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Well if we expect Labour's support to rise during their conference the Conservatives support should rise during their conference as well. If not the problem is bigger than most are willing to admit.

I know some people are trying to be optimistic but I think we have to face reality. The best thing to do now is hope an election is called soon so we can cut our losses. Imagine if things actually got worse for us! When I talk to people the biggest thing they dislike about the tories is Cameron. They think he looks like he's very smug but now they say he's incompetent too. I have a constructive point - get the election over with and get a new leader.

To think it wasn't that long ago that people were talking about if we should go into a coalition in the event of a hung parliament. Fat chance now...

parties always benefit from their conferences

Er... surely not? The Tory conferences from 1992 to 97 were regular bloodbaths and a disaster for the party, each one making an already bad situation worse.

And those from 97 to 2004 were just as bad really, 2005 saw a turning point - but will it last? The prospects don't seem good right now.

If everyone behaves themselves, and no one takes the bait laid by the BBC and the braying press, we can have a solid conference. Our theme should be, for want of a better phrase 'bring it on' - focus on tax, focus on crime, focus on poverty and link all three showing that our quality of life in this country is no better after 10 years of Labour waste. Gordon is running scared if he wants an election now - because he's frightened that the real Gordon is exposed when parliament re-convenes and the government get's back to business.

Afleitch, I certainly agree with you that if Gordon Brown goes now it will be a sign that he is afraid of a sea-change in the economy. Why else would he trade three years of power guarenteed for the risk of gaining justan extra two years in office? The Conservative party needs to put aside all differences and show a united front. Not every member and supporter will agree with every aspect of policy or strategy. What matters however is common ground. The issues that unite Conservatives are greater than the issues that divide Conservatives.

Surely the point is - the more the media and the public focus on the Brown v Cameron thing the more Brown wins.

Cameron is a failure. He bought into the Blairite thing without really understanding what he was doing. he's a lightweight.

Blair was right. The big clunking fist has smashed Cameron out of the ring. A true heavyweight like Clarke (not DD, who's a fool) would have been a better bet.

If Gordon calls an early election he will be destroyed. There is so much political ammunition we can use against him he will think he is surrounded. He's getting away with a great deal at the moment and the polls do not reflect how the country should be feeling.

Bring it on! when the election campaign starts in earnest and Gordon's many failings get the full media attention they deserve, it will be the end of this Labour government.

Onwards and upwards!

Well Radical tory wherever you live get out and start knocking on doors and see what is actually happening. We are out and about 3 times a week. You are very welcome to join us

FedUpWithCameron: Surely the point is - the more the media and the public focus on the Brown v Cameron thing the more Brown wins.

Surely that's right. Without an overriding reason to change, voters will choose the man who they think is more prime ministerial, more trusted to navigate difficult economic times and who leads a more united party. The Tories will lose and lose big time. We can then reclaim our party from the modernisers. At least we will have got the Portillo recipe out of our system.

Agreed, Afleitch - there's quite a bit at stake in Blackpool. I loved the Editor's "Duracell Dave" phrase earlier this week - we need to keep our heads and show that there are some "Energiser Bunnies" on the ground too. We need less armchair generals and more top-flight field commanders getting stuck in I think.

Radical Tory: When I talk to people the biggest thing they dislike about the tories is Cameron. They think he looks like he's very smug but now they say he's incompetent too. I have a constructive point - get the election over with and get a new leader.

That's an interesting turn-around if true - for much of his leadership, pollsters were doing separate questions asking for ratings of DC and the Party. I haven't seen any numbers recently, but DC was ahead in the last ones I saw, hence the Cameron's Conservatives brand at the time that probably sent the likes of you ballistic. Food for thought.

By the way, baying for a new leader is hardly "radical"! You guys have done it three times while I've been a member, maybe you need to grow up and think that it's not all the fault of one guy at the top.

I didn't want to make this post too confrontational. We need all rifles pointing forwards at the opposition at the moment and not backwards at the enemy (sorry, old "joke").

Headline on Sky News just now "Gordon Brown vows to battle hospital super-bugs".

Interesting to see Gimmick Gordon arriving at his conference attempting to neutralise our attacks over the NHS, unfortunately without knowing what he's doing. A centrally-directed deep-clean of all wards to control MRSA? Not real action, just headlines.

I'm no expert in infection control - neither is Gordon, but I'm happy to defer to those who are. Centrally directed targets helped excerbate this problem, and certainly won't help solve them in the long term. Giving clinical staff the power to decide this when it is required will help, without the hospital management being tied in to central targets.

I do campaign Karen, i'm chairman of a ward branch. Where do you campaign? I campaign in a northern marginal.

Sometimes you could be forgiven for thinking this is a Labour blog. The people will not vote for a party who have already admitted defeat. If you want to see the party win or at least keep labour's majority as low as possible, stop your bloody whining and get behind the party or get out.

There's a damn good chance that Uncle Joe Brown will call the election this week and all the prophets of doom are only damaging the party. How bloody selfish can you get to look forward to losing so you can pick up the pieces. As soon as the election is called ALL criticism of the leadership should stop. You know for a fact that the press and Labour trolls will be scouring Tory blogs for this kind of polarisation of the party.

