« Will Parliament get to debate 'quantitative easing'? | Main | Grant Shapps offers practical advice for those fearing repossession »


Cameron needs tough policies on immigration and crime.

He also needs to show he loves Britain.

The group in question are the C2s - the skilled working class or "White Van Man", if you like

I don't like. The skilled working class are a decent bunch of people. White van man, on the other hand, is a thoughtless oaf.

Mr White Van wants to know that he will still have a job or a small business in two or five years time. He wants to know that he will have a home for himself and his family and that his kids are going to have a decent school and are not going to be knifed on their way home from it. He wants to know that his old mum is going to receive proper care in hospital and not contract MRSA....
In short he wants the same things as most of us and I believe that David Cameron and his team are well aware of this and fully able and willing to do whatever is necessary to provide them.

British jobs for British workers.

Tough immigration controls.

Tell the EU to get stuffed.

Kick out illegals.

Stop the asylum circus.

Get the interfering state out of their lives.

In other words everything that would horrify the Nottinghill set.

White van man has contempt for Gordon Brown. It is public sector man who is difficult to woo.

Most of my friends are 'White Van Man'. Lots of them driev white vans. Most of them are skilled working class. And they're all Tories. So Im not sure I agree with the premise. We'll see.

Defending the City of London won't go down well with C2s. They are not in the mood for bankers.

I don't think David Cameron wants to attract 'white van man', seeing as one of them tried to push him off his bicycle a little while ago just for the fun of it.

Wouldn't be so sure, Iain. It sounds superficially attractive. But the people I meet who are socially "right-wing", hostile to immigration, wanting tougher sentencing & so on, are all economically socialist, curse the name of Thatcher & would never vote Conservative.

If they ever stopped supporting Labour it would be the BNP who were the beneficiaries, & if the Tory party chased their vote it would gain little & lose the support of people it needs for a nationwide victory.

I take the point that attitudes have changed since the credit crunch, but not so much. A populist campaign is likely to flounder because there still aren't enough takers & probably never will be.

The Tories must champion the middle classes and the aspirational classes as they did in the 1980s. Targeting every demographic profile can be counter productive and lead to botched one-size-fits-all policies that lead nowhere, like Monetary Policy across the entire Eurozone. We must enter government with a mandate to pursue truly Conservative policies that support the type of behaviour and drive that we wish to encourage.

"Right to Buy" was fantastic for middle-aged and older generations of council house occupants who had lived there (or expected to live there) all or most of their lives, were part of the community and wanted to take the next step up the ladder to be a 'home owner' in their community.

However, since 'home owner' has become more associated with cheap credit deals going wrong than with having respect and being a rock in the community - 'right to buy' has resulted in many previously secure tenants becoming bankrupt, homeless, ex-home-owners.

Not the tories fault - labours for not keeping on top the issues as society changed.

However 'Right to Buy' is probably seen as a relatively bad thing by many people now, and the tories get the blame for having introduced it.

Like every one, they want to get on with their own lives - so make sure they can - they have skills they should be able to work, and earn enough to afford a home, a car, widescreen tv, a couple of kids and the occasional foreign holiday etc. and all without a second though to the economy, the government or any other stress inducing side issues.

Don't 'give' them anything - just remove the obstacles...

All IMHO of course.

If unemployment is actually 5 million, as stated by CCHQ, and not 1.97 million, as stated by one G Brown, I believe the conservatives stand a better chance of getting people's votes by highlighting that fact now while Brown is still in office (he is not in power), rather than waiting until we are in government.

I also think other Brown fallacies should be corrected well before the election e.g. as reported on today's BBC website:

"Speaking earlier at a joint press conference in Milan with Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, Mr Brown defended Britain's levels of debt claiming it was one of the lowest of the major economies at 40% of national income".

Ken Clarke's comment: "The man is living in a world of fantasy".

Please could ConHome perform the useful service of rebutting all Brown's major deceits?

We could then concentrate on promoting policies to get us out of Brown's mess (which is not helped by the additional global problems).

Practical issues matter here. Start with traffic. Cancel all road pricing schemes. Ensure that traffic can flow. Scrap speed cameras,increase speed limits on major roads, reduce or scrap environmental (Green) taxes. Make better provision for parking.

In short recognise that the private car (and van) is essential for life in this country, it isn't going to change and stop dreaming of a socialist utopia where everyone travels by public transport

The way to win overall is to win the opinion-formers and the influential and that means ABs - just where our support collapsed most post-1992.

Michael Ashcroft did a good analysis of where we went wrong just after the last election - his conclusion that what it certainly didn't mean was policies like at 9:17 and elsewhere. If you set out deliberately to alienate ABs you couldn't have come up with a better list than that sort of thing.


"Wouldn't be so sure, Iain. It sounds superficially attractive. But the people I meet who are socially "right-wing", hostile to immigration, wanting tougher sentencing & so on, are all economically socialist, curse the name of Thatcher & would never vote Conservative. "

I don't know , but if your argument is correct, then I am correct, for Cameron is socially left wing, but sort of economically right wing, the opposite of what you suggest the white van man is . But I would question whether they are economically socialist, more likely they are p,,,d of being made to work their butts off for the minimum wage, hired and fired at the drop of a hat, yet see the senior management fill their pockets with loot, screw up, yet don't pay for the consequences.

Give him a referendum on the Lisbon treaty -whether Ireland vote no OR yes. Their jobs are on the line and they damn well want their say on 'Europe' - just as they were promised.

Stewart is on to something here. I think the C2s like their cars, they see them in a very practical way. Increased taxes on cars etc goes down very badly with them.

White van man will do what the Sun says to do ....

These are people who are not politically perceptive and will not respond to fine tuning of policies.

Sure, you can throw them a bone, but at the end of the day they'll vote with their wallets.

