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« Dr Fox reaches out to right in confident performance | Main | Questioning David Cameron »



Are the Cornerstone members really that stupid?I hope not.Any Cornerstone candidate would humiliate themselves and ruin Doc Foxs chances.
The only MP who seems to have a ludicrous sense of his own self importance and has completely misjudged his appeal is Bill Cash.


Who are Cornerstone really trying to kid?

Ancram, Leigh, Cash - they'd never make it to a final ballot. What exactly is the point?

Sean Fear

A very wise decision on Andrew Lansley's part.

Cllr Iain Lindley

"Who are Cornerstone really trying to kid?"

I think they are well aware they won't win. They are just trying to put their issues onto the table. So far it has worked and one of the genuine leadership contenders spent a fair chunk of his speech pandering to them.

James Hellyer

one of the genuine leadership contenders spent a fair chunk of his speech pandering to them.

By which you mean Dr Fox's four lines on the EPP, I suppose rather than David Cameron's "commitment" to marriage?

EU Serf

If Teresa had not spent the last few years trashing the brand, she would put in a good showing.

James Hellyer

Where's the picture of Michael Ancram with a big red cross on it?


Good to see IDS is leaning towards David Cameron.

Cllr Iain Lindley

Two new pro-Cameron blogs have sprung up:

David Cameron For Leader
David Cameron to be leader


People worry unecessarily about a lack of experience with David Cameron. But DC has been in politics much longer than he has been an MP. Perhaps Cameron can wait, but the Party can't. And why would we want to for the sake of four years additional experience? He has charisma, clarity and an ability to excite and engage floating voters. This is our chance, let's take it now.

James Maskell

More blogs...why oh why? The same information appears in all of them. Theres nothing fresh.

Michael McGowan

It's always interesting to spot the vested interests, amid all the froth.

Last night, there as little proper coverage of the Davis and Fox speeches. Instead, the BBC was working overtime to boost Cameron, as was Trevor Kavanagh. But then both the BBC and News International have no interest in a candidate who will actually land some blows on Blair and Brown and introduce meaningful public service reform for the benefit of all. They have a vested interest in the status quo which Cameron is unlikely to disturb. News International's only other goal is to block KC.

Who else is pushing Cameron? Boris Johnson of course. Matthew D'Ancona of course. Michael Gove of course. Many of these people have been in spin overdrive for the last 48 hours. But then they are just the latest wave of bright, gilded, not-so-young Oxbridge-educated Tories who, like DC and George Osborne, regard office and power as their birthright, and have been enocuraged to believe that this is so by the likes of Michael Howard. I can remember some of these people already running for office when I was at Oxford in the late '80's. Nothing has changed and they certainly don't want outsiders like Fox and Davis muscling in on their inheritance.

It is also interesting to watch less frenzied observers, none of whom are obvious fans of the Tory right. Tim Hames is not exactly a fan of Cornerstone nor of KC but clearly has grave reservations about DC, the "self-proclaimed messiah of the modernisers". Peter Oborne, no friend of DD, uses his column in today's "Spectator" to question the disproportionate hype given to the Cameron speech, as did the ever-reasonable Damian Green on Newsnight last night. Anne McElvoy, always the shrewdest of centre-leftish obeservers, clearly has doubts too. She spots that Davis does not really do "nice" but has been effective in landing blows on New Labour and has made the crucial point that social mobility has gone into reverse under Blair and Brown. By contrast, McElvoy is having difficulty working out what real differences there are between New Labour and David Cameron.

Cllr Iain Lindley

It is intriguing that you attempt to paint Johnson and Gove as "usual suspects" and yet cite Damian Green who has been a public supporter of Davis for months...

Michael McGowan

Yes but crucially, Green is a veteran Europhile on the centre-left of the Party, who backed Clarke in 1997 and 2001. Yet he has become convinced that the "one nation" agenda can never be achieved by adopting the top-down methods of New Labour and simply tinkering with the machinery. The very fact that Davis has managed to win over such people (also Willetts, Lidington and Ian Taylor) is what impresses me.

Besides, the likes of Hames, Oborne and McElvoy are clearly not Davis cheerleaders.


Conference has been a vindication of the internal election mechanism, and brought the Tory party its best headlines and coverage for a long time. It has contrasted so favourably with the other two conferences. The buzz in the bars has translated well onto screen - even the most cynical of commentators have been riveted and had to work hard to suppress their interest.


After the speeches and the chat...

DC is just too young for many MPs. For the members? Critical examination appears to reveal a lack of substance underneath the expensive and professional packaging - and the "Tory Tony" label will not help.

DD is a favourite with the ladies (Daily Politics poll) but leaves everyone else cold or bruised. He may well have peaked too soon. Will have to see how he recovers from his speech.

If Ken gets into the ballot there will be a split between the "cabbie's choice" and "Eurosceptics". However, I suspect his "man of the people" demeanour would be unmanageable as a leader - I simply do not think MPs will put him through.

Liam? I wonder if he will hold his nerve long enough to attract rather than offer support...

Daniel Vince-Archer

Well said Michael McGowan. As for the new Cameron-related blogs springing up like a monk judging a beauty contest, there's a new 'stop Cameron' blog as well. Can't remember the address offhand though... :-/

Daniel Vince-Archer

I think Paul Routledge (of the Mirror) said it best (for once) when he said:

"Blameron, a word that neatly rolls Tony Blair and David Cameron into one, to describe the glossy, vacuous, sloganising, smarmy style of the Tory MP who wants to succeed Michael Howard..."

If the likes of Routledge can see it, why can't everybody else?

James Hellyer

*raises hand*

I can see it!

I can't stand the plastic everyman that is Cameron. From his well modulated insincerity to his willingness to use his child for political point scoring, I see nothing to admire.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"As for the new Cameron-related blogs springing up like a monk judging a beauty contest, there's a new 'stop Cameron' blog as well. Can't remember the address offhand though... :-/"

I've got the address now! See Conservatives Against Cameron's 'NewLabourisation' at:


Of course Oborne is not a DD cheerleader he's always supported Ken Clarke.

Green and Willetts followed DAvis because they are both very ambitious and thought he would win, Alan Duncan fits into the same chategory but was smart enough to keep his powder dry till things were a bit clearer.

I'm coming round to having someone like Clarke to try and kick the tombstone group out of the party, create a militant tendency to prove that the party is relevant, by removing those who drag us down time and again.

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