We must have unity

Editor "BBC News 24 is suggesting that the big theme Labour wants to project this week is that the Government is one of grown-ups."

If this is the line I think Cameron or better yet Osbourne should reply they are absolutely right there is nothing more in need of Grown-up answer than the damage Labour have done to our troops belief in the covenant, or the hoplessness people feel about their local hospitals being forced to close, or the rising tide of violent crime that is threatening to become a tsunami. The Labour government may well think themselves mature but they show little sign of ever acting like adults. Adults are supposed to take responsibility for their actions, they are supposed to be honest and aim to set a good example. Instead we get constant lies and half-truths, or ridiculous attempts at headline grabbing (e,g. lets clean up super bugs - what exactly have you been doing for ten years?), and never an honest acceptance of responsibiolity. This is not Grown-up behaviour.

Steve Green - are you being sarcastic or being serious? If the latter I think you need to wake up. The polls do not reflect how the country SHOULD be feeling?!? They didn't reflect that in 1997, 2001, 2005 but still we lost. The fact is Brown will not be 'destroyed'. There's being loyal to Cameron and than there's just being out of touch with reality. It's time people woke up. Wake up now or wait until after the polls close at the next GE. If you wait until than you'll have one really bad night!

"A centrally-directed deep-clean of all wards to control MRSA? Not real action, just headlines."

Richard Carey, exactly right, this is just designed for the sunday papers. A deep clean (Why did it take ten years to think of that?), actually a deep clean won't make much difference and might even spread bugs if it isn't done right. Hospitals can clean hospitals until they squeak but that won't stop the public visiting relatives with all manner of bugs on their shoes. Hospitals really need to cut down on publc visits to wards and make A&E, if there are any left under Labour, should be completely isolated from the main hospital. Many skin bugs like impetigo have their origin in the scalp and can be carried in by the public under their hair. Public visits are a big part of the problem.

Richard Carey - Cameron recently got a negative approval rating - was it -8? Can't remember now but it was negative while people were positive about Brown. Seems to me that things are getting worse.

I want radical changes policy wise. It has nothing to do with getting a new leader.

Also with regard to the 'you guys' getting rid of three leaders let's remeber who got rid of IDS - Maude the arch-Cameroon, he also undermined Hague. If anything the wets are the one's responsible for all the oustings.

I think Cameron must take a huge role for all the problems. The buck stops with him at the end of the day.

I campaign in a northern marginal.

While frequently ripping in to your own Party here and also several times offering to fund any opposition candidates against official Conservative candidates in southern seats, as I recall. Does that genuinely go down a bomb with your branch?

I'm curious, given your stance requiring us to lose - how do you sell that on the doorstep exactly?

Voreas06: I quite agree, there's grown-up government, and there's irresponsible headline grabbing on issues which affect whether people or their sick loved ones live or die. Unbelievable (nearly!).

The conference is absolutely crucial,I hope everyone is on top form for that. If we can recreate 2005 and 2006 we can start to fight back.Remember , hostile media outlets will be out trip us up.I notice looking at the planned fringe meetings the BBC are playing their usual unsubtle naughty games. I really, really hope they fail.If all I can look forward to see is another 5 years of government by Brown and his goons it will become an increasingly attractive idea to emigrate.

You are very quick to turn on your leader after a few months of bad polls after 18 months of unbroken leads.

I'm affraid that it must be very hard to lead a party as rebellious as this. Contantly stabbing the leader has been a feture of Conservative politics for the last 10 years. I mean this very kindly, for I am a Conservative sympathiser - but when will you learn?

A Thatcherite leader will not win elections anymore, they will ensure the conservtaives remain at 33% of the vote and are in permanent opposotion while the country fals deeper into the mire.

Your leader- whoever he is- will never carry you to victory if you treat him like this. This blog is very distressing reading!

You always talk about wanting radical policies Radical Tory but then merely launch personal attacks on your party leader.What radical policies do you want?
Please feel free to go into as much detail as you want and tell us how you would sell these ideas to the electorate.

The Times today:

Meanwhile, senior Tories were looking gloomy last week. One party adviser said: “People around David Cameron are looking very glum, particularly George Osborne, who is election co-ordinator.

“George seems to be in a state of shock and can’t understand how they went from 40% in the opinion polls with Labour trailing in the early thirties to where they are now. The feeling is: what went wrong?”

Tory-watching has suddenly become a hilarious business...

Malcolm - i'm genuinely surprised by your post. I often mention policies I want. I take it you are getting confused. I will be brief as I do not wish to get away from the thread topic however I would like a flat tax, school vouchers, replace the NHS with social insurance, leave the EU, much more police and prisons and legalise cannabis. This would be ideal but of course some are not going to happen and should not be focused on. If you want to know more I suggest you read my past posts in past threads.

but when will you learn?

A phrase also used by one of my work colleagues recently after yet another "tory discontent" story appeared in the Sundays following another helpful intervention from un-named "colleagues"!

This blog is very distressing reading!

