Thursday, September 06, 2007

When It's Right to Speak Out

Accompanying the National Service article in this morning's Sun was a sidebar piece (not online). Headlined LEADER FURY AT PARTY OLDIES David Cameron took a clear sideswipe at Michael Ancram. This is what he said...

I want all Conservatives to think carefully before they open their mouths. When you make changes you get blasts from the past who signify nothing. Political leadership is about taking a long-term approach. It's about ignoring voices off-stage...Past Tory leaders had to take long held principles and apply them to the problems of the day. That's exactrly what I am doing. Winston Churchill said let's tear up wartime controls and set the people free. Harold Macmillan said let's build more homes and have a property owning democracy. Margaret Thatcher said we cannot have the trade union barons running the country.

Cameron then went on to criticise Gordon Brown for comparing himself to Margaret Thatcher, coming up with a couple of rather good lines...

What a cheek! If we had listened to Gordon Brown no one would have been
able to buy their own council house, unions would run the country and we'd
probably be speaking Russian. He is a conviction politician - convicted of
robbing people's pensions, stealth taxed and failing to reform the NHS.
That's more like it.

I read a piece on ConservativeHome earlier where Tim Montgomerie reckoned that Cameron should have kept silent and stayed above the fray. I agree it would have been wrong for him to say anything about Ancram directly on Tuesday, but I think Cameron was right to make clear in this Sun interview that he would stay the course. It's called leadership. I did have to smile about THIS entry on ConservativeHome which illustrates the absolute hypocrisy of Michael Portillo.
Michael Portillo yesterday, quoted in The Guardian: "I think David Cameron was pursuing the right course, which was moving the party to the centre ground, and I think that those in the party who do not like it should just hold their tongues."

The Press Association today: "Conservative leader David Cameron has been
accused by former Cabinet minister Michael Portillo of "losing his nerve" over
the rebranding of his party." (See Marketing eek).
'Nuf said, I think.


Anonymous said...

"we would all be speaking Russian"

Did Jim Davidson write that?

David Boothroyd said...

David Cameron thinks that if we'd listened to Gordon Brown, we'd all be speaking russian? Has Cameron gone barking mad or is he being deliberately stupid?

David Lindsay said...

Suggestions, please, as to how Brown stands in the tradition of the Single European Act, the Exchange Rate Mechanism, the Anglo-Irish Agreement, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, the replacement of O-levels with GCSEs, the closure of so many grammar schools that there were not enough left at the end for the record ever to be equalled, the rise of Political Correctness, the massively increased welfare dependency in the 1980s, that decade's general moral chaos, and the key factor that was the erosion of patriarchal authority in working-class communities by the destruction of that authority's economic basis in the stockades of working-class male employment.

Hughes Views said...

"If we had listened to Gordon Brown no one would have been
able to buy their own council house, unions would run the country and we'd
probably be speaking Russian"

Has poor 'nice boy' Dave been asleep for the last ten years or did he spend the whole decade swigging Bolly with his oafish chums?

Man in a Shed said...

The next prime minister, after the next general election will most likely be David Cameron or (in my nightmares) Gordon Brown.

Conservatives need to wise up on this. David Cameron has learnt from the mistakes before the Summer and his Newsnight interview shows he's going to get stuck into things.

Commissar said...

What a cheek! If we had listened to Gordon Brown no one would have been
able to buy their own council house, unions would run the country and we'd probably be speaking Russian .

Who is writing his speeches now? Richard Littlejohn? You couldn't make it up...

tapestry said...

If Michael Portillo were to pick an argument with himself, he'd lose.

It's greatly to Cameron's credit that Portillo no longer knows whether he's coming or going.

By cutting his centre ground strategy with traditional common sense policies, Cameron's mix assumes an overwhelmingly attractive nose for swing voters. He's climbing fast.

Portillo thinks he wrote the book, but as with all theorists, practice always becomes obnoxious to them. It inevitably fails to comply with their prognostications.

Conservative success is the one outcome not allowed for in Portillo's calculations. The ridiculousness of his affronted tone can only get worse, the faster Cameron swings into the lead.

tgf ukip said...

