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« Desperate Central Office try to salvage Michael Howard's rollback of party democracy | Main | Who is backing who? (4) »

Comments

Wat Tyler

Ed- no complaints from us(this time).

Ken has veritably leapt from the blocks (including that great £500 ploy at the bookies) and deserves his +5.

And I agree with you entirely about Theresa. In some wasys she's far too nice for Westminster, but she's an asset to the party and whoever wins the leadership, she should be given a serious job.

Oberon Houston

Well, its certainly getting interesting all of a sudden. Kens dramatic (if rather shambolic) entrance onto the stage is moving the contest onto firmer ground. Frankly, I’m boring myself talking about the Euro and Leadership election rules, even if the Telegraph seems to have boundless energy for it. Can we talk about something else?

How about Crime? Lib-Dems were on the Today program this morning. Now I’ve got to say as policy goes, they have lost the plot on this one. Jail does not work was the central message.

I’m rambling now, but what about Gordon Brown and the Economy? Ken says he is going to go for the jugular on this. Its about time someone did, I have been very disappointed with the efforts of the Shadow Treasury team to date.

AnotherNick

I completely agree about Theresa May, if she isn't going to be our next leader, I think she'd make a very popular and very effected Home Secretary (hopefully not shadowing for too long).
I agree with your assesments to, although maybe we should at least acknowledge unlike some senior politicians at least David Cameron chose a UK based holiday!
I think whether we like him or not, Ken deserves a big vote of thanks, his approach to this contest so far had been the very public 'will he, won't he' which quite honestly looked rather poor, but when he made up his mind he made a very professional pitch and now the others must follow him. Their campaigns will now need to be impressive and the more professional, competent candidates that this party has the better for our long term future.

Selsdon Man

Theresa May is very good at engaging with professionals,interest groups and voluntary organisations. I would free her from the restrictions of a portfolio and give her the task of outreaching to these organisations and building a "big tent".

Peter C Glover

Incredibly, so Mr Clarke believes, "extremist preachers are one of the symptoms of the problem rather than the cause of it." Can he be serious? And worse, "No amount of preaching in itself ever made any person turn into the barbaric practice of suicide bombing." It yes it does Ken. Especially when the preachers themselves teach martyrdom as glorious and a central tenet of Islam, as many do. And, to add a bit of spice, that its rewards are great still in heaven.

Readers may appreicate a much fuller 'demolition' of Mr Clarke's illuminating speech yesterday in my 'Ken Clarke: The Cinderella Man' (today's posting)

Daniel Vince-Archer

I agree with all the positive comments here about Theresa May and it is a shame that her campaign has been unable to win any support because she has a lot of sensible ideas and would be a breath of fresh air in the current stale political atmosphere. Selsdon Man, are you suggesting her reinstatement as chairman?

Oberon Houston

The Economist has a very good summary of Ken in Bagheot, but you need a subscription to see it on-line.

http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displayStory.cfm?story_id=4344162&tranMode=none

Selsdon Man

Daniel, I am not suggesting reinstating Theresa as party chairman. The new chairman will need to spend a lot of time fundraising and modernising the campaigning methods. If Mr Maude is right, we will be fighting another general election in 2 years time. I would therefore make Theresa the Chancellor of the Dutchy of Lancaster to free her up to build the big tent

James Hellyer

Incredibly, so Mr Clarke believes, "extremist preachers are one of the symptoms of the problem rather than the cause of it." Can he be serious?

Indeed he can. Our Ken appears to think that Islamic extremists are analagous to the IRA, despite the latter group's lack of association with suicide bombings or martyrdom. Not all terrorists are people you can parley with...

Oh well, Ken has made a big splash by saying things the BBC wanted him to say. Liberal Democrats and Old Labour may like him, as the lease right wing Tory, but they still won't vote for him. Soon he'll be no more than a ripple.

Cameron is looking quite desperate now. He and his spokesmen just trash Ken for his age and hark on about 2009 and David's youth and vigour. Perhaps it's time for Ken to retailiate with a choice Reaganism:

"I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."

My respect for Cameron would be higher if he'd spent August doing his job. Alas A Levels and GCSEs flew past without comment.

Speaking of doing his job, it's time Liam Fox put his to one side and started some vigourous campaigning.

Daniel Vince-Archer

Good call Selsdon Man - Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster was one option I completely forgot about to be honest! Theresa would be well suited to the position and would be useful for cultivating media allies (Mary-Ann Sieghart and others at The Times have been May fans for quite a while now, for example).

Selsdon Man

"Our Ken appears to think that Islamic extremists are analagous to the IRA, despite the latter group's lack of association with suicide bombings or martyrdom"

You are forgetting the hunger strikers - they considered themselves to be martyrs!!

Selsdon Man

James, you are being unfair to Cameron - he commented at length on the exam results.

"Perhaps it's time for Ken to retailiate with a choice Reaganism:

"I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."

That is a good point. Reagan was nearly 70 when he took office. I'm surprised that Clarke has not used that to his advantage.

