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"the G-G green report could break the Tory coalition apart again."


Any political party (particularly under an FPTP system) is a coalition of broad-based ideas, some of which appeal to one part of the party, and others which appeal to others. All parts compromise to obtain an electorally attractive platform. Why should this break the Tory coalition apart? Are you suggesting that anything outside a specific narrow agenda is unacceptable and will be rejected by a particular part of the party regardless of cost? Do you believe that is responsible behaviour?

The Sun's coverage is welcome the Telegraph and the Mail nothing more than should be hoped for, the response of the Times must also be seen as important (I've not seen the papers yet today)... but the most important response should be on Sky and the BBC News and this morning I've seen nothing :(

On the subject of the Gummer-Goldsmith report, must be handled well I agree... but the "work/life" issues will be good to raise to prevent the referencing of crime being spun as a "lurch to the right", as it is the two issues could work seamlessly, but there is very little margin for error.

The green leak was bad timing, but thank goodness Ming managed to steal the headlines yesterday with his statement on Iraq. The party may accept some of the proposals, but there's no way it will go for the whole package, e.g. no more airport expansions etc.

I hope a properly funded high-speed TGV-type railway between London and Scotland is in the Gummer-Goldsmith report (the LibDems have already suggested that one), which will eradicate the need for domestic flights.

"Andy Coulson has helped the leadership to finally craft a message that resonates..."

What the Party has been saying over the last week or so isn't some newly crafted idea - David Cameron has been talking about the need for social responsibility since before he was elected as leader. Try looking at his September 2005 speeches on conservatives.com, which make much the same points.

The coverage of our party's ideas over crime was negligable in some sections of the BBC.Whilst it was regarded as the second most important story by Teletext (ITV) Ceefax (BBC) ignored it entirely nor was it a prominent story on News At Ten.
Coulson should start complaining very publicly about this.

I haven't heard David Cameron say anything this week which he hasn't said, powerfully, in the past. Does Conservative Home believe that he started speaking about the broken society only this week? I can accept that it takes time for ideas to permeate from the political hothouse to the front page of the Sun, but I don't think Conservative Home should pretend that he's starting from scratch here!

Which doesn't mean I don't think it's an important message and it's great that it's starting to resonate. Andy Coulson scores a hit!

I don't see much politics of 'and' by the way in the editorialising either. We have to fix the broken society; it doesn't follow from this that we have to support airport expansion and an ever-increasing number of domestic flights. What is ConHome saying? That unless we promise no green taxes (that is, taxes on consumption rather than income; now where have I heard that before?) and promise to concrete over the south-east in a never-ending expansion of the airports from hell, then we're not real Conservatives?

If we're not able to support green taxation then how do people suggest we demonstrate to the electorate that we have changed? We need to demonstrate we are a centerist party and not the right-wing pressure group we appeared to be at the past two general elections and this seems an excellent way of doing it...

I strongly agree with Malcolm. The BBC really underplayed this story in its bulletins.

David: I mean that green taxation proposals risk upsetting many Tory voters and the newspapers who are so positive about us today.

Mountjoy: Some newspapers are saying that the G-G report's recommendations were deliberately leaked to undermine the LibDem report.

Fiona: Social responsibility has indeed been a key theme of DC since he became leader and at the beginning of his leadership he tasked IDS and Nick Herbert with finding the bulk of the policies that were pulled together yesterday. What Coulson has helped to do, however, is to turn 'social responsibility' into 'It's time to fight back against anarchy in the UK'. Last Wednesday's crime speech was one of the best written by DC since he became leader.

The lack of coverage by the BBC is disgraceful and questions must be asked. They found space in the 6.0 p.m. television news for some drug addict singer but not a thoughtful policy to help reduce crime in this country.

David Bechamber, yes, I agree that TV and Radio news coverage of the policy announcements was close to zero. The Conservative party must kick up a fuss about this and demand equal air time. Once again the BBC has failed to show political objectivity.

Fiona is completely missing the point. Of course the philosophy is the same. The problem has been the presentation, communication and message.

Under Cameron this has been appalling. For some reason he (or his team) thought he could get away with a downgraded press office and neglect of newspapers.

They seem to have learnt quite late that newspapers set the agenda. the change since Coulson has come in has been enormous and very marked. And has to be the catalyst for more changes to Team Cameron until the right buttons are being hit.

Graeme: I hope I partly answered your points in my comment to Fiona that I was leaving as you were writing!

