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At last something to look forward to on television. I hope its a long interview. The BBC owe David Camero that after they way they ignored yesterdays policy announcement.

From BBC web site
"Immigration over the past decade has been "too high" and needs to be better controlled, Conservative leader David Cameron has told the BBC's Newsnight.
People's concerns were "not because of different cultures" or the colour of someone's skin but pressure on schools, hospitals and housing, he said. "

What did I say about Tories reaching for the immigration/race card?

Looks like the interview was people dragging admisions out of Cameron kicking and screaming.

Do you think immigration is too low Wang Jerry?

I watched most of the interview. Cameron seemed to do OK although the interviewers weren't keen on the idea of him being allowed to answer the question in full.

Crick was his usual snidey self.


I've deleted a comment from Wang Jerry and reactions to it. The best response to idiotic comments is to allow one person to repudiate it and then to ignore it. Email([email protected] and [email protected]) and we can then delete particularly offensive comments.

One very worrying thing about what should be a very good exercise - The beeb takes a line about immigration as their lead, despite it sounding as though it was a very small part of a far broader scope of topics that DC touched upon - that sort of spin could have been writen by Labour in an attempt to paint the narative of "rattled Tories lurch to the right"... has to be addressed!

It looks like four against one from the picture above. Can you imagine Gordon Brown being subjected to a similar setup? Of course not; he gets the nice'n'easy fireside chats with the former BBC Labour correspondent, Andrew Marr.

To be fair to the BBC, Chris, Brown did have such an interview as he became PM. Martha Kearney was in the chair I think on that occasion...

I'm not sure I remember that one, Tim, but you are probably right. However, with the Brown interview, was it really four 'against' one..?

The photgraph gives the impression of an interrogation. Why does it take 4 BBC correspondents to stage an interview, particularly when you have that arch-Trot Crick in attendance.
I thought the BBC was supposed to control costs as part of the agreement over the license fee, this is just reckless expenditure, or is it keeping the "boys" in jobs.
The BBC will no doubt attempt to corrupt the words of DC for their own sensationalism, and to provide moral support and succour to GBH and party.

It was Chris.

Ah, yep, found the interview on Nick Robinson's blog, in case anyone else is interested in a similar Brown interview. The video that accompanies the two posts doesn't appear to be working though. LINK

If Cameron is going to talk about immigration he has to do it a way which puts the BBC on the back foot, eg in linking it with environmental sustainability, and also the direct link with housing pressures, for up to now the BBC has been extremely unwilling to put difficult questions to Labour Ministers, when they talk about housing and the like.

Green taxation will lose us a lot of votes. Voters will believe the announcement to raise taxes. They won't believe the commitment to cut them.

I'm really please to hear that Cameron shares your concerns about part-time frontbenchers Tim. I hope the Chief Whip will now enforce a tougher work regime.

Well, that was classic Dave, wasn't it? He's consistent all right ... in his desperate pandering after votes, if nothing else.

Unfortunately, it's hard to imagine a world in which the minority of comfortable metropolitan youth who worry about 'the environment' more than e.g. the enormous amount of money they are already forced to surrender to an increasingly sclerotic yet ineffectual welfare state won't be put off Dave by all this 'right wing' stuff: his newfound enthusiasm for immigration controls, his idea that banning music or videos is likely to make any difference to anyone, or, weirdest of all, his identification with that ever-popular figure, Michael Howard. At the same time, are the sort of traditional Conservatives who'll rejoice in that immigration message most fully likely to be equally pleased at the prospect of higher taxes? And if Dave genuinely thinks his shadow cabinet shouldn't have 'outside interests', why hasn't he done anything about this already?

It's all so transparent - the meagre treats doled out to the Greens, to the Right, to the Modernisers, to the totems representing the latest media-driven mini-panic about whatever it is this week - and yet it always leads back to the same thing, which is a would-be 'leader' who can see no further than his own poll ratings, and whose 'vision' never seems to stretch very far beyond power for him and a few old friends. And why on earth should any of us, let alone the rest of the British electorate, subscribe to any of that?

Iain - dead right! He must confound the easy Labour narrative of "lurch to the right", will be very tough... but Cameron is probably the Conservative leader best placed to defy that trap as it is simply very hard to reasonably discredit him as a "nasty right winger" as Labour did with Hague,IDS and Howard.

Have no illusion, this interview is going to have been cut and edited in a way as to portray Cameron in a negative light - there is no doubt about this.

The BBC will use any underhand tactic going to undermine the Tories. That includes taking 20 seconds out of 40 minute interview and splashing it across their website as "Cameron slams Immigrants" or whatever.

The set up shown in the pic above looks laughable. Why do you need FOUR people asking the questions??

Does Parkinson need three friends helping him out? Or Paxman, or Dimbleby?

Interesting that the BBC mentioned this story in their 6pm bulletin as a back-handed advertisement for a show on their own network. So much for the BBC being a non-commercial organisation...

What exactly do we pay our license fee for?

