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



"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?"

Yes, I think you are missing something. You are missing the powerful inner drive of self-loathing Tories to adopt the Guardian/BBC consensus.

Jonathan Sheppard

It really is as if some contributors think its inappropriate to camapign against soaring crime rates - as if its a bit "too right wing". They may like to come over to Nottingham, and there they would see that the most socially inclusive thing we could do is be tough on crime.

Barbara Villiers


What on earth is this age thing? I can tell by your name that you are 'young' -well let me tell you this my dear, you too will be old one day. And guess what - your brain will still be sharp, your bits won't have fallen on and you will still have desires, hopes and dreams. What ageist claptrap! Would you say a leader was too black or too much of a woman or too Jewish?

If you go back and read David Davis' speech early this summer to the Centre for Policy Research you will see many references to what amounts to 'compassionate conservativsm'. David Cameron does not have the monopoly on that nor did he think of it first.

As for media manipulation, I'll let you in on this one shall I, it is the media in this country who does the manipulation. Cameron is a creation of the media and when they are tired of their creation (as they are already demonstrating) they will turn on him and all the brownies and smoothies won't make a damn bit of difference.

Oh, and as for appearing Prime ministerial -try to see if you can get a look at a news item - when Davis addressed Parliament after the 7/7 bombings.

Try this one - Cameron across the box from Brown on PMQ's. Rabbit caught in the headlights quickly comes to mind. Hint: It's not Gordon Brown!


Barbara - that's very good. All the comment is good, but the bit about young and old especially hits the spot.

Wat Tyler

Excellent Barbara.

There is a sharp contrast between DD's commitment to party unity, and DC's "my way or no way" approach.

Thus DD- from the party's traditional right- was yesterday talking about his social justice agenda. DC- from the party's left (I presume...)- has done nothing to reach out in the other direction. And if some members don't like it, well, they can just leave. Deggsie Hatton style. They will constitute our Clause 4 moment.

Is that what we want?


and while DD was campaigning he left Dominic Grieve to deal with the Anti-Terrorism Bill - today Tony Blair has shown how he can run rings around DD & co in putting forward 90 days with sunset clause (and win Widdy's support). Good to see all that experience put to such effect.

Barbara Villiers

And your point is?

DG is the Shadow Attorney General and more than capable. A good leader knows how to delegate.


No Barbra, today with an issue as important as this DD should be arguing the Cionservative party case.Dominic Grieve may be a worthy man but he is a very poor media performer.The issue of civil liberty is an ideal opportunity for DD to prove both to Conservative members and the electorate at large that he is not stereotypical 'hange 'em and flog 'em' Tory Home Secetary and that he has the media skills to succeed as a future PM.


Apologies Barbara for the typo on your name!


Barbara -malcolm makes my point well. This is to important an issue to be delegated, good leaders know when to do so and when not to do so. Not only in media but in the House were it matters.
Result - Tony Blair can overcome the damage of last week - with probable help from a few Tory MPs (and would be interested to see how many and who they support - DD?). Last week we had opportunity to kil this proposal but yet again underestimated just how good Tony can be a escaping a trap if you give him time. TB re-asserts authority, PM not dead in water yet - headlines tomorrow?

Barbara Villiers

My God, is even the most serious business such as this reduced to image? Do we appeal to the lowest common denominator as evidenced by the Sun today? Every action is NOT a media sound bite and I don't care what Dominic Grieve looks or sounds like - he is speaking horse-sense. Even the dimmest person even if they don't agree, can see that.

If you look up Hansard you will read David Davis' speech in the Chamber and he will be there for the vote tomorrow as it is a three line whip.


Well Barbara we saw the result of the ID card fiasco prior to the election where our party failed to put forward a coherent case which resulted in the worst of all worlds and were criticised for being both 'authoritarian' and 'soft on terrorism' at the same time!Quite an amazing feat that.We had a good case then but just put it across very badly and so our principled stand was described as both unprincipled and opportunistic by Blair and Clarke. So yes,whether you like it or not image does matter.
As regards the three line whip Anne Widdecombe has already said that she will vote with the gov't,I wonder how many will follow that lead?

James Maskell

DD has a campaign video on his site.

