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« David Davis campaign insists their man will run | Main | David Cameron denies using cocaine since becoming an MP »


Jonathan Sheppard

I have to say I though Fox made a great speech - and comes out of this contest with a great amount of dignity and I would think a key role in a future Conservative Opposition, then Government.

Richard Allen

I'd just like to put on record my praise for the Fox campaign. Liam has fought superbly well and made an excellant contribution to the contest and to the debate about the future of the conservative party. He has bravely tackled controversial subjects as well as those that conservatives have great difficulty articulating. I would have been happy for Liam to have been elected leader and would have supported him if Davis had been beaten.


Smart move by the Doc which should see him in negotiations rather than taken for granted by either camp. At the moment there is no doubt which candidate needs Fox's backing the most, however, I'm sure both would strongly covet it. With the admission that I have recommended others for it in the past, how about Liam Fox as Home Secretary (in a Cameron administration).

Selsdon Man

The good Doctor will be an asset to either of the Davids. Politics is in his blood. He is a man of principle, commitment and determination and should be respected even if you do not always agree with him. As a canny operator, Liam knows that his endorsement is a valuable not to be wasted.

Wat Tyler

Yes, Doc's done himself (and the party) a lot of good during this contest. He's got at least twenty years left at the top- hopefully most in government- and who knows what that might encompass.


I thought his Evening Standard stuff was pretty awful. I hope he doesn't rue the day, because you're all right, his platform in this contest was really good. His message deserves to go forward.


And Mr Editor, could you please remove unnecessary and unsightly hyphens, such as the one you put into "with-holds"? Why cause additional pain? Some of us have already suffered enough.


Liam Fox, a nice guy, a great contestant, and a street-wise politician. He knows exactly how to play his cards.

Tim Roll-Pickering

He promised to endorse the candidate who... stood up for Britain's interests in Europe...

Could this be a dig at Davis's inability to offer a lead on where in the European Parliament Conservative MEPs sit?

In itself the issue is frankly irrelevant to the grand scheme of things, but the response given speaks volumes about Davis's potential as a leader. His answer to the question is "I will pass the buck to someone else and then follow them" rather than "I will set a lead by..." It bodes ill for his ability to bring overall authority to the party in the areas where armtwisting and other traditional Whips's methods do not work.

"how about Liam Fox as Home Secretary (in a Cameron administration)."

Please God no! A socially liberal leader can't have the most authoritarian member of the shadow cabinet in that job. We're meant to be trying to change the terrible image of the party not reinforce it. Isn't there a vacancy at transport and the regions he can fill?

Michael McGowan

Perhaps the last commentator could reveal his/her identity and justify the absurd comment about Fox being authoritarian. He is opposed to capital punishment. Hence, I presume the "authoritarian" smear is based on the fact that he does not believe in the decriminalisation of all drugs and is no fan of the pro-death culture of abortion on demand and euthanasia. His views on euthanasia and abortion do not seem greatly out of line with those of most other European countries. They may also have something to do with his medical experience of the damage inflicted on the vulnerable by the London middle classes' belief that drugs are cool.

Mark Fulford

Michael McGowan, you previously made some outrageous statements about CChange,. Are you going to name the names or withdraw the accusations?


Fox has deservedly received very favourable coverage in this morning's press (see also Watlington's latest entry on the Social Affairs Unit blog). Rather than forming what the media will inevitably dub a "right wing" alliance with DD, Fox should use his considerable influence to secure a key role on Cameron's team, either continuing as Shadow Foreign Sec or perhaps as Deputy Leader with a wide-ranging remit to oversee social policy.


I couldn't agree more. I would love to see Fox as deputy leader giving his influence and experience to Cameron's new team and bridging the gap between the tory right and left. I would also like to see other prominent people like Theresa May, as Chairman, Sir Malcolm Rifking, as Foreign or Defence Secretary and i would like to see a position for Ken Clarke, who although i abhor his europhilia and his liberal social ideas, he was an excellent chancellor and would be a huge asset to the tory front bench. Lets hope Conservative Central Office and David Cameron takes note.

Michael McGowan

Mark Fulford, my comments are only "outrageous" to you because in your eyes, the "modernisers" can do no wrong. My comments were a summary of what I heard. As I told you at the time, I went sympathetic and left repelled. Were you there? If so, disprove me. I appreciate that my comments were unpalatable to someone like you who thinks the "modernisers" can do wrong.