Unfortunately for the Tories those "rather good lines" have been far too long in coming. Nicey nicey, hoodie hugging Dave has managed to leave an almost indelible imprint of himself on the public psyche as weak and wimpish. It is going to take prolonged and ferocious, proper gloves off opposition for him to even begin to shake off this image and start to make inroads against the "Big Clunking Fist" image that Brown is cultivating and the public admire. In troubled times Dave's lightweight, likeable, green obsessed image is no asset and he has foolishly backed himself into a corner where every attempt to escape that image will be met by a BBC/NewLabour chorus of "Lurch to the Right" and "Punch and Judy politics."

Anonymous said...

Not sure what you are alluding to with Portillo, Iain. I know he was a bit unsupportive of William Hague, but as far as I know he hasn't been unhelpful to Cameron in the past ?

Oscar Miller said...

I thought this deserved being posted here (courtesy of Comments into today's Telegraph) for everyone to singalong to:
To the tune of Shaggy’s Number 1 hit ‘It Wasn’t Me’. The verse is hard to sing if you don’t know the melody, but all of you can have a go at the chorus. You may even like to add some lines yourself. Ready?

Gordon and Tony won the keys to all of Whitehall.
Gordon said: “You stick to foreign, Tony, I’ll do all the home rule.”
Tony said: “Hang on, I’m PM”, too late - Gordon slammed the door.
That was how he got his sobriquet as Downing Street’s Mr Dour.

How could Tony believe that Gordy would ever let him be?
For Gordy knew he’d run the show just by sittin’ in da Treasury.

Who made up the stealth taxes?
“It wasnae me.”
EU railroading the masses?
“It wasnae me.”
My council tax through the roof?
“It wasnae me.”
SureStart failing the youth?
“It wasnae me.”
Billions in tax credit fraud?
“It wasnae me.”
Sold our gold reserves abroad?
“It wasnae me.”

For one so cerebral, Gordy has a very short memory,
Cos he knows he can always count on a grovelling BBC.

The green belt’s next to feel the weight of Gordon’s clunking fist.
Seems to think the poor voters haven’t already got his gist.

They even caught him stealin’ pensions.
Sumtin’ he don’t like to mention.

School budget’s gone soaring.
“It wasnae me.”
Pupil literacy just appalling.
“It wasnae me.”
Tubes on strike thanks to PPP?
“It wasnae me.”
New Deal botched for all to see?
“It wasnae me.”
Armed Forces budget cuts?
“It wasnae me.”
Health Service in a rut?
“It wasnae me.”

Posted by MC Disillusioned on September 6, 2007 2:06 PM

Phil said...

"We'd probably be speaking Russian" What on earth is he going on about? Yes, Tory cliches from the 1980s are a real vote winner.

Anonymous said...

Iain, can you explain as an insider, to those of us on the outside of the modern Conservative party, what of Ancram's utterings is contrary to the current Conservative position?

Splashitallover said...

That speaking Russian line...Brown was never a member of CND, nor has he ever, to my knowledge, espoused pacifism.

I wonder what the equivalent is for Dave - if we'd been listening to him, we'd all have joined the Bullingdon Club? Oh no, sorry, only utter utter toffs were allowed in. Even that oik Osborne (son of a baronet) only just squeaked in.

There's something genuinely ersatz about Cameron, even his political knockabout feels forced. No wonder real Tories have their misgivings.

Brian Tomkinson said...

Cameron needs to careful - some of his comments, or the way they are interpreted in the media, can be regarded as ageist. There are many people who are "oldies", take the trouble to vote and might well decide that they wont vote for someone who seems to have such disregard for the views of those older than him.

Diablo said...

Where have all the Labour trolls gone? Seven hours since your post and nothing! Are you losing your appeal Iain?

Or has David Cameron said something that people think might be a good idea? No, can't be as simple as that - there must be football match on somewhere.

Chris Paul said...

Cam's characterisation of Brown is wildly innaccurate (though some on the Labour left would add: "More's the pity").

Council house sales - Blair/Brown AFAIK seriously regretted missing that one. The tap was not turned off. Despite Lady Porterhouse or whatever her thieving name was.

The thing that needed to go with it but never did under the Tories and still hasn't under NL is the recycling of receipts to build new homes - properly protected e.g. in co-ops, from right to buy and also resale or remortgaging.

Neither Blair not Brown is much of a Trade Unionist. And does Cam or the Sun really think Unions have a sniff of running the country? Do they think people will believe that given the New Labour history?

