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« Hustings Report (9): London | Main | Sky TV Debate »


malcolm thomas

Cameron wants out of the EPP.

Apparently Blair wants Labour to move in. If true, I guess he needs anything to help book himself a lucrative new job.

Any conservatives wavering on quitting the EPP - please click on Roger Helmer above. This is the Conservative Clause 4 we've all been waiting for. The fresh air starting to blow. Spring's coming early this year.

malcolm thomas

Cllr Graham Smith

I find it incredible that the Leader of the Conservative MEPs apparently wants to continue giving half-a-million pounds a year towards pro-integration projects, completely contrary to Conservative Party policy.

It is insufficient and inadequate for the EPP website to say "The UK Delegation makes known its general reservation on the Priorities Paper," the simple fact is that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

If Mr Kirkhope fails to submit to the Leader's authority, he should do the honourable thing and resign his seat.

Daniel Vince-Archer

I'd advise the Cameronites not to get too excited about this poll result. The poll, and the subsequent coverage of it, has more flaws than the Empire State Building.

hayek's grandad

How many flaws does the Empire State building have? At the macro level you'd have o say none. It's a building which I presume is what it was intended to be.

Daniel Vince-Archer

It was a play on words Grandpa... *sigh*

Simon C

Given what Cameron is saying about allowing his Foreign Affairs team to sort out the EPP withdrawal date, I think we can guess that Liam Fox will continue to be shadow Foreign Secretary. He was the first to promote this idea, and it sounds as if Cameron is going to leave it to him make it work.

Here's hoping that Michael Gove ends up in the Foreign Affairs team as well.

The style of Cameron's leadership is going to be very interesting. He has now said that he will leave drugs policy to the party and the date of withdrawal from the EPP to his Shadow Foreign Secretary. There's a lot of delegation going on. That may be no bad thing, particularly if it means that the overall front bench team looks stronger as a result. But is does beg a few questions about what the issues are that he will impose a lead on if he thinks it necessary. Where are his lines in the sand?

There's also the obvious danger that he will leave it to others to do the hard work, take the credit when it goes well, and allocate blame elsewhere if it doesn't.

hayek's grandad

No really it's an interesting question. How do you count flaws. I mean at the micro level if you count every atomic dislocation it must have more flaws than we can count, but on a macro level it doesn't appear to have any. So the question is how do you define a flaw.

I can't see a flaw in the poll coverage. It's simply stating the results of a very limited poll, certainly it is as correct as the poll that lead to the times big splash about DD catching up.

Does anyone know the relative numbers of people polled for the times splash and this sky poll?


Hayek's grandad - I suggest you try saying it out loud. It's a sound gag that doesn't work so well when written.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"I can't see a flaw in the poll coverage."

The headlines attached to the poll are all about Cameron scoring higher than Blair - this is largely irrelevant as it's almost certain that the next Conservative leader will be up against Gordon Brown at the next General Election.

hayek's grandad

It also shows him doing better against brown than DD would do. It doesn't claim DC will win the next election (if it did I'd agree it was misleading). What it says is he polled better than Blair in a forced poll and lost to Brown in a forced poll. You are correct that either or both of those could be irrelevant by the time of the next election, but that's no more than is true of every poll about the next election.

CJ -
If I say it out loud how on earth will that help me determine if it will work well when written?

Daniel Vince-Archer

I didn't say that Grandpa. I criticised the coverage of the poll for trumpeting the fact that Cameron outscored Blair.

James Hellyer

It's easy to get favourable coverage if you are the candidate the media likes in an internal party election. Positive publicity translates into poll popularity.

By contrast, Blair has been rundown for months and actually has people responding to him doing his job.

The results could easily be different if Cameron was treated as an Opposition politician. Take away the media sheen and will the "popularity" remain?


DVA this poll is only of mild interest I wouldn't get so excited.

As far as Blair goes he probably has 18 months left which will be a crucial period for the new tory leader. Being more popular than Blair would be seriously helpful in attracting people to the part and creating a more attractive message.

If Blair is unpopular then Labour's popularity as a party dips, if the Tory leader is popular then Tory popularity goes up.

But I still don't take much from this poll.