Being honest and straightfoward has always seemed to me to be the best policy when trying to attract people of any social class.
I'm not sure I like the term 'white van man' any. C2s are a very diverse set of people anyway (as are all social classes) so I don't think we do any ourselves any facvours by classifying these people this way.
In terms of policy a more robust approach to immigration and a sense of standing of standing up for the British people as Mrs Thatcher did are essential but also building on Cameron's early theme of 'we're all in this together' and spelling out what that means in detail should also help.

James Gurney. Put foreign nurses and doctors in prison then. You want to sod off and join the BNP.

Much as he tries, he can't be all things to all people. The people are pissed off with Labour because they've been in government a long time. I think even IDS or Michael Howard would have been able to lead the Tories to victory at the next selection. This gives Cameron the freedom to suggest almost any policies he wants.

However, he will instead waffle, continue to be opportunistic and not make any firm commitments. It's almost impossible to tell from what Cameron has said what he will do when he is in power.

Straight talk and clear policies will get him support from this demographic, and you aren't going to see that from him.

What should David Cameron be doing/saying/promising to ensure that a sizeable number of them are in the Tory fold come the next election?

The Tory party used to contain working class bruisers such as Tebbit. The Tory toffs may not bother the party base but they drive away the no-nonsense lager-drinking classes.

But it's not just about image. There do need to be much more substantial small-c conservative policies; mainly on crime and immigration.

I would have thought that C2s were more susceptible to being influenced by regional cultures.

What I mean by that, is that many of them vote Labour in the north.

Get back to REAL Conservative Polices.

1 Ditch Zac Goldsmith and all his Green Polices. Leave being Green-Reds to the Green Party, F.O.E., Greenpeace etc. We cannot afford this trendy nonsense in these times of Economic Depression.

2 Reverse the statement on Grammar Schools and pledge to return to these Educational Centres of Excellence, whatever name you chose to give them if "Grammar School" is considered by some to be old fashioned - personally I like it! A Rose by any other name as they say.

3 Robust policies on Law and Order, return to the concept of "Right " and "Wrong" and of Dangerous and Violent Criminals being jailed both to protect the public by removing them for a period of time and to punish them. Consider mandatory minimum sentences and abolish the "Concurrent" sentence where a criminal can get one term in jail for many crimes.

4 Promise a Referendum on Britain's situation in the EU especially as regards the Lisbon Treaty and pledge not to take the UK into the Euro. Keep the Pound!

5 Give Teachers back the power to discipline unruly pupils and to Head Teachers to expel them in the worst cases without being overruled by left-wing or liberal School Governors etc. If that means some thug doesn't get an Education that is their tough luck. They should have behaved in school.

6 Critically examine and where needed abolish the PC Quangos and curtail the Race Relations Industry. There should be no more "Carol Thatcher" or "Prince Harry" incidents caused by interfering busybodies.

7 Rescind the ban on smoking in Pubs, which should have designated Smoking Areas and in Members' Private Clubs such as Working Men's Clubs, Conservative Clubs, Works Social Clubs etc. Also remove the ban on smoking in Open Areas such as Railway Platforms where there is plenty of ventilation and where one is more likely to come to grief from the fumes from the diesel engines than from passive smoking.(BTW I am NOT a smoker but resent the Nanny State attitudes on this issue). Also scrap all those bodies which via annoying and nagging adverts etc try to tell the Law Abiding Citizen what they can eat, drink etc, etc . Get the State off of our backs, out of our dining rooms, etc.

8 Permit Adoption Agencies connected with a Religion to be able to refuse to place children with Homosexual and Lesbian Couples. Also give a "Conscientious Objection" Clause, as was granted in the Abortion Acts ,to those who for reasons of personal conscience and belief do not wish to take part in any activity connected with Homosexuality, e.g. Registrars being allowed not to "marry" same sex couples, Firemen and other such Public Workers being allowed to withdraw from handing out leaflets at a "Gay" Parade etc if they have a Conscientious Objection.

9 As others have stated tighten our rules on Immigration especially on so-called Asylum Seekers, fake Marriages, mickey-mouse "Students" etc.

10 Give a categorical assurance that in the UK under a Conservative Government there will be ONE LAW for ALL Citizens. No pandering to any group which would want to have its Legal System, for example Sharia, given equality to our Legal System.

There are my Ten Points for David Cameron. Somehow I feel that I have a better chance of winning the Euro-Millions Lottery today than of his adopting them.

Janet Daley has responded to this blog.

I don't think this is a big political problem this side of the election. Brown and Labour will lost the next election badly but, once in office, and taking difficult decisions, David Cameron must go that extra mile to connect wit C2 and other voters who may otherwise think that he can't possibly understand their pain.

White van man makes up the bulk of voters in my incredibly safe Conservative council ward. Speaking with them all the time, as a good Councillor must, I can tell you now that their number one concern by a very long way is immigration, followed by the constant attacks on motorists and road transport and then the collapse of the economy.

Whilst I strongly suspect that the last of these will grow in importance as the recession truly bites we won't resonate with C2s again unless we bite the bullet of publically facing up to uncontrolled immigration and its effects. Since this is total anathema to the Cameroons, Hilton et al then the chances are that they have made a psephological calculation that allows them to ignore this demographic and leave them to charge into the arms of the BNP, which is exactly what they are starting to do.

I should like to add my two penn’orth in support of what David Belchamber has written at 9.58.

People are confused and deeply suspicious of the statistics presented to them by this government. They want to know, for example, the number of jobless people who could be usefully earning, not the officially massaged unemployment figures. Frank Field in today’s Times suggests 5.3 million.

They keep hearing that the country “is better placed to weather the depression than other industrialized countries” and that “public borrowing is less than that of other nations” and know they are being given, if not a deliberate lie, only a carefully selected part of the truth. It is hardly surprising that ordinary folk are so cynical about politics and politicians.

What the electorate needs now is brutal honesty: keep repeating the facts at every opportunity until everyone understands. Be ready, however, for the accusation that revealing the exact depth of the hole that we’re in is making the situation worse by “talking the country down”.

