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« Ken Clarke may back Andrew Lansley | Main | Andrew Lansley - the Conservative Party needs a new personality »



Wearing or not wearing a tie is of course trivial - what matters is that these bonzos should think they become normal and approachable BECAUSE they take off their ties, or BECAUSE they repeat the right mantras about inclusivity. The real problem for the Maude-ites (what a come-down from being a Portillista!) is they don't understand people outside their little circle (evidenced by the fact that they never say anything in the least interesting to the wider audience - the only people they engage are their fellow-insiders), so their increasingly desperate attempts to seem 'modern' become comical.

Wat Tyler

Yes, as Essex girl Jacques Chirac squawked about Britain's EU budget position, 'it's pafetic and trajic'.

But it's a long-standing problem- there are some toe curling bits in 'Tory Wars' about Hague's attempts at dress-down with his colleagues.

Michael McGowan

On a related topic, can anyone explain the deafening silence from the Oh-so-compassionate Tories about what is going on in Zimbabwe? I haven't heard a word about this from the normally voluble John Bercow or Alan Duncan. Why is it that the likes of Kate Hoey MP and the Lib Dems are making all the running in terms of highlighting the cruelty of the Mugabe regime and protesting against forced deportations of asylum seekers from Zimbabwe? This looks much too much like business as usual from the Tories, its One Nation wing included. With the honourable exception of Nicholas Winterton, they resolutely turned a blind eye to Mugabe's Matabeleland massacres twenty years ago.

Simon C

Liam Fox was on the TV news over the weekend making that very point about deportations.


To be fair, hasn't the party made some waves by (along with Amnesty International) calling on the government to stop deportations from asylum seekers to Zimbabwe? The party has been quite vociferous on this subject in past months.


For clarification: I mean stopping the deportations back to Zimbabwe of failed asylum seekers in the UK.


Liam did not actually call for a stop to the disgusting acions of the regime in Zimbabwe, simply a stop for deportations. Compassionate actionms like putting pressure on Labour to take action on Mugabe is what we need to be doing rather than making such a fuss over the leaadership.

Simon C

In fairness, Zim has been a genuine focus of party policy for the last few years - it was the only issue that seemed to get Michael Ancram going.

Yes we need to apply more pressue to Labour - but also on South Africa & Mbeki. We need to find ways of establishing and fostering responsible regional leadership in Africa - based on respect for democracy, freedom of contract and the rule of law. Incentives & disincentives should operate to encourage African leaders down this route, and to reward those who act as a force for reform in their own region as well as their own country.

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