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« Andrew Lansley confirms he won't be standing | Main | Caption competition (4) »

Comments

wasp

Sometimes people can be very ignorant.

The reason why David Cameron is the only one that can win the next election is because he is profoundly unideological.

The party is at its best when it is unideological. Its biggest failures have come in the aftermath of an overdose of dogma (1832's anti-reform, the corn laws and Thatcherism).

But when the party was unideological it gave us Peel and Disraeli, Salisbury and Churchill.

British PEOPLE are not ideological. Cameron is an intelligent man because he realises that politics is a fringe event for most people. Being NICE may be insipid to many but it MATTERS.

Fox and Davis have nothing to offer this party and Clarke doesn't seem to understand that politics is no longer about whether or not he can beat up on Gordon Brown at PMQs.

Daniel Vince-Archer

Unfortunately James H, Maude has the undeniable look of a typical Cameronite about him so I suspect that if Came(w)ron(g) is elected leader, then Maude will be hovering around like John Prescott at a buffet.

Mark Fulford

Sorry James, are you trying to tell us that the Sun and Mail have been talking about false dichotomies? Every politician presents the obvious and unopposeable as couragous declarations - and don't make me drag out some examples of the Doctor doing just that! Cameron also talks sense and good ideas.

James Hellyer

Sometimes people can be very ignorant.

Sometimes people can be very patronising, Edward.


James Hellyer

Sorry James, are you trying to tell us that the Sun and Mail have been talking about false dichotomies?

No, they've been talking about his speech patterns and mannerism being ripped off Blair.

Peter Oborne wrote about the false dichotomies and the statements of the obvious - the things that show Cameron is intellectually dishonest.

Every politician presents the obvious and unopposeable as couragous declarations

Not the way Cameron does. He's fully in the style of manifesto '05. Take this speech...

Cameron is quite right to think it is important that children should learn to read, write and add up properly. He is not being controversial in suggesting that it would be a good thing if they were safe in class and that they should be 'stretched'. These are views that anyone might have. The important issue is how do we get schools which actually achieve these things.

Cameron seems to think that merely saying that such things are important and that they are common sense amounts to policy. Does he really think that being in government and thinking these things is going to make a difference?

He is utterly superficial. He is the plastic candidate.

Henry Cook

So this is a logical conclusion is it - Cameron sounds like Blair, therefore he lies like him too. Is this what we expect the public to conclude? Now that, I would suggest, is the most extraordinarily patronising view so far expressed on the blog.

James Hellyer

So this is a logical conclusion is it - Cameron sounds like Blair, therefore he lies like him too. Is this what we expect the public to conclude? Now that, I would suggest, is the most extraordinarily patronising view so far expressed on the blog.

It's one you expressed. I wouldn't have applied such harsh descriptions to you, but...

Daniel Vince-Archer

"So this is a logical conclusion is it - Cameron sounds like Blair, therefore he lies like him too."

He's already adopted a highly misleading position vis-a-vis the 2005 General Election campaign.

Bruce

If a Tory can't talk of patriotism without fear of turning some people off "quicker than a disposable battery", then the Tory Party has a lot more to worry about than who will be leader.

Midnight Blue

Isn't it strange that after years of having unelectable leaders, the more enthusiastic members (ones who blog here) spit venom on the first person to emerge who might be able to turn this around.

James Hellyer

Talking without notes for twenty minutes is not evidence that David Cameron could change the party's electoral performance.

Adrian Sherman

Quite right, James. Speaking without notes merely qualifies him for an audition with the 'village players'.

Truly, I cannot believe the ballyhoo surrounding this utterly vacuous chap, bar the press wishing him on the Party. He will be as much a disaster as Hague and, whether we like it or not, his background and accent will be mocked and thus dog him.

Now that he's favourite, perhaps the "favourite's curse" will haunt him as it has Davis. I doubt it, however. Cameron will unfortunately be the leader and make the now obligatory resignation speech on the morning after an election trashing.

I'm astounded that we are inexorably sleepwalking into yet another disaster.

NickB

I quite agree with Midnight Blue. Looks like Cameron's progress has got some people seriously worried ... often the same ones who bang on about May et al "trashing the brand". Obviously, "trashing the man" - who will be an important figure in the next shadow cabinet whoever wins -doesn't count. Hyperbole about election disasters does not help anyone. Are we not all on the same side here?

James Hellyer

often the same ones who bang on about May et al "trashing the brand".

Because it only serves to demonstrate that Conservatives are more interested in talking about themselves then they are in what matters to the people. The electorate do not care wht we think of ourselves. They care about what we would do on the issues that matter to them.

Obviously, "trashing the man" doesn't count

It's not trashing the man. It's trashing his style of politics that feeds on the above obsession. We need to break away from that and engage with the electorate.

michael

Good to see IDS, Howard and Portillo leaning towards Cameron.

