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« Tory finances are latest victim of drawn-out leadership process | Main | David Cameron launches campaign with call for marriage tax break »



I have no qualms with david willets, and I belive it very important that Davis, the probable leader, should incorporate all the main party factions within his cabinet. As I view things Willets, Cameron and Clarke all need to be given prominent well suited positions.
P.S. Who else thought Davis gave a good performance in Parlaiment about the ID card bill?

Wat Tyler

My dream ticket has always been Davis and Cameron. But it looks like that isn't going to happen, and anyway my enthusiasm has already been dampened by DC's New Labour style managerialist outpourings on education.

Willetts on the other hand is a well established heavyweight- his recent speech to the SMF was outstanding, but really no more than we've come to expect.

Sadly (perhaps) for him, his lack of twinkle means he's just not leadership material. But Shadow Chancellor? The solid dependable guy you'd trust to sort out Gordo's ghastly inheritance? Much more convincing than poor old Ollie Letwin, and you find yourself asking why Howard didn't think of it.

So, heck yes: this sounds like a real runner.


I've already made my pitch for Willetts as running mate, commenting on one of these blogs. But Mr Tyler, I'm surprised at you: how could Cameron be part of any conceivable 'dream ticket'? Hearing you say that almost makes me want to re-think my support for DD.

Alexander Drake

Watlington's article is all very interesting and paints an interesting picture on how it would tie together different strands of the Party's intellectual thinking, but so what?

Isn't selecting a candidate that (a) is a plausible and appealing alternative prime minister, and (b) will fight effectively in marginal seats during an election campaign, more important?

I don't think the lay party should choose a candidate for the parliamentary leadership that suits itself - it should choose a candidate that will help it get our MPs over the line in a general election.

This is why I think the party organisation should choose a party chairman that will make the rank-and-file feel good, while the parliamentary party gets on with choosing a leader that will lead it to Government.


But the MPs are already elected! And only a small proportion are in truly marginal seats. By your argument, it's the constituency organisations, most of which do not have a representative in parliament, that would be most motivated to choose a vote-winner.

I think the rank-and-file want to 'feel good' by getting a Conservative government, not by having a chairman that speaks to (what are perceived as) their prejudices. I'm sure you don't mean it this way, Alexander, but your comment can be taken to be patronising and contemptuous of the party membership, as if they're just blinkered old fools who need the occasional sop, but no more.

If that IS one's view of the membership, then one might as well get rid of it altogether. Because to see it that way, and yet to expect it to raise money and deliver leaflets, would be disgraceful.

So why not just disband it and 'borrow' another twenty-six million from a few rich donors? Pay a direct market-agency to phone and deliver for you. And let the so-clever people in parliament get on with what they are already doing so successfully?

I find it quite strange that there is so little discussion about the role of the membership in modern politics. Have we really already given up on growing a mass party? If so, what does that mean for the future?

Simon C

Glad to see other bloggers are following our lead here at ConservativeHome - the potential significance of Willetts as a kingmaker was highlighted a few days ago under "David Davies is this weeks winner" in this blog.

Buxtehude is right to be worried about the party's attitude to mass membership. As to what it means for the future, see here for an article written in 1995 about what happens when the party allows its grass-roots to wither. 10 years on, we can see that the writer was right.

jacqueline schofield

Dear David willet,

What is the object of the exercise? is it for Davis to become leader or is it for us to win?
And what difference does a background make,we want to win, we are fed up with this government, Davis is just a man, Cameron is a star, Please note this when you next cast your vote. We the tories out there want Cameron.

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