I won't be surprised if much of the interview was about the broken society, but the BBC have twisted the headlines to focus on immigration, green taxation and outside interests (i.e. ways of 'getting at' the Conservatives).

Well i think Mr. Cameron's performance was excellent and struck just the right balance. It did appear to be a trial by the BBC, but i think he answered the questions exactly and fully. He also walked the fine line between caring conservatism and a tougher right wing conservatism in a perfect and skillful way, just like a first class tightrope walker. He has fully justified my voting for him as leader and also rejoining the party after letting my membership lapse. I just hope the BBC aren't able to spin it out of all proportion!

It does make me laugh all the predictions of BBC bias and editing from people who have yet to see the interview.

I was lucky enough to catch the broadcast of it on News24 and I think the questioning was firm but very fair and Cameron overall, in my opinion, come out in a positive light. I think he got a little stuck with some good questions from Stephanie Flanders on marital tax breaks and inheritance tax but apart from that I thought he did well.

James, after all the bias over the years, you can't fault anyone for fearing the worst.

It's not the actual interview that is most important anyway (I doubt much of the public will be interested enough to watch), it's the soundbites and headlines the BBC will attempt to spin off from it.

The BBC website is headlining the interview as 'Immigration too high - Cameron'

Well I don't see any problem in that. Everybody knows immigration is too high and the vast majority of people aren't afraid to say so.

It is only people involved in the media and politics - including some so-called Tories along with the out-and-out Marxists - who come out with all this rubbish about immigration 'enriching society' and so forth.

To the Tory fainthearts I would say - go out and meet some real people. They are fed up to the back teeth with immigration.

\The only votes the Conservative Party has ever lost on the issue is through not being tough enough.

Did anyone notice the question at the end about Cameron quitting if he loses the next GE (he answered it well). Apparently it was asked by one Nick Palmer.

That wouldn't have been Nick Palmer MP and regular poster on the Political Blogging website would it?

Something fishy there possibly?

Would the BBC plant a question? How could I even think it!!!!!

Of course immigration is too bloody high! The man speaks sense. For once.

I thought Cameron did alright but once again was too reasonable. I'm sure his reasonableness is a deliberate tactic but I'm not sure if it works. BBC interviewers need to be challenged and roughed up from time to time as Cameron did so well to Paxman during the leadership contest.
PS Crick really deserves a kicking. That man is a disgrace to public service broadcasting.

why this worry about Brown labelling it a lurch to the right.

If Brown says that and the papers report it (The BBC and Sky will!!) then that will result in a surge of voters supporting Cameron.

Right is Right and lets not hide our heads. Leftism has failed and true right policies will win mass support.

Lift up your heads. Cameron is a Tory! He is RIGHT.

Another ridiculous attempt by the BBC to try and smear Cameron and the Conservatives. He made a damn good case for the party and its principles.

To those Labour supporters (and staffers) who are trolling on most websites such as this - theres no point assigning a "card" to what Cameron says when what he says is a response to a question.

Anna Botting on Sky News is a disgrace! When the whole "flooding" issue was around, there happened to be an interview of Cameron by Channel 5 and in it he talked about his son because he was asked "Has your faith in god been tested?" Botting says "Oh so when troubles come, Cameron brings out the Ivan card". What the Hell is that supposed to mean? He answered a question!

The BBC aren't impartial or independent. It's time they earned their money the hard way like everyone else (not including extortionate phone-ins!) - down with the license fee!

Another example - 2 MPs right for a vote of confidence against Cameron, and its a media storm on every channel and paper. One Hundred and Twenty Labour MPs demand a referendum on Europe and theres not a peep from the media! Absurdity! But I guess that's the UK's "independent" media. We all might as well go and live in Russia.

Cameron can do the job and win the election - too bad so many "tories" are too busy trying to push their own agenda instead of rallying behind their leader. Jealousy is another ugly enemy of the party - Cameron is smarter, more presentable and more intelligent than most Tories and has a lot more charisma. Accept it and stop trying to oust him to satisfy your envy.

Well done David on your great work against the beasts of the beeb!

I really hope this is not a reversion to old type, it will gain the usual 32%. The party has to continue to talk about public services and the environment.

I really hope this is not a reversion to old type, it will gain the usual 32%. The party has to continue to talk about public services and the environment.

Why should you be worried, Cleo. You're supposed to be a 'floating voter'.


RE: Nick Palmer.

Yeah I also thought it might have been a repeat of the whole Blue Peter incident - Labour-supporting Newsnight team member "texts in" with a question.

I want a competitive political system Traditional Tory not a constant Labour Government which is what core vote strategy will achieve.

It's pretty obvious what the BBC are up to and so is Labour. On the Labour Home blog for example, a blogger says,

"Cameron is down in the polls, but I believe this is because of his being seen as weak rather than nasty. It remains to be seen whether he has got rid of the bad image and, if he has, his crime and immigration speeches might help him (by portraying him as strong) as opposed to hinder him (by portraying as nasty). Has Cameron done enough to ditch the Tory's 'nasty party' image that he can talk about core-vote issues without it scaring away the centrist voters? We'll know in the next month or so."

