acceptrd or selected by the Cornish years ago when he attempted to gain a seat. What makes Cameron think he will be accepted today?
To win the seats in Cornwall at the next election, good local, salt of the earth, charismatic Cornish based Candidates, were needed. Instead there was interference, manipulation and connivance for the appointment of A list female candidates, Imported Londoners and manna for heaven candidates who had second homes, which the Liberals are currently going to town on. Only the PPC for SE Cornwall is of the stuff and intellect required by the Cornish, and she has an uphill Battle against a dug in Liberal.
Ground troops are needed to form the basis of winning seats and a connection with the electorate by the PPCs on a local,we are one of you basis. This is not a feature of Cornwall as all good conservatives were sacked.

Jorgen, The party needs to reflect the asirations of the majority of the electorate if it is to re-gain power. That involves capturing the centre ground. David Cameron can see that. The Conservative party needs to be pragmatic and use what works and dispense with what doesn't work. That is the only sure way to meet the expectations of the British people. Only when these expectations are met will the party become electable. In the future the British people may well desire a hard line right-wing party, but right now they don't, and they won't vote for one. Stay in the middle ground or stay in opposition. The choice is clear.

Good question John Leonard there are Politicians that could head up departments and do a much better job than some of the present incumbents in the Shadow Cabinet .A few names that come to mind are Dr Julian Lewis, Mark Field. Andrew Rosindell, David Heathcoat- Amory, Phillip Davies, Phillip Hollobone, Patrick Mercer, Anne Widdecombe, Angela Watkinson, John Redwood to name a few.
Who would you choose or would you keep to Dave’s choice?

Tony, I have answered all this in my comments above. The polls show that you are wrong and the comments in the newspapers why you are wrong.

>>Jorgen, The party needs to reflect the asirations of the majority of the electorate if it is to re-gain power. That involves capturing the centre ground<<

Meaningless drivel repeated endlessly by people who can't think for themselves.

Cameron's idea of the "centre ground" is well to the left of most normal people who are keen on immigration control and cracking down on crim.

I don't know anybody who has put a windmill on his roof - or was it his head.

Maggie took the view that if you stand in the middle of the road you get run over, and victory after victory proved her right.

These privileged kids running the party haven't got a clue. Cameron only once did anything resembling a proper job and that was for about five minutes.

Jorgen, Just have a little patience and let's see how popular Gordon Brown is once the hype dies down. This is the same tired old Labour government, only difference is Blair has gone looking for another hand of history to fall on his shoulder in the middle-east. If Gordon Brown thinks he is in for an easy recess he is in for a rude awakening. As David Cameron has said the heat is going to be turned up on Brown, there will be no let up.

Tony the party needs to offer a distinctive and engaging vision based upon timeless Conservative values.Your post talks vaguely about aspirations of the people.Don't people aspire to excellence in education driven by selection,don't people aspire to crime free streets and just punishment for the criminal classes,don't peole want to keep more of their income rather than see it eaten by the state,don't people want to see the return of powers from the EU back to our parliament.What has DC done to convince the electorate he is committed to any of the above in the past 2 years.The failure to fix these issues as distinctive and Tory in the electorate's mind is an error we will pay for at the polls.

Thatcherite, You have to recognise that different times call for different tactics. Margaret Thatcher had the right tactics for her era. No argument about that. David Cameron has the right tactics for electoral victory 'and government' in today's world. Horses for courses. If a party wants to win power it has to relate to the people who vote for it.

I think that criticism of cameron is a good thing, he is neglecting his core vote. That is not to say that we should ignore alll of the good things that he has done, but the Conservative party has always been a centre-right party and should remain that way. People may have failed to notice this but centre-right is on the centre ground, this is where it became the 'natural party of government'.

As forgiving as I am of david cameron, if by party conference season we haven't seen a dramatic surge in the polls (atleast 2-3 points ahead of labour) and have some serious policies then David Cameron must be removed from the top.

Tony, repeating the same old tired "Save Dave" mantra is not going to cut it either. Some of us don't want Dave to win - unless of course he convincingly adopts real Conservative policies and drops his green nonsense.

Martin, I'm confident that David Cameron can and will be able to introduce Conservative policies that appeal to the centre ground. Often its quite easy for us to ghettoize politics into left,right and centre and often that does help us express our opinions. However politics and people are not quite so clear cut. Voters are often more eclectic than most people think. They will embrace an idea from the left and one from the right in equal measure, depending on the issue. This is what makes most voters occupy the middle ground. It isn't that they are fixed centre ground voters, but rather that they are open to diverging opinions on a whole wide range of issues. Thats why David Cameron is working to build a broad church of support. To win over these open-minded voters, the voters who are interchangeable. They are the majority.

Tony what you need to bear in mind is the total disaffection that a sizeable number of voters now feel with politics and all the parties.Participation in elections is declining at every turn and a large proportion of those are previous tory voters energised by the Thatcher years.

I don't dispute your notion that changing times necessitate different tactics but that does not come at the expense of principles.When it does it is viwed as opportunism and simply turns more people away.At present our leadership looks like it is grounded upon the Blair settlement where image and spin are more prized than substance.This has happened at the exact moment that this approach has fallen out of favour.In Gordon Brown the electorate see a sober serious minded politician with gravitas and subsatnce.Cameron needs principle and substance to take this on.It is time to get opf the fence and fight new Labour from the Right.

