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While the opinion polls do look very good indeed I think you are getting a little ahead of yourself. Lets wait until the results are announced after the next general election before we start talking about Prime Minister Cameron!

DD should be brought back as Home Secretary.

Clarke should be leader of the House.

IDS Defence Secretary.

Redwood should replace Duncan as our industry person.

Richard, these are not all Tim's own ideas. They come from a piece over at Coffee House on the Spectator website but yes, I agree with the sentiment that we shouldn't get too complacent.

I do however agree with the thrust of what is said. We need to hit the ground running with our reforms, despite the economic turmoil the country is sure to be in after over a decade of Labour mismanagement. The people are crying out for change and, as Boris has done in London, it would be good to set our stall out early and to strike while the iron is hot on the key issues of school and welfare reforms. The work IDS has done on broken society should form the centrepiece of radical changes to be made.

Another candidate for second year legislation is a lower time limit for abortion. It must not look our first priority but it should be part of our plan to appeal to our core voters.

Like the Hunting Ban it should be a free vote but we know that Tory MPs will mainly vote the right way.

Clarke - I agree that he should be Leader of the House
IDS - Home Secretary
DD - Homeland Security (the job Patrick Mercer was previously in) which should be made a Cabinet rank job
Redwood - NO NO Please NO!

We will need to move quickly to abolish regional planning and restore planing powers to a local level before too much damage has been done

Am I in a minority of one in supporting the hunting act?

It's very possible that foreign policy as well as economic policy may intrude on Mr Cameron's plans for a focus on social policy. If Iran is on the verge of getting nuclear weapons the world will face a massive crisis.

This article brings to mind Henry IV part 1.

I wonder how erudite the contributors to Conservativehome are!

Let us hope that Maude and Boles will be added a chapter on Vetting Appointments to their Preparing for Government manual!

To those who say "No, Not Redwood", I say, please read his blog for a few months and see if you change your mind.

"Am I in a minority of one in supporting the hunting act?"


Defence and Home Affairs should be two of the earliest and highest priorities surely? Both have been managed abysmally throughout the Blair/Brown years.

Rename "Communities & Local Government" as Department for Social Justice with added responsibility for drugs policy and put IDS in charge. Ken Clarke as leader of the House.

"Another candidate for second year legislation is a lower time limit for abortion. It must not look our first priority but it should be part of our plan to appeal to our core voters.

Like the Hunting Ban it should be a free vote but we know that Tory MPs will mainly vote the right way."

Posted by:Jennifer Wells | August 01, 2008 at 10:51

What gives you the right to presume what is the 'right way'???

Personally I am COMPLETELY IN FAVOUR of the current legislation, I believe it works fairly well (in outcome if not in process) and was repulsed watching Leigh and Widdecombe cry out 'for the humanity of it all'.

Sally Roberts
"Redwood - NO NO Please NO!"

Redwood - YES YES Please YES!

Don’t panic. Fox hunting is alive and kicking even ‘though one has to pretend that it’s a drag hunt. No, that’s not some weirdy bloke dressed up as Harriet Harman but I can see potential.

"Am I in a minority of one in supporting the hunting act?"


Who spells Tom with an H?

I would like to see a new Conservative Government immediately repeal both the fox hunting and smoking bans.

Conservatives don't ban things- they let adults make informed choices.

IDS deserves a good job, and I hope Dave finds a cabinet role for him.

"Don’t panic. Fox hunting is alive and kicking even ‘though one has to pretend that it’s a drag hunt. No, that’s not some weirdy bloke dressed up as Harriet Harman but I can see potential."

Lets just say a paedophile raped your 3 year old daughter, that would surely be acceptable because the law against such an act only discriminates against a minority. Right?

So Don't panic, Child molestation is alive and Kicking!

Class warfare against paedophiles.

I realise I have taken an extreme example but you cannot get away with saying 'Don’t panic. Fox hunting is alive and kicking' when it is against the law. The law is there for us all to obey whether we agree with it or not.

It is more than a little bit disturbing to see the absence of a direct reference to energy - as in electricty generation. There is now very little disagreement within the industry that, unless very urgent action is taken, we will be seeing a substantial "generation gap" emerging around 2012, if not before.

