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« Will DD's surplus supporters vote tactically? And who for? | Main | Editorial: Dr Fox's extra mile compassion »



Spot on Oberon. Ken demolishes Gordon Brown's economic record on a flagship current affairs programme and all the people on here can do is attack the Tory representative on the programme. I find it astonishing that many contributors to this blog feel much more comfortable attacking the most respected, popular Tory in the country than they do attacking the Labour Party.

As a matter of interest, I have had several 'swing voter' friends of mine telling me how well they thought Ken came over on Panorama last night.

Sean Fear

This is the John Bercow who was Secretary of the Monday Club's Immigration Race Relations and *Repatriation* sub-committee (Chairman: Harvey Proctor), and who proclaimed that the "preservation of our national identity demands a massive programme of assisted repatriation."

James Hellyer

Sense of humour, Disraeli. Disraeli, sense of humour.

Don't be strangers!

"many contributors to this blog feel much more comfortable attacking the most respected, popular Tory in the country"

It may have escaped your attention, but the focus of this particular part of the blog is the Conservative leadership, so it seems somewhat bizarre to complain about people commenting on Conservative leadership candidates!

James Hellyer

This is the John Bercow who was Secretary of the Monday Club's Immigration Race Relations and *Repatriation* sub-committee (Chairman: Harvey Proctor), and who proclaimed that the "preservation of our national identity demands a massive programme of assisted repatriation."

Bercow's politcal journey really is extraordinary, isn't it.

Simon C

Actually, Disraeli & James are raising a good point. Given that so few of the Shadow team are actually scrutinising the government's domestic record at the moment, perhaps we could lend a hand.

Editor - how about a ConservativeHome Shadow Opposition blog?

James Hellyer

As the leadership blog has a finite life (unless the new leader is to be treated to our running commentaries on his performance), something like that may replace it, I'd have thought.


Good idea Simon,I'd like to see that.
As regards Bercow,why do we give him the publicity?He reminds of one those embarassing people who I come into contact with at work who just love the sound of their own voices and will say anything to make sure he's heard.
Having said that,I hope all the leadership candidates will raise their game.Only Clarke seems to have realised who the 'real' enemy is and has made some quite effective attacks on Labour.The others have been by and large invisible to the general public. If this doesn't change soon,my vote will go to Clarke.Three months ago I'd never have believed I could have ever said that.

James Maskell

I find it amazing that at the last Conservative Conference things were so much more secure. Howard was the Leader of the Conservative Party with strong support from the Shadow Cabinet, all moving forward to fight in the General Election.

Jump forward 12 months. Whats happened to the Party? Howards a lame duck leader, promoting a withdrawal of the vote from the Party members and a centralisation of power at CCO, the leadership candidates have been fighting each other since May and not the Government and this years Conference will be wasted by that very contest. Its no wonder why people dont want to be part of the Conservatives.

Wat Tyler

Oberon, Disraeli. Yes, I completely agree that Balls looked sweaty and uncomfortable. Whereas Ken put in a calm, measured performance. OK?

And once this leadership biz is out of the way, I can't wait to train all our guns across onto the enemy trenches. I'm very optimistic about our prospects.

But James has a point y'know- this is the Leadership Blog. God knows why we're having a 6-7 month campaign, but there we are.

And I do genuinely believe the BBC- along with other bits of the liberal media- are trying to puff up Ken. To the disadvantage of others- like...well, DD.

Why didn't they ask George O to comment? He's shadow Chancellor- not Ken.

James Hellyer

It was odd that neither the Shadow Chancellor or, at a push, the Shadow Chief Secretary of the Treasury took part. I'd have expected one of them to feature in a programme about the Chancellor's handling of the economy.

Were they even asked?

Oberon Houston

This is something that I have noticed for some time to increasing frustration. With the exception of Willetts and Ken (lately), our opposition has been, well, mute or wholly ineffective.

I single out the Shadow Treasury team for particular lack of, well, lack doing of doing anything remotely interesting. The Economy has gone from zero to hero for us and is now, today, a potentially HUGE boon for us, we must seize it and throttle Labour with it immediately.

Messrs Osborne and Co. really need to get stuck into him and stop leaving it to the odd comment from Willetts and Ken or the media.

I would heartily like to see a Shadow Blog set up, it’s a fantastic idea.

Oberon Houston

Sorry, still getting used to James' fancy italics and bold posts!

Oberon Houston


James Hellyer

Try previewing before you post. Then you can make sure the formatting tags have been set up correctly.

James Hellyer

Hmm. I'm sure I didn't format that as bold and italics...

James Hellyer

Typepad has gone mad!


That's a good point,Wat; though I admit that Ken took his opportunity well. What a pity he has refused to take a shadow cabinet post during our eight years in opposition. It looks very much as though the BBC are promoting Ken, though to be fair they had the legitimate excuse that he was the last Tory chancellor.

As for Mr. Bercow's attack on DC for his background,I agree with a-tracy that it is not relevant, it certainly has not hampered Blair, so why should it make any difference to DC?

All leadership candidates should try to be positive, and leave the negative stuff to others, which is exactly what Ken did when leaving it to Bercow!

James Hellyer

I think the argument about Cameron's background is that it plays into popular perceptions of Conservatives coming from privileged backgrounds and being for the rich. By contrast, Blair's background plays against perceptions of Labour and thus made them sem more acceptable to middle England.


i think the bold tag didn't get closed properly after Oberon's HUGE.

James Hellyer

Will this fix it?

James Hellyer

Bold gone! Now for the italics

Normal service is resumed!

James Hellyer



Wat: "I completely agree that Balls looked sweaty and uncomfortable."

Truly, inspired words.

Oberon Houston

Thanks for sorting out that font shambles. Sorry.

Ball's did look like a broken man, didn’t he? Pity his old boss is less likely to worry much over the awful waste and damage caused by their flawed thinking. Gordon’s now frantically scheming over how to best leave the mess at the Treasury, put the blame on someone else, and lead the Country instead (omg).

If we cannot win back power next time round under these conditions then we should be ashamed of ourselves. We should not let up on Brown though, starting now. He is the key.

James Maskell

Did anyone catch Browns speech...he had that audience in the palm of his hand. Funniest thing though was the close up on Blair during the speech...his pupils were tiny! Blair and Brown good friends, dont think so. Also funny was the 3 minute standing ovation...Blair wanted to stop after a minute, you could see him slowing down and stopping for a brief moment. Just shows exactly how Blair feels about Brown. Blunkett though shook his hand and seemed very nice to him, congratulating him on the speech.

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