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« Question 7: Would you amend/ rescind hunting ban? | Main | Question Time poll »

Comments

James Hellyer

Cameron's view on this are dangerous and wrong. His performance was queasy and on edge. It was a bad question for him.

By contrast, Davis appeared magnanimous and confident, as well as finally skewering Cameron on this policy. He should have done this from the start, rather than shy from policy because of Cameron's personal transgressions.

Daniel Vince-Archer

I'm glad Davis was goaded into opening up on the drugs issue. He sounded assured, responsible and sensible and managed to talk about it without taking any pot shots (no pun intended!) at Cameron.

Cutting taxes win elections

Simple - Basher won

Chris

James, Davis could have put drugs at the cnter of his campaign, but that would have harmed his campaign even more than his awful conference speech.

I was impressed by DD's careful handling of the question this evening and how he tried to avoid it taking over the program like it did when DC was on Question Time a couple of weeks back. It persuaded me that although I'd like DC to b leader of the party DD isn't quite as bad as I thought he would be and therefore I might be able to cope with him being in charge if it doesn't all work out.

Richard Carey

I am not convinced that this is a clear win for DD - if that is the case, does it mean that holding his line on a very clearly stated previous position is a clear loss for DC?

DC has set out a clear policy position - that the priorities on drugs would be education (with no punches pulled) and treatment and rehabilitation for addicts. I believe that in a home affairs speech at Party Conference a couple of years ago, it was noted that the cost of drug-related crime exceeded the entire education budget.

DC also noted that his positions on the issue taken on the Home Affairs Select Committee were based on the available science, and that some should be revisited on the basis of new scientific considerations (e.g. the emergence of new, considerably stronger strains of cannabis).

The "waffle" comment from the audience (was that the tweed guy, by any chance?) was actually quite useful in giving Cameron additional oportunity to clarify the above.

James Maskell

That guy was great. He waffled himself but the line "Move the microphone away from him" just sums it up really.

British hecklers are the best!

Jaz

There is a major divide here:
Young people will think camerons approach is much better. <-- The new liberal democrat voters will love this approach..Cameron could capitalize in a general election if he pitches it right.
Whereas Davis is traditional Tory...and not "trying anything new" with this area. <-- Alot of older, less risk-taking people will accept this approach.

buxtehude

This was the knock-out blow. Cameron slinked off the stage. Just think how pathetic he will look once Gordon Brown gets to him. Tonight, Cameron showed himself a loser. DD had spunk, was a fighter. Could still win.

James Hellyer

"James, Davis could have put drugs at the cnter of his campaign, but that would have harmed his campaign even more than his awful conference speech."

Rubbish. Cameron is shifty and evasive on issue and his policy position is open to attack. Sticking to the policy excuses Davis from any criticism of Cameron's own failings.

James Maskell

The line about the downgrading of extasy will come to haunt him in 2009 I can promise this blog that much. Downgrading drugs is not what the public like. It looks like he is soft. Own goal there.

Mark Fulford

Did you not understand the point that drugs classifications have no credibility when ecstasy and heroin are grouped together. If you can't inform yourself on drugs, you can't understand the issues.

Timothy Leary

I'm pleasantly surprised that Davis didn't put the boot in here. Signs that he is trying to reach out to build a cross-party coalition?

Chris

"Rubbish. Cameron is shifty and evasive on issue and his policy position is open to attack. Sticking to the policy excuses Davis from any criticism of Cameron's own failings."

And why is DC dodging the issue? Because every single time the issue crops up he is persistently asked whether he took drugs at University until he changes the subject. DC has said his decisions were made on the scientific findings at the time, and now his views have chnaged as the situation has changed.

Let us not forget that we must change our policies to suit the current political situation. It was only 50 years ago when Labour and the Tory's were advocating exactly the same economic policy because that is what advice said to do. We need to change with the times in order to adopt the stance that is appropriate to the situation we are faced with, and what evidence we have.

James Maskell

So you think the British public will think its a good thing to downgrade Extasy? No way. The Sun wont like it. We all know about Leah Betts. Labour will have something they can use.

Richard Carey

"This was the knock-out blow. Cameron slinked off the stage. Just think how pathetic he will look once Gordon Brown gets to him."

In the likely and (for me) quite welcome event of a Cameron leadership, I'm thinking how pathetic you're going to look in the (I hope unlikely) event you get quoted on that.

How many times does the phrase "we all have to work together" have to be repeated? After 6th Dec this internal debate will be over, and we will all be working, campaigning and promoting the Party together. Chew on that.

James Hellyer

"And why is DC dodging the issue? Because every single time the issue crops up he is persistently asked whether he took drugs at University until he changes the subject."

That's his problem. Why should we have policy no go areas for Cameron's convenience? That's political cowardice of the highest order.

"DC has said his decisions were made on the scientific findings at the time"

Which is a lie. The scientific advice on cannabis has not changed int he last few years, but his opinion has. What "advice" is he relying on?

Chris

"Which is a lie. The scientific advice on cannabis has not changed int he last few years, but his opinion has. What "advice" is he relying on?"

As DC actually spelt out to the audence recent research has shown links with phycological problems that had not prevously been seen.

The classification of drugs is vitally important, and can drastically change peoples views towards drugs. I myself in the past tried Magic Mushrooms before they were moved to Class A from being legal, now I would never touch them again. I can also say that cannabis is now viewed as practically legal by many teenagers due to its downgrading.

buxtehude

Mark Fulford: "Did you not understand the point that drugs classifications have no credibility when ecstasy and heroin are grouped together. If you can't inform yourself on drugs, you can't understand the issues."

Don't be such a twit. Cameron has no idea on this. Middle class kids taking recreational drugs is NOT the issue. Working class communities destroyed by drugs IS. Do you really think anyone cares about your pathetic middle class desire to be 'in touch' when actually you are completely nowhere?

James Hellyer

"As DC actually spelt out to the audence recent research has shown links with phycological problems that had not prevously been seen."

Those links were known years before he was on the Homne Affairs committe. The advice has not changed. Either he was not telling the truth or he never consulted the "current" advice.

buxtehude

I'm sorry for saying 'twit' to Mark Fulford.

But really, Mark, it's not a technical point, nor is it about being 'credible' to middle class recreational drug users. The damage done by drugs is very deep and very pervasive, and it is all one destructive cocktail. You're completely barking up the wrong tree on this one, and so is Cameron, even if you are correct in some narrow definitional sense.

reasonable

About your poll:

People can reasonably think DC is a better potential leader, or that DD is. But No-one can say that Cameron won the debate. We can argue about whether DD won by a little or a lot, but there is no way any sentient adult who watched could think that DC more-or-less flopped and DD looked pretty good. The 'DC won' score one your poll is a perfect measure of Cameron-supporter dishonesty.

reasonable

Of course I meant to say:

there is no way any sentient adult who watched could think anything other than that DC more-or-less flopped and DD looked pretty good. The 'DC won' score one your poll is a perfect measure of Cameron-supporter dishonesty.

Jaz

It is true that no-one can say that DC has won..I find it hard to beleive considering most of the questions were specifically designed to target Cameron...

Cameron-Supporter Denial...yes...When faced with the thought of having DD as leader who will make no change to the Tory party ideals..then yet DC wins hands down for vision.

Reasonable, your conviction is misplaced - Look at the BBC's Question Time website quite a few members of the public (Non-Tories) left believing that Cameron won.

This is what it comes down to- Davis's approach is very much geared towards winning Tory votes (pointless in my opinion - Tories will vote Tory 'till kingdom come) Cameron will fare better among floating voters which any Party need onside if they are to win a General Election.

Having said that I was impressed by Davis today, but I'm reminded that he really isn't saying anything different from Hague, IDS, or Howard.

loyal_tory

I don't think that analysis is entirely accurate or fair.

Like it or loathe it, you have to win the votes of Tory members before you can go to the public as the Tory leader. This is important because we need someone who can carry the core vote to the electorate and build on it, rather than add floaters while losing core voters. The Cameron team should not lose sight of that.

For all their many virtues and vices, I think it is unfair to David Davis to say he is not saying anything different from the last three leaders. His approach to tax is different--supply-side, radical and prepared to talk about them from day one--rather than timid cash amounts and reliefs conjured up in last minute manifesto drafting.

And Davis is seriously looking at real life examples of public services abroad to find ways our own public services can be improved. I admit that there was some attempt to do this before the last election but like the hastily put together tax cuts these policies were not talked about very much during the campaign. As he said last night, David Davis proposes to break that habit.

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