My idea would be to say to White Van Man as that they could declare cash in the hand payments and be allowed to keep say £12,000 p/a in cash payments free from tax. Everyone knows that the economy is sustained via cash in the hand ( untaxed , undeclared income) type work. White Van Man pays plenty of fuel duty already. I would allow them to declare £12,000 p/a of cash payments free from income tax and would reduce self employed NI rates by 1.5% to where they were under the Conservative Government. VED could be scrapped on all fuel efficient vehicles.

That would be a vote winning set of proposals which the economically vital White Van Man would love. I even suggest a modest amount of class warfare by saying to Working Class Voters that a Tory government would save tens of billions of pounds by scrapping QUANGO's , RDA's , ID Cards , IT schemes that don't work , EU payments and freezing civil service recruitment. By sacking Guardian reading parasites you could fund free private health-care , free private schooling , a Citizenship Pension and raising the basic personal tax allowance to say £12,000 p/a. The subsidies for private health & education would be targeted at the lower paid , the Citizenship Pension would replace all payments to OAP's & would be set at a level to end pensioner poverty , would be earnings linked and would reward saving & hard work. Raising the retirement age for public sector workers & the state retirement age both to 68 in stages could help fund this pension reform while addressing popular anger over Middle Class folk having a cushy time at the expense of hardworking families.

By saying to Working Class Voters that we will sack Middle Class scroungers and give ordinary decent folk a superb education , high quality health-care , a financially secure old age and less tax in a way designed to help the least well off we could gain ground in the Labor Heartlands by giving them positive reason to vote Conservative. Crewe & Nantwich prove that we can win up North - so lets build on that with a popular message and win a landslide in 2010 ! These policies would benefit a great many people - lets get back into office and deliver on them so millions get a fairer deal ! Why not ?

I have a been deeply suspicious of such terms as C2's and "White van man" is even worse. Are we really talking about the small self employed business man or his/her employee when we talk about White van man. If we are talking about the employer, then frankly I don't believe these stats, they do not agree with the reality on the ground. If its the Skilled or semi-skilled employee, then my experience suggests that rather than Labour being the beneficiary its the BNP who are making headway against ourselves. What "White" van man wants is some reassurance that we will stop the hordes from the East taking away their livelihood. They want us to show that we love Britain and will reverse the influence of the EU. Whilst we continue to pander to the free market movement of labour we will not be beloved of the "white" man in his "white" Van. Its hardly rocket science is it?

How many of the C2s are more or less directly employed by the public sector? Which party do they feel is most likely to keep paying them?

The key policy is

"Tell the EU to get stuffed"

and if that means leaving (which it would) then so be it.

Otherwise, we will continue to be in the EU and ruled by the EU.

PS As 80% of our laws and regulations come from the EU, what does Parliament do?

"What "White" van man wants is some reassurance that we will stop the hordes from the East taking away their livelihood."

A very blunt statement but one that raises an interesting point. This demographic tends to be socially very right-wing, especially on immigration. Question is, can the leadership stomach this?

I think that reducing or removing VAT on home improvements might bring many on side. This would also stimulate the economy & help stabilise employment.

James Gurney. Put foreign nurses and doctors in prison then. You want to sod off and join the BNP.

Posted by: Jack Stone

Dear Jack
If they break the law then deport them. If they are here legally let them stay. Sorry you misunderstood. And how could anyone with a brain vote for the BNP which is Old Labour now?

and if you want to WIN the C2s then this kind of fealty to the EU Court - a foreign entity - has to stop NOW
The House of Lords handed down its judgement in the case of Abu Qatada (Omar Othman) on Wednesday 18 February.

He had been contesting legal moves to ensure his deportation to his country of origin, Jordan, under the necessary safeguards. The Lords have ruled unanimously in the UK Government’s favour, ruling that it is safe to deport terrorist suspects to Jordan under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two governments on 10 August 2005. The judgement is a significant endorsement of the UK Government's case.

British Ambassador James Watt said:

'I’m delighted with the Lords’ judgement on Abu Qatada’s case. Britain’s highest court has given unequivocal support to the agreement between the UK and Jordan. This demonstrates that we can guarantee the security of our two countries whilst maintaining and upholding the human rights principles in which we believe'

Today’s judgement does not necessarily mean that Abu Qatada will return immediately to Jordan. He has the right to make an application to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. It is open to the European Court to prevent Abu Qatada’s deportation from the United Kingdom until it has considered his application.

If the European Court does not make a ruling preventing removal, the UK will return Abu Qatada to Jordan under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Jordan.


If it was just down to policies then something like the prescriptions of Steve Foley and Ross Warren might work.

BUT I believe the issue is as much about instinct and image as it is about policy. The skilled working classes understood and respected Margaret Thatcher. In contrast, many do not warm to the soft liberal David Cameron. The "oh you can all go and work in Europe" attitude to the Lindsey oil refinery crisis will have infuriated many.

I was toying with the word patrician, but then I realised that the traditional patrician Tory would show far more concern for hard working people than Cameron does.

Tell you what a good start would be a policy or two that are clear and that people (including the shadow cabinet) can remember and that Dangerous Dave will stick to. Wind back the spying state, reduce snooping powers and support free speech even if it offends some people. How about getting the Political Police Forces across the country to start looking at difficult crimes that really harm lots of people and not easy targets such as motorists or people with cameras. Bring the police back under control, get them tackling real crimes and support them with decent criminal sanctions rather than holiday homes run by the Prison Service. Cancel all these "arms length" services and authorities and bring them back under elected control. Disband the ability of "no win No fee" solicitors to recover their costs from their many failed cases from the few that they win which will reduce the level of frivolous legal cases from the greedy and negligent. Then cut taxes and improve publice sectror efficiency. And that is just as start

I would also be worried about the Champagne Socialists, they are even more difficult to move and there are a lot of them about!! They think that they are abnormally intelligent! and believe that they are frightfullly clever, sending their children to public school,buying Bowden clothes, expensive food and booze and having smart supper parties and cultivate their accents to be posher than the queen,and still feel that voting Labour is the only way to vote!!

