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« £200,000 bet on Cameron is largest ever | Main | EXCLUSIVE: Iain Duncan Smith declares for David Cameron »


Mark Fulford

Carol, my view is that David Davis would be a greater risk than David Cameron. David Davis is very capable, but he's shown throughout his campaign that he doesn't have the communication, people or leadership skills necessary to be PM. It would be a huge risk to elect David Davis on the assumption taht somehow he can learn flair.

John C, I understand why it was necessary for Michael Howard to take the leadership, but he damages us in the polls. I felt very sorry for Conor Burns, the Conservative candidate in my constituency... after 8 years of work, Michael Howard's appointment cost him the Lib Dem votes he needed to win.

John Coulson

What we must appreciate is that Michael Howard means business. I suggest everybody reads Michael Cricks' biography of him to appreciate this fully. His was a career that was finished, but he resurrected it with some absolutely breathatking performances against Brown. Whatever anyone says, we don't have another Michael Howard.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Whatever anyone says, we don't have another Michael Howard."

Sir Malcolm?

John Coulson

I will agree that Rifkind is suprememly talented and should be at the epicentre of a new Shadow Cabinet but I think Michael Howard offered the party something different. Sophistication, eloquence but also tenacity. We lacked that in the other leaders, he wasn't afraid to get stuck into Blair. Sir Malcolm would be a good choice as Shadow Chancellor if Cameron wanted someone to tame Brown in the Commons.


Mark, I hope you are right but surely capability must count for something. Thatcher showed no great leadership skills to start with, remember Labour thought she was a gift to them. She learned communication skills on the job, not sure she ever learned people skills but by then it no longer mattered until her own Party decided to get rid of her. This act has poisoned the Conservative Party ever since though it looks like it may finally becoming to an end. She should have been defeated by the electorate who voted for her anything else was undemocratic and disgraceful. I have been convinced since then that no PM should serve more than two full terms, ten years maximum. It may well be that David Cameron will be capable of turning public opinion as well as Tony Blair did for Labour. I am not yet convinced but, if elected I will certainly give him the benefit of the doubt, much will depend who he chooses for his shadow cabinet. At the moment I see no real passion, just rehearsed and repeated lines, I even thought the Paxman interview looked contrived. He is a sympathetic character and at least his family has real class and I doubt he will ever subject us to the embarrassment the Blairs have become with their greed and fondness for the very rich. That said my worries remain; I will be interested exactly how Labour's machine will begin their attack on December 7th. how he copes will do much to convince me we made the right choice. He has not been very good against the absurd Ruth Kelly so I am a bit fearful about Blair and Brown. Also will the very favourable media coverage continue or will that end then too. It is clear that all the media want him I am just not sure why, do they really believe in him or is it just a that they think he will make a good story. I also think that whoever you support that Davis has had a bit of a raw deal from the press. If they stay on Cameron's side if he is elected I will have more confidence, I will support him anyway as leader but my fingers will be crossed.


"Cameron will do it for us"
What touching faith.

What exactly will Boy Wonder do for us? Does he really understand the needs and concerns of ordinary people? I don't think he does.

Carol, I share your concerns.If Cameron can't shine against that Kelly woman (he seems to agree with what she says quite a bit, which I regard as a betrayal)what hope has he against the likes of Bliar (sic) and Brown. A win for Cameron wins next week will be a great nearly Christmas present for Labour!

What is the reason for media's Cameron adulation? I think they must either want him so that Brown and Blair can have an easier ride over the next few diffcult months; or, they see him as one of themselves a member of the metropolitan elite who know little of and care even less about the world beyond the M25

The media's darling one day is their whipping boy the next.I give the honeymoon period 3/6 months at the longest


Seems that I forgot to put a name to my above post and I know so many on this board hate anonymous contributions. Sorry everyone.



The sentence should read

"A win for Cameron next week will be a great early Christmas present for Labour"


I have huge worries about David Cameron as well Carol - although I never saw much to be impressed about in his conference speech so I have not understood the hype and adulation. His Newsnight interview actually confirmed for me that I was better off voting for David Davis because at least I could do that with a clear conscience. Still would have preferred Liam Fox, but I didn't get that option...

I saw Cameron at a meeting yesterday when he gave his view that apparently the issue of greatest importance to young women (a group which includes me) is childcare. Well, only one of my friends of my age has children, none of the rest of us are interested in having children, yet apparently we're only concerned about childcare. Great.

I know childcare is an issue of concern to those people (and I suspect it includes men, not just women 'Dave') who have kids, but its the sweeping generalisations that annoy me. He managed to wind me up in the conference speech by describing my generation as politically uninterested. Some of us are interested, just as some of us don't give a monkey's about childcare.

As an aside, I confidently predicted to a couple of friends ahead of the meeting that we would have 'sharing the proceeds of growth', at least one mention of his son, the civil partnerships joke, and a couple of other things I forget now at some stage during the session, and lo and behold there they all were. The only one I didn't mention was the line about having Paxman, but clearly that's becoming a favourite now.

Barbara Villiers

Carol and V.

I couldn't agree more and have been saying for ages but of course have been beaten down by rabid Cameroonies (joke).

I expect the media backlash to begin even quicker than that.

As to the posting which said if Davis got in, Forth, Conway etc would force him to get rid of the modernisers. Whoever said that has no concept of Davis at all. I think you'll find that NOBODY tells him what to do.

Barbara Villiers

I agree CJ- I hate when we are patronised by politicians who are 'concerned' about 'women's issues'. No, my issues are the same as everyone else's. What twaddle!

This is especially true in light of our rather disgraceful childcare policy during the Election (of which one Dave Cameron was the author).

malcolm thomas

Just a thought. Maybe the media are sick of Blair too. They actually want the Conservatives to do well now. In 2001 they were all Blair-suckers. Now they've realised.

