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

Not surprisingly you copied the bottom of the article and left out the fawning profile of Cameron together with his +7 score...

Problem with Fox is that while he is principled he is also the one most determined to lead us to the desert of the right.

The VOTERS are not there... the voters are in the centre. We NEED to go to the centre.
Iain - I'm not denying that Cameron had a great week. I am emphasising that Fox is the "principled" one.

I don't think Fox is going to "the desert of the right". That he is a social conservative is not in doubt, but there are more social conservatives out there then you think. The problem with SCs is that often they come across as knee-jerkers, and that puts people off. Now, a SC who isn't a knee-jerker, but actually has deeply held moral values, that could be a winner. Less about left /right wing and more about a new social agenda.
I agree there are a lot of them but not enough of a percentage of the voters to win a UK-wide general election.

We've tried being right-wing and it's got us precisely in the place we are now... the opposite side of the Commons than the one we want.
Dunno - knee-jerk right wingism was a disaster for us 97-01, but principled right-wingism did wonders in 1979.
Problem with Fox is that while he is principled he is also the one most determined to lead us to the desert of the right.

Actually David Cameron is most likely to lead a narrow right wing campaign. It's his instinct when things don't work out.

He was responsible for the Howard manifesto - gypsies and all. And in the leadership campaign, the moment Clarke declared, Cameron lurched to the right ("A worrying sign," observed Michael Portillo).

So if Cameron's "change" gambit doesn't deliver results, like Hague and Howard before him Cameron would head off to shore up the core vote, IMO.

On the other hand, Dr Fox has consistently stood by his principles. He has been involved in promoting unfashionable causes, like mental health charities, for years. His policies are of the right, but they are augmented by issues like that, which he both believes in and will make his pitch more attractive to floating voters (as Ferdinand Mount observed today).

As Ken Clarke has often said, people value authenticity in their politicians. It's Dr Fox who offers that, not David Cameron.
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