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GB£.com, how are you intending to vote at the next election?


And thus we come full circle! I'm going to wrap this up now. Its been fascinating chatting, especially as this is my first day regularly contributing to a comment section.

My last word: I do not see how one can be part of the "better off out" brigade and support free trade. Do you think we can be out of the EU and continue trading with them on the basis that we do now with access to their markerts? (rhetorical question)

However this is a such a long debate (we havent even touched upon CAP, Fisheries policy, the environment etc.) that I am afraid it must be postponed to another day.

Start your own blog and I'll come to debate with you from time to time.

Ta ta.

I hope you'll keep coming back here too Aeneas! Some of us appreciate your common sense.

"GB£.com, how are you intending to vote at the next election?"

UKIP in the Euros, Tory in the General Election.

I admire Zac in a way too. Totally disagree with him about defending the Greenpeace agitators but he is not afraid to argue for what he believes in. If he does win Richmond he'll be an outspoken backbencher for the rest of his parliamtary career I should think. But there is nothing wrong with that.

Zac Goldsmith is an infiltrator from the authoritarian green lobby and should be a Green Party candidate. He had no track record of activism before Cameron was elected leader and should be forced to resign as a PPC. Richmond Park should a true blue Conservative candidate, not a green lefty.

Except of course he was chosen by Richmond Conservatives in an open primary.Should those who voted for him also be forced to resign their memberships Libertarian?

If only some of our single-minded fellows would remember the old nursey cry of "It will never get better if you pick it!"
They won`t understand that all their constant grinding on turns everyone else off. As a result if they have a case, no one bothers to listen after a while as their arguments take on the character of wallpaper. Having had my ration of excruciating boredom for today, I think I`ll say `goodnight`

Please consult a fluffing dictionary.

Finally, Sack Zac! does have a certain ring to it, though I can't help admiring the man.

Posted by: Henry Mayhew - ukipper | September 12, 2008 at 13:07

I note you didn't claim it wasn't ridiculous. I just wish Zac, or some other environmentalist would come on ConHome and explain themselves instead of just assuming everyone accepts there are right.

I have nothing against Cameron, but I just don't warm to him at all. However that is a lot more friendly than the feelings Blair, Brown et al engender in me.
Some non-party active Labour Party people told me 18 months ago that they reckoned Cameron would do it because he was nice (resonated better with the public). I was very taken aback.
Like many I am waiting for more concrete policy statements but will accept that Labour's current track record of nicking what they think will boost their polls is pretty dire.
My worries, and I hope they are groundless, is that Blair got in by saying almost nothing before the 97 election. People did not vote for him (they couldn't there was nothing to vote for) but voted against a toxic Tory brand and perhaps realistically voted for a hedonistic binge. That this binge persisted for another 2 elections is amazing.
I hope that whenever the election comes, we know what we are voting for rather than just vote against an administration that must be a good contender for the sleaziest in British History.
By the way what happened to the post on Labour Sleaze?

It is now time for DC to 'speak to the Nation' and show he can offer leadership and hope for the future after 11 diabolical years under Labour's champagne socialists.The electorate are absolutely depressed at watching the 'fag end' of a shambolic government dither from one crisis to another.There is nothing worse than watching Labour wither on the vine.Brown has had his relaunches, in fact, more than the space shuttle. Time for DC to demonstrate courage, fortitude and tenacity and push for a General Election.

The fact that there are supposed Tories here who can write as Henry Mayhew does " 'Sack Zac!' does have a certain ring to it, though I can't help admiring the man." and this is is echoed by Malcolm Dunn which says loads about why the modern Tory party is rotten at the core.

ZG: defends breaking the law to make a political point doesn't seem to matter to some. ZG: will leave us without electricity for he eschews coal which we've got and with a bit of effort can have again and backs the climate change scam when the world is cooling, and backs the vastly expensive and useless windfarms, - That says the rest.

And Cameron backs this lawbreaking idiot.

ZG is standing for Richmond, the most serious bonkers LibDem stronghold in London . The local Tories voted for him because they thought they needed somebody equally mad to match the LibDem incumbent. I hope he's roundly defeated because we don't need shameless idiots as Tory MPs .

YMT @ 09.08 - ConHom becoming like Chan4, but Chan4 is LibDem - Oh of course THAT is what you meant. Well I certainly agree with you that SOME posters succeed in taking up a lot of space, arguing endlessly from the LibDem angle, we should be used to it since they do likewise....... at any by-election that they can afford to stand in!

Annabel @ 11.21 - I like that analogy!!

