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I think she ought to have tackled the BBC!!

She dared to be unpopular when she was in Downing Street. That is the point.
When your in opposition the game is politics not government. People need to remember that.

Absolutely Tim. Mrs Thatcher was very much a pragmatist as leader of the opposition and in most respects in her first term.
She was also brave when the situation demanded it (Howe's 1981 budget, Falklands)but she picked her battles. I hope Cameron does the same.

The point is, most people don't think Cameron will do anything radical when he gets into government, he portrays the 'image of what you see is what you get'. I cant believe the man who promised not to touch the NHS budget will be the same man willing to make really hard budget decisions or actually cut back the state.

Tackling the BBC is long overdue.

Like we should pay any attention to what the McBride copy-takers at the Barclaygraph have to say about anything. Still, I suppose the Telegraph is well-placed to lecture on unpopularity.

Actually in that screenshot they've got a couple of things right. "Science" over "David Cameron", "Obituaries" over "Liberal Democrats", and, well, see for yourself over "Gordon Brown".

Ofcourse Mrs Thatcher always took time to take extremely careful aim and make sure that when people were down, they were going to stay down. The problem david Cameron has is that he is not saying nothing, as Mrs T did, he is pledging NOT to do things.

I strongly believe that Dave's biggest promblem is Piers Fletcher-Dervish

Part of my comment got cut off.

It should have ended with George Osborne.

I think David should say that he will not be holding a Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if it has already been ratified when he comes to power. It will not be popular, but it will be the truth. Instead he should promise to do his utmost to get the best deal for the UK post treaty.

She was stabbed in the front by gutless Tories who did not want to see her complete the revolution.So major things were not done such as privatising the BBC and the Welfare State and leaving the EU. Cameron will not do any of those things because he is a man without character principles,belief or values.You have to have those things in abundance to be a Thatcheresque conviction driven politician.

Can we just please leave the BBC alone for a munite which if it presents anything left of staunch conservatism is marxist. Theres a fair few ideologies missed out inbetween there you know!

One of the points in the above piece is exactly right. Maggie timed many things with a political nouse. This is a vital lesson for Cameron, in that as policies begin to come out they are done so with the correct timing. The teaching Unions are allready out in force supporting the abandonment of sats therefore, for example school reform allthough needed needs to be presented with political nouse.

There is of course a paradox here in that Cameron needs to be popular to win the election. However the deeper point is that his desire to be popular shouldnt lead to a incoherant vision which ironicaly will be pounced upon by Labour and could cost vital votes.

How does one win an election if unpopular?

It would be unwise to leave the BBC out of any discussions. It is virtually a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Labour Party paid for by British citizens, a majority of whom do not vote Labour.

How does one win an election if unpopular?

As GB has shown us , if you have enough know how you can avoid elections all together and then gerrymander yourself into power.

Personally , I happen to believe that Cameron is a better politician than he is given credit for.

The electorate is scared of electing another TB , in addition they are even more scared of GB. DC will let the dogs off the leash , but only when he is sure he can bury the PLP for good. UC ?

So Cameron is weak because he wants to protect from cuts the organisation that he as experienced first hand how good it can be and how great are the people who work there.
If the Conservative Party want peoples support they have got to pledge to make the NHS better not cut it.
The Conservative Party as always been about duty and about service that is why it should be standing up for the public services and attacking the mismanagement the public services not forever making it seem as if the public services are the enemy within!!!

" if you have enough know how you can avoid elections all together"

So, not winning an election.

"So major things were not done such as privatising the BBC and the Welfare State and leaving the EU."

Thatcher signed the SEA, the single most integrationalist treaty. She wouldn't have left the EU.

John, yes the BBC has it's problems but that is one of the biggest generalisations I have ever seen. Ok I wish to preserve the BBC, okay it may have it's biases. However as i have said it's news coverage does not deem the whole service in need of destruction. If political dogma was kept aside for a moment such personifications of the BBC would be understood to be wildley over generalised and severly stereotypical.

Jack, that is part of the problem with socialist thinking. Even if rel term cuts in the NHS were to happen to assume that obviously means cuts to staff and old ladies treating their own wounds in the street is absurd. Yes sacking the hundreds of management consultants would result in doctors and nurses getting fired wouldn't it.

If this were a private business fair enough. But it is morally correct that if using tax payers money the service must be as efficient as is humanly possible. If millions have been poured in and wasted there is no reason why less can't be spent to ensure a better service. This does not mean the sacking of nurses ect ect and to present it as such as the Labour party have allways done is blood curdling. It plays on peoples deepest fears and is morally banckrupt.

BBC news coverage on the dedicated channel has noticeably improved. The problem remains on BBC1 programmings.

However, the fact it has been done in part of the news service is proof it can be done without resorting to cutting off the only world class media institution we have left, and the only source of UK programming of any sort of quality.

Let's be honest....any sort of statement featuring the words 'cuts & NHS' in any sort of context will be spun remorselessly by Labour as "TORY CUTS TO NHS".

This attack will of course feature lots of 'projections' showing the loss of front line staff. Always, always front line staff.