Mr Cameron's putative first term, therefore, stands at very high risk of being blighted by a series of power cuts which will put Mr Heath's three day week into the shade (to coin a phrase).

Without power, for prolonged periods, the Conservatives have very little chance of delivering any other parts of their agenda - the country will be on a crisis footing and be demanding answers to that one issue.

I've got an idea, why don't we have a referendum on the issue? Oh wait, because you would lose.

Where the hell is justin Hinchcliffe?

He usually takes up unpopular positions

A repeal of the hunting act could be a very short and quick Bill, put it through in a week or two, simple repeal, and then it will be all over and forgotten about as the main reforms are brought forward.

Probably need an overall majority above 50 to get it through. There are a small number of Conservatives opposed to hunting, and that number will probably grow if we win more urban seats.

'Lets just say a paedophile raped your 3 year old daughter, that would surely be acceptable because the law against such an act only discriminates against a minority. Right?'

A tad excessive me old fruit. Please be reassured that I do not ride to hounds but to Landover and No.6 shot when it comes to Charlie.

In answer to your direct question about my daughter. I would re-design the said offender's genitalia with a rusty chainsaw. This would also be illegal but I plead Cromwell:

'Necessity hath no law'

We run the risk of being hubristic to start talking about "prime minister" Cameron but we certainly should start thinking about a reshuffle of the shadow cabinet.

I normally agree with Sally Roberts and now do so with her post at 10.54 except for her vehement opposition to John Redwood. I suspect that derives from his performance as Welsh Secretary but that was many years ago.
As MartinW says at 11.18, why not? Redwood's blogs are always worth reading and he tied Yvette Cooper up in knots in the HoC on VED.

He knows about economics and business and, if David Cameron persists in keeping George Osborne as shadow chancellor (as he appears to want to do), then he needs to have someone in his team that has Redwood's grasp of the portfolio.

I also like the gravitas of Rifkind but accept that not all people do and therefore perhaps he should go and beef up the quality of debate in the HoL.

I believe that the addition of a select few old campaigners to the bright young people coming through would give team Cameron a much more mature look than it has at present.

In contrast to the "second year action" approach mentioned above, it might be worth waiting to see what ideas come out in the promised book from Daniel Hannan and Douglas Carswell about aims for the first 100 days. Hopefully this will echo the Centre Right thread that Douglas Carswell initiated not long ago about what legislation could/should be up for immediate repeal.

I concur with what David Belchamber and Martin W have said above about the quality of John Redwood's blog articles and the practical understanding they show of what the economy needs (why are our shadow Treasury team not producing similar material day in day out?). At a time like this, the national bank manager would be better equipped with the demeanour of a dry accountant than a trendy vicar speaking of sharing the proceeds of growth.

If there is going to be a change of the structure of government then Cameron should hold a proper review of all the departments, and if he is going to make changes, make radical overall changes from the outset, rather than tinkering with department names as Blair used to do each reshuffle and keep botching it.

I see no need for a seperate Veterans Affairs department. A strong Defence Secretary covering all the elements of Defence is what is needed. Defence Secretary used to be considered to be just outside of the great offices of state when office holders included Michael Heseltine, Malcolm Rifkind and Michael Portillo. Instead of putting in junior ministers like Geoff Hoon (who started his cabinet career there) and Des Browne, put in a senior member of the cabinet. Liam Fox will, I hope, be a fantastic Defence Secretary.

Agree that Environment should be seperated from Rural Affairs. Have a department for Environment and Energy instead.

Homeland Security should be included under a strong Home Secretary (Pauline Neville-Jones for the former, David Davis for the latter).

Olympics should stay under the DCMS, instead of creating a seperate Olympics Minister in the cabinet office purely to give Tessa Jowell a job. Would be great to see Julie Kirkbride in this role - don't understand why she is not in the cabinet.

Bring Higher Education and Science back to Children, Schools and Families, creating a strong Education Department.

Business, Enterprise, Regulatory Reform, Work and Innovation could all be brought into one super ministry with a strong department head, and strong ministers of state. Maybe Redwood for this.

