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"Never has rebelliousness been so richly rewarded.
It won't be long before Clarke is holding the party to ransom again."

You can stop trying to fly that old kite! Clarke did not hold the party to ransom, but I know a bunch of Eurosceptics who did, and we rewarded one of them with the leadership for gods sake!

Now IDS is one of the party's biggest assets, as is Ken Clarke.

Cameron's best move yet.

"Was it Lord Kalms who said he would withdraw funding if Clarke gets back in, plus I am sure there was another big donator who said the same.

Posted by: A Tory | January 18, 2009 at 23:22"

Stuart Wheeler too!

If we do not get a majority at the next election, I think we may have found the point were cetain members of the party will say the arse fell out of the job.

I still cannot believe he done it this side of the Euro Elections....mind boggling.

What the hell are we going to do at the Euro Elections,with this Euro crank in the shadow cabinet.

Do what you did at the last European election. If you think Clarke is going kill the vote then you don't understand how and why people vote for MEPs.

I thought the leadership was listening to us, I thought this website was our tool to be heard.

This is a private, non-CCHQ blog. What gave you the impression this was a fast-track to the ear of the leadership? And please do not be so arrogant to believe you represent most of the Party - a lot of people like Clarke or are willing to give him a chance.

Are we that scarce in political heavyweights to bring a man from the last landslide defeat in as our headline move in the re-shuffle.

Oh ho, so it's all his fault was it? I don't remember Hague doing much better but no one here is complaining about his inclusion in the Shadow Cabinet because of the 2001 result. Indeed I don't see anyone from GE winners there.


Tommy, I don't mind Redwood that much but deep-blue members need to realise the general public see him as a bit of a prat/weed. "John Redwood" isn't an answer to any problem.

Defector - I knew there were two big names, apparently there were a few unamed ones as well.

Most of the good things in life are worth a risk.

I'd like to pop over to South Nottinghamshire to congratulate Ken Clarke, and try a local ale with Ken Clarke in one of the fine South Nottinghamshire villages.

We're not going to join the Euro, or sign the constitution.

Ken's sharp, quick ability to expose lazy thinking, and rounded common sense, will be very powerful, and a huge net plus.

We need David Davis back on the front bench aswell.(I strongly support Dominic Grieve aswell, so there would no doubt be other changes if this happened, and, of course, it's up the David Cameron to decide).

A Tory, Ken Clarke's return was supported by 50-41 amongst members polled by ConHome, so how is that Cameron "ignoring" the members?

And if you're so worried about the Sun, surely if they care about Europe that much, they won't want a Labour government re-elected with people like Mandelson, Hoon and Miliband running things will they?

The EU is a non-issue for voters. The economy is the only policy area in town and Ken Clarke will smash Labour on that.

"John Major signing the Maastricht Treaty pushed this once rock solid Conservative supporter to becoming a Referendum Party candidate, then to UKIP. Every Conservative leader by their actions has ensured this natural Tory has never gone back to his natural political home."

And how has that move worked out for you Derek?
Give me a break, you are not a rock solid Conservative supporter, or a natural Tory, and haven't been for years. So why are you on here moaning about an appointment to the Shadow Cabinet of another party?

This is good news. The man who supported Labour's VAT cut and has reasonable views on the EU will over-shadow Osborne, and a few more Europhobic Tories will switch over to UKIP, and good riddance to them. There is no way you can be Shadow Business Secretary without your policies being formed by your position on the EU, so it should cement the "talk hard, bend over" position that is Tory policy on the EU.

When did Lord Kalms last donate money? As far as I'm concerned he hasn't for a while and neither has Stuart Wheeler but they like their place in the sun.

I'm happy to be provern wrong but shouldn't they be called ex donors?

What fantastic news.

Ken Clarke as shadow business secretary is exactly what is needed in areas such as mine, Coventry and indeed the greater West Midlands.

Ken has the ability to speak plain english, and will reach out and make a vast difference to the many small businesses in the Midlands.

As a self employed business man myself, I really look forward to seeing Ken go to town on Mandleson, and the Labour Government, who just don't care one bit that day by day businesses are suffering and going under. They do nothing for us self employed people at all, with the exceprion of binding us with endless red tape and making it more difficult to earn a decent living.

David Cameron will certain gain the votes of thousands floating voters in marginal Seats such as the one I live in (Coventry South) now he has Ken Clarke in place.

It will be interesting to see how Clarke manages to speak for British business while welcoming all the rubbish from his friends at the EU that is killing it.

It's not just Europe!

Clarke was the Chancellor who presided over massive cuts in the armed forces, cut the overseas development budget and helped abolish the married couples allowance.

