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There is nothing we can do to make Brown unpopular, just be there when he c*cks up.

Brown is counting on having Cameron there when he does c*ck up as you put it; so far as the longest-serving party leader Cameron has a track record, and it is reflected in the opinion polls.

Anyone who can come on here and blog all day and just say the same thing every time he blogs is pretty stupid.

You may well be right, Steve, but since you tell us you are new to this blog, and given that I have only just returned from a week's leave, how come you are so well informed about my pattern of 'blogging'?

BTW are you the same 'steve' (all lower case)who posted last night at 22.35:

the sooner Cameron goes the better

and at 18.16 today:

he's the only leader we've got!It would be mad to get rid of him

I know everybody's entitled to a change of heart, but this is ridiculous.

Sometimes it's better to lose, even for a 4th time. Labour in 1992 is a case in point.

If Labour had won then, they'd have (rather unfairly) copped the blame for Black Wednesday, Chancellor John Smith would've died of a heart attack, and the government would've collapsed in chaos. We'd now probably be looking at Prime Minister Portillo's fifth term in office, with the Lib Dems the official opposition and Labour nowhere.

The way things are going, maybe the next election could be a good one to lose?

The polls look bad because the public were looking for substance after the gamesmanship of Bliar and think they have found it in Brown.

However, before criticising Cameron too much, lets look at the position he inherited. At the 2005 election I think we had a great set of polices. IIRC, blind testing of polices suggested that if the electorate were voting on policies then we would have won. But there appeared to be severe "brand contamination" (i.e. the public didn't trust our motives). Cameron has successfully removed all that.

Where he seems to have failed is in articulating his ideas for what happens next. This is very different to not having ideas. I am quite convinced from what I have read, and from people that I have spoken to, that the real thinking for how to take Britain forward is happening in the Tory party. But you have to be a political nerd to dig this stuff out and most people simply won't bother.

The present government has left a simply horrible legacy of problems; from a deeply flawed education system to a situation where many pensioners are struggling more than ever to make ends meet.

The country needs an opposition party that is capable of putting together a serious agenda for fixing all of this. Any party that aims to do this is necessarily an alliance of many different factions (there simply aren't enough epople with a single outlook for it to be otherwise). There is going to have to be a balance within these factions. I hold very strong views and I would love the Tory party to mirror those exactly but it is never going to happen. I expect to have to compromise and I think that those that expect otherwise are being extremely self-indulgent.

The Conservative party is the only serious contender to Labour; the only barrier to Brown being able to screw things around for another five years. It is in the Country's interest that Brown not be given that chance and I just wish that the nay-sayers and UKIP cheerleaders on here would understand this.


Oh and by the way when you and all the other David Cameron's Conservatives lose the next election its YOUR fault not ours. Remember that.

What an entirely abject and petty comment.

Like it or not, the Conservative party is ONE party so stop acting like a 4 year old, grow some balls, and get behind the party and help it in every way you can.

Be productive.

Or we have Brown as Prime Minister for a lot longer to come.

Chancellor John Smith would've died of a heart attack

I wonder if he would...I suspect that with official cars and minders he might have lived longer.....but losing elections consistently and sequentially is an art form the Liberals perfected after 1918......

However, before criticising Cameron too much, lets look at the position he inherited. At the 2005 election I think we had a great set of polices. IIRC, blind testing of polices suggested that if the electorate were voting on policies then we would have won.

Don't think that is true. I don't think the Conservative Party believed in the policies - simply put them out to shore up their core vote.

Abolition of Student Tuition Fees was never promoted much to Ann Widdecombe's irritation - it was in the manifesto but Cameron did not believe in the policy and he ran the campaign

The election was characterised by parties unveiling one poster for a TV camera and flying visits to airports - Charles Kennedy was interviewed in our local airport but never left it xcept to fly on to Scotland.

It was a media election with the voters being ignored. The Conservative campaign was amateurish with billboards everywhere but no real discussion of policies. The Tories ditched IDs and put Howard in and then cobbled together a campaign from leftovers, and half-heartedly performed for TV broadcasters giving voters the feeling of being extras on a film set

Cameron has successfully removed all that.

I very much doubt that. The public seem to think Dave is 'nice but dim' but that he can't carry his party with him - not that it would help anyway, since he is now perceived as a liability.

Presumably people now believe that he is mere window dressing for what Theresa May proudly proclaimed to be 'The Nasty Party'. We'll still bear that title decades after Cameron has gone to the political knacker's yard.

She said it - so it must be true.

Brown will never have it so good.

Labour managed (along with the Tories, stupidly) to dumb down expectations of Brown so much that all he had to do was get to the dispatch box at Prime Minister's Questions without falling over and he'd be labelled a "safe hand on the tiller".

- Bomb scares

He's had the bomb scares. There's not much a PM can do wrong here. Make it look like he's on the ball and working through the night. Anyone could do that. He did that (wearing a new tie). Media: "Rejoice, Brown isn't going to be a disaster!"

- The Floods

He's had the floods. There's not much a PM can do wrong here either. Look like you're on the ball, working through the night. He did that (wearing a new tie). Media: "Rejoice, Brown isn't going to be a disaster!"

- Foot & Mouth

He's had F&M. There's not much a PM can do wrong here either. Look like you're rushing back from holiday, on the ball, holding late night Cobra meetings. He did that (wearing a new tie). Media: "Rejoice, Brown isn't gong to be a disaster!"


These aren't the normal weekly events that affect an administration - in six months, let alone one.

Brown has probably secretly enjoyed these events: He'd have to be totally incompetent not to look like a good PM.

Anyone with an ounce of sense though - sadly not a lot of the British public - will see through this in the weeks ahead, as the news cycle gets back to 'normal' things (interest rates, crime, anti-social behaviour, immigration, the NHS etc).

Then it will be all about how you get your message across, and that's where Cameron should close the gap on Brown.

I hate how a lot of the time the anti-cameroons are refered to as "Traditionalists".

