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« David Davis passes Tebbit's test | Main | Eleanor Laing endorses David Cameron »


Henry Cook

Editor, thank you for the detail on DD's activities today. In the interests of balance, could you also provide a thread for DC's address to the Centre for Policy Studies?


Is Cameron making an address in the direction of the CPS?

Ben O

This is very funny, it sums up to me both the nastiness and the stupidety of the Davis campaign:

Guido Fawkes

The link is better here.



Yes, Cameron is making an address at the CPS tonight.

Andy McSmith reports in The Independent today: "Today, Mr Cameron sets out his "compassionate Conservatism'' in a speech to a Tory think-tank, the Centre for Policy Studies. He will propose scrapping the "five barriers to wealth creation"- irresponsible government spending, excessive regulation, EU bureaucracy, inadequate infrastructure, and "insufficient capacity" for developing the nation's talents."

Note that David Cameron's list does not include high taxes as one of the five barriers to wealth creation.


I have just been told that DD is to be on Newsnight on Wednesday, inerviewed by Jeremy Paxman. DC is still negotiating for a time to be interviewed later.


I am pleased to hear that Davis is opposed to a "goldlist" of candidates. I believe such a list is very undemocratic. Why should someone in CCHQ decide who is worthy of being a goldlist candidate?

Jack Stone

Mr Flight was sacked because he gave the impression that the leadership of the party were saying one thing in public and saying something else in private.
If Davis is going to allow this sort of beaviour than god alone only knows where it will all end.
It seems to me that these pronouncements on the party show that Davis as now progressed from aiming his campaign at the core vote to the core of the core vote!

modern conservative

Jack, Davis as leader will publicly support MPs who speak their mind and poison them in private if past form is anything to go by

James Maskell

The goldlist candidates would be graduates from good universities with experience in business or media, young middle class, and a broad mixture. Its all socially constructed. Its all too fake. We need local candidates who know the lay of the land already. Parachuting isnt the best way of winning elections.


This is very disappointing for Davis he seems to be prepared to win the leadership even if it kills the party.

Howard Flight was a fool and was rightly sacked, I hope that whoever the next leader is will take breaches of party discipline seriously.


Well said wasp - Davis should reject the 'Blair settlement'. Hehe.

Charlie Brown

Editor, any reason why you have not given pride of place to this shocking revalation regarding Davis's seeming dirty tricks campaign?

It appears the fellow can't run a simple smear campaign, let alone a bath.


Why shouldn't supporters be responsible for their own remarks?



Hang on - isn't this good organisation? Isn't this precisely what Cameronians so admire about how the Mandelson/Campbell/Blair team succeeded? Are you suggesting that at Blackpool, they didn't strategically place their supporters (for both DC's speech - to swoon - and DD's speech, to sneer?) When they did, I applauded them for good organisation, good campaigning. Equally, I'm really pleased that DD's team managed to chalk one up. If only they'd started earlier!

Selsdon Man

The William Aiken affair is not evidence of dirty tricks. All politicians should be able to put down hecklers and malicious questioners. You should have seen what we in FCS used to do the Lefties in student union heckling meetings. The trouble is that Labour hecklers are now arrested under terrorism legislation.


Your missing the point: this despicable event took place WITHIN the Conservative Party.

With such a vulgar, beyond the pale, snipe, is it really going to be possible to rebuild party unity and fight Labour come December with either candidate at the helm.

This is why many Party member were urging both candidated to fight a clean campaign - So that whoever won, would have won cleanly, and we could get on with fighting the real enemy instead of each other.

James Maskell

It was never going to be the case that with such high stakes, the candidates would play nicely. This is an incredibly important job. Playing dirty comes with the territory. We are the Conservative Party...

Wat Tyler

Despite Guido, do we really believe Aitken was a put up job?

The fact is that strong leaders tend to attract overenthusiastic supporters with a high propensity to do embarrassing things. Maggie used to have legions of them (who can forget that extraordinary rally where Kenny Everett went totally OTT), and young Aitken is just another.

Personally I found his QT outburst toe-curling, and I certainly don't imagine it was directed from above. For one thing it could so easily backfire- DC actually fielded it quite well. And for another, why would you use someone who has been hanging around your camp, even appearing in your publicity shots?

The fact that Guido has "found" Aitken in that London University group video simply underlines the point that there is no conspiracy. If anything, it shows DD's team are a bit too open and trusting. (You notice the gunpowder plotters didn't pose with the Pope for those woodcut prints.)

Richard Carey

"Equally, I'm really pleased that DD's team managed to chalk one up. If only they'd started earlier"

I agree with you on this - our Party at all levels has got to learn to seek a constructive engagement with the media, even if not always successful. You cannot win all the time, but certainly you only have yourself to blame if you lose out through not playing the game.

The only trouble with comparing DD's team to the early New Labour gang is that Team DD, if Guido Fawkes' assessment is to be relied upon, got caught out. Isn't that the cardinal sin for any media team worth it's salt in this game?

Richard Carey

"It was never going to be the case that with such high stakes, the candidates would play nicely. This is an incredibly important job. Playing dirty comes with the territory. We are the Conservative Party..."

Given that the candidates have been more than publicly civil to us, I ask why you post this on a public forum.

Well, *we* are the Conservative Party. Are you?

If so, I hope you can play to the same calibre outside of the Party as you think you can inside. If you can, you might still be a great asset. If not, and if you wish to express such low opinions of the rest of us, then perhaps you should just get out of our way? Quickly, please...

Regarding the original topic of Flight - the sight of the arrogant egotistical p**t bleating in the news media daily after his sacking, while I was working hard to win a target seat, means that I have little sympathy for him personally.

However, it does mean that local parties do have to be reformed so that they are structurally capable of responding to such issues at the speed demanded of modern politics by the reality of the 24-hour news media, rather than the speed of "next month's executive meeting".

Guido Fawkes

My view is for what its worth is that the Aitken thing smacks of incompetence.

If Aitken did it himself in a fit of over-enthusiasm it was ill-judged. But he should have known he would have been identified. DD smirking at the comment was caught by the cameras. DD could have tried to look less pleased.

If it was deliberate than this morning, before sending out the video, somebody should have noticed that Aitken was smiling in the first three seconds side-by-side with DD. Didn't any alarm bells ring? Given they had gone to the trouble last week to deny Aitken had anything to do with the campaign - including a senior figure denying to me that he had ever "had the pleasure" of meeting the boy.

I suppose this makes getting the press officer's girlfriend to wear "DD for me" across her bust look less crass I suppose.

There is sadly more of this to come. It goes to the top - wait and see - a dirty tricks campaign is planned at grassroots level for the hustings.

Cutting taxes win elections

Whilst a member of the frontbench, Howard Flight should not have said what he did so close to an election, much as I agree with the sentiment. However, to remove him from his seat was disgraceful given all the hard work he has done for the party over many years.

Almost as bad were the comments I heard whilst in CCHQ at the time 'that they did their best' [to stop the members of Arundel and South Down selecting Nick Herbert as the candidate there].

Full marks to DD here.

Richard Carey

Apologies, quick edit: The above should read,

"Given that the candidates have been more than publicly civil to *each other*, I ask why you post this on a public forum."


"Note that David Cameron's list does not include high taxes as one of the five barriers to wealth creation."

Perhaps the Tories will stay in the EPP after all; Merkel's Christian Democrats seem to be on the brink of agreeing to tax the German rich more to raise income. Except there are not enough rich people in the country to raise any decent revenue and there will be even fewer afterwards. Then everyone pays.

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