I've b een sitting on the fence on this...i really cant decide what i best.

But what i do know is this has happened now...so lets please go with it, support the decision (publically at least) and think about the positives. One of those being he's more than a match for the Prince of Darkness!

Unless KC is very foolish, this will only become a divisive issue if we let it!

Im sure a 20 point poll lead which i expect in Feb will cheer every one up!

Can we now have Davis and Mercer back too?


'THE BBC website doesn’t appear to have it yet, but Iain Dale does: Ken Clarke is returning to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Business Secretary.

This is a very clever move by Cameron; KC is undoubtedly the biggest of the Big Beasts. He’s still (I assume) popular among the electorate and has that priceless quality for a politician: he comes across as an ordinary bloke. He speaks Human and doesn’t sound – has never sounded – like a political “Speak Your Weight” machine.

And try as I might, I can’t actually come up with a plausible reason for criticism. Damn, hate it when that happens.'

Better late than never.
Ken balances the ticket. Resolutely non PC, he eats, drinks and smokes too much and enjoys a little out of fashion bebop at Ronnie Scott's.
He was the guy who left a golden legacy to the hapless Brown, who systematically squandered it. He will have many opportunities to remind viewers/listeners how we have gone downhill since 1997.
Move over Vince. Listen to the master!

"A Cllr" shows his typical Cameroon ignorance. The moron has not even read the threads on this blog in recent weeks. Stuart Wheeler gave the Conservatives £54k, the largest single donation, in the last quarter. Just check the Electoral Commission's website.

Ken Clarke said: "I just can't wait until the British parliament is a debating chamber of Europe."
Who can deny that the major winner in all this is Gordon Brown? Oh what mischief will be made by any Labour MP who is interviewed in the future. THEY can't wait for the British parliament to disappear either!
People posting here are so blinkered. The European elections are less than 5 months away, plus Ireland will vote again in the autumn on the Lisbon Treaty - which Clarke supported. Joining the euro is back on the agenda. Do you REALLY believe that Clarke, with his enormous ego, will keep his mouth shut?

Well over 1 0 0 comments in under 2 hours. Clarke is box office !

Then I am happy to be proved wrong. When did Lord Klams last donate?

I'd rather have more parliamentary seats than 45k from Stuart Wheeler.

This will either be the conservative party's challenge to gain a win or it will be a sure way to let Labour gain a 4th term in the next general election

Ken Clarke back where he belongs AND NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON! Will you overly Eurosceptic old men be quiet and stop rocking the boat.

Especially Lord Tebbit will the noble Lord please allow for party unity.

Cameron and Clarke have agreed to disagree on Europe. Can you think of anyone better to have fighting our corner on the economy than Ken Clarke? Then forever hold your peace.

He will of course be shadowing Lord Mandy. How hard can it be to dismantle a man who's been involved in so many fiascos it's made him likable as a teflon cartoon character. Mandy will sort out his own downfall if you give him time. How he ever got back into government is amazing.

I'm quite sure Peter Mandelson could be convicted of murder one day and the next night seen eating quietly with friends at a West London restaurant. Go at him Ken!

Don't forget that several donors, including Stuart Wheeler, have said they will donate less money to the Tory party if Clarke is brought back. Seems like Cameron has held up 2 fingers to these good people.

Excellent news. Hopefully a little less green speak and a bit more realism on the economic foibles of Mr Brown and his mottley crew.

We shouldn't be beholden to stuart wheeler or any other donor.

UKIP congratulates David Cameron on bringing back Ken Clarke. Just look at his record

Supported Britain joining the ERM.

Advocated Britain joining the Euro.

Voted against against Britain having a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

More please!!!!!!

We'll get 30% plus in June.

And btw, 'Felicity Mountjoy' what a name. Marry me!

Clarke accepts the Party's position on the Euro, the EPP and the Lisbon Treaty.

Has anyone got any idea what those positions are?

I'd be interested to know.

Clarke claims he wants to maintain his Party-opposing views on these issues. Could he explain how being in the Euro would help British business? Could he explain how EU regulations are meant to be helping British business?

Really it's a joke. Clarke's done more than anyone to cripple our economy by blocking any serious opposition to the EU's business-crippling ways.

Perhaps that's what his appointment is meant to be - a joke.

Except I can't quite bring myself to laugh. The losses to Britain's economy have been so vast and so destructive of our way of life, that really he should be burned at Traitor's Gate, not paraded by the Conservative Party as their dear old EU-treacherous mascot.

When the history of Britain's decline gets to be told, Clarke should have a chapter all to himself.