I'm grateful for your tentative support for our party, Observer. If it's distressing for you, I hope you don't mind me pointing out that it's also distressing for myself and my colleagues who are working hard to win both local and parliamentary seats going forward! I culd say more but the editor would probably rightly object to the "un-parliamentary language" involved!

If the Conservatives are really serious about winning the next election, they must do something for England. Conservatives have always supported the Union, BUT the Union will break up if its members are not treated equally, and atm England is the only country not in charge of its own affairs. So how about it Dave?

'You are very quick to turn on your leader after a few months of bad polls after 18 months of unbroken leads.'

The leads were not unbroken, they were fragile at best.

'I'm affraid that it must be very hard to lead a party as rebellious as this. Contantly stabbing the leader has been a feture of Conservative politics for the last 10 years.'

Actually it has been a part of all politics since the dawn of time.

'A Thatcherite leader will not win elections anymore'

Apparently neither will a moderniser.

Radical Tory, I believe that Cameron is still an asset to the Party and that this is reflected in the polls.

While it is true that we are quite far behind, on the occasions that Cameron has featured prominently in the Media, such as when he commented on the murder of Rhys Jones, our poll ratings rose sharply. Since Brown has had pretty much blanket media coverage since he became PM, it is hardly surprising then that DC's (and our party's) ratings have fallen.

Steve Green I must say your posts are quite naive.

Whilst there may be no need for endless pessimism, it is certainly not good to have unfettered optimism either, especially when we're behind in every single poll.

We all want to win the next General Election, but the fact is many of us (if not most) recognise that we're not going to win if we carry on in this direction. Many of us post in the small hope that Cameron will actually starting listening to the members and change away from his nanny-state, kisses-and-cuddles conservatism and starts acting like a proper leader.

Of course, most of us know he won't change and even if he did it's probably too late. So as I said earlier, it may be best to get the GE over soon so the worst is out of the way and we can elect a proper leader this time.

FedUpWithCameron (Sept 22, 2007 at 22:36), if I remember correctly, when David Cameron was chosen leader, the press joined in chorus and remarked how the party seemed to have skipped a generation and picked a young man, for all the promises of youth.

Now that the euphoria has passed, we seem to have a Tory following who mercilessly attack David Cameron, joined in again by the media whose actions can only magnify the negativity inside the Conservative Party and prejudice the outcome of any general election.

I would rather see such energies being channelled into winning strategies, rather than making a faeculent mess at such a crucial time.

I want radical changes policy wise. It has nothing to do with getting a new leader.
2 notes on this - the first is that the party leader leads on policy, after all they would probably be the person who would be made PM if the party were to form a government, and so if they decide to stick with certain policies and not accept others then to do otherwise means replacing them, and in addition the General Public has a sort of impression of people, this will tend to gel the longer a particular politician is in the limelight - if David Cameron now were to come out and say he was for Capital Punishment and opposed to Labour's spending plans and wasn't going to stick to them and that after all he felt that Health and Education Spending had gone far too high already, many would not believe him and many who had switched to supporting him would also be dissatisfied. For John Redwood to take such positions though would be credible.

I agree we need to fight Labour, not Brown. The public are undecided about him, but our attacks don't seem to hit him, meaning the public side with him. We also need to pitch our case to the electorate in a very different way. Similar to the Brown attacks not working, we don't gain support, but rather hemmorage it by attacking, or seeming to attack, areas of Britain that floating voters find reinforces the Labour smear that we are nasty. Immigration, Europe, NHS, Families (yes), Education - we just don't seem to understnd that we need to be tactful here. People will not vote for us if on the fence and we go OTT (in their view), the lesson is undecided will recoil towards your enemy if your attack doesn't hit home properly. We need to accept that the route to power is quietly quietly catchee monkey. We need to be 1. Understanding 2. Patient and 3. measured 4. conservative (in that order). This is the only route for conservatives into power, but the thing is it will take time and resolution (i.e. we won't win next time, but we sure will the time after).

Good to see a two point swing to us. Wells is absolutely right that the campaign should be against Labour. One snippet from his article not mentioned above and imo very important is that while Brown has strong personal ratings, *the government* has persistently strong negative ratings.

Candidates should write their literature on "This government has" and "Labour has".

I join in the general condemnation of Radical Tory, just sticking "Tory" in a handle doesn't make you one. Offering to fund our opponents eh?

No matter what the opinion polls say those`s who run this site will always put a negative slante on the findings because I truely believe like many others who use this site they don`t want to win. The true motto of theis site should be ConservativeHome Home to those Conservatives who want five more years of Gordon!

Yet another anon - could you please use shorter sentences as its very difficult to follow a whole paragraph with only two sentences.

activist - what general condemnation? I offered to donate to the true blue tory who plans to stand against Goldsmith in Richmond Park. In the thread that this was discussed a number of other posters agreed to follow suit. I support tory values first and foremost. I'm sorry to see that you don't.

Justice for England.


It is simply not the case that anybody who critiscises the leadership wants 5 more years of Gordon.Those of us who have been critical of the leadership direction have consistently raised crdible and lucid arguements calling for an emphasis change.

This change did not preclude a necessary rebranding and positioning.The move to embrace socially liberal issues to the exclusion of all else was however misguided.The electorate are now utterly bewildered by us and we are caught in the headlights as an experienced political operator moves his pieces around the board at will.

