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« Media Award | Main | How Cameron Won... And Davis Lost »


James Turner

I'm perfectly happy to withdraw and apologise for my comment. Feel free to ask the Editor to delete it if you are concerned. I think your final comment is somewhat unnecessary, however.

I didn't express what I meant very well. I am unconvinced about the significance of polls of the public when there isn't actually an election campaign going on or imminent. They are, by definition, somewhat hypothetical (and the figures quoted above are being used to think about an as yet hypothetical match up of leaders). I don't for one second mean to attack your accuracy or your methods.

Still, I forgive you for the personal attack.


Daniel Vince Archer, like some other headbangers, you are taking your anti Cameron/Osborne attitude to absurdity.

From all the accounts I have seen/read George Osborne did well in his first encounter with Brown.


We have to remember that the biggest block to the selection of women candidates are our lady members on the selection committees themselves. They are the ones who are most reluctant to select women.

Odd that but very true. There are some superb female candidates who I know of who did not get selected and were frequently overlooked even for interview.

Personally I believe we should go for open primaries and make a much more open system of selection. I hear that where it was tried out last time it worked well.

Deckchair of despair

As no-one else has yet done so, may I point out the odd coincidence that the total number of votes cast by members of the Conservative Party (which was slightly less than I had expected), at 198 thousand, was exactly the same (multiplied by a thousand) as the number of Conservative MPs currently in Parliament. Furthermore the split between the candidates, at 134k and 64k, was (again multiplied by a thousand) probably very close to their respective current support among MPs (taking into account recent declarations, rumoured defections etc).
What this might mean, I don't know. I just thought I'd point it out.


DC has already stated that he completely rules out all women or minority shortlists, so he does not want to force these changes. He is a Conservative and believes in selection on merit. The voters are not bothered about this nonsense of having to have any fixed proportion of candidates of any particular group. If by natural means we get a bit more variety of candidates then fine. I'm sure that DC will have many more pressing problems to deal with. I am told that local candidates are already going to be given special consideration, which is exactly the right way to go.

DCs great strengths are his freshness and his communication skills. What he must develop is more policy, and he cannot ignore the difficult areas. He must not be afraid to talk about immigration, prison building, being tough about dealing with the EU. My reading of his agenda is that he will talk about these areas, but will try to balance these with the environment and social issues.

Jonathan Sheppard

Derek - I think you make a pertinent point. You can be tough on crime whilst also talking about sustainable development. You can take a sensible approach to our relationship with the EU - whilst also pushing forward a progressive approach to climate change.

For a long while the it has been portrayed that you can only do one and not the other - this isnt true - as has been advocated by more than one person on this very website.

Sean Fear

"I think we also have to ask ourselves as a party why the only candiadates from minorites we seem to have are in constituences with large ethnic poulations"

In places like Windsor, Watford, and NW Cambridgeshire you mean?

In general, though, most non-white candidates (of all parties) stand in areas with large non-white populations.

CCHQ worker

"The person who is party chairman is going to need a huge amount of personal resourcefulness, flair and political skill and possess an ability to get things done while being fair to candidates of every type and background. It really needs a political heavyweight whom the new leadership and the party can trust"

This doesn't sound like a Chairman who has trouble getting to meetings on time or even getting through his own paperwork.


The whole representation argument is a nonsequitur. Who is this 'we' who requires this. And what does 'inclusive' mean? Inclusive of what? The word's absurd. It can't possibly mean inclusive of Nazis or cannibals, so it’s obvious those who advance it are simply using the word as a smokescreen behind which their actual agenda marches. A party which selected a 'true cross-section of society' would be a comical disaster. It would contain quite a few convicted criminals for example. And it is most definitely not of an opposition party to be a cross-section. It is their job to combat the government in power by first understanding what it is up to, and fighting it, not to be a model of political correctness. Quite what a persons skin colour, sex or bedroom activities have to do with their suitability as an M.P, I don't know. Interestingly, it is only conservative organisations that are put through this inquisition.

As far as I'm concerned Mr. Cameron becoming may well be the death of democratic politics in this country.
It does not matter if he is more electable - which is doubtful in any case. What matters is that a Cameron government would be just the same as a Blair government or, come to that, a Charles Kennedy government, since there is no ideological, economic, moral or cultural difference in principle between any of them. Even one-party states, de facto often permit the existence of figleaf oppositions (the GDR was a case in point, its people's chamber contained Liberal and Christian Democrat deputies)


"It does not matter if he is more electable - which is doubtful in any case. What matters is that a Cameron government would be just the same as a Blair government or, come to that, a Charles Kennedy government, since there is no ideological, economic, moral or cultural difference in principle between any of them."

Tell that to Labour... Who have stolen almost every single Tory policy new and old and rebranded it as their own.

Labour policy: Use Tory policy, make polishing touches and gloss up and call it NEw Labour.

Frankly its a vote winner, and that what we need. Face up to the facts, we're no longer in the 80's, in an ever more media driven world theres no room for principals and morales...

Yuo can't blame Cameron for the death of democracy, you can blame the media, and Tony Blair who started this all off...

an ever more media driven world theres no room for principals and morales...

or spelling?


They've done no such thing Jaz. Have you really not noticed that `New Labour' is stuffed from top to bottom with unrepentant ex-Communists and ex-Trotskyists, while the old working-class patriots and Methodists have vanished? The truth is that the Tories have spent the past few decades adopting Labour policies. It also worth noting that during the period of 'privatisation' in the 80's and 90's, quangoes, local government employment and of course the NHS continued to expand, a process much speeded up by New Labour, so that a far larger % of employed British people now work for the public sector, and this proportion rises year by year. Read 'Needled by a spending junkie' by
Ruth Lea in todays Times. The tax burden is now at a historic high for this country in peacetime and add to that the perceptive warning that the government is destroying personal saving by encouraging a debt boom, quite possibly in the hope of increasing direct state dependency, and you have most of the features of a very socialist society in the making. Which won't be opposed by the heir to Blair will it? I suspect even the slow learners and the manipulated electronic mob will then get the message that the Conservative Party is now New Labour without the Scots.


Historic high? Dodgy figures methinks. Government expenditure was massively higher in all of the 1965-1995 period, and in the mid 70s was almost touching 50%.

Meanwhile, taxation per GDP is about 37.5% - compared to a peak of 39% in the early 80s. It's nudging upwards certainly, but not to any significant degree. After all, Sweden's level is about 54% and their GDP/capita (PPP-adjusted) is slightly higher than ours, while Denmark at 48%ish is a lot higher. It's certainly no be all and end all.

Sean Fear

I think public expenditure (as a proportion of GDP) hit 48% in 1975, although there was quite a steep cut to 44% in 1979. I think it reached another peak of 48% in 1985, before falling steadily to about 38% in 1997. Since 2000, it's been rising sharply, back up to 44% or so.

The tax burdern, as a proportion of GDP, is at its highest level since the early eighties. Productivity growth under this government has been pretty awful (productivity may even be falling in the public sector) suggesting that this surge in public spending, and the quantity of regulation generated by this government, is having an adverse impact on the economy.

Michael McGowan

For most of the period since 1945, the Tory Party's ambition was at best to grab/hold on to the spoils of office and it danced to the tune of the left in order to do so. For a period in the late 1970's and 1980's, it managed to break free from these shackles.....though far less so than some people claim. The concern is that the election of DC is simply reverting to unmeritocratic type. That fact that the Tory Party can appoint a product of inherited privilege as its leader (cf MacMillan and Hume) who then proceeds to lecture the hoi polloi on the need for change merely reinforces my concerns.

Ex Davis Campaign Staffer

What ho - it's Stefan S wandering around threatening to sue people, and being his usual charming self too:

perhaps you think that being consistently and provenly accurate is somehow not cricket. Or perhaps you think we're only accurate in elections, that our 11 brilliant results is luck. Or maybe you don't think at all.

Posts about Stefan (who has been very good to the ISJ) have a habit of not staying up very long, but here's the thing Stefan, it doesn't matter how long this one stays up, as the damage, as far as your concerned, has been done.

When you came into Victoria St earlier this year and were, how shall I put this, fulsome about Cameron and the Cameron team, how we all nodded sagely in agreement with you. And your offers of help, and passionate desire we should win were duly noted. In fact, I think I was one of those who laughed at your scathing insights about various Cameron team personalities. But then we discovered that your actions had been duly leaked to the Cameron campaign team. So looks like Populus will be getting the Party's dosh and you won't. Which is a pity, what with you being so brilliant and all. Your opinion polls at the end of IDS's reign were always especially impressive.


I think the comments by Forth And campbell on newsnight said it all.We can't ditch policies just for the sake of it and more important no way will we be able to win an election witout policies. Untill Cameron comes out with policies for the next election he should not expect a blank cheque to do what he likes with the party and if he can't understand that it be his first mistake?

Mark Fulford

"Having witnessed Gordon taking Tweedledee apart, I've already got the popcorn in for Blair vs Tweedledumb tomorrow."

Daniel, I'm sure you'll be big enough to admit that this was all wishful thinking.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Daniel, I'm sure you'll be big enough to admit that this was all wishful thinking."

Won't get a chance to watch PMQs until about 7.30 tonight. I'll get back to you then.


A few not-so-random facts:

The total vote adds up to a little more than 300 votes per parliamentary seat.

The total vote is down about 22.5% from the 2001 vote (from 256,797 to 198,844). Since the percentage of party members who voted was about the same, that suggests party membership has declined 22% since 2001. NOT a good trend.

David Cameron received 134,446 votes, but that is significantly fewer (21,000 fewer) than the 155,933 votes IDS received in 2001.


"That fact that the Tory Party can appoint a product of inherited privilege as its leader (cf MacMillan and Hume) who then proceeds to lecture the hoi polloi on the need for change merely reinforces my concerns."

Are you a socialist Michael? Do you believe in discriminating against people because of their background?

Michael McGowan

No, Gareth, I'm not a socialist. My family are refugees from the failures of socialism in South Wales, Merseyside and the North Midlands. That's why we expect the Tory Party to do rather better than reverting to being an oligarchy of power, wealth and connections masquerading as a folksy democracy. I knew a number of Cameron's inner circle at Oxford in the mid-1980's. Inclusive they were not....

Simon C


Are you the same now as you were in the mid 1980's? Or has your experience since you left Oxford changed you and your approach to life and politics?


I'm afraid the price of a truly meritocratic society is that we must accept able and successful people from any walk of life, even the rich. DC is, unquestionably, there because of his ability and despite rather than because of his background.

Michael McGowan

Simon, I suspect that I have much the same meritocratic outlook now as I did when I was at Oxford. After all, I am a grammar school boy whose parents could not have paid for me to go to Eton or any other public school. Gareth, I agree with your first sentence. But the $64 dollar question is whether DC is there "unquestionably" because of his ability. So far we only have his cheerleaders' word for it.

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