David Davis's warning to his party to show discipline and stick to the centre ground in today's Sunday Telegraph is the best news for the other David in a while. Davis is scarcely a woolly liberal, a Soho brand manager or a tree hugger. His voice reaches parts of the party Cameron cannot reach. Well-read and supremely intelligent, Davis is in a different league to John Prescott: Davis would make a fine party leader,
which is something that could never have been said of Prescott. But Cameron should be using Davis much, much more as a public guarantor of his party reforms, just as John Smith and Tony Blair used Prescott. It is often said that the Cameroons are obsessed with aping New Labour. It is just as arguable that they are not obsessed enough. Blair understood that assembling a tiny clique to drive through his Project was not enough. He needed to build a coalition inside the party to ensure majority tolerance of changes that many Labour members, by definition, would find objectionable. Dave needs a similar range of allies. In this respect at least he needs to be more like Blair rather than less so.
There is no single solution to get the Conservatives in power. One requirement is for a broad church embracing different talents. David Davis is one of them. A diligent shadow cab minister who appears to have learned the need for loyalty.
David Cameron needs to widen his tent, providing people are co-operative and work hard.
This now looks like a 2 election process and we need a hard working professional team at the centre.
To mention that national disgrace Prescott in the same breath as that of a man of the character of David Davis seems to me to be an injustice in itself.
No doubt Lady Thatcher also took the view that a Prime Ministers needs some balls.
But what new about the young female researcher who is taking David DAvis to industrial tribunal. Is this going to damage his standing?
I wrote an article saying Cameron needed a Willie nearly exactly a year ago on the Guradian's website here:-
At the time I suggested Hague fitted the bill
William Whitelaw's service to Margaret Thatcher was to bring the the voice of experience and moderation to her leadership, and it was his personal example that was so valuable to her. That David Davis could fill the Prescott role as far as the Right of the Party is concerned in unquestionable, but that voice of experience also needs to be found. In particular, someone should have told David Cameron to scrub the Rwanda visit in light of the floods. It is not even the loss of a political opportunity that should have informed this, just the simple fact that if you want to lead in a representative democracy it is best to be with those you represent when disaster strikes. The Rwanda trip was worthy, God knows we need to keep African poverty on the agenda, but events had intruded and that point should have been made forcefully.
All this "get behind the leader and we can win" stuff just will not wash , I , like many other potential Conservative voters want to vote for set of principles and action not for a brand.
A party that will drum into people just what this country needs to do to survive , not a party that says what it thinks it needs to say to get elected.
One day it will sink into the thick heads of the people of this country just what this vile pile of crypto marxist pillocks have done over the last ten years and when it does cameron will not be the man they will look to for a solution.
Until then I will not vote.
Not over the last ten years but rather the last 62 years.
Most people would welcome a return to hanging and flogging for wrong doers because it works .
And ditto lower taxes.
Enforced Christianity in schools would also be a move in the right direction.
I'm no fan of David Cameron, at least not on his showing thus far, but we can't change again.
It is for people like DD and William Hague to reach out and assure the wider party that the things that chime in with their feelings have not been forgotten.
Who now talks, for example, about smaller government?
The past four or five months have been awful. Fair play to Davis if he can steady nerves in the sort of role you envisage.
Everybody is talking about David Davis.
Do I sense a note of growing desperation creeping into the dialogue that yer all conducting with yerselves, as the awful realization dawns?
Like a dirt farmer who can't make the morgage and must meet the banker in the morning, David Cameron and his eager Etonians are totally betting the farm on his being the New Blair. (After all, when you can't beat him - become him!)
Now the THEORY was for DC to remind folks of TB circa 1997. But the REALITY is that he's working overtime reminding voters of TB circa 2007.
Talk about yer own goal!
BY THIS POINT . . . less than a year til the next general election . . . DC has perfected his TB impersonation so well, and driven the message that he's TB's understudy so expertly, that it is virtually impossible to turn the Good Ship Tory around in time to avoid running into the rock that is Gordon Brown.
Predict yer going to see plenty of "clear blue water" alright . . . piled up over yer deckchairs . . .
And the BEAUTY of it is, the frantic cries of the tinfoil trilby brigade to throw David Cameron overboard are only going to make things WORSE . . no matter how hard yez clutch at yer willies.