And now he's got his hands on a nice juicy little earner as Business Secretary, where he can negotiate more fat pay-offs for himself. Writing as a businessman sick to the back teeth of what Clarke and his EU chums have done to wreck our once great economy, he can rot in hell as far as I'm concerned.

He certainly doesn't represent the views of any business people I've ever met. Every time I see him or hear him I squirm. He should be turfed out with the garbage.

UKIP won't get anywhere near 30%. Sorry but Europe isn't the big issue.

"We shouldn't be beholden to stuart wheeler or any other donor.

Posted by: A Cllr | January 18, 2009 at 23:44"

Embarrassed that I exposed your ignorance? The Tory To**ers from CCHQ are out in force tonight!

Nope, I said that I would be happy to be provern wrong and I am happy to be provern wrong.

How much has Lord Kalms donated then?

UKIP defector is in Gloy Plopwell mode.

"UKIP won't get anywhere near 30%. Sorry but Europe isn't the big issue.

Posted by: A Cllr | January 18, 2009 at 23:47"

We are getting three times the poll ratings that we did at the same stage in 2004. Dig deeper you sad CCHQ troll!

Kennsth Clarke's return to the front bench ensures that I shall not vote Conservative vote he remains there. Might as well vote for Europe and have done with it.

I am a long-standing euro-sceptic Tory, proud and (only just) old enough to have voted "No" in 1975, although now would not come out and v happy with the settled Hague/Cameron line.

But I am pleased about this. We desperately need someone with "bottom" on the economy. It's a tad embarrassing that Vince Cable is so often more convincing than our own Shadow Chancellor despite the fact that Cable is fairly light weight really and plays to the gallery for the soundbites like few others (e.g. as if the latest collapse in UK bank shares in the light of the Bank of America has anything to do with the short selling ban coming off here!). But he has the whiff of experience and economic knowledge - as Clarke does. Clarke can go on Newsnight and crush Cable (and almost any Labour Minister too).

It would, however, be increbibly stupid for Euro-sceptics like me to vote UKIP this time in the Euro elections as it would play right into Clarke's hands on the issue. In contrast, if we do well, then Cameron etc can say - look, Ken, people like our line.

Good old Ken. You can't keep a good man down, they say, and it appears to be true. Like him or loath him, you must admit that the man is a political heavy weight, and that is something that the Tory party have been sadly lacking in, in recent years.

There has been far too much focus on Cameron and Osbourne over the past 12 months. This will take some of the political attention away from them, and allow them to make mistakes without it being plastered all over the media. It may well turn out to be an unintentional master stroke by the Tory leadership.

As a member of the Conservatives since 1975 I'm leaving tomorrow and joining UKIP . Cameron has now blown it for me ! how dare he after lieing about taking us out of the EEP . Grrrrr

This will have tragic consequences. A return to the politics of a generation ago when Labour were making the running and the so-called 'big beasts' specialised in making the tory party as unpopular as they possibly could - some sort of macabre competition to see who could lose the most votes for Margaret Thatcher.

I support David Cameron's leadership but this has been a bad decision which may yet bring David down!

Conservatives have just thrown away the next election - watch and see!

Overall voting intentions for next June's elections are (with 2004 actual voting percentages in brackets):

Conservatives 35% (26.7%)
Labour 29% (22.6%)
Liberal Democrats 15% (14.9%)
UKIP 7% (16.1%)
Greens 5% (6.3%)
BNP 4% (4.9%)

Only 16% want to leave the EU completely.

As a member of the Conservatives since 1975 I'm leaving tomorrow and joining UKIP

Good. The Tory party shouldn't waste it's time with people who can't stand differing POVs. Next thing would be you insisting everyone signs up to leaving the EU.

Why do the nutters always come out on this site when announcements like these are made? If this moves means that for every person who 'pretends' to move to UKIP we get an extra 1000 voters in each marginal seat then I'd call it a fair swap!

@ David Melville

Ken Clarke is the most rebellious Tory MP. How are the Whips going to discipline Tory MPs now?

BTW, Gloy Plopwell is Joe James B's invention, not mine!

"As a member of the Conservatives since 1975 I'm leaving tomorrow and joining UKIP ."

Right so you were a member when we signed maastricht treaty, when Major wouldn't committ to a referendum on the Euro and when Clarke was in government as the 2nd most powerful man in politics but now you want to leave?

