Reply to comments on official Conservative messages

There has been a large response to the main Conservative messages.

Respondents fall into four categories.

Long term opponents of the Conservatives are critical of the messages. That is no surprise, and would have been true whatever had been put out.

Some loyal Conservatives are pleased with them, and will get on and put them to electors once the election gets underway.

UKIP supporters and sympathisers are critical. They want the Conservatives to speak mainly about the EU, sovereignty, immigration and related subjects. Time will tell how many of them carry out their threat and vote UKIP, knowing as they must do that it makes the election of a federalist MP in their seat and an overall federalist Lib/Lab government more likely.

Some Conservatively inclined voters are also expressing doubts, or sending in messages they would prefer the Conservatives to get across. Many will find that their concerns are covered in policy statements, available on the Conservative official website. The next few weeks are not just about how the swing voters swing, but how many traditional Conservative sympathisers do finally decide to vote for a change of government. There is only one realistically on offer, and that is change to a Conservative government.

Traditional Conservatives need to be reminded that their party has pledged to reverse some Labour policies they most dislike – the one way ratchet of powers to Brussels, the lack of proper border controls, the surveillance society and the ballooning deficit.

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48 Comments

  1. Duyfken
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    “Time will tell how many of them carry out their threat and vote UKIP, knowing as they must do that it makes the election of a federalist MP in their seat and an overall federalist Lib/Lab government more likely.”

    We are told this many a time and it really gets my goat. The implication is that a “federalist Lib/Lab government” will be our fault, the voters, if we fail to support the Cameron caravan. No, if that were to come to pass, look not at the voters but turn your eyes and condemn the Tory leadership.

  2. THE ESSEX BOYS
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    “Many will find that their concerns are covered in policy statements, available on the Conservative official website.”

    We doubt this will cut much ice with the 10% of voters we need most to influence.

    However, we’ve tried – and tried hard – in the past 2 years and we wish you all well. 5 more years of Labour is too much to bear!

  3. Phoenix One UK
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    John, I hate to rain on your parade, but the main reason the Tories have found themselves in the current situation is that Cameron & co have shown themselves to be no better than New Labour.

    The Tory leed had evaporated and it does not take a rocket scientist to know why.

    Lib Lab Con all support remaining in the EU and refuse to give the British people an in/out referendum on EU.

    I belong to no party but have been promoting UKIP. Do you know why? Because UKIP is the only real opposition. I am voting for a British not EU or puppet government, and spare me the trade rubbish. I already shot down that argument in flames more than once.

  4. ThousandsOfMilesAway
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    John, perhaps the biggest fraud that an incoming Heath administration would perpetrate on us is via your party's continued swivel-eyed adherence to the discredited agenda predicated upon anthropogenic global warming.

    You may be admirably sceptical, but sadly the leader of the Conservatives shows no signs of recanting.

    That reason alone is enough not to vote Conservative.

    I'm only half-joking when I say that perhaps waking up one sunny Friday morning in May with Gordon Brown still as PM is what the country needs to kick-start the revolution!

    Besides, the next few years are very likely going to see deepening economic catastrophe. Whoever (nominally) governs will likely face ballot box ruination at the next showing.

    Do you really want to drink from this poisoned chalice?

    • Kevin Peat
      Posted March 14, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      "I’m only half-joking when I say that perhaps waking up one sunny Friday morning in May with Gordon Brown still as PM is what the country needs to kick-start the revolution!"

      Well I'm not joking at all when I say it.

    • A T
      Posted March 15, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Agree 100% on the AGW scam. Already UKIP leaning, this has "sealed the deal" for me. Why the Tory leadership has swallowed this whole has to be one of life's great mysteries.

  5. Norman
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    The main problem I have with the leaderships vision of how the Party will govern is a lack of consistency. I don't know if this is being caused by the media, attacks from Labour or if there really is a problem.

