Tuesday, October 25, 2005

 

It's a tough job...

... but Davis has got to do it.

I've ummed and ahhed for a while as to who to back now that Foxy is out of the running. Certainly, Cameron has a lot going for him; he's young, he's fresh, (apparently) he's in touch with the nation in that (allegedly) he's done what lots of others have (you know what I'm talking about) and he'll be fabulously wealthy in the long run through no fault of his own.

And yet... do we really want to have as our leader a man who has only been in Parliament for 4 years, who has only been at the despatch box 4 times, who seems to have presented little or no solid detail on what he would do as Prime Minister? Frankly, we need to ask a simply question - yes, he is "Golden Boy", but what has he done?

So, instead what has Davis done? Well, his website says "As Shadow Home Secretary, he has forced the resignations of two Government Ministers and highlighted the chaos in the Home Office over crime and immigration & asylum." Pretty good start! But more than that, he has worked his way up from, literally, the gutter (no offence David), to being a Minister of State and a Shadow Secretary of State. He has no desire to simple mimic the Blairite Labour Party, but wants to clearly define and communicate modern conservatism, a belief in the uniqueness, ability and possibility of every individual.

So - there we are - short and sweet - Davis has both the experience and the vision to shape our country's future, or at least more experience and vision than Cameron. I mean, blimey, even Davis' domain name was in action for him before Cameron took the oath!! Figure it out guys...

Now, when will my ballot paper be falling through the floor?


Friday, October 21, 2005

 

B****r

So Foxy's out. Who should the Foxites be backing now?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

 

I'll see your Cameron and raise you a Foxy

The Telegraph tells it how it is:

"For his part, David Davis has been comprehensively overtaken not only by David Cameron but by Liam Fox. Fifty-eight per cent of grassroots members now want Dr Fox to be one of the final contenders compared with only 51 per cent who want Mr Davis to remain in contention and, when asked to choose among all three of the present candidates, grassroots members place Dr Fox on 18 per cent, far behind David Cameron but narrowly ahead of Mr Davis, now favoured by only 15 per cent of the party's rank and file.

A Cameron-Fox contest is clearly the one a majority of Tories in the country want. Any other choice would result in thousands of them feeling cheated."

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

 

Cameron Leader by Friday?

The Davis camp think not.

 

Melanie Phillips wades in

"If he were to upset the apple-cart tomorrow and face Cameron in the final showdown in the country, party members would finally be forced to confront the question which has been niggling away throughout their wilderness years of squabbling purposelessness. That question is simply whether they want to be conservatives any more, or whether they will sign up to anything — however vacuous or socially destructive it may be —which they think will win power. Mesmerised since 1997 by Tony Blair, they would now have the opportunity that so many in the party have wanted for so long — to elect in David Cameron their very own Tory Blair. They would thus be paying the greatest possible homage to the Labour leader and signalling unequivocally — in accepting Blair’s false assertion that he is the centre ground of British politics — that British conservatism has disappeared up its own fundament."

Read it all

 

Can Fox beat Davis?

Following d'Ancona's piece in today's Telegraph, Conservative Home has a good hard ponder:

d'Ancona - "Prepare for a truly brutal battle between Fox and Davis for the precious votes of the Right that will make the difference between a place on the final ballot paper, and an early bath tomorrow afternoon. Dr Fox has the momentum, Mr Davis has the guile. What is not in doubt is that Mr Cameron is now emphatically the man to beat."

Conservative Home - "The unscientific poll on this site suggests that the party in the country might prefer a Fox-Cameron showdown to a Davis-Cameron contest. If MPs are listening to their association members they might be encouraged to switch to Dr Fox. A better indication of grassroots opinion will come tomorrow when a YouGov survey of Tory members is published by The Telegraph. Owen Paterson MP, a Fox supporter, is already talking up this factor: " I don't know how Davis can win in the country. There is momentum in the Davis camp, but it is all going in the wrong direction. A Fox-Cameron battle would be really good for the party in the country." "

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

 

Good First Round for Foxy

Cameron : 56
Clarke : 38
Davis : 62
Fox : 42

Let me stick my neck out here. I think that the Davis vote is just a fraction too low to prevent some major seepage to Foxy and Cameron. The bottom line is that even if ALL the Clarke vote goes to Cameron (and none to Fox) then only 10 of Davis' supporters need to switch to Fox for Davis to be in dire straits. Do the math.

 

Tory Vote Live Blogging

Courtesy of the Guardian!!! Woo hoo!!!

Actually, it's not as exciting as it sounds...

 

ConservativeHome backs Foxy

Possibly hugely influential, the blog "Conservative Home" (viewed as "indispensable" by the Daily Telegraph) has issued a 2pm "Vote for Fox" post:

"If I had a vote in today’s ballot of Tory MPs I’d be voting for Liam Fox. I think he deserves to progress to the final stages of this contest although I fear that the list of public declarations suggests that his campaign will, unfortunately, end within a few hours, or on Thursday ... Liam understands that the core beliefs, described above, and which have characterised conservatism since the Thatcher years, are not enough. Both Liam and David Cameron have embraced the And Theory Of Conservatism and its belief in a more compassionate politics. Liam’s idea of mending the ‘broken society’ was unfairly characterised as gloomy by yesterday’s FT. But for many people - who can’t afford to read Companies & Markets - life is pretty grim. Ignoring the real problems in British society may be an option for a newspaper that caters to a dwindling number of metropolitan readers but it cannot be an option for a political party that aspires to govern for the whole nation. Liam’s heart for the socially excluded – particularly for victims of domestic violence and the mentally unwell – could drive the socially just conservatism that could transform the electoral prospects of our party."

Read it all (with comments) here

 

James puts it perfectly...

"Today Conservative MPs cast their first votes on who should be our next leader.

It's no secret that I think the candidate best suited to that role is Doctor Liam Fox (who was endorsed today by my own MP, Geoffrey Cox), who has the right combination of style and substance to return a Conservative government to power. His belief is that Conservative Party has failed because we have allowed ourselves to become irrelevant to the electorate, and that the only way to change this is to adopt an agenda that matters.
This has been overlooked by the press who seem to prefer David Cameron and his talk of "change". However, if we want to change, we have to say first what we change to. This is something the Cameron campaign seems unclear on. I believe this is because they are driven by image rather than by an agenda. Sadly this lack of substance has been overlooked by a media intent only on discussing the abuse of substances.
We have to have a clear agenda. Simply installing a nicely spoken young leader will not in itself reverse the party's fortunes. To suggest it will suggests more than a little susceptibility to a cult of personality. I think there's been a little too much of this cult of personality in our politics, and the Conservative Party will ultimately be judged by the electorate not by how we look or the age of our members but on what we intend to bring to our country.

For too long, the Conservative Party has been too introspective to be relevant. Even now that's the focus of the leadership election ("Change to Win"). There has been too much talking about what candidates will do for the party, and too little talk about the party should do for the country. Only Dr Fox has really consistently addressed that. His focus on offering solutions to Britain's very real social and economic problems indicates that he is best placed to take the fight to Labour.
Dr Fox's compassionate brand of Conservatism - with its commitment to unconditionally support the people our society has failed like the mentally ill - demonstrates once and for all that we are not the "nasty" party, but are instead dedicated to improving Britain. With this agenda, rather than just empty rhetoric concerning "change", the electorate will see that we are addressing the issues that matter to them - then we will win.
I would urge any undecided Conservative MP to today cast their vote in support of this vision."


Here for more wisdom

Monday, October 17, 2005

 

Melanie Phillips, Cameron and the Drugs Thingy

Some wise words:

"The really important question about David Cameron and drugs has not been asked. The pressing issue is not whether the Conservative party wunderkind-on-a-roll and potential leader ever took drugs (unless he has done so in recent years, at which point it ceases to be a youthful indiscretion and becomes a disqualification from office) but what his views are about how to tackle drug abuse. And here he is on entirely the wrong side. It is not just that he is equivocal about cannabis, indicating that he disagrees with his party’s policy of re-classifying it back to the more serious class B category of prohibited dugs (although he has also implied that he is rethinking that, in part at least because of the strength of skunk). It is that – despite careful caveats, so that he does not openly come out and say he wants to legalise drugs — he lines up with the drug legalisation lobby, and has displayed that lobby’s utter inability to understand the importance of law in signalling social disapproval and regulating behaviour."

Read it all

 

Foxy on the Westminster Hour

Just spotted this one from yesterday. Details here and you can listen to the full interview here.

 

Man of Substances

Interesting opinion piece in today's Times by Rees-Mogg.


 

The Drugs Thing

We need to say something about it don't we? Huh? Well we do...

Let's be honest here - if Cameron took smack while he was at Oxford, almost 20 years ago, then frankly let's just forget about it. You should see some of the things I did at university. But (and this is the point) if he did smack or crack or whatever the class A fancy of the day was in the last few years, then we have a real issue on our hands. Bottom line is that it's not appropriate for someone who engages in criminal acts to be Prime Minister.

What's really bugging me though is why Cameron won't come clean and just let us know. If he didn't take Class A drugs in the past then he should just come out and say so. If he did, then he needs to start practising some honesty and truthfulness and confess all. This "it's my private life so it doesn't matter" nonsense is ridiculous.

Whatchathink?

Friday, October 14, 2005

 

Will Clarke be the fall guy in round one?

Well, not so unlikely as it seems. There are defections from his camp, MPs are declaring left, right and centre for Foxy and it looks as though he may push through to the final vote. If that's so, and if Davis' momentum isn't great (and frankly, at the mo it's not), expect some right-wingers to ask themselves "just who can beat Cameron".

Answers on a postcard...

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