Wednesday, August 19, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Pickles Blasts Talk of 'Decapitation'

Tory Party Chairman Eric Pickles has moved quickly to scotch talk of the Tories adopting a so-called 'decapitation strategy' against a group of senior Cabinet Ministers, which I commented on earlier.

Speaking to me earlier, he described the idea as "clearly bunkum", and he alleged that "someone on the periphery of the campaign may have decided to big themselves up". He pledged that the party was concentrating on its 120 target seats. "Nothing will divert us onto playing the man rather than the ball," he added.

Or even Balls...

Pickles made clear that the party would continue to focus on areas where the party needed to win votes rather than rack them up in safer seats. That's exactly the strategy which the party successfully followed in the local elections - maximising votes where they were needed. "There is not, and never has been a decapitation strategy'," he added.

35 comments:

Quietzapple said...

I have forgotten the combination of letters and otjer characters which comes close to expressing my mirth at Pickles' claim re playing the man and not the ball, or vice verca.

The man who claims to be Cameron's no 2 is a hoot.

Has he been told that he has that function?

Anonymous said...

Pickles Rocks !!!

Anonymous said...

I've read all the (sometimes) negative comment but I still think it would be wonderful to see him blinking as he spoke second.

Siberian Tory said...

So alls well that ends well. We're not going to look like children playing games but there's just enough doubt to disturb Ed Balls' sleep tonight.

Result!

P.S. If there was a decapitation strategy why get rid of Balls? I want him running the Labour party.

Anonymous said...

Ditch Dave !

Promote Pickles !

Lord Lavendon said...

Perhaps the election will be closer than people think .

You gave a lot of facts about the lib dem seats the other day, but you must also see that labour have the advantage with the first past the post.

A lot of urban areas are over represented nowadays, an almost ironic state of affairs given that pre -1832 Cronwall had more MP's than Manchester, the voters are fewer and this is even more of the case in Wales and Scotland, mostly dominated by the Labour party. So we have rotten boroughs once again.

Given the inbuilt labour advantage (bearing in mind the above) the 2010 election feels like it will be more akin to the 1992 one ,i.e. a close run affair, rather than a 1997 landslide ?

Graham Robb said...

This is good news. Eric is right. Tories campaign on policies not personalities, we have the high ground and should not surrender it.

Quietzapple said...

Lavendon may well be right.

Somewhere I recall a ConsHome blogger pointing out that Blair sometimes tipped 60% in the usual style poll before the 1997 landslide.

And, of course, ComRes for the Times found that 2% more favoured a Labour over a Conservative Government in June:

http://quietzapple-musing.blogspot.com/2009/08/labour-44-or-conservative-42.html

Joe Public said...

And how do you depose Mandelson?

Steve in Somerset said...

So there is no decapitation plan.

Why the hell not? You don't win unless you use all your weapons. Holding the moral high ground in a hung parliament will achieve a lot ... NOT

Man in the Street said...

What the hell is the problem with decapitation for those who take the piss at the public purse's expense?

Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres.

William Blakes Ghost said...

Unfortunately Lord Lavendon has fallen for one of todays most common political urban myths.

A lot of urban areas are over represented nowadays

Actually they are not. The problem is low turnout not undersized electorates.

VotR said...

I don't see why all of Labour's seats can't be targeted. They have surely deserved it after running this country into the ground. And Iraq. And Afghanistan.

trevorsden said...

..zapple - polling methodologies hve changed, I think only one(ICM?) is consistent with 1997 and they are giving similar leads now as then.

There was no poll in June giving a Labour lead.

True Belle said...

Look, this is beginning to sound like the Test Match the week before last when England were all out for peanuts.

The Tories took their eye off the ball in the 2001 election , quiet rural Tory seats were lost because they played the same useless game that looks like being replayed now.

Will Pickles remain in the outfield , just in case ?

March has a red pen through it in certain 2010 desk diaries.

Quietzapple said...

The Tories lost 8 seats in 2001, 3 in 2005: things are picking up for them.

Quietzapple said...

We should be quite clear that Mr Pickles no mpre dictates tory election strategy than David Cameron or I do.

Lord Ashcroft offered the Tories loadsa money and Mr Howard said thank you, but we shall decide how to spend it.

Mr Cameron's response was less sanguine, and Lord Ashcroft's people reputedly have a larger office at Tory HQ than Cameron, and the money goes on marginal seats.

It would be most interesting to know if they paid towards the £37,000/£38,000/£40,000 spent on the Totnes "Open" Primary?

norman said...

