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« Are the hustings taking place too late? | Main | Is Andrew Mackay about to defect from DD? »


modern conservative

more prisons...lower taxes
more grammar schools...lower taxes
scrap tuition fees...lower taxes

Reheated policy from the Hague, IDS, Howard years. Any ideas how Davis is going to get people to vote for this?


Sorry Derek, I was being cynical. Just can't believe the Tory Party could go from electing a Maastricht rebel to electing a Maastricht whip.

This hole Europe fixation is a complete turn off.

Jack Stone

There was some talk about the party being renamed some time ago. If Mr Davis takes over its clear by his policy statements that the best name for the party would be Old Conservative because there sure is nothing new about what he`s saying.
People want the Conservatives to look fresh and new with bright new ideas for this new century not full of a lot of retro from the nineteen eighties.

Cllr Iain Lindley

I said back in September that the Party needed a leader who the electorate wouldn't dismiss as "same old, same old".

There is a lot that Davis has said on which I agree, at least broadly, but it is difficult to imagine the electorate seeing him as anything other than "same old, same old".


Modern Conservative - are you rejecting all those policies? If so then please set out your policy agenda for consideration.

DC has said that we don't need to change our policies, just the presentation of the party.

modern conservative

Derek, I don't need to reject...

more prisons...lower taxes
more grammar schools...lower taxes
scrap tuition fees...lower taxes

The voters did in 1997, 2001 and 2005.

Sean Fear

So can I take it Modern Conservative that you believe No grammar schools, higher taxes, higher tuition fees and fewer prisons are a recipe for electoral success?


Let's hear the "bright new ideas", Jack.

"What I cannot understand is why, if he is prepared to offer all that, he is not prepared to move the MEPs out of the federalist EPP-ED grouping?"

Probably because he knew that most MEPs, including the leadership, favour the deal done by Michael Howard. One issue that has not been discussed is whether it is right for the party to renege on an agreement.

On the other hand, our MEPs pay a large proportion of their allowances to the EPP. Several MEPs and their staff believe that we get poor value for money.

Frankly, we missed an opportunity to create a new pro-market, pro-sovereignty group when the new countries joined.

The whole issue needs careful thought.

modern conservative

No Sean, as a Conservative activist I've campaigned for all those policies in the past and I'm quite happy with them. But you can take my vote for granted at the next election. I fail to see how these policies as the main planks of 'modern conservatism' articulated in the language that they are, will do anything other than bore new and floating voters to sleep.

If the past 3 Tory leaders couldn't sell this sort of message, what chance Davis?


But, Modern Con. what are your alternatives? DD has said what he believes. This is a battle of ideas, it will not ultimately be about personality.

When this Labour government loses the trust of the people, then they will look at our alternatives and the arguments. Until then no one will listen.

Selsdon Man

I am support most of DD's policies (except more prisons). The public do but do believe we can deliver. Trust and substance are vital to winning over the swing voters. We also need to talk about a wider range of issues. My comments above were an observation rather than a criticism.

DD's problem is that these policy announcements have made in the week before the ballot papers are posted. That is too late. I can only assume that this is the work of the recently appointed Nick Wood. That raises key questions on the content and quality of the Davis campaign before Nick's appointment.


Don't underestimate DD's ability to win over the voters, and remember whoever wins, we still have both of them batting for our team. Perhaps in the past we have looked like a one-man team. Next time whoever wins we must look like a whole team - a government in waiting.

Selsdon Man

"Don't underestimate DD's ability to win over the voters"

How? Where is the evidence?

The polls give Cameron a clear lead among all voters and Conservative supporters. The polls suggest that party members have noted this and that is why they are backing DC by 3 to 1.


Cameron's lead is based on personality, Selsdon. I agree that personality is very important in today's celebrity world. However celebrities are very soon dumped back to earth. What lasts is policy. Guts and determination are important qualities too. I hope the members will not rush to judgment, before giving time for a full examination of both candidates.

This Thursday will be very important, but even after that we need time to hear what they have to say.

DD has shown this week that he has a lot of ideas to offer. DC still needs to tel us more of his plans.

Henry Cook

Editor, why no thread on DC's new policing policy? People complain that he doesn't have any policies, and then when one comes along, they ignore it!

Henry Cook

I find the hypocrisy of some people quite amazing - a few weeks ago when DC talked about bringing powers back from Brussels, they said he was stupid to think he could achieve such a thing. Now they endorse the very same policy, this time offered by DD, with the added flourish of a couple of two expensive referenda. Consistency anyone?

James Hellyer

"I find the hypocrisy of some people quite amazing"

If you have to try petty point scoring, at least see if there's a point to be scored first!

David Cameron simply pledged to take some powers back, with no consideration shown for how this might be achieved. By contrast, Davis has offered a route for reclaiming some powers, while recognising that this will be a difficult task. The two do not compare as positions. Cameron's is all pie in the sky soundbite, while Davis at least shows some consideration for the political realities of the situation.


Looks to me like an increasingly desperate Davis campaign.


He has controlled the media the last week or so.


Well said Henry. Or what about those on this blog who repeat the mantra, "to govern is to choose" or failing that offer a referendum!

Selsdon Man

"Consistency anyone?"

Don't be naive!

Daniel Vince-Archer

"David Cameron simply pledged to take some powers back, with no consideration shown for how this might be achieved."

I imagine it probably involves establishing a 'powerful new independent body' that will actually be as toothless as a chicken.

henry curteis

If Davis hopes to pick up on a Conservative members eurosceptic surge, he has got to offer pull out of the EPP if his double referendum is to sound credible.

At least this in an innovative approach - and hopefully one that will kick Cameron's team into the middle distance, where their vacuity will start to look exactly what it is. With more like this Davis will climb back into the contest.

Henry Cook

How is DD's "route for reclaiming some powers" any different, apart from offering two referenda which will make absolutely no difference at all. The governments of France, Germany et al will rightly state that they are in no way obliged to act according to the will of the British people. Do you expect them to say "oh, we'll have to concede rights on fishing, social policy etc, because the British say so." Of course not. Its an empty gesture which will achieve nothing at all. The next Conservative government will have the mandate it needs to make such demands/negotiations from the general election and these referenda will be a waste of time and money.

The policy of the two Davids is otherwise the same, and with (all hail) Liam Fox as Foreign Secretary, we can make a good fist of reforming Europe for the better.

James Hellyer

"How is DD's "route for reclaiming some powers" any different, apart from offering two referenda which will make absolutely no difference at all."

Firstly, Cameron just says "I will take powers back." He has given no sign of either understanding or thinking about how that might be achieved. That one point makes his "policy" not a policy, but rather a meaningless soundbite.

Secondly, Davis has actually proposed something other than referenda. If you had read the article above, or listened to him on the Today programme, you would have seen that he explained how this would be achieved through negotiations, and although difficult, would actually involve enabling countries like France to further pursue their desired directions. It therefore offers them something as well.

"The next Conservative government will have the mandate it needs to make such demands/negotiations from the general election"

That's the sort of attitude that got us into this EU mess. Fundamental changes to our relations with Europe have already been established as a matter for referenda, rather than backroom deals.

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