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Countdown to Gordon Brown

« Rumsfeld in French restaurant shocker | Main | Is David Cameron finally emerging as the modernisation candidate? »

Comments

James Maskell

After reading DDs speech on foreign policy I still find myself not impressed. My belief is of free trade but with limited (but strong) protectionist policies. Look at the recent furore over China. Free trade with little regulation would have flooded Britain would cheap goods. We need some protection for our own economy. There needs to be a balance and I think DDs balance is too far towards free trade for my liking.

As for Liam Fox, I dont see him as the next leader. I disagree fundamentally with his views on abortion...I am pro-choice, pro-euthanasia and pro-death penalty, but there needs to be a real case for it. Also after hearing about his views on homosexual marriage Im thinking hes too right wing for me.

David Cameron isnt making any waves at all and to be honest I dont know what he believes in. Hes really got to start putting his case forward soon or else I wont even contemplate him as a contender.

Rifkind...not bothered...enough said. Looks like a rat. Rather off putting.

Theresa May, NO WAY. I wont even consider someone who wants a list set just to pander to the public. Its ridiculous.

Ken Clarke...great speech on public speeches. I find myself more impressed with him each speech. I agree with him on more issues than any other candidate. Hes my pick at the moment.

Don'tmakemelaugh

Until the contenders for the crown want to tell us what they will do when the EU says NO! to their proposals for returning sovereignty to Britain I will treat their speeches as meaningless. I will not be persuaded to vote Tory.

Wat Tyler

3 comments:

1) Ed- Greg Clarke has also declared for DD. Total now 52

2) James- given Britain's cheap clothes industry has already gone, we are unambiguous losers from forcing British consumers to pay higher protectionist prices- we're paying to prop up inefficient producers elsewhere in Europe. Remember, we've already taken most of the pain from a shrinking manufacturing sector- it now only about 15% of GDP. I thought we'd settled the free trade issue when we abolished those pesky Corn Laws.

3) Dontmakemelaugh- I don't know if you read DD's speech yesterday, but he laid out a clear view of what we want from Europe- ie a lightly regulated single market only, and freedom for memebers to opt out of everything else. True, he didn't spell out a withdrawal ultimatum- which I imagine you'd like to hear- but the direction is loud and clear. So the choice is either back a DD led Tory party- and start heading in the right direction- or continue to back UKIP and make it more likely that Labour will stay in power. Hmmm...

Coffee Monster

Greg Clark is a nice boost for DD. I gather that he's a younger version of David Willetts, i.e. a nice intelligent policy man. I wouldn't be surprised to see him make a swift ascendancy to the shadow cabinet like Cameron and Osborne.

DD's rolling thunder campaign has been mocked, but it has at least started to reassure me that his cabinet will not be stacked with Derek Conways and Eric Forths, he seems to be picking up far too many MPs from the centre who must have a degree of faith in him to pursue a modern agenda.

AnotherNick

Firstly, Cameron - The top right hand corner still shows him in 2nd among declared MPs after big launches by two high profile candidates (Clarke & Fox). He's not done for yet.

Secondly, I have to question the
"David Davis gave a neocon/ hawkish speech on terror yesterday that put him firmly in the Blair-Bush camp on Iraq. Good for him."
So we think Blair / Bush are running the war on terror well??? - come off it!

Aside from those points though another good round up Mr Editor and I think the + & - seem fair. I have a bit more time for Rifkind than some of the posts here, although I do wish he'd stop "trashing the brand". Nice to hear the One Nation case being made, but I've not heard much depth to it so far and it is hard to see him making it to the last 2 among MPs.

Interestingly I was chatting to a friend (actually friend of a friend.... but anyway...) who said he'd emailed both Clarke & Fox camps, in his words the "Doctor & the BATman", to ask their position on the proposals to ban smoking in public places - he tells me that the Clarke camp are yet to reply, but surprisingly Liam Fox's camp gave a very weak, "Liam has no objection to pubs deciding to go smoke free" - hardly a strong lead for a health professional who wants to be PM

James Hellyer

"but surprisingly Liam Fox's camp gave a very weak, "Liam has no objection to pubs deciding to go smoke free" - hardly a strong lead for a health professional who wants to be PM"

You'd be happier if he went for the nanny state ban smoking in public places approach?

James Hellyer

I am pro-choice, pro-euthanasia and pro-death penalty

So you're quite pro-death then?

