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« The race for second place | Main | Liam Fox promises red meat to Eurosceptics »

Comments

James Hellyer

No Malcolm, it's a connection or Typepad related issue.

Although just for you, I am willing to post "Clarke is a merchant of death" three times. Remember, you only have to ask ;=)

malcolm

James, if I'd been a prefect at your school you would have been doing lines every night for me which would say something like 'I must stop making snide remarks about everyone who disagrees with me'.

James Hellyer

Malcolm tacitly endorsed the thriving trade in death.

Mark Fulford

Simon,

There's full text of a very relevant speach at
http://www.ken-clarke.com/upload/file/1127901425050921TheConservativesandPublicServices.pdf

I'm not really a good enough editor to condense it to a short post, but they're basically core Conservative beliefs. In summary:

Parents and patients get choice and diversity
Partnerships of public and private sector
Free at point of delivery
Funded by taxation
Decentralized

James Hellyer

"Parents and patients get choice and diversity"

Except they don't. For example, Clarke would deny them the chance to use their tax money outside the NHS.

"Partnerships of public and private sector"

A fairly meaningless phrase. It could even be New Labour's PFI!

"Free at point of delivery"

He's really rediscovering the wheeel here...

Has anyone actually said "privatise the NHS"?

"Funded by taxation"

Despite the fact that withour demand side reforms, NHS costs will continue to increase year on year?

"Decentralized"

But subject rto targets from... the centre.

Mark, is Ken-Clarke.com his new official website?

Looks a lot better than KenClarke.co.uk which was actually painfully bad.

Paul Marks

If Mr Clarke was elected leader the Conservative party would fall apart. And a political party that has fallen apart it is not likely to win a general election.

It is often the case that clever-clever people do stupid things.

For example, the people who backstabbed Mrs (now Lady) Thatcher in 1990 calculated that if they did so the Consrvative Party could win the next election - and they boasted (in 1992) that they had been proved correct.

What they did not understand is that by showing the party as treacherous and without basic beliefs they set it up for the collapse of 1997.

Before 1990 even our worst enemies admitted that we had basic beliefs and that we were loyal to an elected Prime Minister. After 1990 we could not claim these things.

To rebuild a reputation for having basic beliefs takes years of hard work, but without such a reputation (which must be based on reality) we are not going to get back into office.

Let us say Mr Clarke became leader - how could he argue against Mr Brown's spening increases? Mr Clarke was Chancellor under John Major - the administration that doubled the national debt and "spent more money than Labour promised to spend".

How could Mr Clarke argue for lower and less complicated taxation? He has never shown any interest in such things.

Lastly how could Mr Clarke argue for a return of powers from the E.U. (without which any talk of "deregulation" is a farce).

"Oh forget all this principles and policy stuff, the public like Mr Clarke - they like his belly and his nice manner".

If the Conservative party has been reduced to this level then we deserve to die, and the voters (yes the same voters who say they love Mr Clarke in the opinion polls) will kill us off.

malcolm

Another superbly argued post- NOT.I really do despair of Conservative party supporters who are so vitriolic about their fellow Conservatives.With people like this as advocates we will keep losing.

Oberon Houston

Who was it that said Theresa was wrong to say we’re Nasty? Okay, it can be tempting to get rather carried away when blogging, but lets try to separate some fundamentals out here, even if one does not agree with Ken’s centrist stance, can we agree that a centre-right Conservative Government would be a very different thing to a centre-left New Labour Government?

Let’s face it they are masquerading on our turf, and it shows, devolution, upper house reform, hunting bill, runaway spending, MG fiasco, Railtrack, confusion, paralysis, waste etc. etc. You get the idea, so please don’t try and say a centrist Tory Government is the same as the New Labour version, it certainly is not. The best budget Brown had was Clarke’s! (I’m sure you remember there was a Labour manifesto pledge to hold for 2 years). It is this that saved Broon on his Golden Rule fudge.

On the popularity front, I can’t understand people that won’t accept that he the man to woo the votes New Labour stole from us, that really don’t make sense. Tons of ordinary people I talk to all say it, again and again.

Mark Fulford

What the public actually like about KC is that when he opens his mouth he sounds reasonable.

Elena

I understand what you're saying Oberon, in fact, I agree with you; a Conservative Party with Ken Clarke at its head would pose a very serious threat to Labour at the next election.

But Clarke has to prove to us all that he would manage to get as far as a general election without rupturing the party. It's a clever political maneuver and it's been done before (think Blair, Thatcher) but you've got to be a strong tactician to manage it. I want to see more of what Clarke wants to offer over the coming weeks, because I hope that will allow me to make my mind up on whether he can do it.

Derek

Malcolm, the party is at a cross-roads, we must argue which direction we want to go, and which leader will take us there. Our problem is that we are currently such a broad church that we seem incapable of deciding where we want to go for fear of upsetting any faction within the party.

In the end we must reach a decision, and those who cannot support the direction of the new leader will have to leave.

