Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Top 100 Right Wingers: 50-1

The Daily Telegraph has today published the final instalment of this year's Top 100 Right Wingers List. The full details are HERE and HERE. You can see the list from 100-51 HERE. Brian Brivati and I now explain how we, and our panel, came to our decisions...

If the top 100 lefties list reflected in its volume of changes in position and large number of new entries the volatility of re-arranging chairs on the titanic after the ice berg has hit, this list of top 100 Tories reflects David Cameron’s conservative instincts that “if it ain’t broke don’t fit it”. The shuffling that has taken place and the new names that have appeared, reflect the fact that the need to win echoes through this list from start to finish.

Cameron remains top this year because he is the leader that has taken the Conservative party back into contention. Labour’s conference bounce and the financial crisis might still allow Brown a route back, but for now Cameron remains master of his own fate – the next election is his to lose. Many predicted that the Mayor of London did not have the self discipline to win an election but Boris Johnson jumps 11 places and comes in second because he has actually won something and thereby given the party the belief that it can win not only London but the country.

At the other end Phillippa Stroud (94) and Shaun Bailey (95) come into to the list because as candidates they represent the future of the party and on policy they have been responsible for putting some flesh on Cameron’s new Social Conservativism. Maria Miller comes in at (97) for similar reasons. The biggest winners in the top 30 are Andrew Feldman up 70 places to 11 and Frances Maude up 40 places to 16. Other notable gainers have been Dominic Grieve up 20 places to 25 and Stephen Gilbert up 21 places to 26. They have all been putting ideological, financial or organisational substance into the general election campaign.

Iain Duncan Smith is also up because of his contribution to making the party more electable, something he entirely failed to do as leader, while Oliver Letwin is down 7 to 19 because he has failed to translate his policy commission ideas into a coherent campaigning approach in the way that IDS has managed. On the face of things, Cameron’s policy commissions resemble the great burst of policy making that Edward Heath launched in the late 1960s – never has a Conservative Party coming from opposition had as many ideas as Heath in 1970. In contrast Thatcher (who has slipped down 8 places as her party moves to the centre) announced few new ideas in 1979. Heath lost four years later, Thatcher changed the country forever.

The grandees who have risen in these lists, Nigel Lawson (a new entry at 76 because of his book questioning the orthodoxy on climate change) and John Major (a new entry at 90) and those who have slipped Douglas Hurd (down 3 at 35 and still influential though many in the foreign policy community hope Cameron will listen more to Chris Patten, new in at 45), Kenneth Clarke (58 down 28 but still with the potential to rock the boat), Lord Tebbit (at 83 down 29 as the issue of Europe gets sidelined by the need to win), take differing views on the need to do a Heath and be specific or do a Thatcher (and for that matter a Blair) and appear to keep it vague. In fact New Labour has a huge volume of policy proposals, just as Cameron has many hundreds of pages of commission reports, the issue will be how the message is shaped and delivered at the next election and between now and then.

Many Shadow Cabinet Ministers could learn lessons from Michael Gove, up 1, who has largely neutralised Ed Balls on the schools issue, Liam Fox up 3 at 15, who has done well on veterans issues and Damian Green up 20 to 54 and heading for the shadow cabinet, who has put the government on the back foot on immigration. Green’s calm and measured tackling of his brief is a model of opposition politics that can be usefully compared in A level politics classes with David Davis’s year. In last year’s list Davis was up at 7th place. We wrote then “Davis’s continuing loyalty to Cameron has delighted (and perhaps surprised) his fans and detractors”. He has dropped only 24 places because he still has the power to hurt his party’s chances with a killer speech against Cameron, but his influence is now firmly declined though his fans and detractors may yet be surprised by his next move.

