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


Simon C

Actually, Editor, it appears that Bercow accused Cameron of "ludicrous hyperbole" before going on to say, without apparent irony, that "mouthing the same mantras on Europe would be a lethal injection".

Whilst Cameron did make political rather than personal attacks, he may have been more sensible to heed his own advice against trashing the brand. His political attacks came across as being born more of desperation than reasoned critique, largely because he has not yet set out a clear vision for Britian against which proposals and alternatives from other campaigns can be compared. We have had a series of managerial speeches from him, with the ogg good nugget (eg his support for marriage), but no great theme or idea


Listening to this stuff, it's quite hard to see what holds the party together. It's fair enough to have a debate about policy, but can anyone spot any shared vision, any solid common ground, which defines Conservatism and makes us one team, rather than a collection of purely self-interested political wannabes? At least David Davis and Liam Fox have so far avoided attacking and denigrating their competitors. In my eyes, Clarke and Cameron have disqualified themselves. I wouldn't want to be in a party led by them.

Simon C

For "ogg" read "odd" - see above

James Maskell

Clarke believes it to be him and DD in the last round and Cameron wants in on the action thinking hes being sidelined. The problem is..he is being sidelined and isnt really pushing his way back in with comments like that. Stick to the issues DC.

Daniel Vince-Archer

Speaking of party unity, it was fascinating watching Cabinet members sucking up to Brown today in the hope of a good job post-succession, sorry I mean praising Brown as the only choice as next Labour leader. Truly nauseating stuff.

James Hellyer

Clarke may believe that, James, but his campaign team aren;t as confident. Apparently they are extremely "frustrated" that they can't persuade any MPs to publicly declare for them...

James Hellyer

It looks like people are mixing Bercow's personal attacks up! He bashed Davis and Cameron.

Let's split up the personal attacks.

About Cameron:

Bercow dismissed Cameron's remarks as ludicrous hyperbole". And he said Cameron's combination of "Eton, hunting, shooting and lunch at Whites" made him the wrong man for the job.

On Davis:

He said mouthing the "same old mantras" about Europe, immigration and tax cuts would be "sleepwalking" to another election defeat.

He also warned that choosing David Davis' right-wing agenda would be administering a "lethal injection" to the party.


You'd never believe it was the same John Bercow who used to be a leading light in the Monday Club, would you? Bless him, but he's so keen on pointing out what he's against that I have no idea what he's for these days. In fact, the headline issue I last remember Bercow speaking up on was Blair's statesmanship over Iraq... now he's supporting, er, Clarke.

James Hellyer

Bercow's has been an interesting personal political journey: from cleaning the spit of the Monday Club's floor to knocking on Blair's door...

Simon C

Is anyone mixing Bercow up more than he's already mixed himself?

Surely by using language like "lethal injection" he is as guilty of "ludicrous hyperbole" as anyone.

James Hellyer

Let's put the Cameron/Bercow accustions together. What does that give us?

National suicide by lethal injection: a Davis-Clarke pact!

Simon C

Well, DD has put his support for euthanasia on record...

James Hellyer

Is it me, or is the episode of Panorama on right now a party political broadcast for Clarke campaign?


John Bercow is a bad egg. I will admire the leadership candidate who can turn his negativity around and fire it back at him. It's one thing to attack someone's point of view that's healthy. It's quite another to attack someone's upbringing which after all is outside each individual persons control and involves parental influence.

It wouldn't surprise me if once Mr Blair leaves office young Leo doesn't end up at Eton or similar, hypocrisy is worse than hyperbole. It is no more acceptable to criticise someone for having a priviledged upbringing as it is to criticise someone for growing up poor it just smacks of jealousy.

Daniel Vince-Archer

I was quite impressed with Ken on Panorama, he spoke a lot of sense I thought. The programme itself wasn't so impressive - it seemed to go in a circle and asked a lot of questions about Brown and then failed to go anywhere near answering any of those questions.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"It is no more acceptable to criticise someone for having a priviledged upbringing as it is to criticise someone for growing up poor it just smacks of jealousy."

Bercow didn't criticise Cameron's upbringing, he merely highlighted reasons why the public won't identify with him.


DVA - Isn't it just as patronising to say: "he merely highlighted reasons why the public won't identify with him"

I can identify with him and I went to a Secondary Modern school and had a working class background. Or are you now saying that MP's should only be selected from the working class so as not to alienate a section of the electorate. It hasn't stopped people associating with Tony Blair and didn't he go to the Scottish Eton? I think there are too many people hung up on class and we need to move on in the 21st Century.


The sooner the ludicrous Bercow defects to his natural home with the LibDems the better. I agree that Cameron blundered by describing other candidates' approaches as suicidal, but the correct response is definitely not to ratchet up the negativity, which can only harm the party's image. At the risk of mentioning yet another straw man, Bercow's implicit assertion that Davis was merely focusing on tax, Europe and immigration is a classic example. He is either being lazy or acting in bad faith: in my view either disqualifies him from being taken seriously in this debate from now on.

James Hellyer

Did anyone take Bercow seriously anyway, Nick?

James Maskell

Didnt watch Panorama. Far too tired. Will watch it tomorrow though with my day off work and will give my opinions later.


"Did anyone take Bercow seriously anyway, Nick?"

Apart from himself? Probably not many within the party but sadly far too many people in the media who know he can be relied upon to stir things up. Sad, because at one time he was an effective shadow minister who probably could have achieved much more of what he professes to aim for by displaying more loyalty and less self-indulgence.

Wat Tyler

Extraordinary Bercow outburst- shows how rattled they are.

And as for the BBC's ongoing "Campaign For A Ken Victory", Panorama was a classic propaganda broadcast.

He was filmed in some Reservoir Dogs style warehouse- Mr Pink I guess- backlit and looking in his prime...hmmm, well...

At least the BBC- EVEN the BBC- are at last sensing that there's something wrong with an economy- like the North East's- where public spending makes up 60%.

James Hellyer

At this rate the BBC will be having a Ken Clarke theme night on BBC2 just before the first MPs' ballot...

"I love Ken Clarke Night".

I can hardly wait ;=)

Oberon Houston

I cannot believe you lot. The BBC finally exposes the folly of the Chancellors economic policy via the respected Panorama team, in a great format those unfamiliar with macro economics can understand.

Clarke and Balls are the obvious choice for commentators, Clarke comes across very well in his measured approach, Balls is clearly shattered at how badly his plan went, and all the Bloggers on Conservative home can do is stick the knife in Ken. I sometimes wonder whose side some people are on.

James Hellyer

Sense of humour, Oberon. Oberon, sense of humour.

I don't think you two have been formally introduced ;=)

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