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« Labour's Treasury say they hold sensitive security information on David Cameron | Main | The Dimbleby Leadership Debate - Part 1 »

Comments

James Hellyer

Good for Ann Widdecombe. Her endorsement is interesting as she backs people on the grounds that she thinks that they'll be a winner with the electorate (remember that despite agreeing with IDS on so much, supported Clarke in 2001).

Pauline Buffham

Yes this is an interesting endorsement and I am delighted to read it.What she said sums up my feelings exactly.

I'm afraid that if DC becomes leader Blair and Brown will be laughing all the way to the ballot box.

liberal democrat

This is interesting. I heard Ann Widdecombe at one of these "rubber chicken" events in late October and she pointed out to a hardcore Davis supporter that policies mattered for little if you don't get into Government to implement them. She hinted strongly that Cameron was the man for winning an election, Davis the man for pre-planned policy, but the best way would be the compromise between the two.

James Hellyer

In which case, given her "street fighter" comments, I can only assume that despite Widdecombe's misgivings about Davis, that she thinks Cameron will be ripped apart by Blair and Brown.

Alastair Matlock

James - What do you think of Geoffrey Cox (whom I believe is your own MP) endorsing David Cameron?

James Hellyer

I'm afraid endorsements for the leading candidate at this late stage run the risk of looking like bandwagon jumping. Furthermore, I think the cited grounds for this decision (Cameron's performance on Newsnight) aren't the strongest I've heard, especially as a large factor in his performance was the utter uselessness of Paxman's line of questioning.

Having watched Cameron, I think Paxman would have found it easier to get him on the ropes over some of his "buzz" policies (speaking out for the people of Darfur or his environmental polices) and how poorly thought through they seem to be.

If Geoffrey has further grounds for his decision, I've not heard them yet.

Selsdon Man

Third choice - after KC and LF - is hardly a ringing endorsement.

James Hellyer

But it does say that Cameron isn't even her third choice, which is no endorsement at all.

Alastair Matlock

I love Ann Widdecombe as much as any other Tory activist, but she doesn't exactly have a track record for backing winners does she? Good for her on sticking to her guns and swimming against the tide, but lets not read too much into this.

James Hellyer

What we can read into it is that of the two candidates on offer, Ann Widdecombe has more faith in the ability of Davis to deliver.

James Maskell

Good to see Widdecombe supporting DD. I always suspected she'd support DD. Shes always been a "tough on crime" person rather than a "lets try to pander to both left and right wing at the same time" person.

Henry Cook

"What we can read into it is that of the two candidates on offer, Ann Widdecombe has more faith in the ability of Davis to deliver."

Do you place more faith in the judgement of Ann Widdecombe or Liam Fox, James?

James Hellyer

On this issue, Ann Widdecombe. I have no faith that David Cameron will deliver anything other than failure.

Jack Stone

The sad fact is that if there were more politicans like Ann Widdicombe in the Conservative Party the party really would be lucky to beat the Lib/Dems into second place.
At the 1997 election her extremme views and aggressive, uncaring attitude played a large part in condeming this party to one of its worse ever defeats.
Party activists may like her but I`m afraid there are few outside of the party who like her or her views.

James Hellyer

"At the 1997 election her extremme views and aggressive, uncaring attitude played a large part in condeming this party to one of its worse ever defeats."

Would you care to provide evidence for this, Jack? Or is this another one of your assertions which ignores every single factor at the election in question?

Henry Cook

"On this issue, Ann Widdecombe. I have no faith that David Cameron will deliver anything other than failure."

I would suggest then, that since this is the most crucial decision facing the party for many years and one that will affect the party for many years in the future Liam Fox's judgement is, in your view, wrong to a colossal extent. If he cannot reach the right conclusion on such a vital issue, how could he ever have been a prospective leader?

Clearly this is not my view, I have always admired both LF and DC. My point though, is that if you think DC would be such a disaster, you must see your previous faith in Liam Fox as thoroughly misplaced.

a-tracy

Jack, Anne Widdicombe has become something of a media darling herself recently with her Agony Aunt series and her elevated position from contestent to panelist on Celebrity Fit Club, I'd go as far as to say that she is one of the best known Conservative MP's to none Tory activists that I can think of and not for the negative gibes that you made above.