It would have been much more credible to recognise the power of the "and theory" of conservatism from the outset.We would then not have run scared of theso called core issues but have integrated them into a credible programme that electors could relate to.

Radical Tory, Michael Davidson,

I sincerely hope that if Gordon Brown calls an election this week the editors of this site start to moderate wreckers like you out of these comments. Either you are Labour trolls or you are so bitter and twisted about the way the party is going you are willing to see another five years of Gordon. If it is the latter I suggest you take one of the following two options: Bugger off and vote Labour, or start a your own little party for Tory dinosaurs. Whichever choice you make, you will be doing less damage to the party out of it, than in it.

I repeat, we need unity.

"...start to moderate wreckers like you out of these comments."

Steve Green (Sept 23, 2007 at 09:37), that implies censorship in times of war, which is most probably a good idea.

Maybe Conservative Home should be restricted to paid-up party members only, and then comments can flow freely without worrying about "trolls" and incursion by outside subversive elements.

Leaving the downsides of the present configuration, the benefit is that CH seems to be a good receptacle for a broad range of views and even the occasional positive harvest of ideas to use in strategy building.

Unity will not be produced by language like that above.I detect that there may be a realisation within the Cameroons that they have missed the boat.It is no good now blaming their own side.

Accepting the Blairite manner of politics and looking to please the chattering classes alone was not the decision of those on the centre right.It was obvious to me that Brown would outflank us.He now looks more in tune with the electors on the traditional strong tory core issues! how on earth has this happened?

Thanks Torygirl an excellent link.

Conservative MP's should take a look at the site, then ask the Conservative leadership what the hell they are doing by not raising the issue.

Torygirl (Sept 23, 2007 at 09:13), conservatives (Big and small "C"s alike) must thank you, and I do most sincerely, for the YouTube link which says it all about the self-serving Labour politicians accelerating the break-up of the Union.

As I have always said on these threads, I believe that the devolved assemblies should be dissolved and transparency of allocations and equity be restored to every part of the Union.

Martin Bristow,

I and many of the people leaving positive comments on this subject are not "Cameroons" we are Conservatives wanting be in government. What are you?

We have got a very real problem here: there are members of this party who are anti-Cameron and have been very vocal about it. The problem is that some people are so shallow that they would rather lose the election than lose face about being wrong about Cameron and our chances.

We have not dropped in the polls because of David's popularity. He has already proved he can be popular and lead in the polls. We fell behind Labour for two reasons: Brown got his expected bounce and we started squabbling amongst ourselves. Brown’s bounce will end, of that there is no doubt. But to win the election or to at least smash Brown's majority we need to show that we are a team.

We are on a war footing now and dissension in the ranks only happens on the losing side. Let's stop it now and win



Cameron has the right idea - moving to the centre is the party's best hope of regaining power. However, Cameron himself is woefully ineffective. Brown is a political mastermind who has proven his economic competency. When I look at the Tory Party in recent years I see many talented people, but no-one with the political talent, cunning and iron will required to lead a party which is composed largely of people on either extreme bickering endlessly, much like certain people on this comments section. Tory leaders in recent years have tried to appease everyone in the party instead of focusing on policy. While the time for Thatcherism has passed, we need another Iron Lady or Iron Man if we are to have any degree of success.

Steve,we all want to see the back within the party.The problem is the electorate are bemused.Adopting an a media driven focus group appraoch has led us to exactly the same place as our opponnents.In short we all agree that certain things are now desirable.The problem for us is nobody out there in the key battlegrounds knows what we stand for.You can not leave it as late as we have to rasie the key issues of crime and disorder and the centrality of family to ensuring social cohesion.

I agree we need unity but disagree with you DC has shown he can lead.We benefited from a very unpopular Blair leadership up till Brown came in.I assure I want a Conservative government as much as the rest of us but my worry is that the electorate don't believe we are offering this.I understand if you disagrre we will see how it turns out.

I and many of the people leaving positive comments on this subject are not "Cameroons" we are Conservatives wanting be in government. What are you?

A lot of people here are lifelong Conservatives who want to see the party back with a Conservative leader and Conservative policies.

Many of us have warned for months that Cameron was not the man and we've been proved right. If you've been watching these threads for months the protests have swelled from a whisper into a crescendo.

I wrote off the next election long ago. What matters now is that as soon as it is over we put the right people in charge of the party and get rid of the so-called modernisers and their Socialist agenda.

At the next election I will be working to return a personal friend who is a Tory MP to parliament. That's how I prefer to see my input.


Fair enough.

But I still think that it is time to stop the criticism and push for the best result we can get. It's too late to change leader and it's too late to argue over policy. Let's just attack. I would also like to point out that the more the people see of Gordon Brown the less they will be impressed. He's all false smiles and spin and it is very obvious. I think we should attack him as well as the party. He is no Tony Blair when it comes to thinking on his feet, so we need to force him out into the open.

On the Andrew Marr show this morning, Gordon could have been ripped apart if Andrew had been so inclined. Brown failed to answer a single question and this is what the public will see during the election campaign. Gordon likes to be in control, take that away and he will flounder under the studio lights.