James Hellyer

"The Cornerstone group of socially conservative MPs are continuing to suggest that no candidate has endorsed their agenda but if ideological clarity is their main concern they should stop fooling around with the idea of an Edward Leigh/ Michael Ancram candidacy and endorse Dr Fox."

I couldn't agree more, Tim. If Cornerstone do back an Ancram or Leigh challenge (despite some of their members already committing to back Davis or Fox), they're doomed to defeat. All they'll do is marginalise their own views.

If they do back Dr Fox, I think he'd certainly get to the final two. Lord Rees-Mogg and Alice Thompson (depsite the latter disliking him, judging the smears she deployed) have suggested that Fox has more support than public declarations indicate, and has a good chance of getting through.

On the subject of Davis, it's an artificially good week for him. Letting us know about the rolling thunder made it rather obvious that this week's declarations have been stage management rather than momentum. It's still probably his contest to lose though.

The Clarke camp is in the biggest trouble. Despite all the media coverage, including the endorsement of Michael Portillo and Dianne Abbot, he's only got one new public backer. Certainly his campaign team's comments in the Telegraph, about how frustrating they found it that they couldn't get more public declarations, made his prospects sound grim.

AnotherNick

James,

Freedom not to breath in other people's smoke sounds good to me.

James Hellyer

AnotherNick - don't frequent pubs that allow smokers in them then. The point is that pubs and restaurants have declared themselves smoke free - but have then lost custom because non-smokers don't put their money where their mouth is.

AnotherNick

James,

If a Doctor cannot support legislation to ban smoking in public, how do we trust him to run the country?

Would you also suggest that a non-smoking waiter or bar maid should only work in a non-smoking bar?

It's not a nanny state it is a common sense policy that makes bars more pleasant, smoking less public which hopefully will make it less attractive to youngsters and will in the long run reduce the amount of money the Health service spends on "self inflicted" illness.

James Hellyer

"If a Doctor cannot support legislation to ban smoking in public, how do we trust him to run the country?"

Wow. That's the mother of all false dilemmas! First of all, define "in public". Restaurants, pubs and clubs are all private property. It's up to their owners to decide who they do and don't admit.

"Would you also suggest that a non-smoking waiter or bar maid should only work in a non-smoking bar?"

If they really object to smoke: yes.

"It's not a nanny state"

Yes it is. It's government interference in how people run their lives and businesses. It's also Labour policy!

I don’t oppose smoke-free pubs, but I do oppose the idea that a government can implement an outright ban.

It shouldn’t be up to the government, but up to the people and landlords.

We should enable landlords to choose whether or not their pub will allow smoking or not. It should be up to them, and not up to the government.

People who work in pubs choose to do so, and aware of the consequences. People who drink or eat in pubs choose to do so, and aware of the consequences.

The government isn’t there to protect you from smoking, drinking or gaining weight.

"and will in the long run reduce the amount of money the Health service spends on "self inflicted" illness."

You do know that smokers are net contributors to the NHS, don't you?

James Maskell

Not really pro-death as such, Im more of a person who believes in the rights of people to make their own decisions without someone saying they cant do it.

Abortion: What happens if the girl was raped...if you are anti abortion you would have to live with the consequence of something you never intended and may well not love. This is probably the toughest issue out of the three for me to decide on because refusing abortion could then lead to giving the child up for adoption which can often be the best thing for everyone...but then the issue is very complicated and I dont have the time to extrapolate that out and explain my feelings here right now, much though Id to.


Euthanasia...if someone is critically ill and will die eventually why have them suffer in a bed? The example which made my mind up was Diane Pretty. Thankfully she died shortly after the ECHR said no to her case. In her case I would have said yes, she should be allowed to die. Its the right thing to do. The law needs to be looked at again. What right does a court have to prolong someones suffering?

Death penalty...Ive always believed that with this issue that if used appropriately...for extreme circumstances only should the death penalty be used. In other less severe cases but still serious crimes, life imprisonment would be better.

AnotherNick

James, we aren't ever going to agree on the smoking policy. But to be honest, yes, I do think it is the role of government to take a lead on this. True it is imposing on business, but I think the majority of non-smokers should be protected in public places. It can't be ignored that many GPs are calling for the ban, yet Dr Fox is not.

James Hellyer

"Im more of a person who believes in the rights of people to make their own decisions without someone saying they cant do it."

That would be apart from unborn children, of course, who can't speak...

"Abortion: What happens if the girl was raped..."

Oh look, straight onto the "hard case".

