Saturday, October 06, 2007

So Who Turned it Round for the Tories?

We know about all the great performances in Blackpool last week, culminating with David Cameron's tour de force, but what we don't know is who, behind the scenes, pulled it all together and upped the game of the Tory media operation? Was it Steve Hilton, was it Andy Coulson or was it both of them? In many ways it's immaterial, but for Tory activists it's comforting to know that it was possible turn round an oil tanker which to many appeared to be heading for the rocks. Make no mistake, if the Tories had had a bad conference, do you really think we'd be sitting here tonight talking about Gordon Brown calling off an election? Of course not.


UK Daily Pundit said...

What a week! From talk of a Tory leadership challenge to talk of a Labour leadership challenge. I bet David Miliband is sinking a few dry sherry's tonight.

Anonymous said...

We may have arguments/discussions as to which way we want the party go that's for the good,but we know when to keep our gobs shut.

his eminence said...

Dave is the man

Ethelred the Unhinged said...

There is, of course, a difference between calling an election and calling one off.

How do you call one off?

Stalin McSporran has decided not to call an election as it seems the result would be unfavourable.

His decision was based upon opinion polls, which were themselves informed by recent events, including party conferences.

The Tories now have the advantage.

Use it wisely.

Or are you just as neo-liberal as New Labour?

I suspect you are.

henry mayhew said...

Whoever else may have been involved, especially Osborne, you can't take anything away from Cameron's decisive position. That speech was perfect, perfect, perfect - utterly hardcore. He broke Brown, who's now hanging on to his cred by his fingernails.

Floreat Aetona! - and that's from a Tonbridgian Ukipper. Of course, the complacency will set back in again now though. Back to being patronised as a delusional, mostly racist fruitcake etc..

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

Lets see Redwood proposed the death tax change which Osborne finally got round to paying attention to.

But whomever managed to muzzle Zac during the conference, at least viz the press, is probably most responsible for helping Conservatives have a good conference. The man is basically a poll disaster waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...

No one turned it around.

Brown is a coward, pure and simple.

Some of us never doubted he wouldn't call an election.

David H said...

Please drop the red italics - you look like a wannabe who's just learned a new trick. It makes Guido look like a cock - please don't imitate him.

Anonymous said...

Has to be Coulson!

There is some serious deadwood in the tory press office that needs to be removed!

Anonymous said...

Why do you keep going into bright red italics? Are you having a pop at Guido?

Man in a Shed said...

The Conservative party should take the credit. It understood when to close ranks and face the enemy. It understood when to tell its own leadership it had made mistakes. It understood David Cameron could lead the party to victory. It attracted the sort of shadow cabinet talent that Labour can only dream of. And finally it understood that the middle class can't carry on being taxed into servitude.

I think the spirit of the Conservative party is best summed up by its former leaders:

John Major: Who knows how to let people get on - but pops up at the key moment.
William Hague: Who is willing to serve another leader.
IDS: Who despite having more than enough reasons for an epic Brownian sulk, has instead humbly got on with the job of developing Conservative thought in a whole new approach for social action. In doing so shown true service to his party and the country at large.
Michael Howard: Who had the vision for what had to be done after 2005 and his last gift as leader was to enact that vision.

And of course David Cameron whose a man you would want to be beside in any crisis.

If I had to name a key moment it would be John Major popping up on TV to blast Gordon Brown out of the sky with his measured words. ( this is why Labour keep mentioning Inheritance tax - they want to distract from the real moment the tide turned.)

Labour in contrast have - Neil Kinnock ..... (Blair's gone AWOL).

Anonymous said...

Being something of a romantic, I would like to think that the entire shadow cabinet team that made such huge contributions pulled it off for themselves, boosted by Cameron's own superlative effort. I suppose I have to believe there was some presentation strategy organised by someone, some kind of media advisors. But whoever it was, if anyone, surely was hugely more competent than the idiots advising GB. Or maybe the recipient of the GB advice was the idiot, and DC was better at filtering the best advice. Who knows... but Cameron did well, all ways round, and GB is left with egg on his face.

Chris said...

But if you really thought that the Tories were going to do well, why would the Tories have been doing everything that they could to avoid an early election ?
Brown's backing off may give the opposition parties a boost but the Conservatives were not going to do well if there had been a November election.

Anonymous said...

I don't suppose anyone in particular turned things round. I have yet to see anything happen which could be ascribed to Coulson. But it would be nice to hope that things are changing generally as a result of increasing public perception of, and revulsion at, the antics of the corrupt manipulative Labour mafia which has entrenched itself in public life in this country. That could be too much to hope for, though.