Ask Clarkson. Or Frank Field or even pursue BoJo's Mojo.

A useful phrase borrowed from the Fish people is:

'What would Clarkson do?'

Sally Roberts, @09:16

Well said!

WVM doesn't like to be talked down to about booze, fags, burgers, obesity, diversity etc. But he doesn't think the Tories are any different.

Cameron is a Parvenu not a Patrician. The latter, as you say Martin Wright, did care for the workers , call it "noblesse oblige" if you wish.

Dave needs to be seen on the telly with Mr Pickles as often as possible. Plus, as said before - cutting immigration will appeal to most people who are scared of losing their jobs.

This is such an old argument. Why cant we resolve it? It is not so much the C 1&2s that we need to persuade but all the missing voters who have disengaged from the political process, who are predominantly C1&2s. They are Thatcher's children who gave Major a chance and since then have disengaged. They are the 10+% less turnout in 2005 vs 1992.

These people are disengaged, cynical, war-weary, increasingly angry and sullenly mutinous. They have seen through the spin, been disgusted by the greed and corruption of public office and lack any sense that any of the parties really wants (has a policy likely to work) to improve things. Partly its spin/lies, partly its PC, partly its the EU, partly its that great dollops of public money have led to zero public service improvement. Its about the utter uselessness (in the practical and real sense of unable to effect improvement, as opposed to change) of modern politics.

What these people need is HOPE, a restoration of belief. They are now contemptuous of Labour but DC has not done nearly enough to earn that trust. There are plenty of reasons for believing that we will not notice a Cameron government unless we read the politics page of the Telegraph or Guardian.

We are living in the Augean Stables, they need more than a dust down and a quick vaccuum. The rise of the BNP is because they offer real change from the current consensus, people are hankering after new gods, however, false.. It was the same for the Weimar Republic.

'What would Clarkson do?' Englandism.co.uk @12:39 asked.

"Put his foot down, get a ticket and crash a Volvo into a wall at too high a speed", I suspect!

Probably then offend a few people and amuse a few others for good measure. JC is a great entertainer, but not a role model for well thought out political ideas. Lets not confuse the two.

John Anslow at 11.12, thank you for your support. I believe we are storing up trouble for ourselves if facts like the real level of unemployment doesn't surface until we are actually in government. I am delighted to hear that Frank Field has confirmed CCHQ's figure of 5 million unemployed (which had Jack Stone jumping up and down the other day when I quoted it).

I hope that Tim might provide the link to Frank Field's article and also to the relevant pamphlet from CCCHQ:


which sets out the whole picture (not quite as clearly as one might have hoped).

So called "White Van Man" will be very interested to learn that of the c3 million extra jobs that our beloved leader claims to have created, some 80% have gone to migrant workers (see Hansard, 12 March 2008, col 279).

The pamphlet also states: "Underlying Labour's failure to tackle unemployment is their failure to give people the skills to compete in a global economy - there are 5 million people in Britain without any formal qualifications".

This is a dire record and something the conservatives should promise to improve radically.

Contravariant @ 12.41
He does think the tories are different.he thinks they are a team of toffs.White van man is between a rock and a hard place. Twits on one hand, toffs on the other.

How about ditching New Labour's anti-car/anti-van policies such as Road Pricing/Congestion Charging, Work Place Parking Tax etc.?

" but not a role model for well thought out political ideas. Lets not confuse the two. "

A long time Tory ...And the British political establishment are?

James Gurney @10:16

Zero immigration would be a disaster, we are dependent on a lot of commonwealth immigrants to keep our education system running, let along other needed services. Balanced immigration is the way forward. Far better controls and much better enforcement/deportation action.

Halving parliament would be a tragedy, it would produce bigger constituencies, making MPs more remote and less sensitive to the electorate. Personally I'd double the number, make the pay flat rate, increase it to match Local government Asst Director salary level (you pay peanuts you will get monkey's), remove all of the allowances (let them pay out of salary), set up an independent body to review pay periodically with a view to maintaining parity.

By the way, you may find that typing everything in uppercase gets you labelled as a bit of a loon, as it the web equivalent of shouting at the top of your voice, so you might want to avoid it in future?

"Zero immigration would be a disaster,"

Depends, first of all the jobs argument is rubbish, for if there is a job that needs doing then salaries would rise to a level where that job vacancy would be filled.

But in the long term, with resource shortages on the horizon, then it is balanced migration which would be the disaster, for anything that attempts to maintain our population at current unsustainable levels condemns future generations to rationing.

Thank you Long Time Tory!

As for the champagne Socialists that someone else has commented upon - I couldn't agree more with most of it apart from the reference to Bowden (sic) clothes!
Some of us Conservatives buy Boden too and very good value they are compared with some of the more "designer" brands! ;-)

What does Cameron need to do? Pledge to people that if they have aspiration and want to enjoy the rewards their efforts deserve, that a Conservative government will get off their backs, protect their liberties and stay out of their wallets.

Actually quite straightforward- pledge meaningful cuts in direct taxation funded by cutting waste in government.

By waste I don't just mean the inefficiencies ineherent in almost everything the state does but also the structural waste that Labour have built into the system.

At the end of the day, if society has to choose between the productive economy and the state sector then the productive economy has to win out. If that means we have pursue policies that keep WMV in a job at the expense of having to sack five a day and community outreach "workers", then so be it.

Iain @ 13:04 - The Establishment?

Well yes, as that covers pretty much everyone in the Conservative Party.

The only people outside the establishment from where I stand are the fringe loons like UKIP'pers, BNP'ers. So yes I would say there are political role models to be found.

Going back to Jeremy Clarkson's level of comments; they are usually great on an emotional level, but simplistic and don't work well in practice. I do share his view of piggy bank speed camera's(that is closer to his area of expertise), although in that case we'd need to accept a risk of an increase in road deaths for their removal.

