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ad nauseam ?

"from top to bottom of the party"

Isn't that half the problem there is far to much of a glass ceiling, with those at the top acting as if, and seeming to be out of touch with the mood of the public. If the people at the “top” of the party were not so “in bed” with the bankers and the shoddy shorting traders, who profit what ever happens in the real world, they would be in a position to punish those who have damaged our economy. The truth is those in glass houses really dare not throw stones. Despite all our hard work trying to turn this old beast into a modern electable party, the old Etonians are by their nature stuck in the past with out half a clue about the reality of the vast majority. We have seen how the right man can rise from the bottom right to the top in the US. Why should we put up with these 2nd rate jokers fronting our party for ever. Everything is up for grabs in my opinion, nobody should be in the cabinet simply because of the club’s they are able to pay to remain a member of. George Osborne should go and David should realize that we are unhappy with his "in" club mafia. I don't think we have a snowballs chance in hell of winning the next election without a serious cull of the cronies. The Labour party need only "out" the Bullington club and its game over.

"... The boys in the Bullington Club had male role models yet it didn't stop them from acting like yobs."

Seriously Osborne is a toff to far...

For me:

Willetts was controversial and a bit naive, but unfairly beaten down

Speilman gets what she deserves

Osborne was guilty of thinking that as Chancellor in waiting he needed to court yesterdays Senior Boys, an ex-communist labour minister who likes visiting Russia too much, and gossiping about boring trivia - at a time when he should be concentrating on combating Browns bounce, a man who deserves to burn for what he has done. He should stay, and 'get on with the job' (familiar?). No more chances, if he want's the trappings of power, he better f***ing start acting the part instead of making his 'Headcases' caricature look accurate.

Royally pissed off with him. And thats not because at Crewe & Nantwich he rolled up gave an interview to the press, took my rosette, then went to the local boozer for a 2.5hr lunch then buggered off.

He's a rubbish shadow chancellor he has an open goal in front of him and yet he still can’t score.

“Royally pissed off with him. And that’s not because at Crewe & Nantwich he rolled up gave an interview to the press, took my rosette, then went to the local boozer for a 2.5hr lunch then buggered off.”

Nothing surprises me he looks unhappy and out of his element, really isn’t it time to give the job to somebody who gives a dam. I think young Harper should be groomed for higher office, but I suspect he didn’t have the funds to join the right clubs. He at least is willing to do the required prep before opening his mouth.

The financial times lambasted Cable for flip flopping the other day. Vastly over-rated, only the BBC are keeping his fig leaf in place.

Glenrothes was about Scotland and the SNP - the credit crunch has shown that Scottish independence is an illusion. So where do Scottish votes go now?

Lets not forget there was still a 5% swing against labour

Well in the past George Osborne had to drop bombshells to boost the Conservative Party when Labour were doing well.

Now he may have to drop a few for his own survival, maybe about next month when it's mostly forgotten.

Cable is very personable and that makes him a natural for the left leaning BBC.
He is a class act at a time when there are far to few Charismatic politicians to go around, and lets face it his utterances are of no real consequence as the Liberals are even less electable than we are right now. At a time like this flip flopping is the least of our problems, we have no policies to flip flop about. Cable's claim to recent fame is his Mr. Bean remark, lets hope he doesn’t pigeonhole Osborne so successfully.

It's surprising to see Baroness Warsi at just 16% - she's one of the consistently strong performers in the Shadow Cabinet this year.Osborne should be President of the Party, Clarke back as Chancellor, Gove moved to Home Sec, Spelman in Education and Grieve removed from the team.

"Clarke back as Chancellor"

I could not agree more, he is popular with the public and able to out gun Darling and even Brown...please bring him back.

I agree too, Clarke has been mentioned to me by 'non tory' possible Tory voters literally dozens of times when campaigning, 'I'll vote for him' I've heard again and again: By people who voted Labour '97, '01 & '05, but hey.. f*** that, he's pro Europe, so we, within the party would rather have Coco the Clown, who hates Brussels as leader and Chancellor.

PS... If you want someone who has Brown marked, and had done so way back, e.g. when he was Chancellor and Brown was Shadow, look no further than Ken Clarke....