I have a lot of "traditional views". I'm just not selfish enough to spew bile onto everyone that doesn't agree with them, including Cameron. He realises we need to build a broader coalition to win, and to do that you have to upset some people, including us.

The anti-DC's never gave him a chance, and they never will. Many can't even accept they're in the minority, (according to the latest ConHome poll) which is why they insist on repeating the same divisive mantra on these threads every day.

I will wait until there is a proper contest and he either wins or loses until I make my mind up whether he should go or not. Surely that is the sensible way?

He has a mandate, let him use it.

Edison Smith has just posted the perfect explanation of why the Brown bounce is so Large. But as usual expect that to be ignored and the usual "broken-record" trolls to emerge...

After all the froth on this rather long thread about polling intentions that may or may not be accurate, let me add a few words from the real world...

I have been out and about this weekend in my constituency (Sittingbourne & Sheppey - Labour majority 79) and I can tell you there is no groundswell of support for Labour.

It is true that there are some who have voted Tory in the past who are unhappy with the changes David Cameron is making to the Conservative Party, but there are just as many who are willing to listen to us now because David HAS changed the Party.

Of course, what the polls do not take into account is the impact of local issues and local candidates. Those Conservative prospective parliamentary candidates who are active members of their community and who put the best interests of that community before party political considerations (and there are a suprising number!), will buck the trend in the polls and will win their seats.

Conservative candidates who their fellow residents know have consistently reflected the true face of compassionate Conservatism (rather than jumping on the current band wagon, as some are doing!), whilst at the same time are promoting policies to combat anti-social behaviour, cut down on illegal immigration, reduce the level of taxes on hard working familes, prevent the imposition of unwanted housing and opposed the increasing influence of the EU, will do better than the pollsters suggest.

So, let's not panic at a few poor opinion polls. Let's not sit at our computers sniping at David Cameron. Let's not continually play into the hands of our oponents by fighting amongst ourselves. Instead, let's roll up our sleeves and work even harder to better reflect the Conservative Party at grass roots level. That is what will win us the next General Election.

I'm doing my bit here in Sittingbourne & Sheppey. Are you doing yours?

Sometimes it's better to lose, even for a 4th time. Labour in 1992 is a case in point.

If Labour had won then, they'd have (rather unfairly) copped the blame for Black Wednesday, Chancellor John Smith would've died of a heart attack, and the government would've collapsed in chaos.
The government were blamed over Black Wednesday though because they had chosen to join the ERM, in addition they spent a fortune trying to prop the level of the pound up in the ERM, probably the devaluation that Labour thought should be accepted would have been much preferable to massive interest rates and billions of pounds spent buying pounds.

The government also while saying that they had been going to cut taxes had hugely increased the National Debt due to a huge increase in spending and cut in taxes in the run up to the General Election and then ended up raising taxes.

Labour on the other hand if it had actually won would have won on a pledge to put up many taxes giving them a lot of scope for doing what the Conservatives ended up doing anyway.

During the 4th Conservative term many further things were done which Labour did not want done such as fragmentation of the railways which Labour has struggled with as much as the Conservative government did.

If John Smith had died as Chancellor of the Exchequer, then he would have been replaced by Gordon Brown who probably would have succeeded Neil Kinnock, but then again John Smith died because he had been both working too hard (including doing free work defending people in court as a lawyer while Leader of the Opposition), but also because he had been laid up because of a knee injury and so had put on weight - change the circumstances and something different might have happened. As it turns out significant differences had been emerging on economic policy between John Smith, Neil Kinnock and Gordon Brown and it is possible that John Smith would have been replaced by Gordon Brown anyway.

Having won a fourth General Election, there was no reason why the Conservative government couldn't have won a fifth victory - if it hadn'tve been for the desperate attempt to prop up the pound in the ERM and if there had been a greater determination to trim public spending then the tax pledge could have been maintained. Indeed the 1997 Conservative campaign was such a disaster it is amazing with hindsight that the party didn't do worse, better handling of the issue of BSE and a better campaign and abandoning the Maastricht Treaty and who knows?

Because of the distribution of the Labour vote being so favourable to Labour they are in a much stronger position than the Conservative Party were in the run up to 1992, if the Labour Party gets the same percentage vote that the Conservatives did in 1992 and the Conservatives get the same percentage vote Labour did then it will mean a majority of over 100 - if the Conservatives had had a 100+ seat majority in 1992 they would have had a much smoother parliament, even with the economic crises.

Will the economic or social situation be any more favourable for a Conservative government in 2013/14 than in 2009? How a victory worked out would depend on whether the new government had a clear vision or not that inspired the country and sorted things out, planning to lose in the hope of winning later is a difficult trick to pull off, Labour's 1983 defeat saw a process that began a move away from the politics of Tony Benn but it was another 14 years before they were in government and yet if many who were eager to get Michael Foot in position so the Bennite tendency could be discredited had instead made an effort to get Dennis Healey elected leader in 1980, then Labour could have been back in power as soon as 1987.

If Labour had got in in 1992 with a small majority I rather suspect that John Major would've continued as Conservative leader, and John Major would have avoided the wrath for introducing the Maastricht Treaty, he might have become PM again in 1997 and who knows what might have happened then? Maybe Gordon Brown would now have just lead Labour back into government and Tony Blair would be just another person who had served a few years as Home Secretary.

There you go again Traditional Tory. Even after just looking at your posts for one day I see you've got nothing else to say.Nobody could really be this dumb.You are Labour aren't you?

He may as well be. No doubt we'll get a snide comeback like "No but Cameron's party is Labour in all but name" etc etc

MH, you were going to tell us when David Cameron told people who didn't back his project to leave the party but you appear to have forgotten. You made it up didn't you?