Hey there is an idea.. JC for Minister of Transport in a Conservative Government of the talents - Just kidding, but if you cringe at the idea all then it demonstrates my point.

A long time Tory I am not saying JC doesn't have some looney ideas, but they are less loony than the policies followed by the British political establishment.

Ooo they cry about global warming, sustainablility, the shortage of housing, jobs, etc, then have a policy to stuff milions more people into the country. There is nothing JC has suggested that is more insane than that!

Straight talk and clear policies will get him support from this demographic, and you aren't going to see that from him.

Posted by: resident leftie

Good start, there.

The thing for Cameron is to be everything that Labour is not - open and honest. He should make that a central tenet of party policy - and carry it through, when elected.

Britain is totally sick of hearing one thing from Govt and seeing them do the opposite. Examples "Whiter than white", "Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime", etc....

Clear up the whole mess of MPs expenses, living arrangements, etc. Especially in time of recession/depression, there is nothing more certain to get the electorate's back up than the champagne lifestyle of MPs, who are, between mouthfuls, telling the "rabble" to tighten their belts.

Promise to review/repeal the majority of Labour's legislation - and keep the promise.

British jobs for British workers.

Tough immigration controls.

Tell the EU to get stuffed.

Kick out illegals.

Stop the asylum circus.

Get the interfering state out of their lives.

In other words everything that would horrify the Nottinghill set.


"Clear up the whole mess of MPs expenses, living arrangements, etc. Especially in time of recession/depression, there is nothing more certain to get the electorate's back up than the champagne lifestyle of MPs, who are, between mouthfuls, telling the "rabble" to tighten their belts."

Absolutely right and David Cameron has made an excellent start on this demanding total transparency from both his MPs and MEPs.

"What does David Cameron need to do to woo "White Van Man"?"

Show a bit of cleavage?

Last night, the Swanley St Mary's Ward of Sevenoaks District Council returned the following by-election result:

BNP - 41% (+41)
Lab - 34% (-21)
Con - 25% (-)

A BNP gain from Labour, with UKIP not standing, having previously secured twenty per cent.

Half of UKIP's vote at the last European Elections came from disaffected Labour voters who have been disenfranchised by the disappearance of the patriotic, social democratic, morally and socially conservative party that they knew, and its replacement by Harriet "Paedophile Information Exchange" Harman, Tony "IRA Fundraiser" McNulty, et al.

UKIP's star turn was a former Labour MP, and combining its and the Tories' vote in the North, the Midlands or London gives a ludicrously high figure for the number of natural Tories living there.

Its failure to keep those voters, including that former MP, is the reason why it can no longer fight a ward such as Swanley St Mary's. But the people there, and in so many other traditional Labour wards around the country, still want an alternative to New Labour.

Note that unchanged Tory figure: these are people who would never vote Tory in a million years. But then, as patriots and as moral and social conservatives, why would they ever have done so?

So the void is being filled.

By the BNP.

I don’t like the term White Van Man. I assume the question refers to the skilled manual workers.

David Cameron has no feel for how these people think.

DC attended Eton and Oxford but, unlike the traditional aristocracy, he does not have an estate and he never served in the Army so he has had no contact with the working classes through that route.

Unlike most of the middle classes, DC never worked in industry so has had had no contact with the working classes through that route.

Unlike “self made men”, DC did not have to work his way up from being working class himself.

Unlike the working class Tories, Cameron does not live amongst the working classes.

In general, the above is true for most of the Cameroons and, indeed, for many of the New Labour leaders, particularly those who were close to Tony Blair. Ditto Nick Clegg.

We have a new “political class” which is completely detached from the bulk of the working and middle classes. This puts our democracy at serious risk.

A long time Tory @ 13:08

Hurrah! So its not just me who thinks we should have more MPs and they should be on lower pay.

2 MPs per constituency would improve representation (I have a labour MP - I disagree with him on everything, and he disagrees with me how is that 'representation' ?!). And probably increasing the size of constituencies so there aren't *too* many MPs.

MPs are only 'engaged' for a few years at a time, so they can't complain if terms and conditions don't run between engagements...


Either we have an ideology as a modern Party, or we don't. We really must avoid being sidetracked from our platform, which has been painstakingly researched and developed since 2006, to chase short-term niche popularity. Our policies are consistent and admirable. To attract the viotes of any particualr group, we shoud improve the way we express existing policies and beliefs with greater clarity; not by being patronising and cynical.

"David Cameron has no feel for how these people think."

David - I really think you are being just a little unfair. There is such a thing as empathy even if one has never experienced a particular situation and I do believe that David Cameron has this and that is one of his secret weapons.

I can think of many of our politicians who like DC have never served in the Army, have never worked in industry and have never worked their way up from the working classes. Nevertheless many of them, like Cameron, possess a degree of empathy which enables them to understand many (not necessarily all) of the problems their constituents face. For my own part I can think of some life experiences I have never undergone (having a child being the main one), yet I do not believe that prevents me from having more than a vague idea of the concerns a mother might feel about her children. It is all about understanding and unlike you, I believe David Cameron possesses that quality.

@GB£.Com LOL!!!! I hope you are not suggesting our Leader has a Builder's Bottom?

We are not going to agree on this, Sally.

Empathy is not enough for, in my opinion, you learn how people think by only living and working amongst them. It is what they say and how they react in that unguarded moment that gives away their true characters, desires, fears and wants. For example our daughter had a protected upbringing in a nice rural village and was educated in an exclusive secondary school. We ensured she was sheltered from the bad things of life. However, after 3 + years as a junior hospital doctor, she has certainly been brought very much into the real world. Of course, young doctors are brought into life in the raw in a way that is probably only exceeded by soldiers in a war zone.