Yes, yes, yes: DC's work over the last eighteen months means he is able to present a credible anti-crime programme. The programme really is 'and theory' in action with traditional tough on crime policies (more prisons, real sentences) AND tough on the causes of crime policies (help for the family and better special needs education). What Coulson has done - and it's not unimportant - is to find the edge that interests The Mail and Sun in particular. I think he deserves credit for that.

As for all of the green policies: I will be saying more on those tomorrow when we publish the August survey of members.

The BBC was disgraceful in not mentioning it. Didnt appear on Newsnight either even though it had plenty of time to work out a strategy to shoot it down if thats how they felt about it. ITV had a page on Ceefax about it.

Thanks for the support Luke!


Ceefax is owned by the BBC James. The ITV equivalent is Teletext.
Looking at both regularly has confirmed my belief in the anti Conservative bias of the BBC,something I used to be quite sceptical about.

Gotcha, editor. Yes I see what you mean. And you're right (of course!).

Thanks for the correction, malcolm.

Green taxation will never be popular with the readers of Conservative Home. I'd be willing to bet money, if I didn't labour under the residual guilt of a Scottish presbyterian upbringing which leads me to regard gambling as an unspeakable evil, that tomorrow's headlines will be "Conservative Home members don't support green taxation". It would be nice to be proven wrong (why should tomorrow be any different to normal, after all?).

Last night I was at a non-poltical event attended by a large number of conservative people, with a small c, most of whom I suspect are natural Conservative voters.

All round I heard voices talking about the Conservatives putting up taxes. That they might be green taxes makes not one whit of difference.

Bad news - please someone put an end to talk of increasing taxes.

Only time I heard lots of positive interest in the Conservative Party in recent months was over John Redwood's report when DC was on holiday. Then Osborne poured cold water on it and interest faded just as fast.

The majority of voters do not believe the CO2-global warming stuff and so these policies do risk alienating support. Of greater concern is energy security and reliability. The answer here has to be a new generation of nuclear power stations, and that will upset the small green lobby.

We cannot and should not try to be all things to all men.

Refreshingly, Mr Cameron also shows he is prepared to take on the arbiters of popular culture by targeting violent computer games and music that glorifies thuggery.

It might be "refreshing" to the fuddy-duddys at the Telegraph, but to the vast majority of folks who actually enjoy popular culture it's downright scary. For instance, the Grand Theft Auto series may be "violent" (as is the Bible, but I digress), but is includes some of the biggest selling video games of all time.

If Cameron hates Western pop culture, he should grow a beard and fly over to Pakistan to join Bin Laden, since our "decadent" culture is one of the many things the Islamists hate about us.

Hopefully, at some point when drafting our new Bill of Rights, he'll acknowledge that the government has no business interfering with our right to free speech and end this rabble-rousing nonsense.

What's Cameron going to talk about next week? Schools and hospitals?


EML: The public services report from Stephen Dorrell and Baroness Perry is due to report next week.

Regarding video games and films, I am accepting of it. I enjoy watching a good horror film, where the British are really coming out with some good stuff. Im not going to go out and murder someone though. Violent films and computer games do nto create monsters. Monsters get their ideas from violent films and computer games. Retailers shouldnt be selling underage. Of course I am fully aware of the black market with media goods so its very much impossible to regulate it.

A propos of the BBC, they have been somewhat on the back foot of late. Surely now is a good time for the party (in particular those charged with getting the message across) to attack them every time they either fail to give any coverage to an important announcement or they do a hatchet job on us.

The BBC is part of the enemy ranged against us and should not be treated with kid gloves.

When will we see the rest of the Front Bench coming out supporting theie leader-or are they still on holiday/in their board rooms? DC cannot do this alone- he needs his entire team and every conservative MP and Peer to get on the media as often as they can to ram home the message that this and the Blair Governments have failed the country - and that we can do better than this.

We also need to see from them all a belief that we can win and are determined to achieve this.

The impression is that there are far too many of our parliamentary party who are just sitting back and assuming the election has been lost already- shame on them!!

Did the BBC have a reporter present at the press conference?

Whilst I think this positive coverage is welcome, we should not repeat William Hague's mistake of pandering to them and retreating to the comfortable issues of Crime and Europe (the other issue Cameron has recently raised and received warm words from these papers). Keep up the pressure on these, but we mustn't forget Schools, Hospitals, the Economy and the Environment.

Good point James M. I have addresses this bit of daftness on my blog here When has censorship ever been the answer to society's ills?

