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« Q6: A 'Right-To-Die' | Main | Q8: Arms sales to undemocratic and repressive regimes »


James Hellyer

I'm afraid this confirms my impression of DC: that he'll deliver fine words, but no buttered parsnips. Saying the right thing is no substitute for actually doing the right thing.

The answers here show the difference between a practical man of action and a talker.


I like to know what DC will be doing in the commons over the next two to three years just smiling back at Blair. At least teeth whitening sales will go through the roof.


It seems to me that Davis has taken much longer answering the questionnaire.


All credit to him for that Wasp!


could someone point out to me where DD has expressed these far reaching policies before? i haven't noticed it in any major speech or polict anouncement. it suggests he is using this forum to create new policies. a good strategy to woo the editor. i think the david o meter reflects the amount of attention the candidates are giving the editor.


Truly awful. What point is there in this guy? He goes on TV to say we need to speak just as much about Darfur as Gibralter, and what's actually under the hood? A vague appeal to the UN.

No wonder he's frightened to appear on Paxman. The man is a total lightweight.

Daniel Vince-Archer

I think the respective responses of both men to this questions speaks volumes and is indicative of their respective leadership platforms.

Isn't it tragic that all the frontrunner to lead the Conservative Party (David Cameron) can offer in response to this and other issues of the utmost importance (climate change is one that leaps immediately to mind) is a few mealy-mouthed words (with no promise of action) and shirking of responsibility by passing the buck onto somebody else? Pathetic.

Simon C

Cameron's response to this question is a huge and astonishing disappointment. He has put Darfur at the centre of his proposals for foreign policy - and this is the best he can come up with? This is truly hopeless.

This was a real opportunity to examine the effectiveness (or otherwise) of the UN, and the need for nations to start stepping up to the plate and take responsibility in their own global region.

I think we can assume that Michael Gove had nothing to do with answering this question, at the very least.


I had warmed to Cameron a few weeks ago, cooled on DD. Still not at all happy with DD's choice of team, or his unwillingness to engage with the early part of the leadership race - he really disappointed me.

Cameron seemed fresh at Blackpool, and his team first rate. But since then, NOTHING. Emptiness. Vagueness. Froth. Now worse: evasion of responsibility.

Shame it's all too late.


Simon C, it's unthinkable that Gove helped frame that question. Gove is weak on domestic policy, but fantastic on foreign policy.

The one ray of hope at this gloomy time for us is Gove. If this were his reply on Darfur, then we could all go home.

Simon C


I agree entirely. Again, just as it's a pity that neither of these two has tried to take on Liam Fox's Broken Society agenda in a meaningful way, neither of them has yet built on the foundations Fox has laid as shadow Foreign Secretary (although DD's answer comes closest).

Gove tried to convince us all, on the platform blog, that Cameron was the natural home for those of us who had supported LF. Today's showing, though, is very far from reassuring.

I posted the following on the "Empty Chair" thread earlier today - I think Cameron's strategy is beginning to damage him.

"Cameron is making precisely the same mistake that DD did earlier in the contest. DD was the front-runner. He deliberately adopted a cautious risk-averse strategy. His campaign ran into the sand. He lost momentum, started falling behind, and any sense of excitement about his campaign evaporated. Now he's the underdog he is managing to put that right to some extent.

Cameron is beginning to lose at least some of the enormous momentum and excitement that built up around him at the party conference. The reason is precisely the same - he is trying to protect his position and not give any hostages to fortune. As a result he is is beginning to look defensive and lightweight. This is a direct consequence of the way his campaign is being run.

Amongst the many attributes our next leader needs, intellectual self-confidence in the ideas which shape the direction in which he wants to travel is vital.

Like sharks, successful politicians need to keep moving forwad if they are to survive."

A refuggee from Camp Cameron

I loved what DC said about an ethical foreign policy; Darfur, Africa etc

It was one of the reasons I voted for him yesterday when my ballot paper arrived.

This is a terrible answer.

I've made a mistake but it's now too late.

I beg noone else to maake the same mistake and vote for this emptyness.

Cameron's passion for soundbites seems greater than his passion for those being murdered and made homeless by the jangaweed.




Mark Fulford

I don't know why you're being so harsh on Cameron on this one. I read the responses this AM and thought that both were making exactly the same point, but Cameron's was more concise by about 100 words. Davis's reply does nothing more than describe what "a series of interventions" means.

Mark Fulford

Refugee, if you were to put your name to your comment, I might believe you.


Sorry Editor I obviously posted too soon on the previous thread.
Although DDs answer was better I don't think either of them will be able to achieve much of a practical nature.
Assuming that anything short of military intervention will fail,the sad fact is, that without US support we as an individual country or even I think with EU backing (which is unlikely be forthcoming)simply do not have enough troops to patrol an area as vast as this.
If we are serious about defending the people of Darfur then the only alternative is to give them arms of a superior nature to that of the Khartoum gov't.Does anyone have the political will to try this, I seriously doubt it.
So despite the fine words I suspect nothing will be done.As with the situation in Bosnia before Dayton fine words can often do more harm than good.


Well said Mark.


Mark it wasn't concise he just ran away again. Again what is he going to do for two years, sell ice creams to voters?

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Refugee, if you were to put your name to your comment, I might believe you."

For once Mark, I agree. I suspect there may be a troll in our midst. A troll, I might add, whose spelling is poor and who selected a name and email for his post in very poor taste.


Oh Mark! Surely you can see the difference between relying on the UN and not relying on the UN!

Simon C, I'm nervous about the rest of the responses. As we know Cameron will win, is there any point being active for the Conservative Party anymore?

I don't want to promote disunity: so how do self-respecting Conservatives, compassionate Conservatives, behave within a Cameron regime? Do we simply re-focus our efforts onto particular campaigns?


He probably recognises, rightly, that however much hand wringing you want to do, there no votes in this issue.

Mark Fulford

Buxtehude, by "not relying on the UN" do you mean Britain should have acted unilaterally?

James Hellyer

Only if by unilaterally you mean though NATO and the Commonwealth. Davis is talking about getting the UN's authorisation, but not letting it control operations.

Simon C


Given Cameron's deliberate strategy of leaving difficult policy issues to be decided by the party after the leadership election (see his drugs policy), we take him at his word, and make the case for serious, thought-through principled and considered policy positions. His strategy means that he will have very little detailed policy mandate.

That's not a criticism, but an observation. As posted elsewhere, if the energy that has gone into the leadership campaign can be harnessed into policy formation, that could be a positive for the party - and should certainly help attract new members who, after all, will only join a political party are interested in politics.


No Bux, work for a Tory victory at the next election and then try and change things from the inside.I seriously doubt that any future leader will be able to be as 'presidential' as Blair has been and unless they have a massive majority (v.unlikely)Cameron or whoever will have to listen to the views of ordinary MPs


No votes in this issue, Gareth?

I think you're wrong about that but what a dreadfully depressing comment on the purpose of politics.

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