Supremely intelligent? That D'Ancona needs to go to the bottom of the class if he thinks that.
Aping New Labour just at the point where the electorate are sick to the back teeth of the spin first and foremost approach to politics might well turn out to be Cameron's great and fatal mistake. It must also be remembered that Blair only managed to keep the left wing bulk of his party onboard by throwing them regular and, to them, meaningful bones such as the class war based ban on hunting. Unless Cameron realises that just having David Davis as his Willie is not enough without genuinely addressing the issues that conservatives care about then he will never gain the support of the majority of the party.Mind you he may well believe that he doesn't need that support and perhaops he doesn't.
Spin: anybody can bowl a googly - the trick is to disguise it. I'm amazed at the number of intelligent people who think Brown has abandoned spin, in contrast to Cameron. He hasn't. He is just better at disguising it.
Mrs Dale said
Does David Cameron Need a Willie?
David Cameron needs a Chin.
I am pleased that DD is being loyal to Cameron as he was not loyal to IDS. But is he as popular inside and outside the Parliamentary party as Iain believes?
He certainly has his followers, but in the final Parliamentary round, it was suggested that Cameron instructed 10 of his supporters to back DD to block Liam Fox, who otherwise might have won the Parliamentary round and come 2nd, and DD coming third.
It could equally be added that Fox might have won the membership series against Cameron, being a more convincing version of eurosceptic than Cameron, and these things cut ice with the membership.
David Davis will always be tarnished in the eyes of many for being the Whip who pushed through the Maastricht Treaty. I'm not questioning his abilities, but his loyalties seem a little erratic over the years.
What's that "MRS" horseshit, "eric'?
Doubtful YOU even HAVE a willie - leastways one that's in working order -not that ANYBODY'd have any use for it anyway.
In case I've NOT made meself clear: go stuff yer fathead back up yer fatass.
Davis has done himself no harm in the past week has he - his call for MPs to "show a bit of discipline" was exactly what the grassroots love to hear.
So, David Davis is David Cameron's plonker?
Unity is the keystone of power in this case.
Does David Cameron Need a Willie?
No, Cameron needs replacing.
No but he needs some bollocks.
Beaten to the "No, but he needs some balls" line.
Possibly he could use a foil, but the main thing imho is that he has not nailed Brown to the wall on his record.
Cameron should have 4 willies surrounding him HELPING behind the scenes as well as being prominent as a solid ring fence around him to the public, media and within the party.
I have never been a fan of Davis because of what happened with IDS and other things, but over the last 18 months he has impressed me as much as Cameron.
I think that all shadow cabinet members I have mentioned are in the right jobs, we just don't see enough them on the TV representing the party on their own briefs and also trouble shooting for Cameron.
So far Davis is the only one who has finally done this very effectively supporting Cameron, he has challenged the critics in the media and in the party full throttle this week. Where was Osborne, Hague and Fox?
But we will not have things sorted until we can turn round to any journalist and challenge their use of the term "senior or just plain shadow cabinet sources" leaking damaging comments.
We need to run a tight ship and DISCIPLINE is needed before policy or PR, without it the rest is a waste of bloody time if just one person comes out and undermines their colleagues or leaders and all the hard work.
We need to come out fighting all summer attacking Brown, Labour's record in the last 10 years and the critics in the media
But MOST importantly we need to finally face down the handful of dissenters who would risk the party's future in the next GE because of a personal vendetta or crusade which the rest of us did not vote for.
Labour under Blair was nothing without John Prescott.
Your first mistake.
Prescott was the bridge between left and right. Simple.
The 'modern' Conservative party still smashes itself up on Europe, referendums, and constitutions and of course, animal welfare in reverse.
In other words, you are unelectable.
You are a backward party that wants to go backwards and hates Cameron for going forwards.
Brown is bathing ina ten point lead and the General Election will be in the first week of October (confirmed).
You are going to cease to exist because of this. Brown is not Blair and Brown doesn't wish any association of such.
But ten points is ten points without doing anything.
Think about it. A ten point lead by a leftish party stuck in the centre ground delivering socialism by a third party benefactor.
Your bag is empty and nothing on the horizon. Why?
