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« What do you want for your party membership? | Main | Davis promises no repeat of the Flight sacking »

Comments

less bias please

Looking over the other news stories highlighted by the Editor today one can't help notice that Alice Thompson lets her enthusiasm for David Cameron get the better of her again today in yet another rose-tinted encomium.

"When he lost the first marginal seat he fought, he was phlegmatic" she writes. Stafford, which Mr. Cameron fought in 1997, was a safe Conservative seat (Labour had last won it in 1945). It only became a marginal seat in 1997 when Mr. Cameron lost it to the Labour candidate (although to be fair to him there are plenty of other Conservatives who lost safe seats in that year).

This latest Alice Thompson fact stretch is rather like her description of him being "cool in a crisis" during the ERM debacle when he was a special adviser at the Treasury--except Lord Lamont later pointed out that DC had nothing to do with it and wasn't involved in any of the meetings. It is also reminiscent of her reference to "his work for Thatcher" when in fact DC was a humble research officer at CCO during her last two years as Prime Minister--a period which he has subsequently denigrated in a Centre for Policy Studies lecture.

Lord Tebbit has not been as good as he should have been when it comes to some of his remarks about the party, its policies and some of its personalities, but it's not hard to see why he might find some of the media coverage a little one sided. At least Matthew Parris uses real arguments to defend his endorsement of DC.

Rob

As a 18 year old member I can tell you that it shouldnt be too difficult to compete recruiting younger members. At the moment, in my experience anyway the Party hasn't even tried. At my university the Party has virtually no presence at all, while RESPECT posters cover notice boards. I think the idea of more affiliated associations will help but I would like to see a more ideological approach, and by that I dont mean going on about Africa or the Environment. Try inspiring us young folk by arguing the merits of small government and indivdual freedom. If the party was to play its strongest card, one played by the west coast Republicans, that of anit-establishment I think that would have more success with younger voters.

michael

Come on Rob, name and shame your University Association! ;)

I'm pleased to say that the University of Durham has the largest association in the Country, I'm told.

And the students have been great in helping the local Association pound the pavements over the past two years.

Mark Fulford

dod, my problem with Tebbit's endorsement has nothing to do with his age or beliefs. He could hold me riveted for days, and has given to his country in a way that earns unqualified respect.

However, Tebbit’s image is the hard-man of 80’s politics. That image is harmful to today’s candidates.

Barbara Villiers

Well done Rob. You are very articulate and somebody from the Party should take note of what you have said.

To Less Bias - Alice was obviously experiencing a vicarious form of post-coital bliss!

Gareth

How reassuring. I have long taken the view that if Lord Tebbit is for something/someone, I ought to be against it/him.

James Maskell

I found it quite easy to persuade some people to abandon the Lib Dems and vote Tory. As it goes, I persuaded two people from my local FE College to vote Tory instead of Lib Dem (they were first time voters too but didnt really know much about the parties). Hadnt seen them since the election so it was quite a pleasant suprize to see I had turned them from the dark side...

It just takes some persistance. Students are ripe to be Tories, they just dont know it yet. As DD said last night its about showing them that they believe in Tory principles. Its not that difficult. Thatcher left 15 years ago. The old days appear to be quickly fading and instead Labours starting to look a bit old and faded. The Lib Dems arent close to being the Opposition so its up to the Tories to get the students.

Daniel Vince-Archer

Oh dear I'm really not comfortable with this at all. I've been fighting the same position as Simon Heffer, Peter Hitchens, Melanie Phillips, Derek Conway, John Coulson and now Norman Tebbit. Not good at all. Although I've been against a Cameron leadership, I'm seriously questioning my judgement at this moment in time considering some of the other characters in the non-Cameron camp. Any advice?

James Maskell

Seek psychiatric help.....

 Ted

Daniel,
you forgot Frederick Forsyth

advice - reconsider very hard!

michael

I agree Daniel. Davis supporters are like a rather nasty boil on what would otherwise be an attractive bottom!

The sooner we lance it the better!

