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Great news that David Cameron is to force a vote on the EU treaty. If there is a referendum we all must give every ounce of our energy into making sure the vote goes the right way. This is a matter of national sovereignty, we can't allow a diktat to be imposed on our country.

Mr Cameron has, thankfully, shown some common sense on these absurd Gummer-Goldsmith proposals. Unfortunately, he has to take responsibility for having appointed these politically-inept people in the first place.
His comment on the referendum is encouraging. He seems to be showing a little more awareness of how most Conservatives feel about the EU.

They're LCDs. Not exactly 'energy-guzzling'. What would be the alternative? A chalkboard?

I think publicly disowning Goldsmith and making clear how out of touch he is would be the minimum he could do.....treat him as he treated Mercer...maybe we'll be lucky and Zac will go over to Gordon Brown.....after all if Jack Straw has time to woo Eliasch on said millinaire's yacht in the Med.....it looks as if Labour voters should get a whiff of the money interests around Brown as they look at their 2% pay rises

Can someone please let us know what use Zak Goldsmith or John Gummer? I can see their use in the Lib Dems or even Labour but are they Conservative? Doesn't look like it

Quite right DC and nicely phrased too. Why not tax the supermarkets direct if you want to raise revenue and even the playing field with town centre shops. Easier, cheaper, faster.

Brendan O'Neill spilled the beans on eco-slavery about a week ago.

From http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/3788/

"Welcome to the era of eco-enslavement.

The details of this carbon-offsetting scheme are disturbing. Cameron offsets his flights by donating to Climate Care. The latest wheeze of this carbon-offsetting company is to provide ‘treadle pumps’ to poor rural families in India so that they can get water on to their land without having to use polluting diesel power. Made from bamboo, plastic and steel, the treadle pumps work like ‘step machines in a gym’, according to some reports, where poor family members step on the pedals for hours in order to draw up groundwater which is used to irrigate farmland (1). These pumps were abolished in British prisons a century ago. It seems that what was considered an unacceptable form of punishment for British criminals in the past is looked upon as a positive eco-alternative to machinery for Indian peasants today.

Climate Care celebrates the fact that it encourages the Indian poor to use their own bodies rather than machines to irrigate the land. Its website declares: ‘Sometimes the best source of renewable energy is the human body itself. With some lateral thinking, and some simple materials, energy solutions can often be found which replace fossil fuels with muscle-power.’ (2) To show that muscle power is preferable to machine power, the Climate Care website features a cartoon illustration of smiling naked villagers pedalling on a treadle pump next to a small house that has an energy-efficient light bulb and a stove made from ‘local materials at minimal cost’. Climate Care points out that even children can use treadle pumps: ‘One person - man, woman or even child - can operate the pump by manipulating his/her body weight on two treadles and by holding a bamboo or wooden frame for support.’ (3)

Feeling guilty about your two-week break in Barbados, when you flew thousands of miles and lived it up with cocktails on sunlit beaches? Well, offset that guilt by sponsoring eco-friendly child labour in the developing world! Let an eight-year-old peasant pedal away your eco-remorse… "

One rule for rich.....

"Mr Cameron also "pledged that within weeks of Parliament's return on Oct 9 he would force a Commons vote demanding a referendum on the successor treaty to the abandoned European Constitution."

Err...he also promised to withdraw from the EPP (quote) 'within weeks not months'. He appears to hold to the definition of a political week as being a very, very, very long time indeed.

Whoah, deja vu.

Cameron providing an unequivocal eu-related pledge to be delivered "within weeks" after he is elected.

If feels like we have been here before...

Tax offsets or carbon offsets on consumers are akin to the monetary purchase of religious indulgences in medieval times.

From Wikipedia:
"In 1517, Pope Leo X offered indulgences for those who gave alms to rebuild St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The aggressive marketing practices of Johann Tetzel in promoting this cause provoked Martin Luther to write his 95 theses, protesting what he saw as the purchase and sale of salvation. In thesis 28 Luther objected to a saying attributed to Tetzel: "As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs"

Sounds analogous to eco carbon or tax offsets for consumers to me!

Paraphrasing that Tetzel quotation by reference to Moral Minority's description of what it can mean in practice:
"As soon as a coin in the coffer rings,
a peasant onto treadle springs"

""car parking charges may not be the most helpful way forward""

Just as I was recovering from being called "delusional" for believing that Grammar schools had benefited thousands of children, and coming to terms with the fact that DC decided to spend his time in Africa during the recent floods in Britain, I read in the Telegraph today that Cameron suggested it was likely that the recomendations to charge (fine) me for shopping at my local Tescos would be accepted.

