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« Does Mr Cameron support David Davis' tax approach... or not? | Main | Davis promises twenty new grammar schools for the inner cities »


James M

I think QT is the make or break issue.

I happen to believe that DD’s tax declaration is a mistake at this point. Although it is important to seize a political agenda and make the case for lower taxes over a long period, this has to be part of a well thought out tax reforming and reducing agenda, not as a last throw of the dice move in a leadership campaign - which essentually uses a slightly adapted version of our last election promises.

It would have been far better in the long run to say he hopes to reduce the rate of spending growth, thus stabilising our public services and hopefully, all being well, allowing some reduction in tax. The quick £38 billion of cuts headlines will only make the party seem as though we want to re-play the 2005 election and it also will make the party look like we have not changed, whoever wins.

So while I like the confidence DD shows in wanting to push for tax reduction - I think the timing of this decision and the strategy in achieving it are a little misguided. But he is keeping the debate going…

James M

Finally I think this tactic from Davis, risks scuppering the whole, critical debate over taxation - in an attempt to get a few more precentage points in an election that will not see us return to power, he is pigeon holing himself for the future - whether he is leader or a simply shadow minister. Labour will say where is Mr £38 billion of cuts?

Jack Stone

I agree with the above.
I don`t think Mr Davis is doing the party`s long term propects any good at all by hyping the issue of tax cuts like he is for what is essentially short term gains for himself that are likely to mean the differance between him losing by a landslide and losing by a lot!

John Coulson

Dennis Skinner was just on the Week in Westminster. While he is a Labour MP, he is honest and open. He praised Davis for speaking extemporaneously during the terrorist bill in the Commons while he noted that all of Camerons speech against Kelly in his reply to the White paper on education were scripted. This is becoming a trend- Cameron is an actor, he learns his lines and delivers them well. I don't think this is a good omen if he were to be party leader - we need someon who can think on his feet. He is also unable to make specific promises, it is very easy to be all things to all men - for a few weeks, over 4 years he will be found out. Davis will grow into the job. We need the membership to get over the medias ridiculous overhyping of the Cameron Blackpool speech. If they see he is the man for the job we wll be fine.


The Tory members in the villages of Oxfordshire and Kent and Wiltshire can vote David Cameron leader of the Tory Party and most probably will...............that is the end of the story.

As the fireflies of Tory Party leaders glow brightly and die, Blair just watches them go. I wonder how many more leaders the Conservative Party gerontocracy will be electing before theirtime is done ?

This campaign has lasted longer than a General Election and at the end the prize is a wooden spoon.

Jack Stone

Davis will not grow into the job because he is simply not up to the job.
David Cameron is capable of inspiring and reaching out not to just Conservatives but the wider electorate as well.
With Cameron we will win with Davis who is incapable of even inspiring his own side we will as certain as night follows day lose.

Graeme Archer

"The Tory members in the villages of Oxfordshire and Kent and Wiltshire can vote David Cameron leader of the Tory Party and most probably will" ... erm, and the Tory members in Hackney, or at least some of us, and I guess most of us (NB that's not a poll just my feeling). I think there's a misconception that because DD is more working class than the other candidate, he's automatically more authentic (bit '60s, no?). He's certainly an Angry Man, if not a young one. But I think people are tired of Angry Tories.

Who would argue with the Tory theme of cutting taxes and reducing the growth of the public sector? The argument is how to get there. We've tried offering detailed tax cuts ... it just gives the Government too obvious a target. I feel the same way with the other flagship right wing policies eg Europe and Immigration -- is there anyone in the country who doesn't think that we would be more eurosceptic and run a better immigration system than Blair/Brown? Quite. So let's talk more about the perceptions that we DO need to change to get those millions of centre-right thinkers voting for us again ... I don't believe it's as simple as particular policies (if it were we would have worked out the policy by now), it's the narrative and our perception, and only David Cameron is going to change that.


Graeme: I largely agree with you but what I would say is...

In David Davis we have someone who is very reassuring on bedrock/core conservatism - like tax relief, immigration and things like grammar school education - but who struggles to inspire on the other issues you allude to.

With David Cameron we have someone who - on social justice, Darfur and warm-hearted inclusiveness - reaches beyond familar constituencies (those we need to reach 44%) but is less than reassuring on our bedrock beliefs. His tax policy remains very vague, for example.

That's where I see the race at the moment.

Graeme Archer

You are too nice to me Mr Editor :-0) I am off for the first gin of the night and to glory in the simple leadership election machinery of the X factor. I hope all Tories are having a nice weekend. Gx

John Aubrey

I disagree with Jack. I am very interested in knowing what the candidates plan to do about taxation. I think it's a fundamental issue whether either/both of them basically accept the sort of state which Blair and Brown have built and want to tinker with it, or whether they have a more far-reaching vision.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"David Cameron is capable of inspiring and reaching out not to just Conservatives but the wider electorate as well."

As he demonstrated so ably in his one serious electoral test - Stafford 1997. Oh, hang on a second...

Quick question: who was the head of party policy co-ordination that played such a key role in drafting the 2005 manifesto that went down like a cup of cold sick with the electorate? If this shows that David Cameron has got the capability to inspire and reach out to Conservatives and the wider electorate (unless you meant inspiring them to vote for somebody else?), then I'm the Queen of Sheba.

Less assertion, more fact please.


When are we going to face reality?

There was nothing wrong with the 2005 Manifesto- in my opinion it was rather good, but the general public do not cast their vote based on specific policies (particularly at a time when the is little visible difference between the 2 major parties).

It rather depends on who is articulating these policies, and how effectively the public believe these individuals can carry out such promises.

And at the lowest common denominator: which group of individuals they'd prefer to give power to. Frankly, Howard, Davis, and Fox are unpopular, considered mean-spirited, incompetent, and dishonest, in the eyes of the public. This cannot come as a surprise to many of you: what where the chances of Howard, an intergral member of the Conservative regime that served till 1997, attracting the same portion of the public that they specifically pushed in to the arms of New Labour?

Cameron & Osborne remained as virtual unknowns to the ordinary voter during the 2005 campaign despite orchestrating the manifesto. Cameron, as the future "face" of our party, is the only solution, with Davis as his frontbench bruiser.


Actually the polls (such as they are) suggest that the public generally find Davis neither dishonest, nor incompetent. Just dull.


Editor, after 8 years in opposition, I'm looking for inspiration rather than just reassurance.

I'm not getting that from David Davis.

Robert H

I'm getting neither inspiration or reassurace from David Cameron.

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