Rally round the leader


              It is one thing for an underemployed and talented backbencher to ponder an assault on the leadership in  thirteen years time when he thinks Mr Cameron might retire (“He should be leader for 20 years” says Mr Afriyie). Mr Afriyie has confirmed that” he loves Mr Cameron” and was only thinking of running much later when there is a vacancy. The Afriyie plot has been much exaggerated, and misinterpreted.  He was not running around asking people like me to sign letters to get rid of the Leader. He has told me personally he is a Cameron fan.

           It is altogether another thing to read that the supporters of a leading and well respected Cabinet Minister, the Home Secretary, are getting ready for a Leadership camapign as if there might be one along any day soon.(Daily Mail Saturday)

           I assume Mrs May plays  no part of this speculation. I recommend she calls in those keen MP supporters of hers who have started to brief the press in her favour and tell them they are no friends of hers or the government’s. She has a wise friend or two in Downing Street who would tell her just how quickly things like this can get out of control if you allow senior MPs or whoever to brief like this.  This is not the right time for such moves. Mr Cameron needs the full support of his Cabinet to do more to improve the economy, and to fight the local elections in May for the party he leads. Dissension now before important elections is a particularly bad idea. He and the Chancellor need to be given every encouragement to take the measures needed to see a resumption of decent growth.

               There were mutterings at the end of last year and before Mr Cameron made his big Europe speech in January. A few colleagues asked me what they should do – should they write a letter demanding a vote on Mr Cameron’s tenure? I explained I was not going to do that. I thought Mr Cameron would change the party’s policy on the EU in a way we wanted, and he should be given every chance to do so.  I recommended that they waited to see Mr Cameron’s EU speech. It was clear the party needed a new policy on the EU it could believe in. It regarded a referendum, and the hope of a new relationship under a Conservative government, as essential first steps.

              Many in the party liked the new policy on the EU. So much so, that the only criticism is can we get on with it more quickly? I read that MP Mr Baron next week will launch a Bill to try to speed up the legislation on the referendum. I would urge my colleagues to get behind the Leader, and give him every support in the forthcoming local elections.  Attacking the Leader now is not the way to bring about the improvements people want. It will give encouragement to the federalist parties, Labour and the Lib Dems. Far from making a referendum more likely, it will encourage the Federalist parties to think they can get  away without offering one. It will divert attention from the essential task of mending the economy and reforming the public services so we can afford them.


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  1. lifelogic
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Cameron has some talents as a speaker and often performs well in parliament, alas he has a totally defective compass. He needs some one to give him a sound sense of direction that he so clearly lacks. His put down, and total lack of an answer, for George Galloway’s sensible question recently was, however, totally pathetic. He demeaned himself with it.

    He has gone totally the wrong way on:- the economy, the green religion, taxation, government waste, and the EU and now, it seems, even on new wars. He has also destroyed his own credibility with his blatant and short lived, cast iron deceit.

    Alas we are stuck with him, but he has clearly blown it. Even with a new compass for him it is now is too late. Anyway the voters simply cannot trust anything he says.

    But as you say a replacement will not now help anyway. If he could not beat Brown he cannot beat anyone and certainly not with his fake green, big state, high tax, pro ever more EU, soft socialism.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      His association with Clegg says it all – a true Conservative would not touch him with a barge pole.

      • Jerry
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        @A.Sedgwick: “a true Conservative would not touch him [the (leader of the) LibDems] with a barge pole.

        …and thus non of the true Conservatives would now be in government or sitting on the government benches!…

        Why is it some people still think that the Conservatives won a clear majority in 2010, there was three choices for Mr Cameron, either form a coalition (with the LibDems), form a minority government (that would likely have lost the first or second substantive vote, even if they could get their first budget accepted) or form a government of national emergency – only the first gave any certainty of a stable government, whilst the third would probably have only delayed the inevitable GE until the Autumn of 2010.

