« August in a nutshell for those of you just returned from Heathrow... | Main | Tories will match Labour's public spending for next three years »


Is it me or have I missed something. Is talking about immigration, or indeed law and order a lurch to the right? Is demanding a referendum on the European constitution a lurch to the right? If they were the only things the party was banging on about maybe... but who can honestly say that's where the party is these days?

I'm at a loss as to how a 3 minute answer to a question asked by the BBC constitutes a new emphasis on immigration.

Deputy Tory Treasurer Johan Eliasch has quit in protest at the 'lurch to the right'.

Sure it hasn't got more to do with the latest machinations of one Lord Ashcroft?

Hands up everybody who has ever heard of Johan Eliasch? I'm sure Ashcroft will make up the deficit.

Kalms goes... Cowie goes... Now Eliasch...

Ashcroft will own the party soon!

Tory quits over 'lurch to the right' indeed. I anticipate this perfectly ordinary non-story to be main item on the BBC Ten o'clock news tonight.

David: it wasn't the three minute answer but how the Cameron press operation briefed it that made every journalist focus on the immigration answer.

The problem is that the media portrays the emphasis on immigration as a lurch to the right. Brown wants to paint it as that too and it plays directly into his hands. Cameron has to continue talking about schools, hosptials etc.

The party must not lurch to the right or Brown will gain another landslide.

Cleo - The party must not lurch to the right or Brown will gain another landslide.

What you mean like his previous landslide in - when exactly?

Why don't you give it a break Cleo? Everyone knows you're a troll with time on your hands.

You know, I sometimes think that part of the whole new labour project included infiltrating the Conservative Party with a fifth column that would periodically defect to Labour at strategic moments quoting the Latest New Labour Spin line. Honestly I think it is a safe guess this Bloke didn't quit due to some phantom move to the right, either I am right and there is a fifth Column or more likely something has affected his own personal interest. I think CCHQ should tell us what.

Let's not speculate too much about Johan Eliasch yet - let's wait to hear what he has to say for himself...

Ok, Labour will gain another landside but Brown was just as much part of New Labour success as Blair.

Weather it is in reality a "lurch to the right" or not (and it's patently not!) is not the issue, instead the issue is how it is perceived and if it is perceived as a "lurch to the right" then it will play directly into Labour's hands and conform perfectly to the narrative they will try to employ at the next election (when ever that is).

It would be far harder to paint Cameron as a "hard right throw back" in the way Hague and Howard were... and so long as Cameron sticks to the issues that resonate like Health, Education and Crime and retains his breadth of approach (something previous leaders did not do) he should defy this attempt to misconstrue his position.

That said he cant avoid issues like immigration and Europe, and as soon as those issues are mentioned even for the briefest moment they will be focused on by the media (as we saw with Newsnight)... as a result a way should be found of being seen to address these issues but not to dwell on them or be seen to address them that would conform the to the "hard right" narrative Labour will seek to propergate.

I seldom agree or sympathise with voreas and would love to say he's being paranoid, but frankly I think he might be onto something.

This guy is a Swede and runs Head sportswear. I never heard of him before and all I can find is that for some reason he bought up part of the Amazon jungle and was apparently swindled over the deal.

What possible connection does this man have with the UK Conservative Party?

What possible connection does this man have with the UK Conservative Party?

One connection is financial, TT. According to Ben Brogan we owe him £2.3m.

Once again concepts of 'right' and so on are deflecting from the fact that the Conservative is putting together a programme that is right for Britain. Polices to end social degeneration, to help struggling kids in school, to free business from the shackles of regulation, to improve the environment, to end the tax on death, to name but a few.

These policies are not 'Right-wing' 'Left-wing' etc they are just sensible polices that our country needs. Not everyone who supports the party will agree with every segment of policy, some we will like, some we won't. What matters is that we put a party in government that is going to work in the best interests of Britain.

I believe Jonathan Shepherd is onto something. The media is rather sloppy in its use of political terminology. And this issue is much broader than tabloid headlines and excitable columnists. I would suggest that the media classes are far too comfortable dividing policies and politicians into neat ideological boxes. The left-right spectrum is significant, but it's also complex. For example, I fail to see how demanding a referendum is 'right wing'.

"Left" and "right" have become very lazy shorthand. We all do it but any thinking person actually knows they mean nothing,


I'm sure Tim has provided a very robust article as to what the party has been doing over the last few weeks for the Guardian. He has been a proponent of the AND theory of Conservatism - a view I too happen to hold. Talking about education, health, climate change and so forth does not and should not preclude the party from talking about tax, or crime or even Europe.