I'm watching the Newsnight interview and it is so typical of the BBC to have ignored much of what David Cameron says about tackling crime and social breakdown. Labour will try to paint Cameron "right wing on immigration" -- it won't wash, though.

Good G-d; they are slavering to try and get him to say something nasty about immigrants.

Just watched the programme and the way the gang of four tried to knock David down every time he attempted to explain policy. I thought the idea was to interview Mr Cameron not to have pot-shots at him. Typical BBC bias.

On second viewing Cameron seems tougher and better. I think all but the most biased observer would agree he did well today after some pretty hostile questioning.
I also think that the right up of the interview on bbc.co.uk which whilst not a fair reflection of the interview at all will not do the Conservative party any harm at all.

He gave a great performance, well done David. The interviewers were terrible.

Cameron's best ever performance. He's rising to the challenge.


Crick was ridiculous; trying to get Cameron to answer yes/no on some pretty broad, complex questions, as if sorting out the country is as easy as that. He was blatantly fishing for a soundbite for the red tops to get their teeth into.

I've got an MA in poetry, so here's my Ode to Crick:

Old Michael Crick
is a bit thick.

I thank you!

Even if you don't like Cameron you have to respect him after that interview. Calling it 'iron-clad' may be overtating it a little, but Cameron is rolling with the punches and is emerging more and more cherubic each time.

Two years of being in charge of the most unruly of unruly political parties has not wearied him, and his hunger to win was quite evident at the end of the interview.

As for will he quit if the Tories lose; I for one hope he doesn't.

More power to his elbow.

I posted at 19.43 on the Home thread, as I had watched the "interrogation"on BBC news 24 in the afternoon. I said then, that DC ran the "Gauntlet" It seems most folks agree that it was utterly disgraceful of the BBC, but MY!! DC can take it and dish it out as well. He was excellent, but it was a Kangeroo Court he was up against. The BBC is overripe for reformation IMHO.

The interviewers were sneering and ridiculous, but Dave was pretty unconvincing on key things like immigration and supporting the family.
On immigration he didn't even mention the effect on unemployment or wage rates for the poorest British people.
He should have hit back at smug Stephanie Flanders (boasting of being unmarried with a child). He shouldn't have accepted the personal abuse from her and others throughout.
He was also weak on the EU - he knows, and we know, he has no intention of standing up to the EU because it would mean threatening to withdraw.

I have put my comment on this topic on the main thread for today - I called it Trial by Jury and a crappy one at that. And I also think that David Cameron came out of it the best ever, he really demonstrated that he has what it takes to be a LEADER. I thought the pathetic bunch of morons battering him, achieved nothing for the labour biased Beeb!!!

I thought bringing up his 'rich wife' to score a point was completely out of order.

Very assured performance, no real slip-ups.

I would disagee with very little Cameron said on Newsnight.

In fact, had I just arrived as a visitor from a distant planet I would - as an ultra-traditional Conservative - have gained a reasonably favourable impression of the man's opinions, if not his irritating glibness.

Which shows just how radical is the 'core vote' relaunch, already hailed by the Daily Mail as 'Cameron discovers he's a Tory'. It could have been tailor-made to appeal to semi-detached Conservatives such as myself.

What a pity that the last couple of years have fundamentally alienated so many of us. Cameron may at last have turned his back on the touchy-feely metrosexuals, but he will win back little of the traditional support he has lost.

More significantly, however, I believe that Cameron and his advisers have allowed themselves to be set up by the BBC. In particular, it was a major error to agree to such a long, comprehensive, and therefore risky interview.

Most electors will not have watched this interview, but large numbers will read the multi-pronged 'lurch to the right' spin that is about to follow.

Not that there is anything wrong, or unpopular, in being 'right wing', but the inevitable charges of inconsistency are likely to leave their mark.

The questions from the panel were a disgrace. Gavin Esler repeated the inflammatory word 'swamped' in relation to immigration three or four times with the obvious intent of trying to get Mr Cameron to repeat it. The panel repeatedly mentioned Mr Cameron's wealth indicating that this meant he was unfit to comment on poverty. I was also amazed at Mr Esler asking if Mr Cameron thought he was competent for the job, that is for the electorate to decide not Mr Esler. I would also be interested in asking why the lighting crew felt the need to leave Mr Cameron in half shadow whilst the panel were bathed in light, surely not a Newsnight ploy to make him look bad/shadowy.

Despite all their traps, Cameron did very well.

The hostility of the interviewers (and the lighting) was so obvious that it worked in David Cameron’s favour.

His weakness was IHT -- and I’m still not sure how the Economic Competitiveness Policy Group managed to work that into its report. How does IHT affect competitiveness?

BTW Traditional Tory, I don't understand how it was Cameron that put you off Conservatives. Weren't you a UKIP candidate in '05, before David Cameron was leader?

That was a really impressive appearance - the stuff on foreign policy was particularly well thought through. Given the depth of ideas he had to trawl through there, surely people can't keep saying the policy groups were a bad idea.

