Monday, October 03, 2005


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...

Sir Malcolm's speech was well received. Although the delivery was typically impressive, the contents weren't really that good. But after the "you are rubbish and nasty" mantra offered by Maude, May and the bumptious Duncan, Sir Malcolm's positivity about Conservatism felt very welcome.

I suppose the question for Sir Malcolm now is whether he can stand Clarke and his europhilia. Certainly his criticisms of Clarke have been most pointed in that regard. I still suspect he's a blocking candidate. The only person he's keeping votes from is Clarke after all.
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