    For example, you can't say that Labour's high taxes are ruining the economy (they are) and then say that taxes may have to be raised. The 'will they won't they' cutting fiasco is another example. We're now in the uneviable position that we don't really know how much we will cut or where but the media is continually saying that Conservatives are the Party of cuts and there is no effective defense being put up, perhaps because the leadership is afraid of threatening people's jobs or perhaps because they don't want to be tied down to details but it makes us look like we are drifting without a plan.

    At the end of the day I don't imagine a lot of voters will go to the Conservative Party site and trawl through the policy pages but blogs are an excellent new media source to get a message across. It's a pity that every PPC / MP isn't mandated by CCHQ to mantain a blog with at least a couple of posts a week.

  6. John Bowman
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Mr Redpath.

    Whether one votes Conservative or not there will be a Federalist MP in their seat. This is the electorate's perception – and perception IS reality the which concept amazingly few, if any, politicians understand.

    You will point to Conservative pledges to put future EU Treaties to the vote, but you miss two points: the issue of the EU is binary, one is either for it or against it, there are no shades or degrees of EU enthusiasm. It is a federalist organisation, anti-democracy by conception and by nature; if it were a horse then wishing it were not, or attempting to stop it galloping, does not change what it is.

    You may say the EU is a single issue and their are other issues more important. I and my fellow voters will decide what issues are important and their order of priority. See it as a test case. If you listen to us about this and put our priorities first maybe you will listen to us about other things. The EU is fundamentally about democracy, right of self-determination, government as close to the People as possible – or lack thereof.

    You and the Conservative leadership are making the calculation that ridding itself of Gordon Brown and his Socialist Party is the main preoccupation of the electorate and come the day they will do the right thing.

    Consider you may be wrong: perhaps the preoccupation of the electorate is to tell the political neo-aristocracy that makes up the major parties that it, the electorate, is sick and tired of being taken for granted, not listened to, and told what they must think and have because they, the political neo-aristocrats know best and are in any case desperate for power, either clinging on to it or getting it.

    There is such a thing as cutting ones nose off to spite ones face. There is some merit in bringing all the parties down – hung Parliament – THEN the neo-aristocrats will have to listen and do what the People want not what they themselves want.

    What traditional and wavering Conservative voters want with regard to the EU, so-called climate change, immigration, scope and scale of government, onerous taxation, intrusive laws and denial of liberty, freedom and the right to own property and succeed or fail by ones own endeavours has been clearly and repeatedly expressed.

    But the Conservative leadership is not listening. It needs first to understand what "listening" means and that it is not merely catching the sound coming from another's lips, but actually understanding what they mean and what they want then doing it.

    Reply: You misunderstand my position. I voted "No" to Brussels in 1975. I want to return to democratic self government in these islands, and to have a different relationship with the EU than the current one where the UK gives power after power away and claims to have influence by agreeing with the latest ghastly legislative proposal the EU has come up with. . There is no way that voting UKIP will achieve the aim of withdrawal or less EU control over our lives, because election after election has shown that UKIP cannot win a single seat at Westminster, but can stop other Eurosceptic candidates winning. That is why I conclude Eurosceptics need to vote Conservative and then push hard for a very different deal with Brussels.

    • Ken Adams
      Posted March 15, 2010 at 2:23 am | Permalink

      With respect election after election has shown that Conservatives when in power actually do nothing to stop the EU rot, at best they temporarily slow it down. We have also seen those trying to achieve change from within end up throwing in the towel rather than force the issue; we can expect more of the same.

      What you do not seem to accept is that we have reached a point where it makes very little difference which puppet government this country has. The EU has removed any urgency and any necessity of voting for any particular party, whoever sits in No 10 will be ruled by Brussels.

      I do not see much hope of changing the leaderships mind after the election -should they win – if they are willing to see their lead being eroded before, without making any moves to regain their lost supporters.

    • TCD
      Posted March 15, 2010 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      We would have a lot more confidence that the Conservatives were serious about taking back
      powers from the EU if you were in the shadow cabinet. With Ken Clarke on the front bench
      and a referendum denied, what hope is there?