The avoid-saying-anything-that-makes-
you-sound-like-a-bastard plan might seem wimpy to some but it'll keep a lot of easily-scared swingers onside. Have to say though, Stephanie Flanders was staring daggers at the poor guy, and she did get him on committing not to spend proceeds of tax cuts on the rich.

The questions from the panel were a disgrace.

Do you think they should have been censored, Justin?

I agree that those questions were clearly carefully drafted so that the ensuing anti-Cameron spin on immigration, disparities in wealth, etc. will probably be couched more in terms of the question than the answer.

But that's politics for you.

Weren't you a UKIP candidate in '05, before David Cameron was leader?

Was I really, Mark?

If I have a moment some time I'll have to look down the list of UKIP candidates to see where Mr T Tory was standing.

Or was I actually Sir Percy Craddock standing for the BNP? Nice to keep you guessing.

Very distasteful that they attacked Mr Camerons educational background and family. Inverted snobbery at it very worst. Eton has served Britain well down the years. They should respect it as a great institution. I agree that the lighting was contrived. Bring back Brian Walden and Peter Jay, they may have been left-leaning but their interview techniques made this gang of four look like amateurs.

Mark Urban was okay: He asked some interesting questions (we don't get to hear much of what Cameron thinks on foreign matters), and seemed genuinely interested himself to hear what Cameron had to say.

Crick, Esler and Flanders though - they all had their own agendas and were gagging for a hatchet job.

I expect the BBC to be firm but fair when interviewing politicians of all parties. Remember, the BBC is supposed to be a PUBLIC broadcasting organisation!

I was really rather impressed by DC's performance. He's a much better debater than any of the 4 Beboids ranged against him, which they probably didn't realise till afterwards. Can't resist a chuckle about that I'm afraid. I thought Self Satisfied Steph and Creepy Crick really did look a touch on the weak side.

I did rather wonder whether some of the earlier posts reflected what went out on NewsNight or just earlier excerps.

Regardless of how anyone assesses that debate or the value of the opinions advanced by the participants I thought it was interesting, intelligent and well worth watching.

Flanders was left flondering!

"I thought bringing up his 'rich wife' to score a point was completely out of order"

Dead right Edison. When they nastily brought that up I said a word that beings with "B" and ends in "S" there was no need for that. Still it goes to show they haven't got anything else to attack David on. BBC scum.

Yes, it seems once they realised Cameron was batting back their volleys on the real issues without breaking a sweat, they reverted to inverted snobbery (Eton - as if having a 1st class education is a negative), tax cuts for the rich (non existent) and personal assaults (you're married to a wealthy womam: How dare you!).

Yet another shocker for the Brown Broadcasting Corporation.

I thought he did extremely well against some extremely aggressive, bordering on rude, questioning (the guy on the right excepted). At the end his comment about not answering 'if' questions seemed a bit snappy. He needs to be careful to keep his temper. That response always annoys me anyway: why shouldn't politicians answer 'if' questions?

I would have asked Floundering Flanders how much she takes from the BBC, sorry, tax-payer! And like Creepy Crick is poor...

RE Mark Urban

He was the best interviewer because he did not have an agenda and is not a politics wonk like Crick or Esler, or someone who gets excited about Futsi indexes (Flanders).

He's actually got some perspective, which you would have if you've seen at first hand the Gulf War; the 1991 Coup in Moscow; the Bosnian war; the Middle East peace process; Russian as well as Israeli elections and the conflict in Kosovo.

That's proper reporting. Not like Crick, messing with his comb-over in the Westminster lobby.

Tom, yes, David put his case across very well. Im not really sure this was what we can call a proper interview though because the panel were so busy trying trip David up that they were not at all interested in finding out his opinion. You would think that they would want to know what the future prime minister has to say. They reminded me of certain people who go into political forums like this one with the express purpose of rubbishing others. It was more hectoring than investigative journalism.

As some may remember I have not been a great admirer of Cameron but I was astounded at how, for 3/4 of puerile and hostile questioning, he never once lost the plot, his composure or his command of the situation. I was mightily impressed and will certainly reconsider what I have said up to now.

Even where I disagree with him on the EU (I'm a BOOer) I have to say that if he wrecks this Constitution he will then be able to get his chance of reforming the EU itself or our relationship with it, which he said was his aim.

Edison, what flanders knows about economics can be written on the back of a postage stamp. Her economic views are so textbook and predictable, she never says anthing interesting or unorthodox. Not in the same league as Peter Jay.

I was in a pub chatting to some locals and saw, in parts, Davids performance although I could not hear a thing. Throughout he looked relaxed and in control.

I have now watched, and heard, it on line and I can only say one thing:
Well done David

A week ago he was being written off. He was finished. The Brown bounce had done for him.. Really... I would have LOVED to have seen that interview when he was ahead of the polls.

Apart from anything else, it's good practice for the sort of thing he'll have to face come election time.