Anonymous said...

Q: What do you call a Labour MP in a marginal constituency?

A: A Lame Duck

John Trenchard said...

i'm not normally a Tory voter (being more of a libertarian awkward type), but i have to hand it to you Iain - you guys played an absolute BLINDER this week.

timid inheritance tax cut - which would cost no more than 0.6% of the overall 500 BILLION expenditure - and the attack that 0.6% cut triggered from labour has backfired and made folks wonder - what in gods name are they spending the money on?

Have a read of this - lots of graphs on government expenditure and taxation. it's eye popping.

John Trenchard said...

"Labour in contrast have - Neil Kinnock ..... (Blair's gone AWOL)."

"man in a shed" - i have to hand it to you - rock solid analysis. you are dead right. the contrast is incredible.

by cancelling the election all brown has to look forward to is endless speculation on when an election will happen - no doubt stoked by the blairites who hate his guts.

watcher said...

Clearly its Culson!

people like eustice and macrory didn't have the professionalism or credibility to deliver the message.

now the Tories are professional again and they are back!

A great week!

carol42 said...

A bully and a coward, always was still is. The "Great Clucking Fist" don't you just love it!

Anonymous said...

Camoron and co must be heaving a huge sigh of relief. There is no way that they would have won an election at present.

All that would have happened is that the Labour majority would have been reduced somewhat.

Anonymous said...

The reality is that all Brown needs to di is coast along until the polls are comfortably in his favour again.

chiswick labour said...

Kick Brown out, he's become a liability to the Labour Party.

Jack Straw for PM!

Anonymous said...

Chris obviously doesnt understand Poker, it isnt who has the best hand who wins, its who plays their hand best that loses least.

Brown had a good hand, he showed us it, Cameron however kept his quiet, his inheritance tax was him showing us he had an ace, and the rest was a bluff.
He beat Brown with a weaker hand, he will make mincemeat of him, when he has the good hand.

Sonicdeathmonkey said...

I just hope that this shows to the Tory's that they are stronger together and united than having individual voices against Cameron.

This just shows how important discipline is in a political party.

Oscar Miller said...

Man in a Shed - agree with everything you've written. The Conservative party came through in a superb concerted effort - not a short but a very long haul that culminated in an extraordinary week. Not often you see that. Respect.

Anonymous said...

The 'frit feartie fae Fife', himself posturing in Iraq had a small part to play in his own downfall don't you think

Anonymous said...

I think people are getting waaaaay too carried away here. I agree - the media won't look the same way at Brown again. But the honeymoon was bound to end before too long anyway. And as for the country, will they really care about this in 18 months time? Yes it'll give Brown a bit more of a reputation for dithering but he'll have plenty of chances to overcome that before May '09.

Also don't forget these self-same polls that have showed the Tories recovering have also showed that two-thirds of people don't actually want an election at the moment. So I don't buy Cameron's line about "many people being disappointed" about Brown's change of heart.

ps: Have the exact opposite view to Iain on Michael Portillo. As a relatively-free-thinking-but-usually-centre-left-ish type I had just started to warm to him for his down to earth analysis and amusing performances on 'This Week'; but today we got the smug pre-1997 Portillo back, and I was reminded why I cheered so loudly when he lost his seat...

Newmania said...

Sonic death money is stating the bleeding obvious but it does seem that those of us who want Brownout have to do so again and again and again.

Incidentally I have been predicting this for the last month including the marginal seats factor . In fact I have been interpreting Cameron`s strategy as focussed on the marginals for a year.

I just love myself ...England win , the Kiwis choke and , in my view , Brown has made a terrible mistake for all that thought he might.

Newmania said...

Step forward all those who doubted Cameron...newmania ...AS YOU WERE. Nerves of steel. What a leader he will make for the coumtry and that is how he must now be presented

The phoney war is over ,Consrervatives must stop talking to eachother ( much less squabbling ) and talk to the country about how we are going to make life better.

Piper . Chris Paul see what you are dealing with .The risin spirit of then nation !!

Diablo said...

I think we should drink a couple of babychams to the two gargoyles - sorry, Eds - Balls and Miliband.

These two inept characters have been sitting on Brown's shoulders for years telling him what he what he wants to hear: "Who's a pretty boy, then? Who's going to keep us in power for ever? Yes, you Gordon!"

Time he got some new pets, methinks.

Gary said...

I'd love to be a fly on the wall to hear what was said when Tony (and even better...Cherie !) said as they watched Brown bottle it.

They're probably still laughing now !

Anonymous said...