Trade and International Development would sit together better. Maybe a job for Alan Duncan, or perhaps Jeremy Hunt.

Rural Affairs, Local Government & Inner Cities maybe together. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales together has long been mentioned.

Bring Housing, Pensions, Social Exclusion, Communities, Welfare Reform into one department, under IDS.

Make the Minister for the Cabinet Office Secretary of State. Joined up government and presentation is important, and the Minister status makes it sound to junior and unappealing for the most talented ministers. Chris Grayling would be perfect for this brief. Maude could be leader of the house for the first year or two to carry out the work he has been preparing in opposition. Ken Clarke could be Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor. The Chief Whip and Chief Secretary could attend cabinet, rather than being full members, freeing up space, although this scenario would deliver a cabinet of 20 anyway.

Stronger key ministers of state I think are the answer. As soon as somebody half decent becomes a minister he or she seems to get promoted to cabinet, and if he or she is seen as half decent in cabinet for a year they seem to get given one of the great offices of state. Longer apprenticeships to ensure talents in all areas and thus more experience once they reach for cabinet would make for stronger, better government. There is nothing shameful about being a Minister of State, and only the really top performers should make it into cabinet.

There needs to be immediate action to deal with the UK's impending electricity-generation crisis as the present government is as much use as a broken windmill flapping in a gale.

The EU Large Combustion Directive needs to be dumped to buy time for our existing coal-fired power stations, nuclear has to pushed hard and renewables (also the EU here) need to be kicked into touch until they have a proven track record.

If this challenge is not handled properly a lot of people (elderly first of all) will die from the cold and the economy will be seriously damaged.

I have never understood why there needed to be so many ministers, Michael Howard managed with a shadow cabinet of 12.

Whatever else in all this PLEASE don't support a Secretary of State for Climate Change. This daft syndrome whose 'science' has been comprehensively rubbished will be undoing of the nation. Of course we must stop polluting the world but the "warmists" just ignore the fact that the world has cooled since the start of the new century and that change is what climate does and always has. Carbon is a negligible factor in any case - water vapour is 19 times more influential and of the carbon itself only 6% is man-made!

Meanwhile we ruin ourselves with inefficient subsidised wind farms , the subsidies for which end up as a major part of domestic fuel bills - but concealed. Then the EU's even dafter approach makes us eschew our own coal - of which there is a considerable amount - to generate electricity. Meanwhile Berlusconi, not willing to be blackmailed by some very dodgy oil and gas suppliers IS building coal-fired plant and raising two fingers to the dominating eurocrats. Good for him.

If the party were to enshrine this madness even more strongly than its unfortunate present position I would regard it as past praying for. So please - NO.

Richard North - not for the first time - has got it spot on. Today with the plans for new nuclear plants (merely to replace the ones we've got!) shredded with EDF pulling out this is urgent and we can't keep the lights on and the economy running without coal. So the motto is "Green makes you Cold"

Sally Roberts @1054 doesn't like Redwood . Doesn't she like proper Conservatives? His blog is great! And his sidelining right now is a festering scandal.

The only reason people want to see a Sec of State for Veterans Affairs is because the Americans have one. It's rather sad.

If Cameron wants to shake up the Departments:

Re-form the old Home Office.

Move Energy to Defra.

Create a new Dept for Family & Social Care

Merge the Foreign Office with DfID

Re-form the old Dept for Education

Suggested shuffling of the pack:

Environment & Energy - Alan Duncan
Family & Social Care - Maria Miller
Chief Sec to Treasury - John Redwood
Commons Leader - Sir Malcolm Rifkind
Culture & Sport - Theresa May
Business & Enterprise - Stephen O'Brien

Michael Howard's shadow cabinet of 12 consisted of 2 party chairmen and the chief whip, with health and education lumped lumped into one, environment and transport in another, the leader of the lords, the pensions spokesman, the local and devolved government spokesman, the shadow chancellor, shadow foreign secretary, shadow home secretary, and the leader himself. It was unworkable. Health and Education had to be seperated within 7 months, with defence brought 3 months later. That is going too far. There is a balance to be struck.

"Prime Minister Cameron is rumoured to be considering restoring Ken Clarke to the Cabinet."