If you want to watch the interview follow this link:


The interview starts 25m 30s into the show


Brown failed to answer a single question

Typical politician, then.

As a member of the party and a principal donor I am extremely frustrated with the current situation. I am not a skilled politician by any means, but I can articulate a very simple message along the following lines:

• TAX: don’t get bogged down in tax-raising or tax-cutting. The simple point is that the government is already taking plenty enough tax from the British people, and there is no need for any rise in overall taxation. In due course the Conservatives will seek to “share the proceeds of growth” to allow increased public spending in absolute terms while reducing the overall tax rate in relative terms.

• The reason why we will be able to stop the rise in taxation growth is that, as this government has amply shown, spending more of the voters’ money on public projects does not give a corresponding increase in quality. In recent months we have reports that our cancer care is among the worst in Europe, that our stroke care is among the worst, our educational standards are poor, etc. etc. All of this despite massive increases in overall spending in these areas. We must get the British people back into the realisation that more public spending does not necessarily mean better public services. There is a middle class that deserted us in 1997 because it saw a wealthy country that was not using that wealth as it saw fit. Their guilt was assuaged by giving a larger portion of the wealth to the government, but we need to ask the deserters to think whether that portion has been wisely spent, and to get them off the mindset that higher taxes are necessarily a good thing.

• And we are spending however many millions a year on a failed foreign policy decision to fight a war in Iraq. Why not put the government on the spot about how the money being spent in Iraq might be better spent at home? We can run this argument despite our initial support for the war by showing that we can admit our mistakes and move on, rather than denying them and throwing more and more money and lives down the chute to prop up that denial.

• Vote for a party that will not have a knee-jerk reaction that more public spending and more government intervention will solve the people’s problems. We believe that we have practical solutions to the country’s problems (and we must set them out) and, importantly, these will not involve taking more and more money from the people.

Am I naïve in thinking that communication of these points might knock some sense into the electorate and send Gordon Brown packing. None of these points is tied to Blair; on the contrary, they are more Brown-associated. Forget obsessions with Euro-referendums; focus on fresh policy ideas (where are they all?) against a background of “we don’t need any more of your money to make the country a better place”.

Best we can hope for is a good campaign and cutting Labour's majority.It's ludicrous that this government could get back in with a larger majority but it could happen unless the Tories attack,attack,attack.There's plenty to attack so come on get somne fire in your bellies!I've always predicted a Labour majority of around 30.That would be a big blow for Gordon Brown and could easily be done with the right strategy.As the economy got worse,the unions rear their heads etc Labour's 4th term could be very short and then the time will be right for a Tory return

CJM (Sept 23, 2007 at 13:16), you have the refreshingly common sense approach that seems to elude our Team, a situation made all the more poignant considering that your simple and pointed synopsis here is what most of the British public desire.

I have worked in the NHS for nearly 30 years, with the last 23 years being associated with the police too and therefore can testify to the colossal amounts of waste through unnecessary and ponderous management, profligate projects and flawed policies.

Our Party must thank you for your continued support! And please be patient too!

Steve Green, it's not acceptable for you to call everyone who disagrees with you a troll or a traitor.

I'm someone who's fought for the Conservative party all my life and I will fight for conservative values today. It's not our fault that Cameron has tried to fundamentally change the party against members wishes.

If we're looking at traitors then the finger of blame has to go on the Blair-loving Roons who have crippled this party well and truly. They're the reason why we'll lose the next GE, not us.

Spank Labour on the things that they said they would improve. Tough on crime etc. -- failed. Education, education, education -- failed. Opportunities for the many not the few i.e. increased social mobility -- failed. All of these things that they promised would get better simply have not, despite the increased spending.

The gap between rich and poor is bigger than ever. Let's not be the Lib-Dems, who complain about that; let's point out that Labour is a con, a party that complains about all these "socially divisive evils" but lets them get worse and worse despite spending vast amounts of money in an attempt to fix them. The Labour (even New Labour) model of solving these problems does not work.

Michael Davidson,

Which newspaper did you say you worked for?

Steve and Michael.Your differing views are why we will lose.Steve,not everyone who is disillusioned and speaks up about it is a traitor.Michael,it's living in the past to think that the party did'nt need to change.
However,Mr Cameron has gone too far too quickly.The party has distanced itself too much from the Thatcher years and is almost apologetic.Why? They were succesful years we should be proud of.
There is no reason why we can't be proud of our past,shout about it even but then realise things have moved on and we can indeed modernise.The hard work was done back then.Thatcherism needs fine tuning for today.No need for the bold radical policies we had back then but Mr Cameron needs to realise that it's because of the hard work back then that we need to protect it and acknowledge we carried an awful lot of people with us despite very difficult times.Those people now feel let down and unfortunately see a Labour Prime Minister as a better custodian of Thatcherism than her own party.Sorry state of affairs indeed

I agree with the comments made by Afleitch, Richard Carey, Malcolm & Co. We need a good solid unifying conference. Brown is hyping up the Autumn election fever to destabilise us and push the agenda.
The media are desperate for stories to hype Tory panic and infighting. The name of the game is to make them so bored because of a lack of willing dissenters, forcing them to resort to stalking Boris for a story again!!

