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Cameron's euroscepticism?

Look. These polls are emphasizing a pattern here. Dave is seen as a lightweight, PR man without many principles (looked uber rattled last night on BBC re. floods). He should stop the trendy gimmicks like going to Rwanda and focus on issues that actually matter to people.

Brown has been been planning to be PM for over 10 years. Why do the Cameroons believe that all of a sudden he'll be crap at it? He looks stable, calm and in command. The antithesis of Balir, who I always suspected would take much of the antipathy to Labour with him.

Is it time to panic? Not quite yet, but if the trend continues....

Yes, a 4th term majority Labour Government and I emigrate.

One solution to the partys problems would be to shut down this site!

Stephan Shakespear's column on CH warned us this would happen. He specifically said that Murdoch wants Cameron out and replaced with Hague - according to one of his senior editors.

As I often try to get across, Murdoch is not a eurosceptic, but has to keep in with the EU Comeptition Commissioner to keep his TV privileges in the UK. He ran Labour's EU Policy-making, and possibly still does under Brown. (under = over).

He maintains a eurosceptic public stance but don't be fooled. Murdoch works to assist the EU by backing EU-supporting political leaders, and assassinating eurosceptic ones.

Hague is not entirely trusted on the EU being a Bildeberger, and having a habit of proposing policies which sound eurosceptic but on detailed examination, allow power to erode - e.g. keep the £, keep the £ (small print - for one Parliament only).

I may be wrong here but the timing - just as Cameron shows his first determined stance against the EU by backing the referendum on the Constitution, the euro(USER)philes are at his throat. (U.s.e.r. -The Union of Subservient European Regions)

If Conservative MPs do an IDS and back down to the coming media assault on Cameron, the party will never recover. This is not only the battle for leadership of the party. It's the battle for Britain.

editor (I assume that you wrote the above "Save Dave" article),

Cameron is finished. He has dragged the party so far to the left that very few Labour or LibDem voters should have any problems voting for him (yes, "HIM2 due to "David Cameron's Conservative" - yak!). He even squarely backed Tony Lit, who by many was seen as more Labour than Conservative. He still didn't even get second place.

The Cameron experiment is finished. No real Conservative would believe in him.

I agree with tapestry on Hague. Hague is also too busy with other things. David Davis is the only man who can save the Conservative Party.

Agree completely that talk of ousting our most successful leader for two decades is utter nonsense, what is more it’s self indulgent and thoroughly damaging nonsense!

It seems that these malcontents will need to be dragged up by the scruff of the neck and if needs be made an example of. It would be nice if this sort of thing could be avoided, but clearly these individuals have a self destructive streak and an inability to be a part of a disciplined political party and as a result they need to be challenged and dealt with. There is no risk for the leadership in challenging these MPs, they are a tiny number (2 for sure, 6 at the very most!), they command zero support or even sympathy within the parliamentary party let alone the wider party. As things stand this damaging dissent from a tiny minority can be challenged and the minority isolated and humiliated, in an action that would go some way into reinforcing DC’s leadership, if this poisonous group within the parliamentary party is allowed to go on undermining the leadership it will fester and cause long term damage… to be blunt it needs killing off now!

None of this takes away from the fact that DC has left himself exposed to this kind of thing, by his failure to build on his early momentum… for months now he has needed to move beyond the initial “re launch” (for want of a better word) of the party into a more substantive phase, the production of a policy framework and articulation of an agenda that speaks to the concerns of the electorate with a range of serious, modest, policy proposals.

Its time to move forward from “phase one” (frankly its been time to “move forward” since the early spring! ) and into a phase that builds on our re-emergence as a serious party that is interested in government… not doing this and either continuing on our current insubstantive path or (worse still) collapsing into acrimony promises only more of what we have experienced for the last decade or worse!

DC is the only game in town, he is the leader who can do so much to allow the Tory party to recover… but he must be prepared to move forward and go beyond what he’s tinkered with thus far, there will be confrontations, there will be blood on the carpet but he needs to move and move comparatively rapidly going into Conference!

This is quite worrying. It would be rather foolish to remove Cameron now simply due to losing in Sedgefield and Ealing Southall (despite the fact most believe we would have lost regardless), and now two opinion polls giving Labour a lead (which is only normal due to Brown recently becoming PM). We must give Cameron time to complete his ‘transformation’ of the Conservative Party and see after the upcoming General Election.

If we were to replace Cameron now, then it is guaranteed Labour will win a fourth GE, and possibly even a fifth.

Of course these "nutty" MPs are foolishly conspiring in suicide acts for the party.

That said David Cameron does need to take lessons from these problems. One lesson is his preference to put into roles people who lack either the experience or time to perform them.

1. His press operation has been at best dire. Yes the people in these roles have let him and us down. But it is David's fault because he picked the people. The Appointment of Andy Coulson is we hope going to radically improve it.

2. CCHQ. Led by a part time Chairman (Maude) with no full time CEO. We also had a part time inexperienced leader of campaigns (Shapps) who has many good ideas but was unable to oversee ES to the professionalism of the Lib Dems. Not entirely his fault, but he also failed to appoint experienced agents into his team. We now have another part time Chairman (Caroline Spellman) but we are led to believe that bringing in Lord Ashcroft + 2 will boost the resources here.

3. The North. Appointing William Hague looked good but does he have the time to do it properly? He is an MP, Shadow Foreign Minister, stand in for Dave and has extensive private work. We fell back to 3rd place in Sedgefield which is an indication that the Northern organisation is not in a good shape.

