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« Editorial: A solid win for David Davis | Main | 'Debate-winner' Davis closes gap on David Cameron »


James Hellyer

An unsubstantiated "I met him" is hearsay.

As for comparisons with his father, I'm afraid you're tainted by association with Sam, who suggested that DD had promised JA a safe seat for his backing.

I think it shows how petty and pathetic some Cameron supporters are.

It's true it was embarassing!
But Dave did come back with a questionable retort which I beleive was "Well that's the only vote that I shan't be able to Poll", which was a bit of a Freudian slip I think.

Mark Fulford

"that's one vote I..." I think.

Iain Dale

If William Aitken was on DD's payroll, I think I would know about it... He is not. End of story.


Tomorrow's Telegraph is saying that, unlike Davis, Cameron has refused to be interviewed by Paxman.

Ronald Collinson

Almost unbelievable. Davis's smirk takes on a bit more meaning. What a nasty piece of work.

Highly unfair. The audience was specifically selected to contain many people already prejudiced towards one of the candidates. There is no proof whatsoever that David Davis asked Aitken to make the comment – credit him with a bit of initiative, eh?

I suspect that we shall find out the truth in the next issue of Private Eye. If the situation is as scandalous as is being suggested, that publication shall doubtless pick up on it (odd though it is that no newspaper has).


There is also a DC endorsement by Charles Moore comparing DC to Thatcher and DD to Willie Whitelaw in 1975. Since their is a case to be made on the other side that is at least as strong, if not stronger. And since, Iain Dale, I see you are a visitor to this site. Perhaps the DD campaign can arrange for someone to write a DD endorsement making the comparison the other way around. Perhaps the always articulate former Telegraph Comment Editor Paul Goodman could write it?


Actually, on reflection that would probably be unfair to Paul who will have to work with DC if he emerges victorious. Is there is a journalist or Thatcher ally who could make the case? I think DD's campaign owes party members a rebuttal to Charles Moore's endorsement.

Telegraph says Cameron leads 68 to 32 despite losing TV debate


Wicked photographs of the two contenders in the Telegraph online. Davis doing his impression of a Ferengi and Cameron doing his of a Cligon.

James G

I think Davis began smirking after Cameron thought he was going to have a coup at Davis's expense and then just wouldn't shut up about drugs policy. And what he said sounded Blair-like.

Selsdon Man

" I think DD's campaign owes party members a rebuttal to Charles Moore's endorsement."

Step forward Simon Heffer who coached DD before the QT debate. That also sheds some light on his anti-DC article just before. I guess that balances Finkelstein's (in the DC camp) article in The Times.

James Hellyer

I think David Cameron writing a Spectator article rubbishing Heffer several weeks ago, might be part of the explanation!

Steven Patrick

That was a very good article by DC - I quite agree with him.

Selsdon Man

I only take the Spectator occasionally. The tripe written by Peter Oborne puts me off. Why does he always get it so wrong? His forecasting is even worse than Rees-Mogg's!

Barbara Villiers


You naivete about cannabis and ecstasy is astounding. As someone who has worked in the entertainment business I have first hand experience dealing with the ravages of drug abuse.

Cannabis now is a great dealer stronger than it was in the 60's and 70's and the incidence of mental illness particularly in young men who take it is horrifying - see Dr. Robin Murray's (Institute of Psychiatry) findings on the subject - it makes grim reading.

As for Ecstasy, if it doesn't kill you straight out (from a bad batch), the psychological effects are deleterious - psychotic behaviour, paranoia, depression.

David Cameron and his Notting Hill posse may have dabbled and come out the other side - bully for them. However, there are many, many others who don't. The man is flaky and irresponsible and he has demonstrated that he is a liability. The Home Secretary has already put the boot in and you can bet that the Government is licking its chops in anticipation. Not to mention the potential embarrassment of more revelations - whether they be true or false. He is damaged goods and his performance on Question Time further demonstrates this. It is one thing to perform well on a set piece but on Question Time he was given to blathering and petulance when things didn't go his way.

This wasn't his first mediocre performance either - the brown nosed media swiftly played down his failure to score into the open goal presented by the Education Secretary when she presented her Party's volte-facie on education.

