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« Osborne dampens expectations of Cameron honeymoon and launches punchy attack on Brown | Main | Mixed messages from the Mail on Sunday »

Comments

Jack Stone

If David Cameron wins the leadership he also wins the right to appoint his own team.
Anyone who is asked to join the team should show loyalty to the new leader and serve whereever he is asked to.
If anyone`s ego is to large for them to accept a job then I`m afraid there better off out of the cabinet but I don`t think the party will easily forgive anyone who puts personal ambition before the interests of the party.

MattSimpson

If the Shadow Cabinet is going to be formed how everyone thinks it will be, Portillo gets the last laugh.

on merit

Any new leader is going to have a steep learning curve, especially one who has not had very much experience. I think that makes it very important to distinguish between those who are one's enthusiastic supporters and those who have the capacity to deliver.

Wasn't it Winston Churchill who upon becoming party leader remarked that now he was going to have to upset all his friends?

The person who becomes Shadow Chancellor should be someone the public could trust with the nation's finances, the Shadow Foreign Secretary someone they could trust to look after Britain's interests, the Shadow Home Secretary someone they could trust to keep them safe etc. We should look at these people through the voter's eyes.

The party chairman's job is crucial. Cameron should take a long and hard look for a man or woman who has the proven ability to transform a big orgnaization, to actually deliver, and to put in the necessary thought and hard work to get it right.

Henry Cook

"I have to say that most of the appointments mentioned are either disppointing or worrying!"

Are you not pleased that Liam Fox will be in the best possible position to promote his brand of conservatism?

The top end of the shadow Cabinet (as it is atm) looks brilliantly balanced to me: the young/fresh modern Conservatives (Cameron and Osborne) tempered by both the flag-bearer of the right with solid Conservative views on law & order, and the man who knows more than anyone about the difficulties of being leader of the opposition. I would have preferred Hague at the treasury and Osborne at the foreign office, but at this moment in time it is not compatible with Hague's other commitments. This team of four, all well under 50, will present a talented and youthful alternative to Labour's top dogs, who will look very tired in 2009.

As for the other positions, it seems Rifkind, Davis, Willetts, Spelman, Duncan, May and others will be given jobs, none of whom will do a bad job. We must remember that the shadow Cabinet announced this week will almost certainly have changed to some extent by the time of the next election, so if anyone underperforms they will be shifted.

Henry Cook

"If the Shadow Cabinet is going to be formed how everyone thinks it will be, Portillo gets the last laugh."

With Hague as foreign secretary, Fox at the home office, a hawk such as Davis is at Defence and an instinctive tax-cutter at the treasury? Don't think so.

James Hellyer

"Are you not pleased that Liam Fox will be in the best possible position to promote his brand of conservatism?"

Yes, it's the other appointments that are worrying! Osborne has hardly excelled to date as Brown's Shadow, and would really have benefitted from having some more junior roles first.

What's really worrying are the rather more dire Cameron backers who the papers think will be preferred.

"If there’s a problem with the economy then the country can’t afford tax cuts.” Don't know about instictive tax cutter.

Derek

In my opinion DCs first priority should be to unify the party by offering DD the job he wants. If DD is happy to move to Defence, then fine, but if not then he risks creating a potential enemy from day one. It will be fairly easy for DC to lead the party if we are going ahead in the polls. What has done for his predecessors has been when the polls have failed to move. If that happens, in a year's time we will find that some MPs will become disillusioned and blame the leader. Keep your potential enemies on board so they have a stake in your leadership is my advise. I am sure David Cameron will be reading this blog, and if so, this is meant to be helpful

John Hustings

Yes all these appointments are worrying. Boris Johnson is a disaster waiting to happen; Alan Duncan can only be trusted with lesser briefs because he's too tactless; Theresa May should've been sacked for the "nasty party" speech and never invited back; but most worrying of all is George Osborne.

I can't emphasise enough: Osborne looks like a boy scout. He's pretty, but insignificant. His weedy little voice makes you feel sorry for him and wonder why he isn't still somebody's office boy. And when he tries to be "imposing" or "tough" he just appears petulant. To give him the second most important cabinet job is going to reflect badly on Cameron and the Conservatives as a whole.

I don't think Cameron is in the position of strength that he seems to think he is. If he believes he has a mandate to make a fresh start and just reinvent the Tory Party from scratch, as Blair did for Labour, I think he's in for a surprise. For a start, I do not believe he has what it takes to create a magical 10 point jump in the polls, and when Tories see that their poll ratings continue to flatline (I even predict they will drop) they won't hesitate to ditch him before it is too late.

The Tories have made a faustian pact sacrificing principle for popularity. When the popularity doesn't come, Cameron will get short shrift.

The myopia of Tory members in electing Cameron is very sad. It sets the Tory party back years in its quest to become electable again. Nevertheless, I for one would rather see Labour in power than a diluted Tory party under an unprincipled leader. I doubt it will be very long before alot of right-of-centre people say the same thing. After all, many have been saying this already for some time. And Tories *still* seem to think they can take the Right for granted...

Why don't the *modernisers* realise that the muesli eating, sandle-wearing crowd are never going to vote Tory? And sacrificing "core vote" supporters to try to attract such a narrow group of people is the most suicidal tactic one can imagine.

Unfortunately it is too late. It's just a matter of sitting back and watching the Cameron train-wreck happen.

James Hellyer

Why not offer Ken Clarke the Shadow Chancellor's post?

Richard Allen

This is very very worrying.

Osborne as Shadow Chancellor?

Maude as Chairman?

Big jobs for Duncan, May and Johnson?

Is this some kind of sick joke?

Selsdon Man

"Why not offer Ken Clarke the Shadow Chancellor's post?"

Is that a joke, James? Or have you suddenly fallen for the charms of the man who shared the pro-Euro platform with Blair et al?

Ken would not accept it anyway.

Selsdon Man

Can anyone name a major transport policy initative announced by Alan Duncan that merits promotion within the Shadow Cabinet. I can only think of a commitment not to privatise Network Rail.

James Hellyer

He's a more credible figure than little George, Selsdon, and he and his cronies had been saying that he was ready to return to the Shadow Cabinet.

Barbara Villiers

John,

Extremely well said. Sad but true.

Steven Patrick

Ms Villers (otherwise known as Charles II bit on the side), are you getting very upset at the thought of Cameron winning?

Ed R

John: It's sad that you'd rather see Labour ruining the country than support a Tory party that attempts to sing to more than the choir, but frankly this sort of attitude -- "let's be purer than pure and impotent" is the kind of electorally suicidal thinking we need to lose. Not just because it's hopeless for achieving any kind of real power and therefore heading off Labour's power-mad tax-happy Europe-appeasing politicos, but also because it's criminally negligent for the second largest political party to wantonly refuse to represent the public it alleges to serve. The core vote strategy would lead to another resounding -- but thoroughly deserved -- defeat.

Sam

"Why don't the *modernisers* realise that the muesli eating, sandle-wearing crowd are never going to vote Tory? And sacrificing "core vote" supporters to try to attract such a narrow group of people is the most suicidal tactic one can imagine"

What a ludicrous assertion! The objective of a political party is to seek power. I suggest if Barbara, John, et al, are hostile to the idea of attracting support from outside the party's membership, they join a think-tank or a focus group. I wish to have a Conservative Britain once more, and this continual attempt to smear the future generations of the Party as a bunch of rabid socialists is not only total rubbish, but increasingly desperate and tiresome.

James Hellyer

"The objective of a political party is to seek power"

No it isn't. Achieving power is one of the means by which a party may achieve its objectives.

Barbara Villiers

It's Duchess if you must! And more than a bit on the side if you please!

Well, Steven, I'm resigned but yes, frankly disturbed. Not because I am a sore loser but because the Party I fear has made a mistake. And I am even more disturbed by all the rumours of demotion for Davis because if true, and I suspect they are because the papers are repeating what I have heard at Westminster, then it bodes ill for the Party.

Barbara Villiers

No Sam I am not hostile to going beyond our support but I am extremely hostile to the Party selling our asses down the river.

If you think the museli eating sandal wearers or the chattering classes of Hampstead and Islington will ever vote Conservative you are in for a surprise. Not even if Harold Pinter was leading the Party.

Ed R

"No it isn't. Achieving power is one of the means by which a party may achieve its objectives."

Heat is one of the means by which one may bake bread.

James Hellyer

"Heat is one of the means by which one may bake bread."

Nice false analogy.

What would we say if David Davis had insulted the population of Britain's seventh biggest city?

Chris Palmer

"I for one would rather see Labour in power than a diluted Tory party under an unprincipled leader"

Not the right attitude I'm afraid. Not the right attitude.

"the muesli eating, sandle-wearing crowd are never going to vote Tory? And sacrificing "core vote" supporters to try to attract such a narrow group of people is the most suicidal tactic one can imagine"

Or perhaps someone has finally realised that the core-vote are always going to vote Conservative whatever happens to the party - just as the Labour-core vote did for Tony Blair.

Of course the Guardian readers won't vote Conservative, but people disillusioned with the Labour party (after 12 years) and the Lib Dems (because they'll never get into power) are the people who will be swayed.

Boris Johnson surely must be promoted to a front-bench job (I would.) The public (I think) don’t want to just see a bunch of MP’s continually towing the party line and acting like robots – they want to see people who actually have minds of their own and speak their mind (even if it is sometimes politically incorrect.)

With regard to Alan Duncan, I think he needs to be promoted to a high-ranking cabinet job. I am one of those Conservatives who does actually take issue with homosexuals and same-sex marriages. Personally I find it wrong and un-natural. I take issue with homosexuals who have to broadcast to everyone that they are gay. Why the BBC and ITV feels that the British viewing public want to see camp men (Dale Winton, Julian Clarey et all) on TV is beyond me (though I am sure that it actually has something to do with some sort of ploy to change public opinion. Put camp men on TV enough and people will see that sort of thing as normal and accept it.) But I digress. If Alan Duncan was solely picked to be on the front bench because of his sexuality, then I would be against that. However, the fact that Alan Duncan is indeed a Conservative MP and actually quite charismatic (from what I’ve seen,) then I am able to over-look his sexual preferences. In the end it’s what he does on the front bench (rather than in the bedroom) that counts.

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that it would be a good idea to put Liam Fox as Shadow Health Minister? Previous Doctor/GP who has seen the NHS from the inside – wouldn’t voters find that creditable? I would have thought so.

I am extremely worried about the idea of “forced MP lists” with women only etc. The best people should be taken as candidates, not someone just because they’re a women or from an ethnic minority. That is the sort of thing the Liberal Democrats and Labour stoop to – and we must show we are different.

Finally, how can David Davis not be given a very good place in the Shadow cabinet? It is worrying to see the Sunday Times comment on getting rid of Davis as a show of ridding political baggage. I did not vote for David Cameron because of policy but because of image. Shallow perhaps, but true. We live in a global media age where if you don’t look good on camera then you don’t get elected. It’s a sad state but unfortunately true.

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