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« DD fails to draw the crowds | Main | Hustings Report (7): Cambridge »


Mark Fulford

Barbara has already told us that we'll be surprised when she reveals her true identity. I suspect we'll all be rather underwhelmed. Your assesment of her posts is bang-on.


I agree Ted,- once again the voice of reason

Cllr Iain Lindley

I think it is a shame that "Barbara" doesn't have the guts to put her real name to her postings.


And me too!


Could people stop this "put your real name" rubbish - it doesn't add value to discussion - blogs are about opinions, free of social pressure and anonymity is an accepted part of blogging.

Anyway I enjoy the assumed character that Duchess Babs has chosen - Charles II showed good taste in mistresses. Deckchair, Wat Tyler, Guido... I really don't care who they really are.

Barbara Villiers

Oh, dear
Every time anyone makes an observation about Cameron you all twitter about like a bunch of agitated hens.

What shall I do now that I don't have Goldie to amuse me with his pomposity?

I'm a Labour agitator because I believe that my children should have the same opportunities as everyone else has had - free university education? Fie, Goldie. You're not a very good Comp Con are you?

Barbara Villiers

Thank you Ted. If only I were as rapacious as the Duchess - then I too could afford to send my kids to university!

Daniel Vince-Archer

"I am amazed, Daniel, that continually raking up Cameron's performance in Stafford makes you look daft."

Iain, I don't continually rake up Cameron's performance in Stafford and I'm not going to rehearse the argument again here, I merely mentioned that Frederick Forsyth could have referred to it in his edited lowlights of Cameron's political career.

"Then chose a tough solicitor who has [sic] the hanging Home Secretary to fight the election based mainly on immigration. We lost again. Has Mr. Forsyth taken note of this?"

David Cameron co-ordinated the policies and drafted the manifesto with which we lost that election. Have you noticed this, Goldie?

"I think it is a shame that "Barbara" doesn't have the guts to put her real name to her postings."

Friendly word of advice Iain. Considering your contretemps with John Coulson, it probably isn't the best idea to start criticising other people for the identity they choose for their posts. You don't want to give him ammunition!


Anyone could have made that manifesto...but the general image that MP's and the shadow cabinet showed gave the public with the same old, cut tax, help the rich impression.

If it were up to me, I would just stick with business rate cuts and the Tory party should avoid making references to cutting income taxation...Since Thatcher, no-one actually believes that cutting tax will benefit anyone except the rich.

All we hear from the DD team, and even his supporters is a) he's a streetfighter b) that he was brought up on a council estate. There is nothing else that would compel me to vote for him, he has little charm, less appeal, hardly any-change from typical Howard policies and worst of all..I've still yet to hear the crowds of media, the public or his own team saying he'll make the party win, or he'll be a good PM.

Conclusion: Why lower your chances of wining a general election by choosing a leader that clearly is not as popular as the alternative? Surely you don't believe a labour government is more preferable to any Tory government...

Deckchair of despair

I know this is irrelevant, but does anyone remember Betty Fowler, who posted one or two eccentric items here a couple of weeks ago, and then vanished as abruptly as she had appeared? Could it be that we are dealing here with a case of multiple personality, and that she and Barbara Villiers are one and the same person? There is certainly a similarity in initials, and as all readers of schoolboy mysteries will recall, wrong'uns tend to keep the same initials when they change their names.


"If it were up to me, I would just stick with business rate cuts and the Tory party should avoid making references to cutting income taxation...Since Thatcher, no-one actually believes that cutting tax will benefit anyone except the rich." This is just empty, pointless defeatism.

Some people need to ask themselves: "What is the point of a political party?" Is it to keep Tories in jobs or is to improve the country? Tax cuts improved the country in the 1980s. Subsequent tax increases harmed it. Supporting tax cuts for companies that are "richer" than the vast majority of people who struggle on their incomes and pay income tax is incoherent. Instead of running away from the problem of people's perceptions of our party and (falsely) claiming the only alternative to that is ignoring those perceptions, we should be finding new ways to communicate the policy that is manifestly right for the country: the income tax cuts that have the power to improve living standards and public services--for everyone in our society including those who need those improvements the most: the poorest among us.

Giving up thinking is not an attractive or worthwhile option for the Tories, and is not what voters want or need.


Taxation important as it is, cannot be an issue that the Tories can raise especially with Labours current spin machine and wide range of statistics. We don't want to become obsessed with tax cuts especially for the income.

Frankly, any tax cuts should be for the lower end of earner and non for high earners, yes this is incredibly socialist, but I personally believe a freeze on the increase of the taxation is a credible policy.

Secondly, business rate cuts will gain the party some substance for its wide ranging economic policy - something that has been entirely absent from the last 2 elections.

"Giving up thinking is not an attractive or worthwhile option for the Tories, and is not what voters want or need."
Immigration and tax are the two largest issues that have totally destroyed Tory policy for the past 12 years. We should give a policy that sounds possible while mainting public services and also something that labour would have a hard time destroying, the same goes for immigration. Some common sense has to prevail, the case for substantial tax cuts does not work well with people while the labour spin machine continues to sit in number 10. Later on sure, we can have income tax cuts, but business tax cuts, vulnerable groups in society MUST be the main cuts.