London Tory @ 11.21 - First paragraph spot on!

Malcolm Stevas @ 11.56 - You haven't a clue about Sally!!!

As far as being lightweight, as several other posters have said, I can't see how an opposition leader can exactly convince that their policies are heavyweight, or indeed that they are. I suppose some 'prawns' would be impressed a la Prescott, by someone who went round shaking their fists, or making threats in speeches - in yer fayce - to represent trendy heavyweight.....

At the very least David Cameron has managed to unite the party no doubt someone will disagree with that! But it cannot be denied that it is more unified then previously.

Whilst I do not doubt that many people, fed by the press, think Cameron is lightweight, they also thought Mr Brown would make a good PM and parroted that he had made an excellent start last summer. Public opinion is very easily led on these subjective impressions. So long as the perception is not harming his poll ratings, I am not sure it much matters. It would matter of course were he a lightweight personality, stupid etc, but I agree with those who have said above that the determination, focus and ambition with which he has gone about the job of Leader of the Opposition hardly supports that analysis.

That said, although I support the Cameron package overall, and don't have any doubts that he has the gravitas, brains and generally positive instincts to make a good PM, I am increasingly conscious that quite a long list of policy areas is accumulating where I don't have much positive expectation of a Cameron Government, at least based on what has been said so far. It's not just Europe and tax where we may not get the "red meat" us lifer Conservatives might like, but health and education are timid, the House of Lords remains vulnerable, the "English question" may be ducked and the transport policy is lacking. Even on the environment, where (unlike many of this site) I am in favour of strong policies to tackle climate change, we have backed away from such policies. I also find the blanket "pro family" rhetoric rather wearisome, too easily lapsing into a sort of "I have a wonderful marriage and so should all of you" impression.

So in fact in my case I can only put my support for Cameron down to a regard for his personality, intelligence and (I believe) mainstream conservative instincts, rather than for what he has said he will do. In some ways he can get away with lightweight policies, which may well be the right thing tactically, because he is a heavyweight personality.

BTW "Sack Zac" is a silly idea as Zac G, so far as I know, holds no other position than PPC for Richmond Park, for which he was duly selected by that Association. I have never heard it suggested that the flip side of being favoured by a place of the (former) A List is that the Party Leader can then sack you as a candidate if you no longer happen to be his flavour of the month.

snegchui @ 16.05 'My worries, and I hope they are groundless, is that Bair got in by saying almost nothing before the '97 election. People did not know him (they couldn't, there was nothing to vote for).'

I think it is generally accepted now that what people voted for in '97 was a smiling, charismatic salesman! And THAT is what they got!

"Malcolm Stevas @ 11.56 - You haven't a clue about Sally!!!"

Thank you Patsy - I am still laughing my socks off at how wide of the mark he is....

I know Christina Speight @ 16.22, you're right! I can't speak for Henry Mayhew but whilst I may pose as a Conservative I'm a bit of a commie really.

"but whilst I may pose as a Conservative I'm a bit of a commie really."

IMPERSONATOR ALERT! Someone is pretending to be Malcolm!!! The Malcolm I've met isn't remotely like a Commie.... ;-)

Patsy Sergeant:
This is true, but at the moment one line of attack is "David Cameron Heir to Blair", followed by pointing out similarities of behaviour. This plays well in ?% of minds. Am I worrying about it more than I should?
Keeping the spoils of unification and decontamination that Cameron has achieved is important, but at some time addressing the fact why he is a man of substance and not just another salesman is becoming more germane in my opinion.

Sally Roberts writes:
"As for Malcolm - it is not the fact that he disagrees but the tone of his posts and it is not the first time I have observed the acerbic nature of his contributions. .....please don't disaparage the women who run these events - they do a fantastic job and most Conservatives very much appreciate the hard work they put in."
This is trivial. I dare say all those ladies mean well, as do you, but it's not about coffee & sandwiches, or the wellbeing of "The Party," it's about the nature of our creaky political culture. When it seems to me (and I am very far from alone in this) that the major political parties are in effect conspiring to disenfranchise those with core views based on liberty and traditional freedoms, acerbity is necessary. Your own emollient contributions are, well, friendly and encouraging, but don't suggest you are very engaged with ideas, with principles. (Nothing personal - there are zillions of others like you, as we sleepwalk towards a police state.) I don't think most politicians are our friends: I do think that executing a random selection of them, lightweights and otherwise, might be a good idea, to encourage the others. But no doubt you think I'm just being acerbic...

Malcolm Stevas - not interested!