I have voted Conservative at every election for the last 40 years. If this insanity finds its way into a manifesto I will stay at home come the next election.

My guess is that I will be joined by many, many thousands of others.

If it's discarded the great tragedy of this entire fiasco is that it saw the light of day at all, and illustrates all too graphically to the very people who's votes DC needs to win that key players in today's Conservative party have absolutely no idea what it is to be an average voter in Britain today.

Many of us are juggling both time and money to feed our families, and, like it or not, stores like Tescos offer us the cheapest and most convenient way to do that.

Fined for shopping at my local supermarket?

I could weep.


Looked at the Tory Diary over the past day and a half. It seems very few people are interested in Hagues reaction to the Petraeus report,hardly any more people want to comment about the corrupt relationship between the Labour party and the Unions but when it comes to a leaked part of a report from members of our own party the masses come out and let the authors (and DC naturally) have it . No opportunity it seems can be missed to bash our own party. And the people who make these comments seriously want to win an election? Somehow I have my doubts.It makes those who actually care about winning want to weep. I think I'm wasting my time.

That's more like it Dave !

Malcolm - yes we want to win the next election - and potential mistakes like the Goldsmith/Gummer parking idea will cost us it.

Opposition seems to be concentrated within Malcolm, however I wouldn't worry about folks that are more interested in 'not voting Tory' because of a car parking charge that will never be levied than rank corruption at the heart of government.

The car charging scheme, as far as I am aware, was proposed to spark debate on the issue that in-town retailers, with heavily restricted and high parking fees, have been devastated by out of town retailers with cheap land and free consumer access. People will obviously vote with their pockets, and that goes for governments as well as shopping. We need to be smart and allow local communities to decide how to organise this. Offer some support and advice or options and improve regional transport etc.. by all means, blah blah... But don't tell people that they will be charged artificially by central government to make them shop at Arkwright's ffff fo fffor a aaa 1/2 loaf of b br ba baaa brown bread please Granville. DING DING.

... meanwhile, at the heart of government the Labour Party are conspiring with a bunch of leftie lay-abouts, more interested in warming their hands around a brazier than dong a decent days work, to transfer more money from right-leaning hard working, honest private sector workers who pay for said leftie self-serving parasitic poorly performing, under achieving, work to ruling waste of space good for nothing unreforming unionists. No, sorry Malcolm, even though I've used my best incendiary language, I still can't get exited about it, I'm ditching the Tories over the car park outrage (that will never happen). Down with Cameron, long live the Unions.

but when it comes to a leaked part of a report from members of our own party the masses come out and let the authors (and DC naturally) have it
David Cameron put the emphasis so heavily on waiting for these policy committees to report back before coming up with policy that now they are people are naturally liable to hang on their every word and look for acceptance or rejection of the ideas therein, if David Cameron had come up with substance early on he wouldn't be in this position now. Think Tanks generating ideas are all very well and good, but a party leader aught to be able to do a lot of that themselves.

ps, as far as my experience goes, in-town shopping is dominated by Waitrose (if your lucky enough to have one and lots of cash), or else Tesco Metro, Sainsbury Local, M&S Food or COOP, or if your skint and likely a student, Spar, not Arkwrights local store.

The various commission reports are cleared with the Shadow Cabinet before anyone goes public on them. Or that is how it is supposed to work. If Cameron realized what a lot of nonsense the Gummer-Goldsmith proposals were why did he not stop them before the proverbial hit the fan? A good deal of trouble would have been avoided.

On the referendum vote: why now precisely? He will lose it because the 150 Labour MPs will be told that we still don't know what is in the treaty (like hell) and sit down like good little boys and girls. The time for that vote is when the amendment to the European Communities Act is going through Parliament to put the treaty into British legislation and an amendment will be needed to ensure that it does not become law without a favourable referendum. Will Cameron do that?

Another own goal for the party.

Wait till the Bob Geldof report drops on Cameron's desk. That's when the turkeys will really come home to roost.

Bob Geldof had a very minor advisory role to Peter Lilley's Globalisation report, TT, and Peter has already submitted his excellent report.

Malcolm, my sentiments exactly!

We are all wasting our time, Malcolm, if the hopeless CCHQ allows idiotic proposals to appear as headlines on the front page of the Telegraph and then rows backwards for the next 24 hours. Damage done.

I am no rabid right-winger, nor do I wish ill upon the party. But there is a crisis of confidence in the party right now, and its cause is Cameron/Osborne/Hilton/Maude and their nervousness, shallowness, short-termism and guilt complexes.