In my honest opinion, the best message that DC & Co should be stating is that '...we can't say PRECISELY where any cuts will come as frankly the budget has shown the books have been well and truly cooked....'.

Then hammer home the word austerity and what that will mean. And the collective idea that everyone's got to take a hit including those on the Tory front bench.

The public expect politicians to feel the crunch and DC had better be able to deliver that expectation.

The expenses issue could and should be used to bring the Party into line and with a bit of effort could even be DC's 'Clause 4' moment to show his 'toughness'.

Cuts need to be intelligent. The public would never accept cuts to the NHS that reduced patient care, but they would accept cuts to the numbers of management consultants, it consultants and the "performance managers" that resulted in a hospital being good in the league tables but killing ots patients through bad service delivery.

They will not accept large defence cuts, but they will accept large cuts in the defence contracts that just rob the taxpayer blind and leave our soldiers without equipment in wars.

They will also accept cuts to the huge database state being created by Labour. Billions wasted on government fishing expeditions to trap ordinary citizens.

Why continue to bail out PFI contracts?

Why continue to waste money on the clipboard Hitlers acting as pretend police? Cut them out totally. Use some of the money for savings and employ proper police.

To be honest she got very close to pushing it to far early on and was rescued by the Falklands. In many respect it was Reaganomics that made her later years successful. What ever she achieved its has to be off set against the mistakes and errors. We cannot repeat Reaganomics because that is the reason we are now saddled with such large debts. D.C.'s challenges are larger than those facing Thatcher. Money may be cheap today, but that cannot last into the middle term. We are not able to borrow our way out of the mess. Although Mrs T. Did make a start at paying off the National debt and not just its intrest. She did not achieve that much and frankly Honest John undid most of the gains. If we increase the national debt by a single penny over the run of our Parliaments we will have failed miserably. The end of the rainbow is very distant indeed and even with the best will in the world we are looking to decades of painful choices. The Civil Servants must have their pensions controlled the rest of the population will have very scant provision. The Welfare stats is a massive liability but we will not dismantle it overnight.
Laws will have to be changed claimants ring fenced. A moral climate takes a while to generate. We have to raise our population out of dependence were possible. labour has added on to the welfare state the welfare job. Unneeded and unwanted professional disciplines have found a way of living off the state. These useless and dangerous departments are the dumping ground for dud graduates who cannot cut mustard in the real world. They are the bureaucrats who stiffel the vitality of our nation. The Jobsworth and make-work merchants. The ladder inspection triplicated forms. These petty nonsenses are (it is said) the result of Law suits from the population for every minor accident. I have an answer to every ill and it is common sense. How you instill common sense into a population it is not an easy problem to overcome. With Common sense comes sensible people with sane and resonable expectations. We need to be utterly resonable and certain of the rightness of what we are doing. Reducing the National debt should be our No1 priority. We will have a major ideological battle to wage and win in the first few month of a new Conservative government. We must hit out hard in those areas that are in most need of reform. The most difficult of the press will either have to come on side or be swept aside. We must very quickly establish that in a Conservative Nation the press plays an important even vital role. Too vital to be allowed to act out of step with the over all ambitions of the state. We will have to invite key editors for a cosy chat about what we expect of them. The same goes with that well known leach the BBC. Boris had the guts to go stright after the key offender and so we should at the BBC. A few well chosen heads early in the first parliment will single that we mean business.

There is so much mythology surounding Maggie that it becomes almost impossible to separate fact from fiction.The DT seems to fall into the fiction trap. For example Maggies 79 prospectus was short and to the point.In no way did she campaign on I'm going to do unpopular things, and to even imply it is cobblers.In fact it was the reverse. She went with the grain of public opinion in cutting the Unions down to size and the sale of council houses.It is very very true that once elected she had the guts to do things that made he horrendously unpopular for which all praise to her.
The DT says Cameron should BEFORE the election spell out in great detail exactly what he will cut and where. Maggie did nothing like that at all. That is not even to imply that she misled the British people but she dealt in the principles which would guide her i.e the housewives budget - freedom from increasing State interfeence etc.Seems to me that is exactly what Cameron is doing if one actually takes the trouble to lkisten to or read his speeches and think about what he is saying ie" I believe in Society, its just that Society is not the same as the State." So Tim, I believe you have "got it in one" and agree with you totally.
There could be another eason why the DT has given Cameron this suicidal advice - they want him to lose.Things are at such a pass at the DT that I wouldn't put that past them either.

She won because of the Falklands War and the schism on the left. I agree she put politics first sometimes - just look at what she said on Europe, and what she did.

Why anyone pays any attention to the Telegraph these days is beyond me. It's a total disgrace and is not what it once was. Sad but true. And considering their Labour bias these days, maybe a rule of thumb should be to do exactly the opposite of what they suggest.

Yes it is terrible pity she did not privatise the BBC and scrap the TV licence.

It's a trap!

Yeah. Because becoming unpopular would be a really smart move in the run up to the election.

Sheesh. I don't know what's happened to the Telegraph. It seems to be suffering from some sort of institutional Alzheimers.

Dare to have a vision, dare to lead.

