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« Has David Davis driven the final nail into the coffin of Michael Howard's reforms? | Main | Lord Hodgson's case for democracy »

Comments

malcolm

Putting your views forward with such eloquence and logic Oberon how could anyone argue with you?!!!
Seriously I like Ken too BUT I hope that he will soon drop his Europhilia and that he can show that he can be more of a team player.However if I am convinced that he will lead us to victory I'll vote for him.That is if the pro Democracy campaigners win and I have a vote!

Oberon Houston

DON’T mention the ‘E’ word! We’ll have another St. Helen’s on us.

Will a majority of members vote for him? I don’t know, with the recent changes surrounding the EU, possibly. Don’t know. I will, and it’s not an ideologically driven decision – I’m just being pragmatic about it all. And if you follow that course, you might think Ken is the man best suited.

Picture this: Blair or Brown are there in the house (whichever one you prefer, its your fantasy) and they are waxing lyrical (in Blair’s case), or droning on with meaningless economic sound bites he invented (Browns case). Then the next leader of our party steps up and gives the case for the opposition. When I imagine David Cameron (great guy), I see Brown and Blair getting the edge through experience and sniggering. When I imagine David Davis (good bloke, public won’t take to him), I see them pointing the finger and shouting ‘nobody cares what you think’. When I imagine Ken, I see them losing the argument AND being made to look like the incompetents they are (all form in Tony’s case), and all bluff (in Gordon’s case).

Now move away from the Commons and onto polling day 2009, David Davis, Gordon Brown and (possibly) Charlie are vying for No.10 at last: Joe ordinary is going into the polls. Who will he vote for? Will it be Labour for a fourth time? What’s going to make him change his mind? The third term has been tough for Labour, Blair’s gone and Brown’s in there, another Dour Scot that wanted Devolution and is now telling Joe he wants to tell the English what to do. But he’s scared of the Tories, Labour have spent millions in advertising, saying the Tories will reverse everything, and worse go Radical on you – privatise your kids and sell them to a Company called Darth Vader. Joe votes Lib-Dem instead. That will teach Brown.

Final Result:

Labour: 246 seats (happy coalition)
Lib-Dems: 162 seats (delighted coalition)
Conservatives: 208 seats (miserable)

I still think Ken will sway them. Joe votes Tory instead, he’s shown them to be a farce. That will teach Brown.

Final Result:

Conservatives: 298 seats (delighted)
Labour: 246 seats (miserable)
Lib-Dems: 72 seats (miserable)

Am I right? Who knows. That’s what I’ve imagined – what have you?

Oberon Houston

Anyone spot the error?

ok,

Tory 328
Lab 216
Lib 82

Now I'm delighted.

malcolm

Oberon,are you on the drugs Cameron wants to legalise? What's the 'E' word and what has St.Helen got to do with anything?
The only thing I'm dreaming about at the moment is England winning the Ashes.

James Hellyer


Thank you Oberon for neatly discrediting yourself ;=)

Liam Fox for leader!

GaffaUK

Thise who claim Clarke is not suitable as leader of the Conservatives because he has declined to serve in a shadow cbinet if he lost - would probably not have elected Winston Churchill as Prime Minster 65 years ago. Here was a man who left the Tories for the Liberals only to come back again.

Whilst working as a team is important - I believe there is nothing wrong with ambition and principle. Norman Lamont was critical of Europe and yet had to defend Britain disasterous exit from the ERM - only to moan about it years later. If he didn't agree with John's Major's view on Europe, ERM and Maastritcht treaty - it should of quit. Whereas Ken Clarke believes the Tory party has been going in the wrong direction for years and he is offering an alternative.

The other candidates have seriously little chance of winning the next election.

James Hellyer


Oh look, lots of baseless assertions.

Disraeli

Lets remember we are all Tories and we all, I hope, want a Tory Government at the next election. These polls show that Ken Clarke is the most likely man to lead us into Government. Polls have shown this for the past 8 years. That is not a baseless assertion - this is based upon years of polling evidence. Your recognition argument, on the other hand, is merely an 'assertion'. It is a shame that the man you endorse, Dr Fox, is incapable of even registering a flicker in the public imagination despite 8 years in very high profile positions.

Disraeli

The 'non team player' tag might also stick to Mr Davis who, we should remember, turned down a position in William Hague's shadow cabinet.

James Hellyer

"These polls show that Ken Clarke is the most likely man to lead us into Government."