There have been some good moments this past year, but no more than I would expect from a Conservative Party, opposing (when it does) an unpopular and discredited socialist government who have pulled off the rare trick of attracting contempt for their foreign policy by dishonestly aligning themselves with a neo-conservatve White House.

Og, we might as well shut down all debate and just chuck the Conservative manifesto 1979 at the voters!!!
I am fed up with all the bile, doom and gloom, and yes I really do feel like packing it all in at the moment with this party.

I have a parent with cancer who is getting a less than poor service in the community. I have a relative back from yet another tour of Iraq ( by the way he retired a few years ago but keeps getting called up), while another is getting ready to head back to Afghanistan while voicing real concerns because so many experienced soldiers are leaving. Oh and another thing, most Brits won't get out of bed for what the average squaddie is paid and certainly would not risk their life, but hey Brown is going to take away the 10% tax bracket so they will be even worse off and they end up having to buy most of their own kit.
My autistic child can't get enough speech therapy, but when you try to go private the local council won't recognise it.
Now at the moment, the ONLY party that seems to recognise and is attempting to address the most important of my concerns is the Conservative party. But what is the point if people within the party can't even turn their guns on Labour or the Libdems, instead they prefer to attack their own party.

the Labour Party are conspiring with a bunch of leftie lay-abouts, more interested in warming their hands around a brazier

As stupid comments go that is a first-grade example. If you are so politically bigoted that you think in such cartoon terms about people who work and are represented by trades unions, it is clear why voters are so turned off the kind of politics emanating from people like Oberon Houston.

Bercow and Mercer go over to Brown but Cameron stays in place to work for Brown's re-election with crackpot policies no serious politician would ever advance; but Oberon dies back into class-politics with sneering comments about trades unionists....so it is the same old Tories as they say, just people like Oberon have put a nice ";eftie" gloss on the right-wing detestation of anyone in a trades union.

I think the Conservative Conference should be fascinating as this party disintegrates. It is being destroyed from within

How many more stupid ideas are going to come out from the Conservative Party? You would think they had a death wish every month they seem to shoot themselves in the foot with nonsensical green ideas that the majority of people have no time for.

A quote some years back from the book "Megatrends" : "Leadership consists of getting ahead of the right parade".

I can't help wondering what band of stragglers and oddballs parade DC is aiming to be at the head of ? Certainly not a mass movement such as might vote him into power.

In effect, get one Gummer or Goldsmith ON board, lose thousands of "normal" people. If DC WAS leading, these ideas would NEVER even be released, they are such obvious vote-losers, not because they themselves are necessarily stupid or bad (tho these ARE), but because they will never attract the "right parade".

FOCUS,for F's SAKE ! You are not exactly SHORT of LABOUR targets, are you.

Alan Douglas

it is clear why voters are so turned off the kind of politics emanating from people like Oberon Houston.

Yes, he does seem to be reverting to the harrumphing Basil Fawlty school of Toryism, doesn't he?

Scratch a Cameroon..?

In contrast, I was a Civil Service TU 'shop steward' for years. So I wonder who is really the 'Progressive Tory' round here?

Sad to hear about Oberon's woes. Actually - although he may not have noticed - the country has been enjoying a financial boom for years, albeit despite rather than because of the Blair/Brown mafia.

Any Tory who is not enjoying a confortable life in 2007 is clearly employing the wrong accountant.

Cameron's responses shows how inept and incompetent his leadership of the Conservative party is.

Any political leader worth his salt would take up positions which fits with their policy agenda, yet causes maximum grief to his opponent. Unfortunately Cameron makes a habit of squandering the opportunities offered to him.

There are many points to pick on but two from yesterday’s interview at the Telegraph.

Cameron says he is 'green' and that environmental issues are of great concern to him. One of the greatest drivers of environmental degradation and sustainability problems is population growth. Here we haven't a sustainable population in either food or energy. Yet Mr Cameron in his interview yesterday said we weren't an over populated country, which begs the question by which yardstick Cameron believes we aren’t over populated? This also rubbishes his whole green agenda, for if he is not prepared to deal with population growth, it makes anything he says on green issues no more than a gesture. But by denying the obvious, of Britain being over populated, it closes off the opportunity for him to raise the issue of immigration via population growth, for immigration is the driver of population growth here. So Mr Cameron won’t raise the issue of immigration, and he has also closed down the opportunity to raise it where it matters in population sustainability. Result opportunity squandered twice over

Then there is the issue of an English Parliament, the constitutional mess Labour have created is a disgrace, Cameron’s Conservatives have been absent in fighting for English peoples interests, and have hardly whimpered at the discriminatory polices Labour have enacted against English people. Part of the reason we are in this mess is the failure of our so called representatives to fight for English peoples interests. Yet Cameron’s solution is English votes for English laws, i.e. rely on the very people, our MP’s, who have so miserably failed us. Yet he ignores the obvious solution, an English Parliament, which apart from being the right thing to campaign for, would stitch up his opponent Gordon Brown.