A Cllr: "We shouldn't be beholden to Stuart Wheeler or any other donor?" So, are YOU going to fund the next general election campaign? Where the hell do you think the money is going to come from? Please don't forget that Mr Wheeler also brought a court case against the government, arguing that voters should have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty - which Clarke voted against. Yes, Clarke loves the EU more than he does the British people.
Also: "Europe is not a big issue." So why has almost every post mentioned it?
You are so supportive of Clarke that I think you must be a Labour voter!

"He's a vote-winner..Posted by: Michael | January 18, 2009 at 22:26"

"You can kiss my vote goodbye Mr Cameron... the boy's at Bilderberg obviously got their way then.
Posted by: Essexboy | January 18, 2009 at 22:26"

Two contrasting views on this astonishing story! In their own ways they reflect the obvious truth about this decision. As a candidate I think I'll have to invent a nom de guerre before I could possibly comment on why!

Michael McGough just about hits it on the head though... (Hello Mick!)

Why do the nutters always come out on this site when announcements like these are made?


a) some are Labour trolls trying to pretend real members are unhappy.

b) others are scared they're not being listened to and hope threats will create a U-turn.


When only 16% of people want to leave the EU in this country that tells you that the EU isn't a big issue.

As for money - well our donor team say they have it in hand, they are pretty big hitters.

Name for me please the other donors who have donated money in the last 12 months who are now refusing to donate money?

The only people talking about Europe are the sad people from UKIP who can't seem to grasp that it isn't a big vote winner.

We have gone to the right and we were thrashed 3 times, do you think that banging on about Europe now will suddenly give us a 200 seat majority?

I love the "threats" to vote/join/cuddle UKIP that seem to get poster what seems to be all the time, it's like the poster(s)/trolls actually think its going to do something

DC - "Sh*t! Jason Baker is going to join UKIP George!, We must do what he wants! And get 'UKIP defector' back too! Quick to the policy room team"

I would like to point out to the a-retentives that this is only fiction!

I can't make up my mind whether this is a cataclysm or just a catastrophe.

Clarke has contributed N O T H I N G to the revival of the party; he is intolerant of other Conservative opinions; is prone to throw his weight around in a bullying fashion and undermining party leaders; has a lifelong record of putting his fanatical adherence to extreme forms of EU integration ahead of loyalty to party and country; and he baulks not at siding with our enemies when given a chance to promote this agenda.

Disunited parties never win. Cameron is including an unpredictable and uncontrollable schemer with little to lose in the Shadow Cabinet, one with his own agenda and no record of loyalty to anyone or anything outside Brussels. It gives the Right justified cause for suspicion and resentment, opening the one critical faultline that could split the party.

Sadly is is also proof that Cameron is capable very bad judgement on very important strategic issues.

A black day indeed for the Conservative Party.

If 100 people defect it is no great loss because we will gain more voters and more supporters through having Clarke in the team.

Winning is what matters, not being part of a debating society.

"We are getting three times the poll ratings that we did at the same stage in 2004. Dig deeper you sad CCHQ troll!"

Wrong, as Mike Smithson pointed out recently on PB.com!

Boost for main parties in EU election poll

"With the next EU elections due to take place at the start of June there’s a first poll, from YouGov in the Sunday Telegraph, which suggested that both Labour and the Tories are going to do better then they did last time.

These are the figures with comparison on the 2004 EU election result:- CON 35 (+8): LAB 29 (+6): LD 15 (NC): UKIP 7 (-9): GRN 5 (-1): BNP 4: SNP/PC 4

Polling for what’s likely to be a low-turnout election this far out is always going to be challenging and it will be recalled that in 2004 YouGov startled everybody by predicting a massive share for UKIP which did not quite materialise. The pollster had them on 21% - they got 16% which did, however, put them in third place."

And Mike poised the question, "But will YouGov be overstating UKIP again?"

If they have, you are at risk of losing most of your MEP's. At the moment, you are fighting to survive in the EU Parliament, never mind retain your third place.

not the best idea in the world.

Sadly I'm almost expecting the BNP to do better than UKIP in the European elections....

"A Cllr" must have read the Yougov poll in the Sunday Telegraph a week ago. He/she read it wrong as only 16% want to stay in the EU as it is. Most want a free trade agreement only or have nothing to do with the EU.

45% say that none of the 3 main parties represent their views on the EU. That will rise, especially amongst Tory voters, when Clarke returns to the Shadow Cabinet.


umm.....just a thought for some of you guys. You do know that being a Tory isn't about being anti-EU. There are a lot of Tory party members who actually believe in a free market economy and the EU and joining the Euro would be the pinnacle of that philosophy. This isn't an idea which is totally alien to the Conservative Party, despite the rhetoric coming for the leadership.

Sorry Chris D, Mike Smithson is a pro EU, Lib Dem lackey.