No they don't. They show that he's the Conservatvie most people recognise and appeals most to left leaning voters. That does not translate to the most likely person to lead us into government. That just tells us that they know who he is and like hsi persona. That does not indicate any approval of his as unespressed policy platform or of his likely appeal in four years.

"It is a shame that the man you endorse, Dr Fox, is incapable of even registering a flicker in the public imagination despite 8 years in very high profile positions."

You're very good at false arguments, Oberon. However people cannot name Cabinet ministers, and never could, neve mind shadow cabinet minsiters. Your precious polls tells us that.

What they also tell us (check out the MORI frontpage) is that the Conservative lag in trust on policies has been dramatically cut on the portfolios Liam Fox has held while he has held them.

"Your recognition argument, on the other hand, is merely an 'assertion'."

No, that's a FACT. Polls have shown that Ken is one of the few Conservatives people recognise, and that this tails away with the young. The reason is that people, apart from the young, recognise a former Chancellor.

They especially recognise one bigged up by the media (note his approval jumped by 1/3 when the poll was conducted in the days after his media intensive launch campaign).

James Hellyer

"The 'non team player' tag might also stick to Mr Davis who, we should remember, turned down a position in William Hague's shadow cabinet."

I wouldn't deny that. However Davis has served the Party through the Public Accounts Committee. Clarke has served BAT through his directorship.

Both are at fault, but one is less so.

Disraeli

So why did the Times poll suggest that Clarke was first choice for 52% of Tory supporters? More to the point, why did the Times data show that by far the biggest increase in Tory support would come from a Clarke leadership.

James Hellyer


Because Clarke is the best known candidate! Because even amongst Conservative activists there's a huge amount of ignorance abour our MPs! *That's* why the party board's rule changes originally recorded such suport.

James Hellyer

As Anthony Wells says at the UK Polling Report:

"The same caveats about yesterday’s figures apply here - people’s responses are based on what their idea of a Clarke/Davis leadership and a Brown premiership would be like, the reality may well be different. However, unlike the ICM “are you more likely to vote Tory” questions, where we must wonder of those people would have voted Tory anyway, the Populus questions are dealing directly with net voting intention."
http://pollingreport.co.uk/blog/index.php?p=485

The figures are a big boost for Clarke and that can't be denied.
However making decsions based on opinion polls is the most suoperficial form of politics.

Nobody knows what a Clarke leadership offers. He has laid out no policies and few ideas. Like Davis, all he has offered is personality and biography.

It's time we decided as a party what we stodd for, and argued for it from conviction. That was what the elongated contest was supposed to enable, not this populist bandwagon jumping of the last few days.

James Hellyer

I said

"You're very good at false arguments, Oberon"

I'm sorry Oberon, I meant Disraeli!

GaffaUK

James - you are confusing popularity with recogition. Thatcher was more recognised than Major but the Tories threw her out. Same with the public who threw Major out after 7 years and elected Blair instead. Because you are more recognised doesn't mean you are more popular. Thus Ken Clarke is not more popular because he is more recognised - he more popular becuase his views are closer to the views of the majority.
I'm would expect the younger voters would prefer Clarke as he was against the Iraq War which was an open goal the Tories completely missed.

Editor

Two comments from GaffaUK:

"Thise who claim Clarke is not suitable as leader of the Conservatives because he has declined to serve in a shadow cbinet if he lost - would probably not have elected Winston Churchill as Prime Minster 65 years ago."

"I'm would expect the younger voters would prefer Clarke as he was against the Iraq War which was an open goal the Tories completely missed."

Churchill, of course, was disfavoured by 1930s Tories for opposing appeasement. Clarke favoured appeasement of Saddam's Iraq. Clarke is no Churchill.

James Hellyer

"James - you are confusing popularity with recogition."

No, you are.The public had no say in throwing out Thatcher and introducing Major.

What disproves your argument is that Major went from virtual unknown (which could have been a warning sign considering his position) to well known (as PM).

Similarly you make the false comparison between leadershio challengers now and Blair in '97. Blair had several years as leader against a failing government, preceded by years in Shadow Cabinet posts.

This is not comparable to *any* of the current Conservative contenders. Clarke mainly scores well because people know who he is and because the media promotes him.

As said before, this in no way translates to an endorsement of his unpressed and unarticulated policy platform.

James Hellyer

"Ken Clarke is not more popular because he is more recognised - he more popular becuase his views are closer to the views of the majority."