Wholeheartedly agree with the comments about the "rich wife". How dare she! She hasn't even got a husband, and she dares to comment on Cameron's wife?! Who does not interfere herself AT ALL with Cameron's life and does not impose herself on the media (like that disgusting Cherie). A disgusting attack.

Another point that I was annoyed about was how the gang of three (Urban wasn't that bad really, he was the best of them and more like the true "interviewers" of the past, pre-Labour suck up days) sat there on their thrones acting like the guardians of the poor. How much money do they earn? Plenty more than the rest of us decent folk!

£500,000 a year for old Hugh (Edwards his last name is? I can't remember- its the Welsh one that does the 10 o'clock news) who just sits around and reads off a screen? I wonder how much these Labour wunderkinder get paid from our taxes to push forward their Labour propaganda! Definitely a large enough amount to be considered "rich".

I also agree with the comments about the ligthing. However I think it was partly because half way through the interview Cameron shifted a bit. Right at the end he was back in his starting position and all looked well :)

Oh, my first post above has a typo - it should be "2 MPs write"!

Thick old Crick (as Edison says), Floundering Flanders, Heckler Esler, And of course the rest of the ludicrous Labour supporting media cabal, including the ever revolting Brown's Rotting Botting - can all get lost along with Brown and NuLabour. Bring on the election!

A good performance by Cameron. The interview panel would never have dared to ask Brown such direct questions. Notice how they used Tim's comments on ConHome about Shadow Cabinet "part timers". I still doubt that this site has been a net benefit to the Conservative Party. It provides questions which our opponents use to attack the Party.

Yes, there will certainly be much more of this media bias come the election. Gordon Brown said he was going to play the 'Eton Card' and it looks like the BBC are happy to follow suit. I say turn this on its head, show what a great British instiution Eton is and show how it has produced persons who have served our nation well. Inverted snobbery is a marxist invention now adopted by the liberal chattering classes. The fact is whether we went to Eton or a comprehensive we are all Britons, all belonging to the same nation. We do not need to be lectured on pseudo class-distinctions by the BBC.

One answer that I thought was a bit weak was on tax on flying. He was asked why people should be prepared to pay more to go by plane, and said something like we should be happy to pay more because we are helping the environment. But really we are paying to damage the environment, and the tax money will just go to the exchequer. I'm sceptical about the green apocalypse anyway though, so realise I'm probably not the intended audience.

Overall I think Cameron came across well. His poll ratings will go up, but he has had to go to the right earlier than he wanted due to the Brown bounce.

The flying tax which with affect millions, will be an own goal if tax cuts are directed to the 40,000 estates that pay inheritence tax. Any tax increases should be invested in the public transport system. Average house price in the north is £144,421, so no inheritence tax, but most will be going abroad on holiday. Cameron = tax rises.

I thought Cameron was outstanding. He had four overtly Left/Centre Left individuals grilling him and trying to tear some sort of "nastiness" or closed mindedness out of him, but his answers were clear, cohesive and thankfully lacked a foul stench of rhetoric that Blair might have had. For Brown and Jacqui Smith to deny that Britain is enduring a "broken society" is laughably tragic. I'm also glad to see some of Liam Fox's leadership bid material surfacing.

If - which I doubt - the voting public were ever really concerned by the alleged tribal blimpishness of card-carrying Tories, their worst nightmares would be confirmed by the bilious and incestuous squeals of indignation registered above.

Of course the panel set out to give Cameron a hard time, but what was actually extraordinary was a kind of hostile 'complicity' between both sides.

The panel were out to elecit 'right wing' answers from Cameron and Cameron appeared determined to give conventional middle class Conservative replies, which for the average BBC Marxist amounts to much the same.

Even the reference to green taxes on cheap air flights - no doubt offensive to libertarians - were calculated to please those of us who are dyed-in-the-wool supporters of CPRE, not to mention the dreaded Tory Nimbies.

The panel did not quiz Cameron on the many issues of substance (Grammargate, gay adoptions, etc.) and style ('Heir to Blair', apologies for Tory 'racism' etc) which have driven a wedge between him and a vast number of traditional supporters. Nor did Cameron - as in the past - enthusiastically attempt to display his politically correct credentials, except in a muted reference to the 'A List'.

So can we ever be won back? Probably not, but it is a tragedy that Cameron did not start his reign in the style displayed last night. If he had done so we might never have been alienated in the first place.

Perhaps his misfortune was that the Blair-fuelled Cameron Bounce lasted so long that he came to believe that he was succeeding because of, and not despite, his endless parade of PC baseball cap moments.

However, it would be churlish indeed not to join the Daily Mail in welcoming this apparent change of style and direction. Let us see how it develops.

Tony Blair had an actor's approach - even when he was going for the leadership way back in 1996. Cameron showed his true colours last night and they were seriously impressive. Compared to Brown, he looked dynamic, sensible, determined and, above all, Conservative - a word he used a lot.
Hey - God help the BBC when he gets elected! That body language and all the grimaces from the three Liberals (how passe they looked!) is quite enough to end the licence fee.

