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« Theresa May may... | Main | Davis, Fox, Clarke and Cameron set to be main contenders »


Ben O

The old Etonian connection.

TBH, the reason Boris backs David Cameron is for various reasons.


We are not the Labour party, we do not need to find a magic Blair and Brown combination. Whilst we might need to modernise, we should not elect the next leader of our party purely based on the idea that we need to do exactly what the Labour party did and elect a new "dynamic duo" of David Cameron and George Osborne. Instead we need to go through the phase they did, of deep soul searching as to what we really stand for and hope that we come to a different conclusion than the Labour party did, since it would be hard to steal their clothes.

Paul Marks

I remember Mr Johnson making a big thing of his love for Britain and his hostility to rule by the E.U. - and then he supported Mr Clarke for the leadership.

Still just because Mr Johnson supports Mr Cameron it does not automatically mean that Mr Cameron is no good. Although his pull back from school choice in his last speech was not a good sign.

The Conservative must not be too interested in "structures" what matters is a good education. Quite so - the Conservative party must not get too interested in structures as concering the ownership of farms or factories, or any other complex enterprise. As long as things are well run it does not matter if the state owns them all.

It reminds me of Milton Friedman's "barking cat". People always say that government run undertakings would be fine if they would only be efficient. People want cats, but they also want them to bark - which is not the nature of a cat.

James Hellyer

I really can't see the attraction of David Cameron. Cameron and his supporters like to describe themselves as modernisers. In fact they are 'conservatives'; they don't want to change anything much.

They certainly don't want to change structures. They don't understand how much structures matter. They are not radicals, let alone Thatcherites.

His politics are those of dreary managerialism, where we accept the status quo but claim to be able to run it better. That is not the politics of conviction, but rather the politics of lazy convenience.

Judging Cameron by his words, he is not fit to lead the Conservative party, never mind the country.


It seems to me that Cameron is an excellent leader who could be geneuinely popular. He is also very clever and is attracting the real thinkers in the party.

James Hellyer

"It seems to me that Cameron is an excellent leader who could be geneuinely popular."

Why? What has he done that demonstrates these qualities? What about him could make him popular?

"He is also very clever and is attracting the real thinkers in the party."

Is this because he is the best candidate or because he may be the best Stop David Davis candidate?

As I said, his policy announcements on schools speak more of dreary managerialism than an over-arching intellectual vision. I really can't understand what anyone sees in him.


I think we need to split from the ideology, dance on the grave of Thatcherism a bit. Return to the pragmatism that served Tories so well for the previous 300 years. Heseltine said Thatcherism was a disaster and whilst that is probably just because he never got to be prime minister there may be some truth in it.

James Hellyer

"I think we need to split from the ideology, dance on the grave of Thatcherism a bit. Return to the pragmatism that served Tories so well for the previous 300 years."

What? You mean take us back to the days when the ratchet moved ever leftwards? So called pragmatism saw the other parties set the agenda. That was not a good thing. The 60s and 70s, for example, saw pragmatism deliver a dreary, failing, statist Conservative party. We don't need that again.

Jack Stone

It seems to me that the differance between those who support David Davis and David Cameron is that Davis supporters believe that the party lost the last two elections because the party weren`t right-wing enough and that the party just needs one more heave from the right and it will be back in power but Cameron supporters really recognise the scale of the task ahead and know that to get back into power you have got to be more pragmatic and start to appeal to the wider public.
Only a young, dynamic politican like Cameron who is very likeable and seemingly genuine who is capable of the new thinking and language the party desperatly needs can reach out and attract the support the party needs to win back power.

James Hellyer

Oh dear, another straw man argument. I don't think anyone is advcating a "one last heave" approach. All parties seem to recognise that the Conservative Party didn't offer the electorate what they wanted at the last two elections.

In 2001 and 2005, we campaigned on core vote issues like immigration and Europe. This energised the party base and transfused in some new working class votes, but it wasn't enough.

There is no real point running on those issues, because the people who think they are important, rate the Conservatives highly on those issues. We are, in effect, preaching to the converted while living up to the worst expectations of waverers.

So what do we do instead? Judging from David Cameron's pronouncements on education, we move towards a managerial approach (i.e. say we can run the current education system better than Labour). Will this work? Not while anyone has any confidence in Labour (who are naturally statist and therefore more convincing on these topics). We can see it didn't work in the last election, when our entire economic and health policies could be summed up as "doing what Labour does but more efficiently."

Really what we need to do is sell a distinctly Conservative vision of how we will improve Britain for all its inhabitants - to gain our own good will leeway. We need to sell ends (school choice, for example, is not an end in itself but a means of allowing everybody's children access to a better school) and convince people we can deliver them.

Does this mean a lurch to the right? Only if you think that offering to manage sub-standard and failing services a bit a better is "the centre ground".

And finally, can you give an example of Cameron's new thinking? His education policy sounds more like a blast from the past...


Yes Cameron is the candidate to make the Conservatives the true Home Counties Party. There will be no need to campaign in Scotland or even Yorkshire or Lancashire - recognise that the Tories are no longer a national party but a Lifestyle Party for those in the SouthEast. After all David Cameron ventured from Newbury to Eton and from Eton to BNC at Oxford; and not tiring of adventure he then went to London...........and after having explored the vast expanses of the Thames Valley he is now the man to lead the Conservative Party back to its rightful place as the Voice of Henley........................

As the Lib Dems get flooded with Northern Tory entryists taking over their party and creating a Centre-Right Political Grouping the Dinner Party Set in the Cameron Party can discuss designer handbags and what hat to wear at Ascot...........

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