This assertion rests upon you providing proof that the other candidates and their were known to participants in the ICM and Populus polls. Until *you* provide that proof, your argument has no validity.

GaffaUK

Editor - I didn't say Clarke was a Churchill. I was using a comparision on a specific point. Appeasing a dictator who was already taking chunks of Europe by force in not comparable to Saddam Hussein. China invaded Tibet, has WMD and an appalling human rights record - do you reckon we should go to war with China? The Iraq War was a mess - there were no WMDs. I'm glad Saddam is gone but we went to war on a lie.

James - I never said the public threw Thatcher out. Popularity isn't purely aimed at the electorate. You can be popular with your workmates, your family etc. Again you confuse popularity with recognition. So are you really saying that Clarke is popular because he is recognised? If so how come few of the other contenders we have had years to make their mark - score so badly. Or it is just a media conspiracy?

As for my argument has no validity. Then I would say that Blair was more popular, partly because his views were closer to the electorate than John Major in 1997 when he won a convincing landslide. Despite John Major's mishaps, sleaze and in-fighting over Europe in his cabinet - it would be very peevish to say that Labour didn't gain a significant positive response. But I, nor you, could prove that every voter sat down and read every manifesto before they voted. However it would be reasonable and valid to comment upon the 'bleeding obvious' with being so pedantic.

James Hellyer

"James - I never said the public threw Thatcher out."

No, you said she was more recognised but the Tories threw her out, which in no way addressed the point.

"Again you confuse popularity with recognition."

No I don't - that's the Clarke fan club's mistake. People select him in poll largely because they recognise him. That does not equate to his inherently having a greater appeal now or in four years time.

"If so how come few of the other contenders we have had years to make their mark - score so badly. Or it is just a media conspiracy?"

Not seen BBCi lately? Ken Clarke has has oodles of publicity that
has massively increased his poll rating over the last month (by a third in fact).

As for the others scoring "badly", that's more a reflection of the public's disinterest in politcs and politicians. Remember that most people can't name a cabinet minister.

"Then I would say that Blair was more popular, partly because his views were closer to the electorate than John Major in 1997 when he won a convincing landslide. Despite John Major's mishaps, sleaze and in-fighting over Europe in his cabinet - it would be very peevish to say that Labour didn't gain a significant positive response."

Labour ganed a positive voter response BECAUSE of John Major's mishaps, sleaze and in-fighting over Europe in his cabinet.

Rob

"Remember that most people can't name a cabinet minister."

What's the source for this claim?

Oberon Houston

Whew! What a Blog.

Firstly, the ’E’ word referred not to a Class A drug, but ‘Europe’, and I tried to avoid diving into another bowl of Pea Soup aka the Euro debate. I succeeded in this, but only by drawing the cross-hairs onto me.

Interesting posts. Still think you are living in denial James. I overheard a conversation yesterday between to middle aged women who were talking about David Davis and some comments he had just made regarding some CD a council had made about Gypsies. Apparently he was saying it would be more appropriate to make a CD abut families instead. Did anyone hear this interview?

Anyway the long and short was that they were not very enamoured with his point and one called him a four letter word. I think David may have been trying to make a common sense point; however in the modern Tony & Cherie Britain, saying anything derogatory about any group is looked upon with distaste my many people. This is a trap we fall into many times. Would you see Tony Blair or Charles Kennedy within a 100 miles of an interview about Gypsies or any minority group, no. Why not? Why do many Conservatives run to the microphones gasping for breath to pitch their piece? People do not like hearing it. No matter hoe sensible, these comments are for the Sun, not a prospective Prime Minister.

James Hellyer

"What's the source for this claim?"

Some polls I remember reading that showed people can't identify cabinet members.

"Still think you are living in denial James"

I still think you're all blindly accepting headline figures in polls and favour personality politics (i.e. the most superficial kind) over any form of conviction.

The fact is that nobody knows what policies most of the contenders stand for - ESPECIALLY Ken Clarke, as he has been out of the frontline since '97. As people don't know what policies people will offer, they are jsut responding to media images and may well find that their ideas about what the different candidates offer do not marry up with reality.

Simon C

"I overheard a conversation yesterday between to middle aged women who were talking about David Davis and some comments he had just made regarding some CD a council had made about Gypsies. Apparently he was saying it would be more appropriate to make a CD abut families instead. Did anyone hear this interview?"

I think in fairness to DD, that was a reference to David "TC" Davies, our new MP for Monmouth.

http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/09/07/ngipsy07.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/09/07/ixhome.html

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