Gordon, good work in your constituency. I can see you are frustrated at comments on this site. For your info most of the sensible people left this site months ago. The negative posters will not listen to your appeal to get some work done, they are only interested in slagging Cameron off which they have done incessantly for many months even when he was ahead in the polls. I think there are aspects of our strategy that need improving but for many of the whingers on this site, nothing is good enough except some super pure ideological version of Conmservatism that never existed, not even under Lady Thatcher,

Matt

This is all hilarious. The Camerloons are playing the part of the captain of the Titanic, only this time running around telling everyone that despite the fact that the ship is settling ever deeper into the water, that they're not sinking.

I think he and his supporters ought to start handing out the life jackets soon.

Some rather nasty personal comments on this thread. Come on chaps, buck up. OK so we've got our back to the wall, but as the great John Major said, when your back is to the wall, you turn around and fight.

"No doubt we'll get a snide comeback like "No but Cameron's party is Labour in all but name" etc etc"

Well, you're learning. Unfortunately, it's all true. The head of YouGov has said today (or perhaps yesterday) that people don't see Cameron as a serious prospect for leader. All the photo ops in Greenland, the touring of Ealing, the windmills, the 'keep is real' exclamations on Youfff radio, the Rwandan exhibitions, etc, etc, simply show someone who really isn't serious about anything other than PR.

He's finished and, I'm afraid to say, so is the Conservative Party.

I can't recall poll leads like this since 1997. Another decade of New Labour ! Now, where are those emigration papers for Australia ?

"Like it or not, the Conservative party is ONE party so stop acting like a 4 year old, grow some balls, and get behind the party and help it in every way you can."

But I thought it was 'David Cameron's Conservative Party' - so it can't be anyone else's.

Why would anyone want to get behind David Cameron's Conservatives ? Perhaps they don't particularly like DC, therefore they might prefer not to.

There's no point in creating a cult of personality of the leader, then when it fails, saying it's everyone else's fault for not believing enough. It's a bit like the emperor's new clothes:

'Look at my lovely policies, aren't they grand and brilliant ?'. Then the little four year old boy pipes up and says: 'But you're not wearing any policies - it's all just a big con'. Then, the shambolic and clearly naked DC has to admit that he hasn't really got any policies at all - and that he is just one big PR con-job, all put on to get Davey and his little Etonian chums jobs where they can push the little proles around and tell them what to do.

Turn out the light on your way Stephen Tolkinghome. You sound like a mate of Traditional Tory.Are you Labour too?

Stephen if you believe the Tory party is finished then there is no reason for you to post, other than to wind up the majority of us who want Cameron to get on with his job as his mandate entitles him to.

This situation is not David Cameron's making, but the making of the stupid idiots who did not realise that he was making progress and was turning our fortunes around, and just had to have yet another go at him. Anyway, the only real lesson from this is that two months is a long time in politics, and things, including polls, change. There is no answer other than to rally around David Cameron.

Some people, in my view, those who lack vision, still don't get David Cameron. They have bought the Labour Party's PR about him. However, our party would benefit hugely if these people could just keep quiet, try to think about the consequences of their comments and try to stop shooting our party in the foot.

"Turn out the light on your way Stephen Tolkinghome. You sound like a mate of Traditional Tory.Are you Labour too?"

Boo-hoo, boo-hoo. Quick, Tradtional Tory, they've clearly rumbled us. Tell Gordon that we've successfully undermined the already waning confidence of Davey's little helpers.

Also, bung Simon Kelner of YouGov a suitcase of used fivers for his help.

I think we're alright for an October election. 150 seat majority, here we come !

By the way, has DC started handing out the life jackets yet ?

"other than to wind up the majority of us who want Cameron to get on with his job as his mandate entitles him to."

If his job is to alienate the majority of Tory party supporters and the general public at large - he's clearly a master craftsman and should be allowed to hone his great masterpiece.

"Some people, in my view, those who lack vision, still don't get David Cameron. They have bought the Labour Party's PR about him. However, our party would benefit hugely if these people could just keep quiet"

Oh, come, come 'Happy Tory', or should that be Steve Hilton ? I suppose you should be happy, being paid hundreds of thousands a year for clearly having lots of fun at the Tory party's expense.

The CCHQ'ers are clearly out in force this evening, posting under lots of pseudonyms. It's enough to make one weep with laughter.

All this talk of an October election is total bullshit, mostly stoked up by Labour to get Tories in a tizz.

The election will be June 11th 2009, just as it always was going to be, and always will be.

All this speculation is fuelled by Nick Robinson and others of his ilk as it gives them something to get a stiffy about on the 10 o'Clock News.

If you look at the latest ConHome poll you will see the majority are not alienated, a minority are.

To broaden reach of a party it is inevitable that you offend some people Stephen, including the views of myself. But I and many others, are happy to let Cameron use his mandate.

"The CCHQ'ers are clearly out in force this evening, posting under lots of pseudonyms. It's enough to make one weep with laughter."

Yeah, you stay in your denial Stephen. Maybe it's just that your outnumbered by people who understand what needs to be done, who are proactive, and looking to rally behind the party they care about, rather than let their own personal cynicisms cloud their judgement...

What has the iron fist done to the media?
Just watched BBC main news.
Polls on one, no doubt well chosen day. They really bullied and mocked David Cameron - no sign of impartiality.

If you seriously want to change leader now you can only expect a rotten loss and perhaps a long term eclipse of the Conservative party. We did well in the local elections, good solid work paid off and I think that support is still there.

I know some people think Brown is intelligent and different from Blair. He is neither and it will become apparent sooner rather than later. He borrows Conservative policy, has no original ideas and most things he does like the tax credit schemes or the university of industry are administratively muddled, over complicated, expensive and don't work.

It should be obvious but unfortunately people are too media led, hence the high polls.

We must not collapse so quickly in response to the short term time frame which is the mark of New Labour - there is no sign that this will be any different under Brown.

The election will be June 11th 2009, just as it always was going to be, and always will be.
The last 3 General Elections have all been combined with other elections with Local Elections being moved, the European Elections can't be moved so it seems like the inevitable date as the Labour leadership will be looking to maximise it's turnout for the EU and Local Elections and focus it's campaigning and finances.