Blair and Brown have been using the same formula to wind up and scare the Conservatives for years, lets disappoint them this year. We must not panic in response to Brown's gimmicks. Just stick with our own strategy while remaining solid and unified. I give fair warning to Tim now that should ANY Conservative MP be caught briefing or giving the press a negative story then I am not going to pull my punches when it comes to my language. This is the biggest test of party unity we have faced since the IDS days, lets not blow it.

Would help to stick to the strategy if we knew what it was

"Would help to stick to the strategy if we knew what it was"

Mark, NHS, Social breakdown etc!!

I have never contributed to this blog before, but reading all of the above comments I feel that I would like to express my personal opinion.

I have been an active member of the Conservative Party for over twenty-five years and have held office within the Party at pretty much all levels. For the past decade I have also had the real privilege of serving as a Conservative Councillor and, in doing so, I try to keep in touch with my constituents regularly holding weekly surgeries, issuing regular newsletters and canvassing. I, therefore, am normally pretty accurate in my predictions for the forthcoming set of elections.

Over the past few months I have been informed by at least two hundred of my most solid Conservative Party voters that, although they feel some regret about the matter, they intend to abstain at the next General Election. The reason for this is clear: they no longer agree with the policies of their traditional party. I have been told by many that they intend to stick with us for local government elections, but that they cannot go along with the all the environmentalist tax-raising aspects of the Cameron agenda.

Most of my Conservative constituents really seem to dislike Mr. Cameron. They perceive him as weak,firmly positioned on the liberal left-wing, rather snooty and something of a dreamer. On the whole they appear to disagree with him on mostly all of the issues that he has highlighted over the past eighteen months from global warming, to "understanding" young criminals and from his general opposition to selective education to his support for Labour's public expenditure plans for the next three years.

We appear to have lost the support of a significant number of our most loyal voters who intend to abstain at the next election. I have not experienced such a terrible reception on the doorsteps since the mid-1990's. I also feel that I should point out that I cannot seem to find any Labour or Liberal Democrat voters that are switching to us in order to redress the balance.

By far the most frightening thing about this group in the electorate is that whilst they all disliked Blair, rather a lot of them seem to respect Brown. The most frequent favourable comments of a specific nature about Brown relate to the scrapping of super-casinos and the reclassification of Class C drugs.

This group seem to see Brown as more conservative than Cameron. They believe that his innate Calvinism prevents him from becoming too liberal on social issues. In contrast, from this distinct strata there were a lot of complaints about Cameron after his comments at last year's Party Conference regarding gay marriage.

If I am correct in my observations, then the Cameron strategy has seriously misfired and the next General Election will result in a significantly increased Labour majority.

I take no pleasure in this and I really hope that I am wrong. I just thought that I should take the opportunity to tell you all what I am picking up in my part of the country. Of course, I am willing to accept that it may not be identical throughout the UK.

Steve Green, which party do you work for again? Labour or LibDems?

I agree with the comments made by Afleitch, Richard Carey, Malcolm & Co

Surprise! surprise!

And I, of course, agree with the comments made by...well I'm sure you can fill in the rest.

The truth is that after the initial 'Cameron bounce' which shut up much of the internal opposition for quite a long time, the party is now hopelessly split.

Not everybody agrees that Cameron has taken a position at the centre of the political spectrum. What, however, is beyond doubt is that he has taken a position well to the left of the Conservative Party's own centre of gravity, and that from the first was a recipe for disaster.

What we need is a leader who is identified with the centre-right, because that's the position of most Conservatives.

That doesn't mean that anybody expects such a leader to go around demanding an instant EU pull-out or the recriminalisation of homosexuality. That was always no more than the ridiculous caricature trailed by the Cameroons in order to get their man elected.

What we do need, however, is a leader who respects the diverse opinions held by Conservatives within the party. Many of those opinions are not fashionably PC. Tough! If you want to be a part of the party you have to learn to live with the traditionalists.

The party needs a healer. It will find one after the election.



''Mark, NHS, Social breakdown etc!!'' - Scotty

I thought it was green issues and anarchy in the UK?

Traditional Tory.I agree with most of your post.It's refreshing to hear that not all traditional Tories want an EU pullout,recriminalisation of homosexuality etc.The country,quite rightly in my view has moved on.Even my very conservative, aged parents recently attended a civil ceremony for for two very old gay friends.I think that is refreshing BUT that does not mean people have lost their morals or society has become permissive.Unfortunately however some traditional Tories cannot move on.There must be some middle point.We can encourage marriage,stable familes etc without denouncing those who choose alternative lifestyles.This does'nt mean hugging hoodies though.Mr Cameron has his head in the clouds and seems to have a disregard for a huge chunk of his own party.We're not all stick in the muds,we can adapt,we can see we needed to change but what we can't understand is moving so far away from things which made us vote Tory in the first place.I voted Tory because i was inspired by Margaret Thatcher.Hate to bring up class but i was one of the many working class voters who supported Maggie.I have no enthusiasm for the Tory party of today,i'm not inspired.I don't know what it stands for.Unfortunately i'm not alone.