This bi-directional view of politics is nonsensical and simplistic, and those who weave around the centre line are made to appear as indecisive wobblers. All these pre-occupations distract from addressing convincingly the issues at hand.

Do what needs done, and the voting public can't fail to be impressed, ultimately.

Labour and the BBC can spin this any way they like - but talking about immigration, crime, and education is not lurching to the right in the slightest.

Over the past few weeks I have been out campaigning almost every day in my constituency (Sittingbourne & Sheppey) and I can tell you that the two greatest concerns on the doorstep are crime and immigration. Now, if raising those concerns, and highlighting the failure of Brown and his cronies to tackle the problem, makes me "right wing", then I am happy to accept the compliment!

Presentation is important, and having a broad based message that attracts new voters.

I am sorry ed I am going to speculate a bit. Apparently David Miliband liked Eliasch's idea of buying the Brazilian rainforest so much that he caused a diplomatic incident, so they have probably at least met, I also therefore wonder if this is more about the environment than talking about alleged lurches.

Cleo: How broad based do you want us to get? Over the past couple of years in Sittingbourne & Sheppey we Conservatives have been campaigning on the environment (helping to clean up our borough), education (fighting the destruction of Sheppey's three tier system), NHS (opposing the closure of local hospital wards), prisons (opposing the privatisation of the three prisons on Sheppey), housing (opposing the imposition of thousands more houses on our borough). At the same time we have been campaigning against the Governments abysmal record on immigration, on the spiralling incidence of crime and anti-social behaviour. Soon we will be launching our campaign to force Brown to deliver on his promise to hold a referendum on the EU constitution. Can you suggest any more campaigns that would broaden our local message?

I agree that the message to date has been broad, I am just concerned that the party is about to make the same mistake as in the past and over focus on the core issues (Europe, immigration) in detriment to other issues (public services, environment.

Cleo - they may well just do both!

Reminding people that the 2005 messages are still relevant , whilst adding the social breakdown narative, blue can be green and a renewed Tory commitment to the Public Sector middle class seems quite a broad based message.
Broader than Brown's.

Possibly the Eliasch resignation has more to do with the briefings that the Gummer/Goldsmith Environmental report is to be side-lined. Redwood's appearances rubbishing some of the reported recommendations in advance of publication probably hasn't gone down well with the greener supporters.

I am delighted that Cameron is at last focusing on the key issues of immigration crime and the EU. They are very important and it would be madness to avoid them for fear of being called "right-wing".

Some issues concern people a lot but may not influence which party they vote for. Taking various factors into account, the big four issues are:

Law & Order

A theme that cuts across these is rebuilding the social fabric to create a healthy, secure and productive country (the positive take on the slogan "Breakdown Britain"). In that sense the wider notion of law & order could be used as the spear head to express the big four.

However the messages do need to bring to life, in a simple way, what the modern Conservative party stands for.


The interesting thing about all this is that Labour have no policies themselves. They even had to revamp old policies for Brown's coronation. Labour's sole objective is now a 1984-style power-for-powers-sake. They have nothing to offer our nation and are being embarrasssed by the breadth and richness of Conservative policy.

Right wing? Or left wing? Or central ground?

Who gives a flying f***? Stand up on your two feet, use the backbone that God gave you and do what is right.

The more worrying post on Ben Brogan is that John Bercow, without defecting, has agreed to accept a job/task from Gordon Brown. Presumably held back from being announced in July to distract from Gordon's bounce deflating when that happened.

Real "Conservatives" are actually old-fashioned "Classical" Liberals. "New" Labour behave like old-fashioned Conservatives. The Lib-Dems are the new Left, Respect are the Old Left and the Greens are the new Liberals.

Is there any wonder the electorate are confused?

Seriously though, if you want to explain the difference to a voter, we are the ONLY party who want to trust people to do things for themselves. All the rest want to do things for them with the level of success we have come to expect when the state takes control.

John Moss, very true. The next election is going to be about the state versus the individual. Do we want more government eventually leading to total statism, or are we going to roll back the state and say 'Enough'

Ted "The more worrying post on Ben Brogan is that John Bercow, without defecting, has agreed to accept a job/task from Gordon Brown."

This has got be something to do with Burma hasn't it? In which case no bad thing even if Brown does milk it for all it is worth.