I am by no means totally thunderstruck by Conservatism as practised by David Cameron but I am quite sure it is preferable to anything the present Socialist administration does at present.

I was amongst those critical of how things were going this time last year but have generally opted for keeping quiet since, as I wish to see the end of this truly awful government.

As such I have a considerable fund of good will towards what I believe will be the next government. I, like many here, want us to win and win big, perhaps even to the point of effacing socialism from the place it has occupied in UK politics since the end of The Great War.

To appoint Ken Clarke to the cabinet would, however, operate to dissipate, as far as I am concerned, and I dare to suggest, as far as others are concerned, a big chunk of that goodwill.

There are some serious objections to him being on government again.

1. He has been serially disloyal to conservative party policy over Europe and does whatever he can whenever he can to undermine that policy. He cannot be trusted to support, for example, a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon or any policy which seeks to restore Parliament to a position of primacy over the EU, whether in respect of individual competences or generally. He will prove to be an utterly divisive figure in cabinet in this regard and will use the threat of resignation etc. to get his way.

2. He was a whip in Heath's government: what sort of message does it send out that we are so short of talent that we have to turn to a seventy-year old retread from 1972-74 to be leader of the House?

3. Though being a member of Margaret Thatcher's government ought to accounted a badge of honour, his return to government provides an unnecessary free shy at the coconuts for the left to portray the incoming government as Thatcherite. There is no point in giving them any propaganda material.

4. He is indelibly associated with the whiff of 1992-1997. Just look at how GB and his seven dwarves try to rake up Cameron's minor association with the economic events of that era as a means of assault. Clarke's central role in Major's government will be the stock-in-trade of every Labour MP who will dredge that awful period up ad infinitum.

5. He brings with him the baggage of Big Tobacco. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the smoking ban may be, the industry itself is one that is particularly open to effective attack for its past record and activities. It only needs some dubious marketing practice of BAT formulated during KC's association with it to emerge, or whatever (and you can be sure that the left will go looking for something to pin on him), and the government is likely to sustain collateral damage.

6. The British people want, I believe, a fundamentally different relationship with the EU from that which obtains now and will obtain if Lisbon goes into effect. We are told that the next conservative government will not let the matter of our relationship with the EU rest where it is. But Cameron will forever find himself, against the implied or express threat of KC's resignation, constantly having to appease him and his deeply unrepresentative Europhilia. This will create deep resentment in the party and will contribute to a serious loss of the goodwill to which I refer.

7. Do we really want to have as our frontman in the House of Commons someone so profoundly redolent of yesterday's politics?

I believe that giving Ken Clarke a job in the next government would be a highly retrograde move and whatever benefits he might bring in terms of experience are greatly outweighed by the very considerable baggage he brings with him.

We ought, on the other hand, to be presenting ourselves as so stuffed with able, bright talent that we have more than enough candidates to fill several cabinets after what will hopefully be a serious landslide at the next GE.

Why not David Davis as leader of the House? He has the right attack-dog tendencies and knows how to look after himself in the Chamber. He is a toughie who would run the business of the House efficiently and in that position, being divorced from an individual set of policies of a spending ministry, would have to be a cheerleader for the programme of the party in government. He would eat for breakfast whatever nonentity the remains of Labour might salvage from the wreck to put up against him.

Ken Clarke has had his time in the sun. Time finally to put him out to grass, many would say.

Indeed, Huntsman.

And let’s not forget Ken Clarke’s et tu, brute moment:


Can we get Frank Field?

"I hope to still be around when we see an English parliament established because that is what voters want and what justice demands".

Just to quote God’s own Englishman again (Oliver not Frank):

‘Necessity hath no law’


Spot on

Clarke warped Conservative politics in the late 1980's and played a big part in bringing down our best leader since Churchill.

He arm-twisted the 3rd rate Major into putting in place the European policies Clarke had dreamt of for all of the Thatcher period, then watched as the Party was torn apart by the intolerable strains his meddling created.

Corporatist, indolent, offensive and arrogant... no No NO

The Huntsman makes some very valid points about Ken Clarke, and whilst I know a lot of members will probably agree with him, I think its fair to note a few points in his favour.