People, believe it or not, like straight talkers, people prepared to give their honest opinion. Please, as you keep reminding bloggers, remember that you are also on the same side!

James Hellyer

"If he cannot reach the right conclusion on such a vital issue, how could he ever have been a prospective leader?"

Perhaps, Henry, because I don't have to slavishly agree with everything a prospective leader says, and perhaps because I think we have a fairly unimpressive final two candidates, where there isn't a really "good" choice.

But anyway, that was nice attempt on your part to make a really cheap shot.

Henry Cook

I just find it funny (not in a humorous way) that you believe DC would be such a terrible disaster for the party, and yet the man you thought had the judgement to be leader has endorsed this catastrophe-in-waiting. The person you wanted to be leader of the party has helped the party on its way to electoral meltdown by supporting DC. Pretty poor judgement, no? Has your opinion of Fox not gone down even a little?

It wasn't what I'd call a 'cheap shot' but if you think that pointing out basic contradictions in someone's stance is a 'cheap shot', then maybe it was.

a-tracy

Henry - I agree with the point you're trying to make. I felt slightly disappointed that Liam Fox tried to determine the vote in his friend DC's favour. Perhaps DD should have taken up tennis!

James Hellyer

"I just find it funny (not in a humorous way) that you believe DC would be such a terrible disaster for the party, and yet the man you thought had the judgement to be leader has endorsed this catastrophe-in-waiting."

Henry, this is not a "basic contradiction", unless you think that I slavishly sign up to everything a candidate said (a triat I have noticed among Cameron supporters though). Thinking that someone would offer the party the best future direction if they were leader, does not mean that they would make the best pick out of another list of candidates if they were offered the choice. The considerations are different. Mrs Thatcher picked John Major after all.

James Hellyer

"Henry - I agree with the point you're trying to make. I felt slightly disappointed that Liam Fox tried to determine the vote in his friend DC's favour. Perhaps DD should have taken up tennis"

Which is precisely the sort of consideration some of us took into account when we consistently argued for either a OMV system of leadership election, or primaries. MPs are not always going to base their decisions on the best considerations. They take into account personal advancement, friendships, etcetera, rather than whom they would actually like in the job.

Henry Cook

"Henry, this is not a "basic contradiction", unless you think that I slavishly sign up to everything a candidate said (a triat I have noticed among Cameron supporters though). Thinking that someone would offer the party the best future direction if they were leader, does not mean that they would make the best pick out of another list of candidates if they were offered the choice."

Let me put it slightly differently. You believed, as you were perfectly entitled to, that Liam Fox had the judgement, temperament, beliefs etc to be the best potential Prime Minister. Liam Fox's judgement on this most critical of all decisions is that DC would be the best potential Prime Minister, a position entirely antithetical to your own.

Now there are two options here. Either:
1. you misjudged Liam Fox's abilities to make good decisions, and therefore your previous support for him was misplaced. Or:
2. he is right over DC and this has confirmed his suitability to be Prime Minister one day.

If he cannot choose correctly here, how would he ever have been a good Prime Minister? I would suggest you go for option 1, by conceding that he has not lived up to your expectations and probably wouldn't have done if he had won the contest.

Daniel Vince-Archer

Henry C, that's clearly a false dichotomy. As James H has patiently explained, it is perfectly possible to have supported Fox's leadership bid and believe that Fox is wrong to back Cameron.

James Hellyer

"Now there are two options here. Either:
1. you misjudged Liam Fox's abilities to make good decisions, and therefore your previous support for him was misplaced. Or:
2. he is right over DC and this has confirmed his suitability to be Prime Minister one day."

There are not two options here. That's a false choice. You might find it hard to accept that MPs are not always in the best position to make decisions about the leadership becasue of personal considerations, but are more than able to make other decisions. I happen to think that someone can give a party or country the right leadership, but might be swayed by the wrong considerations when deciding on the party leadership.

So I'll go for 3) Henry's choices are bogus, and are solely designed to score points off the back of a false argument.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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