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« Dolly's advice for Mr Cameron | Main | Elsewhere on »


James Hellyer

Much as you may dislike the man, I think it should be said that the first three points are not without merit. The BBC has shamelessly promoted two candidates at the expense of all others: Ken Clarke and David Cameron. The rest of the media did approach the Conference with a narrative for the week already in mind (as Lord Bell observed, the script was always going to be "Cameron and Clarke deliver good speeches, while Davis delivers a lacklustre speech"). And Michael Howard has been widely acknowledged as out to do down DD and favour DC.

The problem is that knowing this does nothing to address or counter the problem. Rather than be seen as complainers, it would have been more effective to send DD himself onto GMTV. He may not be the best platform speaker in the world, but comes across far better than DC does in chat format programmes. Showing the candidate in a good light would do more to counter the media's agitprop then moaning about it does.

Midnight Blue

Mr Conway has once again swung his sledgehammer - and hit the wrong person!


Yes the media have concentrated on Clarke and Cameron, but for a very simple reason. They are much more interesting characters than the other two.

Nobody outside of the Conservative party would want to read an article on Liam Fox or David Davis so I don't think thats the media's fault.


One of the most important issues in politics at the moment is getting the media on your side. With their support, it's much easier to get your message across to a receptive nation. Although not essential, some 'sucking up' really does need to be done (although I would never advocate to the extent that Blair has).

Do you think the Davis campaign realises this? Blaming the media for everything isn't going to get them anywhere fast - not as a leadership campaign, nor as a viable alternative for government.


Good point wasp. I noted that yesterday when reading The Observer - Cameron's image was everywhere. Cameron is young, attractive and stylish and David Davis isn't.

The ability to generate publicity is crucial for an opposition party.


David Davis says that this will probably be his last leadership attempt and David Cameron would be offered deputy leader in his shadow cabinet...

Is it me or is David Davis sounding like a shop keeper with a closing down sale - For a limited period (6 weeks only), buy me and get Cameron free!

Justin Hinchcliffe

Conway very publicly helped to bring down IDS to get DD as Leader. He was also the Chief Whip under John Major and was known for his bullying. Conclusion of Conway: a silly man who's not going anywhere.

Derek Conway was never Majors Chief Whip. How were you a candidate at the last election? Shame on you Andrew Mackay.

Graham D'Amiral

Derek was a whip not chief whip in John Major's government.

Speaking as a member of Old Bexley & Sidcup Conservative Association I can tell you he is an excellent local MP. As it happens I don't agree with him over the leadership but the one thing Derek will always do is tell you what he thinks,upfront brutal honesty is part of his endearing appeal. So I shan't be suggesting he books that flight to the carribean just yet.

Justin Hinchcliffe

When you ask 'how were you a candidate at the last election' to whom were you asking this question of? I apologies for saying that Conway was Chief Whip - he was, I think, a junior whip.

Daniel Vince-Archer

Oh for goodness' sake! Why on earth do Team Davis let such loathsome individuals anywhere near the media? Are they trying to lose this election? For Derek Conway to accuse anybody of undermining people with 'funny' tricks is both nauseating and hypocrisy of the highest order.


The Davis camp strategy for generating publicity seems to be:

1. Complain about all the publicity for David Cameron.

2. Get Davis to wander round 'his' Council Estate until he wears out the soles of his shoes (personally, I'd be more impressed if he still lived there).

Daniel Vince-Archer

"I'd be more impressed if he still lived there."

Instead of having his main home in his constituency you mean? That's a novel idea isn't it? Would you be even more impressed if he lived in, say, Notting Hill?


If the Davis USP is that he understands 'ordinary people' because he was born on a Council Estate, I'd be qualified to be Britain's next PM.

If I see him wandering up and down that Estate one more time, I think I'll go crazy. Please will someone recognise him or at least invite him in for coffee. The man will die of exposure (not the media kind) at this rate.

Jack Stone

I am not at all surprised by Mr Conway`s words.
When any politican as lost all the arguments and as nothing else to contribute to the debate its always the media and especially the BBC fault that there man is going to be defeated.
Mr Davis should have learnt two things before he went into this election. Firstly that those who he surrounds himself are simply not up to the job and secondly by surrounding himself with the repulsive characters he tends to surround himself with people simply think that he as the same standards and values that his friends hold.

Nelson, Norfolk

Mr Conways comments does nothing to help DD. He is simply trying to fix the blame for DDs troubles to the BBC and others.

I am afraid that DD has only himself to blame and Mr Conway should admit this. For DDs sake please keep Mr Conway off the air.


To be honest, I can understand why the DD campaign feels a little bit aggreived. Since the conference speech all their candidate has got has been a slating.

But by blaming the media publically they do themselves no favours. Guess what - attacking the BBC and the newspapers isn't going to make them feel anymore receptive to you. Although no-one could argue that Cameron has had it much easier in terms of the media, that's not only because of the 'bandwagon' conference speech but also because his people have been more receptive to the media. It's very important nowadays and Cameron's team realise this.


To me it sounds like Conway is whinging. Whinging is a total turn-off, and will not do Davis's campaign any good. Be more constructive.

Whoever is the next Tory leader needs to have the popular press on board. I would guess (please correct me if I'm wrong) that the Sun and the Times have back the winner each time for the last 20-25 years.

Remember the Sun's headline on polling day in 1992? A picture of Kinnock's head in a light-bulb and the headline "Will the last one to leave the country please turn out the light" (or words to that effect).


"Derek Conway blames everyone else for his candidate's troubles"

What a very unbiased headline Editor.

James Maskell

I think its a fair headline. Derek Conway has done that.

Richard Allen

While I don't always agree with him I have to say that I like Derek Conway. Unlike most of the backstabbing cowards he was man enough to stick the knife into the chest of IDS.

As for his comments, they were spot on but it really doesn't help his cause to come out and say it.

Sam Mahboubian

Conway has precisely demonstrated the need for Cameron's fresh approach.

Pity its taken so long for half the party to realise that Conway and his bygone, bully-boy chums, lose us several hundred votes per media appearance.

"While I don't always agree with him I have to say that I like Derek Conway. Unlike most of the backstabbing cowards he was man enough to stick the knife into the chest of IDS."

...This a reason to like someone?!...stab vest for Mr Cameron please!

John Hustings

What we need instead is David Cameron's sickly-sweet spin. Right?

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