Sorry Mr Cameron you don’t have the political nous to make it to No10.

I am very sorry to hear your news Scotty,my mum has had cancer this year too so I think I know how you feel. Let me know if you're going to conference and we'll have a beer.email is [email protected]

Well said Malcolm. I think your comments are spot on.

Some of the posts also highlight that some bloggers can’t read or just want to rant about life, DC, our Party – really about anything.

Let’s make it clear - DC has distanced himself from the parking charges, yet at least one contributor spends his time criticising DC fro planning to introduce them, it’s very odd!

Then the last post from Iain, seems to ignore that DC has actually already addressed the issues of English votes for English MPs on English legislation and has spelt out the reason why. Do we we really want another Parliament with even more MPs?

DC has also tackled the issue of immigration, by promising a tough annual limits set by Parliament.

Iain, you might have read about DC apparently lurching right in the national newspapers over last the few weeks, because he restated our position on immigration, Europe and crime.

If you missed that have a look back on some of the previous article on this site, but a I do find difficult to believe that anyone would have missed the score of articles written on this subject unless they were holidaying on the moon.

And as for population growth in the UK, what are you proposing, a limit on the number of children each family or parent can have? How would enforce this? Perhaps it is worth bearing in mind as well that there is no link between the size of a family or any given popualtion and the amount of carbon they admit, if there was China would already outstrip the emisions of America 4 times over.

My conclusion rightly or wrongly to your reasons for this blog is that you are seeking to make mischief - it’s really very sad!

I'm glad that Cameron has moved quickly to kill off any suggestions of following blindly young Goldsmith's plans. Otherwise it might have brought a whole new meaning to TESCO!

If Cameron surrounds himself with fools the electorate cannot be blamed for thinking that he, himself, is such a fool.
Why does he not tackle Labour on issues that the public feel deeply about: Referendum on the EU "amending treaty".
The alleged fraudulent dealings of those close to the London Olympics.
Stealth Taxes (income, Community, VAT)
Immigration and the effect it has on hospitals, housing, social sevices and education.
Fight the Government on issues where the gap is wide and keep quiet about issues where there is little difference in ideology sham or otherwise.
To pussyfoot around with this sort of nonsense makes me suspect that the Tory party has a death wish and when it is totally wrecked Cameron will emerge as the Deputy Prime Minister, a post craftily left unfilled by Gordon.

it is clear why voters are so turned off the kind of politics emanating from people like Oberon Houston.

Tomtom & TT, sorry to confuse you (or dissapoint?), I have not gone off my trolley. My post above was tounge in cheek and a crude swipe at foam at the mouth anti-tory-leaders who traditionally have foamed at the mouth at the left, but now seem to find that is now passe. The 'leftie layabout' rant above was an extention of a quote from Top Gear presenters discussing the union-led Geoffrey Robinson esque-demise of the British Motor Group/Leyland out of interest!

I do believe workers should be allowed collective bargaining as a basic right of employment under the unbrella of laws Thatcher brought in and fought so hard for. Although being forced into a closed shop Union in my first job was something I particulary rankled at.

Tomtom calling me politically bigoted, TradTory is an ex-shop steward...? Wonders will never cease!

Ali T, as I point out the reason English people find themselves in this parlous situation is due the failure of our 'representatives' to fight for English peoples interests. As we are going to see over the EU constitution the default position of our MP's is as lobby fodder to the Party, regardless of what they promised the electorate. So what is the point of English votes for English laws when our MP's will troop through the lobbies as they are told to by a Minister, perhaps from a Scottish constituency telling them on what and how to vote? What we need is the institution to force our MP's to look to English peoples interests, and that is an English Parliament. And no there is no need to have more MP's, for we elect enough of them already, and as the ones we do elect have enough time to pursue their outside interests, I see no issue why they can't be there for British state issues, and there for English parliamentary issues.

As for Cameron restating the Conservative position on immigration, well if a comment of 'it should be better controlled' is the sum total of restating the position, well I am bowled over by the detail of it!