Well, it looks like serious political debate may not be on the agenda at the Tory Conference anyway.
Malcolm Stevas: You really may not know Sally (I am getting to Conference asap) Roberts very well at all.
I am going pub.
"It's back to basics for the Tory conference at Birmingham later this month and that includes, er, lap-dancing clubs. A Birmingham City Council booklet designed to showcase the best of the city for Tory delegates includes discounted entrance to a lap-dancing establishment called The Rocket Club." (Only 5mins from Conference)
From today's Evening Standard

There's going to be so much going on at Conference, Snegchui, I can't promise I'm going to have time to get to The Rocket Club - much as I am always open to new experiences!

I don't care what "weight" Cameron is; I just want a Conservative Government. Once in power, we can sort out the "weights".
Nothing can be done while in opposition!

snegchui signs off on way to pub:
"Malcolm Stevas: You really may not know Sally (I am getting to Conference asap) Roberts very well at all.
I am going pub."

So one or two others have suggested, as has the lady herself. But I'm still waiting, and providing a prod or two, for Sally R to reveal something concrete about her thoughts on, say, political liberty and current Toryism, rather than merely uttering Party-faithful platitudes and accusing critics of being acerbic malcontents.
I am not going pub, I am quaffing some rather pleasant DO Tarragona found fortuitously in the village shop. I wonder, idly, what revelations anyone expects from attendance at the Tory Party Conference.

Not a belated post in the hope of having the last word, but because I sometimes don't get the opportunity of reading the comments earlier in the day!
Whilst the EU dimension does feature quite frequently in Conservativehome comments, one reason for this is that EU implications and regulations do feature in so many of the other issues discussed here, and may directly affect the powers of a new Conservative Government to formulate its policies in these areas.

Doubtless, this blog is also used by some members of other parties to try to influence Conservative thinking, but I think that, provided the comments are reasonably and constructively expressed, this adds interest and value to it, so I like many others, enjoy most of these contributions.

But, I think that it would be a mistake to assume that we "Europebangeroners" are not, in fact expressing the views, or certainly the concerns, of the majority of ordinary grass roots Conservatives and potential new Conservative voters, rather than being an extremist minority of die-hard right wingers.

Of course, in opinion polls, if ordinary members of the public (or even of political parties) are asked to list, in order of priority how they rate, the economy, health, crime, transport, the EU, etc, very few would make the EU their prime concern, since the great majority of them have little or no knowledge of how our membership of the EU affects the various different issues. If, however, they were to be asked whether they wished UK Government policies to take priority over EU policies in each of these areas, the result would probably be very different.

One of the major problems is that the political and financial structures of the EU were, from the outset quite deliberately, set up to be complicated, obscure and extremely difficult to understand, let alone analyse, even for professional politicians, let alone the general public.

Not surprisingly, this has led to a polarisation of attitudes, even within the senior ranks of all three major political parties and hence a tacit collusion not to open this dangerous Pandora's box, which, I believe, is a betrayal, or certainly a failure of honesty, by all of them to their own voters.

I would certainly not wish to see this blog becoming a predominately pro or anti EU forum, however, at the same time I would hope that references to the EU (and subsequent comments, pro or anti) should continue to be included wherever relevant, however frequent this may be.

Malcolm Stevas @ 17.25

You were the one who brought up sandwiches and coffee.

I will debate the economy, the philosophy of conservatism, the problems of the NHS and education with any time, but sadly not on-line, and you can try to keep up with me!

But I suspect you enjoy stirring things up for effect.

Patsy Sergeant:
"You were the one who brought up sandwiches and coffee."
Your point being...?
"I will debate the economy, the philosophy of conservatism, the problems of the NHS and education with any time, but sadly not on-line, and you can try to keep up with me!"
That's nice. Why? I was rather hoping for a more interesting than usual response from Sally R.
"But I suspect you enjoy stirring things up for effect."
In which case, why am I trying so persistently - but failing - to elicit genuine, substantive responses from Sally R - or indeed yourself - to my points about Cameron's credibility, political liberty, the value of post-Blair Conservatism, or what have you - ? It's not for want of trying on my part. I speak as someone who has engaged in considerable correspondence (not just on-line, indeed pre-Internet) over the years with my constituency (Tory) MP and other politicians. It's precisely because I am not just disenchanted with politics but positively angry about it, and concerned for my country and my childrens' future, that I bother to participate in sites like this. And you presume to patronise me by implying I'm just a troublemaker? Par for the course, Mrs Sergeant, and part of the explanation for the disgust felt not just by me but by more people than probably you suspect with the political process - which includes the Tory Party. Debate right here, Mrs Sergeant. Put up, or shut up.