Either an unborn child is a person, in which case abortion is murder, or it's part of the mother's body, in which case the decision lies with her. At the moment the position lies somehwere between the two, with nobody able to decisivley say when it crosses from choice to murder.

What we can say, is that this "hard case" should know much sooner than most women as to whether she's pregnant or not. It's specifically in her interests to find that out and whether she's picked up any disease, and decide sooner rather than later.

This in no way makes the case for abortion on other grounds though, if at all.

" What right does a court have to prolong someones suffering?"

The court doesn't prolong suffering, it prevents people from terminating it. They still refuse life extending treatment.

What right does anyone have to make a Doctor into a killer?

"Death penalty...Ive always believed that with this issue that if used appropriately..."

Have a hard case. What about the risk of executing the innocent?

James Hellyer

"It can't be ignored that many GPs are calling for the ban, yet Dr Fox is not."

Many, not "most" or "all".

AnotherNick

""It can't be ignored that many GPs are calling for the ban, yet Dr Fox is not."

Many, not "most" or "all"."


Sorry James, I don't really have time to ask every GP in the country!

AnotherNick

.... but the BMA might do...
http://www.bma.org.uk/ap.nsf/Content/smokescreen

James Hellyer


That is a politicised report. It is not a survey of medical opinion.

Many doctors could be said to claim many things. That does not make any of them pressing grounds for public policy.

James Maskell

With the abortion debate, whether it is murder lies with the mother. The intention is what separates a death from a murder. If a girl just decided she didnt feel like using a condom and thought of an abortion as an easy fix then it should be refused. She made a decision to risk a birth and for that she should show responsibility and bring the child up.

Your point about innocents is right, theres no real comeback to that. It happens. The death penalty would only be used for the most serious of offenders, serial killers, serial rapists, crimes so serious as to make life imprisonment seem like we are just letting them get away with it.

Its a big bad world and mistakes happen, its a fact of life, but the advantages of the death penalty I feel outweigh its disadvantages.

James Hellyer

"With the abortion debate, whether it is murder lies with the mother."

Disagree. If you view an unborn child as a person, deliberately killing that person is murder.

"Its a big bad world and mistakes happen, its a fact of life, but the advantages of the death penalty I feel outweigh its disadvantages.

Advantages?


James Maskell

So going back to the "hard case" I provided earlier, if a girl is raped, she cant have an abortion?

My knowledge of law is a little rusty but I remember a fair amount from my A Level Law studies. For a murder to happen the actus reus must be an "unlawful killing" and the mens rea must be "malice aforethought". Is abortion illegal in Britain...nope. Therefore it fails that part of the definition and as for the mens rea part, is very much dependent on the mother's state of mind. If a mother decides to have an abortion its a very tough decision for her as she is killing something which has the potential to be life. Mothers arent naturally cold-blooded about something that is growing inside them. I doubt very much that the mother would have "malice aforethought".

As for the death penalty, prisons are full and the cost of that is huge. Death penalty (and this is debatable both ways) acts as a deterent. Its a relatively cheap way to deal with those who will never change from their ways and dont show any kind of guilt for their crimes or sorrow for the victims.

James Hellyer

"if a girl is raped, she cant have an abortion?"

In an ideal world, no. In reality, yes but only in an early stage of the pregnancy.

And your attempts to hide behind legal terminology does not hide the fact that if you accept a foetus is a human being, then this medical process involves killing that human being. Deliberatlely. In simple English, that would be murder.

"Death penalty (and this is debatable both ways) acts as a deterent"

No it doesn't. Murder rates in the UK increased year on year while we had the death penalty.

"Its a relatively cheap way to deal with those who will never change from their ways and dont show any kind of guilt for their crimes or sorrow for the victims.

Except when they spend decades appealing their sentences, at huge cost to the state, as they do in the US. That 'ain't cheap.


Daniel Vince-Archer

There does need to be a stronger deterrent though. I personally believe the death penalty should be reintroduced, however I appreciate that it is not a bulletproof (pardon the pun) system and the chances of it being reintroduced are the same as the chances of Ken Livingstone, George Galloway, Charles Kennedy or some other left-wing nutter being our next leader. Making prisons more like, er, prisons and less like hotels (bed-and-breakfasts these days) would be a start.

James Hellyer

"(I'm now told Jeremy Wright hasn't declared for Dr Fox (6pm, Saturday) and the newspaper report was false...)."

Out of interest, who denies this? John Coulson seemed clear that the MPs own column carried the endorsement.

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