The message was strong, impressive and most importantly, Conservative.

The BBC might behave like Brown's lapdog, but if DC can keep this up, they will have to follow the press or their news reports will be as current as their over-stocked repeat programming.

Good Stuff DC. Let's see some more.

The so-called "best headline" was dwarfed by the picture of the Prime Minister with Nelson Mandela, hero of our time.

For the "Pop" culture which Cameron wants to smash read "Black" culture.

This is the culture of the young. The culture stuffed shirts like Cameron dont understand and never will.

Interesting how the insignificant clerical error on the hospital closure list was given far more coverage than this on BBC and Sky. You'd think that with the backdrop of all these recent shootings it would have been given far more prominence. Mind you, we are talking about the BBC.

I despair of yet another crusade against rap music and violent computer games. While neither are probably particularly appropriate for younger children, trying to pass of these things as the causes of our current social ills seems the kind of ineffectual and ill-informed bluster that I had hoped we had moved on from.

I listen to rap music on occasion and play 'violent' computer games (although I am probably too old to be admitting to such things in public). I have yet to rob, rape or murder anyone.

I also fail to see how the refrain of 'more police, more jail space, tougher sentences' is any different from the line that Labour trot out regularly (although I grant that we actually mean it). I also fail to see any detail as to how we propose to address the issue of how society is actually producing more of these swine in the first place.

Sadly, IDS' excellent report on social justice addressed a lot of these issues but has been woefully under-supported by the leadership.

What we are seeing is the long-predicted lurch to the right.

Its a sign of total desperation.

Prepare for the usual anti-immigrant retoric next.

I see the usual Labour HQ children are attempting to rubbish Cameron. Shows that they are (and should be) ashamed of their pitiful record on crime etc.

In relation to Sky and the BBC and nothing on them! Sky yesterday did not run the press conference. They said they had a technical hitch! The smirks on the faces of the announcer and Boulton (Friend of the Kremlin Boulton) proved to me, at least, that they designed it!

The best paper reviews for Cameron ever! Now he must sit down and realise that having become a Tory! He has caught the Nation's attention by being RIGHT.

Forget about the slur's from the left wing. RIGHT is the RIGHT path and will bring back the voters.

More of this and Brown will never re-appear from Bunker 1.

Well done Cameron. Keep it up (and please thank Gummer for his report and D I T C H it!)


I confess I haven't read the Redwood report, but I recall hearing that J.R. strongly recommended against any further taxation on air travel.

Certainly it is this aspect of the Gummer-Goldsmith report that worries me: while being seen as pro-Green is of course very nice and good, I fear that taxing air travel will be seen as taxing the working class of one of their few pleasures (i.e. cheap flights). Indeed, the 'Green' aspect of this might be completely forgotten and the issue picked up as as "Tories tax poor to pay for inheritance tax cuts for rich".

From the street, I'd say the view seems to be that the Redwood proposals, with talk of encouraging business, seemed to be 'clever', while the G-G proposals seem a bit crude, a bit "tax is a discincentive not to do bad things". The problem is, if you have faith in Government to decide what is and what is not bad, then you probably don't vote Conservative anyway.

"Not only...but also" means BOTH crime/tax/Europe (some of the "hard" issues) AND tackling global warming & global poverty (the "soft" issues). Whilst I agree that the green policy group's ideas could be mishandled, there is no reason to think that they will. The concerns that the report should address are just as vital to our future as crime - although I accept that they are more our "licence to operate" (i.e. a ticket for parts of the electorate even to consider voting for us) than the actual sale (which will be made as ever on crime and the economy/tax).

Brown looks increasingly like the England football team last week - a surprisingly fluent first 20 minutes and then back to the usual mediocrity. But this may be his quiet time before a blaze of initiatives, even if of equal lack of substance to those of his first month, around party conference time.

"Whilst I agree that the green policy group's ideas could be mishandled, there is no reason to think that they will."

I wish I shared your confidence in CCHQ's press team, Londoner.

The BBC has dumbed down their news bulletins to an embarrassing degree of irrelevance.

There's shootings on our streets, fires burning Greece to cinders and a new Islamic government in Turkey, and what was their headline yesterday?

"We speak to Keira Knightly about her role in her new film."

Gob-smackingly amateur.

"We speak to Keira Knightly about her role in her new film."

Gob-smackingly amateur.

It is a movie about a topless newsreader with long legs who hoped to have her own TV show if she can master the teleprompter.....or is that Fiona Bruce ?

