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...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

 

Simon Chapman - The Fox Factor

"Talking about the Conservative Party’s need to change is very easy. Actually changing it is rather harder. It’s the difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. One candidate, Liam Fox, has done it. He has used both his campaign and his job as Shadow Foreign Secretary to challenge perceptions of what it means to be a Conservative, and to change the Party for the better.

He has put Human Rights, democracy, fair trade and the rule of law at the heart of Conservative foreign policy. He has established the Conservative Human Rights group, demonstrating that commitment to Human Rights is not the monopoly of the left. He has set out a fresh and optimistic vision for Britain’s relationships within the EU, pledging himself to build alliances with emerging politicians in New Europe and promising an end to the Conservative attachment to the EPP – a grouping which has been entirely inconsistent with settled Party policy. He is global in outlook and has urged the EU to look beyond its boundaries to the rest of the world, supported Turkey’s accession to the EU, spoken out for the oppressed people of Burma, called for long-term structural reform in Africa, and made a well-received speech on the opportunities and challenges posed by China’s emerging economy. He has reaffirmed Conservative Atlanticism."

Read it all

 

Foxy in the Torygraph

"The choice of the Conservative Party's next leader matters greatly to the British people. They know that Labour has failed to tackle many of the most profound problems facing our country. Voters want to be reassured that they will have a credible alternative at the next general election.

The voters we need to win back despair at trivial disputes about personalities. They want someone who understands and will tackle the issues that worry them, and who will stand up to Labour. I believe I am the only candidate who offers this choice.

If we are to win voters' trust, we need to act on three fronts: to mend our broken society, create prosperity and restore our country to its rightful place in the world.

We see the evidence of a broken society every week in the headlines - rising truancy rates, mindless violence in our streets, disorder in our schools and violence in our homes. Labour has proved that eye-catching initiatives such as police on the beat, more prison places and tougher sentencing are not enough. We have to tackle the root causes."

Read it all

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

 

Rearrange these words - "Pigeons", "The", "Amongst" and "Cat"

Rifkind has withdrawn, and with his withdrawal had a dramatic effect on the first ballot. Previously it was assumed that since Rifkind was going to be knocked out the first ballot would be a "testing of the waters" for the four main candidates, after which manouvering for voting "against" certain candidates would happen. Now that's no longer a possiblity we're in the realm of possible tactical voting as early as the ballot a week today. Political Betting has some analysis of the situation, but the bottom line is that suddenly it's VERY uncertain as to how the first ballot will end up. Even if Foxy gets the Cornerstone vote, will he make it to round two? Can Clarke rely on the Rifkind first preferences to transfer to him? Will there be an anti-Cameron backlash?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

 

Now there's an idea...

Conservative Home have a notion that this might work:

"The great fear of the right is that David Cameron will reduce the Conservative Party to a pale blue imitation of Tony Blair. One way of correcting that will be to install his tennis buddy, Liam Fox, as his running mate. Dr Fox, of course, is still pursuing his own leadership bid but he may have pinned too much hope on the socially conservative Cornerstone group, who appear to have all the unity of Monty Python's People's Front of Judea. If Liam Fox offered Cornerstone withdrawal from the EU they'd probably splinter over how quickly it should be delivered. We'll know more after Tuesday's parliamentary meeting of Cornerstone...

If Dr Fox did join David Cameron's team it could threaten David Davis' base on the right of the party. DC would still have to address the substance issues but that could partly be achieved by giving Oliver Letwin and George Osborne (an outstanding Shadow Chancellor over the last few months) more prominent roles in his campaign. If DC is seen to be at the head of a formidable team he could become unstoppable."

Read it all here

The question is of course, would such an alliance work AFTER Foxy was knocked out (assuming that happens, and if Cornerstone back him it may not).

Friday, October 07, 2005

 

Conservative Home - "Fox most principled"

Liam Fox (+3) gave a good speech and secured four more endorsements. At a human rights fringe meeting on Tuesday (postscripted under this post) I witnessed a hugely inspirational Liam Fox. I only wish many more had seen him. Dr Fox has emerged as the most principled contender in this race. The other candidates may have judged – perhaps rightly – that strong views on abortion, the EPP, Iraq and human rights are unhelpful when it comes to wooing the wider electorate. But the next party leader won’t prosper if the wisdom of principled counsellors is always drowned out by the tactical advice of pragmatic counsellors. Voters want authenticity as well as calculated moderation. Dr Fox is now a serious force in the Conservative Party. What is left of the Cornerstone Group of Tory MPs – a minority of which have now declared – should end the self-indulgent idea of fielding their own candidate and support Dr Fox.

Read it all

 

Political Betting on DD's Problems...

"With David Cameron now the 1.36/1 firm favourite the focus in the Tory leadership battle moves to Westminster next week where the big issue will be whether the MPs, pictured here on the David Davis website, will stick with the Shadow Home Secretary.

Before the conference they had all agreed to allow their names and pictures to be associated with the campaign and if they don’t change their minds then Davis is almost guaranteed a place in the short-list of two that will go to the membership. But if enough of them slip away to Clarke, Cameron or Fox then the first round results might look very different.

It is here that the legendary Derek Conway comes in. He built a fearsome reputation as a whip for the final three years of the 1992-1997 Tory government stopping a seepage of votes following the Maastricht treaty. Now his style of “charm” is at the disposal of David Davis and all those on the list are going to be under enormous pressure to stick by their man. Their phones are not going to stop ringing until the first ballot is over.

Following Davis’s “lacklustre” conference performance - a verdict first made here within an hour of the speech and since used everywhere - it’s been suggested that some of his supporters only signed up because they thought he was a certainty. Now Davis is second in the betting will Conway still be able to convince them that it is in their long-term political interests to stay on board?"

Read it all

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

 

Foxy at the Human Rights Group


Read a report here

 

Foxy's full speech to Conference

We face a historic choice this week: to return to office, does our party simply require a makeover, or does it require a fresh Conservative agenda? I think that politics should be about setting out what you believe, arguing your case and persuading others of its merits. There's no leadership in just telling people what they want to hear. I want to talk today about what I believe our agenda should be so that when people ask you on the doorstep, "What do the Conservatives stand for?" you have a clear answer. We have to be bold enough to lead - but we also have to be big enough to listen.

Read it all

 

Foxy tells Conference how it is

Now, I know what you're going to say. The Doctor had a bit to say about Europe didn't he? We thought we'd put that all behind us hadn't we? I mean, surely the spokesman for Foreign Affairs has better things to do then talk about other countries and our relationships with them?

Foxy's speech was good, firstly covering his Shadow Cabinet brief and outlining the majority Tory opinion on the subject. Then he moved onto the real heart of his message - the renewal of those parts of the Country (you remember that country, it's the one with the Union Flag which, as Foxy was right to point out we shouldn't have any problem flying given that it's the Union Flag of the United Kingdom) that have socially collapsed. Yes, let's be honest about the collapse of marriage (not helped by successive governments undermining it by removing all financial support), the millions of young men and women who are reaping the harvest of decades of social liberalism. The teenagers on our streets late at night with no role-models or direction.

Does that sound harsh? Not at all. Tories have been at the vanguard of all the major social revolutions in this country. In the 18th Century Wilberforce (*cough* - a Tory) fought long and hard, to his grave, for the abolition of the pernicious practice of Slavery. At the time he was seen by some as a radical religious nutter - now he's regarded as the father of modern liberal freedoms. What about Shaftesbury in the 19th Century? This member of the Victorian Taliban Tendency was stupid and bigotted enough to think that little children shouldn't be sent up chimneys. How outrageous of him to impose his own moral ideas on the nation! And in the twentieth century, what about that National Health Service malarkey, the plans for which were drawn up under a Conservative Government? Well, words fail me as to the inteferingness and high-moral-mindedness of those insular tower-dwellers who implemented that footling idea.

One example of the revolution we need in this country is the desperate requirement to reform our Mental Health Services. Foxy has put his neck on the block about this one, and he was unashamed of it this afternoon. It's an example of the radical, morally driven agenda that we need at this time. It's an agenda that comes from a deep-rooted moral conviction about what is good and what is not good, not from a political expediency that simply seeks power for the sake of it, surrendering political agenda to those who would give that power.

Foxy is the man to lead such a radical agenda, for our party and our country.

 

David Davis fails to deliver

After Cameron's "are you sitting comfortably" approach (though David my mate, "let me take you on a wonderful journey" ain't going to always work in 30+ voter land) which seemed to go down well, and Clarke's "I'm back from the pub for lunch, let's rock" jolly, Davis' speech this morning was, well, how can I put it?

Pants. Complete Marks and Spencers Y-fronts. The Times is being nice about it (though they do call it "uninspiring"), the BBC has picked up on Conference discomfort ("We were expecting alot more"), the Telegraph tells it how it was and as for the Grauniad, calling the reception "polite rather than ecstatic" was an understatement.

Walking out of the session you could hear Adam Smith Institute factory-line implements dropping left, right and centre.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

 

Ancram or Fox?

Recent discussion on politicalbetting.com

  1. Yeah, but how many MPs are “Cornerstone"? 25? Could be enough to get Ancram going (and in doing so totally throw open the race for second place).

    Comment by Fox Blogger — 4/10/2005 @ 1:20 pm

  2. Don’t you think quite a few of the Cornerstoners will see your man as the best they can get, FB, rather than risk it on Ancram? Or do you think he is best off distancing himself from them?

    Comment by book value — 4/10/2005 @ 1:23 pm

  3. It’s a good question. I think Foxy is as good as the Cornerstoners are going to get in the current field, and if all 25 of them came out and backed him that would utterly change the dynamic of the contest (he’d be streets ahead of Cameron and possibly even Clarke). However, an Ancram leadership bid may be more to do with getting the specific Cornerstone agenda into the arena, rather than wanting to have Ancram as leader (because, to be honest, no-one’s going to vote him as leader when push comes to shove).

    The worry is that Ancram runs, pulls votes from Foxy (knocking him out) and then, being Ancram, fails to have impact beyond the 1st / 2nd ballot. That would mean that the social conservative camp would end up with nobody. The best thing for Cornerstone to do, if they really want to be heard, is to swallow their pride on the bits of Foxy they don’t like, and back him to the max. Foxy vs Ancram - Foxy wins any day (and that’s not just because I’m backing him - let’s be realistic).

    Whatchathink?

    Comment by Fox Blogger — 4/10/2005 @ 1:31 pm

  4. Your analysis seems sensible to me. I don’t expect the Cornerstone Group to take advice from me, but I think that backing Fox is the most sensible course for them.

    Comment by book value — 4/10/2005 @ 1:33 pm

  5. Of course it’s sensible - We’re foxy!!!!

    Comment by Fox Blogger — 4/10/2005 @ 1:34 pm


 

Eleanor Laing is Fox-popping

She's on the frontpage of Foxy's campaign now!!!

"Experience, energy, enthusiasm" - we like you Eleanor, but just a small word - not too sure that black works with green...

 

Foxysceptic

The FT is highlighting Foxy's comments yesterday that Britain should be prepared to pull out of the EU if certain "red lines" were crossed. The Times has a much more comprehensive report of the speech.

Hmmmmm.... Is this an outlandish proposal or has it got some merit? The way the story is being spun is that Foxy is playing the Eurosceptic card for all it's worth, but is that actually what it's about? Let's be honest, as the EU enlarges (with Turkey and Croatia joining formal accession talks this morning) the need for a stronger executive is clear - having 30+ countries needing to agree everything is a highway to doing nothing. The problem though is that as the EU gets (necessarilly I agree)
more centralised, the individual priorities of the member states get submerged.

Now, there's something to be said for the principle of sacrificing one's own interests for others, but what happens when one's interests are so ignored that they become meaningless in the debate? While we need to get away from an island mentality that thinks we can ignore what happens across the channel, there is something intrinsically different to Britain then there is to the Belgians, the Austrians or the Poles. I mean, hands up anybody living in Britain who can jump into their car, drive half an hour and be in a different country? No. See what I mean?

There are all kinds of implications to the British judicial and economic system that further EU enlargement and centralisation will bring. Here's what Foxy said on the 15th of June:

The legal systems of the 25 current and future member states vary widely, in both procedure and substance. They reflect deep, culturally-determined attitudes about the relationship between citizen and state. Beyond the legitimate international crimes discussed specifically in the document, the broad notion of "judicial cooperation" challenges the member states' unique approaches to criminal law. In particular, the constitution will create a European prosecutor who will be able to investigate and try certain types of cases. Perhaps, at first glance, that doesn’t seem so objectionable- but the constitution would expand the prosecutor's jurisdiction to include "crimes affecting the interests of the Union." At this level of generality, virtually all crimes occurring in the Union (and many occurring outside it) affect its interests. Given that E.U. institutions would be responsible for interpreting the extent of their own jurisdiction this is an unwarranted intrusion into our legal traditions and independence.

See the point? The EU is a good thing, we should stick with it and work within it as long as possible, but we need to have a good hard think about the direction it may be going, and whether we want to stay on the bus all the way to Centralisation Central.

Priveliged Partner status anybody?


Monday, October 03, 2005

 

ToryLeaderWatch

Sometimes the Beeb do a good job. Auntie promises us "the twists, the turns" and probably the sighs and yawns as well. Sit back and let the Blackpool goodtimes roll...

By the way, are the Winter Gardens so called because of the looks the candidates are giving each other?

 

Foxy looking dangerous..

At least according to the Guardian...

When one starts doing the math for second place (given that Davis has all but wrapped up his place in the membership's ballot), Foxy is beginning to look like a serious bet. Rifkind is very likely to be knocked out on the first ballot, and then where the Clarke / Cameron / Fox race will go is the big question. You might think that Rifkind's backers would go their One Nation way to Clarke, but grandees like a good solid man, and Fox may just be their cup of tea.

Also not to be discounted is that some of the Davis backers may consider their candidate's position secure enough to use their "excess" vote to defeat Clarke. This kind of tactical voting destroyed Portillo last time round. If I were a Davis man I'd be worried about a Davis / Clarke run-off, and Cameron is just too Eton to get the "SAS man on the street" vote that's following the front-runner, so the tactically minded (yes, they do exist in the Tory party - it's a shock I know) may pop a few votes the way of Foxy.

 

Foxy takes a stand

From conservatives.com

Launching the Conservative Party's human rights initiative, Shadow Foreign Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

"As members of strong and free liberal societies, we must speak up for the oppressed, we must support those who speak up for themselves in the face of danger. That is why I am pleased to be launching this group under the chairmanship of Gary Streeter.

"Extending democracy around the globe is a noble project. But democracy is not a guaranteed process. Democracy, like human life itself, is at its most vulnerable in its early stages. It also does not just mean access to the ballot box. It must also mean access to a way of life. It should not mean having your home bulldozed, because you have been designated as trash, as in Zimbabwe – a notional democracy.

"In Burma, democracy has been extinguished. In Darfur, lives are blighted not just by famine but also by violence. And, in this country, everyone seems to forget about the Congo – even though the death toll there in the past six years has been a staggering 3.8 million.

"All around the world, democracy needs underpinning by a freedom agenda. There are three basic pillars to this agenda - the free market, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

"Free market societies are far more able to unleash the creative potential of their own population than other economic systems. From economic liberty flows the natural desire for democracy among the people of any given country. The rule of law is also essential – equally applied to government and citizen, consumer and business. Within this context, respect for human rights can flourish, and democracy is strengthened."

 

IDS presents the power of the community

I'm amazed that IDS's fantastic speech this afternoon hasn't been picked up by the media. I was pottering around, having watched Rifkind launch his "campaign" (a campaign about as pointless as a chocolate teapot) and suddenly striding onto stage was the ex-leader himself. Oh, and what is it about Tory Conferences and rapturous applause for the recently culled? Hmmm...

Anyway, imagine my delight when, despite not being able to see the video being played on the big screens, I suddenly heard the dulcit tones of Andy Hawthorne of The Message extoling the virtues of Eden, a project to place young Christians into the heart of poor urban Manchester. Eden is a classic example of how simply throwing money at a problem (the normal left-wing solution) isn't going to solve it. Rather, the Edenites live among the communities they have come to help, and commit themselves to homes alongside the marginalised and deprived.

This of course is exactly what our man Liam was talking about on the 21st of July (to Duncan Smith's Centre for Social Justice). Unless we do something fundamentally radical about the breakdown of society in our country we will never deal with the country's problems. Duncan Smith today highlighted the great social reformers of the past who transformed their generations - Wilberforce, Shaftesbury and the like. Yes, he pointed out that they were Tories, but equally they were committed Christians who sacrificed highest office in order that they might progress the common good. Frankly we need more of these kind of men and women.

And an IDS endorsement of Foxy wouldn't go amiss either.

Those wacky, bigoted, "Taliban Tendency" Christians eh? Whatever next - individuals giving up high salaried careers because the future of their neighbours is more important? Pah - archaic maedieval fools the lot of them...

 

Rifkind has a go...

Awww... bless him. At least he tried.

To be honest, as one watched Rifkind this afternoon, you had the sense that he had already admitted defeat. I liked his reference to One Nation Toryism, but to be honest in the left of the party battle Rifkind has already been beaten by Clarke. Rifkind's best hope to have influence on the future direction of the party is to admit now that he's not going to win and back someone who is. For Rifkind that might mean Clarke, and if he's serious about a left of party person to win then he needs to do it now (while a backing for Clarke would be seen as coalescing the left-wing vote) rather than later (as a backing for Clarke when Rifkind is knocked out won't have half as much impetus). But of course, Rifkind wants to win, and probably, for some reason, still thinks he can win.

Now, if we could get him to withdraw and back Foxy...

 

Welcome to the Blog

And it's about time! This will be the place over the next few weeks where we'll blog about the campaign to elect Liam Fox as the next leader of the Conservative Party. Since the blog on the offical website didn't have a place for visual comments, I decided to make this blog to allow us to chat and pontificate over Liam's campaign.

The bottom line is that I'm one guy who thinks that Liam would be the best person to lead the Tories for the coming decade. If you agree then get stuck in.

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