    • Derek Buxton
      Posted March 15, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      I must agree with John Bowman, not one senior member of your party has ever said they will challenge the EU. In fact only the other day I saw a speech by William Hague saying how much he favoured the EU, followed a few days later by Cameron meeting Sarkozy(?) to discus their relationship. Except of course, it is not a relationship, the EU via it's kommisars rules and our toy parliament duly oblige.

      I am sure you would like to get out of the non democratic EU but the "shadow cabinet" most certainly do not.

  7. JohnRS
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I'm sorry, your analysis of the reactions may be correct but the main issue for me as one of the "loyal Conservatives" you mention is that the Conservative policies that are being announced on the TV and in the news are really just not conservative at all.

    Where are the strong, definitive, detailed committments to sort out Browns economic disaster? Or the EU Constitution? Or the bloated public sector? Or the West Lothian question? Or the shameful state of our Armed Forces? Or the tax/benefits/credit mess? Or crime and punishment?

    There may well be "policy statements, available on the Conservative official website" to cover all of these…but these are not tough, clear statements about what will be done and above all just aren't actually conservative. At best it's a set of tame, middle ground, "don't frighten the horses" ideas with no timescale as to when they might happen.

    Even the way these are publicised is somehow tame and self-conscious as if the speakers are ashamed of what they're saying. Where's the passion?

    The polls are not lying, support has ebbed away steadily since Cameron reneged on his Lisbon promise. Restoring trust that the Conservatives will do anything they promise, even implement what little on the website, is now key. The Conservative EU position caused the problem, it can also fix it if Cameron decides to actually be a conservative.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted March 14, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Cameron was a fool to make a pledge he now claims not to be able to deliver. This has harmed him greatly and gives him credibility problems which his opponents easily exlpoit

  8. bartimeus
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    John

    An admirable and concise analysis of the situation as always.

    I have to say though , the Labour party are putting up a fine show of lies spin and deceit (as they have done consistantly for the last 13 years).

    Unless the Conservative leadership put up a concerted and focused attack on the BS that the Labour propagate this election is already lost.

    Why will we lose ? The elephant in the room again , Europe.

    Dosn't the party get it ?

    Another Labour administration and we will be in the EU , lock stock and 2 smoking barrels , and the Conservative party will be history. Between PR and the EU this party will NEVER hold power in this country again.

    While we have been fiddling Brown has been sacking , pillaging and burning.

  9. waramess
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I think you fail to see the anger that is behind the UKIP vote or indeed the contempt for politicians and policy that is behind the inaction of a lot of the voters who decide not to vote at all.

    But, not a lot you can do about it now that only a couple of months remain.

    Best that can come out of this is that the message is received loud and clear and that a change of direction is in place for the election after next.

  10. WitteringsfromWitney
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    John,

    As a life-long Conservative, but now a member of the party the Tories most seem to fear, there is only one thing I really really want and that is that those I elect can 'govern' my country, are accountable to their electorate and will truly devolve powers that have been usurped by politicians.

    At present this is not the case. Neither can it be the case whilst this country remains a member of the EU. This view is one held across the electorate, so why will Cameron not accept that? More importantly, when will MPs exert their independence of thought and voting?

    In any event I am totally fed up with politicians 'playing God' in deciding what they will 'allow' the electorate. Politicians are supposed to represent their constituent's views and failure to do will result in continued frustration by the electorate and will, one day, result in a 'revolution' that you don't want and the country cannot afford. That opinion may result in derision by some, but mark my words – it will happen at sometime in the future.

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Communication is a major problem for the Conservatives. There is a lack of clarity and failure to deliver a simple and consistent message. I'm still not sure if that is because they don't know what they want to do in office or if they think that people won't vote for them if they know what they propose or just that they are poor communicators. I doubt that a majority of voters visit the official party website so your colleagues need to get their messages across through the media before it is too late.

