Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Howard's killed Conservatism

The column by Mark Steyn in this morning's Daily Telegraph linked here, concludes as follows:-

The damage to Republican-Tory relationships isn't the point: after all, you can't build bridges when one bank is crumbling into the river. It's the damage to the Tory party's identity. When you stand for nothing saleable that New Labour hasn't shamelessly appropriated, and when new parties are siphoning off votes on your Right, how stupid do you have to be to kick away the party's last remaining leg, the one that still seems relevant to the world we live in? If the Conservatives are no longer credible on foreign policy, what's left?

Or, as Toby Helm reported: "Among the alternative names that Tory modernisers are floating in private are the Democrats, the New Democrats, Progress." The first is the name of the US Left-of-centre party, the second is the Canadian socialist party, and the third could be anything, though it carries the vague whiff of a 1930s Mitteleuropean fascist movement.

Given that the Tories' identity is notable mainly by its absence, wouldn't it be easiest just to change the name to the Not The Conservative Party?

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Independent on Sunday has Howard mortally wounded!

The headline says it all "Howard fury over White House ban" and the article linked here, concludes as follows:-

Some observers even predicted that the row could spell the beginning of the end of his leadership, which has been dogged in recent months by a failure to overtake Labour in the polls.

Mr Howard's most recent campaign, against political correctness, launched last week, was criticised as being like something from One Foot in the Grave. Others insist that Mr Howard will gain credibility for his stance.

More confirmation of Hague comeback!

Mathew d'Ancona confirms his recently growingl loss of political touch by praising Howard's leadership speech at the Saatchi Gallery and continuing to suggest he can still recover from his present deep, deep, trough! Read and laugh at the whole laboured daydream from here.

The Sunday Telegraph's 'Spy Column' , however carries this realistic piece linked from here as follows :-

Is Hague on the comeback trail?

After three years of self-imposed exile, William Hague is returning to the frontline with a speech at October's Conservative Party conference. Some reckon the former leader's address to the Thatcherite Conservative Way Forward faction will be a plug for his new biography of Pitt the Younger. In fact, Spy understands that the event has more significance.

"He's doing other events to promote the book, but this will be a political speech," I'm told. "It's in the biggest function room in Bournemouth and organisers expect him to pack it out."

Hague's choice of platform is also of note. "CWF are the true believers," says my source. "William clearly wants to demonstrate that he's a man of the Right."

Observers will see the occasion as Hague staking a claim for the party leadership, should Michael Howard fail at the election.

Not he's the only one eyeing that prize. "Iain Duncan Smith's also been telling friends that he could make a glorious return, like John Howard in Australia," says another source.

William Hague re-emerges!

The Sunday Telegraph has an item of hope for the British poltical scene. As Nick Cohen exposes in his column in today's Observer titled 'When the price is right' (click here), British politics is rotten through and through.

The most trusted politician in the country (possibly one of the very few such Tories) is William Hague, as revealed in a BBC radio poll last year. It seems reading today's Sunday Telegraph, linked here, that he is now about to at least test the water before throwing his hat back into the ring.

Not a moment too soon as Michael Howard continues to compounds his own difficulties as evidenced elsewhere in the same paper, read Howard's rebuff to the White House snub, covered on this blog yesterday, from this link.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Howard deliberately ditches transatlantic ties?

The Sun, this morning carries this startling report, titled 'Bush: Stay away Howard' that Michael Howard's breathtaking incompetence has now led him to apparently deliberately sabotage not only the good relations usually enjoyed between the US Rebublican Party and the Conservatives, but possibly also relations between the two countries. The report may be read from this link and the following are selected quotes:-

... it has deeply damaged the decades-long alliance between the Republicans and the Conservative Party.

Senior US Right-wingers blame Mr Howard for undermining the coalition in Iraq and say they are privately rooting for a Labour victory in the next election.

A Tory source said: “They see Tony Blair as a true ally against terror and the Tories as a bunch of w*****s.”

The stand-off is particularly surprising in view of Mr Howard’s long standing admiration for America.

He set up the Atlantic Partnership, a think-tank which welcomes regular visits from Republican figures.

Senior Tories are amazed that the White House fury has remained a secret for so long.

One said: “I am astonished it hasn’t come out before.”

Friday, August 27, 2004

Tories trailing and UKIP threaten in latest YouGov Poll.

The Daily Telegraph linked here, will land with an ominous thud on the desks of top Tories this morning.

No party led by Michael Howard will ever win a general election in Britain, that was obvious from the start. Those who deposed IDS and placed Howard in his place, must also have recognised that fact - certainly their Labour opponents on the Guardian and within the BBC clearly did as they cheered on from the sidelines.

As repeatedly warned and forecast on this blog the party has gone backwards, a quote:-

Exactly a year ago, the Tories, then led by Iain Duncan Smith, had the backing of 37 per cent of voters and were two points ahead of Labour. They had already been ahead for two months and took the lead again in the autumn.

A year on and the Tories, far from having progressed further, are worse off. Only 34 per cent of voters now back the party - three points down from 12 months ago - and the Conservatives and Labour are now neck and neck.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Tory Eurosceptics lose again!

We urge our readers to follow this link to EU Referendum blog titled "Battle Lost"
Falmouth's Conservative & UKIP's video watchers still making waves!

Moves are afoot to deselect the central office candidate choice for the West Country constituency according to this Daily Telegraph report of this morning, linked here.

Falmouth was once considered as a clear UKIP target seat until that party's chances were sabotaged in the usual manner by Nigel Farage MEP insisting on parachuting in another scandal-ridden ex Tory MP, John Browne, who suffered the predictable whitewash just as Merchant himself managed in the North East euro-region during the June euro elections.

After that most recent defeat, once again on the usual Knapman/Farage jobs for the boys basis, Merchant was appointed UKIP's Chief Executive - which after some protest at the lack of advertisements for the position - was changed to Acting Chief Executive a position he holds to this day.

At the UKIP NEC where this was announced the salary was mentioned as anything between seventy five thousand and one hundred and fifty thousand pounds a year..... which must seem like riches indeed to the former Tory MP who stood down as campaign manager for the London Chamber of Commerce around the time of the Euro elections. Rumour reaching us indicates that to date Mr Merchant has not yet recived one penny piece in pay!

By the way, Conservative MPs fearful for their seats at the coming General Election might be heartened to know that however disgraced or even jailed they may become - there is always a new political home to be found while UKIP is run by Farage and Knapman - other rumours doing the rounds this week indicate that yet one more disgraced and ex-Tory MP, Jonathan Aitkin has made it onto the UKIP approved candidate list for the next general election.

Between the Tories and UKIP those promoting a return of Westminster sovereignty and a severe trimming of the powers of the EU look like once again having no real home for their vote when the General Election comes!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

'Fawlty Tories' Day Two

More statements of the obvious from the one time Tory night press officer at central office linked here from the Mirror.

Monday, August 23, 2004

'Fawlty Tories' from the Mirror!

Read it in full from this link or savour an excerpt:-

Tim Miles spent four months this year working as the Tories' night press officer, and saw at first hand why this shambolic party couldn't run a Torquay hotel, let alone the nation.

THE conversation between the Tory press officers turns to the human failings of their political masters.

On one: "Bone idle - happiest in the pub."

On another: "Stupid and frightened to publicly expose his inept failure to grasp the basics of policy."

And this: "Disastrous image. Looks and talks like a prat."

They are united in their venom for one leading frontbencher. "Why Howard keeps him on is anyone's guess. Every time he appears on TV, we lose a thousand votes. He's got to go."

Make your own guesses I suggest. In an unusual day for the same paper it also carries another interesting article headlined 'Wasteminster' linked here.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Tories now pin revival on destruction of the UK!

The latest desperate ploy by the conservative party to regain government is now to be pinned on a further loosening of the bonds that bind England and Scotland according to the leader of that party North of the border, as carried in this morning's The Scotsman - linked here. It opens as follows:

THE Tories will wrap themselves in the Saltire claiming to be "Scotland’s True National Party" in an attempt overtake the SNP and become the second largest party north of the Border.

In a major speech to be delivered to the party faithful this week, the Scottish Conservative leader, David McLetchie, will claim that Tory policies would give Scots more autonomy than the Nationalists’ ‘Independence in Europe’ policy.

The United Kingdom now needs unity in the face of the EU's mounting and continued attack on our democracy and national independence. The Conservatives once again seem set to embark on the exact opposite course as the best interests of the nation obviously now require.

There will be plenty of time to discuss our national internal arrangements once the greater outside threat from the existing EU is finally fully recognised and neutralised. Do they really intend to callously leave vacant the post of flag-bearer for those who still belive in 'One Nation' (both North and South of the border!)?

The Sottish Tory leader will reportedly make this claim: "We are Scotland’s true national party."

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Hartlepool Conservative Party Leader says Tories have 'NO CHANCE'

This report is from The Scotsman linked here:

Today the leader of the Tory group on Hartlepool Council, George Morris, warned his party had no chance of winning the poll.

And he said it was “most disturbing” that the Conservatives had still not selected a candidate to fight the seat.

“The Tory campaign isn’t going for Hartlepool,” Mr Morris told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme.

“The district officer hasn’t brought to the local association a list of any possible candidates. It is most disturbing.”

He complained that local Conservatives were “in the dark” and added: “We are disturbed by the fact that all the other candidates are making their play ... and here we are sitting knowing nothing.”

Asked if his party had any chance of winning the pending by-election, prompted by Mr Mandelson’s move to being a European Commissioner, Mr Morris answered: “No.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Nice or not - Mr Howard?

It seems to me that the last definitive Tory statement on the appalling Nice Treaty was that made by the last party leader but one - William Hague who committed the Conservatives to its re-negotiation.

IDS , as far as I can determine, made no absolute statement on the matter, but appeared to be moving towards a rejectionist stance just before he was so undemocratically ousted from the leadership. Many might believe and I am one, that it was his growing eurosceptic stance that led to his downfall.

Mr Howard has supposedly returned from holiday early to consider great policy issues ahead of the next election. All pronouncements to date have been damp squids on minor matters of detail, in a country whose independence and democracy is being bled before our eyes. The report in the post below on Hartlepool is evidence of the treachery being perpetrated by the Tories under Michael Howard.

I suggest his party members ask their leader these two questions:-

1) Is there any actual limit to the restrictions on our national independence and democracy that would make our continuation within the EU unacceptable to Mr Howard? If so where might the limit lie. The present policy of the Tories under Howard is to continue within the EU regardless of however nationally socialist, corrupt, statist, totalitarian or non-democratic it might become!

2) If the EU Constitutional Treaty were to fail - is Mr Howard prepared to commit the nation to continuing within the EU under the terms of the Nice Treaty? If the answer is yes as I assume - How can that be justified given the previous stance of William Hague?

These are the crucial questions facing the country that the Tories seek to avoid. UKIP by shying clear of Westminster (at Leicester South, Hodge Hill and now by fielding no senior party figure at Hartlepool) has given the Tory leader an opportunity to regain the Eurosceptic vote ahead of the general election campaign - has Howard the strategic sense to see this and/or the courage to abandon and betray the eurofederalists who thrust him to the forefront of the party to finalise their destruction of this country and its democracy?
Tories deem Hartlepool Hopeless?

The Scotsman in this report titled 'Tories seem to give up without a fight in Mandelson by-election' makes quite clear that Britain is now effectively without a viable opposition party. And certainly without one with any hope of achieving government. In whose interests is this? The article may be read from here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Is Oliver Letwin a Moron or Saboteur?

I have tended to believe the latter, ever since his performance during the 2001 election campaign, when his tax gaffes blew it for William Hague just as the contest got underway. His performance since being re-instated by the 'EU forever friend of the EPP' - Michael Howard has tended to confirm this - particularly his determination to maintain his daytime job in spite of being made Shadow Chancellor!

Now we have this extraordinary gaffe, attacking the middle classes one true feel good factor just ahead of a likely property price crash. 'Moron' is therefore back in the running - or perhaps more kindly - too clever by half, as we used to say of apparently brilliant class-mates at school- those whonevertheless seemed to lack the ordinary commonsense of others several years their junior.

Read it from this quite extraordinary link to this morning's Daily Telegraph here, and study the picture perhaps for further clues!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Howard by Bernard Levin and 'Black Information Link'

The Guardian had the following quote in its obituary of Mr Levin by John Ezard last Tuesday:-

Towards the end of his time as a writer, in June 1995, he said of Michael Howard as Conservative home secretary: "In Howardspeak, 'Howard to close migrant loopholes' means Howard needs another boost for his ambition, as odious as it is ridiculous, so he plays the immigration card: unwanted darkies, brownies, yellowies, even whities, out, out, out. The card, of course, is not just for him alone, but for the Tories in general, as they look at the polls and sink more and more into despair."

Today in this website the basis for criticism seems to have not substantially change, neither has the state of the polls for the Tories of course. A quote:-

Sensing a backlash against his comments, Howard mounted a rearguard action to woo the Black and Asian media. But this failed to save the Tory leader from a savaging, with The Voice, New Nation and the Asian Times laying into him.

At least this is one of his recent initiatives which got some reaction. We read he had returned early from his hols to launch a series of high-profile policy proposals which all seemed to land like damp squids - one paper stating that the unnecessary action was most likely caused by the realisation that he was now almost two thirds of the way through his leadership period if the General Election comes next spring.

Weekend press speculation made even that fraction look optimistic as the tired old rumours of a Portillo leadership bid were once again revived.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Blair's destruction of the 'Forces of Conservatism' - by Janet Daley.

The 'Telegraph' columnist correctly describes the plight of the Tories, and unlike this blogger sees hope for revival. The opinion piece is linked from here .

A comment on the leaked 'Renewal' editorial to The Guardian was earlier posted on Ironies and may be read from here.


Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Howard sinks to 21 per cent

The link I provided to Ananova's poll report stopped working halfway through the day yesterday as other news appeared. Unable to provide a link to the FT report on the poll, here is one to a paper in Bahrain that gives a summary of Howard's continuing August agony. Click on Gulf Daily News.

Bad news continues as The Guardian follows yesterday's student loan interest hike story in its educational section!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Populus Poll - More Gloom for Howard in bottom place!

This report in Ananova linked here has more bad news for Howard, who is shown trailing the other two party leaders and now shows less than half of Tory party members believe in an election
Howard's attack on students headlined in Torygraph

Tories to charge students more for loans
from here.

The article linked above is the second of two extremely unfavourable articles for the Tories in this morning's edition, topped by a withering leading article (linked from the next post) it appears the knives are now fully unsheathed and Howard appears doomed! Read the damaging report to be read with anger by students, secondary school pupils and all their parents no doubt with the utmost fury up and down the land. And this is supposed to be the silly season? Lunacy certainly is lodged at Central Office.
Tory branch suspended over Sanity 'Shockwaves' video!

In a huge publicity coup for UKIP, Conservative Party Central Office has suspended its Falmouth Branch for watching the anti-EU Subjects against the Nice Treaty - Sanity video. The action is reported in an article in today's Daily Telegraph linked here by Richard Savill and Toby Helm and the paper has a hugely sarcastic leading article on the ridiculousness of the action readable from here.

The video clearly states it is non-political but does mention UKIP at the close, as one organisation fighting the EU.

It is recommended viewing for anyone concerned at our growing loss of the means to replace our rulers.

(This post also appeared on the Ukip Uncovered blog this morning, where it will no doubt be read with both joy and incredulity - most UKIP members having seen the video in question!)

Monday, August 02, 2004

Stopping Labour!

The following is an edited version of a post on Ukip Uncovered made early this morning. Since that posting the writer has been informed that his application to stand for UKIP in the Hartlepool by-election has been rejected, without explanation, only some twenty four odd hours after being told his application would receive the full constiuency committee, the Chairman stating he had no doubts regarding the 'sincerity of the candidate'. Stopping Blair's Labour Party and its anti-democratic tendencies seems an ever more forlorn hope!


Two articles in the papers this morning, each with the same theme - the supposed inevitability of another Labour victory - in spite of the Party's real state, as Peter Kilfoyle , Labour MP for Liverpool Walton describes in The Guardian, linked here, for example this section:

Finally, talk to your friends, neighbours, workmates. Ask them for an opinion on Labour, and do not be astonished by the vituperation in some of the replies. We are truly, for many people, akin to the Tories in the depths of their sleaze period. That of itself is both repugnant and dangerous. Tie it to the loss of councillors in many areas (our key workers), and we risk the same downward spiral which the Tories faced.

The Daily Telegraph has a similar theme in its piece ' Blair to split up Blunkett empire' linked here which informs us as follows:

David Blunkett's Home Office empire is to be split up as part of a radical restructuring of law and order responsibilities planned by Labour after the next election.

A ministry of justice and a separate department of rights could be created, replacing the Home Office and the Department for Constitutional Affairs, headed by Lord Falconer of Thoroton, the Lord Chancellor............

Mr Blair is normally extremely cautious about predicting victory. But Labour's confidence has been helped by the turmoil in Tory ranks after their poor by-election showing and Michael Howard's mishandling of the debate on the Butler report on Iraq intelligence failings.

Mr Blunkett is at the centre of a tense struggle involving Lord Falconer and Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, over the future running of the judiciary and the civil and criminal courts.

It can be no co-incidence that the area of dispute could be more generally defined as that of 'citizen control' Democracy's last chance, it must be now no exageration to say, could be on the horizon as early as 5th May next year according to these reports. What individual freedoms and liberties the EU has left us - Blair's government - 'Labour' only in name, looks set to destroy.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Howard's satisfaction rating slumps

The following is taken from an article in today's Independent on Sunday linked here, regarding the latest MORI poll (Who are the wierd group of voters who express themselves as satisfied with Howard's leadership..... and what happens to the index when that number does reach zero as soon seems likely?) read an excerpt from here:

The worst news for the Tories, however, is the dramatic slide in Mr Howard's personal rating since the start of this year.

In January, his "satisfied" rating exceeded "dissatisfied" by 8 points. His rating turned negative in April, with a 2-point net "dissatisfied" rating, which increased to 12 points in June and stands at 16 points now.

Labour: 32 per cent

When Mr Howard became leader last November, most voters had yet to make up their minds. But since then the undecided have moved steadily into the "dissatisfied" category.

His ratings dropped sharply last month even among Conservative supporters, after a poor Commons performance against the Prime Minister over the Butler report into pre-war intelligence on Iraqi weapons.

How would you vote if there were a general election tomorrow?Who are the wierd group of voters who express themselves as satisfied with Howard's leadership..... and what happens to the index when that number does reach zero as soon seems likely?

Labour: 32 per cent

Conservative: 31 per cent

Liberal Democrat: 24 per cent

Other: 13 per cent