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If we want to compete with the likes of India and China we must end the advantages that they hold over us through wages and currency manipulation. That means imposing a wage-equalization-tariff so that British business is no longer undercut by sweatshop labour from the coolie economies of the East.

I like how mending the broken economy takes top billing! Such a change from a year ago. Thank god.

Tony - I can't see there ever being a wage tariff - how would you implement it? on which goods?

Much better to start creating an exceptionally high quality maths, science and language based education policy. I have experience of working directly with Indian IT graduates and for the most part they aren't much cop, but we still need much better 'hard' education in this country in order to compete.

You can't fix the economy until next year so focus on the things you can do now. In fact, stop talking and start acting NOW.

Politics or at least Conservative politics can be fixed, TODAY. Agree a code of conduct, have the courage of your convictions to publish it and live by it. Lead and let others follow. This positive action will start to genrate trust and therefore hope. This sort of leadership applies to broken society too.

Start acting and leading now and by the time your chance comes to help the economy tou will be ready and you'll have the necessary support.

The imbalance of talk to action makes me suspicious that Cameron is merely tolerated by old Tories. For them it's not "Now for Change" but "Change for Now" - get back in then we'll reform to type.

... Sorry, revert to type - got reform on the brain.

V g video

Mend politics? Really? I'm sure thousands of us saw Have I got new for you, with a Tory cabinet member, bragging - yes, braggin - that he had 3 homes, 1 rented for profit and another paid for by the taxpayers. He said, "Its a wonderful system."
Mend politics? That's a big, fat, lie. They're all corrupt and in it for what they can take from the taxpayers.

"That means imposing a wage-equalization-tariff so that British business is no longer undercut by sweatshop labour from the coolie economies of the East."

Put that to the country in a referendum and see what happens. Methinks people will vote for cheap iPods.

Hello Helen Wright! Nice of you to come over here from LabourHome and welcome.
Would you like to give us the exact date and time of this programme and who the spokesman was, just so we can have a little look on iplayer for ourselves? Many thanks and have a good day.

It was Alan Duncan last Friday, Sally.

Car crash TV. He was trying to be funny, but it was worse than Pickles attempt to defend his second home allowance.

You need to get a fix of Guido! He wrote about it a few days ago.

Thank you ToryBlog! I shall take your excellent advice and go and get my Guido Fix ;-)

Anyone else smell hubris?

I fully agree with Matthew Lipson at 11.14:

"Much better to start creating an exceptionally high quality maths, science and language based education policy".

Our biggest problems largely stem from poor educational attainment. We have to cease trying to paper over the cracks in our society, face up to the real problems and try to solve those.

Is that it Sally? You make some asinine remark to a fellow blogger without checking your facts, then, when put right by someone whose credentials you approve of, you thank them and move on without an apology to the person you tried to offend.

Not everybody who disagrees with you or criticises the Conservatives is a Labour troll. Sadly, with the likes of Duncan around there is still much to be improved. The Conservatives should be courageously seeking excellence not timidly wallowing in mediocrity waiting for Labour to hand them the reins. Too right some of us aren't satisfied. Your arrogant and condescending remarks smell too much of old Tory not caring Conservative to me.

"Is that it Sally?"

Yup, Alistair - that's it!

And no I am not going to apologise to someone who had "Troll" written all over their post.

As for our friend Toryblog... Well, I recognise him but he knows that I don't always "approve" of his credentials! ;-)

Your arrogant and condescending remarks smell too much of old Tory not caring Conservative to me.

Posted by: Alistair Thomas | April 29, 2009 at 15:22

I never saw the Duncan comment as worthy of any note at the time although he could have said it better (a common problem with Tory MPs) but it seems to me Alistair you are one of those people who confronted with any blunt comment from a Tory yells "arrogant" though god knows how you rate condescending in Sally's comments.

I suppose your idea of a caring Conservative is Sally Roberts not picking up Helen Write's silly observation. It looks as if the old days of when any old insult could be leveled at Conservatives without an "arrogant" response are over. Watch it, it was the left's main reason for success over the last 15 years.