4. Policy co-ordination. A disaster area that provides bullets to the opposition which then dominate the news agenda of the positive ideas we wanted to communicate. Again we have a lot of part time MPs walking over this area when they should be focusing on their existing responsibilities. This could be his achilles heal unless Coulson is given "Alister Campbell" type control of the news agenda.

As the case of Mr. Surtees (a former Labour activist) show: Labour voters have streamed to the Conservative party.

troll alert

Hague at it again - finding ways to sound eurosceptic but all hot air

Assuming you mean me, tapestry: Mr. Surtees is indeed an old Labour activist.

If Cameron goes to Rwanda he is a fool. He may not have a job to come back to.

Apparently the mood at CCHQ is on a par with the IDS days. They are all off to Caroline Spelman`s tomorrow for tea.

I wonder what words of wisdom she will have for them

Mr Surtees refers to Cameron as "our most successful leader for two decades": wasn't Maggie still PM 20 years ago? The Cameroon "project" (and "project" is probably being too kind given the utter lack of coherence) reminds me of those medieval "cures" which were worse than the disease and likely to kill the patient.

Its telling that there is a large degree of schadenfreude out there in medialand (both on the left and the right), within Westminster and the wider Party at the current problems for the Leadership.

But that still should not (and must not) translate into lasting support for Labour under Brown. His legacy as Chancellor is still with him, he may be new as PM but that is temporary and with familiarity? We have everything to play for. We must think this through and hold our nerves.

At this point a bit of humility from Team Cameron would be sensible. Then move on and get serious about confronting and exposing Brown.

What the Editor has suggested all makes sense. But neither must we panic or start obsessing unduly over the Leadership. That simply makes matters worse.

Old Hack's point about some humility from Team Cameron is right.

Based on electoral performance the local base continues to win local elections it is the parliamentary elections that we lose and those are led from the Centre.

"David Cameron was elected by nearly 70% of Tory members just 18 months ago."

Looking at the mechanics of that election is where the party might best begin in putting matters right.

I cannot believe any independent electoral expert would find the election methods used either fair or impartial. The constant leaking of Cameron's lead during the drawn out voting period was quite outrageous.

If the party can admit the process was flawed it would both excuse rapid steps to remove this huge electoral liability and also make the proper election of a competent replacement an at least remote possibility.

Maybe the time's come for the party to jettison the nutty wing for good. Cameron should withdraw the whip from the Cornerstone Group MPs and free the party from these closet UKippers.

The traditionalists will hopeful quit in anger to form a new party or join UKIP and the Conservative Party can get on with the job of winning elections and giving this country a decent government.

One solution to the partys problems would be to shut down this site!

Posted by: Jack Stone | July 22, 2007 at 08:10

You still here Jack ? I thought they had opened Platform 10 for your "contributions"

and the Conservative Party can get on with the job of winning elections and giving this country a decent government.

No better way to prove the Hitchens Thesis....Southall was the dry run for "David Cameron's Conservatives" - now it can be rolled out onto a national scale - the Lib Dems will be pleased

Better than jettisoning what TD describes "the nutty wing" why don't all the wets simply join
their soul mates in Labour and the LibDems.

Half of Britain is in chaos because of flooding, the prime minister is giving details on housing, and call me DAVE is swaning of to Africa. Some leader.

"We're proud that Tories are currently in Rwanda"

Why? It will do little good for the people of Rwanda. It will do much damage to the Conservatives. Flooding has now reached north Oxfordshire. I'm not good at geography but what if the flooding reached his constituency? He would be in Africa and Brown would be reassuring Britain.

I am now leaning towards Brown. Overall I think it is good he has been good for the Tories but he better stop the PR stunts.

Jack Stone - One solution to the partys problems would be to shut down this site!

Another would be to shut down Jack Stone.

Cameron is on the slippery slope now. Of course these MPs are merely putting their toes in the water. Next time - after a few more Cam disasters - theyll get the numbers they need.

We need to get rid of not only Cameron but all his flunkies as well.

Hopefully they'll defect to Labour when Cam gets the bot.

If the story about a vote of no confidence is true then the MP's concerned need their heads examined. Who else would do a better job than DC? This sort of thing plays right into the hands of GB, do we really want him to have a free run into the next election?


Your point?...

"If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart.
If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no head."

...none of which has stopped me actively campaigning for the party (including traveling over a 100 miles to spend a week in Ealing!), I'd be interested to know what your implying?

Re "after a few more Cam disasters": how many more do they need?

...none of which has stopped me actively campaigning for the party (including traveling over a 100 miles to spend a week in Ealing!),

You a candidate/wannabee candidate, Ben?

True; with half the country flooded, Cameron should don this waders and get out among his people.

"Improve the press operation. This still isn't working properly. I noted on Friday my horror that CCHQ is not in regular and personal contact with the nation's leading political journalists. Team Brown is outflanking us in the service they are providing to the media."

As has been noted several times before...we are in the Vauxhall Conference League here. Pre-Coulson, our head of media had never worked in media (ex-fruit farmer) our head of broadcast had never worked in broadcast (ex-accountant) while only two press office staffers have had any jobbing journalism experience whatsoever. The rest (all likeable and dedicated btw) come from pr company graduate recruitment schemes and local govt/Brussels press offices.

Labour/LDs will only employ press officers with a minimum of two years experience in local papers/radio/24 hour news media etc.

They take this part of political campaigning seriously...we clearly don't.

