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« Editorial: Making abortion rare | Main | The week it didn't happen for Ken Clarke »



Thank you Daniel VA. I'll amend immediately...

James Hellyer

Nigel Waterson - former PPS to Michael Heseltine. His endorsement of Clarke hardly illustrates an "growing appeal accross the party".

John G

I still think whoever it was (James?) that suggested Fox was planning a thunderclap to trump Davis' rolling thunder campaign may have been on the mark.

Agree with AnotherNick that it'll be interesting to see what Lansley does.

Coffee Monster

The Cornerstone Group currently has 23 undeclared members. If they all go for Fox then he stands an excellent chance of joining Davis on the final ballot.

Incidentally, if Hague, Duncan Smith and Howard all backed Fox in such a run-off, do people think that would be a help or a hindrance?

Daniel Vince-Archer

Thanks Editor! I think Coffee Monster should take the credit though ;-)

James Hellyer

I still think whoever it was (James?) that suggested Fox was planning a thunderclap to trump Davis' rolling thunder campaign may have been on the mark.

Indeed it was. I have suggested that releasing supporters names in dribs and drabs would have meant the news swamped by other campaign launches and so on. By contrast, a big unveiling would hardly go unnoticed and would generate immediate momentum.

Incidentally, if Hague, Duncan Smith and Howard all backed Fox in such a run-off, do people think that would be a help or a hindrance?

William Hague is still very popular with the membership. His endorsement would carry a lot of weight in the members ballot. IDS wouldn't have the same effect, but he's still viewed with some affection as "their" leader by a lot of members.

Howard is a trickier prospect. Some members loath him now, but most recognise his hard work. His influence would be marginal at best, and possibly even malign.

Interestingly, there is close correlation between known members of Howard's '97 leadership bid and the current Fox team. This might serve as a pointer for where another five or so votes might come from...

Andy Stidwill

Does anyone know who that most populist of Tory MPs, Andrew Rosindell, member for Romford, is going to support? I would have expected him to have declared by know, since he always has very forthright views on everything, and I'm slightly bemused that nothing has been heard from him.

James Hellyer


Rosindell is a member of Cornerstone:

I suspect that unless he's not waiting for Leigh & co. to declare who's their man, that he'll be part of whatever "big bang" announcement that they're planning.

Ronald Collinson



And a knight! This is ridiculous!

How could they support Mr Modern? Absolutely ludicrous.

James Hellyer

Soames did go to Eton...

Ronald Collinson

True, but it's still a pretty stupid idea. How could the grandson of Winston Churchill do this to us?

Then again, he is a bit odd, and a great one for party loyalty. Possibly he thinks that Cameron is most likely to win us the next election, although I can't fathom why.

Why do people think that Cameron's telegenic, anyway? His face is too large, giving him the look of a flattened horse. And he always looks worried about something. If we're going for looks alone, it has to be gentle, cheerful, venerable Malcolm Rifkind. (Although it is reported that women think that Davis is, physically, most attractive)

James Hellyer

... apart from the erstwhile Labour MP Jane Griffiths who blogged here that Ken Clarke was the only one with sex appeal.

Is that the sound of stomachs turning?

Anyway, I'm puzzled by the support Cameron attracts. He has no noticeable convictions, no real experience and sounds like a Blair knock off.

Ronald Collinson

Couldn't agree more.

I suspect that it's because he's 'young' and so can connect with 'young people'. When he said, "I know that's how young people feel, because that's I how I feel," I felt an enormous compulsion to strangle the nearest available person.

It is worth noting that he is actually above that fabled 'under-35' limit, and so he is not very convincing. Especially to me, since I am very far under that blasted arbitrary boundary.

James Hellyer

Ditto. As a well under 35 I also feel no sense of connection with him!


Having spoken to many none Tory friends it seems that our Mr. Clarke is loved on one hand and dispised on the other.

Some believe that he could do the country a lot of good, I'm not ENTIRELY sure why, a man who sells out on one of his main principles doesn't endear me to his cause. The fact that he only seems to have turned up to only 36% of votes since 1997 doesn't inspire confidence either.

The people who have a problem with him, have a problem with his image - For many he is the last remaining symbol of the Thatcher years.
This I think seems to come from some sort of warped fictional history of the Thatcher years, and not in fact from facts and what we actually achieved in that time.

(Mind you they are Liberals so we shouldnt expect TOO much from their somewhat frugal basic knowledge or grasp of the words History and FICTION.)

The fact that he was Chancellor of the exchequer from 1993 - 1997 doesn't even seem to crop up in converstaion, it seems to be all about the all too popular and fashionable witch hunt for Thatcherites or indeed any figure head which existed in this era.


Daniel Vince-Archer

As possibly the youngest regular blogger on this site, I agree with you that Cameron's much-trumpetted {sic?} connection with the young is virtually non-existent, certainly when compared with Clarke, who despite his age, surprisingly has much more resonance with my contemporaries.

James Hellyer

Was there a an age comparison contest?

Anyway, we seem to have a group of young(ish) bloggers against Blair-lite!

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Was there a an age comparison contest?"

Not on this site, despite the Cameron team's repeated attempts to turn the leadership contest into an age comparison contest earlier in the campaign! ;-)

James Hellyer

Would that be when whenever Clarke made a speech, a Cameron spokesman suddenly appeared to comment on either "2009" or the youthfulness of their candidate (something Nick Robinson repeatedly interpreted as "Ken Clarek is OLD!")?

Daniel Vince-Archer

That's right James. They stole the Rifkind team's campaign strategy (i.e. 'our man's like Ken, but Eurosceptic' to be chanted at the media every time Ken blinks), hence the expression 'doing a Rifkind' that we coined at the time, and modified it for their own shallow purposes ('our man's like Ken, but young'). It didn't work so it finally seems they're changing tack (weeks after Rifkind, to Sir Malcolm's credit).

James Hellyer

I thought "doing a Rifkind" meant trashing the brand? Which is the hypocritical trademark of the Cameron campaign...

Wat Tyler

Ed...where are you when we need you to chalk up those ten new DD supporters (well, OK you've got one of them already). Total now 66.

You're back on UK time now- or Blackpool time anyway- so snap to it!


James Hellyer

A dead sheep mauled the Sunday Mail this morning. Its last gasp was Ken Clarke...

Daniel Vince-Archer

I was just going to mention that Wat. Who are they? BBCi says there are 10 new supporters (as you say, one has been identified already so only nine new supporters), bringing it up to 66 in total, but hasn't named these new supporters...

Speaking of Davis, interesting hatchet job on him in today's News of the World, under the headline 'who dares wimps', basically rubbishing his SAS credentials...

James Hellyer

The Guardian rubbished Davis's territorial SAS credentials ages ago, Daniel.

Anyway the latest batch of Davis backers are Andrew Murrison, David Amess, Malcolm Moss, David Gauke, Mike Penning, Ann Winterton, John Baron, Sir Paul Beresford, James Paice and Ben Wallace.

Personally I'm surprised they wanted a public endorsement from Ann Winterton. Her repeated racist gaffes have pretty much made her totemic of what's wrong with the party. She's not a backer I'd want to show off.

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