Yougov's poll in March 2004 gave UKIP only 3% in March 2004. That rose to 16% on polling day.

Given UKIP's media blacckout over the last three years, 7% is fantastic at this stage.

UKIP will have four election broadcasts this year too!!

"Where is the evidence that the public love KC". (says john broughton).

Oh dear John, you should get out more. For the political middle ground his praises can be heard in any bar or taxi cab in the land. His most important asset is he was right about Iraq and not fooled by the Blair lies and the US. Unclear if the "off to UKIPs" above are actually NuLab trolls, they are certainly not important nor are they winners. A party that cannot use KC (and even DD) is not a party the floating voter wants to vote for. KCs personal views on Europe are an irrelevance because DC is going to ensure (if he has any sense at all) that we get a referendum. THAT is one of the other issues about which much of the non aligned public are united and can be heavily used against Brown. DC must show that he can command a Cabinet of all the talents and all strands of opinion. This is a good start.

I lay down a challenge to all Tories who would consider joining UKIP. If anything should "force" you to make the "difficult" decision to switch this should be it.

Resign and go join them within the next week. Anyone who posts that they'll join UKIP after a week is up will be an obvious troll planning to cause trouble.

You have your banner to flock to - go to it!

I don't see how Clarke's appointment undermines our European policy. He does not decide that policy and I sincrely doubt Cameron is going to change it.

I suspect a lot of the "OMG not Ken Clarke, I will now be voting UKIP!" posts are by either (a) Labour trolls or (b) Eurosceptics who aren't prepared to wait and see how this plays out because they have got it into their heads that Clarke is an all-powerful AntiChrist who will turn the party left.

A Cllr:
A recent poll showed that 64% of voters want "significant loosening of Britain's ties with the EU."
Also, 75% of voters think that politicians do not stand up for their interests in Europe; 71% think there should be a referendum on whether the UK remains in the EU; and 83% disagree that EU law should override national law. Do you think that Clarke is therefore out of touch with public opinion?
Sorry, I can't name any other donors as no names have been given, but it is said there are several.
Incidentally, Blair is re-emergung as the potential first President of the United States of Europe. Great! Clarke could help bring this about!
The situation with regard to the EU is very different now to what it was even during the last GE. Thousands get the daily bulletin from Open Europe (www.openeurope.org.uk) and now know exactly how our country is being stolen from us. You must know that immigration is a major problem in most parts of the UK, and people now realise that much of it is because we are members of the EU. That is one reason why more and more people want us to leave. But we will probably have to wait until June to convince you!

ChrisD complains that I am not a natural Tory supporter, despite the fact I only ever voted Tory from the age of 21 right through to the disaster that was John Major's Premiership. I did not leave the Tory Party, it left me. How did it work out in UKIP? Very well indeed, I am now with a party that has a strong belief in what it is doing and sticks to its principles.

The Tory Party ceased to exist when it stabbed Margaret Thatcher in the back when she awoke to the dangers of membership of the EU - and guess who was one of those treacherous back stabbers was? None other than Ken (the Euro fundamentalist) Clarke. Watch your back Cameron.

"45% say that none of the 3 main parties represent their views on the EU. That will rise, especially amongst Tory voters, when Clarke returns to the Shadow Cabinet.


Since when did Clarke decide Conservative European policy?

Judging by the "hahahahahaha!!!!!" you are about 12 years old. What a great advert for UKIP you are.

So do the Conservative party.

Listen I don't like the EU either.

But is it better to have a euro spectic Conservative government which says no to any further powers and no to the Euro?

Or a Labour government that wants the Euro and denies the people a vote on Lisbon?

"16 per cent of voters want Britain simply to withdraw from the EU, while 48 per cent would like to see a much looser relationship, with the government taking back powers from Brussels and ending the supremacy of the European Court of Justice over British law.

Added together this makes 64 per cent in favour of weakening Britain's ties with the EU, compared with just 22 per cent in favour of keeping the UK's current full membership including the Lisbon Treaty, which was passed by parliament without a referendum.

Asked if they favoured joining the euro, in the wake of the slump in the value of the pound which at one stage brought it close to parity with the single European Currency, 64 per cent said No, with 24 per cent backing euro membership, a finding broadly in line with a BBC opinion poll earlier this month.

In the first study of voting intentions for the European parliamentary elections in June the Tories are on 35 per cent, six points ahead of Labour on 29 per cent with the Liberal Democrats on 15 per cent and UKIP on 7 per cent. Then come the Greens (5 per cent), the British National Party (4 per cent) and nationalist parties in Scotland and Wales (also 4 per cent). "

UKIP are on 7% and only 16% of the country wants to totally leave the EU.