Lead on the economy or other issues like health, education etc and you risk being caught out by the real figures, or misreading fickle public opinion.

Lead on social justice and you can't go wrong. Why the Conservatives haven't published their own code on expenses/conduct and started living by it immediately I'll never know. What a wasted opportunity. Shine the sunlight of transparency onto every aspect of governance. Freedom of information should be by default and not by request. Devise how Freedom and Democracy can be restored to the people. Talk about fairness, equality and responsibility and how these will shape all policy.

Give the people something to live and work for, listen to their concerns and ask for their help in fixing the problems.

We could debate the Iron Lady forever but "She left some things largely untouched: Think of the NHS, the BBC and the welfare state." is interesting. Is it an admission that she (and Conservatives in general( would have liked to have scrapped those three institutions but knew the electorate wouldn't buy it?

It is certainly what I suspected all along.

Paul G

Scrap is not the key word, change is. We would change Health provision, scrap is a very strong and loaded word. The NHS is viewed quite rightly with deep seated suspicion. Would that we could all buy the care we need outright. No being bullied by a doctor into a treatment, a choice over who your doctor is and the final say in treatment.These are what we want for everyman. As it is the NHS is a massive collection of departments some utterly vital and some completely unneeded. I think we accept that the public have a strong attachment to an imperfect system. We are not aiming to get rid, but we will change it that is 100% certain.

The BBC on the other hand is an instrument of the state and we will expect a very big shift from them. We will need them to hold the nation together whilst we go through the sort of convulsion Russia suffered and is suffering again. If the Tories win it will be a very big shift indeed. None of the comfortable numb politics of Labour. There will be a strain on our health services, "here is your prescription for boots the cafe". If we can keep all of the people fed and watered and with roofs over their heads we will be doing very well indeed. JSA price shocker, Insist it's time for 9p beans at ASDA again? 3 million over broken victims of a capitalism that we continue to support. The Internet means that revolution and counter revolution can exist side by side at least for those of us lucky to live in Democratic and temperate climates.
How long before we ban the talking heads is anyone's guess. I am proud of the new key symbol of this party the green tree is starting to have its influence. The Landed can be expected to be ultra conservative in managing the vital resources of the nation.
We don't need Johny fuzzball to feed us. It would be nothing for Britain to feed itself.
My food has a more exciting travel history than I do. It fly's, I don't! Doesn't that just sound crazy when you look at it from the cold light of common sense. So we may well appear to devolve the world market.
Why we can't make sail pay defeats me, almost all non perishable goods could travel by sail saving a wad of cash and loads of co2. These days you can send mixed crews and so at life a sea can be pleasant and civil.
It far from a daft proposition it is simple and effective. Send some of the unemployed to Sea. That will inspire navy's to patrol some more, healthy knock ons. The are better cheaper old fashioned and boring ways of doing almost everything. These are labour intensive and labour is good for both soul and economy. The Pharaohs ruled for thousands of years mostly in harmonious and cultural plenty. The aristocrats are the only ones who can enforce their plans completely, so it is to those folk we should look for many (but not all) of the solutions.
The Single Mother and the Single Father, was a social experiment that has caused nothing so much as pain and poor outcomes for children. The Hetro-seaxual couple has a fundamentally different view from the slobbed our Bachelor. The Parents combined with children to make families. There are elements of Duty and great deals of sacrifice. The Heterosexual union may not be the only valid one, but it is certainly the one that has the largest voice. Should we allow the BBC to continue pushing lifestyles choices that are proven to have bad outcomes and cause damage to many others. We have no desire to encourage such bad choices. So is D.C. Right to march with the Gays? You bet your boots he was, we are not at war with anyone. Gays will continue to have rights.
Hetero-sexuality is just getting its day in the sun. We have every intention of promoting marriage as right, the choice that leads to better outcomes. No more revolting little Britains please....barf! We want our rights and needs recognized our human rights observed, our needs catered for. Hetro-pride is due its 15 minutes and some.

"How does one win an election if unpopular?"

Posted by: David | May 02, 2009 at 21:04

John Major 1992, be less unpopular than the opponents.

is the tightening of poll numbers evidence that he's taken thatcher's advice

David Cameron says he is the son of Thatcher the most hated poilitician in the world. Many who she destroyed cant wait for her to leave this world so they can spit on her grave.

She had massive inflation and the highest interest rates on record caused by her and the Tories. When major stated to the public if the medicine is not hurting it is not working and stated that it is for the good of our children in the future. Well here we are in the future and still in the same bloody mess. Can't blame the labour government for that it took years to get us out of the mess Thacher put us in and Cameron is going to do the same the self righteous bastard in many of us opinions.

The youth of tody will not remember those days of crashed buisinesses and suicides through personal debt.etc.etc.

We could debate the Iron Lady forever but "She left some things largely untouched: Think of the NHS, the BBC and the welfare state." is interesting. Is it an admission that she (and Conservatives in general( would have liked to have scrapped those three institutions but knew the electorate wouldn't buy it?

Kirk Sanford Sightline Payments

The telegraph to cameron dare to be unpopular.. I like it :)

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