Oh yes and of course Stephen, the moment people start to support Cameron on these threads they are CCHQ plants...

The fact is most commenters are disproportionately hostile to Cameron. Maybe now some are starting to stand up to the selfish mantra repeated on these threads everyday.

"To broaden reach of a party it is inevitable that you offend some people Stephen"

Errr, but he's not actually succeeding in that. I would have thought that all these recent poll statistics might have told you that in pretty stark terms.

By broadening the reach of the 'party', you mean to change your policies to make them more in line with, and indistinguishable from, the existing main stream parties.

Clearly the public don't want to know, 'though. If Cameron wants to do this, then let him. It's now all ending in tears for the Tory Party - ten points behind.

"Yeah, you stay in your denial Stephen. Maybe it's just that your outnumbered by people who understand what needs to be done"

Is that to make the Tories a national laughing stock and entirely unelectable (i.e. just like the Labour party under Michael Foot) ? Well done, you've succeeded already.

"We must not collapse so quickly in response to the short term time frame which is the mark of New Labour - there is no sign that this will be any different under Brown."

Barbara, Tom Bower's book on Brown is really worth reading and I believe it has topped the list as first choice of Tory MP's on their hols.

"Clearly the public don't want to know, 'though. If Cameron wants to do this, then let him. It's now all ending in tears for the Tory Party - ten points behind."

Did they want to know when we were 10 points AHEAD then and winning 900 seats in the local elections?

You're quite sure it's nothing to do with Brown's blanket media coverage during national crises?

Stephen you have nothing to contribute since you believe our party is doomed anyway. Please go and troll somewhere else.

"The fact is most commenters are disproportionately hostile to Cameron. Maybe now some are starting to stand up to the selfish mantra repeated on these threads everyday."

It's always rather obvious when so many posters who write in support of Cameron do so using almost identical traits of sentence construction, spelling errors, etc.

There is clearly a system in place whereby, when a thread is looking bad for Cameron, one person posts under a whole host of names to support him. It's all too obvious at times - 'though they're beginning to get a little better at it now.

"Did they want to know when we were 10 points AHEAD then and winning 900 seats in the local elections?"

Yes, but as you well know, the turnouts at local elections are very different to those for general elections.

Also, voting intentions are different. Many times on the door step you come across people who say that they'll vote for one party in the local elections (based on knowledge of local candidates), and another in the general elections (usually depending upon the leader of the party at the time - in this case Cameron will not be doing the Tories any favours what so ever).

"Stephen you have nothing to contribute since you believe our party is doomed anyway. Please go and troll somewhere else."

So, if I don't agree with you and think you're a hopeless optimist and unable to see the woods for the trees, I should just shut up and go away.

How very David Cameron of you !

Yes of course Stephen, of course. I'm sure they'd waste lots of money paying people to argue a bunch of nobodies on a discussion board only a few people would look at. Just look at the latest ConHome poll stephen, you're in the minority.

It's even more suspicious you don't even support the Tory party yet you spend hours spewing the same poison everyday.

"So, if I don't agree with you and think you're a hopeless optimist and unable to see the woods for the trees, I should just shut up and go away."

You said we are doomed, therefore you can't be offering any serious contrinution to the debate. You're just winding people up.

Is that to make the Tories a national laughing stock and entirely unelectable (i.e. just like the Labour party under Michael Foot) ? Well done, you've succeeded already.

The biggest hit the Tories have suffered in the last month has been self-inflicted.

Petty limelight-clutching by former party donors and former activists, and two - quite horrendously ignorant - MPs requesting a confidence vote, are the main culprits for the whole media orgy of 'disarray Tories'.

It is this that will have far more lasting and severe damage than any cock-up from the leadership (of which there have been some, there's no denying that).

The biggest issue in the minds of voters (now that Cameron has helped to detoxify us, so we actually have a voice that people can - and do - listen to) is not that the Tories don't have decent policies, aren't right on the issues, or are seen to be backward-looking, it is is that the party seems divided.

Just like Labour in the 1980s.

Labour's strength is its solidarity. If the Tories even had half the same team attitude from now on, the election - in 2009 - is achievable.

But unity is the key.

"Yes of course Stephen, of course. I'm sure they'd waste lots of money paying people to argue a bunch of nobodies on a discussion board only a few people would look at."

They don't pay people to do it. There's always lots of willing little helpers who want to do favours for their lords and masters - in hopeful return for patronage at a later date, no doubt.

I must protest ! I do not spend hours spewing the same poison everyday. There are at least three or four days between my doses of poison.

As for the ConHome polls. There are a lot of different IP addresses in CCHQ to fill in poll questions from.

"They don't pay people to do it. There's always lots of willing little helpers who want to do favours for their lords and masters - in hopeful return for patronage at a later date, no doubt."

Haha, brilliant, you acutally have it all worked out in your head. Well, I think now's the time to leave you to dream further of your conspiracy theories while the majority of us try and contribute towards our party not try to poison it (as you just admitted in your last post).

See you in three days when you've worked out a new crackpot theory.

Cameron be a toff. He no ability to connect with people. Time to dump him and elect a working class man.

Stephen, you better stock up on canned goods and get down to the bunker, the New World Conspiracy is a-coming!

"...not that the Tories don't have decent policies, aren't right on the issues, or are seen to be backward-looking.."

The trouble is that the Tories aren't seen as having any policies at all. Certainly nothing which would distinguish them from the rest.

As for wounds being self-inflicted - indeed they were, but only by David Cameron - who has given the national media an absolute field day with ridiculous speeches and silly PR stunts.

The membership and associations are not simply there to do the bidding of the leader in which ever direction he chooses to take the party. If he's not noticeably conservative, why should members and elected members simply say nothing ?

"Stephen, you better stock up on canned goods and get down to the bunker, the New World Conspiracy is a-coming!"