  12. Derek Buxton
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    John,
    Much as I enjoy and even agree with many of your articles, to say that "the one way ratchet of power to Brussels" will be reversed is to ignore the whole of the EU problem. The EU was designed to do precisely that and since both Cameron and Hague have publicly stated their support for the institution, they will not even try.
    As for the ballooning deficit, more expensive wind farms will add, not subtract from this.

    I noted that you got more than a hundred responses to your previous article on "conservative policy", mostly of a kind similar to the above

  13. Nick
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    And no where are any of the parties talking numbers.

    All have taken the approach, we can't warn the punters.

    Take labour. Halve the deficit in 4 years. We've got the BBC saying on the record that the government debt is 175 billion, confusing debt and deficit. We have Frank Field doing the same. We have ministers claiming they will pay down the deficit. You can't pay off a deficit, just debt.

    ie. Finacially illiterate. Ditto with the programs. It's the cuts doing harm, not the costs.

    So what does halving the optimistic 175 billion deficit mean?

    Call it 180 to make the maths easy.

    90 billion from halving the deficit.

    However, the debt's risen dramitically. 45 billion in extra debt payments are needed.

    That's 135 billion of cuts.

    However, its likely to be worse. Inflation is still running and the government can't just like Canute control the waves. Costs will rise.

    So now ask the question, can the government raise over 135 billion in extra taxes?

    Why aren't the Tories pushing Labour's real position

  14. Alan Wheatley
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I understand the point you are making, but in the long run the only really significant issue is the EU. As long as we are members of this inherently un-democratic organisation we, the British people, are not in a position to determine our own destiny. By degrees we are being ruled by dictate from Brussels, and Westminster government is becoming irrelevant.

    I accept that a Conservative "pledge to reverse … the one way ratchet of powers to Brussels" is honestly made and with a belief that it is possible. The weakness of such a pledge is that never in the history of the EU has it been possible to achieve such a thing.

    Margaret Thatcher found, as she has written, that every time you thought the ratchet had been eased it turned out to be a false promise, or at best a temporary relief. And any short-term gains made were minor in relation to the general trend. The oft referred to "train" of EU policy which all member states are encouraged to join does not work for Britain as we seek a different destination. It is a mistake to join a train going in the wrong direction and stupid to stay on-board once you find out!

    After ten years of trying, Margaret Thatcher came to the conclusion that an attempt to re-negotiate Britain's relationship with the EU had to start from the premiss that you have to be prepared to leave the EU should your objectives be unobtainable. And, obviously, you had to show that leaving was a serious and practical position before you start, else the other member states will simply laugh at you (behind their hands) while, perhaps, throwing out the odd crumb of pacification and obfuscation, and carrying on as usual. They have learnt that while Britain may be a short-term problem they come round to their way in the end.

    If you start from a position declaring that leaving the EU is not an option then you are dead in the water before you start.

    No doubt David Cameron means well, but he should read his Conservative Party history from one who has been there and done it, and then get real!

    As for voting, the way to eliminate the effect of the UKIP is to demonstrably shown that that party is unnecessary.

  15. Michael Read
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    You've missed the most important policy decision of all – my water bill.

    At £291.23p it's tripled over the last decade and I blame you for privatising the whole shebang.

    Privatisation by all means. There is no competition, however. The regulator has gone native. Consumers are getting shafted.

    And as for the rail industry. Don't get me going.

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Micheal

      Suggest you get a water meter and it should reduce your bills.

      The old water bill is based on the old ratable value of your house (its size), the water meter measures YOUR water usage.

      Our water bill is now half what it was.(two people large house)

      My daughters is 70% of what it was (one person small house)

      My brother in laws is half what it was.(two people large house)

      Clearly for many people living in a small house it may not be so good a deal.

    • Paul from MK UK
      Posted March 14, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Michael,

      The reasons the water companies charge so much emanate from the EU; directives for improvements to water 'purity' have added much to the industry's costs at a time when huge investment was already required to overhaul the leaky infrastructure.

      I believe that the hopelessly flawed way the railway companies are now set up is also due to EU regulations.

