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The big issue is your fourth point, Mr Editor. People like Oliver Letwin are boosting their own incomes but are not doing anything to help the taxpayers who are being bled dry by Labour. Wasn't it Mr Letwin who said that we needed to end the whole idea that lower taxation is intrinsic to Conservatism?

Oliver Letwin has to work to earn the money to send his daughters to fee-paying schools - or else they would be reduced to going to one of the Academies that the hoi-polloi will be offered in New Cameronia

Here is the source of the Letwin quotation I was thinking of.

FACT: Cameron and his wife are super-rich.

FACT: Francis Maude has multiple directorships.

FACT: George Osborne is heir to a wallpaper fortune.

FACT: William Hague is a multi-millionaire earner.

FACT: Letwin gave up being Shadow Chancellor so that he could go back to the City.

FACT: The leader's private office is full of Etonians.

FACT: The party gets all its bills paid by Spencer and Ashcroft.

CONCLUSION: The party top brass don't understand the financial pressures on ordinary families.

This debate reiforces my point earlier - do not elect as Party Leader (and the leader should not appoint to the front bench or policy panels) anyone with large majorities and lots of outside interest. They will aty in their own comfort zone and there wont be any fire in their bellies.

As for Oliver Leftwing - well the man is definitely very clever and he was good during the late nineties but he is less principled than even Tony Blair.

Chris Grayling is simply the voice of the CCHQ political section. When did you last see him on broadcast media?

"Chris Grayling is simply the voice of the CCHQ political section. When did you last see him on broadcast media?"

Wasn't he on Sunday am two weekends ago in full summer get up (pink open necked shirt)? None to shoddy giving up his weekend to talk, eloquently, about the foot and mouth outbreak.


Would you please challenge the Conservative Front Bench and indeed all the Conservative MPs to come onn this site and tell us:-

They are in deadly earnest about winning the next election
They will not let their outside interests interfere with this ambition
Why they all have been virtually absent from voicing any comments or putting forward any policy particularly in regard to recent news about under age drinking/worsning knife and gun crime/poor primary school results etc when they should have been calling the agenda
What their plan is to win
4 simple questions that we the ordinary member and supporter deserve to have answered- I in particular am fed up with reading and hearing about the apathy that appears to pertain amongst them at the moment and their complete lack of ambition. I say this as someone in a Labour marginal we must win next time

I do wonder about the editors agenda in constantly highlighting this non issue. Why should Conservatives oppose opposition front bench MPs having outside jobs. They have to answer to their constituents if they do not do their job as an MP and if they are performing to the Leaders satisfaction in the shad cab, what is the problem? For the editor to fall for the Campbell myth " everyone worked 24hrs a day to defeat the tories" then he is not a savvy as he thinks he is.

I never thought I'd see the cries of class warfare being hollered by Conservatives. Oh well...

Sunday AM? That's only one notch about 18DS.

The plaudits he gets are hilarious. The dossiers 'he' produces are just things which the political section produces (the last one was even marked up as their work!).

All he does is claim credit and give quotes on CCHQ's work or (Davis-style) stick out press release after press release.

There's a role for people like him but all this 'future Leader' talk is preposterous. Some of the stuff he's put out on his briefs has been hideously misconceived.

As others have said, the fourth point is I think key. It surely must be difficult for those with no money worries to empathise with the millions of us who do.

Hence the over focus on ecological and environmental issues. Important certainly, but not critical to the day to day lives of most people.

I think the Editor is spot on. Whenever I watch our guys in the media, responding to something or proposing something, we just don't seem to have the passion and desire. Whenever a story breaks (these days, usually involving a cock up on our side) where are the big guns? Where are our big names forcefully grabbing every microphone and camera within minutes and getting our message across?

If -and I don't know for certain- it is because they are too busy with outside interests then that is unforgiveable.

I get the impression that we have got too comfortable in opposition; the stresses and strains of government are a world away and our people are in no immediate hurry to vacate their comfort zones.

This impression doesn't exactly say to voters 'alternative government' does it?

It is time for us to stop moaning about the BBC, and start getting up for the fight.

Alex Crowley said:
""It is time for us to stop moaning about the BBC, and start getting up for the fight.""
Agreed. And a part of that fight should be to serve notice on the BBC that the days of the TV License will soon be over and that privatisation looms.

I don't particularly care aout outside interests as long as MPs are able to give sufficient time to their main job. That's obviously not happening at the moment. Where is ?where is Caroline Spelman?where are most members of the Shadow Cabinet? If they can't do the job Cameron should fire them.

The Editor's fourth point appears to suggest that he believes something along the lines of "only those that struggle financially themselves are in a position to formulate policies to help the struggling majority". Does he really believe this? Would he also believe things like "only those that use the NHS are in a position to formulate policy on the NHS", or "only those that use state schools for their own children are in a position to formulate state schools policies"? What about "only women should have a say in policies for women", or "only members of ethnic minorities should have a say in policy affecting ethnic minorities"?

Is this line of discussion, perhaps, intended as the reductio ad absurdum of the A-list concept?

That's not what I believe at all Andrew (5.22pm) and did not say that I did. I agree with CCHQ Spy. Frontbenchers have appeared to downplay the importance of the standard of living as a political issue while pursuing their own standards of living very assiduously. Nothing wrong with looking after your own family's income as a politician as long as you are also interested in the voters' own wealth and welfare.

I didn't think that you did, Editor, but I thought it would be helpful for you to state so explicitly, given the way the comments were going...

As long as we understand each other now!


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