This year’s list reflects a party shaping up for its most realistic bid for power since 1997 – the inclusion of Frank Field at 100 is the final proof of this. If Field does a Shaun Woodward and crosses the floor to join Cameron and be rewarded with a Ministerial post it will be the final element of the run up to Blair-Brown victory that has so far been missing. Let us see next year and as always this is our list – now tell us yours...
1.(-) DAVID CAMERON
2. (+11) BORIS JOHNSON
3. (-1) GEORGE OSBORNE
4. (-1) LORD ASHCROFT
5. (+6) ANDY COULSON
6. (-1) STEVE HILTON
7. (-1) WILLIAM HAGUE
8. (+1) MICHAEL GOVE
9. (-1) MICHAEL SPENCER
10. (+4) EDWARD LLEWELLYN
11. (+70) ANDREW FELDMAN
12. (-8) MARGARET THATCHER
13. (+3) SIR SIMON MILTON
14. (+6) CHRIS GRAYLING
15. (+3) LIAM FOX
16. (+40) FRANCIS MAUDE
17. (+35) SAMANTHA CAMERON
18. (-1) PATRICK McLOUGHLIN
19. (-7). OLIVER LETWIN
20. (+22) ANDREW LANSLEY
21. (+2) TIM MONTGOMERIE
22. (-7) CHARLES MOORE
23. (+6) IAIN DUNCAN SMITH
24. (+1) NICK HERBERT
25. (+20) DOMINIC GRIEVE
26. (+21) STEPHEN GILBERT
27. (-1) ROBERT EDMISTON
28. (-1) THOMAS STRATHCLYDE
29. (-8) ANDREW MACKAY
30. (-2) SIR JONATHAN SACKS
31. (-24) DAVID DAVIS
32. (-10) STEPHAN SHAKESPEARE
33. (+55) JEREMY HUNT
34. (+16) SIR ANDREW GREEN
35. (-3) DOUGLAS HURD
36. (+17) ERIC PICKLES
37. (NEW) GREG CLARK
38. (+19) MATTHEW ELLIOTT
39. (-5) DAVID TRIMBLE
40. (-7) ANTHONY BROWNE
41. (-10) STUART POLAK
42. (+13) MICHAEL HINTZE
43. (NEW) RICHARD SHARPE
44. (NEW) DAVID ROSS
45. (NEW) CHRIS PATTEN
46. (+3) JOHN MAPLES
47. (-4) LORD HARRIS OF PECKHAM
48. (+12) JOHN REDWOOD
49. (NEW) JILL KIRBY
50. (NEW) KEN COSTA

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

David cameron, right wing?

Pull the other one Ian, there isn't one right wing bone in that man.

anonaLon said...

What a load of egotistical nonsense!

What's next? A Top 100 list of Tory MP's favourite chocolate bars?

At least your Top 100 blogs served some purpose by recommending good blogs. What purpose does this serve?

Rupert said...

Nice to see our next leader BORIS JOHNSON up near the top of the table.

Elby The Beserk said...

No Mike Summerbee? One of Man City's finest right wingers. Shame on you :-)

Old Holborn said...

Listened to Hague on R4 this morning.

When asked if the Irish voted yes and the Lisbon treated was ratified before BluLabour got their hands on the levers of power, would he still hold a referendum?

He coundn't/wouldn't answer. So I conclude that there will be no referendum.

The Irish are to be forced to vote yes next Autumn.

Meanwhile, the EU are furious that Ireland is shoring up their banks by offering to cover any liabilities. Apparently, they should have asked the (unelected) EU commission first.

You couldn't make it up. If anybody fancies joining me on Nov 5th for a quick stroll, feel free.

http://bastardoldholborn.blogspot.com/2008/07/old-holborn-is-going-for-walk.html

dalesman said...

Since when was David Cameron a right winger?

dougal said...

I think it's time everyone stopped fantasizing about F Field crossing the floor.

The guy is a Socialist, and with due respect to him for his beliefs, there's no way he will come over to the Tories.

Anonymous said...

Your list threads attract an avereage of around 10 comments.

Why bother?

Old Holborn said...

Hello Dolly. It's not what people say that will end ZNL's 11 years of tyranny. It's what they think.

And hard as you try, you haven't quite made thought a crime yet. I'm sure you're working on it though.

Governments should be afraid of their people. People should never be afraid of their governments

Anonymous said...

The first post says it all. Since when has Cameron been Right Wing?

He's a tart, just like Lock Jaw. We'll make the 'difficult decisions' - these two pillocks think making a difficult decision is transferring the bankruptcy of the banks over to the bankruptcy of the State.

If Cameron or Lock Jaw were on fire, I would't **** on them!

Colin said...

Top 100 Right Whingers more like.

Cameron a right winger, sorry Iain.

The reason labour will shade a victory in 2010 is that when it comes down to it - on the big substantive issues (Tax, Big State, Liberty, EU, out of control public spending, Immigration...), you can't get a fag paper between Dave's Tories and the regime. I don't care what the spin and sound bites are, when asked straight, yes or no questions on these issues the Tories respond with vague waffle.

The Tory conference has run out of steam, Dave and Wee Geordie sound totally irrelevant - they've managed to make Vince Cable - a man with more flip flops than Bangkok, sound authoritative and in tune.

When it comes down to it - Brown's novice jibe will stick in the memory of the electorate and they'll prefer the devil they know.

Right now, they (Dave & George) should be eviscerating brown and stamping all over his guts. He is not the solution to our apparent economic woes - he is a big part of the problem. Their reaction reminds me of IDS over Iraq. Instead of holding the regime to proper account, they're desperate to be seen as men of consensus - what a weak and pathetic sight.

As for being on the brink of a global, "game changing" catastrophe... I predict that the headlines in UK papers and blogs, come February 2009 or February 2010 at the latest- will be "BLOCKBUSTING BONUS BONANZA FOR BANKERS".

Please have a word Iain...

dalesman said...

"Right wing" Cameron should have been sticking the boot into "leftie" Brown.

The fact that he hasn't has done him no favours, because brown is looking better in the eyes of the public.

At the beginning of the conference Dave & George did make a start, but then did a U turn, making them look feeble.

Cameron needs some heavyweights in his shadow cabinet, and needs to keep going for Browns jugular.

Chris Paul said...

Where's that nice Mark fella from Conservative Future? Doesn't he make the top 50??

Big Jeff said...

Dave does not need to stick the boot into Brown - yet.

There are still quite a few problems for our illustrious leader.

He has still not solved the 10p tax fiasco - just shuffled it off-side for awhile.

Ditto retrospective Road Tax

And what do you think Budget 2009 is going to look like? Shaft-orama.

When our darling ersatz Chancellor stands up, the tax rises that he announces (just to try and stand still) will make our eyes water. Hardly a ringing endorsement of 12 years of robust and prudent financial management.

Dave-Boy will not sweat until then, he plays the reasonable guy now and Darling saves him the bother of raising taxes when he comes to power. A bit like the Chocolate ration in 1984?

Splashitallover said...

"He has dropped only 24 places because he still has the power to hurt his party’s chances with a killer speech against Cameron, but his influence is now firmly declined though his fans and detractors may yet be surprised by his next move."

Go on, tell us, what's that move? You clearly have an inkling.

Anonymous said...

Why are Lord Harris and Ashcroft down as Lords with no first name where as Tubby Tom Strathclyde is down under his birthname?

Londoner said...

Call me old fashioned, but I am uneasy that your top 12 only includes 5 elected politicians. 2 of the others are peers (inc Baroness Thatcher) which leaves 5 (or 6 if you include Ashcroft) backroom boys whom we know little or nothing about.

Would some of these people like to come out of the shadows or perhaps Iain would like to tell us who they are?

Pretty consistent with a political party that now has a party conference with no votes, no motions and no speeches from the floor.

I support Cameron for PM, because I think he has the character for it and is a small c conservative even if not a radical one. But, after more than 30 years of membership since I was 19, I am not sure this is a membership organisation any more.

Laurence Boyce said...

No Paris or Finkelstein in the top 100? And no Iain Dale?

Elby the Beserk said...

@Blogger Old Holborn said...
//
Hello Dolly. It's not what people say that will end ZNL's 11 years of tyranny. It's what they think.

And hard as you try, you haven't quite made thought a crime yet. I'm sure you're working on it though.
//

Wouldn't be so sure. Some guy was arrested at Heathrow today - a holocaust denier - on an EU arrest warrant, and packed off to Germany. Now, denying the holocaust is moronic and provocative maybe, but a crime?

New Stasi. Don't you just hate them?

Elby the Beserk said...

//
At least your Top 100 blogs served some purpose by recommending good blogs. What purpose does this serve?
//

It's Ian's blog - so what's it to you whether it has a purpose or not. Or did someone force you to visit this site? You might as well say - I don't like your shoes.

Jeez. Get a life.

Anonymous said...

Re. David Davis you say 'his fans and detractors may yet be surprised by his next move.' Am I reading too much into it, or a cryptic clue (hardly your style, Iain ;-) to something you know about?

Iain Dale said...

I should make clear that I didn't write that bit, Brian Brivati did. So don't read anything into at all.

Anonymous said...

I know you didn't watch today's speech Iain, but this post hits the nail on the head

http://www.mattwardman.com/blog/2008/10/01/the-march-to-being-elected-has-now-begun-camerons-conference-speech-by-garbo/

richard said...

Think Sam Cameron's a bit of a strange inclusion. She didn't seem too happy about being there this aft - frankly, who can blame her? Thankfully definately not a Cherie. I can ofcourse get my head around her being incredibly influential but I kind of got the impression that if Dave does get promoted to the top job she may not be attending every conference and I say good on her.

All a bit American really - bloody tabloids. She should be watching it with the kids at home with cake & lashing of tea/ginger beer. Must be bloody irritating being a politicians partner if you treat politics like normal people - something to be tolerated but a bit dull. Anywho - just a thought.

ukipwebmaster said...

Sounds more like an Establishment wish list.....

Martin said...

David Davis DOWN 24 after his successful by election campaign!?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Why are Lord Harris and Ashcroft down as Lords with no first name where as Tubby Tom Strathclyde is down under his birthname?"

Lord Strathclyde has let it be known that he prefers to be referred to as 'Tom Strathclyde'.

Maybe that is the reason.

Victor, NW Kent said...

I did no better with this list. There were 12 I had never recognised and I did not recognise Chris Patten as a right-winger.

As he sits and enjoys his multiple pensions and sinecures is he really more influential than John Redwood?