Another reason "Dave" should be in England and not Rwanda after August 1st. Two words junior doctors.

Look I said "Dave" instead of David. That is a sure sign I'm going off him.

Downsize the NHS

Good Lord no!

I'm still at Uni and have far more important things to worry about, just wanted to do my bit... I'm not totally useless when it comes to campaigning and i was heavily involved at the general election (albeit in another guise).


Would those MPs who have allegedly lodged these letters with the Chief Whip care to come forward and explain themselves?

I for one would like to see them outed. It's pretty cowardly to 'bank' one of these letters in anonymity.

Let's shine a light on these chinless wonders. Let's hear their reasons and put a stop to this shady behaviour.

And if no-one actually has put in a letter let's ask Melissa Kite to explain herself.

Calm down everyone.

Of course we need to learn some lessons, but to dump Cameron just because of a few weeks of bad polls in the light of a new PM is daft. We cannot seriously contemplate another change of leader. Andy Coulson has only been in the job five minutes - give him time to make the necessary changes at CCHQ. Let's use the summer break to get the house in order - in terms of policy and message - and come back fighting as Brown's honeymoon fades.

The editorial is spot on (shame about the negative comments). One point on the green agenda though. Where's it gone? He have a shadow minister who I've never seen on TV, and it must look like PR spin to the average voter. Let's get some direction back.

I have recently been becomingly concerned at the direction which the Party is taking but think that it would be the height of folly to have another Leadership contest. What is needed is the get the Leader to accept that this is not David Cameron's Party but is The Conservative Party and only that. There is no way that Margaret Thatcher would have allowed the use of her name to describe the Party. We need to get him to recognise that he can no longer run roughshod over the wishes of a Constituiency and stop this utter nonsense of Quotas.That is a socialist argument and merit and loyalty should be foremost in the thoughts of a constituency in freely choosing a candidate,that again without interference by CCHQ. They would not know the local knowledge in any event. As far as policies,we have some way to go before all the working parties finish their work. But a good guide is to ensure that true Conservative principles are to the fore.Let us cut out all this talk of'liberal conservatism' and stick to our 'right of centre' point of view otherwise there is little to distiguish between the us and the other Parties if we all crowd into the middle. I prefer that we are looked on as caring Conservatives. Let us all hope that DC has learnt something from last weeks shambles.I have heard some strange things going on at selection meetings when Constituencies have tried to halt the process as they were unhappy with those left on the short leet.They were ordered by CCHQ that they must proceed. Good job that I was not the Chaiman otherwise I would have told CCHQ to get lost. They would have got rid of me but they can't get rid of all the Constituency Committees otherwise they would not be able to mount an election campaign. They should think on this before they start to bully Constituencies. The truth is that they cannot do without them and it is all that more important with us having a falling membership.Wonder whose fault that is? Let us hope that they have all learnt something and start to turn over to a new way of working. We must stop going on as we have been doing and knuckle down to working together and accepting the fact that Constituencies matter and do not want to be dictated to. That is more what the Labour Party does and it has to stop.

The only leader that sounds like a real Conservative is Nigel Farage unfortunately surrounding him apart from Lord Pearson are many lightweights just like Dave and his many lightweights .Solution to the Conservative problem bring Nigel in to lead the Conservative Party with a like minded Shadow Cabinet and then get rid of all Dave’s Spin Doctors.
Every single time Nigel appears on Question Time he always receives rapturous applause because he connects with the British people, compare him to people like Maude Letwin etc and even a schoolboy would notice the difference how so many Conservative MP’s come over as first class twits.

"...but David Cameron deserves the time to complete his programme of party renewal."

As did IDS.

Let's use the summer break to get the house in order

There is no Summer break....it is going to be a long wet summer with Brown having to take action on flooding.....Cameron will be in Rwanda and Islamabad - no doubt discussing asylum and immigration

It strikes me that more and more former ardent supporters of Cameron are beginning to seriously doubt his leadership. Welcome aboard! That can only be a good thing for those of traditional conservative views. However I cannot see Cameron or his fellow Cameroons changing their incoherent tune to a less discordant one. Nor can I see turkeys voting for Christmas and there being a serious challenge to Cameron. If that is so the wagon will continue to lose its wheels.


You have made the first sensible comment on this thread. Have any of the rest of you compared Farage to Dave? The man is a brilliant conservative. I agree that I am a complete lightweight politically (and probably in many other areas) but I was proud to fight the last election (West Ham) under Nigel's colours.

No, I am not a UKIP troll. I always post my affiliation and am an ex-Tory PPC. I would be delighted to return to the fold with Nigel leading the charge. You lot could stop going round in ever-decreasing circles with the girly-boys 'leading' the Conservatives and join in, lightweights and heavyweights alike.

One of the most striking words used in the newspapers this morning is "contempt".

Contempt describes exactly the way most of us feel about Cameron's sopping wet hug-a-hoodie, hug-a-husky, hug-a-Hutu agenda.

WE don't do those sort of things. He's like an alien being from God knows where and so are his rag-tag-and-bobtail crowd of pink followers.

Time for the Boy Wonder to return to the great dustbin in the sky.

Whoever these MPs are, they are complete and utter morons. They better hope that their names dont come out.

Unfortunately for DC, cynicism throughout the country is now at such a level that many MPs are deeply worried. They may not yet have written letters but …

Most of us don’t want non-stop lessons in greenery or charity. On the key issues of government from defence to education to borders to the EU to crime, DC is either not there or found wanting.

Brown’s arrival as PM was hardly a surprise but there has been no forward planning worthy of the name to counter him.

DC is a pleasant lightweight. After 10 years in Opposition which party is most likely to win an autumn election? No prizes.

TD - those who think that the Cornerstone are behind the attacks on Cameron, are wrong. The Cornerstone feel that their views on marriage and the broken society are being taken seriously by cameron at last. they would not attack Cameron at any time, and especially at the moment he has started to back their ideas.

Cameron is copping it from the USERphiles - who are furious he is standing firm against the USER Constitution. He is allowed to make eurosceptic noises, but not really put up a fight in the USER manner as perfected by hague.

See Portillo today in Sunday Times.
'Cameron's mentioned the Government's refusal to consult the people on that treaty (the USER Constitution) but his heart was not in it. He does not wish to unleash again within his own party the destructive arguments about Europe.'

Talk about a threat. These are the guys behind the threat to cameron. John Bercow? Probably.

I think Cameron needs to dicipline these MPs. Withdraw the whip or whatever punishment is appropriate, but it needs to be severe. They were clearly waiting for their opportunity to oust Cameron and peddle their own agenda. There is room in the party for differences of opinion but there is no room for outright mutiny. He needs to deal with this straight away as clearly these people aren't onboard anyway.

'Let Cameron be Cameron'

A fitting comment, not for its content but it's origins: a late-nineties political TV series that was particularly popular with New Labourites (although I enjoy it to) symbolising perfectly the mission of the Cameroons: to present themselves as gentle, soft-left mood musicians. The words yesterday and battle spring to mind.

The wider problem is what exactly does it mean to 'let Cameron be Cameron'? Does it mean that he shows of his tough anti-immigration views as he did in the 2005 election? Or that he vents his support for keeping Section 28 as he did in the 2001 election? Or does it mean we sit back and enjoy the sight of him fitting a wind-turbine to his house whilst his wife books the flights to Rwanda for another PC photo shoot?

Cameron seems to me the epithome of the professional politician. The only thing 'let Cameron be Cameron' means is let naked oppurtunism rule.

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting place nor appointed destination. The enterprise is to keep afloat on an even keel…”

Something for the ideologues to contemplate.

I think the letters to the 1922 chair , Sir Michael Spicer, are intended to be a 'wake-up' call to deluded 'PC Yah's' in Cameron's circle of advisors. At the moment there is no real alternative for the leadership( apart from Liam Fox whose heart doesn't appear to be in it). It's as simple as that. What I want is Cameron to stop arseing about being 'Mr Cuddly-Wuddly PC Plonker' and concentrate on core issues such as housing, public services, immigration- and yes- the bloody EU.

At last, a couple of Conservative MPs with some regard to the principles and bases of a once great party (which is the only scrap of hard evidence in all this froth).

And -- what happens? -- the pay-roll vote and the lickspittle lackies, anxious to climb the greasy pole, trot out the usual nonsense about "disloyalty" and "nuttiness".

In a curious way, I feel more heartened this morning than for a long while. If Murdoch wants Hague, tough. We've been up that one-way street already. Davis is the coming man, with a record of greater consistency than most.

There will not be an autumn election. There is little likelihood of a spring one. This is a moment of opportunity tp get things right: starting at the top.

And, for goodness sake, stop whinging on about Brown as Chancellor. In the eyes of most, he done good. Any blame will fall on his unfortunate successor(s) at the Treasury, if only because he/they will be the fall-guys answering on television. Meanwhile, the jutting jaw and the heavy delivery of the man himself are restyling the job of Prime Minister.

When the Party enstooled the Boy David, too many were foolishly looking for a Blair clone. Now we need a worthy opponent for Brown, with his gravitas and grittiness. That is not coming from the tacky Bullingdon set or the Notting Hall metrosexuals.

The dogs are barking louder and louder: it's time for the caravan to move on, but with a better sense of direction and on its traditional route.

I blame Ben Surtees. Why? No Uni student should be blogging on a political website at 10am on a Sunday morning. He should be suffering the mother of all hang-overs, trying to work out why he has a traffic cone in his bed, which happens to be next to some young bit of totty he pulled last night, has no idea of her name and cannot even remember if he did the evil deed. But on to serious matters...

Leave Dave in place for now, bin some of the people around him (Bridges is a perfect case of good riddance), and hope that Coulson can turn the Party media machine into something that actually delivers a clear message - which is at the heart of all our problems. Policy Commissions report, Dave welcomes the proposals then twerps like Letwin ditch them on the QT - e.g what ever happened to the Forsythe tax proposals? A the moment we stand for nothing yet seem to promise everything. Dave needs to instil focus and clarity into the policy process. Oh and while I'm here can we have some more money for the military. If there is one thing that would set the political world alight is if we promised more dosh. Brown has forced our boys to scrimp & scrounge for too long - and the general public know it.

It did seem that earlier criticism of Cameron was poo-pooed by those who would point to the sizable lead that the Tories had in the polls. They said: "Look, DC's reforms are working, as we've got (say) an eight percent lead in the polls".

Using that sole criterion, surely the fact is now that DC's 'reforms' are shown to definitely not be working now, and that his re-branding of himself as a 'hip, up and happening' youthful leader is something which is now seen as rather amusing and trivial.

Clearly the polls show that what people want is a serious and focused party, led by someone whom the public percieve as similarly serious and focused. Whilst we may baulk at the thought of Gordon Brown and Labour being taken seriously considering how woefully incompetent, dishonest and reckless he and they have proven themselves to be, clearly Brown's demeanour of focus and talking about the serious politics of the day (e.g. flooding - a very high profile contemporary issue affecting Britons) is what people want.

DC is hardly doing himself, or the Tories, any favours by swanning off to mark an anniversary of a massacre in some far away land, which is wholly unconnected with Britain.

As I type this, it is reported that Oxfordshire suffering severe flooding. Where's Cameron ?

Get rid of him now, as he shows absolutely no judgement and little or no idea of how to tackle issues affecting Britian now, nor has he the courage to make the hard choice to look ahead, anticipate and make provision the future.

Johnny... tis the holidays! Life always gets a little too sedate for my liking for the next few weeks, usually the sunshine would make up for it (perfect beer garden weather)... sadly that hasn't been the case.

mayhew. Farage is corrupt selling out the only UKIP principle of total withdrawal for the chance to join a cross-party European Grouping which believes only in subsidiarity. It's all about money for Farage, and I'm afriad probably always has been.

Cameron's the one making a stand on the USER Constitution. That's why he's getting attacked. If you are USERsceptic, you're backing the wrong horse.

Union of Subservient European Regions.

ST@11:07- If there was serious flooding in a constiuency of mine i sure as s*it would not be swanning off to somewhere in Africa. I would be off to those towns affected in the constituency talking with those directly affected. Cameron should not have gone to Africa.

In my view no leader is irreplaceable.

Cameron has not (yet) been able to demonstrate anything more than an effective flare for PR. While this was important in the beginning it will not suffice in the long term. The austere age of Broon requires an answer that is a bit more serious than husky dogs, windmills and dare I say it Rwanda.

In short I am no fan of Cameron at present. However any attempt to replace him should only occur if it is serious with a real candidate. If there is no viable candidate then we should all grit our teeth and knuckle down for the next election- it is unlikely to be easy

'CCHQ is not in regular and personal contact with the nation's leading political journalists'

CCHQ is not in regular touch with anyone much.

Of all the conservative websites, ) theirs is without fail last with the news. Their headlines are all variants on 'Didn't we do well?'

Far too much navel gazing - and that includes the Rwanda exercise. THE VOTERS DO NOT CARE ABOUT RWANDA.

Get with the programme, Dave. Brown's running away from you with a stream of inspired POLITICAL initiatives.

Time for hardball.

DC maybe a very nice guy, but as a leader, sorry, he will NEVER see inside no 10. Sky news in now showing Britain hit by severe flooding, and wheres Dave, nowhere to be seen. Guess who's face will be in all papers/tv screens this week. Well not yours Dave, but Gordon, as he is delivering new housing policies and is HERE where the flooding is. Yes Dave to to Rwanda and let the tories loose yet another election.

Ben, you should have gone off to Rwanda for a couple of weeks, I hear the weather is lovely at this time of the year. You could have picked up some useful life-skills (sod all that Uni-learning) like how to dig a bog or whitewash a building.

Talking of whitewash. There was one bit of good news to come out of the by-elections...can any of the Ukippers on this site tell us what happened to their vote?

Well done, those MPs. You've now just guaranteed the party embarassing defeat at the next election. I want to know who they are so I can register in their constituencies and get them booted out.

So we are surprised that people are calling for Cameron to go? Take five minutes, sit down with a cup of coffee, and think it through for a moment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I care about Rwanda!

I don't understand how failing to do well in two safe labour seats, weeks after a change of Prime Minister and a string of good news stories for Brown (ie cash for honours, failed terror attacks and, to be frank, the flooding which fills the news papers and pushes out Iraq coverage)can be viewed as such a disaster.

I wish conservatives would resist the urge to push the eject button at the slightest sign of trouble. Please try to remember where we were a the last election! Things are NOT worse.

Besides in what way would moving to the right help us win a labour seat?

We would be foolish to think we need massive changes or have to lurch to the right or look at new leaders. There are however a number of factors at play that need resolving:

1) Voters liked what DC and the party were saying but wanted us to clarify what we stand for with some practical policies. The first signs for a change in gear in the spring/early summer were not spotted quickly enough and responded to in a clear way. The need for corrections to the tiller were already emerging before the so called "Brown Bounce".

2) For various reasons, including poor PR, we had our core messages diluted and divided when we needed coherence. The process of policy groups and announcements needs more thought to avoid confusion and prevent key messages being lost amongst talk of air travel tax, booze tax etc. People are remembering the spin and perceiving it as gimmicks and not thinking of the really good ideas we are developing under DC. I actually think its not detail people want but coherence and practicality.

3) There is a small minority hell bent on damaging Cameron and the party. Anyone who uses this site regularly will come across them regularly. They have stirred up everything they can and along with a small group in the media (such as Heffer) they resist new ways of looking at things and see the party as essentially about preserving things. That attitude just isn't sustainable in the modern world. These dinosaurs would be much less of a problem if those that harbour ideas of a Conservative clause-4 moment recognised we don't have a clause-4. The vast majority of organisations that successfully change explain and guide that change through their people and structures, they don't deliberately create division.

The good news is that all of the above can be resolved and is do-able. We need to stop thinking about Blair (or even Brown) and start thinking clearly and coherently about where we want to lead our great country.


I think we need to get things in nto perspective, Labour's improved poll rating is no surprise it is what happens when you have a change of Prime Minister and whilst it was disappointing to come third in Ealing Southall and Sedgfield the reality is both are very safe labour seats and come the next general election it isn't going to be results in these seats that will determine who is in government.

Other than a few people on the margins nobody seriously believes the party would benefit from another leadership crisis. We should also remember David Cameron was elected to lead the party with an agenda to change the party, it would be a terrible mistake to change course for no better reason than a few people losing their bottle at the first sign of trouble.

"I care about Rwanda!"

The vast majority of the electorate (99%)consider flooding in Oxfordshire to be of somewhat more importance. It's Cameron's own backyard and near his constituency. If he'd rather swan off to sunnier climes than be seen helping his affected countrymen, he's clearly not worthy of leadership of any sort.

Although, he might do well with the Lib Dems; I hear a vacancy might be arising there soon.

Okay two points that no-one seems to be remembering:

"David Cameron's Conservatives" has been used before in local elections and analysis of the results for paper candidates showed that it generally did better than "Conservative Party". Where is the evidence that having the ballot paper description "The Conservative Party Candidate" would have got us more votes in Ealing Southall?

As for by-election candidate selection, the way people talk it's as though local associations have a fantastic track record. By-elections are not the same as general elections and getting the right candidate is crucial. Time and again "leaving it to the locals" has produced bad candidates, even in held seats (an Old Etonian farmer in a market town - who lost the seat to the Lib Dems; a member of the London Assembly in a constituency that thinks it's in Kent and so forth). Local associations rarely have experience of fighting by-elections (even less of fighting them successfully) and of a full-force Liberal Democrat campaign in which the candidate will be well and truly examined.

On Sky this morning, I saw DC interviewed. He said teenage pregnancy and a broken society were the concern voters and the Conservatives have the answers (he did not say WHAT answers-he never does).

I think the man is out of touch.

Most I speak to are worried about:
*affording the mortgage
*will house prices collapse leaving us in debt?
*if house prices do not collapse, how will the kids afford one?
*where on earth are all my taxes going?
* will my pension be enough?
* I wish my doctor spent more than a few minutes with me, made eye contact and showed some interest.
* I hate being told how to live day in and day out.

He needs to get out more often.

The Rwanda genocide of 1 million souls is being recalled today. These events happened far away from Britain, but if you think about it for a moment, such events can help explain why there are so many millions of people desperate to come to the UK.

We cannot solve the immigration problem only by having border police. The world needs to find ways to enable people to have better lives in the countries where they live.

If you don't care about these issues, fine. But they are important and it is a sign of Cameron's responsibility and caring nature that he wants to find out how to manage things better in Rwanda.

You really are a bunch of jerks trying to score cheap poltical points on the day that the million mudered people are remembered. I hardly need to say it, but imagine if even ten people were murdered in your safe little village or wherever you live. No don't try. You are too stupid to succeed in such a difficult endeavour. I pity you.


Entirely agree.

The IDS report in particular covered a vast range of issues and the obsession with the marriage issue has clouded everything else, perhaps because it appealed to the Tory right. Far more interesting and useful ideas that came out of the report should be pushed to the fore eg the systems for tackling drug problems and improving the chances of children in care. These represented a change in conservative attitudes AND a practical plan for addressing the problems, why can't we move these forward more quickly. Brown is silent on these subjects and obsessed with handouts and tax credits. We can show we have a grip on the complexity of the problem, whilst Brown's instruments are blunt

"it would be a terrible mistake to change course for no better reason than a few people losing their bottle at the first sign of trouble."

But closing on two years after taking over the leadership, having ditched virtually anything which could be considered Conservative, the Tories are no closing to achieving office than when he took over.

Remember, Bliar achieved what he did by talking himself up as socially conservative. People liked what he said (never mind that he proved himself to be a cultural Marxist in office) and voted accordingly. I hear very little of hard-talking social conservatism - other than some vague talk of supporting marriage, which isn't official Tory party policy anyway.

How long are you going to give Cameron before you finally conclude that he's made the Tories a laughing stock and entirely unelectable ?


'He has made the Tories a laughing stock'

As opposed to???

Yes it's too late to dump Cameron now if Brown is going for an autumn election. However this does not mean that the Cameron project cannot be scrapped by sacking Cameron's advisors who have insisted on this crazy image rebranding policy light strategy and leaving Cameron as a quasi leader in a purely totemic role. This would enable the party to recruit a top notch media relations team whose role would be to feed journalists with a constant stream of comment/policy on subjects which are of concern and in tune with the average person.
With Cameron in his background role, David Davis could be highlighted as the sensible face of the party and a suitable, trustworthy opposition to Brown's image.
The people of this country are aching to get back to common sense, we have to give them a common sense party to vote for.
If the above was an election winning strategy, then post election there could be a party leadership contest.

Um...ditch Dave now, replace him with someone else and then after the next election that "someone else" will probably have to go too (whoever it is won't be substantially more electable than Dave I would imagine). Then there'll be two more unsuccessful Tory leaders in the ranks. Dave earned his mandate to modernise, leave him to it! Remember Labour took 14 years to complete the modernisation process, it would be daft to expect everyone to stop hating the Tories overnight. If Dave loses the next election badly then he should be ditched (probably in favour of Davis), but until then stop grumbling and get into line because one thing is absolutely certain, if the party returns to its old divisions and wastes the unity that Michael Howard restored so successfully then the Tories will be out of power for a generation!

Hey Jorgen and Jack Stone -- there's a great place where people like you can engage in a mass debate of your very own:

Platform 10!