Michael Davidson,

Click on my name and you will see which party I support.


I'm asking for unity. I'm not on any side. When it comes to the election I'm not pro-Cameron, I'm pro-conservative.

Well, I'm still backing Mr Cameron to come good (not that he's doing a bad job at the moment. He simply needs more support from his colleagues - and I guess us in a roundabout way - so we're not seen as a One-Man Band).

Doom and gloom merchants talk of electoral meltdown, but, in the still unlikely even of an October/November election, I feel the very articulate Cameron will come across excellently on the three week campaign trail and, with a bit of help from the SNP and a big bit of wonger in the south-east marginals, we could cut Labour's majority.

All we need is unity, commitment, and hunger. Something Cameron has espoused but sadly many on here - and indeed many on the shadow cabinet - have yet too.

Oftentimes, when the class is attentive to teacher, the results improve...

Thanks Radical Tory. I notice you did not answer the second part of my question which is how would you sell these policies to the public. Personally I would not want to be a member of a party that wished to legalise cannabis or abolish the NHS . I do not think there is a single member of the Conservative parliamentary party who would give you want you want.

Edison,it's not doom and gloom,it's realism and frustration.I very much want a Tory government but where are the shadow cabinet? Where is our motivation and inspiration? I cannot believe the party has got itself into this position....again!I do think the Tories will pull back during the campaign but it will be too little too late and we will be subjected to yet another term of promises and little delivery,spin and no substance.David Cameron,the shadow cabinet and the wider party need to strive to save us from that.I don't see much striving at the moment

Why did Blair get in? Not because of his positive policies. Do you remember the issue of pagers, no page no speak. In 1997 people voted against Thatcher, (even though Major was in power), not FOR Labour. There was a sense of relief that nanny had gone away, "C'n do what I want". OK we move forward 2001, vacuous self-indulgence, in we go. 2005, post Iraq war, why??? Because Howard had been damned by Anne Widdecombe, but also more importantly, Howard for whatever reason was unable to challenge effectively on the Butler report. So we go forward, what are people thinking now? Initially after Blair, yeah, Cameron not Blair, Now Brown not Blair. People will not vote FOR Brown, they will vote because he is NOT BLAIR. The sense of relief from sleaze and lies is continuing and will continue as long as it is not challenged. Why are not the so-called brains of this effing party not challenging? Tommy Cooper Northern Rock, easy .. but no, why not "Pensions are only for rich people" , easy, Why not challenge "transfer external costs of immigration to councils, undermine by criticism, screw them by making them raise revenue by bin taxes"? Where the effing hell are the people who understand the principles of equality of opportunity over equality of outcome? Grammar schools, yes, where they work, keep them, where they don't, find an alternative, don't fall in a mood of "we abandon on principle". Conservatism is about Edmund Burke's ideas, preserve what is good , change what no longer works. Change for the sake of change to fit political perceptions is an empty way to go.
I look at this website and I wish to weep. Stick together for unity, despite how wrong we may be. No, let the thrash happen, go back to the fundamentals and build a consistent framework, Yes families are important, Charity begins at home. Yes your skool is good, no matter how much your teecher is an asshole, you kan stand on your own two feet. You may well respect them later. Risk in financial matters is about transparency, not about what I can get away with if I have a friend (very anti-Tory, but very pro-Conservative). Cameron, soft, I don't know, will I support, I don't know. Brown, is he soft, not a chance- tear him for pensions, tear him for allowing flood defences to be torn down, tear him for setting up current regulatory regime ( SWP friends of mine told me Darling would have to make that committment to full underwriting) (oh that could spike a row)
If you believe in individual over state, but state having a role, which is my brand of conservatism, then look closely at what is on offer from the parties,
I support Lib Dem local Income Tax, the way Poll Tax should have gone. Shot down as being too expensive.
I support selective education, I want it supported by a widespread apprentice-ship scheme so that ALL can participate.
I support an EU that is not Federalist (very open to interpretation I know)
I support an immigration policy that allows local Govt to effectively communicate back to central Govt the need for funds to support current central govt policy (or lack thereof)
I support many cash into primary education to support equality of opportunity
I support open and transparent details of appointments to local and central Govt so people can see or challenge or be motivated to run themselves.
I support deconstruction of financial markets so that people can see on what basis an offering is made. The major banks make huge leverage on savings, let us know what that leverage is.Risk, investors take 95%, banks 5% (and that is generous)
Conservatism is about knowing who you are where you are, in a global economy, harder to know, but worth striving for. Entering into contracts you don't understand is not a realistic way forward. Oh but China does this, India does that, yes of course they do and as long as you are aware why they do it, you can both profit. Once you don't, then caveat emptor.