Cameron may or may not be a genius. But the time is ripe for change, and everyone knows. Being there at the right time is the key to most things.

What I'm looking forward to is his team - esp. Hague and Fox in the key positions. maybe even IDS in a junior role. It will be the first conservative Conservative leadership team for a generation - and a highly talented one at that.

I think these threads are becoming a dumping ground for the over-anxious. Perhaps a two week holiday would help people to cope better. Then come back and enjoy the Cameron era.


I suspect it includes men, not just women 'Dave'

Good point. I recall being in a filling-station talking to the man behind the counter and him saying that his biggest headache was childcare. I presume that he was either a single parent, or even a supplemental breadwinner doing a job which is minimum-wage but might have had a household income just above the threshold, or probably just too few places for children of that age group.

You are right that the issue is much more complex than simply women=childcare, men=tax cuts


Malcolm, I agree with you that there is now huge potential for whichever one becomes leader to have a terrific team around him. I've not entered the fantasy shadow cabinet competition because aside from leader, chancellor, foreign and home secretarys I'm not sure who I would put where, but I would certainly expect any shadow cabinet to include good, strong roles for Davis & Cameron (whichever wins), Fox, Hague, Rifkind, and IDS (his Centre for Social Justice work is excellent and I actually thought he spoke really well at conference - he had passion and believed in what he was talking about).

As to the others - George Osborne should not be as senior as he is, and Francis Maude needs to be removed as Chairman but given some other role he could perform in. I doubt that Clarke will be willing to serve, it wouldn't be appropriate to have Howard on the front bench right now and Ancram is retiring to the bank benches for a well earned rest.

Bringing on some of the newer intake as well, in very junior roles naturally (PPS?), will help with talent spotting for the future.

At any rate, it's not a task I envy the new leader!

James Maskell

The easy way to not say something you later regret, John, is to not press post until you are happy with it. Perhaps growing up is another option...

Michael McGowan

James, a needlessly petulant remark. Good points by CJ, Barbara Villiers and Rick though. Much will depend on whether Cameron is really prepared to have a Shadow Cabinet of all the talents and to listen to it, rather than just give orders. Osborne and Maude should certianly be demoted. If Cameron can do that, then he will have done something to restore my negligible confidence in the Conservative Party.

Where's Jack Stone this morning? Shouldn't he be on line by now banging on about purging all of the rabid right-wingers who don't regard DC as the Son of God?

Jack Stone

A lot of women who want careers do have trouble affording the huge cost of childcare and I think David Cameron is right to suggest we should come up with policies to help them.
If Davis supporters really care about the party they should be hoping that DC is a success as leader if he does win not seeming to hope that he will be a disaster.
This macho imagine of Davis not having anyone tell him what to do I personally find a complete turn off. Davis and his supporters seem to like to give the impression that Davis is Margaret Thatcher in trousers.
Mr Davis is a lot of things but one thing he ain`t is another Margaret Thactcher.


What does 'this macho imagine of Davis' mean Jack?

Michael McGowan

Ah there you are Jack, old chap. What a pleasure. We don't want Cameron to be a failure. We want, despite our fears, for him to be a success. All that we ask is that he offer an enticing and thought-through alternative to the failures of the left....something which he seems reluctant to do. Presumably that heretical thought makes me a life member of the KKK?


Grow up Jack. If David Cameron becomes leader he got in with no policies, how can any sane person who has heart felt views give him a blank cheque. Thats been his problem from the start and I would because of that placed him fourth out of the four candidates. I'm not going to go away(but i think you should go back to nursery) but if he comes up with daft policies(like the top down flat tax) I would feel free to have ago at him because its a policy thats not only mad but will see us lose seats at the next election not win more? Please again if you haven't voted yet please vote David Davis.


What you and Jack seem to forget Peter is that David Cameron & David Davis actually AGREE on the vast majority of the subjects debated over the past few months.All the hustings reporters can confirm that.
Therefore I think it highly unlikely that all would be sweetness and light if one were elected or a total disaster if the other wins.
The Conservative party seems to me to be doing better in getting our message across to the public in the past few months than it has for years.It would be a terrible shame if that was put in jeopardy by the by the actions of some hysterical supporters of one defeated candidate or the other after this campaign is over.

James Maskell

I dont know if anyones said it before but Osborne plans to launch an attack on Brown on Monday at the pre-budget report. Im thinking the good money is on Osborne staying as Shadow Chancellor in that case.


That's marvellous !! So Gideon Osborne is going to reply to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on his Pre-Budget Report ? How traditional !

My, soon we might get more Shadow Ministers turning up in the House of Commons !

Poor Brown.......Monday he will be bitten by a gnat.

from tomorrow's Daily Telegraph...

Maude's future divides the Cameron camp

It won't be long before we know the full cast list of David Cameron's shadow administration, but one likely name is already causing certain disquiet. It seems everyone has some issue or other with the renewal of Francis Maude's job as party chairman. The Right worry that Mr Maude, if indeed he is reappointed, is about to remove local autonomy from Conservative associations, clean out the candidates' list to rid it of white, middle-aged, middle-class heterosexual men or anyone deemed insufficiently "modern", and to start to suggest aggressively Blairist policies.

Mr Cameron's own chums on the soft centre-Left of the party, many of whom were bewitched by Mr Maude's Portillista philosophy, now fear that he could, in fact, be rather a divisive figure. Others worry that he might be planning to impose his not inconsiderable personality on young Dave. I just hope they have the good manners to let Mr Cameron have his victory party before launching the inevitable internecine war.


Why is Francis so keen to work with people in other parties when he finds it so hard to work with people in his own?

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