'Notice how they used Tim's comments on ConHome about Shadow Cabinet "part timers". I still doubt that this site has been a net benefit to the Conservative Party.'

The site is a net benefit to the party if it encourages Cameron to make his shadow cabinet go full time.

On second viewing I'd agree it was a good performance. Interviewers were worse than I thought on second viewing. Crick's insistence on one word answers showed why he's totally unsuited to the political editor role. He still thinks he's the digging investigator looking for a scoop.

Notice how they used Tim's comments on ConHome about Shadow Cabinet "part timers".
Credit where credit is due, but I very much doubt Mr Montgomerie was the source of 115 paid outside interests for the Tory Front Bench.....I suspect this site breaks little news but comments on breaking stories.

Average house price in the north is £144,421,

That is total hogwash. That is like saying the average price of a house in England is

Just look at the volume of sales

West Yorkshire
Average Cost: £156,005
Detached: £269,065

North Yorkshire
Average Cost: £218,759
Detached: £325,976
Semi-detached: £196,729
Terraced: £162,677
Flat: £158,918

Average Cost: £211,808
Detached: £330,738
Semi-detached: £183,229
Terraced: £144,506
Flat: £148,921

Yorks & Humber
Average Cost: £157,916
Detached: £261,646
Semi-detached: £149,175
Terraced: £119,030
Flat: £134,591

Now try and buy a house for those prices - try Ilkley where £1000,000 will get you a place or Adel or Alwoodley or Harrogate or Ripon.....try Tatton, Hale,

"The North" is like talking of "The South" and commenting on all the Jamaicans and Somalians who live down there.

You really should not compare house prices in Primrose Hill with those in Brixton - different income groups, but both are London postcodes. Get out more Will and learn about property - just because Paul Sykes lives in Harrogate doesn't make him poor.....or James Clappison MP a pauper because he went to school in St Peter's York.....

Do get on the overpriced train and visit "The North" which is full of houses in the £500,000-£2000,000 category - if you have difficulty travelling read


Cameron was very good last night - he was consistent and for once on top (okay, fairly on top) of his brief.

As for part time shadow cabinet members, Cameron should have pointed out that at least the shadow cabinet members have real experience in business - unlike the labour party as a whole - made up of lawyers, trade unionists and other carreer politicians who never have had a worthy job.

He referred to the party members having 'fire in their bellies' - I am sure he is a regular reader of this website.

Cameron was very good last night - he was consistent and for once on top (okay, fairly on top) of his brief.

As for part time shadow cabinet members, Cameron should have pointed out that at least the shadow cabinet members have real experience in business - unlike the labour party as a whole - made up of lawyers, trade unionists and other carreer politicians who never have had a worthy job.

He referred to the party members having 'fire in their bellies' - I am sure he is a regular reader of this website.

Traditional Tory writes:
"So can we ever be won back? Probably not, but it is a tragedy that Cameron did not start his reign in the style displayed last night. If he had done so we might never have been alienated in the first place."

I'm not too sure who the "we" are and how numerous they are. Not many I'd have thought and few of them those middle of the road non-zealots. I take leave to doubt, despite the Editor's recent post in his defence, that Trad. T. speaks for very many traditional Tories.

Posting in a blog is still a fairly rare form of political activity so I'm not sure that doing a head count of Tim's contributors here gives much information, yet, about Tory Party members and supporters as a whole, let alone those who usually vote for Tory candidates without wanting to get involved apart from on election days.

What I saw on Newsnight last night seemed to me very consistent with Cameron's original election platform and what he himself has said and done since. I thought he showed a high level of debating skill too, under greater pressure than I've seen him face before. I don't have too much time for the four interviewers as my earlier post implied, but it's only really difficult situations that allow politicians to show what they are made of. Mind you debating well is one thing and governing well is another as Blair showed.

Listening to Newsnight now. Crick really hates Cameron doesnt he? Desperate throws of the dice and accusations which Labour come out with oh so frequently. Crick was making some headway with his police commissioner question but blew it completely with the comments about prioritising certain types of crime. A very off the hoof assumption by Crick there.

The first question about immigration was rather heavy on the language. Cameron was right to be cautious about his response. Whatsherface talking about sending plumbers to Warsaw...how stereotypical.

Very nice comments about the EU Constitution. I see the BBC moved discussion when Cameron kicked the question into touch. The first question about the environment was a rushed trap. If its a trap you dont spurt the question out, otherwise it becomes obvious and is avoided with ease, as Cameron did..

One thing though. He needs a good nights sleep. Those eyebags are enormous.

I'm not too sure who the "we" are and how numerous they are. Not many I'd have thought and few of them those middle of the road non-zealots. I take leave to doubt, despite the Editor's recent post in his defence, that Trad. T. speaks for very many traditional Tories.

Well I suppose you could start at the once-munificent top with Lord Kalms Sir Tom Cowie and Stuart Wheeler.

And you could move further down through the ranks (or perhaps ex-ranks in their case) to the dissatisfied ranks of the Z-List who say things to me which no doubt they would wisely not say to super-loyalist Henry Rogers, whoever he may be.