Speaking Russian would be no bad thing, and French and German and Mandarin and Gaelic. Everey word is an idea. And each has different shades in each language. I do speak Russian though very very badly indeed. A bare pass at O.

The convicted line is pure Yahboo. Sun readers are not as thick as Cam may think. They do not buy this. We do not buy this. Nobody buys this.

Brown is head and shoulders over Cam on convictions and he has been playing all this like a real master. He is destroying the Tory Party.

'Til not one stone stands on another. We had already done this in Manchester say 15 years ago and in fact this is not great for us. The pestilent Lib Dems have become a clear second party in many wards as Tories just roll over and die.

Tory voters are holding their nose and voting for a party that they think is TO THE LEFT of Labour.

For that reason I am urging Cam on with every breath and every sinew. But he just isn't cutting it.

Cameron SHOULD have kept silent. The polls were improving. Now they will droop again.

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

London Calling to the Imitation Tone......

I'll vote for you when YOU have inner city kids bused in to recieve a good education with YOUR kids at Eton.

How on earth have we ended up with you?

PoliticalHack said...

Not really hypocritical at all - if you read the article in Marketing Week, Portaloo is supportive of the strategy, he just thinks that it has run into problems and that Cameron hasn't been daring enough to push on. He's not criticising the move to the centre, just encouraging Cameron to move faster.

The criticism of those who oppose the shift (Lord Kalms, Micky Ancram, most of the membership, etc) is broadly consistent.

Diablo said...

Iain - you've made me look a bigger prat than usual. You only "moderated" all these comments at 1.30am. Still, I'm pleased to see the trolls were still at it even though you were on a jolly. Was the Balckberry malfunctioning?

english democrat said...

VAT tax fraud? Gordon Brown=guilty!

TAX CREDIT fraud? Gordon Brown=guilty!

ELECTORAL fraud? Gordon Brown=guilty!

EU CONSTITUTION fraud? Gordon Brown=guilty!

PENSION THEFT fraud? Gordon Brown=guilty!

Gordon Brown IS guilty of murder! He has kept the MOD so short of money AND instructed them to integrate with the fantasy EU armed Forces that they cannot buy the protected vehicles that would save our soldiers lives!

Come on Cameron, attack these sleazy, rotten and crooked commisars! Hit them where it hurts again and again! This is the time to discard the perverted self imposed political status quo! NuLabour is the worst and most corrupt bunch of scum this side of an African dictatorship and if they arnt destroyed soon then they WILL destroy Great Britain!
Expose the theft of public money!
Expose the nepotism and graft and favouritism!
Expose the EU lies and corruption AND the voters will flock to your banner! The voter can tell the difference between real conviction and self serving populism!


Anonymous said...

As Portillo once famously said:

"He who dares wins !" the trouble is when it came to it he didn't dare !

Nicko said...

"- Winston Churchill said let's tear up wartime controls and set the people free.
- Harold Macmillan said let's build more homes and have a property owning democracy.
- Margaret Thatcher said we cannot have the trade union barons running the country."

And David Cameron has done what? Said we should probably pay more to go on holiday but not til it's been costed? Perhaps we should be more understanding of people who threaten and rob the innocent? He's also apologised for Thatcher's conviction politics, and now he expects to show them off!

Anonymous said...

Yes Political Hack, Portillo is pushing a consistant line but he is being hypocritical by not keeping his trap shut after saying others should

Anonymous said...

Funny this:

At the last Conservative Party conference Cambo stated. “We are not New Labour, we don't mind if people go off message, we love it actually”. This was his response to Boris making an arse of himself regarding his comments about Jamie Oliver’s School food program.

Less than a year later he is now telling you all to think carefully before opening your mouths.

Oh Dear !!!!!!

Gus A said...

"If we had listened to Gordon Brown no one would have been
able to buy their own council house, unions would run the country and we'd
probably be speaking Russian."

This is an almost supernaturally stupid comment.

Rich said...

"speaking Russian"?

Is David Cameron from one of the flyover states?

Johnny Norfolk said...

You know has no one heard of free speach. If Caneron has to tell his party to shut up maybe its because he doed not represnt us.

He is there to represent the party not the other way round. I will continue to speak my mind, and I am not happy with his leadership at all. he is to left wing and wet for me. We are not Labour Party clones that obey if we dissagree

Aleric said...

With the last thirty years of both Labour and Tory education policy the population can hardly speak English let alone Russian.