A very good post indeed Snegohui. I agree with almost all of it. But I think you are slightly wrong about 1997. There was a huge amount of optimism at the time throughout the country and many people I knew who I'd always thought of as dyed in the wool Tories quite happily put their crosses by the name of their Labour candidate(s).
Why ? Blair was optimistic,he promised a fairer society, he was supposedly 'whiter than white' (!) and he didn't go into any details about his policies (you'll remember loads of promises about the royal commissions etc.But most of all he didn't scare the horses.
Do I think we can get away with that? No.I think people are for very good reasons much, much more cynical now.
Equally I don't think simply restating long held Conservative positions will be enough to win an election.
If I was Cameron facing a ruthless and cynical spin merchant that he is my manta would not be 'education, education education' as Blair's was or even 'NHS,NHS,NHS' but 'honesty,honesty,honesty' with people and in government.

For many reasons I've taken an almost complete break from anything remotely political for 6 months or more.

I found my once zealous enthusiasm and drive had slowly ebbed away. Today, I thought I'd try and get back on the horse so to speak.

I've just visited the Conservative website for the first time in months.

I looked in the policy section and thought the link had taken me to the wrong place, I couldn't find any policies.

I did find this wonderful example of left-wing wrongheadedness though...

"Trainee doctors and nurses face unemployment: The failure to fund workforce training means that drastic cutbacks are affecting the NHS's capacity to take on new staff. A survey in June by the Council of Deans found that just 20 per cent of student nurses graduating in the summer had found a job. This implies that anywhere up to 16,000 of England's 20,000 nursing students may be facing unemployment"

To me it implies that we are training too many people for jobs that don't exist. To the Cameronistas it imples we should have a state-funded job creation programme.

I'm almost afraid to read on....

We have sacrificed our principles on the altar of lowest common denominator popularity.

I want to join a party that is not afraid to stand up and say that the concept of the NHS simply does not work any more, that comprehesive education is achieving an equality of mediocrity and that our education system has become corrupt and debased offering sham qualifications to misled pupils. I want to belong to a party that is proud of its past, proud of its huge, world-changing achievments under Thatcher. That doesn't mean I expect us to have the same policies, different challenges need different solutions.

Some challenges stay the same though, state-owned monopolies consuming huge swathes of public money to deliver third-rate services, dominated by unions and with the ability to bring vital sections of national life to a halt.

People are talking about optimism and getting behind the party. The party no longer seems to be working towards the same goals as me. So what do I do?

I'm torn... do I continue to support the party in the hope that Cameron will see the light? Do I throw my hands up in despair? Emigrate? Look for a new party that shares my belief in small-state government?

What sort of country do we live in, and what sort of Conservative party do we have, where the methodology of cleaning a hospital ward is considered a subject for national government policy?

Mike (Sept 24, 2007 at 11:37), I too share your frustration, and the sad part about all those things you listed has to do with political safety - what I call the fear of venturing away from the mean, even though any deviation is necessary or compelling.

As for health, large numbers of my colleagues will attest not only the mismanagement and waste but also to the anachronistic funding mechanisms and ethos of delivery.

Mike, what you should do is follow the link under "Policies and Campaigns" to "Stand Up, Speak Up". This contains the reports from the Policy Groups. You can then make your voice heard by voting for suggestions.

As for junior doctors and nurses -- don't you think it's a bit shambolic that we spend £250,000 training a doctor, then don't give them a job (which, because the NHS is a monopoly employer, means they can't work in the UK)?

Mark, I read the "Stand up, Speak up" suggestions for health. They are all tweaks to the fundamentally flawed status quo. I want a party that will recognise that we have a health system run like no other in the Western world and that only Castro would be proud to emulate.

As for your second point, I'm not sure what you're getting at. Of course its a shambles that we spend so much money training people to do jobs that aren't there. There is no simple solution to that. Even with a dynamic private sector providing Britain's healthcare there is nothing to stop more people training to be doctors than are needed. Although if it were accepted that a medical degree is just like any other and not a passport to a guaranteed job for life then the numbers would even out.

Mike Christie (Sept 24, 2007 at 12:29), I would very much appreciate your views on this http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2007/09/dr-teck-khong-p.html.

Many thanks!

Although if it were accepted that a medical degree is just like any other...

Name me another degree that takes 10 years, with rigorous testing (at your own expense) throughout? Would you make that sort of commitment to training without a realistic prospect of work at the end?

Mark, no I wouldn't expect anyone to do that, but at the same time I don't think it is the role of the government to guarantee work to every newly qualified doctor or nurse.

If 16,000 of the 20,000 newly qualified nurses are not finding jobs then that suggests something fundamentally wrong with the way the numbers of places of nursing courses is decided.

I'll admit that my comment about a medical degree being like any other was probably a little inaccurate though.

no I wouldn't expect anyone to do that, but at the same time I don't think it is the role of the government to guarantee work to every newly qualified doctor or nurse.

I am, at heart, a small-government man (miss out that hyphen at your peril!). Having said that, we have a conveyor belt of doctors and nurses in training, and they should be treated fairly. (By "fairly" I mean not cancelling their training while they're 8 years in.) I don't think it's unConservative to campaign on their behalf.

Truly modern medical careers wouldn't have the NHS as a monopoly trainer.

Mark, you have a very fair point. The newly qualified doctors are victims of the mismanagement of the NHS as much as the patients. I may have picked on a bad example to illustrate my point.

However, my dismay that our party lacks the courage to advocate anything radical and can only talk about tweaking the details of systems that are inadequate for the 21st century still stands.

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