No one likes taxes, fact, although green taxes have some support (about 40pc I think). That's why the new green taxes must be sold with other tax cuts combined. A tax on aviation to fund the abolition of inheritance tax or to cut the small business tax rate by X etc.

Put it to people straight: do they want to tax airlines or small businesses?

Canada doesn't have IHT and its per capita income is higher than in the UK....

The way to cut taxes is to cut waste.

"The way to cut taxes is to cut waste"
Of course, but you can't cut waste in opposition. Any tax cut that isn't funded will be spun as a cut to services, so we need to target what we do/say, and cut the taxes with the best economic and political benefit - funding them by increasing taxes that have the smallest economic harm. It might be two steps forward, one step back, but that's better than standing still.

Cameron's line on green taxes, set out in Newsnight tonight, is a great example of political opportunism winning over evidence based decision making. The Quality of Life Group was told by experts that only massive taxes would make any difference to aviation's environmental performance, yet George Osborne appears to have decided in advance that loading travellers to benefit families would be a vote winner. Unless Cameron can produce evidence that taxing air travel would cut emissions, this is going to look like nothing more than an Exchequer grab.

Steve Hilton to Call Me Dave. "Dave, we have a problem, your recent outbursts on Europe and crime have been well received by the ordinary, mainstream middle classes of this country". CMD replies, "Don't worry Steve, I'll hammer them on air travel and car journeys". In other words, don't get sucked in, Dave is still determined to have his "clause 4" moment, but you can bet your life, it won't effect Sam's handbag sales.

Tim, I disagree - it's not some magic press relations strategy that has prompted this coverage. It's the fact that people recognise the problems in our society, and that the message from David etc is finally beginning to register (remember when I said repeat things till we're all sick of them, as only then will normal voters start to remember them? This is why!)

And David has just repeated for the umpteenth time on Newsnight that any increase in green taxes will be matched by cuts in famiy taxes. Again, this will only sink in if a) we repeat it again and again anad again and b) we are sensible about how we sell this. Baying about how green taxes are a waste of time (Roger Helmer et al) is NOT the way to persuade people who don't currently vote for us that we are trustworthy. Brown's 'green' taxes are just another stealth tax. We would offset them with cuts in family taxes so that they actually have a positive effect on the environment, not just the Treasury's income.

Fiona - its a clear change of tone and message - end of story.

This week marks DC maturing as leader and making the team around him much more effective. He is sharpening up his act and removing the deadwood.

To claim otherwise is Canute like.

Fiona is right, we've got to drive it home. A tax on aviation to pay for cuts to other taxes. We've got to repeat it, parrot like, until everyone has heard it or it will be considered a tax grab. We don't even need to mention global warming, it's a tax swap plain and simple.

Tax cheap flights, stop all airport expansions and let's do everything we can to slam the airplane cancer into reverse.

Let's make it happen!

It's almost enough to make me enthusiastic about voting Conservative - and I don't live anywhere near an airport BTW.

But do you really want to be shouting out loud that you are going to add £200+ to the total flight costs of a family going on their annual break?

(IHT revenue / number of people who flew out last year - if passed on linearly by the airlines.Please don't pretend the airlines won't pass on the cost of the tax.)

Please don't pretend the airlines won't pass on the cost of the tax.

Who said they wouldn't?

The greatest pretence is that there’s some justification for airlines to be exempted from responsibility for the harm they do. Allowing people / organisations to shirk responsibility and consequences is about as un-Conservative as you can get.

I don't mind my flights getting more expensive if my other taxes are reducing. Simply put, less tax = more money in my pocket = more money to pay for flights.

Quite right.

Other than the occasional necessary flying visit to St Helier I seldom fly these day. I find most European travel far more congenial via Eurostar.

Time the rest of the public were 'educated' to do likewise.

Keeping Britain green and beautiful is the one policy we should set before all others.

Why don't the Tories just expose all the climate change (especially the CO2 part) propaganda or is this the secret weapon to ensure an even larger majority?
There are enough websites that tell the truth that the whole issue is just an excuse for inventing taxes and imposing more and more controls on personal lives

Don't make the mistake of adding even more taxes. It is time many were scrapped altogether (or at least spent on what they are collected for eg road tax and fuel tax almost NONE of which goes anywhere near the roads).
As regards fuel, how is it justifiable that eighty percent of the price at the pump is TAX? Why is the UK (and Europe) paying FIVE times as much for fuel as it should be?

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