I do hope it's rather better organised than the farcical CCHQ attempt - or it won't get very far.

"ridiculous speeches"

The speeches have been top class. Unfortunately they've been overshadowed by the predictable Brown Bonanza, other news stories and the 'Tory Disarray' media spin.

"Well, I think now's the time to leave you to dream further of your conspiracy theories while the majority of us try and contribute towards our party"

I wish you sweet dreams of Conservative Party electoral triumphs. A sea of blue waving flags, with oily Dave and his chum Steerforth grinning widely as they greet the faithful as they gather at Downing Street.

Please don't be too despondent when waking to find it was all just a dream, and that the latest opinion polls show that the general populace has cottoned on to that which has escaped you - that Cameron is just an old Etonian prank, now going badly wrong.

Nighty, night.

"The speeches have been top class."

Are those the same speeches as the ones which revealed to a grateful nation that the columns by Polly Toynbee should be read and revered more than the trivial loonie-lefy writings by diminutive figures such as Winston Churchill ?

@Edison Smith
But unity is the key

Then why did CCHQ strike us off the candidates list and declare us to be delusional etc etc?

As ye sew, so shall ye reap.

Are those the same speeches as the ones which revealed to a grateful nation that the columns by Polly Toynbee should be read and revered more than the trivial loonie-lefy writings by diminutive figures such as Winston Churchill?

As far as I know, a speech of the sort was never made. It was a comment made by Greg Clark, Charities Spokesman, that the media lept on, much in the same way as "hug a hoodie", which was never uttered.

I cannot believe what I read on this site - I think you must all be brainwashed by the constant putting down of Cameron by all of the media, if he makes an appearance on the t.v. or radio, he is immediately attacked about some sort of tittle tattle in the papers and I think he is far too gentlemanly - he needs to get down and dirty now. I find it hard to believe that the conservative supporters, are behaving like wimps - they voted for David Cameron, he is I think trying to do a good job, so why dont you all get behind him, give hin a chance and act like a 'united party' not like a lot of weak kneed cowards - you chose him, support him as once a true Conservative party would have done instead of behaving like a pack of howling dogs. Its enough to be hounded by the media, he does not need his own supposed supporters trying to tear him to pieces - stand up and be counted. It almost makes me ashamed to be a conservative.

Bring Back William Hague! The most withering criticism of David Cameron is that he is an Old Etonian and detached from the reality of everyday life. The latest polls would indicate the majority confirm this view, hence a huge Labour lead.

"I can't recall poll leads like this since 1997"

17/December 2002, ICM had Lab 41%, Con 27%. I think to get worse than that you have to go back to around 97/98.

The Conservative party is in a lot of trouble if the likes of Traditional Tory or Stephen Tolkinghome really are Conservatives.They are definitely very thick, so I'm hoping they're just Labour people coming onto this site which I think is great by the way to wind Conservatives up.

Tory T = MM.

Whatever happened to Thanet?

TomTom:

However, before criticising Cameron too much, lets look at the position he inherited. At the 2005 election I think we had a great set of polices. IIRC, blind testing of polices suggested that if the electorate were voting on policies then we would have won.

Don't think that is true. I don't think the Conservative Party believed in the policies - simply put them out to shore up their core vote.

Surveys at the time suggested that the policies were popular amongst far more than the core vote but there was still wide suspicioun of the motives behind.

but there was still wide suspicioun of the motives behind.

Obviously it was a cack-handed campaign stitched together with "dog-whistle" issues to hold the party with no policies together after it had deposed its leader 18 months before a General Election.

Lynton Crosby is supposed to habe made the Conservative campaign "more professional" which suggests it was haphazard before his arrival. The simple fact is that Conservatives are amateurish and people know they have no real interest in giving up their lucrative outside interests to replace what most of them feel is an acceptable Labour Government....it confirms the suspicion that so long at the top rate of income tax is unchanged most Conservatives are content to lose elections

Trad T

Cameron has successfully removed all that.

I very much doubt that. The public seem to think Dave is 'nice but dim' but that he can't carry his party with him - not that it would help anyway, since he is now perceived as a liability.

You clearly haven't spent much time out in the wide world beyond ConHome (well, given your posting rate, that isn't surprising). There was a real level of visceral hatred towards the Tory party in 2005. I remember canvasing one evening after immigration issues had been plugged by Michael Howard and all support had vanished except from the staunchest supporters. And this was not because the actual policy was bad. It was very similar to what NuLab will end up with in a few years time. It was just that people did not trust our motives.

The situation now is very different. On the doorstep, people are willing to engage. We are seen as a party willing to listen to people we don't necessarily agree with and try to find common ground. Well, I say we. Clearly I wouldn't take accuse you or TomTom of such a heinous crime as wanting to engage with the wider public.

Much of this is down to Cameron (or maybe the party's willingness to make someone like Cameron their leader). The way in which he has made a wide range of people feel that we are capable of taking on board their concerns is astonishing. And you have to give him credit for that.

Having achieved this, he is accused of not having any substance. I don't believe this at all. Yes, it would be quite nice for the back-room geeks to have completed their analysis so that the policy guys could work out how to implement them, but this process takes time (if it is to be done properly) and the intermediate results look good (if not readily digestable by the general public).

So polls, schmolls. Lets not worry. It is nice when they are good and it is annoying when they are bad but what actually matters is that we are in a position to present a convincing agenda for government in the run up to the next election. Worrying about the polls now is falling into precisely the trap you are accusing Dave of: being too self-aware and worrying about short-term presentation rather than substance.

but there was still wide suspicioun of the motives behind.

Obviously it was a cack-handed campaign stitched together with "dog-whistle" issues to hold the party with no policies together after it had deposed its leader 18 months before a General Election.

I agree that the campaign came across poorly but I think that it would have been very hard to run an effective campaign when so many people were desperate to believe that the Tories were in it for themselves (which the indiscipline of the Major years had built up). Something which, incidentally, you seem to believe to be true (are you sure you aren't a NuLab troll?)