Now will Cameron attack the so called EU constitution that's the next on the list.

Anonymous said...

Cameron's performance has been assured and persuasive. And I thought he was wishy washy!

Brown's a chicken, a choker. Brown's a cynical man, one who lurks in the shadow of spin and trickery. He promised a new start but it's nothing like that. Whether it's our boys in Iraq or faking a hospital opening, nothing's too sensitive to spin and abuse.

Brown's managing to make Tony Blair look like a rock-solid decent bloke. In fact even Alastair Campbell looks honest compared to bent Brown.

brown's credibility has gone said...

Brown's election prospects are only going to get worse over the next two years and more as the over-indebted economy implodes, house prices crash, and recession engulfs us.

He will rightly get a large share of the blame for this and, with the Blairites sharpening their knives for him, he will be lucky to limp on for much longer as a lame-duck Prime Minister.

Diablo said...

Good performance on the paper review on News 24, Iain. Liked the little aside about Al Gore and a possible Nobel prize. You are awful!

It's all falling into our lap at the moment in terms of the pressure building up on Brown. The next week will be a long time for Gordon.

But what rat (sic) will he pull out of his hat - as he surely will? More funding for the NHS than previously estimated? Although this will result in £200 a year rise in council tax? Is he that stupid?

Some other clever tax wheeze - other than the one already announced for April which will, in fact, reduce the income of low paid workers? What could it be? Swingeing tax on private equity? No, even he's not that stupid.

How about increasing the size of the Army? And giving them a big pay rise (in two or three years time, if he's true to form)?

A review of the need for ID cards? That would be a corker.

And the ultimate - a referendum on the EU Treaty? That might be a bridge too far!

Whatever it is it has to cut the middle ground from the Conservatives.

Let's hope the Cameron team has been thinking ahead.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Your comments in red are fair comment. Was the "fall" compounded by Gordon's utter contempt for the meeja?..I mean, even scum have some pride. News 24 have been repeating the Cameron interview, IN FULL, with no comments, no spin and no subtle digs.

This episode has obviously energised you and you seem to have recovered from the coke-fuelled Widdecombe party.

Cameron is looking sincere at the moment.

I never thought I would say that!

Well, things can only get worse...for Gordo, that is. I predicted a hung parliament ages ago and then bottled and then thought Labour would walk it. I should have stuck with my gut feeling.

So Gordon wants to show his "vision for change". It's a pity he's running scared and unable to trust the voters with it.

Well done, Tories.

Diogenes said...

Credit should be shared for the turnaround but I remember the moment it happened.

The moment came at the end of IDS's astonishing speech. His message is one that, you would think, would be difficult to sell to an old school Tory party, a bit socially minded.

By contrast, David Davis had an easy sell (police , immigration, prisons etc). Davis got a good round of applause. IDS's got a roar of approval followed by a 3-minute spontanious ovation.

After IDS, Cameron gave his speech to a totally united Conservative. Party.

Jill, London said...

Comrade Frown was playing a game with the Conservatives - trying to frighten them about an early election. But hubris is followed by nemesis - and the opinion polls from Labour's key marginals are bad. Many cabinet ministers could lose their seats. Good! The more Comrades who fall the merrier I shall be!

And I agree with anonymous' analysis of the 'frit feartie fae Fife' who was the agent of his own downfall. And that was aided by the Conservatives who FINALLY told the electorate what a dire maladministration is running this country. The economy is in a bad way with almost Third Reich levels of inflation in the housing market. That bubble must burst soon - all over the Comrades! Then - finally - the electorate will wake up to the Comrades' incompetence. Then we will get rid of them - at last!

M. Hristov said...

Harold Wilson said that a week is a long time in politics and that has been proven once again.

The really wonderful news for the Conservative Party is that the election crisis has been manufactured by Brown, Darling and Balls. Darling and Balls are supposed to be the future of the Labour Party but they haven’t a clue.

We are currently in good times. Wait until things get really rough economically. These idiotic Labour youngsters are at least as stupid as those Conservatives who toppled Margaret Thatcher in 1990. Brown may well be defenestrated to protect the new generation, just as Mrs T. was.

Someone who faces a probable coup is “Ming”. “Ming” might go quietly but my bet is that Lady (Elspeth) Campbell, the Christine Hamilton of the Lib Dems, is likely to fight this tooth and nail. If this happens then the Conservative Party will be laughing.