Daniel Vince-Archer

Wasp, most people with at least a passing interest in politics know that the clock is ticking for Tony Blair's leadership and he's merely keeping Number 10 warm for Gordon Brown. Ergo, Blair's poll ratings do not correspond to Labour's poll ratings. People will recognise that Tony Blair is now a busted flush, even his media lapdogs have started barking at him - look at the way he's managed to engineer the EU budget situation so that however it turns out, he'll lose in the eyes of the media.


Let's focus on media coverage here, given the importance many members have correctly assigned to it in this election.

The media want us to choose Cameron over Davis (it would have been Clarke who would have been urged upon us if Cameron were not in the race). But (not including here the media that already support us and the Murdoch press) the hostile media, especially the BBC, don't want us to cut taxes and reform the public services (except insofar as our support for Blair's timid reforms causes him embarassment in his own party). Keeping them sweet after December 6th will entail playing to their prejudices and failing to win a mandate for change. Alternatively, we can start to persuade people that on these subjects our view is better than that of the BBC and the other opponents of conservative reform.

It's harder work to disagree with the media on the big issues and persuade voters that the hostile media is wrong about some very important issues, but in the end it is the price of delivering results for people--the kind of change that will make a difference in their lives.

Disappointed Eurosceptic

I have now read the link to Roger Helmer's site recommended by Malcolm Thomas (see above). Don't disagree with a word that Roger says about the EPP EXCEPT: "David Cameron is right. It is time for Conservative MEPs to leave the EPP."

But DC isn't saying that now, is he? The quote ought to be "David Cameron sounds like he might be right. The Conservative MEPs should get round to leaving the EPP some time in the next few years, when someone else decides it's a good idea."

As Roger says: "It is wrong to talk a good euro-sceptic story at home, then cosy-up to the federalists in Brussels" - especially when the federalists are our own MEPs and you also want their votes to become Leader.

We've been conned.


Grandpa, in case you still need it spelled out: flaw sounds like floor, so more 'floors' than the Empire State Building. Clearer? As I say, it doesn't work well when written.

James Hellyer

David Cameron sounds like he might be right. The Conservative MEPs should get round to leaving the EPP some time in the next few years, when someone else decides it's a good idea

Yes, but that would hardly be the most compelling campaign slogan ever!


There's a lot of delegation going on. That may be no bad thing, particularly if it means

He could go shooting and leave a deputy to run the Conservative Party - after all Opposition is not a full-time job


I will be interested to see how another 18 months of Blair will affect Brown's popularity. Whatever deal the two of them have come up with appears to involve Brown supporting all of Blairs last minute vomiting of policies. That could end up affecting Brown badly in the popularity polls.

Also, a lot of the hatred of Blair is down to his style of government, I would be surprised if Brown ends up being all that different. Will the public notice this in the 2 or 3 years of Brown before the next election? I think they might, especially if we do a good job of pointing it out.

At the end of the day PMs tend to lose popularity not gain it, the 5% difference between Brown and Cameron is not a huge gap to close in 4 years. Cameron is only going to get better known and failing any disasters he seems to have what we need to reach out beyond our core 33%.

James Hellyer

"He could go shooting and leave a deputy to run the Conservative Party - after all Opposition is not a full-time job"

Presumably he'll want to spend some time with his young family.


The great thing about Brown as PM is that we shall have the organ-grinder's monkey as Chancellor - I mean Ed Balls is perfect - noone remembers what he said but you know Gordon programmed him.

It should be all harmony and light with Gordon running every department with cardboard cutouts around the Cabinet table. Cameron could not manage that trick.

Jack Stone

All this talk about Europe and wether we should leave the EPP shows why the party is still in opposition after eight years.
Do you think the majority of people know let alone care what the EPP is? People need to get away from this obsession about Europe and start spending time discussing the issues ordinary people are interested in. Crime,council tax, health and eduction.


To be fair to the candidates Jack, I don't think either of them particularly want to be talking about this. It was Fox who brought up the issue of the EPP, I doubt most people would even know what the EPP is, never mind be debating it, if Fox had not brought it to the table.

Having said that however, Clause 4 was hardly a burning public issue but dealing with it was the root of the Blair government, if the EPP is the Tory equivalent it may just be worth the debate!

Having said that I hope that on December 6th we can set out our timetable for leaving the EPP and then get on with debating more important issues like Crime, council tax, health and education.

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