  16. Johnnydub
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    The most common comment about Conservative messaging is I don’t know what they stand for.

    There’s a simple explanation for this. Take any issue – let’s say Healthcare. As a conservative I have a gut feel for approximately where the conservative position should be – control spending, strip out inefficiency, empower local doctors, nurses, administrators, cut out all the target bollocks, and overall strip away the bloated centralised bureaucracies such as the SHA’s.

    So what do we get, some of the above, but a lot more Tony Blair inspired triangulated, center ground wishy washy crap.

    Simply put regardless of the issue, the Tory party policy is all over the place ideologically.

    Your average voter is never going to understand policy breadth and depth, but they want to be comfortable with the overall position.

    As a natural Tory, I simply can’t say this.

    Look at Labour and their messaging. I appreciate they have bugger all to say on policy, and there’s certainly no acknowledgement of 13 years of abject failure, but their message is “those Tories are rich bastards who only care about the rich” which obviously solidifies their base, but also keeps nagging at the floating voters, who let’s not forget it have voted labour in three times.
    This approach also ignores the way Maggie won here elections – give the people a sensible policy of aspiration grounded in an ideology of English conservatism and they’ll jump at it.

    And as for an anti Labour message it’s simple. Gordon Brown lies, pathologically. Just keep hammering at “No rise in taxes” “Best placed to weather the Storm” “We’ve given the troops all they need” and be open about the way they opened the floodgates to immigration secretly and called any objection “racist”

    There’s no point in the Obama “let’s all get along, let’s not scare the horses” approach. It won’t work when you’re up against the Labour party who just lie their arses off – look at the hysterical hypocrisy over the Ashcroft issue.

    So to summarise – be Tories, not a Lab-Lab-Con mishmash.

  17. Hawkeye
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    “It’s the economy stupid”

    That should be the only focus. How Labour is killing the UK economy. Forget about attacking Gordon Brown or any other named individual. Focus on LABOUR – their lies, their deceptions, their union funding and how they will continue to spend, spend, spend when the kitty is empty.

  18. JohnRS
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Cameron? Are you there?

    These are your voters talking. You need to read what is being said here (and on Dan Hannan, Norman Tebbit and other sites) and do something about it…..now.

  19. alan jutson
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Sorry John

    The only sensible conclusion I can draw from this, is that Labours spin and messages are more in tune with what people WANT to hear, than the Conservatives.

    Yes I know most of it is smoke and mirrors, yes I know they are often lying.

    No I do not belive them, but your problem is ENOUGH DO.

    I do not for one minute suggest your Party tells lies, but it needs to get its message across loud and clear, and the fact is you (your Party) are failing, and I fear it will fail at the Polls because of it.

    I would suggest that the reason it is failing to get its message
    across, is because it is not even clear in its own mind yet what that message is.

    See our web site for details and clarification is a joke, right !!!!!!!!!!!

  20. A.Sedgwick
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    We are reading today about Jack Straw and the replacement of the Lords for an elected Senate. This is nugget politics which DC seems incapable of grasping. Many think this is a much needed change to the andiluvian other place and only last week I was suggesting again that Dave pick it up. Similarly five years is too long between general elections and a PM should only be able to serve after winning a general election. All good Gordon bashing areas. These are single issue big vote winners but as I have said before tactically and strategically DCCs haven't a clue. An example – why mess around in N.I. politics when Scotland's undue influence on UK Government need sorting? An accommodation with the SNP makes much more sense.

  21. ps
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    I am a big fan of your web site and the issues you raise. They are interesting, concise and well argued.

    I have been living in Melbourne for 2 years and have recently returned to the UK.

    I am hoping that the Conservatives win this election. For my sake and my children’s sake. (Not to mention the good of the whole population in the long run). I think the stakes are high.