        • APL
          Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          Jerry: “Why is it some people still think that the Conservatives won a clear majority in 2010”

          Not winning a clear majority against Gordon Brown, is a criticism of Cameron.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

            @APL: I suspect that most people would say the real criticism of Cameron is that he has not been as ruthless as Kinnock, Smith and Blair were with their part, the problem is that the Tory party is still acting like a rudderless ship and has been since late November 1990, ever since one half the party wants to shout “No! No! No!” whilst the other half want to shout “Yes! Yes! Yes!”, what ever the question…

          • APL
            Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: ” ever since one half the party wants to shout “No! No! No!” whilst the other half want to shout “Yes! Yes! Yes!”, what ever the question… ”

            Yes, and on the specific question ‘should this be a self governing democracy’ the Tory party establishment have taken the position, No.

            Now a supposedly democratic party that actively organises to oppose the democratic process – well, that is pretty low, if you ask me.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 6, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

            @APL: “Yes, and on the specific question ‘should this be a self governing democracy’ the Tory party establishment have taken the position, No.

            What utter nonsense, what you mean is that they have not done as you would like them to do, that is not the same as ‘saying No.’

    • Disaffected
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      I agree with the first part of your comment, but totally disagree that getting rid of Cameron will not change anything.

      Once again true to form, he was rude in Flashman style in the way he spoke to Gallaway, like him or loathe him, he put a proper question to Cameron and his double standards. There is no reason for the UK to be involved in Mali. It is becoming clear our troops are there for an indeterminate period as part of the EU defence force. Hammond made it clear there is no end date. Cameron attacked Brown in opposition for cutting funding to our troops when they were at war, what is his excuse?

      First, he will not win the next election, no one will trust him. He has made so many U turns, failed cast iron guarantees etc. Did he not say in 2010 he had no plans for changing marriage or redefining marriage? No manifesto or coalition agreement for a mandate and what is happening tomorrow? Presumably he could have rushed through much more important legislation to help the country than this, perhaps an abatement on all new EU laws giving parliament primacy until an in out referendum takes place, stop EU immigration, get rid of ECHR etc. If he has time on his hands how about cleaning up parliament, right to recall MPs? Every other public sector body appears ripe for change how about the one he promised? How about getting rid of the quangos rather than announce another six as he did in the Queen’s Speech?

      Second, get a new person in to help build for 2020. The new person will need to rid the top table of people like George Osborne (appears unable to add up), Oliver Letwin (throws confidential waste in public bins), Teresa May (thinks Tory past is toxic), Ken Clarke (should be an Eu loving Liberal), Andrew Mitchell (hardly stitched up he admitted swearing at officers, he should have resigned full stop) etc. The so called modernisers need to be removed ASAP if the Tory party wish to influence politics in the future.

      • Disaffected
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        JR, Rally around what? Does anyone know what he stands for? He appears to be letting everyone know the answer by dripping out new ideas that he did not seek election on.

        He has got to go. We were told judge us on the economy.

        Okay, last year neither he nor the chancellor could be bothered to be here to plan the budget properly, they were on a jolly on the US president’s plane then they spent six months trying to clear up the mess. Cost of unnecessary wars- how many does he want and does he not learn from the past?. 299 tax increases, no public spending cuts, £90 billion black hole in private pension through QE, wrecked savings, soaring immigration not being cut or likely to placing a huge demand on public services. Pay cuts and pay freezes, welfare 5.2% pay increase. Police officers pay cut to £19,000 gross before tax and NI, welfare cap at £26,000 for housing net no tax or NI (reported £2 billion black hole?). Bulgaria and Romania rubbing their hands to join the land of the free next year, housing, health, education, jobs seekers allowance and tax credits paid by UK taxpayers. Every household paying for wind farms each month through their energy bills. Coalition agreed to pay wind farms whether they produce energy or not. Meanwhile the UK taxpayer spends £50 million every day to the EU to have much of this forced upon us to be uncompetitive. It was reported yesterday the EU intends to pay £2 million to counter Euro-scepticism in the media, we are paying money so they can negate/avoid our complaints! In short and British taxpaying responsible citizen who is (or has) working and saving and providing a pension for the future is punished by Cameron and Osborne. No wonder he commissions Labour politicians for social engineering and pension reform! Labour holds no fears to the electorate. The days of the LibLabCon is over, vote for a real change this year, next year and the year after.

