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« New Tory MPs join campaign to protect grassroots members’ voting rights | Main | Liam Fox asks Gary Streeter to run new Tory human rights group »

Comments

Paul Marks

There seems to be a lot of Davis bashing going on. I wonder what people are afraid of.

I.D.S. was treated as a joke by the electronic media (and the Guardian and so on) and their friends within the party. But there seems to be real fear of Davis - which is a good sign.

Lian Fox has always had sound views on the E.U. (and some other matters) but I am concerned that he wishes to be liked by the media.

Any leader of the Conservative party (who is any good) but must be prepared to be hated by the media (and the rest of the "liberal" establishment), indeed he must WELCOME their hatred - and use it to drive a wedge between them and the voters.

It was the little secret of leaders like Lady Thatcher - the endless attacks of the B.B.C. (and so on) actually HELPED her.

What matters is to tell the truth and to tell it boldly.

Determination and grit are what wins votes, not being nice. Ronald Reagan (whose behaviour was partly an act in any case - it was one of nature's more disgusting jokes that he spent his last years being what he had pretended to be for fifty years), would not have won a British general election.

All the above being said, it should be remembered that Mr Davis was "Europe Minister" for John Major, and whilst he did get the nickname "Mr No" for his resistance to some E.U. demands, the whole Major connection is harldy something to be proud of.

James Hellyer

"There seems to be a lot of Davis bashing going on. I wonder what people are afraid of."

I don't think people are afraid of him (certainly several Labour staffers I know have said they think he's just a "one last heave merchant" and would be easiest to beat). However at the moment I think the real objections to him centre around his personality.

Like many people who've met him over the years, I found doing so to be wholly negative experience. It sounds like he showed this typical diplomacy with the "interview" panel.

I think the other problem is that it's still uncertain what he believes. Certainly his CPS lecture told us more about what Nick Herbert thinks than what Davis thinks. I think the continued emphasis on biography shows the hollowness of hi campaign to date.

If it is this hard for him to connect with committed Conservative supporters, it casts real doubt on his ability to reach out to wavering voters.

"Liam Fox has always had sound views on the E.U. (and some other matters) but I am concerned that he wishes to be liked by the media."

I don't know about that. During the election campaign I remember him mauling the Today team over biased reporting on several occassions. His best attempts left the interviewers unable to come up with any reply beyond an embarrassed "let's move on".

Of the candidates so far, I think Dr Fox is by far the most interesting. He's somewhat unfairly branded as a neo-Thatcherite, but his recent interviews and speeches seem to indicate that he's far more than that.

In that regard, I think this long race is turning out to be beneficial.

James Hellyer


And Paul, I'd disagree that we don't need to be likeable. Mrs Thatcher didn't need to seem likeable, merely competent, because she was running against a discredited and failed government. We are not currently in the same position - Labour's failure is not truly apparent.

In Thatcher's circumstances, you could be seen as competent but nasty. The problem we have is that people now see us as incompetent (thank you Mr Major) and nasty (thank you Mr Howard). That's hardly an election winning combination.

Me

The reason why Conservatives are seen as incompetent and nasty is because of policies, not people. You insult 60 million people by asserting otherwise. Statistically, out of 60 million people there are going to be a heck of a lot of citizens who are very clued up, very 'switched on', and very good at evaluating the outcomes of policies.

The problem the Conservative party is having is that to repackage itself with a smile - as Blair did - is going to be seen, quite rightly, as absolutely dishonest.

It is the Conservative policies which need to change if the party wants to be elected.

Otherwise the Conservatives are just competing on what is now New Labour territory. The fact is that Blair is the best Conservative leader since Thatcher, and you will not find anyone within the Conservatives who can beat him at his game, which is 'nastiness with a grin'.

And let's face it, who would want to be good at that game?

David Davis would rather just be nasty, with no grin. Other leadership candidates seem to be more genuine, but still misguided with illogical policies such as 'marriage belongs to heterosexuals' and 'corporations need to pay less tax'. This is absurd and the more you trot it out the deeper the Conservatives dig.

Good luck Conservatives, it's sad that you can't displace Blair because I really can't stand his New Labour project and his track record, despite what another poster has said, is glaringly obviously detrimental to the UK and its constituent countries, so the sooner we are rid of him, Brown, and the rest the better. But the Conservatives, if they choose someone from the Thatcher era like Clarke, or someone from the goose-stepping stable like Davis, or someone with retarded ideas about same-sex love, or a neo-corporatist, are going to make things a lot, lot worse than they already are.

Wake up and have a whiff of the freshly ground java beans please.

James Hellyer

'corporations need to pay less tax'.

How is a policy that attracts businesses, and thus creates jobs, retarded?

Daniel Vince-Archer

'Me', perhaps you'd like a leader who promises that people will receive tax relief if they skip and dance and hold hands and sing hymns all day long? I really can't see why anybody should take your hysterical diatribe seriously. Are you perhaps a juvenile Liberal Democrat?

Wat Tyler

I keep meaning to go onto some of the Lib Dem sites to pose as a disillusioned supporter. I'm sure it would be fun. In fact, why don't we all have a crack at it? The agenda is to widen that gap between the Orange Bookers and the hippies.

James Hellyer


So should we pretend to be the sort of Lib Dems who tradtionally pass Conference motions (sadly lacking this year) demanding that prisoners be given the vote/hard core pornography/goldfish, or the sort of free market kind?

Wat Tyler

Good question James...If the former, then we might hope to p off the Orange Bookers, encouraging them to despair enough to jump ship. If the latter, then we could sow outrage among the hippies, which would hopefully lead to more of the backlash we saw in Blackpool this week (on the EU budget and PO privatisation). I think I'll have a crack at the latter- because it sounds like more fun.

But is there anything stopping us having a twin track strategy?

Coffee Monster

Editor -

According to Wikipedia this site is run by the Cornerstone group:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornerstone_Group

If you don't mind me asking, what precisely is your relationship with them? Are you an associate member or did someone get confused because Edward Leigh linked to your site here:
http://www.edwardleigh.net/newsarticle.php?id=314

Selsdon Man

I have asked this question before and the Editor claimed that had no formal connection with Cornerstone, e.g. as a spokesman. He does, however, seem to champion it and its views.

James Hellyer


I think you can sympathise with people's views without being a member of their select group. I have a lot of sympathy with Israel, for example, but aren't a member of Likud!

henry curteis

Equally you can be part of a group/party and yet share none of the party's beliefs - e.g. Ken Clarke - he would make a great party leader if he only he was a Conservative.

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