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« Sky TV Debate | Main | Davis and Cameron promise to be friends of Israel »

Comments

Barbara Villiers

Oh please Jack, don't pull that politics of envy crap.

I don't dislike him - I just think he is not right to be Leader. Facile pr skills and no policies of any substance do not a leader make in my opinion to which I am entitled to express by the way.

There are just two schools of thoughts here - one is a style led Party and the other is a policy led Party. I do not feel that appealing the the lowest common denominator is the answer.

John Hustings

It's also a question of whether you believe the Conservatives should continue to stand up for much of what we believe in (which *has* to include, in my view, some kind of "moral judgementalism") or you think we should abandon it for the sake of being popular.

michael

Barbara, who do you feel is the most authentic moderniser of the two?

And how do you feel a modernising message should manifest itself in the substance of policy?

Mark Fulford

Barbara, you paint it as all about style v policy. That's rubbish. Utter rubbish. In my book, which is more widely read than yours, David Davis fails on both style and policy.

Jaz

"Simply put Cameron has zero experience and the Conservative Party is taking a big punt on a horse with no form. "

Yes but the alternative is far worse... A man who fails to inspire his own party, his own supporters, the economists and the papers BEFORE he even takes leadership... I sincerely hope that no-one will want a leader who has done that.

whereas for Cameron...he is the onyl reason whyt he tories have improved int he polls recently, he's the only reason why theres such a buzz in the party and out of the candidates, and more important the only way to get back into power.

hayek's grandad

"which *has* to include, in my view, some kind of moral judgementalism"

Is believeing this or not the real difference between the candidates? It certainly seems to me that it's a big difference between the two camps supporters.

Barbara Villiers

'My book is more widely read than your book'

Nah nah! Yah boo sucks! There!
Mark, you need to get a life and fast.

Oh, and now Jaz, the Great I Am has spoken too.

And Gramps - you can give it out but you just can't take it.

God, you are all so tedious.

michael

Barbara, who do you feel is the most authentic moderniser of the two?

And how do you feel a modernising message should manifest itself in the substance of policy?

James Hellyer

What is "modernising", Michael? Is it the anguished self loathing and introspection of a Portillo?

michael

I'm not sure what 'modernising' is in relation to Davis's 'modern conservatives'. I think 'modernising' is shaping a Party which reflects the character of the Country as it is today.

A Party at ease with itself and voters at ease with the Party.

Barbara Villiers

I am not obsessed with modernising. I am more concerned with getting the policies right. Change for the sake of change is futile in my opinion. Policies should also reflect basic principles of decency and not reflect the basic common denominator. Once you have this is place, the rest follows. While once has to keep in mind the times we live in - we do not have to reflect whatis the worst and lowest about our society.

I believe in David Davis' policies and unlike the Cameron supporters don't think that because he's 56 that he should shoot himself. He has presence and gravitas. No, he doesn't possess that polished smooth talking persona but that is not of huge importance to me. I voted for George McGovern in the 60's who was a grey haired, grey suited man but I believed in his principles. Of course he lost so that is not the best example but as a result of his losing, the United States lost their way for a long time.

John Hustings

"A Party at ease with itself and voters at ease with the Party."

Funny. It is the "modernisers" (Portillo-style) who seem most hung up with anxiety. They are about as far from being "at ease" with themselves as one can imagine.

What the "modernisers" fail to realise is that most of the country (even Labour voters) are "small c" conservatives. Modernisers seem to think we need to show we are as morally vapid as the general public. What a very strange tactic.

Mark Fulford

So now it's about age. Who here has ever said Davis is too old? Barbara, you're the one who's obsessed about age, especially the Boy Wonder's.

And as for lowest common doniminator policies - if banging on about toughness doesn't fit that description, I don't know what does.

John, if the general public are morally vapid, should they even get the vote?

John Hustings

"John, if the general public are morally vapid, should they even get the vote?"

I don't believe the general public *are* morally vapid. Modernisers do. That's why they want to ditch all morals to "become more like the country as it is now".

michael

Don't be silly John - Davis himself has branded his campaign 'modern conservatives'.

What I want to know, is what form that modernity would take and how it would be communicated if he continues to disregard 'style' in favour of substance - ie how you communicate and engage with people.

"What you see is what you get" is hardly the modernising message we've been searching for, is it?

Barbara Villiers

Look Mark, you are determined to put a twist on everything I say.

Saying we shouldn't alienating the young by criticising binge drinking is appealing to the lowest common denominator. Binge drinkers with their puking, pissing and yahooing are disgusting and it would give me great pleasure in alienating a few of those slobs.

Talking tough is NOT appealing to the lowest common denominator - it is setting boundaries.

TC

Not sure what all the division is about here.

The two candidates aren't exactly miles apart. There are a few policy differences, but often more to do with presentation. For example, Davis wants to commit to specific tax cuts now, while Cameron wants tax cuts but won't commit now.

If the two candidates can conduct themselves in a dignified way that does credit to the party, we ought to do the same.

Samuel Coates

I saw a phrase today which seemed pertinent to the undecideds in this contest..

The man who insists on seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel

michael

Barbara - we are saying any message which alienates is a political mistake because it turns people off and does nothing to actually tackle a problem.

We want to tackle the negative effects of binge drinking. We wont do this by moralising on who is 'decent' and who isn't.

We shouldn't alienate anyone. full stop.

Mark Fulford

Barbara, I'm not twisting your words. Find a place where I misrepresented you.

John, precisely which morals are modernisers ditching? And is Davis a moderniser, or is 'Modern Conservative' just an electoral white-lie?

engaging, inspiring and exciting voters is rarely achieved by "talking tough".

Barbara Villiers

The division is about more than presentation, though that is a big issue for me. I do not mind politicians having re-thinks on issues and indeed it demonstrates a certain integrity which I like. What I don't like is political opportunism which in my opinion David Cameron has shown.

John Hustings

"Don't be silly John - Davis himself has branded his campaign 'modern conservatives'.

What I want to know, is what form that modernity would take and how it would be communicated if he continues to disregard 'style' in favour of substance - ie how you communicate and engage with people."

David Davis' "Modern Conservatives" tag comes from his leadership bid in 2001. What "modernising" means to Davis I don't really know. I would've advised him not to use it. But he certainly isn't in the Portillo mode of modernising which seems to involve ditching anything which might even loosely be equated as a moral judgement. Hence the discussion over binge-drinking.

This is why the binge-drinking section was the most revealing aspect of the Sky TV debate. Cameron's wish to appear "modern" and "moderate" means he won't condemn obscene and loutish behaviour for fear of offending. This is not want I want from a Conservative leader.

The best element of Michael Howard's leadership, as far as I was concerned, was his willingness to speak up for fair play and right and wrong (I thought there were other big errors with his leadership though). Cameron seems willing to ditch all of that.

Barbara Villiers

It is modern in that it eschews the 'loads of money ethos' which characterised the 90's but Davis often refers to 'timeless Conservative principles.

And 25th November - yes, possibly it doesn't excite Lib Dems. There is a time for tough talking and a time for dulcet tones. The time for silvery words is long past. No doubt it will come back as things always go in cycles.

michael

That's exactly what I mean John - 'Modern Conservatives' is four years old and by defintion isn't modern that's before you even begin to look at the retro policies Davis is advocating.

It's bogus. It hasn't inspired the Tory Party and wouldn't have inspired floating voters. Indeed the mixed messages would have been confusing.

'Moral Conservatives' would have been a better strap line. If you haven't got a clear message and your not very good at communicating any sort of message, then you're holed below the waterline.


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