My problem with DC (other than the fact that I want to throw something at the ‘telly every time he appears) is that he has NEVER done a real job, never had to motivate a team (outside politics), never learned from the humiliation of failure or the sweetness of success.

I have read that Harold MacMillan, who had a distinguished war record in the Great War, used to have a recurrent dream where all the boys with whom he was at school at Eton and who were lost during that terrible war, looked down upon him and said “Fancy little Harold becoming Prime Minister! Could they really find no-one better than him?” I wonder what DC dreams about?

Anyway, like it or not (clearly I don’t), he will almost certainly be our next PM and he will be at the helm as our country sails into the worst storm since WW2. Then we will find out of what stuff he is made. My fear is that, with a novice skipper on the bridge, we will hit the rocks.

Oh David - I fear we are just going to have to agree to disagree on this one!!

I must to admit, Sally, that I am not an infallible judge of political character.

I remember thinking, and saying, when Maggie first became PM that, as a woman, she would never be able to stand up to the roughie toughie Trades Union Leaders!

"I remember thinking, and saying, when Maggie first became PM that, as a woman, she would never be able to stand up to the roughie toughie Trades Union Leaders!"

David, If you make a practice of having to eat your words you are going to spend a large part of the rest of your life munching!!

Drop having international development as a spending priority and make spending money on making hard working people's lives better a spending priority for example by letting hard working taxpayers children go to university without getting sucked into dodgy debt which kicks aspirational working class families harder than rich Notting Hill politicians seem to realise.

Stop the police from pulling over cars of families who are doing their Saturday shopping. My dad was pulled over 3 times for no good reason and made to sit in a police car while they checked his details. End this pointless humiliation.

Let pubs decide their own smoking policies.

Make rebuilding the British manufacturing sector a priority. I don't really understand the business/market rules that make these things happen, but surely the government can do wise things in a wise way that will benefit whichever good companies out there are willing to make good British stuff.

Make the immigration policies sensible and put Britain first.

Be courageous and wise on the EU. Don't sell us out.

"He also needs to show he loves Britain."

Phyllis has it.

I don't normally agree with Mr Lindsay (Of "Red Tory" fame) but in this case he has a point. There were four by-elections last night, two in Lewisham (Lib Dem hold; Con vote up some 40% but 6.27 % swing to BNP mostly at LibDem expense) one in Harrogate (Lib Dem hold; Lib Dem vote down slightly but 7% swing from Con to BNP) and as Mr Lindsay says Sevenoaks.

So in three very different parts of England there were very significant swings from mainstream parties to BNP. While the one who should be most frightened is MacBroon (can he see Birnam Wood approaching?) the rise of a fascist totalitarian party should worry anyone, right or left, who cares for democracy.

Mr Lindsay mentions "Labour voters who have been disenfranchised by the disappearance of the patriotic, social democratic, morally and socially conservative party that they knew" and says that they would never have voted Tory. They did, Mr Lindsay - I'm one of them, and Margaret Thatcher and her policies, social conservatism and patriotism were the reasons I joined the COnservatives. One of my proudest memories is of being campaign manager in a local election in the 1980s when a small Council estate had a veritable rash of blue Tory posters.

What frightens me now is that "White Van Man" has no party that articulates his views. I think we are the closest, but I know from knocking on doors in 2007 that
his concerns, so well set out by others here, are not properly being addressed by any mainstream party. We will need the C2s on board just as MT did: we won't get them by listening to Zac and the Watermelons.

I think Mr Cameron is beginning to realise this but I would like to see more thought given to listening to WVM.

If we don't, Mr Griffin and his followers will.

In short he wants the same things as most of us and I believe that David Cameron and his team are well aware of this and fully able and willing to do whatever is necessary to provide them.

I bet he goes a bundle on motherhood and apple pie, too.

To bring about the freedom of choice on travel and other facets of normal personal aspiration, wanted by Stewart Geddes and myself, first of all the Tories need to stop being panicked by doomists at all levels around the world.
There is abundant evidence to confound these rogues -- if the genuine scientists are not prevented from attending major world conferences -- but the situation here in Norfolk is that almost the entire news media is under the thrall of the ceaseless anti-carbon untruths pouring from the University of East Anglia.
Our MPs of all parties are too afraid of losing their seats in the face of greenist pressure, however much contra scientific evidence I have provided from the Association of British Drivers from across the world. Please see the ABD website for honest science and -- to answer another point from downtrodden motorists -- genuinely enlightened road safety not driven by vindictive spurious road-safety organisations.
Most urgent of all, though, if British education is to return to integrity in science, the Tories need to bring the force of the negligent law to bear upon those education departments blatantly defying a London High Court order that Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth?" MUST NOT BE SHOWN to students of any age without the British Channel 4 TV film, "The Great Globl Warming Swindle", around the same time.

The much suppressed facts are that there has been no appreciable global warming since 1998, and although CO2 undoubtedly is increasing, it has absolutely no bearing on climate change. Furthermore, rather than global warming, we are now in the early stages of global COOLING, with people dying of cold and starvation.

Perhaps he should arrange to meet 50 or so of them, he'll happily meet the great the good, how about arranging to meet some salt of the earth people and have his questions ready for them.

As for Old Hack and surprisingly Mark Fulford earlier do you actually know many white van people (yes, I do)? How insulting you both were. If I told them your comments they'd be really upset, over generalisation is becoming a party weakness.

Oh and another thing, I don't presume to know how the majority of WVM think, but what I do know about many of them is they're a principled bunch - many who'd rather take what many of you would consider a low paid job driving a van than sponge off the state.

Right to but was good for MT we need "right to our inheritance" provided for by that!

I am White Van Man!


The Financial Times is relying on one polling company and is out of kilter with all other polls. Whilst C2s were trending back to Labour during the 'Second Brown Bounce' in Sept/Oct, since then they have reversed. Why? Because of job losses, and Labour's economic incompetence - C2s stand to lose the most from the current Depression.

I've been monitoring the polls here and focusing on social class, gender, region, age etc.