At times Pickles looks like he is in a pickle.
If there is strategic thinking at the Tory hierarchy, they should let Balls win and a few others of his ilk and concentrate in defeating the other Labour MPs. Balls as the leader of the Labour party in 2010 is the best insurance Tories can have for at least two further GE victories.
Balls as a victor is worth more to Tories than Balls as the loser.

MikeyP said...

Forget decapitation. Aim lower. Kick then in the bollox!

Lord Lavendon said...

William Blakes Ghost

Actually it is not an urban myth re size of electorate in urban verses rural areas. Look at Iain Dale'srural Norfolk North - electroate circa 80,000 in 2005.

Look at urban Glasgow East electorate circa 64,000 2005. A 20,000 voter difference.

However you are also correct that turnout is lower in urban (labour) areas verses rural/suburban areas (Conservative) thus giving an advantage to labour in that labour can afford a 'core vote' strategy more than the conservatives.

This can be bittersweet, e.g. -If Iain had stood in Glasgow East and had obtained the same amount of votes as he did in Norfolk North he would have won Glasgow East for the Conservatives

(according to the BBC election per consituecy results Iain dale recorded 20,909 votes in North Norfolk- labour in glasgow east won with 18,775 votes ....).

norman said...

Tories should study the tactics adopted by the Ethiopian middle and long distance runner nick named Yifter the Shifter. For start, Yifter the Shifter looked very pale and 55 when he was actually 30 and had legendary stamina. Yifter the Shifter's tactics in middle distance and long distance running was simple. First, do not look confident. Second, start the run by first running slowly when the rest of the pack runs fast and then run fast for a distance when the rest of the pack falls behind. Repeat this for 5 rounds by which time, the rest of the pack driven to slow run and fast run get exhausted and fall back. Then Yisfter the Shifter completes the
run by winning by a mile! He collected gold after gold in successive Olympics. Labour candidates don't last both as underdogs and as front runners. Make them do that . It is Yifter the Shifter way.

Anonymous said...

mr dale ( and the tory high command ) i will vote for dave , but if he lies or start to spin like gordon and tony then thats it you will have blown your chance , i hope you pass this on to dave ,and i hope for a better goverment

Quietzapple said...

Poor p poor Mickey P:

As ever doesn't know his ballox from his bollox . . .

True Belle said...

What on earth is Yifter the Shifter?

Don't you mean a popular turn at a rural show- like a stinky ferret race. Oh yes, never turns out the way you think , and not the loser who puts the big money on the nose and tail either.

Jonforest said...

Surely, in the case of Balls, we should be talking about a castration strategy.
I suspect his brains are somewhere in that region anyway because he certainly talks out of his arse.

Quietzapple said...

Why do your temperamental right wing trolls imagine their own "mental" processes derive from their nether regions?

50% temper, 50% mental I guess . . . on their good days.

Hairy Arsed Bloke said...

Decapitation?

Yes, but only after they have been hang and drawn first.

Anonymous said...

It could perhaps be Mr Pickles who is bigging himself up. This is what he is internally criticised for all the time even if Mr Dale is blindsided by him!!

Anonymous said...

20% of the comments left here are by Quietzapple.

Shouldn't you be charging rent, Iain?

Anonymous said...

Balls is to Labour what Portillo was to the Tories in the run-up to 1997 - every time he appears in public or opens his mouth the Labour party loses votes.

We should all work to keep him in parliament. The alternative is that when he loses his seat this loathesome, dimwitted oik will nab some plum non-job with a bank (no doubt a tax-payer funded one) and laugh all the way to retirement at 50.

True Belle said...

Are you sure Decapitation is the correct usage?

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone want to decapitate Balls?

Castration is the obvious choice.

Simon Gardner said...

So nothing corrupt about a system where only a small number of people’s votes matter and the rest can just go hang? - Not.

Anonymous said...

Trevor Ivory will certainly NOT be running a decapitation strategy in North Norfolk.

Here is his Facebook group and Twitter:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2739978611

http://twitter.com/trevorivory

Quietzapple said...

"So nothing corrupt about a system where only a small number of people’s votes matter and the rest can just go hang? - Not." wrote Simon Gardner.

This is nonsense.

ALL the votes count and are counted of course.

If they were not the practice of our democratic system would be corrupt.

And they are counted because those voting are enfranchised by laws passed by those who represent us all (for that is their declaration).

People sometimes think that they know the result and so don't vote in a constituency in which their vote "won't count."

However we have seen surprises - an acquaintance failed to win a seat by 50 votes or so, and there were roughly that number of supporters known to be celebrating victory together, who hadn't voted.

Further, the principle of the kantian categorical imperative applies: "Thou shallt."

It is right to vote for what is right and against what is wrong (in one's judgement) to increase the democratic authority of those who will seek to bring ones preferred policies/ideals to fruition.