Far better polls - no more need to talk about an October election.

voreas06 - if so then Bercow could have asked for announcement to be delayed (he would be aware of polling). No, it's yet another MP putting personal above party.

Yougov down from a 10% lead to a 3% one? Not bad really...

The Bercow and Eliasch news isn't great though. No doubt the media will be refering to them as "Top Tories". (I haven't really ever heard of Eliasch to be honest). It seems that if he's willing to take such drastic action over a load of hot air from the the press about "lurches to the right" he's not worth the money he gives anyway.

If DC presented the wholesale nationalisation of the banks and heavy industry, 50% and 95% rates of tax to hit the rich and an all encompassing incomes policy to redistribute wealth, that would still be presented by the MSM and NuLab as a "lurch to the right" and a "panic measure to reassure the tory right and the core vote" .... !

Far better polls - no more need to talk about an October election.
All Douglas Alexander said on the matter was that there wouldn't be a General Election called when the party election co-ordinator (ie him) was in Afghanistan.

Having said this it was immediately leapt on by the press who interpreted this as meaning that it would be announced the following week, when all Douglas Alexander was doing was deferring to Gordon Brown who is the one who would request a dissolution when he decided there was to be one.

If you 'Lurch' to the right what happens when you go left? Indeed why does the 'left' word never get a mention these days especially on the televised news media and in the context of Labour, Lib Dems or the SNP? There is always some kind of sinister sub-text lumped with the 'right' word? We should be challenging this linguistic brainwashing for what it is. The so-called centre seems quite far-left but perhaps not from the Beeb perspective? A 'Limp' to the left perhaps? Let's have some more suggestions on what you would call a movement to the left.

"Seriously though, if you want to explain the difference to a voter, we are the ONLY party who want to trust people to do things for themselves. All the rest want to do things for them with the level of success we have come to expect when the state takes control." and "John Moss, very true. The next election is going to be about the state versus the individual. Do we want more government eventually leading to total statism, or are we going to roll back the state and say 'Enough'"
With the proviso that we are talking a load of crock as usual because for some reason this logic does not apply to our love of the E.U. which is the biggest 'big government' of them all and this must have precedent over anything we say or do. Sorry guys, you can't have 'localism' when you're ruled by an 'empire' so stop fooling yourselves and the electorate.

Ok, Labour will gain another landside but Brown was just as much part of New Labour success as Blair.

Keep your hopes up Cleo because landslides are over. That may have been what began in 1979 but landslides no longer exist in British Politics.

Scotland has supped with a different devil and will not return to Labour en-masse; and Labour has runout of rope in England. We enter the era of hung Parliaments and corroding parties.

You see what you miss living in London is the feeling outside Bubbleworld that voters loathe the entire political class and want to clip its wings. One thing that is going to grow is the Single Issue Group - the largest majority in the House of Commons is held by an Independent.

Most voters think all evil emanates from London and view it in the same light as Germans view Berlin - the source of all misery.

When the London housing market implodes and The City starts shedding headcount as the unravelling of balance-sheets adds to liquidity woes over the next 2-3 years, there will be a lot of happy voters...but it will show that Labour has had just another speculative boom founded on easy credit and cheap imports bolstered by construction booms in PFI, Olympics, National Rail, and housebuilding.

Brown might get a mandate but he'll need LibDem votes to hold on and his party will rebel as they see how marginal their seats have become. There is no overwhelming support for any political party - the polls forget the 40% abstentions

John Bercow is part of this campaign to introduce Abortion on Demand by circumventing doctors......nurses will have horrendous malpractice insurance if things continue

So the Guardian headline is

Big Tory donor quits citing party's move to the right.

With Brown returns as polls show Labour's lead down in smaller type below, followed by Hague defends Cameron and points to left policies

The danger of the 'narrative' descending into one of flip-flop philosophical obscurity should be obvious to Hague of all people, as should the ludicrous message conveyed by the party apparently having a vast number of Deputy Treasurers.

Is the party apeing one of those American corporations where everybody above the level of filing clerk is a 'Vice-President'

Billy Butlin may have said 'Call them all managers and pay them peanuts' but this cynical practice can also provide a hostage to fortune.

YouGov down from 10% to 3%. "lurching to the right" is no where near as bad as "lurching to the left". With the right you get tough stances on immigrration and crime (which is what every part of the country want from London to Liverpool). Much better than promising nationalistation.

Much better than promising nationalistation.