Not to mention a galaxy of conservatives journalists. Little point in naming names. They are legion.

But I'm sure the grassroots successors to those little old ladies who were so upset about the demise of nice Mr Heath remain fervently 'loyal' to Cameron, as they were to Howard, IDS, Hague...etc. Perhaps these are the 'Traditional Tories' you have in mind.

When I talk about Traditional Tories I am actually refer to people who are capable of thinking for themselves.

I think the best efforts of the 'journalists' to sway Cameron simply didn't work. He was consistent, measured and tough. A very good performance over a wide and ranging brief.

The consistency of the questions were poor, despite trying the look objective and serious, the BBC journos looked weak with a poor grasp of their own brief in the questioning.

Definite low points were the 'rich wife', the whole inheritance tax thing and public services. I thought the immigration line on public services was the high point and Cameron made it very clear if they pushed him, he was going to maul the questioner very badly. Again, Cameron mauled them over the hospital list, they played on the mistake. Cameron pushed on them over reporting the error and not reporting the threatened closures reported at the same time, closures on the list as well. Touche. Unsurprisingly, the line of questioning was quickly changed.

Mark Urban was the best with good incisive and objective questions, Esler was useless and more interesting in malice. Crick was gimmicky, his usual poor self. The lady was forgettable and those three tried all they could not the let the leftist veneer slip but it was obvious after some firm rebuttal from Cameron what their agenda was.

Cameron has developed some clear blue water in this line and they simply found it very hard to agree when the viewers could easily associate and agree on Cameron's premise.

As to the 'viewers' questions - dubious at best. More like planted, and they say there should be more honestly in broadcasting. Yeah right.

Even at the end when Esler tried to get a BBC soundbite in about 'flip-flops' Cameron turned it round very easily to make him look contradictory and effectively weak.

A very assured performance from Cameron, made the BBC look amateurish on their flagship news programme.

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I have watched the David Cameron Newsnight interview again this morning to see if initial impressions are reinforced. In my opinion, during the discussion on Immigration and the EU, the lighting frequently made David Cameron look as if he was sporting a Hitler mustache. The comparison with the lighting of his interviewers was stark, very little if any shadowing. Very clever denigration of David Cameron, difficult to prove, almost impossible to complain against. A neutral watching this would come away with a perhaps unrecognised distrust of David Cameron. Perhaps something for his media advisors to ponder.

Despite all their traps, Cameron did very well.

Apart from anything else, it's good practice for the sort of thing he'll have to face come election time.

I'd agree with those two comments. Cameron was very good. He must not get excited or angry, even when there is such obvious bias in the questions. He has to look assured, confident and serious - which he did last night.

What Cameron needs is a head-to-head debate with Gordon Brown - that would assuredly win Cameron the election.

the lighting frequently made David Cameron look as if he was sporting a Hitler mustache.

Well some of us are certainly blasting off into the outer limits of paranoia. What a pity we can no longer blame 'The Kremlin' for such dastardly acts. Come to think of it, perhaps we can.

Sad to say neither my wife nor I noticed the subliminal Hitler moustache, but my eyesight isn't what it oce was. I suppose we can only be thankful that the BBC didn't spin that 'Nasty Party' line as 'The Nazi Party'.

Cameron was good. It was disgraceful for Flanders to preface a question about families by her saying that she was an unmarried mother and therefore was he attacking her. We don't know whether she is a brave soul abandoned by her man who would not countenance an abortion, or just part of an unmarried couple with a child who is so self-centred that she refuses to give her child the security that marriage would bring (or neither of the above). Either way it was a total own goal by the BBC because making the question personal demonstrated her inate bias on the topic - not necessarily her circumstances but that she thought them relevant. Cameron avoided the trap very well but should refuse to be interviewed by her in future because she has shown bias driven by her personal circumstances.

The weakest point was Inheritance Tax. I understand that now may not be the time to commit to abolish it, but surely he should have pointed out when they kept saying it was a tax on the rich that the rich mostly avoid it, not just by the much-quoted fancy tax schemes but by the simple expedient of having enough money to be able to afford to give most of it away during their lifetimes? It is the retired doctors, retired policemen and retired small business people (or their widow/ers) whose estates pay it. He could also have asked whether people think it right that children whose parents have died in an accident should have the money left to provide for them taxed at 40%.

If it had been me I would have been tempted to ask Flanders whether she thought it right that, as she was unmarried, her children's or partner's inheritance should be taxed whereas if she had a husband to leave it to, it wouldn't. But on the latter point it's perhaps just as well that Cameron has more restraint than me.

Clearly shes been hurt personally by the comments about single mothers. She has a grudge about it and thus why she made a point of saying she was a single mother. By revealing her reasons for asking the question she undermined the argument by trying to make it a personal thing. We all suffer from the same problem.