"I've listened to what the Rt Hon Gentleman has had to say, and I must say, he sounds like the contents of a telephone directory."

For those of us who do now know Brown (and most still don't), this was decades ahead of the most enlightend. Brown is mad. We are in opposition and he is still PM. What does that say about us.

Osborne needs to be moved to party chairman. It would be a position more suited to his claimed abilites and requires a replacement for Spelman - does anyone think she is a fit successor to Parkinson, Tebbit and Patten?

Although I must admit to doubting the existence of Osborne's claimed abilities. Would a skilled politician have been on a luxury yacht with people the average voter regards as deeply dubious? Would a skilled politican have allowed Labour to blame 'world events' for their failed policies?

The fact is Osborne looks like a lightweight in the position where you need substance, strength and experience. Take a look at Osborne - has he ever done a proper day's work in a proper business? Would the average voter want Osborne to be in control of their personal finances or the finances of their employer? I would say not so are they going to be keen to have him in charge of the finances of the country?

A person who got where he is by virtue of inherited wealth and being Cameron's friend will not reassure during the depression to come.

It is rather depressing reading many of the comments on here. For two main reasons.

Firstly Osborne still has enough time to make something of this crisis. Labour has attacked him constantly and we seem to have given into them. He can recover, and get back to the position he was in last year. Now is not the time to start picking apart a united (and despite a few bumps recently) effective shadow cabinet. This brings me on to my second reason. Labour love to attack the infighting that has gripped Tory cabinets before. We simply can't allow them to do this. United parties win elections, not ones who are all over the place.

I don't deny Osborne has his failings, but we shouldn't give up on him just yet. He needs to attack Labour and show some coherent policy on the economy. One thing that has been mentioned on CH several times is bringing back Ken Clarke. Maybe this would be a good idea if he was in an advisory role, but putting old faces back in the shadow cabinet would no-doubt result in Mandelson comparisons. That is something we definitely DONT want! Osborne should hang around for now.

As a party, we need to get some solid policy proposals together, and attack Labour to show their obvious failings. Show leadership, positive ideas, and we can rebuild our lead over Brown and Co. and push towards 2010.

I would agree with you Oberon that Brown is mad, or at least a man obsessed, VERY obsessed! And I can understand, perhaps what is driving all the negative and sour comments about Osborne and sometimes Cameron - the desperate need to get rid of this corrupt government!

BUT. We are told this is the 'time for change', we are told this is the era of youth. We have a new YOUNG American President about to take office, but a fixed-minded middled-aged Prime Minister in our own country, whose ONLY AIM IN LIFE is to stay in office. Our own party - well some of the people on this site belong to it, anyway!!!, does have young people at the top, but of course that isn't enough either. Although they have brought the party back to electability, they are not perfect! So the suggestion is to go backwards is it?

Yes Mr. Clarke is good in hostile interviews, as he can't be stopped (talking), and indeed he may have been prescient in the past and does sum-up the character of opponents, as older people sometimes can, but that doesn't necessarily qualify him for a Cabinet post right now. Is he a 'team' player, I don't think he is. And that fact that he believes that membership of the EU will be our salvation, doesn't matter?, when 64% of people don't want the Euro, and a growing number of people are not so keen on the EU either??

If only Gideon had read PPE and not history like Gordon I am sure all would be well.Or not.

"As a party, we need to get some solid policy proposals together, and attack Labour to show their obvious failings. Show leadership, positive ideas, and we can rebuild our lead over Brown and Co. and push towards 2010."

I totally agree with this.The lack of clear blue water policies is killing us, just when we have a chance. As it is the Brown bounce may not last to long, once the recession really starts to hurt. It would be nice to have some polices to campaign on. This is my main beef with the leadership that and their blessed "in club" the worse we have seen in the last 30 years. I suspect there was worse before that BTW, but that really isn't important. If we can't score hits in this time of crisis then we cannot hope to hold power.

The Biship Swine @ 23.02 I agree with the quote at the top of your comment, and with your own comments, but you have to agree also that this corrupt lot have pinched ANY policies - quite blatantly, LibDem ones as well - anytime ANYBODY has come up with a half reasonable idea. Mind you they have always reduced it to suit their Scrooge beliefs.

So one can understand the reluctance that Cameron and Co. have about airing anything worthwhile or 'new'.