Yes but Osborne's been on TV this morning saying he will increase public spending plus his usual mantra about no tax cuts.

Seems the man's off message. Perhaps he needs to spend more time with his family?

I dont buy for a second that we are on equal polling terms with Labour. ComRes cant be right, surely?

Were not going to have a General Election this year. Labour have been teasing us for months and we have given in each time. Brown cant risk it now with the Unions realising that they dont have to just take what the Government offers. An election wont happen till well into next year.

It doesn't matter which direction that we are lurching in, if it's what the country needs and wants then go for it. This is politics not religion, if the voter likes it and it makes sense then say it.

George Osbourne nailed it on the head this morning on Sky News when questioned about a 'lurch to the right'

"Its not about going right, or left, we're going forward"

High spending and high taxing doesnt make sense and I suspect the public dont like it that much when their money is thrown away with such ease. The truth is the public doesnt care much about politics. They distrust politicians and consider it a dirty business to get involved in. The general public at large have no idea of how the economy and the wider political world operates and what it in their best interests apart from good public services and the freedom to live their own lives without intrusion from outside forces.

Nazism made sense in 1933...

Mr Eliasch's actions are ill-judged and based on falsehoods.
As soon as the Conservatives start talking about crime, immigration and education, Labour and their media friends start crying out "lurch to the right" when it is nothing of the kind. These are all important issues to moderate floating voters and for Labour to claim otherwise is a scaremongering deception.

(This comment thread seems to be way off topic but to deal with one of the latest polls - - -)

The full tables for ComRes are already available.

Firstly it should be noted that of the total sample no less than 45% said one of the following: == Will vote BUT refused to say for whom; == Will vote BUT Don’t know 1 ==Unlikely to vote or won’t vote. This sector increased noticeably.

The headline figures are percentages of the remaining 55% who are likely to vote and were prepared to nominate a party.

One change hidden from view in the newspaper is that the Don’t knows increased in number back to levels last seen in the spring.

With all these caveats the poll makes more sense than the extreme - and prob ably rogue - predictions of last week. But with all that great ‘lump’ of 45% not includerd the truth is that anything could happen, all is to play for and as soon as an election is declared the 45% will dwindle sharply - BUT to whose benefit?

btw I don't agree with the "changes" given. I have spent sdom e time looking at the raw data for the 31/7 poll against this one a month later and my reckoning on thge crude headline figures is that the Tories rose 3 points, Labour fell 2 points, the LibDems were unchanged and Others fell 1 point.

YouGov last week was definitely a rogue poll. The Brown Bounce is well and truly over...already!

This hardly augurs well for a snap poll, whilst also showing what a disappointment Brown has been. His interview in today’s Telegraph shows why people should not trust him to run the country when a general election does eventually take place. On the issue of social breakdown and gun crime alone his Government is a failure and he does not even seem to be able to articulate the reasons behind its prevalence. Labour deserves poor poll results, and no doubt worse is to come.

More on this on my blog.

"The Brown Bounce is well and truly over...already!"

So what happened to the Cameron Bounce Mountjoy?

Wouldn't you say that was both dead and buried?

"More on this on my blog"

Why would anybody other than you have the slightest interest in your Pooterish blog?

It may be that Cameron is the political ball that can bounce more than once...

Hopefully though we'll just keep edging ahead and stay there. I commented a few months ago (when all the polls were going sky high for Brown) that he'd fired all his "Big guns" at once for the risky tactic of advancing his poll lead, which surely could be eroded easily by events. That has happened, Brown has nothing to say, whereas our cautious approach of steady policy announcements has ensured a steady trickle of headlines, and meant that we were flexible in responing to events such as the spate of violent crime.

A lot of people though didn't take the Editor's advice and keep their "seatbelts fastened". Of course we're not out of the woods yet, but at least we're moving in the right direction- "Forward" as George Osborne puts it...

Nobody bothers actually to READ the polls, merely relying on the bogus 'headline" figures based on 55% of those polled. Well nobody expects as low a poll as that so please recognise that all the polls are telling us is that the situation changes minute by minute - extremely fluid. Anything is possible.

The fact that the polls disagree is another symptom of the same situation.

As Matt so rightly points out @ 20/48:

"Left" and "right" have become very lazy shorthand. We all do it but any thinking person actually knows they mean nothing.."

Interestingly the one person really "lurching to the right" at the moment is our new-look PM.

Can Cameron cut the Gordian knot?

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker