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« Hustings Report (4): York | Main | DD: I am strong enough to withstand Labour's attacks »


Selsdon Man

But did Today repeat the DD focus group story? Surely, it deserved more than one airing.

Do not condemn Lord Tebbit for missing item early in the morning. He does have a disabled wife to look after.

And he was at the "fag end" of the programme. That would be a reference to cigarettes rather than sexuality or practices at certain public schools.

Graham D'Amiral

I don't think Davis supporters are helping their candidate much by accusing the media of being biased against him.

If anything it might make members think that if Davis did win what chance would he have of generating possitive coverage for the party?

Richard Weatherill

On my way home from the Birmingham hustings on Monday, I stopped off at a local pub for a much needed beer. On their chalked-up menu board was a dish called "B*ll@cks to Blair" (sic) consisting primarily of ... faggots. (Maybe the chef was related to Bob Marshall Andrews?)

Daniel Vince-Archer

*groan* I really hope Tebbit's appearance on Today wasn't on the initiative of the Davis campaign team.


He shouldn't have made the accusation though, Selsdon Man, without being sure of his facts.

Barry Graham

I'm not surprised you are disappointed Tebbit is backing your man, Daniel.
His is the endorsement no one claiming to be 'modern' Conservative would want.
I'm afraid he is an embarrassing old reactionary who we'd be better off ignoring if only he didn't keep popping up, still, on TV and radio stations.


BBC bias (of a cultural at least as much as of a political nature) is a real problem but incidents like this will make the smug-enough-already Corporation feel smugger still.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"His is the endorsement no one claiming to be 'modern' Conservative would want.
I'm afraid he is an embarrassing old reactionary who we'd be better off ignoring if only he didn't keep popping up, still, on TV and radio stations."

While I agree with you about this point vis. Tebbit, I'd argue this point could also be made about the MP for Wokingham, a certain John Deadwood.

Mark Fulford

I think most Conservatives, and quite a few outside the party, look upon Tebbit very fondly. I think he’s wrong about some of his opinions, but I would be very pleased for him to support the Cameron campaign. A healthy range of opinion and experience is important.

Richard Weatherill

I agree with you about Tebbit, Mark. I suspect a lot of people admire him for being forthright even if they don't agree with him. I'm also a fan of John Redwood, though less so when he's in front of a TV camera. It was largely thanks to his Conservative 2000 Foundation (anyone remember that?) that I joined the party in the first place.

Mr Eugenides

I'm sorry, Tebbit was petulant from the word go. It wasn't Naughtie's fault they spent the entire interview arguing about whether the BBC had buried the focus group piece. Which they hadn't.

I still recall his endorsement of IDS for being a "normal family man", which was clearly a thinly veiled homophobic dig at Portillo. I still consider that to be one of the most unpleasant things a senior Conservative has said or done in recent years.

Pauline Buffham

Ah but in Tebbit's heyday we actually WON elections which is more than can be said for Cameron's efforts at Central Office


Would be nice to think Tebbit would support Cameron but its likely that a Cameron led party will do things that Norman dissaproves of, as it will things that Chris Patten & Douglas Hurd don't like.

...and who will the media invite in to discuss "the state of the opposition" when they want a good story about how Cameron is "betraying" either the reactionary or europhile wings?. Too many ex Major / ex Thatcher senior figures seem to love the limelight and want to re-visit their roles in the centre stage of politics. I'd like to see public perception of the party as the coming force, re-invigorated, sweeping years of Labour misrule aside - a period of polite withdrawal from the old actors would help the new cast establish themselves.

Selsdon Man

The winner must be given time to mould his team, modernise campaigning and develop new policies. I fear that too many people will expect instant leaps in the opinion polls. The new leader cannot win elections on his own and everyone will need to pull their weight.

Jack Stone

I am afriad its about time old dinosaurs like Norman retreted back into there caves.
The baton of leadership must be pasted onto a new generation of leaders who can take this party forward and are not always looking back at the past if this party is to stand a chance of returning to power.
I am afraid that great leaders of the past like Norman Tebbitt need to realise that they are not doing the party any good by keep popping up on t.v, radio etc and accepted that there time as pasted.

Mark Fulford

Watch out Jack, somebody will give you a pasting.


Jack - for once I agree with you. Who needs enemies when you have old Conservative ex-ministers?


Some of the comments about Lord Tebbit above are poor. He has been one of Britain's greatest warriors against socialism, doing much good and principalled work in the 80s to free the country economically. He called key issues, right, eg Europe, taxation, labour laws. This should be contrasted with certain parts of both leadership candidates campaigns, eg the acquiescence of Brownite levels of government spending and interference.

The media are biased towards Cameron - look how many commentators have backed him, despite his poor 2005 general election manifesto and the fact that Davis is stronger on detail and direction. I suspect that most of them have backgrounds that identify easier with DC. Lets just hope that the pro-Cameron bias continues post leadership election.


No party can get rid of its past. Besides these senior figures still have opinions and some of them are very relevant. If our new leader has sound policies, then they will be able to stand the scrutiny and arguments put by senior figures of the past. We may be very glad of their opinions when we agree with them, and they will help to keep our new leader on the right path. I hope our new leader will listen to them and involve them in his policy making, but that is not to say he should adopt every suggestion they make. When these figures are totally ignored, that is when they are most likely tobe critical.


Has the Telegraph come out for Cameron ? It is now such a rag that it is hard to know what it stands for.

It really is in need of an infusion of hard news unless it intends to become a magazine; from the new layout for which we pay an extra 5pence daily, to the vacuity of much of the content, it is degenerating rapidly.

Are newspapers becoming so lightweight in content because of low-grade education, or simply because it makes them easier to recycle if nothing worthwhile is printed in them ?

Wat Tyler

I heard Norm this morning, and it was all a bit sad.

I think the point he really wanted to make was that he'd been invited to discuss that Today hocus group piece on Monday with a DC spokesperson. But when the latter had declined (or wimped out as we objective observers say) Tebbo had been stood down. Whereas he should have been allowed a free shot at goal. Just like the BBC are forever giving say, DC supporter Hezza.

But somehow, he never quite got that across.


It was embarassing. He made himself look like a bufoon. The man should have retired gracefully years ago in any event. Why successive leaders put up with him popping up to give us the benefit of his gratuitous advice, God only knows. He's been disloyal to very leader since his beloved Mrs T (even having a pop at poor old IDS at one stage). Even she had such a high regard for his abilities she never gave him a serious job.

Selsdon Man

"While I agree with you about this point vis. Tebbit, I'd argue this point could also be made about the MP for Wokingham, a certain John Deadwood."

Daniel, what are your qualifications to make such a patronising and ill-informed comment? John Redwood was on sparkling form at the IEA last week.


Better for Davis supporters to complain publicly about bias after the leadership election if at all. It's wasting air time to complain about the BBC when they could be selling their man and promoting the Conservative Party.

Young Tory

The sooner the likes of Lord Tebbit kept their big mouths shut, the quicker we could be able to persuade votes that we're not all nasty biggots.

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