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« Has 7/7 tilted the Tory race towards former SAS man David Davis? | Main | George Osborne sets out his (and David Cameron’s) economic policy »


James Hellyer

David Cameron wins boring backer...


You love him really James!

James Hellyer

I'm afraid each time Cameron says something, I like him less! His latest tack seems a far cry from his close involvement with Michael Howard's narrow and divisive election campaign).

Sadly he seems more like an actor reading a script than a man of any real convictions.


He came across very well on Any Questions, and he was speaking concisely his views.

James Hellyer

I wasn't too impressed, and given his recent series of U turns and Aunt Sallys, it's somewhat hard to say what he does actually believe.

Jack Stone

David Cameron is totally right. I think people are sick and tired with party`s opposing what one another say just for the sake of it.
If Labour are right than we should say it.People would respect us more than if we oppose something we should agree with just for the sake of it.

Richard Allen

We can all agree that we shouldn't oppose just for the sake of opposing. The question that Cameron needs to answer however is 'What does he really believe in?'

So far he has said little which indicates any real principle or strongly held beliefs.

Michael McGowan

I don't disagree with Jack's basic point but the whole point about tuition fees was that Labour weren't right. The formula they came up with was deeply flawed and had nothing to do with freeing and reinvigorating the universities. It is simply a disguised tax hike on students, coupled with greater central control over higher education. The absurd Robert Jackson thought otherwise.....but then he is a Fellow of All Souls.

It is odd that Cameron should be claiming to be a centrist but at the same time backing a tuition fees policy which won the Lib Dems lots of support from disaffected students. But then
Cameron strikes me as a lightweight whose experience outside the Westminster Bubble is negligible.


James you would never be impressed with David Cameron. Whatever he says, however meaningful and corerct, it will always, in your opinion, be mangerial speak.

Anyway, just to add to the dislike of some of David Cameron, he was on This Morning today!

James Hellyer

"James you would never be impressed with David Cameron. Whatever he says, however meaningful and corerct, it will always, in your opinion, be mangerial speak."

Only if it was "managerial speak" (such as his announced schools policy).

Everything else has been either an Aunt Sally of massive proportions ("clear blue water") or has been a total contradiction of something he said or did earlier. These aren't criticised as managerialism, but as evidence of a disingenuity and lack of conviction.

Graeme Archer

I don't understand the comment about not opposing tuition fees: the lib dems AREN'T centrist, on this or any other issue, they're revolting lefties, so their views on how to fund higher education are neither here nor there. If we parrot them everytime they come up with a superficially popular (with da middle classes) policy (like: let's use the poor to pay for tabetha to go to uni - what a riot!, ie their policy on tuition) then we'll never have the guts to say anything useful. I know that you all know this and I feel like a rank amateur, but I don't understand how we can ever manage to say what needs to be done in a public-friendly way. LIKE tuition fees, it's disgusting to make the poor pay for the middle classes' 3 years of further education, but how do you articulate a policy around that without driving their votes to the left, who will always just say "someone else will pay". So, gosh what a lot of drivel from me, but - I actually liked David Cameron more for his comments, rather than less. (Actually, the person who's come closest IMHO to showing how to say what we want was the much-derided Lord Saatchi (derided on this website anyway) in his pamphlett "poor people! stop paying taxes!").

James Hellyer

Cameron has two real problems. Firstly, he's very inconsistent in what he says (compare his 2005 Keith Jospeh lecture to his current prononcements). Secondly, very little he now says differentiates him from government policy.

That puts us in the position where we don't know what he really stands for, but what he does say, almost without exception, could be said by anyone on the Labour benches. This isn't someone who even seems to trying to sell a vision a better Britain, instead offering to manage it better.

This shallowness of thinking is demonstrated in his choice of expression. For example, he uses as a test for policies the question "Is this a measure that is in the long-term interests of the country?" This seems to imply that other politicians think we should enact measures that are not in the long-term interests of the country.

Graeme Archer

Do you really believe that his thinking on policy is determined by the single example question he gave when being interviewed (I think) on breakfast tv?! I'm can't imagine that he's that shallow (if he were I would agree very much with your thinking about him).

James Hellyer

There's also following of Cameron's lines (from a speech this time):

"Imagine if the doctrine of 'clear blue water' applied in the commercial world. You're a supermarket chain up against Tesco, who's offering 'good food at low prices.' I know: we'll offer 'bad food at high prices.' It's no different in politics.”"

This proves he's either stupid (which I doubt) or disingeneous. Offering a credible alternative to Labour is not the same as automatically offering the opposite.

However he seems to be claiming that we *shouldn't* offer an alternative, that we should accept the systems Labour has put in place. I think we can see that in his education policy statements.

Graeme Archer

Yes I see what you mean (and it's an argument I often use at work, when someone proposes a mission statement for a project which is of the "for good, against badness" variety). We could do with some more specifics couldn't we. Well at least conference is going to be interesting this year!

William Norton

Things have come to a pretty bad pass if people start looking forward to Conference....

James Hellyer

There should be some high quality scheming going on!

Michael McGowan

The argument that the poor pay for the university education of the middle classes doesn't stack up. Most of the tax burden in this country is borne by the middle classes, not least because the income tax scales and stamp duty rates are progressive. Council tax is also banded by reference to property values. The idea that the middle classes are getting some kind of free ride is baloney. They are already paying, heavily, for education through the tax system. Those who argue the contrary are often trying to disguise their real goal which is to make the middle class tax burden much more confiscatory. Tuition fees in their current guise are a stealth more no less. They certainly guarantee neither choice nor quality in higher education.

The poor do pay a lot of tax (mainly more regressive taxes such as VAT, council tax, and taxes on booze and cigarettes). But VAT is mandated by the EC and in any case, to cut these regressive taxes significantly would require a reduction in the tax burden which the One Nation Tories are not prepared to contemplate.....because they uncritically swallow Labour's line that public services would inevitably be damaged.


Michael McGowan comes so slose to my own views on the subject that really I needn't make any additional comment - but of course I will.

While I agree that peoiple should pay for their own higher education, and best like the US system, that would not make me support the Government's proposals. Firstly, because it doesn't move on inch towards better universities (very little money is raised and the universities become even more closely tied to the dictums of Mr Gordon Brown). Secondly, because this is really just a tax hike: when you are asked to pay for something that previously was paid for by taxes, WITHOUT A PROPORTIONAL REDUCTION IN TAXES, then it follows that the 'charge' is, in essence, an increase in tax.

Importantly, only the middle classes pay. Sounds fine at first, but consiedre further: the principle is supposed to be that you contribute towards something that will make you earn more. That principle should apply to everyone. Why should a working-class lass who becomes an investment banker not pay for her education while a middle-class boy who becomes a teacher does? At what point do children start to count for themselves? If not at 18, then when? At 40? If fees are payable only to the children of the middle classes, then it's another middle class tax.

This talk of a more reasonable politics is SO STUPID. Of course we should not oppose, for example, having a police force, just because Labour supports it. But it is the duty of the opposition to force the Government through the hoops of proving its case on any new legislation. That is what an oppositional parliamentary system is all about. Osborne & Caemron's notion shows incomprehension of what their job is supposed to be. Do they suggest that defence lawyers side with the prosecution when it's obvious that the accused is a bad'un?

If these nitwits lead the Conservative party, then there will be no Conservative Party.

Cllr Francis Lankester

I have not met David Cameron but aquaintances who have describe him as inexperienced and basically a lightweight. As a teacher his pronouncements on education so far strike me as simply managerial, when we need a leader with some conviction, some fight.

Not surprised Peter Luff endorsed him as it had been trailed in the local paper here in Worcester. I got a snotty letter from Peter saying I was stirring division because I called in the press for Conservatives to write to the Party Chairman protesting at members being robbed of the vote. I wrote him a snotty letter in return saying that there are 2 kinds of unity, that of a strong committed party sure of what it has to offer the people of Britain is a sensible alternative government and the kind of false unity a discredited leadership calls for because it desperately wants to protect its reputation.

I hate to sound apocalyptic
but I think this is the last chance for our party to modernise, become relevant again and challenge the liberal/left consensus that is ruining our country. David Cameron is the apparently easy way out that leads to oblivion.


Mr Howard, who had been rebuked at a shadow cabinet meeting before lunch for joining David Davis's calls for an inquiry at this stage, instead lavished praise on the prime minister's conduct, which Charles Kennedy and others, including the Rev Ian Paisley, confirmed.,15935,1526603,00.html?gusrc=rss

David Davis, shadow home secretary, has been forced on to the defensive over his suggestion the government had tried to drive through anti-terror laws for its own political ends.

Earlier this year, Mr Davis asked: "What happened to the hundreds of terrorists roaming our streets? Was it just convenience that they appeared then disappeared in the run-up to an election?" He insisted this weekend that his point that "you shouldn't exaggerate the numbers" was still valid and said the Tories remained concerned that control orders could "act as a recruiting sergeant for al-Qaeda

Michael McGowan

Well done, Councillor Lankester, for standing up to the One Nation bully boys in the Parliamentary Party who only want Party members who pay up and shut up. It sounds as if Peter Luff has the de haut en bas reflexes that are all too typical of Tory MPs. Marie Antoinette could have done no better and at least (a) she was a real princess and (b) she never claimed to empathise with the average peasant.

"Well done, Councillor Lankester, for standing up to the One Nation bully boys in the Parliamentary Party who only want Party members who pay up and shut up. "

That's not fair! They want us to canvass and leaflet drop as well!


Do the right wing posters not realise that Cameron would be a more right wing leader than Davis because Davis will be forced to the left if he wants to be taken seriously.

Triangulation, only way to win.


Triangulation is the tactics of power, not strategy for the nation. This - and nothing personal against the lads - is what I object to so strongly in the Cameron-Osborne leadership bid. There is no point in it - they will probably flop anyway, but even if they succeed, for what? For them, not for the rest of us.

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