Firstly, Europe has long proved divisive. Clarke doesn't get up in the morning and think "how can I be disloyal today", he stands for what he passionately believes in, just as Iain Duncan Smith did during the debate on Maastricht. Everyone knows Clarke has these views. I believe the man who many members want to see Party Chairman, Eric Pickles, also is pro-European. Shadow Immigration Minister Damian Green as well? And others? Being pro-European should not discount him, just as being Eurosceptic shouldn't discount anyone if this was a largely pro-EU party. It is admitedly a gamble bringing him in though, it could be divisive. DC and others will just have to consider whether the pros out way the cons. I've long been a Clarke supporter, and even I would have to think long and hard about whether he should be included or not. What happens to the EU Constitution ... err, sorry, the Lisbon Treaty, could well decide what happens to KC. This is meant to be a broadchurch party.

Secondly, what sort of message does saying that someone who is seventy, but is still both physically and mentally active, is too old to serve in cabinet send out? Especially to older voters. I think it sends out a positive message to say that somebody isn't past it at seventy, can still contribute, is welcome, etc.

Third, Redwood's return would give more of an impression of Thatcherite than Clarke.

Fourth, Clarke was Home Secretary during Black Wednesday, Cameron was an adviser at the Treasury. There is a difference. By the time we form a government, Labour won't have a leg to stand on when it comes to the economy anyway. And by the time of the following election, Clarke probably will have retired. He would probably only be in cabinet for a couple of years at most to add some experience while others gain it.

On point five, I accept the tobacco argument.

Broadly agree on point six. As I said above, need to weigh up the pros and cons.

Seven, it doesn't hurt to have one or two able members with cabinet experience to give the cabinet some weight in its first year or two. Some big beasts. And Clarke is more than able and has plenty of weight! He is very popular with the electorate at large, as has often been demonstrated when he has stood for leader, has a huge amount of authority - especially when bashing Brown on the economy, and is very likeable, talented, and experienced. He would help to detract the toff tag, and nobody could accuse him of spin or of being a Cameron clone.

Yes, there are lots of reasons why not to bring him back. You left out the fact he has been on the backbenches since 1997 doing little to help the Conservative revival. But there are lots of reasons to have him back too. Both sides should be considered.

"Prime Minister Cameron is rumoured to be considering restoring Ken Clarke to the Cabinet"

Indeed. He'll probably be put in charge of what action to take over EU matters post Lisbon ratification...

Ken clarke wont be in a tory cabinet!

ConHomos heared it from me first.

Ken Clarke is an EU Loony.

I greatly hope he will not be back in Parliament, let alone (horror) in the cabinet.

He is a self-centred, arrogant menace.

His contribution on the West Lothian question was ridiculous. So if he is no good on issues like that, he is no good at all.

Cameron may deeply, deeply regret giving Clarke the opportunity to cause EU touble by resigning.

Huntsman- so much nonsense.

First of all- David Davis chose to end his front line political career with his ridiculous, self indulgent and expensive decision. How could he be trusted in the Cabinet ? How could you have a Leader of the House who might resign on a whim, because the custard creams are stale? Have a read of recent Conservative books about the Conservative Government 79-97, there are frequent mentions of Davis' disloyalty, lack of discipline and poor judgement. Career over, I am afraid.

Personally I think Ken Clarke, and certainly Malcolm Rifkind, deserve a recall to a David Cameron cabinet. They are both too talented, intelligent, and experienced to waste. Particularly when you look at some of the dim bulbs currently in prominent positions. They also have the know how to advise Cameron in the crucial early days.

I would also like to see good Cabinet jobs for both IDS and John Redwood. IDS would be excellent at either Defence or the DWP, given his track record. John Redwood deserves a position simply for being such a passionate and committed Conservative throughout the 'Wilderness Years'.

Bercow, Mercer, Winterton etc, please take note.

1) Any senior civil servant suspected of harbouring any personal loyalty towards "the Project" whatsoever to be sacked in the first 48 hours, regardless of merit. There are plenty of people who can do their jobs, and we simply cannot trust them. If the scale of our win is as big as the media reckon, you are going to see a backlash from NuLabs pals in the civil service and the media the likes of which we have never seen.