James, this might go some way to explaining why Michael Flanders' two daughters might not agree with nuclear family

Stephanie was educated at St Paul's Girls' School, Balliol College, Oxford and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University......she worked at the FT and the Clinton White House for Larry Summers........just like Ed Balls

Her sister Laura is a lesbian radio journalist in New York

James...it gets better


His grand-daughters include RadioNation host Laura Flanders, BBC Newsnight economics editor Stephanie Flanders, and The O.C. actress Olivia Wilde.






Quite a fascinating group of Bloomsbury types

Phew, so Cameron has pledged to support decent airport provision for all, and here was me thinking I'd have to go off at the deep end like Iain Dale nearly did!

Good to see that even readers of the Independent can see sense on this one:


Sums up the problem with university scientists.

Reassuring to know that so many reacted to the DC interview as I did. I have to say, for all that his various gimcrack modernisings have affronted me, he was impressive - adroit, firm and persistent - in the face of provocative and offensive questions.

True, he could have hit back at the dreadful Flanders - an obvious lefty - by asking her why she assumed that tax breaks for the rich would hurt the poor; by pointing out that encouraging the rich stimulates economic activity and so benefits the poor - but I imagine he just wanted to minimise his dealings with such an odious old trout.

Mark Urban was superb - challenging, objective and polite. He is old Newsnight, from the days of Sue Cameron and Francine Stock. Esler is old newsnight, too, but he has obviously only survived into the regime of Flanders and Crick because of US Democrat sympathies.

".....super-loyalist Henry Rogers, whoever he may be...." - Trad T's 9.54 post.

Had to chuckle I'm afraid! I hadn't intended to hurt anyone's feelings or start a flame war by the way.

So what I actually am is a voice from the back of the crowd posting under my own name. I've paid a party sub for the last 5 or 6 years, but that's about the limit of my involvement. Since I'm in my 70s and live in an outer London suburb I suppose, according to the stereotypes, I should be a real old reactionary with purple face and bloodthirsty opinions, but I've never really cared for that sort of stuff; I never seem to meet many people who do! And on the last three occasions when the Tory party lost power I could feel considerable justice in it, even a sense of relief, despite my forbodings. So perhaps my loyalty is a bit too luke-warm to merit the adjective 'super'.

I'm not quite sure why wealthy ex-donors and prominent journalists should count as any more 'Tory' than the rest of us who turn out and vote. They don't always command a particularly respectful hearing except amongst real enthusiasts.

Whether Cameron actually wins the next general election will be largely the result of how well he performs. The last 3 leaders didn't have a realistic chance of winning, but 2 of them kept the party out of the hands of people many of us would have been unwilling to vote for, and the last one started the necessary process of reform which the present one continues. It will be fascinating to see what happens in the end, either way.

Quiz for CH readers: how many anti-Tory quotes, however irrelevant or inaccurate, did the useless Newsnight interrogators manage to desperately squeeze into their interview ?

I have got up to 4:

- 'hug a hoodie'
- 'swamped' by immigration
- 'anarchy'
- 'flip-flops'

Re 'swamped', which was said by Margaret Thatcher in the mid 1970's: if they interviewed Gordon Brown, would they quote Denis Healey saying 'squeeze the rich until the pips squeak' or Jim Callaghan saying 'crisis, what crisis ?'

I think the swamped quote referred to on Newsnight,John C, was actually that uttered by David Blunkett when he was Home Sec.He talked tough and acted weakly.Cameron was proposing to do the opposite.

'squeeze the rich until the pips squeak'

except that Healey actually said There'll be howls of anguish from the rich

and Lord Northcliffe said/wrote... squeeze the Germans (with reparations demands) until the pips squeak

No Malcolm, JohnC is right. Although Blunkett also said it, Mrs T used the expression (in around 1978) and Esler explicitly quoted that. I think she actually said that "people feel they are being swamped" rather than that they were, but it caused a fuss at the time. Language moves on, so I am sure it would be even more controversial for a Tory Leader to use "swamped" now, and Cameron rightly said that he would not use that language.

Within a year Mrs T was PM (with the BNP (then National Front) bote, at its high water mark in the 1970s, flopping)... but she didn't actually fight the election on the issue to any material extent. However, those most concerned about the issue had heard what she said and taken note. Without using the word "swamped", I recommend similar tactics to Cameron. We saw in 2005 that however much it may delight some, in almost equal measure bellicose campaigning on immigration puts off others; and even most of those who agree are unlikely to switch their votes on the issue.

Incidentally, with everyone very happy with Cameron's performance over the last few days, I suspect that his satisfaction rating in the monthly poll, asnwered by most some days ago, will understate the present position.

The job of those 4 Newsnight journalists WAS to give David a hard time. (They should do the same to Brown. Whether they will or not is another matter). I WANT to see him tested and pushed and forced to make his case. I think it’s good for him and good for his future Prime Ministership.

So, Conservative activists out there – stop complaining about the BBC. If you are that bothered, make a formal complaint. Find a BBC journalist and argue with them about why we’re right. Go out and make your case to anyone you can find who watches the BBC. But don’t sit at home and complain on blogs. That’s not exactly taking responsibility – that’s waiting for someone else to step in and do it for you, which is not very Conservative.

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