Scotty David Cameron was a non entity in the Treasury and most probably had never heard of the European Code of Conduct group on finance that shafted all the offshore areas including Guernsey Jersey and the Isle of Man who provide the second largest flow of money into the City of London. Maude, Villiers, Letwin had not a clue when they did their time with the Treasury the person that did no what he was talking about was David Heathcoat-Amery.
You seem to make many wrong assumptions do you work for Hilton? Dave is not up to the challenge but as I suggested get a stronger Shadow Cabinet by removing at least six of the present useless incumbents and then they might be able to hide Dave’s inadequacies as long as starts to concentrate on proper policies that the public can recognise that can help them.

Anyone who thinks that this mythical middle ground is anywhere near to where Steve Hilton has persuaded a deeply gullible David Cameron it is is simply ignoring the facts. Just try reading the editorials in today's Sun newspaper, Britain's biggest seller and the one paper that can make or break an election.All the editorials convey right of centre, and right of Cameron, views and the main one is an indictment of the European Constitution and our lack of a referendum on it(oh yes tapestry that may come as a shock to you I know). These are the views of Britain's majority and these are the kind of views that win elections. Stop trying to pretend that the current Conservative party lurch to the left is anything but that, and it isn't a lurch shared by the voters, only by the Polly Toynbee loving upper middle class twats.

Scotty David Cameron was a non entity in the Treasury and most probably had never heard of the European Code of Conduct group on finance that shafted all the offshore areas including Guernsey Jersey and the Isle of Man who provide the second largest flow of money into the City of London. Maude, Villiers, Letwin had not a clue when they did their time with the Treasury the person that did know what he was talking about was David Heathcoat-Amery.
You seem to make many wrong assumptions do you work for Hilton? Dave is not up to the challenge but as I suggested get a stronger Shadow Cabinet by removing at least six of the present useless incumbents and then they might be able to hide Dave’s inadequacies as long as starts to concentrate on proper policies that the public can recognise that can help them.

If Cameron continues to cycle across red traffic lights he may well meet that bus.

Jorgen, you say you don't want Dave to win unless he adopts some real Conservative policies. You need to realise that the alternative to Dave is not Davis, Fox, Hague or Osborne its's Brown, and for 10 more years.
That means higher tax, money firehosed at public services, ID cards, no referendum, more prison chaos, crap pensions, internment, more social breakdown, more means testing, more dumbing down education and I could go on til midnight.
This Government is terrible, and I shudder when I think what it's doing to the country my 5 year old will grow up in.
Dave's not perfect and he's made some mistakes, but surely he's better than Brown. Unless you disagee you and your fellow malcontents need to stop whingeing and get behind Dave because if we don't its 10 more years of Brown.

You are heading straight for an Autumn general election, which will be lost, by continuing the disunity and backbiting.

Michael Davidson's wrong - things can get a lot worse. Remember our election performances in 1997 and 2001? Not only that, things will get a lot worse unless the Party starts pulling together and fights Labour instead of each other.
Speaking of Labour, I can think of an alternative that's worse than Cameron...he's called Brown. If Michael Davidson and his lot have their way we'll have 10 more years of Brown government after we self destruct...again.

Here here.


And btw, there ain't going to be an election until June 2009.

It is so sad to see the current state of the Conservative Party with many sections of policy now to the left of New Labour. I agree completely with jorgan that Toryism starts with 'reducing taxes' and with 'making the State sector smaller and smaller'. Everything else flows out from these golden principles.

You are heading straight for an Autumn general election, which will be lost, by continuing the disunity and backbiting.

Posted by: Cleo | July 26, 2007 at 21:49


"United in Error" is a slogan for a party following its leader over a cliff......the public is much more worldly than its politicians...after all they pay for everything

It is time Cleo that you started to talk about real voters which you never do. It is always Cameron never anything else but your besotted infatuation - not many people like Brown - but they prefer him as the engine-driver.

Why are the Conservatives seen as faceless and lightweight opportunists ? That is the key factor - why are Conservatives invisible in much of the country ?

The balance of this site is London and Southern England rather than areas without Conservative MPs or where the associations have crumbled. There is no sense of fighting to survive - but an automatic assumption that it is a natural order to have a Conservative MP.

For much of this country it is unnatural nowadays to imagine a Conservative MP. For many voters Conservatives are irrelevant....yet never once do Tory T or Cleo et al focus on the fact that the largest single voting bloc is Abstainers

Yes,I have made comment in here which might be seen as unhelpful although that was not the intention .It was to try to jog the Leadership into listening to the people in the street.They can tell you what is wanted and I do not wish to rehearse them further in this post. We are now in a situation where we about to face a GE and hopefully we can do so as an united Party and stop giving oxygen to the Labour Party and their supporters by making any further critisms of David Cameron whilst at the same time trust that he has taken on board some of the more helpful comments which have been made in here and elswhere. We must win the next election and the only way we can do so is to get behind our Leader and work hard to get rid of this Labour Gov who will continue to tax us at every chance they can.Look a The PM's record as Chancellor and what he did to taxation. Those who wish to see Labour back in again have no place in here. The time to get behind David Cameron is long overdue so lets go forward from now on.

No Cleo an autumn election will be lost because a tiny clique of old Etonian paternalists, without a political principle between them, have hijacked the Conservative party in a failing attempt to continue Blair's New Labour project. That's why we'll lose unless there is a swift return to conservative ideals and principles and the policies that go with them.

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