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« Editorial: The Cameron Coalitions | Main | My ballot paper has arrived... »



Has anyone noticed DD campaign manager in Scotland has been thrown out of the Party!!
Brian Monteith MSP has had the whip withdrawn for breifing the press against David Mcletchie. Birds of a feather flock together!

Selsdon Man

Before you judge Mr Monteith, Doe, read this article from yesterday's Sunday Herald.

It says

"For the next four months, McLetchie’s use of Holyrood cabs was a controversy in cold storage. Behind the scenes, parliamentary officials had “blacked out” the Tory leader’s taxi destinations, citing personal data and security issues. Bundles of cab receipts were handed over, but with vital details missing.

After failing to have the decision to redact the destinations overturned by the parliament, the Sunday Herald broke the story in June that Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion would adjudicate on the dispute. This sparked the media’s interest in the row, particularly given that the letters “Qu” were visible on a number of the blacked-out taxi receipts, prompting speculation that McLetchie had taken Holyrood cabs to Tods Murray’s former headquarters at Queen Street.
McLetchie was dogged by these claims for the next three months while Dunion investigated, a row fuelled by his refusal to answer questions about Tods Murray, always a taboo subject . When Tory historian Michael Fry hit out at his “part-time” leader in an article for the Sunday Herald in August, McLetchie blamed Brian Monteith MSP and bawled him out in front of colleagues.

Being forced to quit the lucrative legal post earlier this year didn’t improve the Tory leader’s mood on the matter.
Dunion’s decision calling for the disclosure of the taxi destinations happened the day before McLetchie jetted out to New Zealand on holiday and hastened the end of the MSP’s career. Within days of his ruling, publication of the MSP’s taxi rides showed that he had billed the taxpayer for trips to the dentist, his mother’s street and to a performance of Swan Lake at the Playhouse. His £11,500 cab bill was being dissected in excruciating detail.

Disclosure also revealed £5000 of street cab journeys with no destination or point of departure on the chits. Instead, McLetchie had either handed in an incomplete receipt or written “taxi” on numerous invoices. The self-styled defender of taxpayers’ money had been remarkably cavalier in his use of public cash. "

Mr Monteith has paid a high price fir his self-confessed error of judgement but Mr McLetchie has a lot of explaining to do.

Selsdon Man

For the record, Doe, Mr Monteith resigned the Whip. He has not been thrown out of the Party. I suggest that you withdraw your libellous remark.


Barbara wrote,

"How come when Cameron reaches out to young people it's cool but when Davis does it's a ploy."

Because DC has some credibility when he claims to be interested in the views of young people, DD has none. Witness DD's absurd posturing on the reclassification of ecstacy; his opposition to the abolition of Section 28; etc. etc.

Sean Fear

Seems to me that Monteith has done the party a favour.

Thomas Malthus

Give a man a wrist band, and all he has is a wrist band.

Show a man how to build a wrist band factory, and he has a major franchising opportunity with the ability to expand into the global market economy.

Barbara Villiers


So sorry you think declassifying ecstasy is cool - I won't rehearse again the dangers of ecstasy but if you think that makes Cameron cool then I can't even get into a debate with you.

You obviously don't have children.

Jack Stone

Anyone with children should support David Cameron on drugs because he is offering to change the present policy which as failed to deal with the drug problem over the last thirty years when it as been an ever more serious problem.

Barbara Villiers

And declassifying dangerous drugs an answer?

I think not.

My God, I have never heard such facile arguments as I have from Cameron supporters about drugs.

God help us all if he wins.


Wristbands? Making Poverty History - a conundrum

Outside Lusaka Zambia are a number of very productive farms producing those miniature veggies for sale in Waitrose, Tesco etc. This is an enterprising activity targetting a niche but profitable market and giving employment to some of the neediest people on earth, enabling them to pay for food, accomodation, education and anti viral drugs (huge HIV/Aids problems).

BA cancels the cargo flight that brings their produce to UK as part of its cost control plans.

Is this a good or bad thing?

Green lobby tell us air freight of such cargo is environmentally damaging, it uses precious water resources, doesn't produce food for the local population etc.etc.

On the other hand each worker may support 20 or more dependants in a country where average income (average includes the small number of the very rich) is less than $2 a day.

They can't sell cotton or similiar low wage cost goods anymore because China undercuts them, transport/infrastructure makes it hard to attract most industries....

oh lets buy a wristband, that'll help them.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Anyone with children should support David Cameron on drugs because he is offering to change the present policy which as failed to deal with the drug problem over the last thirty years when it as been an ever more serious problem."

How will softening the stance on ecstasy deal with this ever more serious problem?

James Hellyer

Isn't Davis's point that the wristband phenomena shows that young people are politically aware, and that by addressing the issues that concern them and offering Conservative solutions to those concerns, the party can then gain their support? That seems eminently sensible to me.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"oh lets buy a wristband, that'll help them"

Thanks for that mature, considered response Ted. I'll repeat what I said earlier...

The express purpose of the Make Poverty History campaign was to raise awareness of the issue and use popular pressure to force the governments in the world's richest nations to re-evaluate their relationship with those in less fortunate nations. As governments are the only bodies imbued with the authority to implement the kind of across-the-board fundamental change required, I'd say the Make Poverty History approach was pragmatic, realistic and sensible.

