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Unity was once our party's secret weapon. Perhaps we've rediscovered it?

Can't this new shadow cabinet call a press conference and demand an election now? Brown is really destroying the country. It's a unique situation. Call a vote of no confidence.

The European issues has been temporarily put to bed and quite rightly, the grassroots supporters know that there are more pressing concerns at the moment.

Any good leader should utilise the talents he has and Ken Clarke is not only a good media performer, he is the last Conservative Chancellor we had, and left the economy in such good shape, that even Gordon Brown stuck to his spending plans for two years.

Obsessing over temporary polling is only relevant to the "will-he won't-he" election chasers.

On the ground, people want to see a government in waiting and believe it or not, there are many people looking back at the last Conservative Government with quite rosy specs!

A balance between experience and youth must be sought, particularly on the economy team.

The new shadow cabinet will also mean a broader amount of press coverage, which must be a good thing.

David Cameron is an excellent leader, but the Conservative party must not fall in to the Presidential mould that Blair used. We have always been a party, not a one-man band.

Lets see if the hush remains once the Big Beast lets out a roar.

The European Elections are in June - I'm betting he's going to drive a fair more votes to UKIP between now and then.

Tim, you are absolutely right. You expressed your opinion on several occasions before the reshuffle, but in the end Conservatives have given their overwhelming approval to Ken Clarke's return. As several commentators have said, this move shows how serious David Cameron is to win the next election.

Labour's response, which I know some colleagues were fearful of, has been weak and ineffective. The overwhelming feeling is that the top team has been strengthened.

In the interests on party unity, you are right to move on and focus on issues that can advance the cause of Conservatism, rather than harm it, which disunity would most certainly do.

"The European issues has been temporarily put to bed and quite rightly, the grassroots supporters know that there are more pressing concerns at the moment."

Deborah Thomas shows her ignorance of financial regulation. The financial crisis has been caused by the EU's directives that reduce the banks capital adequacy requirements. Now the EU is trying to use the crisis to argue for Britain joining the Euro.

When are the Conservatives going to select candidates with even a basic understanding on finance and economics? The result of Dave's discrimination against able male candidates is demonstrated by that idiotic statement.

It is time that the Conservatives woke to the damage being caused by the EU to our financial industry, economy and jobs. Dave, Gideon and Willie are the three unwise monkeys - they hear, see or speak no evil on the EU. Better Off Out!

No doubt they've all fallen asleep with the sheer excitement of it all. Am I the only one to think that con home is becoming more on message with each passing day?

UKIP are a busted flush.

They had their day in the sun in 2004 when we were in a mess and they had Robert Kilroy-Silk giving them an (orange) glow of publicity on the back of his alleged celebrity.

Since then they have gone through an acrimonious split with RKS setting up Veritas and the London two who got elected on a UKIP ticket shufflig off under the "One London" banner, which was quite prescient as even they managed to split from each other and failed to even stand in May last year.

Farage has been a disaster, messing up administration and legal returns, they have lost all their major donors. They will struggle to get 5% of the vote and I would not be surprised if they won no seats at all in June.

Barry Legg is a buffoonish ex Tory MP who acted as an unofficial whip against his own Party from 92-97. His electorate in the Isle of Wight rewarded him for his obsession with Europe with a resounding defeat at the General Election. Interesting that he could only get his angry little puff piece some space in the pro Euro Guardian.

One Swallow does not a summer make. It's a bit early to be claiming unity as yet, let's give things, and K C, a bit longer before jumping to that conclusion.

I think many are like me , damned frightened. I don't like Ken's views on the EU but if he can come up with a coherent message on the economy that will be a price worth paying.

UKIP defector - why so keen to 'fix' the conservative party? Not happy where you are?

The EU regulations weren't imposed on us kicking and screaming - Brown fully supported them - if were were 'out' Brown would probably have implemented them here anyway citing them as 'best practice'.

It is a socialist trait to irradicate differing oppinions - the tories can accomodate a wide range of views, but it has to cut both ways. As long as Clarke can (this time) keep his arrogance in check, and respect that his will may not be done then everyone (except labour) can be happy.

Perhaps it's because the party has finally realised that Labour are the enemy rather than Clarke?