In this spat I think that Malcolm is right. There are too many here who don;t seem to care about WHY one is a Conservative only that because one has decided to back them THEY must be right.

Well, right now THEY are as useful as a greasy wrung-out dishcloth. Certainly they'd be better than the other batch of washed-up wrecks masquerading as a government, But then who wouldn't be?
I suggest you all read - and you Sally in particular -

Who speaks for the Palin constituency in Britain?
This is what’s wrong with politics today. It’s fallen into the hands of professional ploliticians and away from anybody whose beliefs are so strong they determine their action. You can see it in the almost interchangeable young men and women who run the party machines,

Firstly that reinforces the cult of youth. Oh to be an American when a possible future president could be a man with some experience and not one dominated by theories and soundbites.

Why is the BNP gaining ground ? Because nobody speaks for England any more. (A good part of the reason for the SNP’s growth in Scoltland is not its policy of independence which is looked on with grave doubts) but because Alex Salmond speaks for and with the people of Scotland)

This will, I fear, not end happily. Cameron has the opportunity to respond but he doesn’t ‘talk-the-talk’ and - I fear - would not comprehend this article.

Pretty much sums things up accurately, Christina. Plus lots more...

I heard that Sally Roberts was offering free lap dances to Con Home posters at the Rocket Club! The only snag is that you have to produce your Conservative Group for Europe membership card. That rules me out - lol!

I heard that Sally Roberts was offering free lap dances to Con Home posters at the Rocket Club!

I'm pretty sure you couldn't afford her prices, Libertarian - plus I think she's quite selective (LoL)

Sorry, Sally, I couldn't resist - and sometimes humour is the best defence against these people.

Sometimes, you couldn't make them up. On the other hand, if Libertarian was to visit the Rocket Club when I was on duty, we might see just how libertarian he is!!

Christina I trust you read Mary Riddell in today's Telegraph!

I meant, of course, Mary Riddell's article in yesterday's Telegraph!

Good Heavens, I go out for a few hours and all hell breaks loose in here! ;-)

Patsy - thank you for your kind defence! Richard likewise - and you are quite right, I am extremely choosy about such matters....

Libertarian - I am sorry to disappoint you but I shall not be putting on a show at the Rocket Club or anywhere else and if I did, certainly there would be very strict admittance criteria though I probably wouldn't restrict it to Conservative Group for Europe members. I am afraid that UKIPPERS would be barred however.

Malcolm - your pomposity and arrogance knows no bounds. Did you really expect me to jump to reply to your posts as soon as you clapped your hands? I am afraid I am not going to give you the satisfaction of any detailed response (which you may regard as a "cop out" - that is up to you). The fact is that our views are so diametrically opposed (and that accounts for Christina as well) that we would not find common understanding anywhere. Frankly you people have as much in common with modern Conservativism - and indeed with Modern Britain today - as The Addams Family! David Cameron reaches out to those who are not naturally Conservative and addresses their concerns. The kind of views you espouse are very much the reason that the Conservative Party has spent far too long in opposition. Thankfully you people are not the dominant force in our Party and that is why we are now within a whisker of coming back to Government!
As for the "red necks" - they are an American phenomenon not a British one although, Christina, I will certainly read the article out of interest.

Regarding Mary Riddell . Is she in any way related to Peter Riddell of the Times. I ask mainly because PR is a real Blairite and MR seems so simikar in her views.

Sally - You may not have grasped the point namely that the whole problem is bound up with ' modern Conservativism ..today' -It's rubbish and only vestigially Conservative.
I'll vote UKIP in the euros (unless Cameron dares to open his mouth on the subject) but I'm undecided about the General Election. It's possible that my life -long fight against socialism might convince me that Brown going is the top priority but then the Tories seem like neo-socialists to me `and peopled with juvenile activists with no experience at all of real life. A thoroughly 'nasty' party (Was that who the lady meant, I wonder?)

