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Sean Fear

Being abused by Brute Anderson is surely a recommendation for the job.

Adrian Sherman

Let's look at Cameron's press cheerleaders, shall we?

Brute Anderson whose judgement is about 100% wrong, chinless Gove, slimey Vaizey, airhead Alice Thompson, puffball Tory Boy D'Ancona, scurf-ridden buffon Boris Ponce-son.

What a motley and unattractive crew. If a candidate is to be judged by the company he keeps, then we should kick this vacuous nobody into the long-grass.


The power of the press is enormous, and no candidate can afford to put their backs up. Some politicians go out of their way to cultivate the press, such as Tony Blair. I very much regret that this is necessary, but we've all seen how the press can make or break a leader.


Adrian - in future, can we make this blog a place for substantial debate and avoid the personal abuse...? PLEASE!

Adrian Sherman

OK editor, fair enough. Just getting into the knock-about spirit, too much!



Jonathan Sheppard

Dealing with the media is an interesting one. At the end of they day they can write what they want. I was once told 70% of the stories in a paper are there for a reason - advancing one agenda or another.

Can politicians complain about the press they get - Yes - but it will probably make little difference

In todays world there is a huge dilemma for politicians. People say they want plain speaking - yet if they do, they can be pulled up for any little inconsistency.

I remember in the election - a policy to introduce free travel across the whole of Nottinghamshire for pensioners appeared in a Labour document as a spending commitment by me. Now actually it was a costed policy proposal - but it highlights how the words of every politician is looked at more than ever.

Davis had the press pack savage him very unfairly (in my opinion) after his speech, but I believe the mark of the man will be in his swift recovery. To me that will show true leadership. The other contenders will be in no doubt that if they are seen to be challenging "for the crown" it will be when, not if they will be faced with the same treatment.

Michael Smith

For me the major point is how little positive enthusiasm there was for Davis either amongst the media or the great majority of his parliamentary supporters. It is as if the moment someone said 'it's okay, you don't have to like Davis any more, you have an excuse to like someone else' that is what pretty much everyone did.

It was all very well being Davis when everyone thought he was going to win, because that way he could at least get the careerists on his side - but now I really wonder whether he has a chance, 'relaunch' or not. He doesn't seem to have made many real friends or allies, does he?

(Maybe I should add at this point that I do support Davis, or rather that I want anyone who isn't Cameron or Clarke ... just wish the Right had a stronger candidate)

Jonathan Sheppard

We seem to forget that his nearest challenger is miles behind on the number of declared MPs.

Michael Smith

I haven't forgotten that, Jonathan - I just don't trust those pledges. But who knows, maybe you are right? (Well, obviously you are right in the sense that Davis still has far more pledges than anyone else - just perhaps not right in the sense that all of them will keep their promises and do what they said they'd do.)

Jonathan Sheppard

I am sure the more cynical bloggers will have something to say about politicians and keeping promises! :)


This is the worst news yet about the DD campaign. If they'd realised their weaknesses and showed a willingness to adapt, then they would stand a chance. But to whinge? How pathetic. Don't keep blowing it, DD - get yourself a decent campaign instead of blaming the press.

Stephen Alley

Talking about negativity, I have to admit that I was very disappointed by the negativity of David Davis' speech.

He began his speech with a reference to the 7/7 bombings, this may have been an attempt at portraying himself in the image of a leader, or even a "Bush". However, I find that combating terrorism is often more reactive, than proactive, and is in some ways best left to the police and the secret services.

Another aspect of negativity was the talk of deportation and even the back-handed praise for the French was hardly admirable. Deportation is hardly inspiring, postivie stuff.

I don't think the press are unfair in judging that Davis has been negative. He should know that the Tories are not going to win elections on the basis of their stances on terrorism and immigration, surely the focus has to be on public services.

Selsdon Man

Stephen, Davis was appealing to the Cornerstone Group(or Tombstone as the press have dubbed it). I do not think that Davis was comfortable with his content and that may explain the awful delivery.

James Hellyer

Davis was appealing to the Cornerstone Group(or Tombstone as the press have dubbed it).

If Davis wanted to appeal to Cornerstone, he wouldn't have rubbished them and their views - as part of a not very veiled pop at Dr Fox - before the conference.

Selsdon Man

I missed that James - typical of Davis arrogance!

James Hellyer

David Davis was trying to give a traditional "portfolio" speech. He didn't want to stray too far from his brief for some reason.

The problem is that his comments regarding his brief were singualarly uninspiring. Compare for example, Davis's call for more prisons with Dr Fox's comments on how the penal system fails the mentally ill, who have also been failed by the mental health system, thus condemning them to life in an inappropriate institution. Prison works. But it just locks up the problem for a while. Fox's approach looks at solving the problem, and shows a compassion that could appeal to non-Conservatives. Davis's comments appeal to the paeleo-right only.

Davis's speech was dismal in ways far worse than his inarticulate delivery.


"Typical of Davis arrogance" - unlike Fox who decided to list his background and then said he didn't want people to use his background as a reason to choose him as leader.

Guido Fawkes

The Davis crowd complaining about the press, is as Enoch once nearly said, like a sailor complaining about the sea.

Mike Smith's comment that it is as if the press were given permission to dislike Basher has a ring of truth about it.

James Hellyer

"I missed that James - typical of Davis arrogance!"

Have a link!

Sean Fear

Actually, I think our stance on terrorism will be a crucial issue over the next few years. There is a very good deal to attack Labour about on that subject. Going negative is fine if you have something to be negative about.

Mark Fulford

There's only one MP who can lay claim to the religious-right Cornerstone vote.

Free Democrat

This goes beyond the next few weeks. If Davis has annoyed the the general mass of the right of centre press already this is hardly going to improve if he becomes leader. Complaining that the press got it wrong won't help either. Making the press like you is part of the job. If Davis can't do that then he shouldn't be leader.

James Hellyer

There's only one MP who can lay claim to the religious-right Cornerstone vote.

Which would be why Iain Lidell-Grainger is backing David Davis. Obviously.

Mark Fulford

Yes, it must come as quite a disappointment to Fox that 50% of the Cornerstone declarations have gone elsewhere.

There's a difference between laying claim and actually getting.

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