Because you pretend to be different when Labour doesn't pretend.
Cant argue with Doom.
With Labour WYSIWYG if you have eyes to see.
Cameron has nothing to offer long term as he has no long term goal other than gaining power and people see that.
I suggest we all start to learn how to speak Cantonese.
Why is Oscar the cat trying to curl up on David Cameron's lap?
David Cameron needs to be seen leading a team rather than the one man band he appears to be. david davies would make a fine deputy.
But the problem is that Cameron is far to left wing and only talks about secondary policies. He needs to
Promise a referendum on the EU.
Reduce the size of government and get rid of as many quagos as possible.
Simplify education get back to basic exams like o levels.
Get realy tough on crime.
Let the NHS go free.
These are the sort of thing real people want to hear about not Africa and the Environment.
His team would then have something to talk about.
Dr Doom, there isn't going to be an early Election, precisely because the Tories would be wiped off the map if there were.
Not only would that create the space for a patriotic, morally and socially conservative party to emerge instead, but it would also remove the Tory bogeyman, the one thing that keeps anyone at all voting Labour, never mind turning out to deliver Labour leaflets and what have you. That, in turn, would create the space for a social democractic party to emerge instead.
Indeed, these two movements might very well be one and the same, and would in that case sweep the board electorally, not least because traditional Labour voters are among the most patriotic, and the most morally and socially conservative, people in Britain, while traditional Tory voters are the biggest Keynsians and Beveridgites of the lot, provided that they get their own slice of the cake; this is, after all, a country where even the farmers and the private schools only exist because of gigantic public subsidies.
An economically neoliberal, socially libertarian, and therefore geopolitically neoconservative (including Eurofederalist) party might also try its luck at the polls, but it certainly wouldn't win a General Election, and under First Past The Post it might well win no seats at all.
So the Tories must be saved. Like Labour and the Lib Dems, the Conservative Party contains certain sections of the electorate in such a way as to prevent the emergence of an economically Keynsian and Beveridgite, morally and socially conservative, patriotic political movement, and instead secure the current neoliberal, libertarian, neoconservative (including Eurofederalist) one party state.
David Cameron describes himself as “bullish”. Well, his Blair-aping includes spending so little time in this country that he is possibly not even resident here for tax purposes (worth looking into in respect of Blair’s Downing Street years, I feel), so he cannot really be expected to know just how beleaguered his condition now is.
Still, at the end of this week, we seem to have moved from Shambo the Bullock to Shambles the Bullish, both equally fit for slaughter.
Though the times they are a changing, still true methinks that Cameron = Kinnock 1992 . . . at least in the moments when he's not being Blair 2007.
Clearly yer man needs a strategy for propitiating the Right, also some effective emissaries. And the equation Davis = Prescott makes sense.
HOWEVER yer real problem is that ye Blue boys & girls just aren't HUNGRY enough yet to grind yer teeth in private as opposed to in public. Until that happens, will be VERY hard for Davis or anyone else to do the job that yer cooler & wiser (and hungrier) heads want him to do.
AND the notion that "back to basics" is going to be a HELP rather than a HINDERANCE is logically flawed.
NOW I can hear the bees buzzing under the tinfoil: "BUT what about THATCHER and REAGAN? They led us to the Promised Land BECAUSE they were RIGHT!"
Yev've got a HALF a point there.
YOUR half is that that yer Dream Couple did get elected.
The OTHER half is that the political situations in 1979 in the UK and 1980 in the US were VERY different from the current reality.
Unless of course you think that Gordon Brown = Jim Callaghan which really doesn't compute, at least NOT in a way that is meaningful or helpful to yez.
Remember BARRY GOLDWATER in 1964: "In your heart you know he's right"? Can't argue with that, at least when it can to Barry's ideology . . . but it only got him six states. (BTW the Democrat's rejoinder to Barry was: "In your guts you know he's nuts".)
Personally think the REAL problem facing yez is that, no matter how many graphs and charts and spreadsheets and shocking scandals and incisive critiques you churn out, convincing Middle England that Gordon Brown is BAD for the economy is a VERY hard sell.
And will remain so UNLESS and until there is a MAJOR economic downturn or crisis that is comparable to the ERM meltdown or the Daddy Bush recession or (come to think of it) the serious straits that marked the periods immediately preceding the elections of Thatcher and Reagan.
