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« A series of appointments strengthens the Davis campaign | Main | Voting prediction winners »

Comments

Jack Stone

What do people want? DC to come out with detailed policies, set in stone, then find four years from now when he goes to fight the real election against Brown that these policies are more suited to now than four years time.
David needs to set out a vision of where he wants to take the party and country not publish early the party`s next manifesto!
I hope that when DC as won the election that people on the right who contribute to this site are far fairer and constructive to our new leader than they are now!

malcolm

I'm getting really tired Rick of you sneering at absolutely everything that everybody in the Conservative Party says or does.Is there anything or anybody you support in our party?
I also notice that DC is getting it in the neck for being vague on policy while DD is getting away scot- free!DD keeps saying he wants to cut taxes,how?Please tell us DD what public spending commitments you will cut to pay for them.

James Maskell

We arent talking about him coming out and saying "We'll cut income tax by 2%" or "we'll build 20 new prisons" or whatever and we dont expect him to do that. But we need to know more than just he cares about community cohesion. Anyone can say that. Adolf Hitler cared about community cohesion... He talks about public services...everyone believes in public services...the question isnt does he care but how would he improve it? He needs to come out and show he knows more about public services than just the fact they exist and need to be utilised. For example how much input should private business have in health and education? How would he deal with crime?

The average voter might be persuaded by it but not us lot. We are smart enough to know that politics isnt just a soundbite.

I havent declared for either candidate and to be perfectly honest, neither candidate rocks my world enough for a positive vote.

James Hellyer

If you'd read his IPPR speech, Malcolm, you'd see DD believes in "bigger pie" economics. That means he'll borrow to fund tax cuts, hoping that the economic growth they generate will pay back the borrowing.

And Elena:

"All Cameron can do is give an outline of the sort of policies he would like to introduce."

So you seem to be saying it doesn't matter what he says, how ill thought out it is, or how undetailed - it's not a general election so it's okay? Sorry, but that's not good enough. These outlines are worthless if they collapse after the most cursory examination. Whether the school leavers programme would be compulsory is the most basic question about it. He doesn't have an answer. If it is a compulsory, how does he square it with his claim that Blair tells people what to do while he would set them free?

a-tracy

I also notice that DC is getting it in the neck for being vague on policy while DD is getting away scot-free.

Hardly Malcom - this blog is taken from a press release that DC's team have sent to this website, if he doesn't want to invite comment then he shouldn't have sent it in.

I feel that my questions are justified and if this suggestion is to become a main plank of his election pledge for the party wouldn't it be best to find out now?

I'm all for balance too so can I direct you to any DD blog article to get an idea of the criticsm aimed at his campaign, which is quite healthy.

Voyager

Actually Jack Stone it might be better if Cameron just borrowed Blair's Stakeholder Speech given in Singapore and recited it. After all, it is not policy but personality that seems to count: Blair can implement policies like Tuition Fees that Keith Joseph could not; Cameron merely hopes to be the personality that will make New Labour policies tolerable to Conservatives.

It is as Marshall McLuhan put it the medium which is the message.

Rick

malcolm | 27 October 2005 at 11:47


I do think Malcolm you should develop a more tolerant approach in place of your abrasive edge. Unlike you seemingly, I find trite statements and banal soundbites to be tiresome and typical of PR-factories. It seems that people like you are into "feelings" and all sort of "emotive" sentimentalism. Personally, I just want someone who can a) lead b) manage c) control d) budget - what used to be called POSDCORB - and I have no time for Feng Shui Therapists dancing from TV studio to TV studio.

The world is harsh and the next decade will be a rude awakening for Britain and Europe now they have uncaged China

Sean Fear


I think it would be truer to say that our immigration policy was popular at the last election (outside SW1, NW1 and N1) but one policy on its own doesn't win an election.

Quite a lot of Conservatives seem to feel awkward about discussing the subject, but important issues have a habit of taking an interest in you, even if you don't want to take an interest in them.

The events of 7th July and over the weekend in Birmingham ought to have dispelled the view that "let 'em all come in and don't quibble" is a viable policy for this country.

James Maskell

I dont know if anyone received the press release from the DD campaign about the re-launch of the campaign. I got it spammed to me yesterday morning.

Elena

James Hellyer - that is not fair. You've put words in my mouth, I'm afraid. I've already said that Cameron needs to expand on many of his policies. My point was that we can't get too bogged down with details on policy in 2005 when the next election is in 2009. Of course, Cameron's ideals will shape the policy of the future, so we have to examine them, you're quite correct. But I'm not saying that just because it's not a general election year ideals that don't hold water are OK. That was an invention on your part.

Camerons ideals, beliefs and principles need to be expanded upon, I accept that. My point was only to state that we can't make too many concrete pledges when Britain may be a very different place in 2009.

Lancake

Bigger pie economics?! Borrowing to fund tax cuts!?!? Pie in the sky more like.

Counter-cyclical borrowing is all well and good and an established piece of economic management in the west, but just to fund tax cuts?? Absurd - an abdication of economic responsility - DD should know better. If the Tories are not about sound finanical management then we will fail (as we found post post-ERM).

George Bush has been doing exactly this and look what a mess the federal budget is in. It only works because the Chinese and Japanese are willing to suck up huge amounts of US Treasuries to fund the budget and current account deficits. One day somebody has to pay for it.

James Hellyer

"I'm not saying that just because it's not a general election year ideals that don't hold water are OK. That was an invention on your part."