    If Brown/Labour does manage to get in they are likely to be pretty vengeful on middle England and the Tories as they have to deal with their own scorched earth policy. The economy already seems to be blown to bits with very little to be cheerful about. It seems that Brown has taken ridiculous risks with the future to arrange a pre election boom that we are currently experiencing. (If this is the boom what is the bust going to be like?).
    What staggers me is how many of my friends who seem to have good jobs and appear intelligent are likely to vote Labour and think Brown is a fine fellow. They don’t all work for the Government either. I think money illusion alongside really low Mortgage rates allows them to feel they have a good standard of living. (The fact that they are on borrowed time with the interest rates & the country is getting close to a Gilt strike doesn’t seem to register). The anti Tory bias in the BBC, masquerading as objective, intelligent, reasoned argument only serves to back up repeatedly their thinking.

    My worry is that the Conservative leadership are being way too cautious. I understand the argument that they want to appeal to as wide a section of the electorate as possible but think this is fraught with problems.(one of which is that you are fighting on Labours terms and by their rules). The blame for the economic, social and virtually any other woe needs to be blamed on Brown. It is too easy for the l***g whatsit to blame any problems on the global financial crisis. I think he & his cronies need to be put under severe stress, I think it needs repeating over the next month that Labour are a (bloody) disaster. This needs to be applied to every function of government. I believe it is basically true and actually hard for them to refute. Perhaps this seems simplistic but I think the electorate are fed up with over complication. (Which is Browns preferred modus operandi).I know the Aussies keep it simple and direct but it seems to work for them.

    Once it becomes accepted that Labour are a disaster the election problem is solved. Who would vote for another disaster? As you say yourself the electorate really have to vote Conservative if they want to get rid of labour.

    I hope this helps.

    PS If this is going to be done I think you need to get as many big guns out as possible, Ken Clarke etc and as many Tory sympathisers in big jobs and high profile positions to take up the chant!

  22. tim
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    The rallying cry of the Conservatives seems to be that they are the most likely conduit to depose the Labour government. Would it not be preferable for voters to actually vote for a party they actually wanted? Tactics should not reside with the voters, but with the politicians. For the first past the post system to survive it must do so on the premise that voters are voting for what they want.

    If, as now seems the case, that the Conservatives are seeking votes from people who do not agree with them, how can they have any real confidence in their future mandate?

    Mr Redwood appears to be seeking support from non-supporters that can only result in bolstering the democratic deficit that is so apparent in Westminster where all three parties are pro-EU, when the majority of the electorate are not.

    If the Conservatives want popular support then it is they who must change.

  23. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    I’m perfectly happy to support the Conservatives wholeheartedly in the coming election, although I would wish to see a harder line on the EU and immigration, and a reduced role for the state.

    David Cameron has the beliefs and personality that fit in very well with the “broad church” concept of a major party. To win, he has to demolish Labour’s record, to convince the electorate that we need to reduce the annual public sector deficit rapidly, and that public expenditure reductions are the way to do it.

    However, if we were to lose (unlikely) I would probably favour a realignment of the Right, with pro-European Tory Wets expelled and negotiations with UKIP on a merger.

  24. backofanenvelope
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    The rot set in when you reneged on the EU treaty referendum. A promise is a promise and should be kept. Even those people in favour of the EU think you should keep your promises. And it is no excuse saying that the other parties also reneged.

    This has reinforced the general impression that none of you can be believed. How the Tories are going to overcome this impression in two months I don’t know. Cuddling up to the EU isn’t going to help.

    It is an unfortunate fact that a large minority of the electorate are not too fond of the EU and most of that large minority are regular Tory voters.

    • Kevin Peat
      Posted March 15, 2010 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      A minority ?

      • backofanenvelope
        Posted March 15, 2010 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Well, I would think that altho' about 70% of the electorate believe there should be a referendum, probably less than 40% think we should get out.

        In my own view is that William Hague had it right – in but not too far in. The Tories need to spell out how they are going to get that done.

        • Derek Buxton
          Posted March 15, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          Hague is talking through his nether regions if that is his stance. He must know full well how the EU works, and his words are not in the script. If he does not know, he is incompetent, if he does he is telling lies.