The EU directives have not caused this financial crisis. The ignorance behind this statement is evidence of rabid prejudice in the face of the facts. But I am strongly in favour of staying out of the Euro.
What could be interesting is to find out why Gordon can say he is cross with banks? It was his FSA, with the track record of admitting they never looked at Northern Rock's books for 3 years, that should have been looking with interest at RBS's meteoric expansion. Did they ask any questions of RBS? I bet not.
This is why the crisis came:
""Less than two years ago (2007/Mar), Integrity Funding LLC, a local lender, gave a $103,000 mortgage to the owner, Marvene Halterman, an unemployed woman with a long list of creditors and, by her own account, a long history of drug and alcohol abuse. By the time the house went into foreclosure in August, Integrity had sold that loan to Wells Fargo & Co., which had sold it to a U.S. unit of HSBC Holdings PLC"
And for RBS
"RBS, which owns subprime lenders in the US, and securitizes subprime loans through its subsidiary Greenwich Capital Markets? "
Note "lenders".
If Spanish regulators could oversee their banks, why couldn't the UK ones? Gordon? McCavity? What's that heavy breathing I hear? And unprintable muttering and flying crockery.....

London Tory and Clarke fan:-
Barry Legg was MP for Milton Keynes South West. I think you are confusing him with Barry Field MP for IOW untill 1997. Glad to say IOW now firmly back in the blue corner.
An excellent reshuffle imho. Great to have Ken back and looking forward to seeing him "open up" on the government with both barrells.

London Tory and Clarke fan @ 12.10

Barry Legg was never the MP for the Isle of Wight. You have the wrong Barry! Barry Field was the MP for Isle of Wight from 1987 to 1997. He did not stand in 1997.

"The EU directives have not caused this financial crisis. The ignorance behind this statement is evidence of rabid prejudice in the face of the facts."

The collapse of the British economy is a European CONSPIRACY. The CONservative Party is a BILDERBERG puppet under the control of Ken Clarke. Only UKIP can save us from European DOMINATION and the victory of the NEW WORLD ORDER.

I've got to agree with Sneg, blaming *everything* bad on the EU just turns people off. Individual countries have their own mortgage lending rules, and many mainland European countries have avoided the depth of our problems due to more responsible lending.

We're definitely BOO, but let's keep the arguments focussed.

The Shadow Cabinet can call for an election as much as they like but Brown is not going to call one. He would be a fool to go to the country until the economy starts to pick up a little. His only hope is that it does that before he has to call an election.
I think also people should get away from this idea that Cameron is going to walk into Downing Street just because things are bad for the economy. Unless people are convinced that the Conservative alternative is going to be better and I don`t think they are at present they will simply vote for the devil they know!!

Perhaps Jack, you'd like to explain the latest opinion polls? When are you going to say anything,ANYTHING, positive about the party you claim to support?

Interesting result to that poll Tim, I've generally considered bloggers on this site to be to the right of the party, or disaffected right wingers outside the Conservative Party, so the 77% approval is a big surprise. Quick analysis makes me think that possibly:

- Most people who actually blog have more vocal forceful views to express, however many who read but don't comment may be more central in their opinions.

- As you said in the post, there is a weariness within the party caused by internal strife. People are more willing now to agree to disagree on some things and project a more united party.

- The appointmentof Mark Francois was a shrewd move (or promotion of his brief actually I think it was).

Whatever, I'm really pleased with the way things are going. Delighted, David and the team deserve the support being given, they've earned it, and Ken's appointment is just fantastic.

What Barry Clegg says about Ken Clarke is true enough but there's only supposition in his comments about the Tory Party in his implication that David Cameron has layen aside his own statements to the country regarding his stance on Europe.

His views are without any seed of a doubt supported by his shadow cabinet team bar Kenneth Clarke who has freely admitted being in disagreement with him.

We want no bun fights on Europe, as the situation is perfectly clear and David Cameron is the leader not Kenneth Clarke!

He has promised a referendum before full ratification if given the chance, or to "not let it rest there" if an election hasn't been called beforehand.

Kenneth Clarke serves the shadow cabinet and wouldn't be a loss if it came to resignation either.

Happily he's recognised there are 'others' in the cabinet who hold different opinions. - They are the members who have turned the party around and made it a fighting force to be reckoned with, and they are the people ( along with their views ), which the party and the country will support.

The days of this country either supporting renegades or soundbite machines, or politicians who refuse to carry out their promises, are over I feel.

I agree with what a few others have indicated. - Unless David Cameron maintains his position on Europe and ends the farcical position of being a member of something that 75% or more of people do not want to be a member of, then my 30 odd years of voting Conservative will be finished for good, and I doubt the country would be any different.