For me, Cameron's success has not so much been "being nice" (that being something of a mixed blessing in politics), but rather in helping people to realise that we have the interests of the whole community at heart. Do not underestimate his skill in this regard, or the importance of his being able to articulate this.

There you go again Traditional Tory. Even after just looking at your posts for one day I see you've got nothing else to say.Nobody could really be this dumb.You are Labour aren't you?

Thanks for the compliment 'steve' but since you tell us one day that Cameron must go and the next that we would be mad to get rid of him, forgive me if I don't take your sanity for granted.

Perhaps Peter Hitchins is right after all. Labour will only be defeated when the Tory Party is dissolved and replaced by a proper conservative party.
In changing policies towards the so-called disaffected in society, we're appealing to readers of The Guardian, the Independent, and the Observer - but not one of those readers will switch to vote Conservative.
Putting a wind turbine on your roof and cycling through London is absolutely no substitute for opposing long and loud the EU constitution. It's time perhaps for an all out assault on the EU - how would The Sun advise its readers then at an election if the Conservatives campaigned on a promise to hold a referendum on our membership of the EU?
As has already been said Cameron has alienated core Conservative voters and has had no compensatory switch in the other direction. Until we can appeal to voters in Wales and in the rest of Britain north of the Severn-Trent divide, there will never again be a Conservative government - or indeed a Tory government. (If you don't know the difference, what have you been doing since Thatcher was knifed?)

Which party were you active for, by the way?

I won't dignify that with a reply. BTW, since you have apparently moved to Russia I assume you have resigned your council seat?

Go on. Tell us. It really is far from clear looking at the pattern of your posts. Much of your wording to direct questions could be construed as deliberately misleading (e.g. references to this party which is clearly designed to suggest you are/were a Tory without actually saying it) the most obvious logical conclusion is that you are either a member of closely associated with the LibDems or Labour. This is also consistent with the way that you portray yourself as precisely the sort of Tory that the left love to hate.

The gaps in your awareness are many. E.g. seeing as you know I stood in Trumpington you should also know I didn't win. More relevantly you should also be aware that Cambridge is one of those cities currently with no Tory councilors. This is all consistent with you not having much idea about what is going on beyond your immediate circle. It also means that, given that I AM a member of the Conservative party, the odds on me having a council seat to resign are pretty slim. Zero to be precise.

In fact, a Lib Dem would know about Cambridge so that probably pins you down to Labour.

Fascinating comments from Mr Ionides.

Is he talking to himself?

Mmm. Interesting. A couple of posts seem to have disappeared. Certainly breaks the flow.

"talking to myself" as in waffling aimlessly, Grandee? Possibly, but I think I may have hit a raw nerve.

I've not voted Tory - yet - but I have great fun reading your comments. I flirted with the idea of voting for Cameron (I'm a floater)when he was first elected but I've come to the conclusion that, whilst he seems a nice bloke, his policies, such as they are, are based on what he thinks will get him elected rather than any real belief in them. Therefore I have no idea what I'd be voting for if he were actually elected. I'm sure I'm not alone in that view and that is why he is suffering in the poles. Does anyone believe he really does have "green" credentials? Does he care about the NHS? Would he be less sicophantic with the American President?

"I'm sure I'm not alone in that view and that is why he is suffering in the poles."

I'm sure that anyone would suffer there, as they're pretty cold places to be ;-)

[email protected]:23

>Does anyone believe [Cameron] really does have "green" credentials?<

On green issues, David Cameron is simply reflecting the views and practices of a standard mainstream Conservative activist - most of whom, I believe, recycle considerably more than the average person, buy dolphin-friendly washing-up liquid, are members of the WWF and similar conservation organisations, like their regular walks in the English countryside, worry about urban sprawl, are fascinated by TV programmes about climate change (which they force their teenage boys to watch), buy free-range eggs, refuse to eat pate de fois gras, and many other green actions. I don't say this as any particular fan of a green agenda myself - I shall spare you my own views on this occasion - but David Cameron much more closely reflects mainstream Conservative opinion on green issues than do I. You should be completely assured that Cameron's commitment to green issues is (though in many ways misguided) completely genuine and (more importanly) genuinely reflective of mainstream Conservative sentiment.

[email protected]:23

>Does [Cameron] care about the NHS?<

What do you mean by "care"? Do you mean, does he want it to function better, so that it serves the needs of patients, then the answer is obviously "Yes!" Was your question about whether he cares about the history of the NHS, its founding principles, its role as a building block of a Socialist epic about caring for the nation from cradle to grave? My guess is that in that sense he cares much more about the present and future of the NHS than about its past. I'd like to write more, but I'm at a loss what to say, as I don't understand your doubt.

>refuse to eat pate de fois gras,<

What makes you suppose that more than a handful of lefty fruitcakes in our party would refuse to eat foie gras (note spelling)

The only thing that stops me eating this ambrosia more often is the cost!

[email protected]:23

>Would he be less sicophantic with the American President?<

Who were you imagining to have been sycophantic? Previous Conservative leaders? Is your criticism about Thatcher, standing up to Communism and welcoming the placement of US nuclear weapons on British soil? Were you thinking that IDS was sychophantic in how he dealt with the aftermath of September 11th? I'm a bit lost?

Or are you buying the silly line offered by leftist Blair apologists that we only invaded Afganistan and Iraq because Bush *made* Blair do it? I'm not going to sit idly by and listen to *that* nonsense. Blair was in *no sense* sycophantic towards the US. The British had wanted to invade Iraq as early as 1998, and were completely sold on invading Iraq in 2003 - right from September 11th they understood that this was their chance. For them, it was all about the procedure - the UN route had to be given its chance to fail so that Blair could achieve a majority in favour amongst his backbenchers. But don't give us any nonsense about how Blair was dragged unwillingly into Afganistan or Iraq. He was a 100% starry-eyed fan of the whole venture, right from the off. There was no sycophancy - quite the reverse; the US unwisely went about selling the war in the way the British specified (as being about weapons of mass destruction - remember those embarrassing pictures of Colin Powell at the UN claiming that the Iraqis had dug away part of the crust of the earth to conceal their misdeeds?). Sycophancy! Pah!

