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« New supporters for Cameron and Fox | Main | Caption competition (5) »

Comments

John Sheldon

Its wrong to say that Cameron is a Tory Blair. It seems to me that there is clear, blue water between the two. Cameron wants to reduce taxes - even maybe flatten them; he's also localiser, which Blair isn't.

Whats more, Cameron has much more room to shift, dare I say it, to the right than Blair. Because of the Labour Party and Brown, Blair has gone, pretty well as far as he can go in that direction, before he hands over the baton.

While if you look at Cameron, purely on policy (see Telegraph comparison on Thursday), there's not that much of a difference even with Fox. What makes them look different is tone, style and emphasis.

So Cameron has a big advantage on policy scope over Blair, yet his tone and style is much more in tune with 'today' than Fox. So Cameron can't fail.

If only things were that simple!

James Hellyer

Cameron wants to reduce taxes - even maybe flatten them; he's also localiser, which Blair isn't.

Osborne wants to look at flat or "flatter" taxes. Cameron has not made any commitment beyond saying it's right to "look" at them.

Cameron's localism credential are also confused. He says he wants to restore autonomy to schools, but also seems to want to force them to teach synthetic-phonics. Surely some contradiction?

greg

Cameron's tax cutting credentials are extremely dubious. "Flatter and simpler taxes" is code for reform of the tax system, getting rid of mean tested tax credits etc etc. It's not code for tax cuts.

He is also in favour of compulsory pensions.

AnotherNick

"He says he wants to restore autonomy to schools, but also seems to want to force them to teach synthetic-phonics. Surely some contradiction?"

I think the idea is to allow schools more say in how they run their business, but obviously there needs to be a level playing field of what is taught and the major ways in which it is taught.

James Hellyer

"there needs to be a level playing field of what is taught and the major ways in which it is taught."

But that goes directly against his idea for putting more power into the hands of the people at "the coalface".

If anything, what you describe is a very New Labour approach (literacy hour, anyone?).

AnotherNick

But following that point to the extreme schools would teach what they like and each would have to produce their own examinations. There does need to be some uniformity but also freedom for the schools to feel they are running their own affairs beyond the necessary basics.

James Hellyer

"schools would teach what they like and each would have to produce their own examinations."

No, exam boards would offer competing qualifications and their attractiveness to employers would dictate who did what and maintain standards.

But that's not the point. Cameron appears to believe that the centre should not only tell teachers what to teach, but how to teach it. Oh look! It's the current consensus.

AnotherNick

I'll tell you what James, if you imagine Liam Fox had said it and then make the argument you would have in defence of him, I'll leave you to debate the point.

GaffaUK

Why can't the tory members have a choice for all 5 candidates - and then have a simple 1-2-3-4-5 prefered choice and transfer the votes until there is a winner? I reckon the Tory MPs will stitch it up by not necessarily voting for their prefered candidate but ensuring certain candidates are excluded.

Editor

I completely agreee with you GaffaUK - have you seen this post...

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/toryleadership/2005/10/party_democrats.html

James Hellyer

I'll tell you what James, if you imagine Liam Fox had said it and then make the argument you would have in defence of him, I'll leave you to debate the point.

I'll tell you what, AnotherNick, I'll stick to being consistent. I'm critical of similar policies from the Blair government and welcomed recent proposals from private schools and exam boards to develop new and respected qualifications.

Why should I be overjoyed that our education spokesman's practical ideas appear to be to maintain the failed consensus, rather than argue for radical change.

Derek

Even though the 1922 committee could widen the contest by allowing all five candidates to go to the whole membership of the party, I am certain that they won't. There is some merit in the argument that this could result in the new leader not having the support of a majority [even a large majority] of the MPs. Personally I would support widening it out to 3 if the third placed candidate had, say 30% support among MPs, like Portillo did in 2001. If we were to go to 4th or 5th it would make the contest unnecessarily complicated.

Regarding David Cameron, I agree with the editor's remarks that he must now give us more policy details, and explain what actions he would take. He has proved that he is an excellent speaker, and can put over a broad message, but he cannot be all things to all people. We need to know whether he personally would pursue the present policy of repatriation of powers from the EU, such as our fishing rights. Would he support the current policy on immigration? Is he in favour of the legalisation of hard drugs?

AnotherNick

"I'll stick to being consistent"

You are tremendously consistent your logic has a partial Orwellian theme to it. If the Doctor says something well....

Four Legs (just like a Fox has) Good.

We can endlessly debate policy and look inwards but here is a candidate, David Cameron, who can become Prime Minister on a Conservative (even if it is a moderate Conservative mandate). Now James is never going to say anything nice about him, and I accept James' vote is lost, but to everyone else who reads this do we want to have a PM with Conservative ideals or do we want to have a right-wing leader of the opposition? Do we want a cabinet of Osbourne, Fox, Davis, Rifkind, (hopefully) Hauge or do we want to be in opposition. A Cameron win isn't going to purge the Conservative Party of right wingers, but it is going to provide an electable party.

James will probably accuse me of doing something with a strawman..... nothing indecent I assure you. He is right I haven't responded directly to his argument - arguing with James takes too much time, although I look forward to Hellyer vs Paxman one day.

Yes policy does matter and it isn't all about image, but what matters most is I want to elect a Conservative Prime Minister with centre right views, no-one is ever everything to everyone. Cameron is a huge talent - Conservatives, don't blow this chance.

James Hellyer

You are tremendously consistent your logic has a partial Orwellian theme to it. If the Doctor says something well....

What you are ignoring by deploying this smear tactic, is that I'm being consistent with policy positions I've previously espoused (see for example my replies to the Chis Woodhead article in the Commentators blog).

But anyway, it's nice of you to try and imply that all of someone's opinions come from a leadership contender - especially when your own post regurgitates the Cameron manifesto in all it's emptiness.

AnotherNick

I apologise if you regard that as a smear tactic, it was not intended to be.

Adrian Sherman

I know this will sound compltely weird, but before I went to sleep last night, I imagined each of the candidates accepting victory on the steps of CCO, or wherever they are these days, with their spouses etc etc. And the one person who I imagined doing this, was Liam Fox.

It probably doesn't mean anything but, apart from Rifkind whose a lame duck, he is the candidate with the fewest enemies; ie, is there a stop Fox campaign?

Daniel Vince-Archer

"James will probably accuse me of doing something with a strawman..... He is right I haven't responded directly to his argument - arguing with James takes too much time, although I look forward to Hellyer vs Paxman one day."

About the only thing you've posted recently which I can agree with Nick ;-)

Seriously though Nick, James H is not alone in having serious reservations about Cameron, as one look at the new Conservatives Against Cameron's NewLabourisation blog reveals.

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