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« The two Davids set out their policy platforms in The Telegraph | Main | Editorial: Could Cameron be ‘Braziered’? »



This thread isn't getting any better...

Cllr Iain Lindley

I'm calling quits on this thread. This is the lowest I've seen a thread on here sink.


As this blog has become better known it seems to have attracted a number of people who can only be described as trolls.I doubt very much if they wish anything but ill to the conservative party and just wish to cause trouble.Either that or they are amazingly stupid.Perhaps the Editor may have to set up a registration scheme which would be a real shame.

Michael Smith

In a way I am sorry, and surprised, that this thread ended up where it did.

I suspect the press watch these blogs, and make their judgement regarding our great party accordingly.

All I can say, is this: for me, the best reasons to vote Tory have everything to do with tax, Europe, the power of the state, the relative importance of the individual and the freedom to pursue one's own legitimate goals. For me, anyway, this should open the party I love and care about up to every voter who cares about his / her historic freedoms, and ability to maintain these.

I have hugely enjoyed this site, but - Editor - I do apologise if I have done anything to egg on a thread that seems to me, ultimately, to bring nothing but embarassment upon a great party. Things have been written here which are simply not worthy of the name they malign.


I thoroughly agree with both Malcolm and Michael. This forum for debate was hijacked.
Theresa May is a moderniser, she has said she would like to bring more women and minorities into the party. She has never endorsed all women shortlists but has constantly spoken out against them. She NEVER said we were the nasty party simply that people incorrectly saw us as the nasty party and we needed to improve our image (some of the comments made here have probably damaged us even more. These are the facts. Would Theresa May make a good Party Chairman? i say yes, now discuss.

David Walker

My comment was a poor attempt at a joke. However I was factually correct. The illness would be due to a protein that was faulty. This would be due to a combination of genes from his wife and him that upon combination brought an amino acid that changed the conformation of the protein involved.




Mr Walker, please stop!


I've now (reluctantly) banned Mr Walker from commenting from the IP address that he has been using. The first person I've felt it necessary to ban. I can't unfortunately prevent him or others with offensive views posting from other computers. The best thing we can all do is return to the usually high quality of discussion that takes place on this site...


Well, this has shown that the party still has a lot of passion for freedom of opportunity, and freedom of expression. Short lists and positive discrimination will bring about a heartfelt response and quite right.

I believe in democracy and if we have local democracy in the candidate selection process, then we must be free to pick the best candidate without any interference. That is what I will always vote for and campaign for.

Richard Carey

I had this discussion with my own Association when Theresa May made her original remarks on candidate selection as Party Chairman, and I think I probably found the correct angle to come at this from.

Of course, selection should be on the basis of merit - if the Conservative Party cannot be a meritocracy, where can? We must always have the bst and most talented candidates first.

The narrow demographics of the parliamentary party are concerning, but not for the overly simplistic reasons of "voter appeal" rightly dismissed above. It's important because it is an indicator that we are not drawing on the widest possible pool of talent.

In addition, I have heard the usual anecdotal tales of comments made by selection panels when passing over female candidates, and find these deeply unfortunate. Given that simple exhortation has apparently not produced a sufficient cultural change in the Party on the ground to completely eradicate this sort of thing, I am open to exploring all ideas of what might.

Richard Carey

Oh, and I was greatly amused by the remarks above regarding the former Labour MP for Peterborough, Helen Brinton/Clark. Having worked hard on the campaign team that secured the political eviction of this abomination in May, this did give me a smile!

The 11th commandment revised: Thou shalt never attack a fellow Conservative, but Labour is always fair game!

Daniel Vince-Archer

Forgive me if I'm wrong but didn't Helen Clark defect after the election? Perhaps attacking her is breaking the 11th Commandment after all! ;-)

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Seems to me, from what I can find out, that the overall swing in 1997 was 10.5% and the swing from Cameron in Stafford was 10.7%. This clearly is a non-issue."

I failed to pick up on this point yesterday because of all the hullabaloo about David W's distasteful comments but Cameron's Stafford 97 result is important.