So, no. Cameron isn't going to be sycophantic towards anyone, and neither should he be. But the British haven't been sycophantic in our foreign policy since the 1960s.

Maybe when we have extracted Blair from Monkey Boy's rectum he might be able to tell us a thing or two about sycophancy?

clarification: by "caring" about the NHS I suppose I meant will he do something about the huge amount of paperwork that bogs down front line staff and reduce the number of expensive "managers". Both Cameron and Brown have good reason to appreciate the NHS, both having children that require special medical care, but despite the huge cash injections given by Blair it's not working well, so what would Cameron do differently? And with regard to the relationship with the US, I was against the folly of invading Iraq but got the distinct impression that most of the support for this predictable misadventure came from the Tory party. With regard to the "green" issues, I agree with you "Andrew" that middle England Tories are probably the best recyclers but how does this match with the views expressed by John Redwood - more roads, more flights etc. Please persuade me - I'm getting too old to be a floater!

[email protected]:19

Conservatives were indeed in favour of invading Iraq, and the considerable majority of MPs still believe it was the right thing to do at the time.

As regards the NHS, in practice I believe that Cameron would make much more use of the private and voluntary sectors, though what he has tried to project to the public has been that he would do Blair reforms, only more so. For our Policy Review on this, check http://conservativehome.blogs.com/torydiary/2007/06/conservative_pr.html

We say: "The new health policy from the Conservative Party aims to redress the problems in the NHS by:

Ensuring that money put into the NHS goes into improving the NHS for everyone and is not wasted on red tape and pen pushing.
Ending the top down target culture and taking Ministers out of day-to-day decision making in the NHS.
Giving patients more information and choice.
Ending pointless reorganisations in the NHS.
As part of their policy the Party are making three core commitments:

"We will write into law the underlying principle of the NHS that all people will receive universal access to a comprehensive health service based on need and not ability to pay.
"We will ensure that public funds for health care are devoted solely to NHS patients; we have ruled out subsidies to private health care.
"We will not sanction any more pointless reorganisations of the NHS. The proposals in our White Paper are based on existing structures."
"

Sorry it's so long, but you did ask!

Redwood doesn't do the Conservative Party's environmental policy. You need to check out the findings of the Quality of Life Policy Review, when they are released shortly.

Fascinating comments from Mr Ionides.

Is he talking to himself?

I think he's chewing a bone from another thread that was closed by the Editor.

Not an advisable move.

Mmm. Indeedy. Silly me. Oh well, that's what happens when you have too many windows up and cut and paste into the wrong one.

I suppose it is too much to expect an answer here, TT?

My thoughts exactly Mr Ionides.Traditional Tory doesn't like to answer questions about him/herself. I suspectbecause he/she has been rumbled as a Labour stooge.

I suppose it is too much to expect an answer here, TT?

I have been a member of the Conservative Party for 36 (or possibly 37) years.

Of course I could just be saying that to give you the runaround, but I've repeated it often enough on here and as I have a very bad memory it shouldn't be difficult to catch me out.

I fail to see why my utter detestation for Cameron and his Blulabour policies makes me an obvious socialist, but perhaps you're a bit new to all this.

Never mind. I'm sure you'll find plenty of centre ground aficionados to keep you company in touchy-feely St Petersburg.

It is quite quaint, really. TT clearly has enough morals not to lie directly. Maybe he
has some decency after all.

Or else, of course, he suspects that he will get tracked down in the end and wants to be able to claim he was merely misunderstood. Probably more likely.

No,I've looked through all your posts in recent days and not a single one advocates anything that could be considered Conservative.All you have done is attack the party, its leader and other commentators.
I cannot believe any normal Conservative would behave like this. I'm convinced you are a Labour stooge. Out of interest are you a left winger or a Blairite?

I suspectbecause he/she has been rumbled as a Labour stooge

Well as I've previously been 'rumbled' as LibDem, UKIP and BNP, I guess it's time to let the other fellows have a fair crack of the whip.

Talking about unanswered questions,steve, would you care to tell us why you told us we would be mad to get rid of Cameron within 24 hours of proclaiming that it was time for him to go?

I'm sure you'll appreciate that some uncharitable observers might be misled into supposing that none of your views are genuine, and that you are therefore an example of that actually quite rare creature - a pure troll whose sole motivation is to gain amusement from disruption.

As I just pointed out; you do have to have a good memory to be a good liar.

er I didn't Traditional Tory. If there was another Steve it wasn't me.
But I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking that you're Labour and all you want to do when you come on this site is hurt the Conservative party. I notice you never deny it.

The debate on this thread has been characterised by extremes and either/ors. This is part of the problem. You've got on the one hand Stephen T who just hates Cameron and doesn't really engage in rational debate and on the other hand those that think everythings just fine as it is.

In general our approach has been right in terms of broadening our appeal and being more caring. In particular people liked the more positive forward-looking feel of the party after Cameron became leader. We sustained a good lead for longer than for very many years. The irony was that the public wanted more as a result! That "more" was not imaginery battles (with a "right" that in real terms doesn't actually exist) but a stepping up of the vision with practical ideas that illustrate what we stand for. Brown saw this coming as well and he had plan B - "super-spin" - re-announce everything hyper-seriously, throw a few apparently "right-wing" things in and pretend its all really new. The media gave him a very soft ride in this task.

The great news in all this is that we can come back and win but not automatically and only if we understand the balance that is needed. Its not about changing strategy so much as developing it, giving it the right edge and getting the pace right. Most of all its about coherence. All do-able things IF done,

Matt

I think that's a pretty senible post Matt Wright.

