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« Taxing lessons from Germany and New Zealand | Main | Ken Clarke and Liam Fox get a web-start »


Wat Tyler

Clarke and Fox? Doesn't really sound plausible. Although I wasn't aware of that "matinee idol" comment (Ed- do you have a net ref for that?)

But the Doc is certainly doing an energetic job shining light into some murky foreign corners. Although he hasn't quite worked himself up to "the black heart of the UN". Good phrase though.

Anyway, glad to see Andrew Mackay's done the right thing this morning...

Wat Tyler

Ah...I've found it myself: Telegraph in April ( )

"Who does he think will win or lose their seats? The Liberal Democrats have targeted several senior Tories for their "decapitation" campaign. "Theresa May will keep her seat," he says. "So will Oliver Letwin. David Davis's seat is problematic. He's got matinee-idol looks, but we'll have to see."

In Woodspring, they love Dr Fox. "He's a normal bloke, he likes a drink in the pub, he likes his CD collection, he went to state school, he used to date pop stars," says one of his helpers. "He's just Right-wing. Most of us are around here - he'd bring back flogging if he could."

When I tell Dr Fox, he doesn't dispute this analysis."

Come on wouldn't really fit with Ken, would you.


Its quite interesting to note that the so called right - wingers from this contest have both come from fairly underprivileged backrounds, while the one nation tories all come from middle and upper class backrounds.

Perhaps, in discussions about social justice and help for the most vulnerable, we should actually consider listening more to those who have actually been there, rather than from those who have read about it in a consultation paper!

"Perhaps, in discussions about social justice and help for the most vulnerable, we should actually consider listening more to those who have actually been there, rather than from those who have read about it in a consultation paper!"

I'd imagine a consultation paper might draw on the experiences of more than one of the most vulnerable, so would probably be just as, or more, valuable than relying on the personal experiences of one person?

By all means let's do more to engage with those deemed the most vulnerable, but I don't think we need to hold it against potential leaders if they weren't born in to poverty. If we go down that road, we might as well just hold a Primary on the Easterhouse Estate!

Simon C

Sounds like (yet) another bold speech from Liam. I am looking forward to reading it in full. His speeches continue to raise the tone and quality of this leadership contest.

"Neo-Con" is a good all-purpose smear word isn't it - banishes the need for any substantial thinking, which is presumably why Ken Clarke likes it so much.

Alice Thompson's article today contained good examples of further smear-attacks. DD, apparently, "is always going to be authoritarian", whilst Liam Fox allegedly thinks that "immigration and abortion are two of the most critical issues facing the country."

Britain's broken society has been the domestic theme of Liam's campaign. He has identified our high abortion rate as but one symptom of that, confirming his views when asked about them, and has scarcely mentioned immigration at all (I have heard him give 2 speeches now, & I don't think he raised the issue in either of them - or in the questions afterwards).

What was interesting about Alice Thompson's article, though, is that, as a Notting Hill Tory, she accepted that Cameron's campaign is now in fourth place - like William Rees-Mogg in the Times yesterday. Will DC last to the Party Conference, or will he have wound up by then?

The Davis Dash and the Fox Trot have already been identified. What's the KC equivalent: the soft-shoe shuffle?

Daniel Vince-Archer

"The Davis Dash and the Fox Trot have already been identified. What's the KC equivalent: the soft-shoe shuffle?"

If you believe some of the nonsense spouted by Kenophobes, any move to Ken could probably be labelled a 'Lefty Lurch' or 'Lefty Leap'...

Selsdon Man

How about the Clarke Creep?


Simon: according to MORI, immigration is one of the most critical issues facing the country - so even if Thompson was right that it was Fox's focus, it's hardly a devastating criticism.

Simon C


Agreed that immigration is an important issue - what I was objecting to was the glib and shallow attempt to caricature what has been a serious considered and wide-ranging campaign.


Taking a neutral standpoint for a moment:

When it comes to a leadership election what we want to see is candidates setting out their personal views and priorities for the country. We've debated the future of the party for too long, what we want to see is what will a candidate do as leader and as potential PM.

I must say I'm impressed by Liam Fox's approach to these. In talking abortion, human rights abuses and English parliament he is taking policy by the scruff of the neck and giving everyone a clear idea of his position.

By no means do I agree with him on everything and as is well known on this blog my preference is for David Cameron, but I feel Fox has given an honest account of what he believes in and what he will stand for, in the process addressing areas of policy that have perhaps not received the attention they have been due in recent times. As a leadership contender Fox has provided us with the substance required to show he has a vision for the future and those who decide to vote for him, know what they will be getting.

James Hellyer

AnotherNick, you've managed to concisely sum up why Dr Fox is my preferred candidate. I find that there is compelling authentiity to him. He's not afraid to speakm out on issues like abortion, even though you can see on this blog such a stand wins him as many enemies as it does friends.

James Hellyer

Dr Fox's appearance on today's Sunday AM is available online:

As is the transcript:

Andrew Marr specifically asked Dr Fox about abortion, noting that Ken Clarke had disapproved of the subkect being raised. Dr Fox replied that

"I think it's very clear that I've held these views for some time. And I think people have responded to this in one of two ways. People have said well we don't like what you say, you've no right to say it, which I think is ridiculous.

Or people have said we don't necessarily agree with what you say but it's good to hear politicians actually telling us what they believe.

This is an area in our politics in Britain which is about individual, MPs making up their minds, it's not a matter of party politics, and it would remain that way. But, you know, when I've got a strong view on something I'm going to say what I think.

And I think that we've got far too mealy-mouthed politicians in this country telling people what they want to hear, rather than what they themselves believe."

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