Some examples to disprove the FT's figures:

(1) Ipsos MORI, 17 February 2009 (C 48, L 28, LD 17) had a 26 point Tory lead with C2s and a big lead with all social groups except DEs.

(2) The ComRes poll, 15 February 2009 even had a 21 point Tory lead in the DE social group (C 48, L 27, LD 18).

(3) ICM/Sunday Telegraph poll, 10 Feb: Conservative lead of 18 points amongst the C1s (41 : 23), 24 points amongst the C2s (49 : 25).

The truth is that 'White Van Man' (and women in the C2 social group) have turned their back on Labour, and are trending Conservative.

Yet there is still a challenge for the Tories to articulate policies that will help this important social group. The C2s are the salt of the earth, and are being pummelled into the ground by Labour.

1. Stop paying people to loaf on the dole.
2. Stop employing Zac and chums to spout nonsense about flying once a year for a week in the sun while taking every weekend off in their second home, driven to and from by a driver, aga pumping all week in case they turn up early.
3. Send the buggers (Abu-Qatada, etc.) back and be damned by the EU.
4. Tell the EU to get stuffed.
5. Cut taxes.
6. Make page 3 models compulsory - including in the Guardian.

Re wilted rose's comment- polls are polls and show hypotheticals "Which way would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow?" They are indicators but inherently unsafe.

Local votes are however real votes, and what is concerning me is that our huge lead does not seem to translate into local seats won. As I said earlier, what local votes do show, with a worrying degree of consistency, is a rise in support for the BNP. C2 voters are turning from Labour, but whereas Mrs T persuaded them to vote for us, there is little to attract a C2 voter in our present policies. Mr Cameron has not yet shown that he can address the concerns of C2s, as Margaret could.

We do need to look at this fairly urgently. I would hate to see BNP gaining a seat in the Euro-elections, as they could under ZaNuLab's perverted system.

(Incidentally, isn;t it time we promised to scrap the EU regions for elections and go back to single-member FPTP?)

Leeds Tory - you don't really want to give those politically-correct Guardianistas heart-failure, do you?

David Galea 17.45

Totally agree.

The request for a car building bail out says all you need to know.

People cant afford cars (largely because of the massive over specificaiton of safety and green features).

Further, skilled car building labour gets sacked because the demand for these gold plated vehicles isn't there.

India can build a car to retail at £1000 -- in europe you'd spend that on any one of the catalytic converter, or air bags, or impact panels etc... before you even thought about the rest of the car.

Lets get back to reality - you can legislate that only gold plated hover cars can be used on the road - but if they can't be afforded it is brain-dead to do so.

Same for ultra-green housing etc.

Yes lovely, but it cant be afforded - get people back to making things that we can afford to buy.

He also needs to show he loves England.
Will Cameron and the Conservatives tell people what policies they have for England?
They seem to be confused about what areas of the uk they are responsible for.

White van man is basically very hard working and tries hard to provide a good standard of living for his family. He puts in long hours on the road and listens to sport on the radio. He is realistic in a matter of fact sort of way and interested in value for money.

Leading a rather insular life on the road,he has plenty of time to think on his travels, being passionately interested in things that affect our country and his situation in particular.

Top priority is to reduce running costs, VED,congestion charging, road pricing, fuel prices with associated fuel duty and VAT. Parking restrictions could be eased for a few minutes to ease deliveries.
He is usually passionate about immigration and associated problems, stop paying benefits to illegals and 'terrorists',stop giving them council houses before British citizens who have been on the waiting list for years. They, like many millions, want a referendum on the EU because too many regulations come from interfering Brussels with loss of sovereignty.

Reading the Sun knows what he wants.
He is determined to work hard and spend his money well. He wants to enjoy his sport and socialist with his mates. Nothing wrong with that. It is a case of putting these policies over in a down to earth manner.He has a very strong sence of fair play.

Those that say they have always voted Labour for years know they have been badly let down. They feel 'stuffed by Labour' and their double talk. ("You have voted Labour for years? Sure, just take a good look at the state of the country!")Labour has utterly failed to deliver.The more they earn, the more stealth taxes they pay.Labour has introduced over 112 stealth taxes. They are suffering and struggling to make ends meet. The 'Conservative Tories' must be realistic, down to earth and prove they can deliver too.

Scrap VAT on fuel tax (how dishonest can you get) and ring fence fuel tax so it is all spent on roads.

How about reduce taxes on white vans. lol

What does David Cameron need to do to woo "White Van Man"?

If Cameron doesn't know the answer to this question by now - he should foxtrot oscar.

The British people are:

Fed up with EU / Brussels rule.
Fed up with immigration.
Fed up with political correctness.
Fed up with Labour's Human Rights Act which is used to pay terrorists and their crooked lawyers millions of pounds.
Fed up with equality and diversity.
Fed up with up with the heath & safety.
Fed up high taxes.
Fed up with tax waste.
Fed up with crooked MPs and members of the House of Lords.
Fed up with red tape against small and medium sized businesses.
Fed up with rip off prices for gas and electricity.
Fed up with the proposed ID Card Bill.
Fed up with my taxes being used to bail out dodgy banks.
Fed up with criminals getting cushy sentences.
Fed up with the erosion of our civil liberties.
Fed up with foreign and illegal wars in Iraq and Afganistan that are costing the British tax payer billion os pounds and the lives of British troops.
Fed up with the useless police and soft sentences for criminal thugs and drug dealers and drug users.
Fed up with Labour, Lib Dems and the Tories who seem to be acting as one party on too many issues such as Europe and immigration.

Give a promise written in your blood to sort that lot out Mr Cameron and I might vote for you but I know that hell will freeze over before you would agree to that request - as such I will have decided to vote for the other party as many people are calling it at the next election if they put a candidate in my ward.

"What does David Cameron need to do to woo "White Van Man"?"

Show a bit of cleavage?"