I'll wager you that you will be soundly beaten in the euro elections - in fact I'll bet you ten of our great british pounds.

and again I state only 16% want to leave the EU Doreen.

I feel sorry for you that you cannot accept that the country doesn't agree with you.

And again please name for me all these donors who will stop donating money now?

Richard J, I am just enjoying the Tories on here defend the appointment of Thatcher's chief backstabber.

I look forward to the Conservative Way Forward careerists, most of whom sold out their principles to the Cameroons, choking on their cornflakes tomorrow morning.

Anynone who thought that Dave and Gideon were Eurosceptics have just have a massive reality check.

Wake up and smell the coffee. Dave is the new Harold MacMillan!

"And again please name for me all these donors who will stop donating money now?

Posted by: A Cllr | January 19, 2009 at 00:18"

Go to the Electoral Commission website. There are hundreds!

I just wish Duncan could now be given the shadow chancellor job.

Osborne could be shunned to chairman and we can ditch Spellman

Right so you can't name them Ukipper?

And when did Lord Kalms last donate?

The fact is a small minority of people are put out but the majority are happy.

Why is that so hard for you to accept?

I do feel sorry for you.

Certainly, the Conservatives will gain from a very well known and strong public communicator. The plan is clearly less prominence for Osborne, and much more for Hague and also Clarke, which suggests a lot of concern at the top about the similarity of Cameron and Osborne's profiles and backgrounds making the Tory party seem much too narrow.

This will also be welcomed by pro-Europeans in all parties. Clarke will be unsackable by Cameron, and it was recently reported that he is aware of that. I am sure the Tory party's instincts will remain strongly Eurosceptic, but Clarke's portfolio will make him something of a balancing voice in the detail of policy and politics.

How much that matters may depend whether the government makes Europe more prominent this year, having been fairly defensive on it. I think they will, but can not be sure. Partly the issues of the crisis, especially ahead of the G20, and also on climate change this year; partly Mandelson's return means a strong pro-EU axis with Miliband. And the Tory sceptics may struggle to convince their leadership to take as strong a line as you want where the government is being pro-EU on an issue the public care about (eg financial system, environment, energy); and where Obama is taking a similar line.

In those circumstances, Clarke would be one more factor in the balance, but it may also come to be a difference of opinion between the grassroots and the leader about how important a eurosceptical challenge to particular developments in some of these areas. It will certainly be interesting!

I'm anti-federalist but when I met Ken I thought he was really excellent. He's been working hard for this party for years.
As an anti-federalist Conservative loyalist there's nothing I despise more than youKippers.
Ladies and Gentlemen let's slip on those suedes, light up those cigars and march into the sunlit uplands together! Hurrah!

Mandy AND Clarke with the Business Brief!!
It must be an EU plot to remove any eurosceptics from the June election and thus reduce the overall UK turnout so more of the loony fringe parties gain euro seats!

I agree totally with Steve Foley's remarks above. I am Euro-Sceptic to the core, but I fully support Cameron in bringing Ken on board. The guy is a brawler, and a bruiser. He has watched the economic legacy, that he helped create, squandered by an incompetent bunch of economic iliterates. He more than most will articulate the country's anger at the vandalism that has taken place under Labour.

I know that Ken's Europhile views are sincerely held and I don't agree with them. However, at this moment in time I prefer to focus on what I do agree with him, of which there is a considerable amount.

Welcome back Ken. Let's get down to business.

Just to be helpful, I though I should highlight the other side of this equation -

Alan Duncan is no longer part-time wise... Hopefully he isn't going to be full-time ignorant...

I hope Cameron will be pulling out of the EPP ASAP to demonstrate that he hasn't gone soft on europe...

Clarke will help economic credibility and although he is crazy over Europe on balance this will probably work out alright.

As for joining the euro. anybody on the blog who has paid the slightest attention (which some people above clearly haven't) to the looming catastrophe reaching another climax today and this week will know that there is little likelihood that the euro will survive in its present set up for more than a month or two. Riots in Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Greece, near bankruptcy in Spain, Italy and Ireland and with a senior Irish economist today suggesting that Ireland quits the euro. The udea of us jnoining it when it would be the last straw is ludicrous.

My worry is about Cameron's essential trivialityand his espousing of a Green agenda while the shikp sinks looks like the world's worst judgement

"Why is that so hard for you to accept?

I do feel sorry for you.

Posted by: A Cllr | January 19, 2009 at 00:39"

I do accept Ken Clarke's return. I am overjoyed that millions of Tory voters will lend UKIP their vote at the Euro elections in June.