But as for population levels. We are told by Cameron that Global warming is the greatest threat to us, and that we have to be more sustainable. The fact is that if the global warming theory is correct, then its going to happen regardless of what we do, Kyoto just stalls it for a couple of years, and currently abiding by Kyoto is beyond us. So if what Cameron says about global warming is correct, then is not something we can't avoid, that makes sustainability key. Right now the UK is going into an energy deficit and has to import 50% of its food which puts us right up the creek without a paddle. The critical issue of sustainability is population, the driver of population growth here is immigration, so no, there is no need to have a one child policy, just a half decent immigration policy.

One further point, go and have a look at the population projections from the Office for National statistics web site,

As you will see just the time the effects of Global warming and the energy shortages are thought to hit us, the British establishment would have contrived to have added another 10 million people, taking our population to a massively unsustainable 70 million. Yet this insanity is going to happen because no one in the political class will raise the issue, and the Conservatives who should, won’t, because Cameron has been cowed into silence about immigration, and won’t raise it via population sustainability, which as the leader of the opposition makes him a waste of space.

te from Top Gear presenters discussing the union-led Geoffrey Robinson esque-demise of the British Motor Group/Leyland out of interest!

Geoffrey Robinson was Paymaster-General and formerly Chairman of Innocenti and the jaguar who resigned because he opposed the Ryder Plan for BLMC......what you are referring to I do not know...perhaps you could disentangle your facts from your prejudices ?

"DC has also tackled the issue of immigration, by promising a tough annual limits set by Parliament."

Oh yeah? The European Commission might have something to say about that, as will the ECJ. Remember what happened when Michael Howard came up with that as an election promise? Sooner or later the Conservative Party will have to tackle the problem of the many issues that Parliament cannot legislate over any more.

Cameron allowing these reports to dominate the headlines before coming on himself to say he's not going to implement the recommendations after all is not exactly a masterstroke, is it?

Even His Grace, the Duke of Beaufort is having a go at Dave in this morning's Telegraph.

I suppose this shows that the entire concept of thse policy reviews was flawed from the start. If Cameron can simply slap down the inconvenient ones when he chooses, the exercise seemes a bit pointless really.

I was surprised to here that whatever it was that Geldof was supposed to have done has come and gone. I thought he was the #1 star of the whole process.

The public care more about health and taxes more than they do about Europe. Being hysterically anti-EU will NOT be a vote winner.
As for vote losers - one of the biggest superstores in the East of England is Tesco at Martlesham Heath, in John Gummer's constituency. I shop there - if the Tories want to charge green taxes on my driving there and parking, then I'm voting for the English Democrats, if they (hopefully) put up a candidate next time.

Totally agree with Patrick Harris's comments posted at 12.09,these points are what we need to put some clear blue between the LABOUR PARTY and the CONSERVATIVES these are the issues that are bothering people in the street,most do not give a toss about global warming.

I think the aim of all political parties should be once and for all to destroy the Trade Unions and to deregulate the Labour market, there should be no collective bargaining. There needs to be a return though to the sort of collective voluntary welfare organisations and societies such as the Working Men's Clubs that used to provide a lot of stability to many - 20th century workers organisations became too indoctrinated with Communist thinking and this needs to be purged.

I think though that there are arguments that in large employers there should be Works Councils, not to provide a workers power block, but to simplify communications between employers and employees which should be to the mutual benefit of both.

Tomtom, Robinson was indeed paymaster general. He was also busy opening secret Swiss bank accounts, undeclared to the Inland Revenue (which he was required to do), whilst employed by British Leyland and who held large amounts of cash in secret offshore tax havens. All while the group collapsed.

He was also busy opening secret Swiss bank accounts, undeclared to the Inland Revenue (which he was required to do), whilst employed by British Leyland and who held large amounts of cash in secret offshore tax havens.

So what ? Look how many accounts Siemens has in Liechtenstein - 700 million Euros - useful for smoothing transactions in China. Daimler has loads offshore.

Are you so naive Oberon to think busines is conducted between moral apostles ?

Why do you think Germany does so much business with Iran ? I cannot believe you know so little about how business is transacted....cash is a vital calling card and if governments did not believe it to be so they would not permit Bearer Bonds or Bearer Shares

Malcolm, thanks for the kind words and I hope your Mum is doing okay? I won't make it to the Conference down South this year, but I hope too next year for the first time, will hold you to that offer of a drink then.
Will be hoping to get the chance to meet one or two of the ConHom regulars as well as Tim and Sam.

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