As for why pass votes to UKIP in the Euro Elections ? - Maybe David Cameron might be bright enough to WANT to do that because patently euro-phobes will attempt to split our party if he doesn't.

I'd give David Cameron a bit more credit than than he has in future as he doesn't appear to me be as thick as some might like to make out, whereas some are completely politically naive, not an MP any more and unlikely ever to be anything other than a critic.

"Barry Legg is a buffoonish ex Tory MP who acted as an unofficial whip against his own Party from 92-97. His electorate in the Isle of Wight rewarded him for his obsession with Europe with a resounding defeat at the General Election....
Posted by: London Tory and Clarke fan | January 20, 2009 at 12:10"

Here we have yet another brainless Clarkeite thicko. Barry Legg was the MP for Milton Keynes South West. Barry Field was the MP for the Isle of Wight until 1992. Andrew Turner lost the seat to the Lib Dems in 1997 and won it back in 2001.

London Tory & Clarke fan must be a troll. No comprendo, Clarke fans would never make a Faux Pas like that. Vielen Dank, non parlo italiano, but if you prefer, Dónde están los sanitarios?

Concordez complètement, permet à tous d'être des amis. Je suis heureux que les choses se soient arrangées sur ce blog. Après les années de lutter contre son bien pour avoir un peu de paix. Je me demande en écrivant que ce poste dans le français va contrarier certains lecteurs ? Bien s'il fait, qui se soucie, en haut le vôtre M. du UKIP.

"Here we have yet another brainless Clarkeite thicko."

You are an anti-UKIP troll and I claim my £5.

As a republican in the US, I hope we can learn from this and not spend 10 years in opposition worried about ideological purity. We have lost many areas of the country (the Northeast and the West Coast) and the Democrats have run candidates that fit the views of the local voter (Congressman Heath Shuler).

Herr Montgomerie muss sehr geärgert über die Art werden, wie dieser Faden auswäscht, aber ehrlich gesagt, ich sorge mich nicht die UKIPPERS haben es irgendwie verhaut.

A message to Brown on this momentous day...



Let's be fair to Stone! In the three months I have been on here he has supported one Conservative policy: opposition to Heathrow expansion - never mind that most posters think it shouldn't be Conservative policy.

Looking at the comments above, Europe is the only issue that people here seem to take issue with regarding Ken Clarke. He is the man that left our economy in excellent shape in 1997 and we should support him - he is a great asset.
I'm vehemently opposed to the euro - but there's far more at stake with the economy these days, and in any case Mr Clarke has already said he has accepted the party line on Europe.

And he didn't even realise it was our policy!

Malcolm. Opinion polls about eighteen months before an election basically mean nothing. When people come to vote in an election they will not vote a government out of office unless they are convinced by the opposition and I don`t think they are.
I believe that present opinion poll leads are down to Labour unpopularity not Conservative popularity. If the party is to translate the present opinion poll leads into a majority at the election it must be far more convincing, especially about the economy, than it is now.

If the Conservatives' poll lead is based entirely on Labour's unpopularity, then why aren't the LibDems, who polled 24% in 2005, also benefitting? We must be doing something right.
Something I was keen to point out when Brown was enjoying his second bounce was that the Conservatives were often behind in the polls in 1977/1978, but still managed to pull off electoral victory in 1979. We must not become complacent, but it is a promising omen.

So when Jack are you going to say anything positive about the party you claim to support?
PS We've been ahead in the polls for more than a year .

Fair point, Malcolm.

Stone, who supports Labour so blindly:

Conservatives are more convincing on the economy. Nobody understands the problem better than John Redwood .............. except Brown, because he created them.

"Barry Legg is a buffoonish ex Tory MP who acted as an unofficial whip against his own Party from 92-97. His electorate in the Isle of Wight rewarded him for his obsession with Europe with a resounding defeat at the General Election. Interesting that he could only get his angry little puff piece some space in the pro Euro Guardian."

He was qoted in the Times.

I think that Kenneth Clarkes appointment to the front bench team is the best thing for a while.

We Tories need to listen and take heed from Clarkes European opinions. Hopefully his appointment will reduce the absurd euro-scepticism dominating the party since 1997.

As Sir John Major said "keep an open mind on Europe". Let us hope the party now listens, and does just that.

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