Witty but unfair. We are I believe talking about C2s which are the semi and skilled tradesmen of the nation. Family men and British patriots, the old "moral" working class. They are just as likely to read the Guardian and the Times, rather than the Sun and Sport. This is the class that gained the most from the Thatcherite revolution.They are home owning,share holders, small business men. They are excatly the people we need to woo, and woe to us if we fail to appeal to them. For very obvious reasons they do tend to be right of centre, and they are the backbone of the Nation.

Pat Guide:

I agree with almost every word you say with the exception of:

"Fed up with the useless police and soft sentences for criminal thugs and drug dealers and drug users."

Whilst I am as fed up as you with criminality, and the gangs making money out of Drugs. I am equally fed up with a prohibition which rather than reducing Drug abuse has increased it, and which has been the principle factor in the increase in criminality. We manged perfectly well with our sensible and liberal drug laws right up till the Victorian age. As far as I am concerned the state has no business telling it citizens what drugs they can or cannot ingest. I realise that those expressing these views are still confined to the libertarian right. However, lets be utterly honest prohibition has brought nothing but trouble.

I wonder if we could be confusing two types of "white van man"? Mr White Van 1 - the type many of us think of when we are cut up by them when out driving; the ones that roar down roads like the clappers and sometimes stick a rude finger up if someone tries to overtake them I believe tend to be the courier company driver employees. These guys are often recent immigrants - many from Eastern Europe or African countries. Their main concern is likely to be simply keeping their job and earning enough money to put food on the table for their families and a roof over their head.

On the other hand, Mr White Van 2 is the chap we are mainly discussing in this thread. He is the one who in the 80s and early 90s used to be known as "Essex Man" - the C2s who delivered Thatcherite Conservative Governments. The archetypal "Essex Man" lived in Basildon - the classic swing seat in the 1992 Election!

As a white van owner (very handy for helping us to move house, etc), do I qualify?

As a PPC I plan to use it as my election bus and with large signs on each side.

David's wooed me....!


Yes Sally, that is a fair analysis. The type of chaps I work with, Skilled Technicians, mostly home owners, some in Housing Association premises. These are the people who generally win or lose elections for the Conservative Party in the key London Marginals, those in places such as Essex and in the Midlands in parts of Yorkshire and Lancashire etc.

Being realistic we are usually sure of the votes of the old Lt-Colonels etc in the likes of Esher, and conversely unlikely to win those from Labour's client group electors . Like it or not it is "White Van Man and his Wife" that we need to engage.

Well Sally I don't know about anybody else but I was talking about your class 1 type and if they roared down the road every day like you suggest they'd soon lose their licence! They drive all over the UK on roads they may not know well and have to observe road transport laws like any other driver. To receive so many finger salutes one wonders what type of driver you are.

You talk about people in a derogatory manner and this isn't going to win you any votes outside your own class.

a-tracy, Sally Roberts is not a la-de-da ex débutante from some Upper Class family. I have met her and she is a down to earth woman who lives in a cosmopolitan inner city area.

I have also met both types of "White Van Man" the road hog, and the hard working and decent tradesman ans know which I prefer!

White van man (WVM)comes in several types, one type is a professional delivery man who drives for a living, fears foreign trucks running amock on our roads, he fears losing his job to foreign cowboys. Another WVM is the small self employed craftsman suh as a jobbing builder, plumber, electrician, painter or landscaper or technical service provider. He resents red tape, handouts to layabouts irresective of origin and abhors people from city hall who screw him up. There is another sort of WVM who often hires his van he is harder to categorise he may be C1,2,3 or B1,his van is for moving house or furniture or pursuing a hobby. H e also resents paying too much tax resents nanny state and would like Britain to be vbritain, he might like europe but would prefer it to stay over there and not invade us or steal out fish and jobs also. I was stationed for 7 years near a former concentration camp and had an Aunt who survived Ravensbruk, I havde no malice to germans but do not want to be governed by them or any other Continentals

Basically, the skilled working class would like reassurance that a Conservative Government would be radically different to Labour. They want lower taxes, decent public services, tough anti-crime measures and a balanced level of immigration.

Many would also prefer it, if our country left the EU. I suspect that a large number of these potential voters are also becoming more cynical, regarding so-called "green" issues.

Steve F - I've made no assumption that Sally is "a la-de-da ex débutante from some Upper Class family" these are your words. I've been following her postings for quite a while and simply felt she was out of order. By using stereotyes and generalisations you are likely to upset more people than you appease.

If a couple of van drivers have cut you up on the road it doesn't make every van driver a road hog. Believe me these guys and girls are just as frustrated at the poor driving standards they see every day on British roads (not just in London). They get frustrated by centre lane road hogs on motorways and cut in merchants who leave it until the last minute to make their maneovres and if you think their job is easy Steve perhaps you should try it for a fortnight.

White Van Man needs to know that his children each get the education they need. As wealthier parents are at liberty to send their children with different needs to schools that are tailor made for them, so should there be schools that cater for all children with different abilities. eg a very academic school in each area for those children who take to lessons like ducks to water, a less academic school for those who find it more difficult to learn but with the correct approach would be able to easily accomplish and achieve all the basics that they need in life. Another sort of school would also be useful - a technical type of school that teaches as well as basics, the skills more practical children could use to earn a living eg carpentry, plumbing, building, decorating, catering etc. Actually this is exactly as it was in the 50's and 60's when I was at school. IT WORKED. Just because a few loud spoken labour MPs have a chip on their shoulders because they didn't get to a grammar school the whole political hierarchy has wrecked the education system for all those people of all classes who cannot afford to send their children to the right school for each child. Obviously all children should be taught that they are all special and all skills are important and being 'academic' doesn't mean that they would have a happy life. Being fulfilled and reaching one's own potential would be a path to happiness and might stop the dreadful decline caused by all sorts of children having to go through the one size fits all sort of education that Dave seems intent on inflicting on even more generations of school children

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker