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« Is David Willetts the contest’s ‘middle man’? | Main | Ten MPs call on their colleagues to retain some form of party democracy »


Wat Tyler

Hames converted to DD several weeks ago, and has also been a keen advocate of the Peasant's Revolt (to keep our leadership votes).

But, Ed, glad to see you've posted it up here to balance your coverage of Parris

(Also Ed...have you been up to your old tricks again? Unless I'm going bonkers- quite possible- I think there were a couple of comments here from buxtehude, now mysteriously expunged. Something about class war?)


Wat - Buxtehude asked for them to be deleted - which I'm happy to do for any commentators unless that would distort the thread. I have also been known to delete posts with bad language or are otherwise offensive... and will continue to do so in order to protect the civilised nature of our discussions. That ends my public service announcement!

James Hellyer

Oh look, someone from the Times expressing their opinion (are they the only op-ed pieces out there concerning the contest?).

I'm still not convinced that the contest really is between Cameron and Davis. Beyond Cameron always being used by the Times as the other candidate, I've seen little evidence that suggests he commands the support of more MPs than any other of the second rank candidates (other the likes of May, who probably have no votes).

It's also concerning that Hames focusses almost exclusively on candidate biography, rather than what they believe in and want to do with the party. I mean it's hardly a deep and thoughtful form of discourse, is it?

Graeme Archer

I agree with James though I think I'm veering towards support for David Cameron ... the Times has become the mouthpiece of New Labour over the last few years (with the exception of a valiant rearguard of some of its columnists like the blessed Matthew Parris and of course our own wonderful Editor :-0) ) so I don't think we should be too concerned over its editorial choice (most of its editorials leave me feeling nauseous - there is no meddling government law which the Times can't be relied upon to find something good to say) .. anyway - I think James is right. Discussing the biography of a candidate beyond the basics (has s/he ever been, or likely to be, imprisoned for perjury? is the obvious example) seems to get us neither here nor there in terms of where the party has to go.

I'm not dissing the importance of a narrative in terms of political utility (I thought Peter Oborne's articles about the basic deceitfulness of narrative were wonderful polemic, but I don't agree that because an image cannot be 100% accurate, it is therefore 100% false, or that it can have no function in terms of a party's conversation with the electorate). But I do feel, so far, that the extent of David Davis's message is all about his narrative - "I grew up on a council estate, while HE went to Eton" - hmm. It's not getting me very far towards understanding what sort of society this man wants to see.

James Hellyer

"It's not getting me very far towards understanding what sort of society this man wants to see."

But it is telling us a lot about the sort of ground the Davis supporters think he can win on. That's win against Cameron, not Brown or Blair.

Graeme Archer

sono cento per cento d'accordo con James. Well said geezer!

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