Barbara Villiers

Oh and Ann Widdecombe has real street cred.

Widdecombe is the most opportunistic, disloyal MP I have ever had the unhappiness to see. She would do anything to get into the news.

Just remember what she did to Michael Howard and the glee with which she did it. Ditto Michael Portillo.

David Davis was always against ID cards but fell behind his Leader as was requested. He did it with good grace but was not happy.


I'm not talking about image I'm talking about politics - DD dropped out of yesterday mornings discussions with Clarke leaving them to DG to concentrate on preparing for one speech.
If you want to lead on image : He had of course led the media offensive on Radio 4 giving out all the right sound bites but neglecting to mention he wouldn't be following through himself. He's not been around to keep his own supporters onside. So what will have more impact on DD & the party's image - having got the worst of both worlds in losing a key vote, that we could have won last week ,or delivering a speech on reaching out to the wristband generation.
Now if DC had delivered a similiar miss in a key vote on Education - I can imagine your posts.


Fell in with good grace - i must have imagined all those behind the back briefings against Howards policy which let us all know how unhappy DD was.

Barbara Villiers

You do talk a lot of tosh Ted as well as offering some really facile arguments. Since when is David Davis the Government whip?
And when did Ann Widdecombe ever do anything unless it got her in the news?
To quote DC - 'Keep it real - yeah'.


From you that's a compliment - agree with you on Widdecombe but will be interested to see who joins her in the Government Lobby.
Didn't say DD was "Govt Whip" - just thought he could at least manage to keep his supporters on side.
I'm upset on this because its something that really matters - unlike yourself with US/UK background I grew up in near totalitarian states where people disappeared (remember a local off licence owner suddenly not being there - only sign was a protest of his initials laid out in bottles in the window, and that was gone soon enough - he never returned). It's disturbing to live in a country where people accept detention without charge for 90 days, or forever if you are one of the unlucky few detained at Home Secretary's pleasure. DD made a very good case on Today - shame he didn't support it propoerly away from the microphones.

Barbara Villiers


I can't believe I agree with you on something but I do - re 90 day detention. I wouldn't trust this Government as far as I can throw them. However, Davis is not a Whip, Government or Opposition and delivered a great speech on it last week. Where are the Whips on this? That is the question.

Cllr Iain Lindley

What do whips have to do with it? This issue is on the front pages and Davis is nowhere to be seen!

James Hellyer

"What do whips have to do with it?"

Widdecombe will be voting against the party whip, obviously.

Barbara Villiers

Cllr, you are missing the point - he is not a Whip. I would assume that you of all people would know the difference.

You are a Cameron supporter and you are nit picking.


We agree on more than you realise. The big disagreement is DD.

I re-joined the party after a speech he gave attacking the Gov't approach to civil rights. If the leadership election had been in June I'd have voted for him but by July I was drifting away - something about him and his approach turned me away, and LF & DC looked more interesting and in my view more likely to be PM. DC wasn't flash in the pan, one speech - his slow build up, launch then speech showed an excellent strategy and (unlike you) I liked what I saw (though I'd have preferred the Doctor).

The reason I make an issue of the 90 days stuff is that he's been giving strong speeches but on the days it really mattered he left it to someone else. I agree the whips should be in, but Widdy isn't going to be cowed by them - she might have kept in line if DD had been there fighting to win (as I heard someone say).

I think that's probably what turned me away - a perception that he isn't willing/able to give the job the full attention when needed (not lazy but not always engaged) His speech was an example, as was Sunday morning TV - almost as if having raised his game once he didn't have to try again.

Barbara Villiers

Ted, we'll have to agree to disagree here. I am afraid that Cameron and the Notting Hill set represent everything I can't stand for many reasons - too many to go into here.

As for Widdecombe she is a law unto herself -no one can reign her in. She does what she does completely for effect and to get her picture in the papers.

What she did to Michael Howard was unforgivable. If she felt his treatment of Derek Lewis was so bad she should have quit in protest - instead she blackened his name, made him a figure of fun and effectively scotched his chances at the Leadership. She did her dirty work again with Portillo and she is a thoroughly unpleasant character.

Barbara Villiers

Ted, what would have had Davis do - jump up and down on the chairs?

He was in good form.

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