It's important because it exposes the line that the caviar conservatives keep pushing on us about Cameron being able to reach out to voters beyond our traditional support groups as the falsehood that is.

Losing that safe seat for the first time in 52 years demonstrated not only that Cameron was unable to attract new voters but also that he lost a lot of Conservative voters too.

I can understand why people make the argument that Cameron's loss was part of the general swing against the Conservatives but, as the statistic above shows, the swing against Cameron was greater than the general swing against the Conservatives so in terms of percentage, he lost more voters than the Conservatives did in what was a very dismal performance for the Conservatives.

The result highlights that Cameron:

- was unable to attract new voters;
- was unable to hold on to floating voters;
- lost the support of long-standing Conservative voters.

So let the caviar conservatives keep peddling the falsehood about Cameron being the person to build upon our core support, win back the floating voters and reach out to new supporters if they wish, but remember this blatantly flies in the face of his track record in this regard.


I have spoken to lots of people about this leadership contest and the candidates involved. Many of my work colleagues have never voted in the past but many of them are getting interested in the contest and most have stated that should Cameron get in they would vote conservative for the first time! Regardless of what happened in 1997, the public perception now is Cameron would be electable, would attract new support, would attract floaters and would keep hold of traditional tories too.

Jonathan Sheppard

I am a little wary of people telling me they will vote for a party on the basis of a possible leader. So they would swap andvote Tory if we had the same policies as in May 2005 - but had a new leader? I could understand it if any of the candidates had set out an election manifesto for four years time - but they havent. I am intruiged as to what it actually is that has convinced them to swap.

"It's important because it exposes the line that the caviar conservatives keep pushing on us about Cameron being able to reach out to voters beyond our traditional support groups as the falsehood that is."

I'm not a DC supporter, but I'd suggest he's a very good communicator who comes across extremely well on TV. For all its flaws, the now famous Newsnight focus group did produce *very* impressive results.

As leader, he'd be able to play to those strengths. As an unheard of candidate in 97, I doubt these talents were matured enough or even exploited.

I'm still hoping Ken can do it, but I have no doubts Cameron has a bright future...when he's had a bit more experience.


In response to Jonathan, As dedicated Tories it is hard to know the mind of a Floating voter, but in South-East Essex, where i'm from, the floater is in the majority and anything can make them change their mind, especially the face of a fresh new leader. Unfortuanely image IS more important than substance to a large number of people with whom politics is a dirty word.

Jonathan Sheppard

Perhaps- and some have suggested to me that the cameron image may not go down so well in the East Midlands and Urban areas up North where we need to win seat to form a Government - so image isnt everything. Plus what happens when image wears off (ie Blair)?


Yes, i agree. When image wears off, if there is no substance underneath you are history (ie Blair, with a bit of luck). Also i accept that my experience is essentiall skewed to the South-east, and it is interesting to get an insight from outside my area.
I do think that Cameron has more than an electable image (at least in the south-east), i think he has a number of good conservative policies too.

Mark Fulford

If Cameron can win us three terms in office, I'll be happy. And so will all of you. I'd love to see some of Fox's suggestions implemented - particularly his mental welfare plans - and I think that Cameron is the vehicle to take us there. My vote on the leadership is decided by a single issue: who stands most chance of winning a general election.

Jonathan Sheppard

As does mine Mark - though we are backing different people. Democracy at its best.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"My vote on the leadership is decided by a single issue: who stands most chance of winning a general election."

That's why I'm backing the most popular candidate with the general public - Ken Clarke.


clarke is dead, long live Cameron.

Mark Fulford

It would be interesting to know people's order of preference (not that our voting model allows such a thing). Mine would be:

1. Cameron
2. Clarke
3. Fox
4. Davis

Clarke has been protected by his wilderness years. So while he's popular today, I think it'll be too easy for Labour to smear him - as demonstrated by his poor performance against Patricia Hewitt on QT. His charm has been cultivated through his rebelliousness, a luxury not afforded to more loyal members.

Fox is low because he doesn't adequately symbolize the change that the electorate want to see. To people who are not immersed in politics, he's more of the same. I think he'd make an excellent #2.

Davis - nothing to commend him.

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