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« Editorial: Is everyone a Portillista now? No. | Main | David Cameron's rollercoaster day »


James Maskell

A very good point about the candidates having this social justice outlook. I agree, do any of the candidates NOT have that agenda? The biggest problem is that its the fashionable thing to be. They dont want to be linked to Thatcherism so they avoid it as if it was the plague and go for the centre-ground.

As for Maude's speech, he talks of personal responsibility...the person who was defeated in his attempt to roll back democracy and wouldnt admit he made a mistake in doing so? That put me of the rest of the speech.

Theresa May did alright. She does move an almighty lot during her speeches though. That camera was really moving! Funny bit on the BBC Parliament with the shot of the man with the digital camera honed in on her boots.

Didnt watch the other speeches...Im not expecting their speeches to differ much at all. I guess in one way for the first time in ages, they are all singing from the same hymn sheet!

James Hellyer

Maude's speech was dreadful. Admittedly it wasn't helped by being delivered by a man with the worst oratorial skills this side of Haltemprice and Howden, but it hit all the wrong notes.

It excused the MPs, the policies and by implication the leadership from blame for our defeat and pointed the finger at the membership.

To follow that with Alan Duncan and Teresa May offering more of the same just added insult to injury.

At least Andrew Neil was on hand to restore BBC viewers' spirits by ripping apart that bumptious so and so Duncan! With Lord Lamont also on hand to pour scorn on Maude, I think I much preferred the BBC coverage to the actuality.

James Maskell

I missed Alan Duncans speech. Is it me or has Theresa May picked another dodgy outfit for a Conference? That black cloak thing is bizarre. It was like something out of some sci-fi program.


What a pathetic speech by Maude. I can't be bothered to read anymore tonight - who needs an opposition when this guy points out every miserable point. The Tories need a Campbell not a Maude (sorry to all those people who hate the guy - but you'd never catch him slagging off the brand 'New Labour').

In childcare the rule is you don't keep telling a child they can't do this and they're not capable of that or they're failing in Math or rubbish at sport. You find every little thing they are good at (EVERY LITTLE THING THEY ARE GOOD AT) and raise their esteem so they go on to greater things.

You have to fall in order to learn to pick yourself up - so get up, dust yourself down and get on with it. Until the MP's all agree that they are all going to pull in one direction, under one leader, with a common goal, at the same time and together, everyone's deluding themselves.

"The Tories need a Campbell not a Maude (sorry to all those people who hate the guy - but you'd never catch him slagging off the brand 'New Labour')"

You might catch him slagging off Old Labour though, and maybe that's the point...

Adrian Sherman

Who's writing the Tory speeches these days, Gerald Ratner?

If Maude, May and little Duncan think the Party doesn't have enough ethnics, perhaps they should vacate their seats immediately; you won't hear any complaints from me if this troika depart the stage.

Truly loathsome!

James Hellyer

As I said, the highlight of the day was Andrew Neil ripping Duncan to shreds at lunchtime. It was most enjoyable.

Richard Allen

May gave a pitiful speech in almost everyway, Duncan was only slightly better and Maude's speech was disgusting.

Fortunately Sir Malocolm showed why he is part of leadership contest and why the others are not. It was a fine speech.

James Hellyer

Rifkind's speech was good, but it wasn't that good. The delivery was impressive, sure enough. But what I think made it seem much better than it actually was, was that it was the only speech that day. It gave you reason to be proud to be a Conservative. The others made you out to be some sort of nasty throwback.

Daniel Vince-Archer

Sir Malcolm was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Seeing as David Cameron has been masquerading as a moderniser under the same banner as Sir Malcolm (apart from on Iraq), it will be interesting to see if he can present his case with as much passion and with as much emphasis on principle as Sir Malcolm. Or will he just grin at the cameras and rely on his "I'm young, I'm a moderniser, I'm so great!" campaign mantra?

As for the points Maude made, these will need to be addressed if the Conservatives want to win the next election.

James Burdett

Francis Maude is always dreadful, I think it amusing that someone who is always talking about looking like the rest of Britain has such a retro appearance..

Theresa May, well she means well, problem is that the Parties problem is not simply cosmetic. Again I have an issue with someone decrying Yah-Boo and Opportunist Politics whilst making that type of crack against Charles Kennedy....

Sir Malcolm, proved that passion is alive in politics! There was no slagging of the party which is a plus. I don't think it will generate any great support for his leadership bid.

Alan Duncan, one of the better modernisers. He didn't dwell on the criticisms that he had of the party. He did make some good points.

IDS, well if only he could have generated that kind of passion when he was still leader. Obviously he is never going to be a top drawer orator, but I think if his legacy is going to be a real social justice agenda for the Conservatives he will have done a great service for the conservative cause.


Thank you James B for that. I agree. Iain believes to his core the SJ message and the Tories will benefit hugely from the connections he's building as a result...

Coffee Monster

Maude, May and Duncan were all dreadful, Rifkind gave a good speech which was made to look excellent by comparison. Hopefully whoever wins will instill a sense of self confidence in the party and it's message.


Did Campbell have a hand in writing key conference speeches slagging off Old Labour? Does anyone have examples just to cheer me up!


Having heard the news last night and just seen the highlights of Maudes speech I thought same old self loathing Maude.
But having read the speech above I have revised my opinion,it wasn't that bad.He does try to balance optimism with realism and lets face it as party Chairman it is his job to point out the unvarnished situation re polls etc.
We do as Malcolm Rifkind pointed out in his excellent speech still have a mountain to climb but with people like him in our party we can do it.

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