Any ideology that embraces compassion and empathy, which advanced socialism actually does not, will never appeal to people who are insecure in themselves. The implosion of one or two people tonight would indicate to me they are not conservatives but, despite their protestations to the contrary, are very authoritarian and non-libertarian.
Libertarianism has a problem, how small should the state be, and this is where the fun starts, which parts of the state should be small and which parts should be big? Getting an answer could be like getting economists to agree anything.
The state role to me should be about in principle putting itself as overseer to balance freedom to and from, and when the balance gets skewed, becoming a regulator/arbiter.
The role of knowledge, which is power (advantage) is very important, and to me dissemination of as-impartial-as-possible knowledge is a big part of the state role.
To me education is the rock on which all other bits are built, equality of opportunity to education/information (and by implication no boys clubs/ no old school ties , transparency of decision-making)- this enables true rational decisions.
Teaching philosophy and logic once reading and writing are bedded in will produce, perhaps a garrity population, but a population you have to respect.
In Russia, fax machines defeated the coup in 1991, because information could not be suppressed. In days of internet, there is now a new democracy taking place, and it is not a democracy of vested interests as has been, it is a democracy of "I can question you ... and more important you have to answer because bullshit has to work harder".
Now is transitional time, but liberty will get stronger. Will liberty of individual push greater cohesion of Nation States and Federations? In some cases where there is homogeneity, yes. In cases where heterogeneity, probably not. US or UN of Europe will be an interesting battle. The old guard of Europe will go US, the new guard UN. I think UN will win. However opinion.

"Any ideology that embraces compassion and empathy, which advanced socialism actually does not, will never appeal to people who are insecure in themselves. "
Good point, snegchui and it always seems to me that the insecure left take refuge in their collectivism whereas the insecure right tend to resort to a form of collective defensiveness and even mild paranoia!
Tim must be pleased that this thread has generated so much heat (though sadly not much light!) and it is amazing that it has continued to rumble on for so long. I'm going to make this my last post on the subject as I am sensing it is probably coming to a natural stop at this point.

The EU finance ministers meeting in Nice are reported to have rejected a plan to reduce VAT following German objections. They continue to discuss the crisis likely to follow a major failure of a EU based international bank(s).

Cameron is clearly unqualified to fill the PM role in the world now likely to be found in 2010. If the Euro fails to weather the growing international financial storm the whole construct of the EU cannot remain unaffected.

Although in the past I have objected to Kenneth Clarke on the grounds of his eu-fanaticism, self-complacency and obvious laziness - with the EU a possible irrelevance then his strong financial grasp and experience could by 2010 make him the man for the job. Perhaps best as leader of a Government of national unity.

I never thought I might write that!

I must confess, as a Cameron supporter, that the "lightweight" tag irritates me. I have spent much time on blogs telling people policy details have to be thought through - what could be more substantial than waiting until election time comes before diving into policy making and risking appearing inflexible?

I do not know if Mr Cameron is a lightweight or heavyweight, no one knows for sure I suspect. Like it or not, however, we are going to have to face up to a European issue, namely the issue of the European Convention on Human Rights, sooner or later.

It is the Human Rights Act that will stop many of the reforms this party may wish to introduce. You cannot have a safe ordered society without law and order; you cannot have a decent education system without discipline in the classroom. The ECHR has done much to subvert good order and discipline in this country, often brought about through pressure-group actions and politically motivated judicial decisions.

Mr Cameron may decide to remove the Convention from UK law but we will still be a signatory to the Convention, and people will still be able to hold Parliament to ransom by taking their cases (usually the left-wing funded variety) direct to Strasburg as has happened in the past.

We will soon see if Mr Cameron is strong or not in the way he faces down, or not, this pernicious threat to parliamentary sovereignty.

Edward Huxley,

"The EU, particularly the Lisbon Tereaty/Copnstitutio9n (sic). We are all fed up with "We won`t leave it there"."

I am assuming that "all" is defined in this context as yourself?

Edward Huxley is absolutely right. EU membership is the defining issue as to whether DC and the Conservative Party take representative democracy seriously or not.
At present - NOT!
The plain truth is that if about 80% of our laws come to us via the EU machine in Brussels, as is the case, there is no point at all in voting for any of the political parties, except those dedicated to taking us out of the EU.
When will dozy, stupid Conservatives wake up to political reality? We are not masters in our own house, and our politicians mere dupes of the higher hand in Brussels that dictates policy.
I am not a member of any political party, but like 7/8 million ex (lifelong) Tory voters who have deserted the party, we recognise a 'pig in a poke' when see the EU.
The current crop of Tory sycophants are merely political pawns at Westminster - without power, influence, or answers to the anomaly that is the EU.
When will you get it? - this parasitical organisation is compulsory, Unreformable, unaccountable, and completely undemocratic. Only the politically illiterate will continue to cling to the myth that we can somehow live within its grip and still retain our freedoms and values.

Cameron is posturing in the same vein as Blair and in the same way he will ultimtely be found wanting.

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