Mark Fulford

James, I haven’t noticed the Sun, Mail or Telegraph articles you mention. I read Nick Cohen using the same argument in the New Statesman in July and concluded that false dichotomies are not as sinful as they sound.

As for modelling: it’s an eminently sensible for politicians to learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses, but to use the suggestion that Cameron “models” himself on Blair as an insult is a poor argument. Even if it were true, it’s not necessarily such a bad thing, but there’s no amount of evidence that can prove it true or false.

You quote one of Cameron’s speeches as examples of the obvious and un-opposable. In that very speech he identifies five vital areas for concern (that don’t seem obvious to the Labour government) and gives specific detail of what Conservatives would do differently.

James and Daniel, time and again you accuse Cameron of not delivering detail, but that doesn’t bear out in reality. James himself points you to a speech where you can see for yourself.

Of the choice of four, I think Cameron stands a best chance of delivering the power that makes the rest of the debate relevant.

malcolm

I agree with Midnight Blue too. As someone who is ideologically closest to Rifkind but is minded to support Clarke I still take pleasure from the success of both Cameron & Fox at the conference and am happy that for the first time in ages Conservatives are generating favourable press.
The bile that has appeared on this thread from fellow Conservatives is distasteful to say the least.

Adrian Sherman

"Good to see IDS, Howard and Portillo leaning towards Cameron".

Really, Michael? What great political successes they were. I'm sure Mr.Slime, a.k.a. DC, will be heartened by endorsments from such great titans oF modern politics. One was woefully out of his depth, the other, by his admission, was a failure and the last one is generally despised by everyone....
....apart from the privileged few who hang about in over-priced trattorias in W11.

NickB

"It's not trashing the man. It's trashing his style of politics ..."

Really?

"He is utterly superficial. He is the plastic candidate."

"He's contradictory and bordering on the nonsensical."

I rest my case.

James Hellyer

James, I haven’t noticed the Sun, Mail or Telegraph articles you mention.

They've all been up on the Newslinks in the last week (barring the Oborne Spectator piece).

it’s an eminently sensible for politicians to learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses

But he's not learning from his strengths and weaknesses - he's emulating his style. There's no sign he's made any cogent analysis of Blair beyond noting his mannerisms and using them.

You quote one of Cameron’s speeches as examples of the obvious and un-opposable. In that very speech he identifies five vital areas for concern (that don’t seem obvious to the Labour government) and gives specific detail of what Conservatives would do differently.

No he doesn't! He identifies five areas of concern but is at a loss to offer any coherent answers. I admit that he does name one genuine policy - giving heads the power to expel pupils without recourse to an appeals tribunal. But while he wants children to learn to read and write, he doesn't say if he is going centrally impose the synthetic phonics he so approves of. If he did so, he would be going against the 'celebration' of school independence that he favours. So either he's offering no solution or he is internally inconistent.

Cameron has good intentions but is short of ways to realise them. In being all talk and no action, he perfectlcy captures the superficial appeal and (I think) uselessness of Blairism.

But the worst thing about his speech is that he dismisses as, at most, a subsiary idea the only realistic chance of making schools the way that he wants them. He attacks his own party saying that it has 'missed the big point' by talking about 'structures'. But on the contrary, it is only by changing the structure of schools that there is any chance of bringing about major improvement. The structures Cameron thinks are of secondary importance are 'the big point'.


James Hellyer

I rest my case.

That's his style of politics and his policy platform. It says nothing about him as a person. People say he's really nice, but that alone doesn't compensate for the above.

michael

Has Cameron got the charisma, ability and appeal to be a popular leader who can attract aspirational voters back? I think so. Qualities which you've either got or you haven't got.

Without these qualities in a leader, as Neil Kinnock found out, everything else is pointless.

If you can accept that Cameron has these qualities more than the other candidates, then we all should be able to say (including James) right let's get behind him and work with him and the Party to develop the consistent strategy and coherent ideas which will lead to policy development.


James Hellyer

If you can accept that Cameron has these qualities more than the other candidates

I don't accept that - yet. Although he was leagues ahead of the erstwhile frontrunner.

I still think Cameron desperately needs to sell us what he believes. I'm not happy with the content of his voting record or speeches. They're what I have to go by. It's time he made some comments of substance on the issues that matter. Then the rumblings of discontent may cease (or get worse).

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Isn't it strange that after years of having unelectable leaders, the more enthusiastic members (ones who blog here) spit venom on the first person to emerge who might be able to turn this around." - Midnight Blue

I haven't spat venom on the first person to emerge who could turn it around. I've put my Euroscepticism to one side to support Ken Clarke.

James Hellyer

... who even I admit has some appeal.

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