It's the Tory Eurosceptic MPs and activists that I feel sorry for. Thet have been duped by Cameron (aka Lord Snooty) and his Europhile chums.

Do you honestly think that Fox, Redwood, Chope, Cash et al will take this slap in the face without a reply in kind? Prepare for Tory civil war!!

Dredging up past-retirement age politicians from distant discredited governments who carry with them loads of baggage is a sign of desperation and of a lack of available talent.

Labour will have a riot quoting Clarke's statements from 25 years of hard-boiled statements and (untruthfully) warning the public that this is a return to the nasty Tory party of old. They'll drive a wedge between him, Cameron and the party, Mandelson is highly skilled at this, he'll run rings round Tory policy on Europe and the Euro.

Ken doesn't understand or use contemporary media and has zero appeal to the young voters the Tories need. I think he'll remind voters under 45 that the Tory party really is the party of the elderly and out of touch.

Excellent news. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. This demonstrates how serious we are about getting ready for and getting into power.

Now, who else to bring back? John Redwood as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Sir Malcolm Rifkind as Shadow Justice Secretary, and David Davis as Shadow Leader of the House?

Excellent news. Remember (Lord) Heseltine's performance in the '92 General Ekection - it was a brilliant contribution. I think this is the best move the Conservatives have made for some time. Go Ken!

First, congratulations, you beer swilling, cigar smoking, old windbag. You told me once in Tiverton, Devon to mind my own business when I asked you how much you earned as a non-exec for BAT. I thought then - and still think now - that that is the sort of straight talking this Party needs.

So far as the economy is concerned, I suggest that you were ahead of your time in suggesting that we scrap the pound.

Although, like many readers here, I have always been a Euro sceptic the question I feel that I must ask myself in the current climate, is: 'What use is the Pound any more?'

Cameron and Osborne need to stop saying 'Never' and start thinking about the benefits that a combined Pound and Euro would bring. The new Euro could even track the US Dollar - or how about vice versa?

I can think of two immediate benefits such an approach brings to the Western economies: 1. Confidence and 2. Stability.

This, of course, leaves BRICs [Brazil, Russia, India and China] in an interesting position...but for Europe and the US the downward spiral suddenly reverses. Securitisation turns global.

Sorry - typo - I put ekection for election.

It's a bold move.

Who dares... wins.
Cameron dares. He will win.

Tim I used to enjoy this site but you have to admit that in recent months and weeks it has become home to a tiny minortiy of wierdos and crazy people the party is better of without, tonights comments prove it.(One of the people in the comments suggests bring back KC is a Blidenberg conspiracy...give me strength)Its such a shame Tim, why have you let it go this way?

PS.Bringing back Ken Clarke was the right move, no doubt. Even if I dont share his views on the EU.


Bilderberg - both Osborne and Clarke are regular attenders and have registered their participation in the Commons' register of Members' interests. Perhaps "Charlie" can tell us why the Bilderberg Group does not publish its proceedings.

Duncan is not ready for prime time--and never will be, just ask any randomly chosen Tory MP.

Those using the poll to argue that "just 16% of people want to leave the EU" are wrong. The question asked about preference if the UK could have 'an ideal relationship' with the EU.

The option chosen by 48% was "The UK having a looser arrangement with Europe, maintaining free trade and cooperation in some areas, but taking back powers and ending the supremacy of the European court".

In an ideal world that would be great and I'd be part of that 48% in the poll. Since that buffet option will never be on the table (Treaty of Rome) I want us to to leave the EU.

"I did not leave the Tory Party, it left me"

Oh give me a break, that old whinging excuse!

You did leave the Conservative party, and over one issue, and its still there with many members! You failed to realise that this party exists to govern, and its certainly not in existence for the single issue of Europe. And to govern, the party must be a broad church which covers a range of views that matter to the UK electorate.

The Conservative party has survived centuries without you or the EU, and I am sure that it will carry on for many to come.

"The Tory Party ceased to exist when it stabbed Margaret Thatcher in the back when she awoke to the dangers of membership of the EU"

If you believe that, then you are no Conservative.

Well, lets hope it works. There`s examples of previous cabinet types who come back and don`t cut it! Reggie Maudling and Michael Portillo anyone?

"PS.Bringing back Ken Clarke was the right move, no doubt. Even if I don't share his views on the EU."
Posted by: Charlie, January 19, 2009 at 01:09

Sure, but it was the right move regardless of the European thing.