One person buying a Make Poverty History wristband won't make any difference, but when a large number of people buy the wristband, it supports the cause by raising awareness of the issue and shows that there is widespread popular support for the cause. Cynicism, like that offered in your response, achieves nothing.

Sean Fear

But how does it help to support an organisation which believes that one can "help" poor countries through old-fashioned socialism?

James Hellyer

The issue with Make Povery History is that it was raising awareness of a problem, while at the same time pushing a specific solution for that problem. It's in those "solutions" (debt relief, "fair" trade, etc) that many Conservatives problems lie.

Sean Fear

But how does it help to support an organisation which believes that one can "help" poor countries through old-fashioned socialism?

James Hellyer

The issue with Make Povery History is that it was raising awareness of a problem, while at the same time pushing a specific solution for that problem. It's in those "solutions" (debt relief, "fair" trade, etc) that many Conservatives' problems lie.


DD (28 days suits me) in relation to the proposed 90 day suspect terrorist detention has just been on the radio telling us that millions died to preserve our freedoms. The Tories allocated much of our freedom to the EU. If anyone wants to know what will happen to DD's policy in dealing with the stranglehold of the EU then read the EUreferendum blog of yesterday by Dr A E North and be informed of reality. It does not matter at this time who becomes leader - it will be more of the same. It is sad to see the security of the nation become a political football - what do the police know anyway?



Sorry - it was an earlier post that riled me - the objectives on debt relief and fulfilling our promises to the many countries that had sacrificied a lot to meet the targets laid down to get that relief were aims I supported in the MPH campaign. Some of their ongoing solutions though re-visit the politics that destroyed those countries economies.
The best form of finance for these countries is risk capital advanced as investment from financial institutions - British capital helped builtd Argentina into one of the 10 richest coutries in the world; when that capital was withdrawn (to repay war debt or as result of socialist/peronist policies) and not replaced , Argentina started its long decline.
We need to present both aid support and support investment, not in huge turnkey projects but in looking at the small things like how projects in those countries can export & market their goods.
It also makes long term strategic sense - While we concentrate our efforts through NGOs and Govts the Chinese are buying up assets cheaply - looking ahead to see how they can guarantee strategic mineral/raw material goods.


Make Poverty History has as its intellectual agenda a clear attack on economic liberalisation and privatisation and a return
to discredited statist and protectionist policies. They would be as disastrous for the developing world as they were for the UK
before 1979. I visited Tanzania in 1983 at the height of Nyerere's socialist misrule
and I would hate to see them ever return to
that condition again.


It's easy to be cynical about those who make am overly public display of their charity/conscience, but think about it from the other side of the fence. For the "good causes", this is an ideal way of engaging donations through the free market - ie a material object! Slightly ironic, but in practice quite efficient in marketing terms compared to phone donations, even if only for reasons of novelty.

ps Brian Monteith may have resigned, but that was very much a case of jump-before-you're-pushed. I know for a fact that the Tory MSPs here in Edinburgh are absolutely raging, and were about to eject him. Rumour has it Annabel Goldie wants him thrown out of the party entirely, but I'm not so sure that'll happen because of the bad publicity it'll create. More likely he'll have trouble getting a seat at the next election (he's a list MSP).

James Maskell

Just got back from Canterbury and wow. I am VERY impressed.

A 25 minute or so speech about Britain and what he believes in. He explained his roots and how he got into the Conservative Party. He referred to his time as a whip as well as his current job. He put it over very well about what the Conservatives have done wrong and what they need to do. DD spoke without notes and didnt umm or err at all. He was on the ball all the time. He wasnt wooden and was very fluid in speaking. He pulled it off.

The Q and A session went well as well. Questions ranged from tax support for marriage to the House of Lords and from Europe to public services. I asked a question too about how DD would attract the young to vote. His answer was that Conservative principles should be used to attract and applying those to issues which young people care about. Very strong performance on that one much like Thursday.

Tonight proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that Davis Davis is the right choice for leader. He did more than just say in broad strokes what he believed, he actually explained. I urge anyone who is undecided to vote for David Davis.


DD can talk all he wants, his age works against him, poll shows he does not make much imppact with the public incomparison to cameron.

"Davis Davis is the right choice for leader" - I would agree, but I'm looking for a winner, a prime-minister who appears prime ministerial....david davis strikes Howard as the leader of the opposition...not a PM who has the media manipulation and chrisma to take the top job.

INO...DD is talking this because he has effectively been forced to do so by the cameron campaign of compassion. DD's profile strikes me a "tough on crime, low taxes, less government regulation, less public spending" man.... Which is precisely what every Tory leader after Major has offered to the public without winning an election.

James Maskell

William Hague couldnt have won the election, it was impossible. Labour had just gone in after 18 years of Tory Government. Hague didnt have a chance.

IDS didnt even have the chance to face the public vote.

Howard concentrated too much on immigration. Howard also only had 18 months and look what he did!

This is a different situation the next leader will have basically 4 years to get the Party ready and to drill into the public domain what they would do for Britain. That was a point made tonight. DD said to get the Conservative voice out now rather than leaving it till the election.

Jonathan Sheppard


Surely you would want any leader to be tough on crime and tough on red tape and regulation. It amuses me when people use it as a stick to accuse previous leaders of being tough on crime as if its a bad thing.

Surely you can promote a socially inclusive agenda , and talk about the environment, social responsibility and so on , yet still be tough on crime. Am I missing something?

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