FACT IS yer running UPHILL against the guy who has been running the British economy for a decade. And, as far as most of the public is concerned, doing a pretty decent job.
THUS the fact that David Cameron SAYS he can do better is NOT what you'd call a killer argument. BECAUSE voters primarily motivated by the economy are more likely to consider DC a risky bet than GB.
SO looks to me you've got BOTH:
--a very sticky wicket (DC's flawed TB2 strategy); and
--a playing field that's seriously tipped against you (GB's economic credentials)
MAYBE what David Cameron really needs isn't a Willie . . . but a Pelé.
David Lindsay, you are a naughty boy. Go back to your room now and take your pills. You'll feel better, you know you will. Nigel Farage will still be there in the morning - asking for money to pay his fines. Snuggle down.
have just whizzed around the first editions and the tide looks to have turned. The daily mail looks to be getting back to normal service and janet daley is offering an olive branch to the cameron approach. Only the puffball Time Hames in the Times is flogging a dead theme.
steady now, lads
Young,telegenic,reform seeking political leader loses election-Shinzo Abe.
...His voice reaches parts of the party Cameron cannot reach. Well-read and supremely intelligent, Davis is in a different league to John Prescott: Davis would make a fine party leader...
OK, so what are we waiting for? We have the name now let's up the game and change the leader now, get everything in place and then full steam ahead for the election.
By the way - completely agree with the Hitch here.
What is the significance of the ICM Poll shown yesterday on Politicalbetting? It interviewd only those who had actually voted in 2005.
Conservatives are gaining voters from Labour and Lib Dem twice as fast as they are losing Conservatives since 2005. Labour are losing voters to others at twice the rate they are gaining them.
The poll suggests that the only sector that Brown can be gaining votes is from previous non-voters - the 40% who didn't vote in 2005.
I's hardly a picture of Labour health. How does this poll stack up with the supposed 8% labour leads?
I'm always suspicious of a politician who is described as 'suprememly intelligent'.
Can we have instead, someone with common sense, breadth and experience?
I doubt Whitelaw was overly endowed with excesive IQ and bookishness, but he had a way of understanding people, and warmth of character.
DD is a bit of a cold fish, and by all acounts goes through staff faster than the recruitment agencies can replace them. He has an excellent rapier thrust and skewers his opponents with great regularity, but he is hardly a ship-steadier.
Cameron himself seems to possess a calmness, and an unflappability. He doesn't have much experience as yet. Instead of having Osborne alongside, couldn't he find someone with a little patrician gravitas. That would help balance the ticket.
Sometimes/often Iain Dale's instincts are completely wrong for all his knowledge about politics!
There aren't two parties, there is one middle class party that has Tory and Labour wings. Why change?
NuLab is predicated upon the notion that enough of the donkey vote will keep turning out in the strongholds to give the party a solid base.
NuLab is basically cuddly Thatcherism, aimed at the middle class in the South and Midlands. If you fall into that category, but have no direct interest in party politics, can you really say that you are worse off today than you were ten years ago?
Given that fact, why change horses?
The Tories seem to have realised that NuLab is about taking their policies and running with them, but they don't seem to be able to come to terms with it and devise a reply.
Apologies if someone has already made this point in the comments here.
Anyone who doubts Cameron's "conservatism" should hold on a second and actually listen to what he says:
Sharing the proceeds of growth = slowly but surely cutting the burden of taxation
Bottom up rather than top down = rolling back the state in some areas
Localism = decentralising power away from Westminster and the PM
And then listen to George Osborne and his "frameworks": this is all about setting the boundary conditions and letting go of the day-to-day management of the country.
If those aren't small c and big C Conservative ideas I don't know what are.
Stop b*tching and moaning you lot and let's get Cameron into No. 10.
Hmm, OK, why not try this...
NuLab has pretty much sown up the aspiring vote. That leaves the Tories with their core, southern, upper-middle class and shire vote.
Why not accept that the aspirational bunch are lost, and go on the challenge NuLab for the working class vote in the northern cities?
I am old enough to remember when the Tories could take Manchester and Liverpool councils in a good year - why not put forward policies that the people want and really set the cat amongst the birdies?