"he's made the Tories a laughing stock and entirely unelectable ?"

I must have imagined the last 10 years then....

One fair point though-there is no excuse for Cameron not to have foreseen floods when the Rwanda trip was arranged weeks ago.....

"You really are a bunch of jerks trying to score cheap poltical points on the day that the million mudered people are remembered. I hardly need to say it, but imagine if even ten people were murdered in your safe little village or wherever you live."

I can't see the connection between a massacre a decade ago and ten people being murdered in a village in the UK. As for Asylum and Immigration, a strong leader with Britain's interests would tow the line which states that whilst there are problems in the world, Britain can't be expected to solve them. That's for the inhabitants of those countries to do, therefore: no admission to Britain on the back of war-torn and dangerous countries of origin for those seeking refuge. They must use the first safe port geographically to their region.

Like the vast majority, I'm not particularly interested in Rwanda. If the Tories were serious about Britain and obtaining office, Cameron would be in Britain - touring and helping out in the flood affected areas.

I notice he was keen to visit Ealing (George Osbourne ladeling out curry in a Sikh temple with an orange hat on). I don't notice him visiting flood affected communities in Oxfordshire, or visiting evacuated families. Oh, but then there isn't an election in the offing in Oxfordshire. In so doing, Cameron shows himself to be a shallow PR obessed man.

If Tapestry's diatribe is the level of discourse in the Tory party that passes for debate, God help them !

The worst thing Cameron could do at the moment would be to panic. What is happening at the moment is not wholly surprising. We all predicted a Brown bounce of sorts, the only surprise being the level of the labour lead now (at between 5-7% rather than 1-3% as I thought would be the case). Likewise labour holding two safe seats in by elections with very short campaigns it not wholly surprising either.

Cameron does however need to start putting himself in the firing line more. Taking on IDS policies on Marriage was not a good tactical move nor surrendering on Grammar Schools. He needs to continue to force the Conservatives to the center even if it makes the Right squeal. In general he needs to also gather his forces to take on the Right of the party in the Autumn with Conference being the best opportunity to do so. We tried Right wing panaceas from 1997-2005 and got thumped all the time. Cameron should explicitly spell this out.

Cameron though also is going to have beef up his media operations. While I may not like Alastair Campbell there is no doubt the media operation he ran for labour in opposition and government while repugnant and tyrannical was effective. Cameron needs to prep his media team to do the same and engage in the dirty work required. Negative stories should be immediately rebutted and hostile journalists put under pressure.

Finally he has to make a 24/7 committment to being leader of the opposition as has been pointed out in the Sunday Press. That means constant harrassment on issues like the floods and constantly keeping an eye on his colleagues and parliamentary colleagues. My sense is he delegates too much to others, particularly in terms of dealing with the parliamentary party.

Finally he should remember Michael Howard’s axing of Howard Flight. As conservative leader he can stop Tory MP’s from standing again for future elections. It is a tool that could be very effectively used to keep the parliamentary party in shape. Deselecting one right winger could prove to be a very effective way of shutting the right up.

40% of the vote and 900+ gains in the local elections in May, the conservative party is not unelectable.

Also there is something of a myth that tory policy has shifted way to the left under David Cameron. I don't think anyone doubts that mending the broken society is going to be a key theme at the next election and many of the recommendations contained in the social justice commission's report are very likely to be adopted as party policy. This is social conservatism in action.

I think Steve Richards had it right when he wrote recently that the tory right had nothing to fear from Cameron, he borrowed John Prescott's favourite phrase saying David Cameron was "taking traditional conservative values and putting them in a modern setting"

I wrote to the Conservative Party Headquarters back in March telling them to get rid of David Cameron if they wanted to win the popularity of the electors. They haven't, and so we go on with this useless leader, who doesn't seem to notice that he has lost the confidence of the tory voters.
Has he lost the chance to pull his socks up and give the members of his party the incentive to give him another chance?

tapestry. I would love to trade insults with you, preferably in person, but that is not the point of this thread. Please introduce yourself to me if we ever meet.

I'm sure we will end up being lumbered with Cameron until the next general election - it's too late to get rid of him now.

I used to be quite happy with Cameron, but now I pretty much can't stand him. He must be the only leader in modern British history who has managed to annoy huge swathes of the backbenches, activists, ordinary conservatives and the media without even coming up with any real reforming policies.

Does anyone seriously believe that we can win the next general election with Cameron in charge? I'm sorry to say that I certainly can't envisage Cameron being PM.

David Davis would be exactly the same as Michael Howard. Unfortunately I don't see him as offering anything different from the guy who fought and lost in 2005.

Right-wingers are clutching at straws if they think he can "save the Conservatives". Only the Conservatives can save themselves by uniting behind a leader. If they choose to do it under Davis, they could choose to do it under Cameron - it's not as if Davis has mind-control to do it.

The curernt confidence of crisis is caused by members who won't take the rough (now) with the smooth (40% in the polls and local elections).

What happens if Davis didn't sort things out either in the run-up to an election, or just afterwards? Would he be for the chop too? Who would be left then?

The two MPs responsible for these letters must be monumentally stupid.

Either that, or Melissa Kite has let her imagination run wild again.

No they are not stupid. Cameron is a useless hot air balloon. If you guys are ashamed of being right of the centre conservatives, go join the Lib Dems.

Does anyone seriously believe that we can win the next general election with Cameron in charge?