Simon C

"PS I’ve now dropped Andrew Lansley from the list of contenders. He has no identifiable supporters and expect an imminent endorsement of Mr Clarke (he backed him in ’01)."

Editor - in your revamp of the pages, you have dropped the photos, which means we won't have the satisfaction of seeing red lines across Yeo & Lansley, May, Willetts, Rifkind, Cameron, Davis, & Clarke.

Editor

Sorry about that Simon. When each candidate does drop out I will post the red lined photo; just for you! I don't want to upset you but it may even possible that Dr Fox will get red lines, Simon...

The revamp has now stopped. I apologise for the experimentation over the summer but I hope the look suits people. The combination of the white-background and sans serif font makes it very simple and clear... I hope.

malcolm

James agree with everything you say about both Cameron & Fox.I really can't quite understand why the good Doctor (or David Davis for that matter) have been so quiet.That may not be fatal for DD but for Fox if he doesn't start campaigning hard soon it surely will be.Personally I think that would be a shame.
Not so sure about your comments on Clarke 'though.He has been very consistent with his views on Iraq.I really don't think the views of the BBC (or anybody else ) really matter to him.I hope I'm not being biased as I agreed (as I suspect many Conservatives do)with every word he said on the subject.
Selsdon, are you sure Cameron had anything at all to say about grade inflation? I must have missed it,as I don't remember anything from him on this subject from him.

Simon C

It looks very nice Tim. Glad you picked up on the Fox endorsement.

In protest at the tieless shoeless & clueless elements of our party, I will be foresaking my usual party conference casuals in favour of a suit (at least for some of the time)... & Mrs C has found a dashing dark blue tie with Fox heads on it. You have been warned.

James Hellyer

"James, you are being unfair to Cameron - he commented at length on the exam results."

Where? I didn't a single comment from him in the newspapers or on the television news at the time.

James Hellyer

"Not so sure about your comments on Clarke 'though.He has been very consistent with his views on Iraq.I really don't think the views of the BBC (or anybody else ) really matter to him."

My point, Malcolm, was that Clarke has gained a great deal of publicity by rubbishing Blair over Iraq. That has played well with a lot of people in the Labour Party, the Lib Dems and the BBC. These are the people who like Clarke as the least right wing Conservative. Basically Clarke has won plaudits from people who would never vote for him anyway. That's why his leadership bid is ultimately doomed.

James Hellyer

"I hope I'm not being biased as I agreed (as I suspect many Conservatives do)with every word he said on the subject."

You agreed that there was no basis for the invasion of Iraq. Did you agree that Qutbists are analagous to the IRA? Or that extremist clerics do not cause terrorism?

Oh, and Selsdon, hunger strikers are not analagous to suicide bombers. They killed only themselves, and really sought concessions rather than death. Hearing the video recording of the 7/7 bomber, I think we can see a certain difference in mindset.

Anatole Kaletsky wrote 'The answer to the education debate is only too clear: look to the stars'. It's a shame Cameron didn't write it.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1061-1759096,00.html

malcolm

James,unless I'm very much mistaken all polls for some considerable time have shown that Conservative voters are more against the Iraq war than Labour voters.Clarkes attack on the government will I hope strike a chord with these people and encourage them to vote Conservative.
Do I think the IRA were better than the 'Qutbists'? After Warrington,Omagh,Enniskillen,Birmingham,Harrods,Regents Park etc etc etc the answer has to be no.
Clarkes point about existing laws not being enforced is true.Extremist clerics can and should be jailed we need no new laws to achieve this although I would agree that the Human Rights Act should be repealed.
Clarkes leadership bid is I think far from doomed but I would hope that either Rifkind or Fox will soon start to elucidate ideas which will capture the mood of our citizens.

James Hellyer

"Clarkes attack on the government will I hope strike a chord with these people and encourage them to vote Conservative."

How? By reminding them that the Conservatives supported the war? Mr Clarke's personal views cannot be conflated with those of the party.

"Do I think the IRA were better than the 'Qutbists'?"

I didn't say better than, I said analagous to, which is a big distinction. Are they the same, as Clarke suggests, and can they be dealt with in the same manner? The IRA and Sinn Fein could be brought into the political process and compromised with, but can the same be said about any Caliphatist movement?

"Extremist clerics can and should be jailed"

Mr Clarke did not see them as a cause of terrorism. He did not appear to see any real case for prosecuting or deporting them unless they committed some other crime.

malcolm

Everyone can make a mistake James and if some of our MPs admitted they had done so with Iraq they would gain some kudos.
They could also claim with great justification that they were misled by the mendacity of our PM,I think that's a perfectly honourable position to hold.
Much better than to continue to defend the completely indefensible.

Jack Stone

Comments by those supporting David Davis inevitably are short and to the point because there as been nothing of note to DD`s campaign so far.
No new policys, no vision for Britain just this notion that because he was brought up on a council estate and as had his nose broken four times he as a good image to sell to voters.
Davis is like Major and IDS before him a politican who wants a position that is beyond him.
If the party elect him, not for the first time, will it be heading for diaster.

malcolm

Good to see you back Jack.No doubt we can look forward to some wonderful posts,you lefty troll!

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