There is one pillar of the whole, painstakingly constructed edifice of the Brown myth that has always been vulnerable and that is the role of Ken Clarke in creating what was sustainable economic growth. He created the 'Golden Legacy' that Gordon, a lesser economist all round, has destroyed. It's a powerful narrative.

So I'm pretty sure he's been brought back to challenge Brown, not Mandelson. He is Brown's achilles heal and Brown knows it. Mandelson just pails. He's the superficial, headline-grabbing, vain ex-Trot, lightweight irrelevance he has always really been. He's outclassed.

I think Clarke (no stranger to vanity himself, but a manager like Cameron knows that) is pissed off with Brown's boasts and he's been given the opportunity to stick it to the pretender. And he will take that opportunity. One more for the team and a legacy secured.

He is an annoying, flawed, lazy, implausible Europhile but he is brilliant and he's got the bit between his teeth. Which means there are going to be excellent fireworks from now until the election.

I think Brown's life just got a lot more difficult - not least because he's about to be held a lot more accountable for his incompetence - by someone he looks up to (not through choice).

It's a shrewd move by the Tory leader.

Well Dave has done it again. Just as soon as I start to think about rejoining the party he makes a stupid decision like this. If Ckarke was a man of principle he would have joined the DLP a long time ago. Well done Dave just lost a worker and voter again.

As much as his general popularity and financial nous may be useful, rest assured that the Labour party and their friends in the press and BBC will do little else but try and provoke him into talking of his pro-Euro stance so they can run further stories of how it differs with Conservative Party Policy. He presents Labour with an easy target that may well distract him from his role as shadow business secretary. As soon as the news stories shift to talking about troubles with prominent shadow cabinet members, the Conservative Party's and Cameron's poll ratings will fall. Furthermore, with an election possibly in the offing this summer Cameron can't very well get rid of him without it looking as though he has made an error of judgement if Clarke makes mistakes. The jibes at pmqs will go something like.. "How can we trust him with the economy, he can't choose a reliable business secretary" etc.. I hope it doesn't come to that but Ken Clarke's return is a big gamble.

I see parallels here with Barack Obama inviting Hillary Clinton into his government....

Cameron will climb the charts!

Those who have decided to attack Clarke as lazy may have forgotten the wise words of German General (and anti-Nazi) Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord:

"I divide my officers into four classes; the clever, the lazy, the industrious, and the stupid. Each officer possesses at least two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for the highest staff appointments. Use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy however is for the very highest command; he has the temperament and nerves to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious is a menace and must be removed immediately!"

Ken Clarke is clearly very clever. If he's a bit lazy as well, then he may turn out to be a brilliant unflappable appointment.

I get very quickly tired of this "frothing single-issue eurosceptics" or "anti-eu fervour is bordering on madness" or "eurosceptic headbangers" nonsense.
People who take a dim, yet considered view of the EU should not be subjected to knee-jerk labelling, by so called political friends, who often prove incapable of formulating a comprehensible sentence, let alone a rational argument.
If you wish to make a case for the EU, make it; I'll be interested to see it.
It you're saying there is no place in the Conservatives for people who are against EU membership, say so plainly; and those of such a mind can clear off.
But if the most you can do, on your best day, is to insult in an immature way, don't bother.

Great news! Ken is a man the public can identify with, and also someone who will take Mandelson apart. I do not agree with his views on Europe, but am sure that Ken will accept that the main task for us all is destroying this shambles of a government.
Martyn Cleasby, SW France.

Ken Clarke is smarter than to give NuLab any satisfaction by rocking the EU or any other boat. He will be 'well behaved' as much to annoy Mandelson as to do the right thing by Cameron. By and large he will attract new votes. Give him a chance.

Then I am happy to be proved wrong. When did Lord Klams last donate?

I'd rather have more parliamentary seats than 45k from Stuart Wheeler.

Posted by: A Cllr | January 18, 2009 at 23:42

5/12/07 £5,000 to Harlow Association. He gave £25,000 to CCHQ on 30/11/07, and prior to that his last mahor donation to CCHQ was £10,000 on 10/11/04. March 2005 to July 2007 he split £12,000 between three constituencies. Hardly a big beast donor to worry about.

I am concerned about those posters who keep harping on about the Party losing donors such as Wheeler and Kalms for doing something they don't like. What size donation makes a national political party one's personal fiefdom to control and dictate to?

And when Brown/Mandelson say that it's time we joined the Euro, what's Clarke going to say?

The man may be a big hitter, but he's got a big mouth and the chances of it staying closed are nil.

All in all, a tragic miscalculation by CmD.

I will not vote for this man in any form. Looks like I'l be voting for UKIP now then. What a sad day.

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