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« Q12: Leadership Election Process | Main | Elsewhere on »


Selsdon Man

"Did he really say that? Christ..."

Watch your language, Iain or the editor will unban a certain individual!

James Hellyer

"James, since I'm so inaccurate, perhaps you'd repeat what he did say."

Would you care to check on bbci.

I'm certain he didn't say that.

Selsdon Man

"There are parents who would beat their children..."

and should be prosecuted for assault.

Selsdon Man

"Is David Davis committing to £38 billion of tax cuts or not? Is it an aspiration, a hope, an intention or what? "Its a strategy" - what does that mean? Its not a guarantee or a promise, so what is it?"

A policy but not a promise or guarantee I think. Where is Iain Dale when you need him?

Daniel Vince-Archer

As an aside, is anybody watching This Week? Just witnessed a fascinating spectacle with substitute panellists Clare Short and Ken Clarke pouring scorn on Tony Parsons, Tony Parsons making snide comments about MPs and Andrew Neil raising his voice and getting shirty with the whole lot of them! Thought a mass brawl was going to break out at one point! Makes the debates on here look almost civilised! ;-)

Mark Fulford

Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be online yet - or not that I can find. So I repeat for about the fifth time:

Paxo asked something very similar to "do stay at home mothers make better mothers". Davis replied "yes, mostly they do". Effectively saying 'working mothers are worse mothers'.

To add something new... he began with "err, umm, err, this is a hard one..."

Err, no, it's not.

James Hellyer

Ken and Claire weren't as chummy as Dianne and Michael. There was less cuddling and less smarm.

I liked it. And Andrew Neil is still the best television political commentator in the UK.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Paxo asked something very similar to "do stay at home mothers make better mothers". Davis replied "yes, mostly they do". Effectively saying 'working mothers are worse mothers'."

Cobblers! Only somebody deliberately looking to place a negative spin on Davis's response would automatically draw that conclusion.

Jane Moore's on the telly Mark, hope you're taking notes!

Mark Fulford

So Daniel, when are you going to answer this question... if stay at home mums are better then working mums are?

James Hellyer

"Paxo asked something very similar to "do stay at home mothers make better mothers". Davis replied "yes, mostly they do". Effectively saying 'working mothers are worse mothers'."

So you're getting irate beacuse the message was that parents who can spend time with their children produce better outcomes? That's almost certainly true. The point is made with single mothers on low incomes, who obviously want the best for their children, but face the trade off between earning a decent income and being at home. One way is supporting the child, the other is being there for the child.

So I'm not sure that even what you think he said is the heinous statement you think it is, Mark.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"If stay at home mums are better then working mums are?"

I haven't said stay at home mums are better Mark. And this question you're posing would hang on somebody suggesting that all stay at home mums are better than working mums.

Other people have pointed out how Davis's response wasn't an attack on working mums, so I won't repeat their points.


The implication that mums staying out home are better parents is outrageous and extremely old-fashioned.

DD considerers himself a man of the economy, yet he's basically suggesting and giving the impression that mums should stay at home and NOT work...A vital asset to the economy.

I don't want the Tory party that looks as if it wants women to stay at home and look after the kids and the the man of the household making the earnings...Life simply isn't like that anymore and DD should recognise that.


"Paxo asked something very similar to "do stay at home mothers make better mothers".

In any modern politician, the alarm bells should be ringing instantly with that question. It's such a blatant trap, I can't believe DD fell for it.


DD didn't do very well, and Paxman wasn't even in 'top form'. Sure, Paxman is rude and vain, but he is also intelligent and does ask searching questions sometimes.

DD's refusal to make a "promise" or a "guarantee" on the tax cuts was simply ridiculous, all the more because he was earlier portrayed as untrustworthy.

If you wish to withdraw from the 1951 Refugee Convention --a very sensible idea that however may sound unduly aggressive to an uninformed viewer-- you need to be able to back it up eloquently and directly. DD failed to do this.

In general, DD was very weak in explaining his ideas.

Overall therefore, this was once again a very weak performance by DD. His verbal delivery and body language is completely unstudied and comes across very badly.

He simply doesn't have what it is going to take to unseat Labour.

Henry Cook

I have to say, putting my objective hat on (the same one which concluded DD won Question Time) that this was a very poor performance from DD. Highly unconvincing. Why couldn't he say it was a 'guarantee'? I assumed it was already, as did many of you I expect. It seemed to me that Paxman's attack on Davis was the same as the attack on Howard before the last election, but that Howard came out of it much better than Davis.

