Conservative Home's debate blogs


  • DVD rental
  • Conservative Books
My Photo

Conservative blogs

Blog powered by Typepad

  • Tracker 2
  • Extreme Tracker

« Cameron and Davis offer different approaches against Blair | Main | Hustings Report (2): Solihull »



Graham is a passionate libertarian and a keen supporter of David Cameron.

What an odd pairing - passionate libertarianism with the managerialist nanny state meddling of 'phonics' Cameron...

Daniel Vince-Archer

"There is no doubt that this man knows just the buttons to press to make the blue-rinse brigade’s legs tremble with excitement."

I wonder what Feminist Fulford will have to say about this delightful statement. Seeing as it's from a Cameronite, not a lot I imagine ;-)


Since both the BBC and Cllr Smith agree that DD 'won' this hustings, how come Cllr Smith makes DD sound so useless and Cameron so wonderful? "Casting aside his notes, he stepped out from behind the rostrum to set out his message of hope, optimism and progress, earning a much-deserved standing ovation from sections of the audience." Yuk.

Cllr Smith doesn't want 'punch and judy' politics and yet he has just shown he is utterly incapable of giving a balanced report. Imagine reading a football report that went like this: "Chelsea were rubbish, boring, old-fashioned, untalented - and oh, yes, they won 2:0."

I hope future reporters from whichever camp will give a more balanced view, if they are writing as reporters. Still, useful to see how Cameron supporters delude themselves, making their man sound like a winner even when they admit he lost.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Still, useful to see how Cameron supporters delude themselves, making their man sound like a winner even when they admit he lost."

Remind you of anybody? Our beloved Prime Minister perhaps? I suppose we'd better get used to it, seeing as it's what we're going to be forced to endure for the next few years until Gordon Brown makes mincemeat out of SuperCam at the next election. Unless, of course, the party comes to its senses as makes David Davis leader.

Alastair Matlock

It's a wonder anyone would bother volunteering to prepare a report like this on their own time when this is the thanks you get for it. Cllr Graham is entitled to his views as are you, buxtehude.

I haven't seen the BBC editorialising on the hustings - I have seen them airing clips of members emerging from the hall who said various things about both candidates - without disclosure as to whether or not they were disposed to one or the other prior to the gathering, but those are two different things.

The Times (Pravda as the Davisites here like to call it) has written that Cameron did better at this one.

All this suggests is that there are views out there to satisfy any appetite.


Well said, Alastair.

One thing that Graham's post and photo did make clear is that Cameron's campaign is very organised. This was the first hustings. There was going to be lots of media interest. DC had lots of placard-weaving young supporters. DD had one t-shirted supporter.

Cllr Graham Smith

I tried to be honest in my assessment, as I hope the candidates were in what they said.

It seemed to me there were just the two points of difference - other people may have picked up on more - one being DC's abhorrence of confrontational politics for the sake of it, compared with DD's more [ahem] assertive approach that apparently requires everything the Government proposes to be challenged regardless of merit. The other being whether MEPs should strive to support the Conservative Party agenda or continue being part of a political grouping that is actively working against the Party's policies on Europe.

There is no doubt that a substantial proportion of the audience were elderly and (judging from the age and model of cars in the car park) reasonably well-off. I suspect most of these people will continue to vote Conservative and do their bit regardless of which candidate emerges as our next Party Leader (as will I - indeed I remain of the opinion that any of the five potential candidates could have made a great leader).

Unfortunately David Cameron spent a lot of time talking about some of the things that matter to young people and working families. There weren't too many people in either of these categories at this morning's meeting and I suspect that this evening's report will reveal much stronger support for David Cameron amongst people who have not voted Conservative for the last 40+ years. But we'll have to wait and see...

Cllr Iain Lindley

I'm told the reaction from the BBC Focus Group in Solihull this evening was as follows:

The Davis supporter switched to Cameron.
The neutral backed Cameron after just 10 minutes.
The Cameron supporter stuck with Cameron.

Alastair Matlock

I've seen the same, Cllr Lindley.


"Filbert Way stadium"? The Walkers Stadium. Or Crisp Bowl, if you prefer.

john Skinner

Davis is making his pitch to Tory members.
Cameron is aiming at a wider audience. Cameron is ahead with members by 2/1.
What does this tell us?
Cameron is confident of winning the contest and is avoiding a future backlash against half-baked policy promises.
Hardline Tories are canny enough to swallow their prejudices and go with a winner.


"It's a wonder anyone would bother volunteering to prepare a report like this on their own time when this is the thanks you get for it. Cllr Graham is entitled to his views as are you, buxtehude."

It's not a wonder at all when someone clearly have an axe to grind! Knocking copy is easy to come by. As you know, I supply it myself.