It really does mean ditching your lingering commitment to Tebbitt - style values, but you have lost those people, anyway.
Just a thought.
If we look at the Whitelaw and Prescott types they had their own power base in an opposite wing of the party to the Leader. They also knew that their chance for the top job was gone.
Davis has this but is better employed attacking the Govt in which he has a stunning record.
Hague has this but we need the North re-built and the Europe issue pursued. A very good deputy in the Commons, he needs to focus on those 2 very big jobs.
IDS has this. Probably closer to Cornerstone than the other 2. Would he not be better employed in a role of keeping the "right" inside the tent? He understands the need for loyalty better than most. He does not need to be a front line deputy but instead an internal fixer for the party. If the shadow cab adopts 90% of his policy recs (excluding tax on booze) then IDS can move on to helping get us elected to implement it. He can also go around the constituencies soothing a few troubled brows.
A big tent involving IDS would be a very big tent.
There will not be an early election for the usual Labour reasons:
everything points to a snap election not least the 20 to 30 seats that the boundary commission are due to give the Conservatives. He will not however go for such an election, why? They don’t have the money
New figures from the Electoral Commission show that in 2006 Cameron's Tories raised four times more money than Labour. They have been able to build up HQ staff while cash-strapped Labour has had to halve its campaign team.
Worse still for Labour MPs fighting marginal constituencies is that the Government has still not closed the so-called 'Ashcroft loophole' that allows parties to spend limitless funds outside the official six-week period before polling day.
It is a loophole Conservatives, with more cash to spend, have exploited mercilessly since Michael Ashcroft was treasurer from 1998 to 2001.( First Post Online Daily
So Gordon will be tempted to cheat again .There are already signs of the end of the Broon Honey moon and the idea that he is a the change / continuity candidate as well as the Universalist /Socialist candidate is as watertight as being the Patriotic Europhile and liar and importer of immigration at four times the 90s rate . The Labour problem is that their rhetoric is now so far adrift of what they intend to do that the project and current lead is fragile in the extreme. This rift cannot help but trip him up and Labour rebels are queuing up not to be associated with the great Constitution lie already. Conservatives have the aspirational vote of course , they do not have the Public Sector Vote, the Union vote , the increasingly important immigrant vote and the Guardian reader vote .
What all of you are missing is that a majority in the UK is not enough for Gordon . Having sold the Uk for Scottish votes they have to have an absolute majority in England to rule in England . A failure to achieve this will provoke Constitutional crisis .
Sea shanty is his irksome self satisfied way is right that the economy is the problem ( albeit that Labour have done nothing to assist it ) and it may make a Conservative victory difficult but it will be a lot closer than it looks now and that is vital for retraining the tax and spend inclinations of the National Socialist Scot .
You are so naive it beggars belief..
You are hearing a lot from David Davis because it does look increasingly obvious that he is positioning himself for the imminent demise of Cambo.
David Cameron has some better than a Willie in his corner - apparently "Call Me Dave" has fan in God. Who I am to disagree with the will of the Almighty.
Would you mind unpacking that one for the hard of hearing and the terminally dim like me?
BTW Ed is quite right Cameorn`s hibnts on tax which aslo include " Simplication if the tax system" are quite obviously a veiled promise to move towards tax cuts .Noone could feasibly be bolder than that at the moment. What is missing is the other side of the coin which is that Gollum Brown has to increase taxes...see today news that the homepacks are to be used for this purpose.
Conservaatives who allow him in are guilty of a queeny weimarism that warrants the contempt of tax payers everywhere.