AnotherNick

Liam Fox has caught up Ken Clarke in terms of who is the second choice vote for me. It is difficult because they have very different approaches. As has been said KC's statements above are lacking in much depth at all, but two points hit home for me. We need to become a more effective campaigning unit (how? would be the next question for KC). And the squashing the Lib Dems bit - I think he could more effectively than Fox or Davis stop the gentle rise of the Lib Dems. Of course we want to be in a fight for 1st, not 2nd, but to do that we need to win back a lot of seats from the Lib Dems.

Now that I have a vote again, I'm watching Ken & Liam very closely.

Elena

I agree with you, Nick. I'm much more interested in the race now that I have a vote at the end of it!

malcolm

Derek, of course we can argue the way the party should go.Whoever wins,it is likely I will have serious reservations about some aspect of their policies.But I will still support them and campaign for a Conservative victory on the premise that any Conservative government is better than the dishonest,incompetent bunch of crooks we have at present.
There is a big difference in arguing over direction in a sensible considered way as for exaample Simon C or Wat Tyler (definitly no friends of Ken Clarke)do and the rather moronic vitriolic rants of people like Derek Buxton or Paul Marks.

Daniel Vince-Archer

Hear, hear Malcolm. Although I fear my rather negative post about John Redwood will expose me as a frightful hypocrite!

Jonathan Sheppard

Interesting piece on David Davis tonight on newsnight. What a criticism they threw at him - the fact that he dared to phone his staff and colleagues late at night and could be a tough task master. Just how a leader should be if you ask me.

Having to go round the Labour Conference this week I am struck by the number of young "go getter" types that are involved in labour politics. I would never want to copy Labour or mimick what they do - but by god do I want a leader to take the fight to them and show them the Conservatives are back!

Simon C

I missed it Jonathan. Could you give us some more details of what Newsnight had to say?

Jonathan Sheppard

Yeo had some well lets just say, not helpful comments about Davis (it seemed a bit personal to me - which doesnt help the party out) in Shadow Cabinet and how he apparently wasn't vocal enough about being against ID cards. They went into his background and I have to say he came across as a really nice normal guy - naughty as a young lad - but ambitious later on - and with a normal down to earth family life.

They through an allegationn that he woke Howard up in the middle of the night during the election and had a heated telephone exchange - and Davis was the firstto admit they often had late night calls (never waking each other up) that were frank (as you would expect).

They did quite a bit about his up bringing and schooling - much of which Ive heard before. I think he came across very well. Joking about the reasons for his three times broken nose.

It really did make me laugh that on the one hand they used the accusations put about that he is lazy - yet 5 minutes later tried to imply he was a terrible boss as he called CCO staff and his own staff late at night.

After having to suffer going to Labour Conference for the past few days I was really heartened to see the Tories really do have someone who is up for the fight against Labour.

carol

After listening to both last time I reluctantly voted for Clarke as I thought IDS would be useless. I would not have voted for Clarke if Portillo had been available. I would not vote for Clarke again for three reasons.
1. Eventually his pro European views would come up against the Party position, I don't buy this change of view, remember the John Redwood pact? hardly encouraging for Ken's straightforwardness.
2. He has done nothing to help the Party during the past eight years so has not earned the right to just take over. Especially s he does not seem to have any clear plans for the future.
3. I believe all his 'popularity' is simple due to him being well known and seemingly very natural compared to the present lot and he is too old for a leader during the next election.
The Newsnight was, as expected, a hatchet job on David Davis but I expect no more from the BBC - I just resent having to pay for it!

Jonathan Sheppard

They threw things at him - but I was impressed as to how he dealt with all of them. And we have to remember that is exactly what Labour will do. If that's their best - then David came across very well.

Mark Fulford

It’s interesting how different people take away different impressions. I thought Davis came across dreadfully. He seemed to attempt to take credit for work that wasn’t his (ID cards), and his claims aren’t supported by his voting record on the issue. Oliver Letwin is pathologically honest, so I’d be interested to know his views on this.

The persistent accusations of idleness (from various quarters) surely can’t be ignored. Late night phone calls is not evidence of hard work - I’ve known similar to be used as a tactic to disguise absence.

Mark Fulford

Sorry, I'm taking back the bit about DD's voting record on ID cards: I misread my info.

Bruce

The Davis interview should remind us that the prime enemy of the Conservatives is not the Labour Party, but rather the leftwing media. The Labour Party is merely the beneficiary of the opinion climate the media create.

EU Serf

......The Conservative party has to accept that our missing voters do not view Europe as a big deal. KC is absolutely correct to marginalise the issue.

We all know where KC stands on the issues that count: taxation, healthcare and education.........

Regulations from the EU have an impact on every part of our lives. None of the other issues, the ones that voters care about, can be seperated from the EU.

Deregulation is impossible under the current situation. Money wasted on things like the CAP could be much better spent at home. The problem with Ken is that he would fail to stand up for the people he represents against the usurpers of Brussels.

The reason we have twisted ourselves in knots over Europe is because it matters so much in terms of what we can actually achieve.

Ken's approach to Europe was wrong and consequent events have proven this. Rather than coming anywhere close to admitting this, he wants to brush it under the carpet.

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