Hello David, I don't know quite where to start, with your short comings or with Susan's.

Since Duncan's crass behaviour provides the context for all this I guess we could start there. Most people seem to have flown off the handle at Duncan's "Murder threats". If Miss California has made some homophobic remarks then she makes herself a target for some homosexuals to respond. I thought Duncan's remarks on this topic were ill considered and juvenile - he might as well have said "Look at me, I'm on telly, aren't I clever?"

If that's what you meant by "Comments never worthy of any note" then I tend to agree with you. If he had been a nobody then I would cringe and forget it. Maybe you think this is acceptable behaviour for one of our front bench spokespersons. I could wish for better. But that wasn't what incensed me.

Hislop attacked him on his abuse of the allowance system. To be fair I think it caught him by surprise. To be brutal, if he's trousering 1000s at tax payers expense then a) he shouldn't be and b) given all the recent exposure he should have had a better answer. What he did was laugh uncomfortably and mock "the wonderful system". He was laughing at me and the millions of ordinary people who just don't get politicians' attitude on this, worse still in these hard times. The incident alone makes him unfit front bench material. If he really sees nothing wrong in his allowance claims then either he is no Conservative or the Conservative party is no party for me and the millions like me.

So much for context. So if you think this latter is also no big deal then that deals with your shortcomings. Don't blame me and mine who brand you and yours as arrogant and complacent for the Tory woes of the last 15 years. The disconnect between Tories and the mass of decent people is the cause of your unpopularity, and it would appear that some still have some way to go before they get it. And please don't be fooled into thinking the poll lead is anything less than Labour dissatisfaction.

I think it's cute and even admirable the way you dash to Susan's defence, but I doubt she'll thank for it. I don't know her but on here at least she's a bit of an attack dog with both bite and bark. If she wanted to chew me out she would have done so herself. But since you ask ...

There was nothing in Helen's post to mark her down as anything less than a peeved Conservative, not unlike myself although I'm more 'little c than capital C' since the Tory betrayal of the late 90s. It was arrogant to dismiss Helen's views and to attempt to defend the indefensible, particularly without the facts. It was condescending to brand her a Troll and to thank her for her input and bid her good day when Susan's contempt was plain for all to see.

It's probably 'Silly' for Helen to brand all politicians as corrupt liars, but when the endless talk and inaction by the supposedly good ones is overwhelming, and when those that dare to criticise are pilloried by "the party faithful", I think I'll forgive her a little silliness and might even add my own "Hear, hear" for good measure (Troll that I am).

I tend to apologise when I get things wrong. Susan seems unrepentant. She probably has a promising career in the worst kind of politics.

Since you presume to know my idea of a caring Conservative I shan't bother you with my full definition, but part of it includes politeness and respect for other people's views even when they are diametrically opposed to my own.

I trust the next time we talk will be on more pleasant issues.

On the subject of Alan Duncan and Miss California, whereas objections to Mr. Duncan's comment have generally been met with a defense of free (albeit tasteless) speech, Parliament recently voted, by an overwhelming majority, to reject the defense of free speech in a context that mirrors that of Mr. Duncan's remark.

That context is best illustrated by the following statement made by John Bercow, MP, (also a Conservative), during the House of Commons debate on the Coroners and Justice Bill on January 26th:
"The creation of the offense of homophobic hate crime...was designed to catch, among other things, despicable homophobic lyrics in reggae songs, such as...'All gay men should die'. May I put it...that the so-called free speech amendment was at best superfluous, and at worst deeply objectionable? Some — although not all — of its supporters would not even know how to spell the word equality, let alone sign up to it."

The official transcript of this statement may be found online here:

No doubt my complaint would be met by my fellow countrymen with a scoffing riposte such as the following, (paraphrased from "A Man for All Seasons"): "My dear fellow, this isn't an arbitrary regime, this is England!".

But what is "England" without the rule of an objective law that will clearly be applicable to all?

P.S.: I am not responsible for the Hansard link in my previous posting. Follow at own risk, etc.

He is unfortunate who cannot bear misfortune

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