So, after this week the next election is the Conservative Party’s to lose. The key to Downing Street has been found and it does not lie in “Green Issues”. It lies through the average voters back pocket. This fact will grow more evident as the economic situation deteriorates. I do not want to hear from Greg Barker M.P. or Zac Goldsmith. I want to hear from George Osborne. I want sensible, credible, costed tax breaks. At the same time I want to hear more from I.D.S. I want the most deprived people in our society to feel that they will benefit from the ideas of a man who has a genuine concern for their welfare. Lets also follow “The Family” back onto the agenda but let us also keep it modern. “The Family” means : husband and wife and children; husband and wife; husband and wife and extended family and homosexual partners in a civil partnership with or without extended family. These are the stable institutions which need encouragement. Let us start to make the very rich who live here pay for some of the services and security that they receive. All of these things have been started at the Conservative Party Conference but they must be built on. Lastly, please tell Boris to conduct a serious campaign. It looks as if his will be the most important election next year. It will be a golden opportunity for the Labour Party to “rubbish” the Conservatives if he clowns around.

english democrat said...

I have to admit that WHEN Cameron starts talking like a real Tory he is very impressive! I went right off him when he started with his hand wringing high tax green waffle/concensus crap Etc!
Here are some things that people want from an incoming tory regime, dump ALL Quango's as they are nothing more than free money club for the lazy elite, that would save £160BILLIONish! Strip the jobsworths from the government payroll! tens of thousands of parasites(hook worms) infest the government and they need to be purged! Introduce a 10% tax band/everyone pays NO exceptions/if you own a British passport you pay your way!
Introduce best offer/best kit for MOD equipment purchase! that alone would save BILLIONS and stop the stupid integration of the UK armed forces into the EU forces! They are crap and rubbish and they will never ever be any good! all integration will achieve would be to make our forces as crap as theirs!
Start a public inquiry into the BBC and have a "truth & reconciliation commision to weed out the leftists/socialists who have so ruined the BBCs reputataion! anyone who comes clean and signs a promise not to do it again goes free BUT anyone who does not gets fired and jailed! just watch those rats turn on each other!
These are just a few common sense ideas but there are many, many more! Ive said it before and ill say it again, The people need a strong and principled TORY leader who will take the knife to the ZANULAB regime and its crooked gang of followers! Is Dave up for it?
Get tough Dave! like Thatcher tough! and just watch that majority rocket!
People dont want a handwringing coward at the helm! they want a Churchill or Thatcher! so get going!

english democrat said...

PS sack everyone at the Treasury and bring in meryll Lynch/PWC and just watch the economy improve!
PPS sack all the anti semites (everyone) at the foreign office and replace them with? IAIN DALE and GUIDO FAWKES and RICHARD NORTH and LITTLEJOHN!

Daily Referendum said...

William Hague hinted strongly that the party should pull together in his opening speech:

We have strong leadership, clear direction, and policies our country needs. So let us make the most of all of that, and so conduct ourselves this week that people can see the relish, the confidence and the optimism with which we approach our task. Let this week be a reminder never to underestimate the Conservative Party, and a demonstration of how we can serve a country where it is time for change. It's time for change. And let it now begin.

Charlotte Corday said...

Tony Blair (remember him?) used to tell his party: "Never, ever, underestimate the Conservatives. Never, ever over-estimate the LibDems."
I bet Brown wishes he had taken Blair's advice.

Brandon said...

I agree. Conference was a masterpiece. All the speeches were good to excellent and all the events had a good fizz. I think Labour played a large par tin that by galvanising us all into remembering what we stand for an dwhat our real job is.
We now have a PM who has shown he is weak, the worry is that it could damage our country with the rest of the world viewing our PM as weak and indecisive too.

Manfarang said...

Ooh! This is as exciting as Chen Tai Chi!

Anonymous said...

public and party didnt no what policies were which was obviously goin to be exploited by other parties. turns out policies have been very well received ie front bench have scored a blinder as a TEAM. i thought David Willets and Michael Gove were excellent.
lansley got work to do on NHS he very knowledable but is MASSIVE dont see his vision. Too much waste and DEMAND has to be addressed

Chris Paul said...

It was a great big fluke! Gid the Fib plus Memory Dave struck a chord somewhere in the deep recesses of the self important pollerati in marginals.

Were they really saying "we'll vote Dave?" or were they simply saying "not yet Gordon, you'll know when the time is right - we suggest four years".

no longer anonymous said...

Chris Paul, why can't you just admit that Brown has cocked up and has now been forced to lie to the electorate about his reasons for not calling an election?

Travis Bickle said...

Q: What do you call a Labour MP in a marginal constituency?

A: Home Secretary

No Name said...

The person who's responsible for the tories having a good conference isn't a tory......