That's wht you seemed to be saying - hence the "?" requesting clarification.

"Bigger pie economics?! Borrowing to fund tax cuts!?!? Pie in the sky more like."

That's my reading of what he's promising. But then that's what Cameron is promising too (he wants to cut taxes, but without controlling spending first). Davis at least still intends to implement a James style review, as well as lowering the costs on the state more generlaly through public services reform. So his pledge isn't quite as daft as Cameron's...

Oh, and ERM wasn't caused by borrowing to fund tax cuts - the Lawson bust was!


Sam

May I conduct a little survey?

Who did you all support in our last three leadership campaigns?

Voyager

"Counter-cyclical borrowing is all well and good and an established piece of economic management in the west, but just to fund tax cuts??"


I am afraid they think like highly-leveraged businesses extracting equity to pay dividends - viz Philip Green.

It is a bit stupid for Governments to leverage up to cut taxes, it doesn't do much good for PFI or LBO deals either

malcolm

I'm all for balance too a-tracy but I want both candidates to be subject to the same level of scrutiny in their policies.
I have not seen anywhere James Hellyer that Davis is promising to borrow to fund tax cuts.If that is what he intends 'though I wouldn't support him.He is likely to inherit a huge PSBR anyway and the first priority should be to reduce it.
Thank you for for your reply Rick.I notice that you chose once again to ignore the question,is there anything or anybody you support in the Conservative party?

Coxy

Sam - I think we all supported Michael Howard last time!

I'm still wondering how DC's high-sounding big-tent, third-way, modernising 'aspirations' are any different from Blairism?

DC is getting more scrutiny on policy because he's less known (and has disassociated himself from the manifesto he just wrote...). But yes, DD will also have to clarify where he stands, because he's been trying to play both sides to court the europhiles (all 4 of them!) and one-nation types.

James Hellyer

"I have not seen anywhere James Hellyer that Davis is promising to borrow to fund tax cuts."

Was it another Malcolm who commented on the "'Fixed pie Clarke' versus 'Bigger pie Davis'" thread?

Alex W

Irrespective of whether the policy was popular per se, it backfired because it retrenched the (mis)conceptions people had about we Conservatives being nasty, defensive and intolerant. There are a host of issues that are "popular" - insofar as if you were to take a straw poll of whether people are for or against them they would vote in favour. The problem isn't just campaigning on issues which are popular in themselves. It's about campaigning on a range of issues which give the impression of the Conservatives as being interested in the broad gamut of political management. "Keep the Pound" was "popular" in 2001, but we received a drubbing at the polls. "Controlled immigration" was likewise in May. However, such policies needed to be integrated into a broader manifesto on the economy, public services and so on; otherwise, the danger is that we are perceived as being exclusively interested in "right-wing" issues.

James Hellyer

"He is likely to inherit a huge PSBR anyway and the first priority should be to reduce it."

As opposed to increasing it by increasing spending as Cameron intends?

James Hellyer

"Keep the Pound" was "popular" in 2001, but we received a drubbing at the polls.

Because it wasn't an election issue. The government had promised a referendum before entering the euro, so people knew it didn't matter then.

Sean Fear


We were still right to campaign on the Euro though, because our campaign has indeed ensured that this country has remained outside the Euro.

Going back to the immigration issue, though, I think we won more votes than we lost on it. And our policies were reasonable ones.

James Hellyer

"We were still right to campaign on the Euro though, because our campaign has indeed ensured that this country has remained outside the Euro."

We weren't right to campaign on the issue in a general election camapaign after a referendum was promised. That meant we were fighting on an issue that no longer mattered to people.

"Going back to the immigration issue, though, I think we won more votes than we lost on it. And our policies were reasonable ones."

Whether that was worthwhile depends on where the votes were won and lost. In any case, something has to be done to neuter the "fantasy island" tag. They didn't manage that at the election. Okay, Howard couldn'tr name countries that would host the centres, but he could have pointed out that Italy already has this policy, so there's no reason why we can't.

michael

Sean, I think you're right that immigration probably did win us more votes than we lost among those who voted soley on that one issue. But how many thousands of votes went elsewhere among those not concerned one way or the other about immigration - people who said to themselves, these guys are just a bunch of unpleasant grumpy old rightwingers obsessing about travellers, immigration and cuts.

People often want to vote for a Party which is optimistic and aspirational. It's almost a lifestyle choice where they say something about themselves. I want a party that has a big narrative. What I like about David Cameron is his potential to be a big picture politician. I hope that he continues to paint a Conservative canvass using a broad brush.

Lancake

"Oh, and ERM wasn't caused by borrowing to fund tax cuts - the Lawson bust was!"

James, i didn't quite mean that - just that the ERM fiasco destroyed the Tories' reputation for sound economic management.

I hope neither David is advocating borrowing to fund tax cuts and to be fair I don't think either is. What we need to do is keep the growth in spending below the rate of economic growth, so that the proportion of GDP spent by the public sector falls over time. That's why the "And Theory" works here - you can have higher spending and lower tax and I think that's what both candidates are after.

On Sam's survey, I supported Ken in 97, IDS (please forgive me) in 2001 and Ken in the first round this time. Now I'm going for Cameron.

James Hellyer

"I hope neither David is advocating borrowing to fund tax cuts and to be fair I don't think either is."

Davisd Davis wants to cut taxes in his first budget. Then only way that can be paid for is with borrowing or by running up a deficit. Similalrly Cameron is promising tax cuts, increases in spending and... shades of the '05 manifesto I think.

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