Read the Times, Telegraph, Guardian & Independent reviews - all have the same flavour as this report: DD late (again!), DD stuck to notes/prepared text, DD hit right core vote policies; DD attractive to older members, DD finished strongly but DC edged it.
The councillor is clear about his prerences and expect same when a DD supporter reports but looking at other sources it looks a fair reflection of the hustings .

Cllr Graham Smith

Reading today's newspaper reports of yesterday's event, it seems my report was more than fair to the Davis team.

Tania Branigan writes in The Guardian:

"The exclusive blame for David being late rests with the Labour government and its transport polices. Under a Davis-led government, transport will be a high priority and no one will be late," said his campaign manager, Andrew Mitchell MP.

What a happy bedtime story "and because of what the nice man did, no-one was ever late again."

Brendan Carlin picked up on the same point in today's Telegraph:

Mr Davis, who was also late for the recording of his BBC2 Question Time debate with Mr Cameron this month, walked briskly into the stadium reception area and said: "I am afraid the one-way system defeated us". Greeting him was a lone cheerleader, 54-year-old Anne Bond, heavily outnumbered by a dozen young "Cameroons" from Leicester and Nottingham Student Tory Association."

Watching David Davis' broad smile turn into a fixed grin as he first spotted the solitary tee shirt and then saw who was wearing it was quite revealing. From where I was standing I could almost imagine him hissing "couldn’t you do better than that?" under his breath to David Canzini, who has recently joined the Davis payroll following his departure from Central Office earlier this year.


Also in Telegraph
"Yesterday, however, a gremlin had evidently infiltrated the machinery. "I received a text message just after lunch from the DD campaign saying how well he had done at the Leicester hustings," one party member tells me. "But then I got it again. And again. It came 20 times over. I'd already voted, otherwise it might have provoked me to withhold my support."
Not sure DD proclaiming "I won I won" when most commentators thought he hadn't is really effective campaigning...

Barbara Villiers

You know the media bias just gets worse. Even if I wasn't a Davis supporter I'd become one just because they are pushing Cameron down our throats. You have to stop and think about what their agenda really is.

hayek's grandad

Ted - not only is it not effective campaigning, it's very divisive and is going to lead to ill feeling within the party after the election. The last thing this party needs is a quarter of it being disgruntled and whispering 'DD won, DD was better, DC is all about one speech'. I'm starting to think those Paxman quotes were closer to the truth than anyone here might like to think. Let's hope he stops the 'punch and judy' campaigning and sticks to explaining his plans for the future for the sake of the party.


Cllr Smith, this is silly. The two bits you quote from newspapers don;t show your fairness at all! I have read the DT piece three times now and can't find a word to justify your reading.

But hold on - didn't the Ed introduce your report as saying you yourself concede that DD "did best"? Ah yes, scroll back, and you'll find it! So what happened?

Cllr Graham Smith

Well, it has been said the British people love the underdog, so a last-minute flurry of support for Davis is only to be expected.


It would be interesting to have a Cameron supporter and a Davis supporter blogging from the same meeting.

modern conservative

"Even if I wasn't a Davis supporter"

Barbara, I think Davis would be doing slightly better if you weren't.

Barry Graham

'Not sure DD proclaiming "I won I won" when most commentators thought he hadn't is really effective campaigning...'

Couldn't agree more Ted. It smacks of desperation and has all the hallmarks of Andrew Mitchell or Derek Conway's misreading of events (a la the conference set-piece went down well).


That may happen at a couple of hustings wasp but I need more reporters. I still don't have anyone to cover the Welsh event!

Al G

Leeds Uni are sending a balanced group to the York event today... well, 2-1 Davis anyway with one wavering (towards Davis).

And no wonder Cameron is on time, he is flying everywhere. He will, I understand, be flying from Newcastle to York today.

At least when the swooning old blue-rinse biddies faint over Davis they can fall into Cameron's sizeable carbon footprint!

Also, I think Cllr Graham wrote a superb report. Congratulations! I especially enjoyed the bits where I got so infuriated I wanted to hit him for being so biased against my David! It was then that I realised that, actually, this is coded break from the Cameron ranks. This man WANTS Punch and Judy politics! Look at report he wrote! Look at the comments it recieved!

A further point, Davis led the attempt to work with Labour over the Terrorism bill whilst vigorously opposing the 90 day detention. That is an example of the politics I want. Principled enough to work together and principled enough to fight against.

Cameron is welcome to jump on that bandwagon, but not if he is going to lose his footing, stumble and smack his jaw on the chassis.

We need Punch and Judy politics like we've never needed it before.

Basher's up for the fight but I dont think Cameron is.

Cllr Graham Smith

Thank you Al G. Given the low and somewhat elderly turnout in Leicester I wanted to achieve two things:

1. To stimulate debate on this website.
2. To encourage more people to attend the hustings.

I have achieved the first, let's see whether that contibutes towards success on the second objective also.

The comments to this entry are closed.

About Conservative Home


  • Conservative Home's
    free eMailing List
    Enter your name and email address below: