Thursday, May 17, 2007

Nadine Accuses Cameron's Advisers of Hanging Willetts & Letwin Out to Dry

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries made an extraordinary allegation on 18 Doughty Street tonight that the Cameron inner circle is hanging Oliver Letwin and David Willetts out to dry. I won't interpret her words here as you can hear them direct from her below and she will be blogging about it herself tomorrow morning, but she is clearly furious that the education policy commission, on which she sits, has been pre-empted by the Willetts speech today. She said Tory MPs from all parts of the party are incandescent about today's events and David Willetts had a very uncomfortable time at the 1922 Committee. To see the whole Vox Politix programme from last night, click HERE.

36 comments:

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

The history of England since the 1950's has been dominated by the sell out of its aspirational working and lower middle classes.

Cameroon completes the betrayal.

Only Australia, New Zealand, France and elsewhere remain their option now.

I am totally appalled by this idiot (Cameroon). Its strange put the PSB dominated opinion formers in the MSM haven't given the idea a hard time.

tedfoan said...

For once I can recommend an opinion piece by Boris Johnson in the Daily Telegraph today.

There is a compelling logic in what he says and I think we need to understand the Conservatives whole approach to the education debate before throwing our rattles out of the pram.

bgprior said...

Conspiracy theories are sometimes correct, but if there's a reasonable cock-up theory, it's more often right.

It doesn't stretch credulity to imagine that Letwin, Willetts, Hilton and Cameron all thought these speeches would send signals about the "modernisation" of the Conservative party, similarly to the "hug a hoodie" speech, but that Cameron and Hilton pusillanimously felt they had to distance themselves a little when they received a hostile reception.

It does, on the other hand, seem a little unlikely that Cameron and Hilton would go out of their way to undermine their policy guru and "chief assistant brainbox" not long before (if we are to believe the promises) they start rolling out the policy suggestions from Letwin's teams. And though, given a little time, one would rely on Letwin and Willetts to start spouting rubbish, the conspiracy theory requires greater control of the timing than could reasonably have been planned.

Personality and past performance would also tend to support casting these actors more as Mr Bean than Machiavelli types.

bgprior said...

Boris's article is typical of modern politics. It is a criticism of the status quo and a shopping list of what results ought to be achieved, with the implication that somehow the ends imply the means. Labour have always been like that - some people are poor, therefore it is obvious that we ought to give them money (and take it away if they start making some of their own). Boris's argument is no different - some of our schools aren't good enough, therefore it is obvious that the government ought to control and cajole and standardise and get more money spent on them. I didn't spot a real solution in that article.

chatterbox said...

I am a huge fan of your site and also Nadine's despite the fact you are both to the right of me in the party.
But to be fair Nadine is in the Tombstone brigade who will be spitting teeth over this honest appraisal of a policy which dare not speak its name but has been the direction for a true conservative party led either by right or left for years.
I read with interest the experiences of both yourself and your partner in the previous thread and was disappointed that despite your honest evaluation of both experiences giving credence to Willets conclusion, your leanings towards the right did not allow you to do other than sit on the fence regard grammar schools.
I had an excellent state education in Scotland under Maggie and the other half attended one of the most sought after grammar's in England in the 70's after being almost regimented into passing the 11+ at school and at home by his teacher parent.
Our conclusions today for our kids, State education crap not because of teaching, lack of grammar schools or social mobility. Dumbed down education system to fit New Labour exam pass targets!!!! And I did not need two brains to work that one out.

Iain Dale said...

Chatterbox. How is this sitting on the fence?

"I still believe it's a debate we shouldn't need to have and that the Conservative Party should be arguing enthusiastically for more - not fewer- grammar schools. At the beginning of the 21st century we should be aiming to raise the level of education in all secondary schools to that provided by existing grammar schools."

Anonymous said...

You need to improve the quality of your junior staff - what the fuck is a policy analysist?!

Anonymous said...

Why are all these MPs spitting teeth over what is merely a continuation of their party's policy?

Surely these people aren't idiotic enough to have thought the party had supported grammar schools when in fact they hadn't for decades?

Anonymous said...

If Dave had been honest at hustings and hadn't waffled and squirmed his way through would he now be leader- i think we all know the answer!

Anonymous said...

"If Dave had been honest at hustings and hadn't waffled and squirmed his way through would he now be leader- i think we all know the answer!"

Given the party voted for Thatcher as leader after she was the education secretary that got rid of the most grammar schools, we certainly do.....

Anonymous said...

Thatcher was and is a Conservative.Dave is just power hungry.

Anonymous said...

The Sun has Peter Lampl telling fairy tales. Implying he lived on a Council Estate - his father was Chairman of Bovis.....and Peter Lampl a Boston Consulting group Management Consultant....they don't hire from the wrong side of the tracks....you have to be white shoe

Snafu said...

If the Conservative Party has turned against aspirational middle and working class voters by denying them Grammar schools, they deserve to be out of power forever.

It's good to see that a shadow cabinet dominated by privately educated MPs are now prepared to deny everyone else the opportunities a good education has provided them!

YHN said...

To have a bunch of elite private schoolers seeking to attack grammar schools as unfair for not having enough poor people in is beyond satire.

What percentage of pupils at Eton rely on free lunch tickets?

The Cameroons seem to be making the socialist case for banning private schools as they clearly offer unfair preference, being stuffed with rich kids 'playing the system' by paying to get in.

javelin said...

Yep, they are flapping on the washing line like a couple of old tea towels.

Anonymous said...

"If the Conservative Party has turned against aspirational middle and working class voters by denying them Grammar schools, they deserve to be out of power forever."

The Conservative Party did this years ago, and got rewarded with 18 years in power.....

Anonymous said...

"Thatcher was and is a Conservative.Dave is just power hungry. "

Thatcher gets rid of grammar schools = Conservative.

So Dave should act to get rid of the remaining grammar schools like Thatcher then to prove he is a Conservative?

Camoron Must Go said...

Did the Chinless Wonder experience the reality of the wait for a Criminal Records Bureau check to show that he was fit and proper person to be in a classroom with children?

Did he have to submit details of where he lived for the last five years? Did he have to forward other forms of identity to the CRB before he went playing acting in Hull?

Did he have to wait 6-12 weeks for the police background checks to be carried out?

If Camoron hadn't gone through this process, why the hell should teachers have to? Would 'Dave' like to tell us if he has had a CRB check?

Marc said...

I actually feel really sorry for Oliver over that speech. It just shows the danger of reading the first couple of paragraphs of a speech. After the ridiculously pompous opening, he says

There is a reason why I have been using this ridiculous, high-falutin language.

I want to make the point that ridiculous high-falutin language is not the sole prerogative of Gordon Brown with his post neo-classical endogenous growth theory…



Nor of David Miliband with his “emphasis on the value of equality and solidarity…supplemented by renewed commitment to the extension of personal autonomy in an increasingly interdependent world”.

You shouldn't think that, just because someone uses complicated words, they have a coherent theory. And you shouldn't think that, just because someone tries, most of the time to speak in plain English, they don't have a theory.

Cameron Conservatives have a strong attachment to plain English. That is because we think that it is easier to think clearly in clear language. But this has misled some people who think that theories come in complicated language to think we haven't got one.



And my point is that, despite our general preference for plain language, we do have a theory. It can be expressed (as I have just expressed it) in complicated language. It can also be expressed (as I am about to do) in much simpler terms.

Anonymous said...

Hmm.. I wouldn't take anything Nadine 'Bonkers' Dorries too seriously..

Anonymous said...

She is a bit of a 'conspiracy theorist'. Oliver Letwin was being ironic - is she too thick to realise this ??

Anonymous said...

I am a despairing Conservative. If Osborne, Willetts and Letwin really represent the best thinking that the party can offer then all is lost. Every time one of them makes a policy speech I wince and so do most Tories.
It is time for a new party - the Middle Party - for all who think like those 3 and Blair and Hewitt etc. That would leave the Left and the Right to people with convictions of some kind.

Anonymous said...

Marc 10:08

This is why Letwin is so gaff prone.

He doesn't *think*

He should know the press (or anyone for that matter) will pick-up on the start & end of a speech.

The intro & conclusion sets the tone of the speech, you can't just bury your message in the middle - they won't quote it.

He should have started first with the "clear & simple language" bit and THEN attacked the "hi-falutin" language.

Then the press/everyone else would have picked up on his message which is; "Camerons Tories use clear and simple language".

Letwin can be quite naive sometimes.

Anonymous said...

This is all very unfair,Dave,Boris and Oliver are all men of the people and,like Gove understand that quality Etonians and their friends are looked up to and admired by real working people.
And lets hear it for the Bullingdon boys.

Anonymous said...

Excuses that Willetts speach has been misunderstood or that people have not read it thoroughly make me want to weep.

This is politics, where a message has to be grapsed in the 10 seconds between receipt and the wastepaper basket muscle twitching.

Either Willetts understood that and the wave of hostile reaction from Conservatives was what he wanted, or he didn't. If he did he is a fool who has damaged voters perception of what our Party stands for, if he didn't he is just a fool.

Well done to Mark Field to show some spine on the issue.

watch out there's a plant about said...

Attacking Grammar Schools was an appallingly bad move for the Tories but was it done deliberately to embarrass the leadership, sow discord, and lose support?

I have never trusted Letwin. Over recent years he has provided masses of ammunition for New Labour by coming out with nonsense as if it is Tory party policy. Is he "gaffe prone" or is it something more sinister than that?

As for "two brains" Willetts, he's making the serious mistake of believing all the guff about how intelligent he supposedly is.

Anonymous said...

Conshome are asking for suggestions as to who Dangerous Dave should visit next.
A good quality phychiatrist might be an idea.
PS.he may like to take along a few friends.

Smith said...

Let's hope Nadine's right about Willet's and Letwin being hung out.

Willet's after denouncing grammar schools on news night last night failed to answer why its ok for existing ones to remain. Most grammars are predominately in the south but those of us in the north will have to put up with sending our children to failing comprehensives. It makes the party look like a bunch of southern hypocrites.

As for Letwin. He really ought to take a position as a post-structuralist social theorist at LSE or such like after his recent speech.

Neither of them are going to win the Tories votes in the north.Time for a reshuffle.

Anonymous said...

Starting at the top!.

Anonymous said...

Dave contradicts Nadine in new post on WebCameron

http://www.webcameron.org.uk/page.php?id=75

"I announced over a year ago that the party would not go back to a policy of opening new grammar schools or introducing the 11 plus and so am slightly surprised that the press has got so excited about this clear pledge being given all over again by David Willets."

Anonymous said...

Didn't realise the review had reported so early-they really are quick workers.

Anonymous said...

Anon-3.33Perhaps they all took it with a pinch of salt---like leaving the EPP.

Anonymous said...

Dave has had another go at explaining himself-he's FAILED.
You would have thought by the lower fourth he would have learned the bit about throwing the spade out of the hole.

Anonymous said...

As Nadine refuses to post anything other than gushing praise on her site, I will express my views here.

She isn't barking up the wrong tree, she is just barking...

Anonymous said...

And boy are the barks being heard.

bgprior said...

Marc, It wasn't the pomposity of the language that was at fault, it was the badness of the idea. The language just made it easy to ridicule. You will notice, in the final paragraph you quote, that he does not retreat from the idea, he just suggests there are different ways of expressing it. He really does believe that the economic battle is over and that we need a socio-centric paradigm to replace the econo-centric paradigm. It doesn't matter what language you dress that up in, it's bollocks all the same.

Smith, Please not the LSE. That august institution, proud home of Robbins, Hayek and Popper, has already sunk low enough in the Giddens era, without adding another halfwit to the faculty. Surely there is a university in Venezuela that we could send him to.