  25. Quietzapple
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Unsurprising that “People won’t believe me, but” style modern conservatism intends to censor even reasoned opposition on its own home site.

    Those of us who are long term opponents of most of the offshoots of the main strand of the Conservative Party’s politics actually do have different views on its various tentacles.

    One might have thought that such variations might interest Chameleon & co, especially as their own policies have varied so widely in the past few years.

    I gather that, for example, working tax credits are to be retained, which one might not have expected when debate on such is enjoined on any right wing site. The left is not entirely welfarist and our contributions are not solely about: “How much more.”

    When we are told there is now not even a dialogue of the deaf, as we shall be in the formal election period, and thereafter as the Conservative Party splits, don’t blame me.

  26. Javelin
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    This is HALF what I expected. If you look at these figures on PB it clearly shows that Labour retention rates are quite high (as a result of Government job for Labour voters).

    But what I didn't expect was a drop in Tory retention rates. The loss of voters are not going to Labour. I would guess these voters are to the right of the Party. So the question is can Cameron adjust his policies to keep the Labour switchers and not loose so many Tories. I think one of two policies to appease the right of the party who are leaving (of which I'm not one) is needed.
    http://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archiv

  27. FaustiesBlog
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    There’s another type of conservative voter – the type who is so disgusted with the whole stinking system, erected and maintained by the main three parties for decades that they want the whole lot out.

    Not just replacement clones with sweeter words.

    They want the system dismantled and reworked completely. For instance:

    * The old boys’ clubs,
    * the backhanders,
    * the safe seats,
    * the lack of referenda,
    * the broken election promises,
    * the inability to get rid of an errant/useless MP,
    * the refusal of the ‘justice’ system to bring those plainly guilty of fraud and theft to justice,
    * the exemption of the legislators from the onerous laws and taxes they inflict on us,
    * the lying and obfuscation,
    * the backroom deals between parties,
    * the secret collusion with the EU, against our wishes,
    * cash for questions,
    * the corporations writing our laws,
    * the bending over for bankers who have wrecked the economy – for which we on significantly lesser incomes will pay,
    * the bungs and vested interests,
    * the secret treaties (e.g., ACTA amonst many others),
    * the erosion of our freedoms and our living standards while those in government enrich themselves at our expense,
    * selling of our beloved country to the EU, for 30 pieces of silver and/or privileges,
    * the flagrant abuse of power by hacking away at our constitution and common law.

    The list is almost endless. The system is utterly rotten – and many sitting MPs entirely corrupted by it – encouraged by those who themselves are guilty. A case of honour among thieves.

    Yes, there are a handful of honest, as yet uncorrupted people, but who amongst them has the power or the courage to change the system? There are too few of them!

    That is why, once a loyal Conservative, I shall be voting for UKIP. Their values are what Conservative values used to be.

  28. APL
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    JR: “Traditional Conservatives need to be reminded that their party has pledged to reverse some Labour policies they most dislike”

    I don’t really care how you catagorize me: But I certainly agree and it has been demonstrated often enough that everything in the UK is intertwined with the European Union. If the Tory party would undertake to unpick that tangle and give us back our independence and self determination then you could have my vote tomorrow.

    I will not vote for the facile slogan ‘change’, It’s clearly a crib from the Obama campaign. Change what? And by what degree?

    JR: “Traditional Conservatives need to be reminded that their party has pledged to reverse some Labour policies they most dislike .. ”

    Some??!

    There is the problem with the Tory party right there; half hearted, wishy washy. No, and I hate the term ‘vision’, but no vision. We want something to strive for. After thirteen years of Labour all you can come out with is “reverse some Labour policies”. If ever there was an indictment of the Tory party there it is in those four words.

    • APL
      Posted March 15, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Fausties: "* selling of our beloved country to the EU, for 30 pieces of silver and/or privileges, …"

      Everypoint I agree. In short you describe a comprehensive betrayal.

