Conservative Home's debate blogs


  • DVD rental
  • Conservative Books
My Photo

Conservative blogs

Blog powered by Typepad

  • Tracker 2
  • Extreme Tracker

« Telegraph backs electoral college for choosing Conservative leader | Main | Unsupported Alan Duncan quits the race »


James Hellyer

I have to say that this story really doesn't surprise me.

I remember Hague's interview on the Today programme where he endorsed withdrawing grass roots' voting rights. Then he was fulsome in his praise for every possible leadership contender except DD about whom he refused to comment.

Similarly while Michael Howard has been assumed to support Cameron, he can't be too happy with a strategy that consists effectively of saying "Michael Howard was rubbish". It's worth remembering that Dr Fox was Howard's campaign manager after IDS was deposed.

In any event, the endorsments of party "names" are going to be a lot more important than the ones we've had so far. I think a lot more stock will be given to the views of Howard, Hague, IDS, Ancram and so forth, than those of someone like Peter Luff or Damian Green.

We shall have to wait and see what they really think...

Steven Patrick

In a story in the Mail Sunday they were suggesting that the Fox and Cameron campaigns were uniting to stop Davis. Now that would be IMHO an unstoppable combination.


The important part is the 'Howard not backing Cameron' suggestion. That Hague dislikes DD we have long known; and we must accept the editor's disavowal of the the CSJ bit.

But the MH story is fascinating. Remember, MH can have only one purpose now: to save his reputation from utter extinction; to have some kind of honourable role in the future. So MH may indeed be super-sensitive about DC's comments - and DC will hardly want to associate himself with so terrible a campaign (especially as he was part of its design! Notice how he got his friends in the press to suggest his distance - just in case - a couple of weeks before polling day, when he suffered a wobble).

A rift between MH and DC might explain what has mystified me lately: why Gove of all people should champion a democratic role for the membership. It would serve a double role: firstly, because DC can't win among MPs (though still a long-shot, he might do better with the membership); secondly it could be to distance the DC campaign from MH.

It would be a major surprise if MH does switch, since the plan to change the voting procedure was originally devised to help DC (to give him more time and because it was thought MPs could be more directly manipulated. He didn't realise how quickly and how low his stock fell.) We must now watch carefully for any signals!

Steven Patrick

Actually the most interesting thing Buxtehude is the fact that so many people loathe David Davis.

Wat Tyler


1) given all the speculation and spin, we don't actually know that Hague, IDS, and Howard are all going to come down against DD, and...

2) even if they do, remember that the last time the party elected a ballsy outsider, none of her immediate predecessors were what you'd call fans exactly. It's a law of nature.

Steven Patrick

Funnily enough Wat the more I hear, the more I don't think Davis will actually become leader. I can see either Liam Fox or David Cameron snatching the Crown.

Jack Stone

The most important thing for any party is unity. Without that no party stands a chance of winning an election.

David Davis would not unite the party.He is loathed by too many people and the intolerance of other views by him and those around him for him to ever be able to do that.

Personally I think the best chance of unity is Liam Fox as leader and David Cameron as his deputy.

This leadership team would not only unite the party it would show the public by having a leadership team from a new generation of leaders that the party is a party of tommorrow not yesteryear.


I agree, Steven, the loathing is very interesting. What we have to disentangle is how much comes from his personal character, and how much comes from his lowly birth. Before you laugh at the latter, remember Matthew D'Ancona in the Sunday Telegraph a month or so ago directly quoting a Notting Hill MP of his acquaintance referring to DD as an 'oik'. You might find that unbelievable, but please be assured this is more widespread than you would imagine. And for my part, I would love to see all the 'oiks' take over, and all those who call people 'oiks' leave the party. Bye bye Rachel.

That said, there is a character issue with DD. Nevertheless, it is quite possible that the qualities which make someone 'not a good colleague' nevertheless make him a powerful leader.

As for party unity: we all want it. But unity under a loser is worthless.

Mark O'Brien

I've been on holiday for no more than a week. It's reassuring to see that not very much has changed in my party!


In a truly professional organisation you work with people whether you like them or not. We deserve better than this "I'll vote for whoever stops that so-and-so argument!"
Conservative MP's learn nothing. They are the problem.


"The most important thing for any party is unity. Without that no party stands a chance of winning an election." Jack, wasn't MH elected unanimously? And didn't Thatcher get in after a very contested vote? Historically, there is no evidence that "party unity" (whatever that is) leads to electoral success.

The comments to this entry are closed.

About Conservative Home


  • Conservative Home's
    free eMailing List
    Enter your name and email address below: