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Countdown to Gordon Brown

« Hustings Report (8): Frimley | Main | Hustings Report (9): London »

Comments

Terry Keen

I have njoyed the account of the latest hustings. I must say that I am very pleased that I voted for Cameron and have never have regretted the decision.

Dare I say it, I am a PC Conservative at heart!

In a nutshell, DC speaks to me about issues that I believe in, and DD speaks to me about issues where in some instances, I beg to differ.

John Coulson

If DC doesn't win (we can but hope) then perhaps he will take up a part in one of the television soaps. His ability to deliver someone else's lines in a convincing manner would make him ideal. Maybe DC can become the new Mitchell brother on Eastenders. DC has a history of losing his cool with people and being aggressive when not gettiing his own way - perfect. So, at least in this role he would be able to bring some of his own character to bear on the lines he remembers.

Puzzled of Tunbridge Wells

If DC is going to leave the EPP question to his shadow foreign secretary - who's been promised that job? Ken Clarke?

Mark Fulford

It's only the timing he's leaving to his Foreign Secretary...

a-tracy

Enjoyed your report Mark, perhaps today isn't such a good day to compare yourself to Eric Bristow though!

Is it comparable to say you think that DD is like selecting a top range Volvo over DC's Ferrari?

James Hellyer

"It's only the timing he's leaving to his Foreign Secretary..."

The point is that could mean tomorrow, or in two years' time, which wouldn't be so far from Davis's position.

Selsdon Man

From today's Telegraph

"Rumours have been rife that in order to hammer home his Eurosceptic credentials, Mr Cameron would pull Tory MEPs out of the EPP before Christmas.

Addressing a meeting of 1,000 Tory members in Frimley, Surrey, yesterday, Mr Cameron replied "yes" when asked about withdrawal.
But he appeared to avoid revealing his timetable by delegating the issue to his future foreign affairs spokesman if he won the leadership.

His aides immediately insisted that their candidate was using the same form of words he had always used on the issue. "There is no backtracking," said a spokesman.

The spokesman insisted that "if David Cameron becomes leader, we will leave the EPP" but in a dig at Mr Davis for over-detailed policy pledges, he said it would be "a mistake to set out a precise timetable".

SOUNDS LIKE WOBBLING!

Having second thoughts

A lot of Eurosceptics will have plumped for DC on the basis of the clarity of his promise to withdraw asap from the EPP. I agreed with Martin Callanan when he said it was the only firm commitment extracted from either candidate during this election. For DC to start wobbling before he's even been elected is not a good sign. Not good at all.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"The spokesman insisted that "if David Cameron becomes leader, we will leave the EPP" but in a dig at Mr Davis for over-detailed policy pledges, he said it would be "a mistake to set out a precise timetable"."

Didn't Cameron say something along the lines of 'we will withdraw from the EPP-ED within a week'?

James Hellyer

FLIP

FLOP

FLIP

FLOP

Is David Cameron really John Kerry minus the experience and distinguished head of hair?

Selsdon Man

"Didn't Cameron say something along the lines of 'we will withdraw from the EPP-ED within a week'?"

That is what a lot of Eurosceptics believe and is the reason why they have voted for Cameron. Dan Hannan told me that it was the deciding factor for him and several of his colleagues.

Simon C

I posted on this earlier under the "Cameron more popular than Blair" thread. Since attention there has turned to a detailed analysis of a joke about the Empire State Building, perhaps that was the wrong place to do it. So, to be a bore & repeat myself:

Given what Cameron is saying about allowing his Foreign Affairs team to sort out the EPP withdrawal date, I think we can guess that Liam Fox will continue to be shadow Foreign Secretary. He was the first to promote this idea, and it sounds as if Cameron is going to leave it to him make it work.

Here's hoping that Michael Gove ends up in the Foreign Affairs team as well.

The style of Cameron's leadership is going to be very interesting. He has now said that he will leave drugs policy to the party and the date of withdrawal from the EPP to his Shadow Foreign Secretary. There's a lot of delegation going on. That may be no bad thing, particularly if it means that the overall front bench team looks stronger as a result. But is does beg a few questions about what the issues are that he will impose a lead on if he thinks it necessary. Where are his lines in the sand?

There's also the obvious danger that he will leave it to others to do the hard work, take the credit when it goes well, and allocate blame elsewhere if it doesn't.

***

If Cameron does wobble on this it will be a serious dent to his credibility. Leaders sometimes need to take a firm line with a wing of their Party. But they should do so on the basis of a clear disagreement over principle. This risks being a case of his word not meaning all that it seemed to. He would truly be a successor to Blair.

Daniel Vince-Archer

I suspect Cameron's leadership would be more flop than flip. He's performed so many U-turns, it's like he's in a female sheep rolling competition. (Another play on words for you, Grandpa Hayek.)

Simon C

Roger Helmer told a gathering of Lincolnshire Conservatives that Cameron had promised to withdraw within the first week.

Selsdon Man

"Both Davids agreed that our MEPs must pull out of the EPP. David Cameron said that the timing would be his Foreign Secretary’s judgement. David Davis said that a written order to pull out would contradict previous instructions, but that he’d give verbal instructions to MEPs to transfer out within two years."

That seems like a new Davis policy to me. Am I right?

Selsdon Man

"Roger Helmer told a gathering of Lincolnshire Conservatives that Cameron had promised to withdraw within the first week."

I had heard that too. It contrasts with the Frimley statement. Are pro-EPP MEPs revolting (against leaving!) in private?

Simon C

On the Davis point, we were told at the same conference that DD was telling eurosceptic MEPs that he would pull out within 2 years, but that he was also giving reassuring messages to those MEPs who wanted to stay in. There was therefore some measure of uncertainty. In contrast Cameron's then position (this was November 5) was seen as admirably clear.

Richard Weatherill

"Are pro-EPP MEPs revolting (against leaving!) in private?"

There's nothing very private about it, Selsdon Man. A couple of our West Midlands MEPs (Martin Harbour and Philip Bushill-Matthews) signed a letter to The Times (I think - I don't have it to hand) a couple of weeks ago, advising against withdrawing from the EPP. Robert Atkins, amongst others, has also made his views perfectly clear.

James Hellyer

As has Giles Chichester, who claims we'll lose "influence" outside the EPP.

anon

This promise appears to have been made to shore up credibility with the Right of the party. It would be very dangerous indeed to undermine that should he win as there are many doubts in that quarter about him. That is why I am sure he won't break the promise. Contrary to Peter Riddell, it would be politically insane for him to do so, alienating a key part of the parliamentary and voluntary party. The Labour Party will say "anti-Europe"
but so what, he's saying Tories pull out of the EPP, not UK pull out of the EU.

Selsdon Man

"In contrast Cameron's then position (this was November 5) was seen as admirably clear."

Remember Remember the 5th of November!

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