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« Hustings Report (1): Leicester | Main | David Cameron promises to be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime »


Jack Stone

If David Cameron is this Blair type character that Davis and his supporters say he is then why as he gained support not just from the left and centre but the right as well.
Personally I can`t see John Redwood supporting someone he thought was a Tory version of Tony Blair!


Blair wasn't instantly popular - it took ERM to bring him ahead in the polls.

Before Blair the Conservative Party had a fairly easy job. Labour would implement socialist policies, the economy would fail and the Conservatives would get re-elected. Since 1997, for the first time ever, Labour have managed not to go for blatant socialism. Of course, most of their policies have been ill thought out and damaging. But not bad enough to automatically get them thrown out.

And with Blair pretending to be tory-lite, a large amount of the electorate don't see what the point of the Conservative Party is. While Hague tried to win power back by 'saving the pound' and Howard talked alot about immigration, neither explained what the point of the Conservative Party is against a government that pretends to be capatilist. Until we provide a solid answer to 'What is the point of the Conservative Party?' we can expect to remain out of government.

TC - the ERM and Black Wednesday was 1992

Blair was elected leader in 1994.


Absolutely, Anon. Labour took the lead from ERM onwards and Blair inherited this position.

However, the Conservative Party still needs to be able to define its role against a Labour Party which will quite happily portray itself as having moved away from its socialist roots.

Al G


Because he wants a job?

Jack Stone

Of course the editor won`t have a running survey on how people on this site are voting. His to frightened it will show just how far ahead David Cameron really is.

Sean Fear

"Until we provide a solid answer to 'What is the point of the Conservative Party?' we can expect to remain out of government."

Well that's an easy one to answer. Historically, the role of the Conservative Party has been to provide a living for a bunch of middle class opportunists who implement their opponents' policies when they win office - but do it a bit more genteelly.

Deckchair of despair

I wish people would stop saying that electing Hague and IDS were ridiculous mistakes which should never have happened. People have such short memories - or perhaps some of those who say these things are young, and don't recall clearly what the situation was in 1997.
The fact is, the situation was a desperate one, not just for the Conservative Party, but for the country. The shambles of the Heseltine/Clarke/Major europhile administration had given way to the europhile Blair/Brown administration. Those electing the leader of the Tory Party knew in their bones that the most important thing, above all other considerations, was to prevent Clarke becoming leader, and to guarantee that the leadership of the party was unequivocally anti-euro, and as eurosceptic as possible. In the end, the only way to ensure this was to vote for Hague, even if he didn't seem all that much of an asset, electorally speaking. If Clarke had got in, he would have joined forces with Blair, to enthusiastically promote the euro, and it is likely that we would be locked in it now. The situation in 2001, when IDS was elected, was similar.
These weren't "mistakes", or "silly" in any way: they were vital decisions, and, in my view, correct. In my opinion, the members of the Tory Party saved this country from making a terrible mistake. Future generations will thank them for that, not heap scorn upon them.


You seem to miss the point Michael that Cameron does want tax cuts just that we have to wait at least two years before we see what they are. Lets be honest there isn't much difference between the two candidates except in presentation as follows. Cameron feels that he can win people over with his personality first policies second. Davis policies first and then like Thatcher through time his personality. Know both have risks to them(but both can see us winning at the next election) I just personally think the second option is better than the first as I can't see the economy going up in smoke within the next four years?


"In my opinion, the members of the Tory Party saved this country from making a terrible mistake. Future generations will thank them for that, not heap scorn upon them."

This is priceless. You should be on the stage with comedy like this deckchair.

Tory members 'saved the country' by electing unpopular leaders who guaranteed bigger Labour majorities. Millbank couldn't have put it better.


Deckchair...I don't think it was a mistake to have elected Hague at all The mistakes were made by Hague once elected - who flip flopped between strategies, didn't develop policy and Conservative thinking over time and ended with an unpopular populist core vote strategy in a bid to save the Party from meltdown along with his leadership.

Had he been consistent and true to himself for the full four years - a compassionate conservative. The result may have been different. Or we would have lost on the same scale, but at least the Party brand wouldn't have been so badly tarnished.


You underestimate how much Blair's policies have been and are driven by his fear of a Tory recovery. He wouldn't have offered referendum on either Euro or Constitution except for his recognition that Europe was a Tory strength so by doing so he negated the threat, Would either have happened with Clarke at the fore?
Much of The Project was about negating our policies - that's why many in his own party distrust his Labour credentials.
I agree its unlikely that future generations will thank them and see no purpose in continuing our sacrifice to keep Labour in the centre ground :-)


Ted, I'm not sure it was intentional, but you're right, the effect of our move to the populist right has been to pull Labour further right - keeping them on the centre ground.

It is perhaps now with the prospect of Conservative Government led by Cameron, that we can afford to move back to the centre, pushing Labour left again.


When was the referendum on the Euro then Ted? I missed it.


Offered referendum - not delivered (TBs never keen on delivering)

If we'd elected Clarke we'd probably be "enjoying" the benefits of that successful Euro campaign already. so in my opinion Hague was the better choice (shame the 1997 model of Portillo wasn't available - he'd have been the best one I think)

"The biggest party in local and European government as well as England, which has been in existence for hundreds of years, won't survive an unpopular, divided Labour party?"

Well actually it ISN'T surviving it. Local government doesn't get you national power, but assuming it is important: By this stage in a labour government, the Tories ought to hold almost every town and county hall in the land. But they don't. They alo ought to be winning Parliamentary by-elections. But they can't. The vaunted Tory local government base is in fact shrinking (huge areas of the North have no Tory councillors, or they exist as a rump with no hope of office) Most Tory councillors are
politically correct, careerist jobsworths anyway, indistinguishable in practice from Liberal Democrats. In my home town, Oxford, the Tory Party lost its last councillor three years ago. Twenty years ago they not only ran the city but held both its Parliamentary seats. They survive in rural areas which are electorally insignificant because any parliamentary boundary system automatically favours urban areas. Their importance is also exaggerated by the fact that older people vote much more than younger ones. As the grim reaper takes his annual toll, this misleading differential will disappear.

"Well done with your Fabian comment previous anon. Let's have more blatant right wing bosh on this site. Maybe then we can level this playing feild"

I don't know what you mean by 'right wing bosh' and nor I suspect do you.

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