  29. Mike Fowle
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I have in the past voted against the Tories over Maastricht. That is an indulgence I really think we cannot afford in this election. Whatever your reservations about David Cameron and Tory policies (but please consider them as they really are and not as spun by Labour and its friends in the media), this election is too important not to vote Conservative if you want to see the back of this wretched government. I truly fear we will not have another chance to get rid of them. Some ghastly stitch up with the Lib Dems and changes to the voting system will finally bring the curtain down on the country. Please, please, I beg of you, think so very carefully before you vote.

  30. Tim Almond
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    "UKIP supporters and sympathisers are critical. They want the Conservatives to speak mainly about the EU, sovereignty, immigration and related subjects. Time will tell how many of them carry out their threat and vote UKIP, knowing as they must do that it makes the election of a federalist MP in their seat and an overall federalist Lib/Lab government more likely."

    Well, and that UKIP actually have better education and economic policies than the limp, vague offerings of the Conservative Party.

    I've looked at what the Conservatives are offering and it's barely different to Labour. The latest health green paper smacks of the same state nannying that Labour have given us, public spending is planned to barely drop.

    So, I'm not going to vote Conservative. I'd rather see Cameron defeated because of a huge split vote to UKIP. Because only then will the Conservatives realise what a terrible mistake they made choosing him and his lightweight, pro-BBC agenda.

  31. no one
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    ive only ever voted conservative, (ive even voted for john a few times when i lived in his constituency and probably will again when i move back)

    i guess im not a simple conservative supporter as i did give dave nellist a significant donation when he was an MP, for similar reasons to why i respect frank field now, they were prepared to be straight true and open

    i let off steam on here reflecting what the potetial conservative voters i spend time with think

    i think theres a lot more value in many comments left as messages on this blog than central office probably realise

  32. Derek Buxton
    Posted March 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    No One,

    Do “Central Office” read comments? They most certainly do not listen or read e-mails, so why break the habit. The fact that they may learn something of value is irrelevant, it is probably not what the “chosen one” wishes to hear. “Yes men” are the same in all organisations.

  33. Marcus
    Posted March 18, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    “Traditional Conservatives need to be reminded that their party has pledged to reverse some Labour policies they most dislike – the one way ratchet of powers to Brussels, the lack of proper border controls, the surveillance society and the ballooning deficit.”

    Why only “some” policies”?

    Why can’t the Torys pledge to rid us of all the neo-Facistic legislation that Labour has foisted on an unwilling population over the last 12 years?

    Still haven’t heard enough to convince me to vote Conservative again.

  34. Freeborn John
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    "Time will tell how many of them carry out their threat and vote UKIP…"

    Well, i had been planning to hold of replying to this thread until i vote in order to remove any ambiguity. But your post today "UKIP still help the federalists" annoyed me sufficiently to respond now. I have no affiliation to any party, but I will definitely be voting UKIP in May, for the first time in a general election. If my vote were, by a one in a billion chance, to keep Cameron out of Downing Street, i will say 'serves him right'. The one party that truly helps the federalists is the Conservatives. They say one thing and do another; oppose in speech and cave-in in practice. And i have had enough of it.

    I will update this thread with another post in May when i have voted. When i put my tick in the box i will be thinking of 'cast iron' Cameron's November climb down, and your 'Time will tell' doubts about the seriousness with which i take the EU issue.

  35. Freeborn John
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Well ‘time has told’ for my vote. I just put the X against UKIP for the first time in a general election and walked up to the post office to send it in. Time will tell if cast-iron Dave pays for his November EU climb-down by failing to win a majority, and how many more elections the Conservatives have to lose before they take the EU issue seriously.

  36. Freeborn John
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations on your own victory. I hope someone is pointing out to Cameron the 3.1% of votes garnered by UkIP and that these votes would have been sufficient to secure a majority had he had a tough and credible policy on restoring powers from Brussels.

    It is likely there will be another election within a year. Please don’t take us fools a second time with the current vacuous EU policy.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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