2) First bill - an Act of Oblivion repealing every awful law that NuLab has put onto the statute book in the last 11 years.

3) Second bill - the Broadcasting Act 2009 - long title "An Act to make provision for the privatisation of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

London Tory has a point - if you say you can't appoint Clarke as Leader of the House for fear of him resigning then the same argument applies to Davis! Clarke has never resigned as far as I'm aware, unless you consider his refusals to serve as resignations. Saying that, I support a return for both of them.

Calling a prominent, popular MP an "EU loony" just because you strongly disagree with his strongly held views is hardly helpful. There are many MPs whose views I don't agree with, but don't go around name calling. Just because we can sense power again doesn't mean we need to reignite the infighting that tends to come with it!

@ ChiComs

Totally agree.

As an ex Senior Civil servant myself- worked for Blunkett, Darling and Hodge amongst others, the top echelons of the CS are now totally packed with New Labour placemen. They need to be cleared out as a priority.

NEVER EVER Ken Clarke in any shape or form. YES YES John Redwood. Cameron's priorities should be to halt the wasting of billions on EU membership and the alternative energy scam; ring fence defence spending at 3.5 percent of GDP; build a gammar school in every town and sack 75 percent of all NHS managers and administrators.

So many of your correspondents seem to be out of touch with both the Conservative Party and the electorate.

To be out of touch with one, or the other, is perhaps forgiveable. To be out of touch with both could be suicidal!

Why the hostility to a SoS for climate?? I'm sorry but whether its fashionably right wing or not climate change is a significant issue! If you really need a right wing slant on it in order to accept it then look at our current depedence on foreign oil and gas and waht its doing to our economy. The by-product of such an SoS would surely also be to bring this dependence to an end by investing and developing home grown nuclear and renewable energies.

A real sign of strength in a leader is the strength of his team. compare Brown's selection of yes men and, more important, yes women.
That is why I hope that all sorts of experts will be called in to run the country and, to go with this, all the quangos dismissed and sent back to the holes they crawled out of. there are some formidable politicians on the back benches.

James Hopkins @ 1345

You have, I think, set out well the alternative view.

1. Merely being pro-EU should not debar people from membership of the Cabinet or Shadow cabinet. It is how you go about your enthusiasms that matters. KC took each and every opportunity given to him be an ever-generous BBC to trash Tory policy on the EU and on the issue of a referendum. If he is in Cabinet that same generous BBC will get him onto 'Today' whenever the EU looms as an issue and he will be unable to resist advancing Ken Clarke's policy on the EU rather than that decided upon by the party. He will be highly divisive in a corrosive way.

I believe the others you mention will feel that the constraints of collective responsibility matter and, whilst properly advancing their views at cabinet, will honourably abide by party policy and loyally advance it in public.

KC cannot be so trusted and he will see himself as unsackable and therefore at liberty to say what he likes with impunity.

2. I had not meant to say that his age was a bar and nor should it be. But he is associated in most minds with the past, a past that in his case goes back to 1970 when he was first elected and 1972 when he became a whip. A necessary corollary of his having been around since 1970 is that he is no longer in the first flush of youth. It is his association with the past that is the problem, not his age. He plainly still has all his marbles and energy to maintain a business career, but he would be even more of a relic than Margaret Beckett or Anne Taylor and thus not exactly the picture of freshness that is required. If old, wise heads are required, others come to mind who would provide the leavening of experience needed.

3. I am not sure I would have John Redwood as a minister. He is a formidable thinker and his blog remains a refreshing cold water shower for us mere mortals. There are other ways I am sure in which his considerable intellect can be used to the benefit of the party.

4. Although he left the economy in reasonable order for GB to claim the accolade of being our saviour, he was, I am afraid, at the heart of what was an embarrassment of a government and, after John Major, is perhaps the most emblematic of it. He would be an uncomfortable reminder of something best forgotten.

5. We seem to be ad idem on the tobacco issue.

6. ditto

7. Point taken. But the risk he poses of being divisive and the other significant cons outweigh, I believe, the merits of including him.

A propos of the Hunting Act, it is difficult to see why this should pose a problem. It needs an Bill containing this:

"1. The Hunting Act 2004 is hereby repealed.

2. This Act applies to England and Wales.

3. This Act shall come into force one month after it receives the Royal Assent.

4. This Act may be cited as the Hunting Act (Repeal) Act 2010."

It should be done immediately in order to provide time in the next Parliament for a proper system of licensing and regulation (of the kind mooted as and acceptable as a compromise during the passage of the Hunting Act) to be put in place and operating satisfactorily before the next election so that it garners public acceptance and confidence.

There will, of course, be the odd Tory dissenter. That is a matter for them but the above suggestion ought to give the hunting fraternity a workable scheme to work with unlike the present legislation which is utterly unworkable and unenforcable.

Fark me, the comments are getting longer than the articles.

Some people are taking themselves a touch too seriously...

Redwood yes, but a priority is to rid us of the too many jobsworths imposing restrictive regulations on the private sector. He could do it. Clarke? Why on earth? Davies is a no also as he made a stupid stunt when all he had to do was sit and wait. Smoking ban lifted or rather amended to permit in say private clubs or enclosed rooms only, but not until second term and that will be hard. Likewise hunting ban should be lower down the order (although I fully support hunting) as the economy will be struggling to pay the inefficient NHS which this government has thrown billions at.

Some early actions that come to mind, in first weeks, should include:

- Repeal, immediately, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill if it gets passed under Labour (this is the chilling Bill that allows production of animal-human hybrids, removes the need for fathers for children born via IVF, and permits the production of embryos – children - for the use for their siblings of their spare parts, while destroying other embryos that don’t have the necessary qualities for this use.)

- Allow an early free vote on the reducing the abortion time limits, and even tighten the law on reasons for abortion – i.e. because the baby is inconvenient.

- Scrap the ID card scheme on Day One.

- repeal every piece of legislation that attacks our traditional freedom of speech, religion and to live peacefully according to conscience.

- In first budget, remove the bias against marriage in the tax and benefits systems

- Start renegotiation of our relationship with the EU to at least bring substantial powers back to this country (including sorting out the new EU Constitution sorry Treaty.

- Repeal HRA and other legislation that favours criminals and others who pose a threat, and legislate to protect the public properly.

Clarke should be taken outside and shot.

How can someone SO OBSESSED with a policy (Europe) which is blatantly against his own party's policy join a new Cabinet?

Ben Pritchard - 16:01 - Yes, climate change is a significant issue, I completely agree, but there is a constitutional limit on the number of cabinet ministers allowed. Hence best to have a Secretary of State for Environment and Energy to take overall responsibility for the issue with a senior minister beneath him or her with responsibility for that particular subject.

Chad Noble 16:53 - point taken, I will try to be more concise.

Huntsman 16:37 - thank you for your post. You replied in a rational, sensible way, unlike some others on here and I appreciate that! As I said, I know that Ken Clarke is a divisive personality among Conservative members. Many will never forgive him for sharing a platform with Blair and the Lib Dems on the EU in the late 1990s. I would hope that as someone who was a member of the cabinet for twelve years he would understand and respect collective responsibility. But I understand perfectly what you say. I don't think that people think back to 1970 with him though. A Lord Commissioner of the Treasury is hardly a prominent figure - he didn't really come to prominence until 1988 when he became Health Secretary (correct me if I'm wrong, I wasn't born until 1984!). Also, harsh to place him in the same category as Margaret Beckett and Baroness Taylor - Clarke has talent. Beckett and Taylor, err, don't!

Don't want to drag this out any further as this thread isn't about whether or not to appoint KC to the cabinet. Ultimately its a matter for David Cameron, and as interesting as political crystal ball gazing is, in the end its a matter for the first Conservative Prime Minister of the 21st Century to decide whether or not Clarke should be part of his team.

After seeing Alan Sugar publicly back Gordon Brown, presumably to get his hands on some taxpayers money in some manufactured quango for him..........Could some one in the Conservative Party please assure me that under no circumstances will Dave ever offer a job to Digby Jones.

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