Anyway, just answer the question for once: why is Fox "authoritarian" simply because he doesn't believe in abortion on demand/euthanasia/liberalisation of hard drugs? His position is no different from that of someone as mild as Rowan Williams.


He is authoritarian because:

He opposes a woman's right to choose.

He's hostile to gay rights.

He espouses 'traditional family values' (whatever they are).

He is hard line on sentencing policy.

Mark Fulford

Michael, I'm not concerned with the Fox authoritarian issue. I'm concerned with the damning accusations you've made that "modernisers close to Cameron" at CChange "regard ordinary members of the Conservative Party as by definition racist, sexist and homophobic vermin". I have been in correspondence with CChange and they say you're a liar. Since you’re unwilling to substantiate your allegations, I have to believe them.

Real Tory

Sounds like sound Conservative stuff to me, Gareth. Make that man leader, after senor Slime, aka Cameron, makes a hash of the leadership and his 'new best friends' in the media establishment trash him, as they will.

Contrary to what all these uber liberals think, the nation isn't obsessed with this gay agenda, women's lib, multiculturalism, let's be nice to criminals. Quite the opposite in fact.

If the Tories are to regain power they need a leader, not Cameron BTW, who from the very first, articulates tough policies on immigration, family breakdown, crime, social liberalism, tax cuts, the interfering state etc.

The problem with Hague, IDS and Howard was that they made these pathetic attempts to 'reach out' to gays, blacks, Moslems, trendies, metropolitan elites which did them no good whatsoever. Then, when the polls wouldn't budge they scurried over to Euroscepticism and immigration.

The electorate aren't stupid and they correctly saw through this sham.

Here's a novel idea; how about the Tories concentrating on white Judeo/Christian, heterosexual, law abiding, anti drugs, anti yob, anti chav, tax cutting voters. The last time I looked they were still the majority, outside the cesspit which is London.


Another coward Real Tory who daren't put his email address on the blog.

Michael McGowan

Mark, in the words of Mandy Rice-Davies, "Well, they would say that, wouldn't they?" All I will say is that Gillian Shepherd was at that meeting and publicly took issue with the unpleasant, intemperate and, in her words, sexist tone of the remarks being made. She was right to do so. The "Nasty" Party isn't confined to the ranks of Cornerstone.


OED online defines "authoritarian" as "Favourable to the principle of authority as opposed to that of individual freedom." Anyone who bothers to read Fox's recent speeches and interviews will see how ridiculous the "authoritarian"tag is.

Michael McGowan

Gareth, he doesn't "oppose" a woman's right to choose but says that it has limits. Especially when contraception is so freely available, no woman has an unlimited right to choose anymore than I have an unlimited right to drink and drive. Only selfish zealots argue that women have an unlimited right to abort children up to the moment of birth. Fox has suggested, as has David Steel, that the time limit on abortion should be reduced to reflect the earlier viability of prematurely born children. The law in this country and in most others has always recognised that an unborn child becomes at some stage a person whose life is to be protected. All that Fox has advocated is a change in where that line should be drawn and good on him. That's human decency, not authoritarianism. Next smear?

Mark Fulford

Michael, as you say, I wasn't there so I have to take the word of people that were. What I don't understand though: you say that CChange modernisers view members as sexist, so how was it that Gillian Shepherd had cause to take issue with sexist remarks within the meeting? CChange view members as sexist, but are sexist themselves?

Michael McGowan

Mark, I was one of the people there too and you don't believe me. In fact, youu trotted out the accusation that I was a "liar" which is hardly restrained.

Gillian took exception to the expression "the blue rise brigade" which she found to be patronising, sexist, ageist and in most cases untrue. And quite right too. She also made a very spirited defence of the rights of ordinary members to a democratic say in the running of the Party. Shall we just say that the last point did not exactly generate rapturous applause from those present. Plus ca change plus c'est la meme chose.


I am not sure I want to get involved in this quarrel but it does seem to me that there is a massive difference between Cameron and his moderniser friends thinking that ordinary party members are'racist,sexist and homophobic vermin' and a member of CChange referring to party members 'as the blue rinse brigade'.Methinks Michael, you are guilty of (massive)exaggeration.

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