Not if some of his own MPs continue to talk against him in public as has been happening and people bitch and moan, rather than help him. A membership of a political party is supposed to help their leaders at times of difficulty, not turn into hysterically wailing doomsayers and ask the gods to "save them".

How can anyone fight an election if their members won't support them - do you expect Cameron to win an election with all the sobbing and bitching from places like this? I think a lot of his critics would prefer him to lose, because they don't want to see someone they don't feel is "one of them" become PM, though there are others who are not like that.

Even Menzies Campbell hasn't faced this kind of flak and the Lib Dems are doing worse than the Tories - they might be losing seats if their poll ratings don't improve. Why is that? Because the Lib Dems know it wouldn't solve anything. They face a hard, long road if they ever want to get into elected office and won't shirk their work. A new leader will change little now and make them seem weak and divided - why are the Tories the only main party that believe pressing the "eject" button will work when it didn't with IDS?

Save yourselves by pulling up your socks and doing some hard work. And give a leader his "full term" of office in the last 6 years - you can't keep ejecting people because they don't waive a magic wand. Conservatives don't have an automatic right to office - they need to fight for it. But what I see is as soon as any real trouble is, they default to blaming the leader and want him to go.

That's the easy, lazy option.

If you guys are ashamed of being right of the centre conservatives, go join the Lib Dems

Why do they have to join the Lib Dems? If you don't like Cameron's "left wing" policies, go join UKIP.

Cameron is a bigger commie than the Labour backbenchers put together. Get rid of him.

Is this too Machiavellian?


"If you don't like Cameron's "left wing" policies, go join UKIP"

I have.

Only genuine conservatives like me will join UKIP. Most who agree with me will just not vote.

"No they are not stupid. Cameron is a useless hot air balloon."

I'm sorry but it would be an act of monumental self-indulgent stupidity to expect to achieve anything by writing a handful of letters to the 1922 committee to call for a vote of no-confidence in the leadership of David Cameron.

That's why I find it hard to believe Melissa Kite's article.

Two points – it is lame to blame this site for the problems facing the Party and secondly we would be mad to even talk about ditching Cameron.

Essentially people vent their frustrations on ConservativeHome because there is a genuine feeling that those who surround Cameron are failing to listen to the concerns of the grass roots, Associations, candidates and the various other people who make up a successful Party.

I’ve written to several people over the last two months suggesting that the Chair of the Candidates Association is elected, rather that appointed by CCO. This would give a real opportunity for those on the list to engage with and discuss issues and concerns they have.

I’ve written to Maples, Mary Macleod (chair of candidates) and CC’d Gareth Fox. Have I received a reply? – Not a chance! I’ve now written to the Party Chair, have I received a reply? – Not a chance. Now ask yourself why people vent their frustrations on ConservativeHome.

This all come back to the second point. Talk of removing Cameron is just mad and until he Brown bounce progress was being made, however this was despite a growing unease amongst the grass roots. It is inevitable after Thursday that many of those frustrated see an opportunity to give Cameron a dig and those surrounding Cameron should take note.

However, there is an opportunity for the new Party Chair to address the growing unease. This essentially means dropping the arrogance and getting out there and explaining what they are doing in terms of modernising the Party. Less PR and more action.

PB, if the others that felt like you did so, Cameron might make the Conservatives electable again.

"That's enough advice from us for now! We'd be grateful for your constructive suggestions"

Not sure every post on here could be called constructive.

I find the contrast between the negative comments on here and the great atmosphere there was on the Ealing Southall campaign revealing. Yes that didn't bring us success there but I detect a new confidence among committed party activists even if it isn't yet shared by all the internet nerds on here.

I voted for Davis and support BOO; a flat tax; more grammar schools and an end to NET (emphasised) immigration. In addition, the A list and its aftermath has done me no favours. Therefore I am no Cameroon troll but have no doubt that we would be mad to ditch Dave at this stage.

The emphasis on green issues is good albeit overplayed. Apart from IDS' suggestion of extra tax on alcohol, his report was first rate. Support for a referendum on the EU constitution is a good starting point.

In short, he is by no means an absolute disaster. The men in grey suits should not be thinking of ousting him but instead work their damndest to bring him into line with the core beliefs of the Party.

I just don't see why Cameron just can't sit all his MPs down in a big room once a week and talk to them about his mission, what and why he is doing the week's agenda etc.

This would keep EVERYONE in the loop and would give every single MP the opportunity to have their issues and queries heard in return.

This lack of communication among the parliamentary party is a school-boy era that can be easily remedied.

Removing Cameron would be electoral suicide that would put the Tories back to the stone age.

Losing the next election would be a formality, probably by an even bigger margin than in 2005. Then, if the Lib Dems get their act together with a new 'Orange Book' leader like Nick Clegg, the Conservatives could be battling to stay in 2nd place in 2012+. Yes, it's that serious.

I believe whe're at a critical point in the future of the Conservative Party. To lose our nerve now could mean the end of it as a political force - for good.

"PB, if the others that felt like you did so, Cameron might make the Conservatives electable again."

What, electable as a pinko party? Is that what it has come down to? Grab power at any cost, become a commie if necessary?

I think we all need to calm down and be more patient. It will take months for Browns true potential to become evident and I believe Cameron can get the better of him and that his strategy to do this is good. Having said that he does need to adjust his tactics and learn the lessons of the last week. The editors suggestions are on the whole sensible, however he needs to stick to the change agenda and engage the party on that platform, not one of reverting to the old position.

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