Matthew Oxley

I don't see what the grief with the Tax situation is about, sure I can understand why Paxman grilled him in this way but Im suprised anybody here is unable to grasp this.

It's a policy, a strategy - something which Davis would endevour to carry out but should the unforseen happen then it might need revision.

It's like a pre-election manifesto is a general commitment to do something unless unforseen affects this in which case a sensible politican re-evaluates.


The point about the Tax issue is that DD has simply repeated Hague's infamous "tax guarantee" from the 2001 election in all but name. Experience has shown that when you talk about tax cuts in such detailed terms (eg "£1200 per family") which you then have to caveat to the extent they are meaningless other than as vague aspirations, credibility flies out the window. DD is right that we need to make the case *now* for lowering the tax burden and the proportion of GDP consumed by the State, and to describe in general terms how this should be achieved, but should have avoided making more specific commitments, as DC has sensibly done.

James Maskell

I find it sad that for Paxman to get his kicks he has to be so aggressive. Its low politics and the public are getting bored of it. Play the game not the player. Of course this wont change a thing, Paxman will attack the player and never actually try to tease out what the politicians mean.


DC hasn't made any commitment on tax cuts because he believes what he calls "up-front personal tax cuts" are wrong. See the news in the Daily Telegraph today:

"But Mr Cameron, who says tax cuts must be balanced against improved public services, ridiculed the Davis agenda as "up-front personal tax cuts" doing little for poor people who paid no income tax. It offered a "core vote comfort strategy" that would leave Labour in power, while his "centre ground" appeal would end the Blair era." he has also ruled out cutting tax in a recession.

Specific income tax cuts formed a part of the Conservative manifestos in 1979, 1983, 1987 and 1992. But did not feature as part of the manifestos in 2001 and 2005. Far from supporting the argument that they would "leave Labour in power," the historical record suggests they've had the opposite electoral impact.


As many of you have said Paxman was clearly trying the break DD. He wanted to get DD so flustered that he blurted out something embarrassing. He wanted DD to promise huge tax cuts or to say something about wanting Britain to withdraw from the EU. DD stood his ground and didn’t give him what he wanted.

Anyone can do an interview like Paxman there is no skill involved in it.

At the end he asked a series of questions where DD was asked to give only a one word answer, again these questions were designed to make DD look like a mad man wanting to privatise everything. DD handled these quite well.

On the issue of stay at home mums being better mums than those who go out to work then DD said what he thought. If my memory serves me DD’s own wife used to be a school teacher but left when she had children to be a stay at home mum. DD himself was brought up by a single mother. I think DD was just saying what he thinks. It was his personal opinion. He didn’t say that policy would change as a result or anything like this. If this is the worst thing to come ouyt of the interview then DD must have done a pretty good job.


- sorry but Paxman did tease out that DDs much vaunted policies hadn't been thought through - £38m was presented as a thought through policy against DCs "direction" and fell apart under aggressive interragation, his incoherent responses to withdrawal from the European Convention followed "can see of no circumstance I'd leave the EU". Paxman prepares well, his lines of attack are built well ( DD was probably sighing with relief over getting through the EU questions when another bear pit opened).

It was a poor display by DD both in content and presentation - don't know if DC will do better or worse (fear for the worst) - and don't know why DDS advisors thought agreeing to Paxman was ever a good idea (DC has extra week to prepare, more votes will be in)


sorry £38b - think 38m would have been easy to defend (£1.20 per family!)


Davis has a direction on tax: lower taxes. Cameron has a formula "sharing the proceeds of growth" that would allow any tax to go up, down or stay the same. That's not a direction, it's asking us to sign a blank cheque.

If Davis had refused to go on Paxman, Cameron would never have agreed to it. Party members still know too little about his views so it was in the interests of team Davis to get Cameron to get some tough questions.


I'm sorry but I don't feel sorry for DD in the slightest.

His painfully badly thoughtout policies got a monstering, whether or not you like Paxman if your policies are badly prepared you deserve to get stonked.

Davis supported withdrawing from the 1951 convention on refugees, and tried to claim you could withdraw from the ECHR without leaving the EU.

This stuff is political suicide. The 1951 convention may be inconvenient but its compulsary.


Q: When is a promise not a promise?

A: When it's a strategy?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Davis's leadership didn't even get out of the starting blocks before his detailed tax cut promise fell apart.

What did Michael Howard say before the election about wriggle room?

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