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« Malcolm Rifkind ‘will make best party conference speech’ but his leadership bid can’t be successfully relaunched | Main | Ken Clarke to sever lucrative directorships »


James Hellyer

One notable thing about Michael Ancram's article, and earlier Summer Address to Politea, is how upbeat and confident it is in discussing "core" Conservative issues. Rather than portraying Conservastism as somehow being a failed brand that's irrelevant to modern life, Ancram asserts that this is untrue. It's not our ideals that are at fault, it's our inability to true to them and be positive about them has meant nobody is persuaded by them.

Simon C

Well done Ancers! I may even have to buy a copy of the Independent to see his words of wisdom in full. Or at least stop in the newsagent at Kings X on the way home.

Oberon Houston

It is true that although a brand has no direct material worth, it can represent tremendous value. Coca Cola, the Nike ‘swish’ are all reputed to be worth the majority of the company’s net worth. And brand values go down as well as up, for example the ‘MG’ brand is now virtually worthless, trashed by the Phoenix Four with a big helping hand from our friend Byers. Oh, I know, we could have an impromptu Mid-August Blogging Festival discussing that flawed and vindictive clown, but alas, back to the issue of the ‘brand’.

I think we are wading around in sophistry on this particular debate. Malcolm Rifkind was critical of the performance of the party in the last eight years, and his lack of involvement has probably made criticism easier to hand out and more difficult to receive by those that have been in opposition. Most impartial observers however would agree that our particular stock has closely tracked the performance of Marconi i.e. freefall, followed by a dazed wander in the foothills. I do believe there is a bright future for Conservatives however, but lets not kid ourselves into thinking we are in the business of protecting our brand, we are in the business of making it.

Anyway, I’m off to the Edinburgh Festival, but looking forward to reading your contributions next week.

James Hellyer

Simon, the article is linked above and you don't need a subscription to read it.

Simon C

Thank you James.


I've always thought of Michael Ancram as a very sensible man, and his article re-inforces that view. He would have made an excellent leader in the days before we needed a super star to win over the TV obsessed voters. Come to think of it doesn't he play the guitar and sing?

Kenneth Irvine

Mr Ancram's comments are robust, sound and timely. The Conservative leadership contest needs only postive debate. Personal jibes and mud slinging only devalues the "brand". The Party is bigger than any individual's ambitions or ego.

Jonathan Sheppard

Derek , why the rumours that Michael will whip his guitar out and sing at the drop of a hat are correct.

I remember hearing a pretty good version of The Boxer at a recent party conference.

Perhaps we should put him up for the X factor - what do you think?

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