We MUST avoid discrediting the entire conservative policy for government by proposing controversial cuts. Frankly, cutting tax either means increased borrowing in the shortterm, or less spending, neither of which the Tory party will ever own up to...


Look in the 1970s--a time in which advocating tax cuts was much further out of the mainstream--the Tories did so none the less. We didn't have specific rates going into the election. But we did have a commitment to cut top and basic rate tax. More importantly, the argument was made explaining why it was the right thing to do. It is not the only thing we should be talking about, but it is one of them, and it can help raise the revenue to pay for more spending on public services--including the costs of long overdue reforms in health and education.

Our party's supporters need to focus on the problems of the country first, then on those of the party that prevent it from communicating the most practical solutions. Does that mean a manifesto that may not go into huge detail about what taxes will be cut? Maybe. Does it mean not making the case for lower taxes over the course of this parliament? Most certainly not.


IDS has just the kind of background Mr. Forsyth looks for in a leader. It didn't do the Conservative Party any good. We should have gone for Clarke, Portillo, or dare I say it, Davis in 2001.

I note IDS stated that if the Tories got rid of him they would lose the General Election: they did. He did not say his successor would not even really bother to fight it, being merely a stop-gap for the Trust Fund Boys


It's the envy of socialism that makes people think 'privilege' equals 'comfortable'. It is, of course, not true. Being sent off to boarding school at the age of 7 is tough. Period.

Maybe he should have gone to Sandhurst and become a subaltern in some conflict zone, the British Army has enough to provide the requisite certainly would have added maturity in place of vacuity


That Oxford was essentially free for me, was ridiculous. I reaped great benefits from it, and middle class people whose children did NOT go to Oxford were paying for it.

Ergo ?

Perhaps you should pay income tax ? I am paying for museums in London I do not visit. I pay for schools I do not use. I pay for hospitals in parts of the country I never visit. I pay for the Royal Navy and I do not live near a port.

I pay boarding school fees for civil servants and the military to decant their offspring into instead of raising them themselves.

I pay for Tony Blair to educate his children at the selective Oratory School when he could well afford to pay fees like most people in his income group.

I resent watching children collected from State School in Range Rover Vogue or Mercedes SUVs when I think these parents could pay a means-tested fee instead of driving an agricultural vehicle in city streets.

Paying for University Education is quite reasonable if it is restricted to the able. So you went to Oxford ? Why you think that is special I do not know; certainly it has its fair share of dross and I doubt Imperial College London would regard itself as inferior, nor would Liverpool, Sheffield or London in Medicine.

That you feel so special having been to Oxford suggests you should not have been admitted - typically English - Status not Performance.

Barbara Villiers


Quite honestly I wouldn't have gone for tax cuts because I know how controversial it is even though I know it is right. David Davis was courageous enough to do so - he knew the fire he would come under but rightly said that if you hammer the message home over an extended period it will make sense. I know that my family is suffering from all the taxes - not just income tax but increased national insurance and the 66 other stealth taxes that Labour has inflicted on us.

So tell, me how many on David's team do you know and how many of the 250,000 members do you know that you can make such a judgement on him. Please don't talk to me about the ne'er do wells who deserted because it no longer seemed opportune to them. The media I just disregard - for all the reasons I have always given. Yes it would have been nice to have them onboard and we did until the conference which is why we were lulled into a false sense of security just like the Cameroonies are in now. As for charm, that again is a matter of taste but even in these media driven times I don't feel is a prerequisite for the job.

Oh and deckchair - you're wrong. A duchess would never assume a housemaid's name such as Betty Fuller.


Oh, well, since my children (and thousands like them)were silly enough to be born to feckless parents

Surely not "feckless" Barbara ? Literate perhaps ? After reading Thomas Hughes guide to Tom Brown's experiences you simply decided to bring your children home at night............

Barbara Villiers

Literate and broke that's me, Rick.

Barbara Villiers

Just caught sight of your posting to Ivy League Boy - well done and some excellent points.

I'd ask you to marry me but I fear it would send Roger off the rails yet again - I am still trying to live down the little episode when he drove thru town with a pair of cuckold's horns on his carriage!

Cllr Iain Lindley

Could people stop this "put your real name" rubbish - it doesn't add value to discussion - blogs are about opinions, free of social pressure and anonymity is an accepted part of blogging.

No I'm sorry - if your opinions are worth anything then you shouldn't have to hide behind an alter-ego when you express them.

Barbara Villiers

Comrade Cllr Lindley,

Your thought police trip does not apply to me. As far as I know, using a pen name is not against the law yet.

Frederick Albatross Montmorency de Vere Fiennes-Wickham

I agree with the Councillor. Spurious noms de plumes are simply de trop.

Barbara Villiers

Frederick dear,

Any relation to that unfortunately named Anne de Montmorency - how very cruel to give the poor man a girl's name.


This is the only place on the web where I've seen people use their real name.

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