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I think this is sad we need heavyweights like Willets devoting his energies full time to the Conservative party.

James Maskell

Ive not really considered him one of the major challengers for the Tory crown, when you see that Clarke, Davis, Cameron and arguably Rifkind were being mentioned before him. Maybe next time. Building up a profile through consultancy work is good for him, both in the political background sense and in the pocket.

Selsdon Man

Libertarians get married and have families too. They are often religious and philanthropic. Willetts repeatedly uses this straw man argument. It a fig leaf to cover his own authoritarianism. He wants government (led by himself)to dictate how we live our lives.

Libertarians do not treat human beings as mere economic actors. Human beings are an end in themselves rather than cogs in a planned social system. That is why Charles Murray is a libertarian. He did after write the book "What it means to be a Libertarian". You should get a copy Editor.


SM: Willetts is an authoritarian; he wants government to dictate how we live our lives; libertarians view humans as an end in themselves rather than cogs in a planned social system (which, we can infer, is how non-libertarians view them).

Straw man?

Wat Tyler

Very sad Willetts is doing this. True, his hands haven't been entirely clean up to now in the matter of outside paid employment- which I think is inappropriate for all MPs (see ). But this is a further step in the wrong direction.

It confirms his heart isn't in the leadership, and in the interests of the Party he should now withdraw.

Selsdon Man

I have no problem with backbenchers having part-time consulting jobs - it keeps them in touch with the real world. It is, however, inappropriate for Shadow Ministers. That applies not Oliver Letwin too.

I agree Wat, he should withdraw from the leadership - but also resign from the Shadow Cabinet.


A very quiet news day on the leadership front today obviously becuase most people, like myself, were making the most of England's famous victory. Couldn't help but chuckle at the Times' attempt to resurrect Cameron's candidacy. Including one of the weakest lines I have heard in an endorsement, that "we have had younger leaders and we have had posher leaders." Surely his team can do better than that?


"We have had younger leaders and we have had posher leaders" - Hague and Douglas-Home, respectively? That would be the 2001 and the 1963 defeats?

Selsdon Man

Don't be too hard on Tobias Ellwood, Disraeli. His endorsement statement (of Cameron) reflects his laid back style. Tobias is a good campaigner -increased the majority in Bournemouth East whereas it fell in Bournemouth West. Like many of the new intake, he is still settling in.


Yes Disreali,what an amazing day yesterday was.The cricket was lead story on both news channels and David Gower was on Newsnight (along with the most pathetic MP I've ever seen- John Healey Lab).Sport really does seem to lift the mood of the nation more than it has ever done these days.The media seems to have realised this,will politicians?


Quite right Malcolm. I would really like to see the Conservative PArty grabbing the public mood and taking up the issue of cricket being removed from free to air television from next year - which, I think, risks jeopardising all of the steps forward we have made. The Lib Dems, needless to say, are already making hay out of this one.

Selsdon Man

Disraeli - what right should Government have to interfere in the commercial affairs of private businesses? How would you replace the money that is going to develop young talent?

Leave the unprincipled bandwaggon jumping to the Lib Dems.


Selsdon Man - I would normally agree with you. Nevertheless, Lord MAclaurin did make an undertaking to Chris Smith that the ECB would ensure that the majority of home test matches remained free to air. Youngsters are not going to want to play the game in such numbers if they do not see potentail heroes on free to air TV. Any money gained from TV rights is likely to be lost in advertising revenue etc if the exposure of test cricket is limited to such an extent. I do think that great national occasions such as home test matches, the Cup Final, the Derby etc should be available for all to see.

Selsdon Man

Surely the ECB considered those issues before awarding the contract to BSkyB. Mclaurin is history so his verbal undertaking is worthless.

I still think that politicians and governments should not meddle in sport - and that includes subsidising sports stadia, organisations and the Olympics.


I much more interested in government providing decent sporting facilities at school,ensuring there is enough time for serious sport at school,giving the Sports minister proper clout within government and also ensuring that our Sports minister is not a complete deadbeat as most governments over the last 25 years have done.


Sorry for the numerous typos in the above post,generally I'm not quite as inarticulate as this!

Selsdon Man

We should abolish the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. School sports should be handled by the Education Department. All state involvement in the arts should be abolished - including state subsidies of the arts. The BBC should turned into a subscription service, broken up and privatised.

Selsdon Man

At least the pension industry likes Willetts if MPs don't!

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