Sunday, November 20, 2005
We wonder what other possibly really startling pieces of gossip will be slipped to the press if the 'man of straw' Cameron actually succeeds in being gerrymandered into place. This item was from the Rod Liddle column in today's Sunday Times:
I am happy that David Cameron believes in relaxed licensing laws, but that is no more than one should expect from a chap who until recently was a director of a nightclub that sold to its undoubtedly poncy customers such alcoholic concoctions as Slippery Nipple and Pink Pussy.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
The Times this morning, linked here, reports as follows
THREE Tory heavyweights who will be offered senior roles in the Shadow Cabinet if David Cameron win the leadership contest grossed more than £1.7 million in outside earnings in the past 12 months, according to figures released yesterday.
William Hague leads the list, with more than £1 million from book deals, a newspaper column, directorships and after-dinner speaking. He made six speeches, worth £65,000, in April during the general election campaign, when most Tory MPs and party workers were on the campaign trail.
Kenneth Clarke, the former Chancellor, who was defeated for the leadership for the third time, earned close to £500,000 from five directorships, including British American Tobacco. An MP’s salary is £59,095.
Francis Maude, the party chairman and leading moderniser in the Cameron camp, declared ten paid outside interests, including two directorships he took after the election, when he was recalled to the Shadow Cabinet. Mr Maude, like Mr Clarke, does not declare any of the fees, as is permissible in Parliament’s rules.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Given the incredible opportunity of an entire opinion column in today's Sunday Telegraph, what does the star dust touched, wonder boy use it for - tired and predictable attacks on Blair! Is this really all the Tories hope to have to offer for the years ahead?
Read the simplistic claptrap from this link.
My warnings of MP's opportunism of yesterday (see posting beneath this) were well timed as today's Sunday Times reports both William Haig and Liam Fox today declaring for the empty vessel.
Remember that this is the same William Haig who once commanded respect in the party and country yet without shame wrote in his News of the World column in the early part of this year that he was making far too much money on his US speaking tours to consider an active role either within the party or then certain General Election campaign. What weight should party members put on the recommendation of such a man?
Remember also that the timing of his declaration seems curiously timed to have possibly been made with the advantage of some knowledge of the early voting results, if these are being deliberately slanted by those pulling the party strings, a travesty of democracy could be underway!
If David Cameron is elected, how long will the supposed "stardust on his collar" or as Haig is quoted as saying " “a certain quality which was impossible to define but you know it when you see it” really last. Such qualities are best used by confidence tricksters as far as I can see.
Look at the likely consequences as reported in the same Sunday Times article, linked here:
As prospective party leader, Cameron is preparing to help Tony Blair push through a series of public service reforms that, aides say, will keep a “wounded” and “isolated” prime minister in power.
The leadership favourite signalled his support for the government against Labour rebels on greater independence for state schools, city academies, benefit reform, foundation hospitals and more private sector involvement in the National Health Service.
Although he argues that he supports Blair’s modernisation of public services because he believes it is the right thing to do, his aides pointed out it is also designed to have the political effect of making Blair look “isolated” from his party. The move comes after the prime minister faced a first Commons defeat over his anti-terrorism bill.
If Cameron becomes the opposition leader next month, it could be Tory votes that keep the prime minister in power. “It will leave Blair badly wounded if the only way he can get his reforms through is with our support,” said a senior aide.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
If the headline article in the online edition of the Daily Telegraph is to be believed the Conservative Party is doomed as David Cameron, the media darling who will become its mauled and mangled victim by the next General Election were he to become Party Leader, is reported to have opened an early and large lead over rival David Davis in the leadership contest.
Such are the results of a YouGov poll which has been so manipulatively reported as to condemn the Telegraph to the lowest possible level of even present day journalism. The report may be read from this link.
To try to grasp the degree of distortion it is necessary to recall the basis on which YouGov polls. Anybody can join YouGov and participate in those polls as they may wish. Is it really likely as the report seems to imply that one third of those conservative party members who have already voted are signed up as YouGov contributors. Unlike most polls published as far as I can find there is nowhere any reference to the size of the sample. Just how many conservative party members who have already voted could have been polled - it must be an incredibly small number unless there was some collusion or identification of names of those who had voted from party sources, any names thus provided could then well have been tilted towards the results desired by the Telegraph group owners and editors and/or the party establishment.
Evidence of the desired outcome of the senior party hierarchy comes later in the same report which states:
"Anne Maine, the MP for St Albans, who formerly supported Mr Davis, said she was now backing Mr Cameron, taking his support to 107 MPs - well over half the 198-strong parliamentary party.
Michael Ancram, the party's deputy leader, said the backing of a clear majority of Tory MPs was an important signal to party members."
The Gaderene rush to support the dubious, media reported front-runner by sitting MPs and their European counterparts is understandable when looking at the calibre and motives of the present elected party and remembering that were Cameron to win at only 39 years of age and given his apparent lack of policies and therefore presumably either character or principles, future advancement within the party is likely to be lost pretty much forever as far as the present entire elected members are concerned.
The announcement by the comparatively youthful Owen Paterson MP for David Davis is particularly commendable in this regard.
This blog quite correctly predicted the outcome of a Michael Howard leadership takeover - I feel equally certain that if the Tories go for Cameron then it will be the end of their party. How best to then restore decency and democracy to British politics will then become an even trickier problem.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
The letter of support is in today's The Times as reported in Times Online linked from here.
The full letter may be read from this link. It concludes as follows:
"So Davis will have my vote. Perhaps that nice Mr Cameron will get it in ten years’ time if he learns as much from experience as David Davis has in the past ten years."
One of the few cheerful thoughts from today's news.... that Norman Tebbit with his innate common sense might still be around in ten years....as Mark Steyn concludes in his Daily Telegraph column this morning, quoted below and linked here, how many Telegraph readers can now really wish that:
As to where Britain falls in this grim scenario, I noticed a few months ago that Telegraph readers had started closing their gloomier missives to me with the words, "Fortunately I won't live to see it" - a sign-off now so routine in my mailbag I assumed it was the British version of "Have a nice day". But that's a false consolation. As France this past fortnight reminds us, the changes in Europe are happening far faster than most people thought. That's the problem: unless you're planning on croaking imminently, you will live to see it.
Monday, November 07, 2005
The statement is reproduced herewith:
A Joint Statement from East Midlands Conservative MEPs
IT HAS TO BE CAMERON!
We have looked carefully at the two remaining candidates for the Conservative Leadership, and we have decided that David Cameron offers the Party the best prospect of returning to government at the next General Election. We will be voting for him, and we would urge all East Midlands Conservatives to vote for him too.
Little to choose on policy
Both men are Conservatives, so the policy differences are relatively minor (except for the EPP issue: see below). We believe that the choice hinges on personality and electability, and in our judgement, Cameron is well ahead. He would be the first Party Leader in recent years to create an immediately positive impression on the television with uncommitted voters. He has a little star-dust sprinkled on his Eton collar
So is his privileged background a problem?
We don't think so. It would be perverse if Conservatives rejected an excellent candidate because he went to a good school. It would be the worst kind of inverted snobbery. And Blair, after all, went to Fettes, one of Scotland's finest public schools
Cameron can reach the groups the Party desperately needs to recover
We believe that Cameron will appeal strongly to groups where the Party has lost traction and desperately needs to get it back. Critically, these include:
· Middle-class professionals who have drifted to the Lib-Dems
· Young people who may currently not vote at all
· Women, where our vote has slipped dramatically
Against this, Davis says he will play well in the inner cities. But we are not convinced that this will bring in the volume of votes we need.
Was Cameron damaged by the drugs stories?
We think not. His firmness and dignity in the face of attacks from the press showed him in a good light, while many younger voters if they cared at all would be positively impressed by the fact that he had, as he says, "a normal university life".
Cameron has made a clear commitment on the EU issue
One policy difference that does impress us is Cameron's clear commitment to take MEPs out of the European Peoples' Party group in the European parliament. It may not be a big issue in the overall scheme of things, yet it sets out a clear marker on policy. But this is one of the few things a conservative Leader in the opposition can deliver. No longer will we talk a good euro-sceptic story in England, only to go and cosy-up to the federalists in Brussels.
We are concerned that Davis has been equivocal on this issue, with some of his lieutenants telling sceptics "Vote Davis -- he'll have us out of the EPP in two years", while others tell former Clarke supporters "Vote Davis because he'll keep us in". We believe that politics should be based on clear principles, and we are not impressed by prevarication.
If you share our views on these points, please give David Cameron your support.
ROGER HELMER MEP CHRIS HEATON-HARRIS MEP
Saturday, November 05, 2005
The former editor of the Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore, in an article explaining why he plans to vote for David Cameron in today's edition of that newspaper states the following:
".... a pedantic, historical, 20th-century point, is that, when he had the chance, Mr Davis did little for Euro-scepticism. As a whip, he helped bash through the dreadful Maastricht treaty. I notice that most of the committed, expert Euro-sceptics - David Heathcoat-Amory, Bill Cash, Daniel Hannan - are backing Mr Cameron. Mr Davis wants to maintain the Tories' membership of the Europhile European People's Party at the European Parliament, while Mr Cameron says he will stop it."
This is indeed a worry as this blog has consistently pointed out. The double referendum proposal by David Davis seems initially attractive and potentially answers concerns about the past stance of David Davis, but the fully detailed proposal is hard to find therefore final judgement remains suspended.
Conservative Party voters concerned about the EU deserve a full explanation from the three individuals named above for their support for David Cameron, (they should also however, bear in mind the presence on the BDI refusnik list of Bill Cash and David Heathcote-Amory).
The Conservative Party, regardless of leader, will likely find it nigh impossible to win any General Election without neutralising or compromising the UKIP. More on this as the campaign develops. The Davis referendum proposal might be a step in that direction but could subsequently be adopted under a Cameron led party. No party should select a leader based on the nature and calibre of its opponents! But which of Davis and Cameron will be most effective in dealing with Nigel Farage MEP and regaining the votes of his natural supporters?
I would also suggest the party deserves the detailed views of Roger Helmer MEP on the EU position of the two leadership candidates. The relevant website may be reached by clicking here.
Queries could also be sent direct to firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
In an interview in The Sun today and as reported on Radio 4 it appears that David Davis is prepared to finally offer something meaningful on the EU. This blog will comment fully on the proposal when it is has been fully detailed. With several more weeks remaining for the final vote, there is now much to be gained by party members pausing to await developments - as well argued by Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph this morning, linked here.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
The following post was put on my blog Ironies Too this morning under the title 'Cameron, Davis, the EPP and the EU' it is clearly also of interest here.
This blog has earlier made clear its strong doubts as to the suitability of Conservative Party leadership candidate David Cameron and in particular the depth and sincerity of his supposed euroscepticism. In the past few days it has been reported that he has been gathering so-called right wing eurosceptic support based on pledges regarding withdrawing the party from the EPP group in the European Parliament something this and my other blogs have repeatedly urged. (Some of the names mentioned should be checked against the information as to their position on the EU at the last election as reported on the results page of the British Declaration of Independence website linked here.)
An item in today's The Times covers this topic and may be read from here.
Conservative party members with the final say over the next leader are now faced with a very real choice and a real dilemma. Only a full and detailed explanation of each candidates' plans regarding the EU, Britain's place within or outside it and the exact strategy for achieving those ends both in government and opposition will now allow a well-informed vote to be cast by party members on the real number one question today facing the nation.
One major question for each contender I would suggest might be the following:
Is David Cameron proposing the Conservative Party will immediately join the group in the European Parliament which presently includes UKIP, or will he try and tempt UKIP away from the more extremist members of that present grouping or does he consider UKIP itself to be extreme?
David Davis owes the conservative party members a fuller explanation of his activities and views at the time of the Maastricht vote and a detailed summary of how they have evolved since that time.