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« New declarations for Cameron and Clarke | Main | David Davis must win 66 votes today »



May an American chime in?

Two things:

Maybe this doesn't translate across the Atlantic, but Republicans have found that "modernisers", i.e. Republican liberals tend to lose (see Bush, George H. W.) when they go up against real liberals. This is why McCain has never secured the nomination. This could be largely to do with the fact that the Republicans rely on the so-called, much dreaded "Religious Right" for their electoral victories. My understanding is that such a population is either very small or nonexistant in Britain. However, several of the comments above have said something similar: that Conservatives should not try to ape Labour/liberals because it is sure to backfire. That is our experience here.

Second, am I alone in thinking that perhaps the Conservatives might be better off to keep their leader for a while longer? Voters hardly have time to get to know the leader and his views before he's been given the old heave-ho.

I saw Michael Howard's resignation speech, and under the circumstances, I can see why he stepped down, as a matter of principle. But it seems a little crazy to have a new leader every two years and then expect that person to lead the party to victory when the voters barely know who he is.

That being said, I have to say that I find British politics refreshing in one sense; that your leaders aren't so uncomfortable with the idea of being articulate, educated people who can engage intellectually with the ideas they present. I find that American leaders of both parties tend to be made to play down any trace of intellect in order to be trusted by "the folks." It's kind of insulting to people who don't need the "corn pone" treatment in order to understand what is being discussed.

Matthew Oxley

That is the worst spin I have ever seen written by somebody from our party.

You talk about how Blair has continued Thatcher's agenda and has imitated us and of course few would disagree but then you try and use some kind of circular logic that links Thatcher to Cameron - which is simply astounding.

Thatcher is behind only Fox and Davis in this race, and these are the candidates who are closest to the Thatcherite ground.


Thanks for that, John, from America. Your first point is incredibly important. It gets to the heart of things. The second - yes, we should keep our leaders longer, but only if there is any hope that they will improve. Very unlikely in Howard's case - his ratings were dropping all the time, almost from the moment he took over.

James Hellyer

I fail to understand how anyone can claim that David Cameron is short on policy if you have read his personal manifesto

This would be the personal manifesto with undeveloped and often contradictory policies in it? Those are soundbites, not a clear sense of direction.

Michael Smith

Cameron's manifesto strikes me as dreadful - fundamentally un-Conservative where it isn't internally contradictory, or simply fluffy and vacuous. Listen to this, for instance:

And as we unflinchingly confront this painful question, we inevitably come to the conclusion that it’s time to recast our values according to the spirit of the age and the challenges of our times…

1) There's nothing 'inevitable' about it - many of us don't come to that conclusion.

2) For some of us, values are unchanging. It's possible and often advisable to change practice in order to take account of present-day circumstances, but we do so in pursuit of those same values.

3) Any Conservative who claims to believe in anything as daft as 'the spirit of the age' really ought to re-examine his choice of party. Or his choice of ghost-writer, maybe.


What is the point of the Conservative party having views if it never gets elected.

Davis won't ever win an election, Fox would be highly unlikely to.

You can have all the right wing views you want in opposition and they won't matter. The cornerstone group may have all their fun meetings talking about family values but all they get is a Labour Government that is helping to destroy the family.

Vote Cameron and make yourself matter.

Robert Cooke

Why do people find it so difficult in the Conservative party to accept that change is not always a bad thing? I don't think their needs to be a fundamental change in the policies we have though embracing policies on the environment, a more social attitude to "unconventional family units"

Lets be clear we want power that is the reason the conservative party exists and if it means that some of you have to swallow a bit of pride and accept Cameron is the man to do it so be it.

The debate about left and right is so dead in this country thank god and the debate now is about whether we have a party that under Cameron or anyone else will still be committed to a free economy less government involvement, creation of wealth and also have a more liberal attitude towards society.

I am a modernist but that doesn’t make me less of a Conservative than the right-wingers in this party. Sadly we have deluded ourselves into thinking that there will be another Thatcher who can put across the pure policy's that were so radical in the 80s (interestingly enough Thatcher was a modernist in the 70s and it as the wets who held her back) it isn’t going to happen because Britain no longer wants it!

So to those who want to keep the party to the right you go ahead and consign the party to more years of opposition while our democracy is eroded by an authoritarian one step away from dictator prime minister and a government that has done nothing for eight years and wrecked the golden legacy left behind by us. The rest of us will carry on living in the real world and trying to get the conservative party into government not turning the party into a club for the thatcherite right. The country has moved on so should the party

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Vote Cameron and make yourself matter."

"Lets be clear we want power that is the reason the conservative party exists and if it means that some of you have to swallow a bit of pride and accept Cameron is the man to do it so be it."

How reassuring to see these false assertions about Cameron being the man to win power for the Conservatives still being peddled in the face of the evidence against them.


I think it is a shame Howard didn't stay for a year or so. I like Fox loads and Davis a lot, but I am a pragmatist.

If the media bubble Cameron has around him will stay for the next 4-5 years then he has to be the candidate. Brown will be vulerable-not just because of the ecomony but because he manages to alienate too many people-the blame for a Labour mistake always goes elsewhere, to Harman on benefits, Byers on Railtrack, but the fault so often lies with Gordon. He hangs others out to dry. You can't run a government like that without making enemies.

Is Cameron a man who made 1 good speech and will then be out of his depth? What role did he play in the ID card flip-flop and the mean election manifesto? If it's true that his fingerprints were all over these then we will just lurch straight to the loony right as soon as there's a wobble. Will the media keep talking him up when he is taking on Labour rather than other conservatives?

I follow the tory blogs and the media, and I don't know. I'd like to make something more than a blind guess.

Robert Cooke

Ho hum we could carry on talking to ourselves that has after all worked so well for last 8 years or we could try somthing revoloutinary like putting our policies in 1) langauage people understand and 2) policies people agree with I know it is revloutionary but it might just work

James Maskell

The ID Card Bill just passed Third Reading. Majority 25. Onto the Lords now. :(

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