Some people on this site have said before now, what does it matter if some policies are pinched, presumably they mean - just as long as we show we can come up with policies. I don't agree with that, because anything which enables this corrupt to pretend they have something to offer is madness.

And anyway why should WE have to have an inexhaustable supply of good ideas just so that they can be pinched by a load of cretins???

Patsy Sergeant
If Ken's biggest failing is his age we really are in trouble. Lets face it we are an old party at the roots. Gads even I am all of 51. I can't even agree with your rather glib assessment of Gordon Brown as only wanting to stay in power. Brown may be “mad” but he is a conviction madman who holds strong views. Those views are wrong, so his policies are wrong, but he certainly is not holding on to power for it’s own sake, unlike Blair. I would hate to think that the only qualification for a leader was that he be “young”.
Those of us who know the reality of the modern world have come to the conclusion that the European union is an absolutely essential evil, and something we cannot do without. Nobody in this party or for that matter Labour is seriously proposing we join the Euro, but the fact is we can no longer stand alone showing two fingers to the world. The European issue has been a big problem for us for a number of years as you certainly know. To consign one of our strongest players to the back bench’s for the simple act of telling the truth is extremely stupid. Redwood you can sideline forever and nobody will give a dam but Clark is popular with a vast bulk of the British people and its this group who will eventually decide if we are fit to rule. On our current form I would say we will be in a real fight by the time of the general election with every possibility of another bout of in fighting on the cards, but what would I know I middle aged. Now if you need a young man to look up to try Mark Harper, I belive he is the future of this party even more than the Eton in group. Look into his background and I think you will understand my drift. A Star of the near future.

So one can understand the reluctance that Cameron and Co. have about airing anything worthwhile or 'new'.

Yes, but its impossible to campaign without policies. Prehaps we need to start talking about the cuts we will have to make. The trouble is the top of the party comes across more and more as a closed "club" and thats hurting us.

I don't suppose I am typical (but who knows?)

I support osborne in that I believe that he can do the job well, however I am dis-satisfied in that I don't think he is currently doing it as well as it needs to be done, and as well as he is capable of.

(In contrast, I think Brown/Darling are boxing well above their weight, but are still rubbish)

However, I especailly think that bringing anyone 'back' as chancellor would be a disaster -- Clark (as smug as blair) no way!; Redwood (too 'self focused', good adviser, not implementor) no way!

The question is can this man become Chancellor of the Exchequer? Nope.


I am amazed that you think my assessment of Brown's determination to stay in power as being 'glib'. He has illustrated this obssession regularly, if for no other reason than, having waited (impatiently) for ten years to become 'leader', he is not about to give the plum away before, as he would see it, he has made a significant difference to this country, which would be remembered. Surely you can see that as a reasonable hypothesis! That might go some way to explain his reckless spending, as he tries so hard to produce some little bit of Utopia that might MAKE people finally say AAAAHHH! what a wonderful PM we have! And I am NOT being funny, I am a good deal older than you and have spent a lifetime summing people up - accurately! I know that is a very unenglish observation, but even my husband found it useful!

As far as the EU is concerned, the more that I learn about it, the less enthusiastic I feel about it, and I think that the effects of the world recession make work against cohesion in the EU. Ruth Lea in another thread on this site, maintains that some areas of the north European and American banking systems are quite different to the rest of the European banks (I can't remember exactly what she said). But it didn't strike me as being a 'good' thing!

Henry G - you are a troll.

To my mind (and I would think to the minds of many others) what matters is what people are like now - what they did in their formative years is only relevant in as much as it contribed to their character now.

If it is genuinely significant what peeople did in their formative years, then all MPs should be required to publish full details so we can make a rational assesment, rather than jumping on the few we hear about just guessing whether it is better or worse than the rest...

Given the massive secrecy that Mandleson maintains over his recent 'private' contacts with powerful foreigners - there seems to be a long way to go before we can expect politicians to publish details of their early years.

And until we know about all (or at least most) of them you have to be careful about drawing conclusions...

I will not say 'he who without sin...' or 'people in glass houses...' because both encourage a conspiracy of mutual secrecy, rather than an environment of openness and honesty.

So Henry G - what do you think about the story you provided a link to? how does it compare to your life to date?