I fail to see why my utter detestation for Cameron and his Blulabour policies makes me an obvious socialist, but perhaps you're a bit new to all this.

Perhaps I am just a bit new to all this. Or perhaps I am just cynical beyond my years.

There are a number of factors that point strongly to you being a labour plant. For one thing, both the substance of your arguments and the way you make them can only help the left. Either you are too stupid to see this - which I very much doubt - or you are doing it intentionally.

Give Cameron a position of strength to work off and he will be able to put together a set of polices that can fix a lot of what Blair and Brown have let slip. Undermine him at every chance and you'll just get more Brown stuff.

I am keeping well clear of politics here.
Touchy-feely tends to just mean sticking the knife in slowly. Just the way you like it, eh?!

"There are a number of factors that point strongly to you being a labour plant."

These are:

1) You're clearly a stinking rotter for disagreeing with me;
2) David Cameron is clearly a wonderful man because he went to boarding school too;
3) Nanny tells me you're a communist who's trying to subvert the divine right of those who attend Eton from ruling the Tory Party;
4) You smell;
5) Yah, boo.

Please, I have the answer to all our problems. It's so obvious I can't see why you all never thought of it before.

ST; Very amusing, if it wasn't so far from the truth. Although it is stinking hot in St P at the moment so the smelling bit is probably accurate.

Is this really all about class for you? Power to the proletariat? Can't imagine why people might mistake you for a socialist ...

Ha!Ha!Ha! Well said Stephen.

'steve' and his acolytes may do well to consider to what degree calling their opponents 'prats', 'twats'. 'dumb', 'thick' etc enhances the image of the (presumably) nice party they are trying to create.

That's assuming, of course, that newbie steve is not himself an agent provocateur.

Strange that this soi disant loyal Cameroon appears only at the moment when his hero is on the ropes and then proceeds to tarnish the image of his faction with a tirade of foulmouthed abuse.

Strange indeed.

"Ha!Ha!Ha! Well said Stephen."

Thank you TT, your praise is much appreciated.

It does make one wonder why they see the need to insult in such crude and bewildering terms. I don't think they appreciate that we take the business of government and politics seriously - without tying ourselves up in knots over blind tribal loyalties.

It's the independence of thought aspect that I think they struggle with. Perhaps one day they'll learn......

ST, TT,

No, I've been around in the past but have tended to use pseudonyms. A few mins on google could probably tell you which.

Am I a loyal Cameroonie? Well, I like aspects of what he has done and there are other bits I don't like. I think there are some excellent ideas coming though the task forces and I am realistic about the time it takes to put together decent policy. One of the whole problems of the current government is that it makes far too many changes, all superficial. Death by a thousand sticking plasters, if you like. It would ill become us to fall into the same trap and rush through policy to keep the media happy.

And yes, I would like to see a few key polices appear soon so that we can use them to describe what a Conservative government
will do in real terms. See previous posts on this.

But do I slag you off? Not really. Of course I will tease and prod you to show your real colours. Can you expect less? Track back through the posts and you will see that the yah-boo stuff comes from your end only.

The right is clearly winning. I see that even the much criticised www.sort-it.co.uk campaign site has closed down.

So, has Cameron given up on those with credit cards now as well?

No it was me that slagged them off.I did that because they're a prize pair of idiots.I notice yet again that Traditional Tory and his thick mate Tolkinghome have yet again not denied their Labour leanings.

No, I've been around in the past but have tended to use pseudonyms. A few mins on google could probably tell you which.

'Changetowin'? 'Happy Tory'? 'Jack Stone'? Who cares?

Just as long as 'steve' is not one of your pseudonyms. Mind you, I've heard they can treat Tourette's Syndrome these days.

On green issues, David Cameron is simply reflecting the views and practices of a standard mainstream Conservative activist - most of whom, I believe, recycle considerably more than the average person, buy dolphin-friendly washing-up liquid, are members of the WWF and similar conservation organisations, like their regular walks in the English countryside, worry about urban sprawl, are fascinated by TV programmes about climate change (which they force their teenage boys to watch), buy free-range eggs, refuse to eat pate de fois gras, and many other green actions. I don't say this as any particular fan of a green agenda myself

Andrew, that strikes me as a very off-beam depiction of the views and practices of 'a standard mainstream Conservative activist'

As most members are in their 60s or older they are in no position to force their children to watch anything, and although many of them are indeed active in charities those charities tend to be of the more traditional kind (eg RNLI, CPRE, RSPCA, NT).

In my experience any discussion about global warming, if it takes place at all, is likely to be dominated by people who believe it's all a myth - a view I don't share, incidentally.

The only member I ever met who vaguely approached your description was a lady whose belief in sinister international conspiracies would have given Tapestry a good run for his money.

As I have said before, TT, you don't seem to get out much anymore. An awareness of the value of the environment and the need to look after it runs deep in the vast majority of the activists and members I know.

Maybe even amongst your friends - it is just they are too polite to tell you (or want to save themselves a torrent of abuse)

On the other hand, I am with Grandee as far as the merits of foie gras go.

It seems on this forum - if you stick your head above the trench and question Cameron.
You are instantly rounded upon by a bunch of Cameroons - young bucks no doubt - who are desperate to win favour in the party.
There was a Conservative party long before you arrived on the scene and there will be a succesful party - long after you have lost interest and floated off back into the City.

Cameron is a disaster zone and will merit only a footnote in the history of this party. Sadly until he his humiliated at the polls we will have to suffer you sycophantic nonsense...

Redwood was excellent on Newsnight last night - a real shame he has to mince around issues in the fear of upsetting the "Dave and the cool kids"

Redwood was brilliant on Channel 4 news on Sunday (at least I think it was Sunday). Whatsherface tried to do a Paxman but failed miserably. Redwood won that round hands down by being calm and considered and sticking to the points. She blustered her way and seemed to be ranting a bit with some questions that were incredibly weak.

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