It appears to me that the election of Dave Cameron was made in undue haste and many are regretting that they were suckered into believing that a clone of Blair might have success where others “apparently” failed. I can well understand the gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands at the way things seem to be turning out and I too have serious reservations about the competence of Dave Cameron to be leader of an opposition, never mind a prime minister of this country. Making speeches is all well and good, but that’s not all a leader needs to do. A clear plan of action seems as far away as ever and I can’t help thinking that Dave’s overall complete lack of experience in any responsible management role is a serious hindrance. Mollycoddled in marketing is not serious management and certainly doesn’t qualify him for his current role. (Now comes the bit for which I’m sure to be lambasted!) Sorry to say, but Dave Cameron neither has the posture, nor the looks, to attract the voters we need to attract. Blair had the knack of turning on the tears when it suited him. Although we saw through the chipped tea mug on the steps of number 10, and the few “y’know’s” along with bits of US slang thrown in, Joe Public swooned along. Dave Cameron hasn’t got a chance trying this on with the electorate. Just take a look a Dave Cameron for a moment and see him how others see him. I was in London last week and overheard a group of working men talking about him. The most used “expressions” were ‘toffee nosed *rick’ , ‘worse than Blair’ and “off another bloody planet”. This caused me to review several recordings of Dave Cameron from the last couple of months and by taking a step backwards and seeing things afresh, I can understand what they mean. First thing is that he doesn’t move easily and confidently and appears stiff. He is also rather aloof and has that superior air that is definitely very off-putting. His movements are animated and unnatural which made me wonder if someone had starched his suits. All in all his personality may be attractive to some women who want to mother him, but as a prime minister – I don’t think so!
No fledgling leader riding a higher plane than his predecessor has held the polls longer than six months, therefore it should be beyond reasonable doubt that Gordon will go in October.
For Gordon to go beyong this date would mean that he is to rescue deleted Councillors from May 2007.
This is a gamble never undertaken by any previous PM.
October it is.
I received a sign on Friday evening that could only have come from the God of Moses, Samuel and Jesus, whom am I willfully serve above all others.
Why God favours that neo-Blairite twit Cameron is beyond me, but as a mere mortal trapped in linear time, I am not privy to what God knows about Cameron's future other than it is all part of His divine plan for us all.
With God's favour bestowed upon him, I now believe that Cameron will somehow win the next general election.
Dr Doom, for the reasosn that I set out, no Leader of either party would ever kill off the other one. And an October Election would do just that: it would reduce the Tories to a rump of fewer than a hundred seats in the most solidly agrarian parts of the South East, East Anglia and possibly (though probably not) parts of the Midlands. Heaven knows why people like that would vote for Cameron, but there we are.
We have been here before, several times. Most notably, after the 1987 Election, Margaret Thatcher failed to deliver on her promise to ban party-political contributions by trade unions, a move which would have killed off Labour on the spot.
But by then, Labour and the Tories had re-converged on nuclear weapons, and had converged on Europe, never having been as far apart on anything else as is widely imagined on both sides by people who believe that, just because they wanted something to be the case, then somehow it was.
And, of course, the alternative to Labour already existed. Thatcher was a lot happier facing Neil Kinnock than she would have been facing David Owen, who, with Labour out of the way, would have ditched the Liberals and, mostly thanks to the Poll Tax, easily have won a General Election which would probably have been held in 1991.
So Thatcher reneged on a Manifesto commitment and saved the Labour Party. It will now return the favour to the Tories, for similar reasons.
"I beg your pardon?" was my first reaction when I saw the post title. Then I remembered that wonderful Thatcher quote. Viewed from abroad, it seems that DC does, indeed, need this kind of support.
Thank you C4 for filling us in.
Now I get it. God, for want of a better word, is Good. He loves DC but shuns Gordon Brown, who obviously tells lies and is certainly not quite our sort of person.
So, on election day, (coming soon to a school or community centre near you) God will blind the minds of Labour voters, and make them forget it's voting day. Then, a lot of people in very nice cars, say Polos and Golfs, will transport Cameroonies to the polling station, with the promise of a stiff G&T and membership of the Groucho (or a line of the finest charlie) if they vote "the right way"
C4 - it's a work of Genius. Only God could have thought that one up.
I can just see Labour voters staggering around the next morning moaning and being incontinent with despair.
(Is David Davis in the loop on this one?)
Sorry but Cameron needs a visit from Oscar!
why don't the Tories throw some vote winning policies about?
Protect your own home, you can do what you like with the burglar. Finish him off, society doesn't want him.
Rip up the human rights act. Tear it up live on the 6 o clock news. No more immigrant criminals hiding behind it.
Armed forces out of iraq and Afghanistan and patrolling our borders.
Pull out the EU and start looking after your average Brit for a change.
All vote winners and would see the Tories flying up the polls.
What's happened? They've turned wetter than Shirley Williams!
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