"Why are we not using Kenneth Clark? He is at least respected by the public and can speak with authority on the economy"

If he wanted to be used he would have been in the Shadow Cabinet from the word go and would have been leader by now because of it. He will not come back, and neither will Redwood either. We are stuck with who we have.

Louise, disagree, if Cameron wanted Clarke in he would get him - and the same goes for Redwood. The difficulty with Clarke is that he is openly pro-european, now I'm not pro-europe, and many see it as a barrier to office, which is an awful stance to me. Clarke is a good politician and has a true ability to overcome Labour opposite numbers, communicate with the public and most of all, they trust him more.

Redwood on the other hand is in some ways the exact opposite. He is one of the few in any party who do truly understand economics at a very detailed level - but as a politician he struggles to engender the important values of trust, stability and collegiate values. Not someone who you invite into cabinet without worries.

If I was Cameron? Make Ken shadow Mandleson.

I do not wish to join in any witch hunt against George Osborne as these discussions are self-destructive for our party.
It is, however, painfully obvious that right now Brown and Darling can say and anything they like with our finances and quote any statistics they please without any real Conservative reply which is fact-based.
The only game in play is the financial one and we seem to be bystanders and not players.
Time to get tough, to get going and to speak with authority and substance. If Osborne cannot do that then he must move over. If he does neither then we may lose the next general election by default.

Oberon Houston, what about David Davis for Shadow Chancellor? He was a good Shadow Minister, the most effective. He correctly positioned the Conservative party on issues like ID Cards and pre-charge detention when the uber modernisers didn't want to oppose Labour's plans. He's a graduate from the London Business school, Harvard, as well as having 17 years experience as a management trouble shooter for Tate & Lyle, he can certainly offer a great deal more than a Modern History degree which is all Osborne can muster.

Iain, strage isn't it, Brown studied history as well !

Not sure what Davis really wants now, he showed big ambition in going for the leadership, but Home seemed to frustrate him - as did being in a Cameron cabinet, which led to him using the ID thing as a way of exiting a Cameron administration. Some of the shadow team I think are doing a good job and showing some enthusiasm for the job, Gove, Hague of sourse, Duncan etc.., but some others seem painfully inexperienced, Villiers I'm afraid seems to be more suited to a School debating competition than the HoC sometimes.

Our recent research has found considerable support for MICHAEL FALLON whose name is never mentioned (although we've not yet read all the above comments)
When we asked for panellists' opinions of the Conservatives in relation to the financial crisis Mr Fallon's recent tv clips via his position on the select committee had been noted. He was seen as 'firm', 'decisive', 'authorative' and beyond 'the yah-boo style of Mr Osborne' to quote random comments.

"Iain, strage isn't it, Brown studied history as well !"

More so when you consider even the people at the bottom of the food chain in the City and Financial services have to have passed an FSA exam just to pick up a phone. Yet we allow the person to set economic policy for the country, which can trash our total wealth not just an investment, to do that without any relevant experience or any relevant qualification.

Osborne is out of his depth - the Tory response to the economic mess has been very poor. They have gone awol.

We desperately need to land some punches on the goverment and set the narrative. It is disgraceful that Brown ( the man who has been responsible for a considerable part of the mess ) has been able to prance around playing the saviour with no challenge. We need to act now.
Bring back David Davies in an economic recovery position - he is popular with the public, not tainted with the failures of the past and good at hurting labour.
We need to move now with a new economic plan or else we will get washed away.

No political upside in getting rid of Osborne for Cameron or the Tories right now, just negative media coverage at the wrong time.
This is not the time to give Brown and Darling an undeserved scalp.
Time for the Tories to grow some cojones and learn to hold their nerve a bit more.

John Redwood thinks its Time for Tories to support George Osborne

"The BBC are up to their usual games, seeking to undermine a top Tory.
Conservative supporters should ask themselves why Labour, Mr Mandelson and the BBC are so keen to foment the Osborne story.
It’s because George has a good political mind and is important to Project Cameron. Life would be a lot easier for Labour if they did destabilise George.
So, Conservatives, don’t let it happen."

I don't see how how moving George to be party Chairman would destabilise Cameron at all. It would mean we would have a strong gifted Chairman who would be in the frontline of political debate in preference to the current invisible holder of the position.

Sack Osborne and replace with Ken Clarke

One underlying question, indeed arguably the true theme of this thread. Is it really considered better to look good than to sound good?

Now that John Redwood has come out in support of george staying where he is - that should be an end to it (except amongst the trolls...).

Now can someone put together an official conservative fact sheet on browns failings? Bullet points to include reliable figures for debt as a %age of GDP etc. all to be agreed/signed off by Osborne, Redwood, Clark and anyone else who the tories consider reliable on finance?

I think such a 'charge sheet' would be a good start. And it would allow all conservatives to bang home the same official line at every opportunity...

Cameron and Osborne seem to lack judgement. Frankly I'm sick of them both.

No judgement, no substance, no chance.

" I don't see how how moving George to be party Chairman would destabilise Cameron at all."

Malcolm, that is why the Westminster party failed to understand the lingering damage done politically to the Tories by their behaviour during New labour's first two parliaments.

Quite simple, we are out of the news right now, but that is all. Its not surprising given the media narrative, the Tories are not getting the media spotlight, buts its a hit worth taking right now.
We ran the very real risk of being seen as opportunistic right at the height of the banking meltdown. Cameron and Osborne warned that our polling figures might dip right at the start of this.
As it is, apart from a couple of polls we remain at 40%+, that has got to vindicate that strategy at that time.

It amazes me that some on here cannot, or will not understand the political fall out and damage moving Osborne would have for both Cameron and the party. If we thought that they had a feeding frenzy over Osborne's visit to that yacht, just think about the impact on Cameron this would have. We are out of the limelight, and many on here would love to see us back at the top of the news for all the wrong reasons at this crucial time.
Just like the old days.

It would be the biggest gift possible to Brown and his government at this moment. They are enjoying a small polling bounce which is benefiting them in their heartlands.
If the Tories start to undermine one of their top politicians while the economy is tanking, it will the same old Tories behaving in the same old way. Naval gazing and inward looking at a time when they should be concentrating on putting together their own economic rescue plan for the next GE.

John Redwood's comments are among the top 10 most sensible things said in politics this week, in my opinion. On the other hand, some of the messages posted in this thread, and the replies over on Redwood's site too, are so close to being what Labour would like us to be saying that one becomes a little suspicious.

There is no point in us making a big presentation on the economic crisis. The short term way ahead is basically a firefight anyway. Anything more broadly based is going inevitably to involve putting money towards things that aren't priorities and, as it has been firmly established, money is becoming a rare commodity.

In the medium term, we are going to have to tighten our belts, rebuild the national balance sheet, and regulate the finance industry, not necessarily more but certainly better. But nobody is going to be able to say with any honesty that the general economic health of the nation is palpably better for probably five years. These points, and of course the one about having gone into the problem struggling under a debt mountain 100% of Labour's creation (without, I might say, anything very positive to show for it) I think have been got over to the general public pretty effectively. We just need to keep on doing it. Gently broadening the point to include questions about those bits of government expenditure that achieve nothing, gain no jobs and simply pour money down the drain might help. Osborne did this well with the government PR expenditure at conference time, and a bit of a push on the cost of ID cards now would probably engage the public's minds as well. One thing is certain. This is the last moment of all to lose focus, become inward looking and tinker with the team.

None of this is to say that there aren't lessons to be learnt. Handling the media, especially the BBC, is one big area. How the BBC built up the Deripaska story was a scandal rivalling even Ross-Brand-Manuel, but we get no traction at all from simply saying that. Cable is getting air-time and exposure as if he was an independent commentator: we need to have a way of managing that. Whenever one of our guys gets on the air to be interviewed - well, count the times he actually manages to finish a sentance without interruption; it's a very small number! That needs to be sorted out too. In short, we do more damage to ourselves by failing to be 100% in control of how we appear on the media than anything to do with the specifics of our handling of the economic question.

JohnfromCamberley @ 16.31 - Your last paragraph says all the things that I would like to have done, but didn't come up with! I don't know HOW we get around this media block, but we must.

It is in fact quite shocking that in a so-called democracy ONLY the party in power gets more or less uncritical interviews on public terrestrial TV and radio.

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