Nevertheless, this is not about one or two bad performances - it is about complete lack of substance. Heir to Blair? I'll pass!

Mark Fulford

Just out of interest Barbara, into which class would you put alcohol?

Barbara Villiers

Of course alcohol abuse is harmful and it can be deadly, as in the case of George Best, you couldn't put it into the same category as ecstasy or the cannabis that is doing the rounds today. One drink won't kill you - one bad tab of Ecstasy can. That kind of liberal apologism/rationalisation does not cut any ice with me. And, I'm a child of the 60's so I know what I am talking about.

Jack Stone

I don`t know why anyone should be surprised by Davis supporters dirty tricks at the Question Time debate.
Davis as run a dirty campaign from day one, I can`t see him changing now.

Mark Fulford

Barbara, untrue. Black-market alcohol can kill with one drink.


A less flattering picture of the YOUGOV poll which takes into account the 15% undecides should read that the currnet position is

57.8% Camreon
27.2% Davis
15.0% Undecided

which realy does open up some possibilities


The arguement is whether all drugs should be treated the same - ie all class A or whether we should adopt different degrees of punishment / enforcement.
Had a quick look at deaths v users (England and Wales - British Crime Survey 2003-04 all death certificates mentioning the drug, even if not primary cause. - realise this excludes harm either psychological or social)
Class A drugs:
Heroin - 1 death per 73 users
Cocaine - 1 death per 6,680 users
Ectasy - 1 death per 18,600 users
A or B
Amphetamines - ! death per 14,600 users.

Alcohol related deaths are variously estimated - around 5,000 to 40,000 per annum . Assuming everyone in UK over 14 drinks then death rates would be between 1 in every 9,800 and 1 in every 1,225.

On above figures I would suggest that ecstasy does not fit its current Class A categorisation. The problem is if public take message from re-categorisation that it is more acceptable - which is a real danger as happened with hash. The current policy does deter more widespread use- but also brings the law into disrepute. In theory an ecstasy user faces the same penalties as a heroin user - but this is rarely if ever enforced. I agree with you that the fact alcohol use is considerably more dangerous that ecstasy is not an arguement for treating them the same but neither is there an arguement for treating heroin and ectasy the same - all cause harm.

Experience in many countries shows the difficulty in banning use where a drug is easy to make (whether alcohol, ectasy, meth, cannabis). Either we adopt a form of don't ask don't tell and pretend to treat these drugs the same or we review our whole approach.

Barbara Villiers

And how many people partake of black market alcohol? Sorry, Jack, two wrongs don't make a right. We have huge problems with alcohol, make no mistake, but we would have worse if ecstasy were downgraded. Even the reclassifying of cannabis was a huge error and the Government are now having to backpedal.

The truth is this, if anybody in the Notting Hill set God forbid, has a problem with drugs then they can afford the best rehab treatment. This is not the case with the rest of us unfashionable common mortals. If my daughter were to have a huge drug problem we'd have to suffer it ourselves - the facilities are just not there.

Politicians do not need to be hip to appeal to young voters. I have dual citizenship as my mother is British and I voted, just after my 18th birthday for George McGovern (US General Election. George was in his 50's, gray haired, etc. That did not put me off - I voted because I liked his policies, which included getting out of Vietnam. Young people are not as ignorant as people think and do not like to be pandered to or patronised. I am afraid that is just what your man Cameron does - keep it real, yeah!

Barbara Villiers


We are not just talking about deaths here - we are talking about the ruining of young lives in many other ways. Ecstasy can and does just that - psychosis, paranoia, depression.

To paraphrase Young Cameron, I too had the usual university experiences and all I can say is there but for the grace of God go I. Forutnately for me I did not have an addictive personality so I could take it or leave it. However, a university friend of mine had ONE bad acid trip and never fully recovered. From a honour student to a babbling wreck who had to learn her own name again - no one can afford to take that chance. So, yes ecstasy is right on up there with heroin as far as I am concerned.

Mark Fulford

Barbara, people don't drink black-market alchol because there's no need.

But we're getting side-tracked. ALL that is under discussion is whether Ecstasy should be class A or B. It seems to me that there's a very strong argument to be more honest and pragmatic in the attempts to control drugs. Part of that honesty is classifying drugs accurately.

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