Davis supporters of the media variety that is!

not Simon Heffer

Paul Goodman. Greg Clark. Nick Herbert. Julie Kirkbride. All high quality David Davis supporters.

Sally Rideout Baker

"Paul Goodman. Greg Clark. Nick Herbert. Julie Kirkbride. All high quality David Davis supporters."

Who are they? Assistants in your corner shop?

"At my university the Party has virtually no presence at all, while RESPECT posters cover notice boards."

We obviously need the younger man who can connect with today's University Students.

Yet another reason to support David Cameron.


James Hellyer

I think you need to remember that the Cameron campaign is supported by such "Conservative" stalwarts as Michael Portillo, Mary-Ann Sieghart and Bruce Anderson. Not to mention, the former Governor of Hong Kong often known as "Fat Pang" and David Mellor. Would you really prefer their company?

not Simon Heffer

They are Conservative Members of Parliament, Sally.

a-tracy

Damian Green MP is one of my favourites a very genuine, hard working MP and DD supporter.

Rob

Thank you Barbara for the kind comment.

The university I was refering to was Manchester. To prevent getting bombarded with angry members of the Manchester association, I'm not saying they are a bad association, I'm certain the members do a lot of campaigning and put on good events, however in respect to recruiting they are pretty awful. I would like to see a greater presence of Conservatives on Campus. They could begin with actually advertising their meetings. Anything just to cover up the many pictures of George Galloway.

 Ted

DC has support from Cornerstone through to Fat Pang - a wide pretty inclusive group covering most of the broad church of the party. The exceptions noted above by Daniel all come from one group - many forming the rent-a-quote right for when the media want a good controversy.
DD has a pretty good group of MPs supporting him but reflecting a narrower range of support and opinion.
Maybe many DC supporters will be disappointed (probably all will be on at least one favourite hobby horse of theirs) but its a stronger supporter list - and might mean a more united party from December.

James Hellyer

"DC has support from Cornerstone through to Fat Pang"

Are these the Cornerstone MPs that pro-Cameron posters here were so rude about before the MPs in question declared for Cameron?

Cllr Iain Lindley

Rob, please e-mail me iain AT iainlindley DOT co DOT uk - I don't have anything to do with the University society but I'm on the GMCF executive, would be good to have a chat, I'll be happy to help. Thanks!

Daniel Vince-Archer

Thanks for all the advice folks. I'd just like to point out I was not considering joining the Cameron camp, good lord no! There are quite a few objectionable creatures on that side as well (some of whom James Hellyer identified) who I would also not want to be associated with, such as the individual (who I shan't dignify by naming, in case he gets a smug round of applause from his fellow Cameronites) who sent me an email comparing James H and I to Hitler and Stalin respectively.

My post wasn't an attack on Davis supporters either (I'm pretty sure Peter Hitchens would be critical of a Conservative Party led by anybody, including Davis, other than Peter Hitchens); as someone pointed out before, he has got the likes of Julie Kirkbride, Damian Green, David Willetts and probably William Hague on side after all.

My point was that I was uncomfortable seeing the people I identified making the same sort of arguments that I've offered. Having reflected on the matter a bit more I've realised that agreeing with these people about David Cameron does not mean I have to agree with other sentiments they have expressed so I won't be abandoning the non-Cameron camp just yet.

Deckchair of despair

Rob - Thanks for responding to my somewhat pessimistic post. I was interested in what you say, and agree completely with your remark about a more ideological approach, and that it should put emphasis on individual freedom and anti-establishmentism. I have long thought that the championing of 'the little man' against the big bureaucratic state should be a significant (and well-publicized) strand in Tory party policy.

James - I liked your remark 'Students are ripe to be conservatives. they just don't know it yet.' - brilliant

Mark - I take your point, about Tebbit's image being not exactly helpful to the party at the present moment. I'd have to agree with what you say on that. It's just that I'd felt an urge to stick up for someone I consider a great bloke, who always suffered continual misrepresentation by the Leftie media.

Rob

Cllr Iain Lindley, thanks for the offer, I have sent you an email, however I am uncertain about your correct email address, If my email doesnt find its way to you could you please post new instructions on your email. Thanks.

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