        • Timaction
          Posted February 4, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

          Ditto. I don’t see how you have a choice now that you are in a coalition. However, I for one will not be voting Tory again until Mr Cameron is non longer the leader and we are out of the EU. Our very existance as a free democracy literally depends on it.
          LibLabCons leadership simply cannot be trusted to deliver.

      • lifelogic
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        You “totally disagree that getting rid of Cameron will not change anything”

        Had they elected David Davis perhaps it would have made a difference but from here I am not sure. Perhaps you are right but I cannot see how it could happen or would they would replace him by. Who would be much better? They are still stuck with the Libdems thanks to Cameron (Clegg is at least rather better than Chris Huhne that other near Libdem leader).

        Even Boris want silly grand vanity projects, like the new Thames airport and silly HS trains.

        From here Cameron is all they have I suspect.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      What a surprise that Chris Huhne has now decided to plead guilty. What is it that makes MPs such an odd bunch of deluded people?

      • Bob
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        If Huhne was guilty then why did he plead not guilty last week?

        • lifelogic
          Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps it is that “sword of truth” vanity that some absurd MPs seem to be infected with.

          At least with will not having pushing the absurd green energy religion at us any more.

        • cosmic
          Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

          After many runs for the tree roots to break the line, and several majestic leaps clear of the water to throw the hook, he’s eventually been played to the landing net.

          • lifelogic
            Posted February 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

            As always looked inevitable from day 1.

            How can someone sane, always knowing he is guilty for years, go on like this to the bitter end.

            Mind you we have still not had an apology for the counter productive war on a blatant lie. Just a conversion to Catholicism which is perhaps an admission of something I suppose?

            Is the problem basically that anyone, actually wanting to be an MP, is almost by definition, likely to be most unsuitable to be one. Perhaps a lottery and basic IQ test for selection of MPs is the best way forwards. It could hardly be any worse could it.

        • libertarian
          Posted February 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          “If Huhne was guilty then why did he plead not guilty last week?”

          Because he’s a liar, politician, liberal democrat, idiot. Take your pick they all amount to the same thing.

          • margaret brandreth-j
            Posted February 4, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

            its a family affair

          • lifelogic
            Posted February 4, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

            Indeed even his statement today, something like – “having taken ‘responsibility’ for events of some 10 years ago” – is still a pathetic attempt at spin.

            Might it not have been better, at this very late state just to admit the truth?

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted February 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Nigel Farage ran in Huhne’s place and even more wonderful if he were to win, nailing the mantra about no UKIP MP’s? Replacing a Liberal with UKIP would be nothing short of portentous and who knows with a bit of luck it could be UKIP in partnership with the Tories next time–after Cameron had been booted out of course.

          • lifelogic
            Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

            Or a year ago even.

            He now say it was events “over ten years” ago in mitigation …. but even a few day ago he was brazenly pleading not guilty, wasting public money and the courts time.

            One can certainly see how the green religion, pressure groups and the EU can hook and use this type of flimsy Libdem think person so very easily to subvert the interests of the public and its democracy – such as actually remains.

          • Bob
            Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

            @Leslie Singleton
            “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Nigel Farage ran in Huhne’s place”

            The Greens would have more chance in a constituency that would elect the likes of Huhne.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

            @Leslie Singleton: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Nigel Farage ran in Huhne’s place and even more wonderful if he were to win, nailing the mantra about no UKIP MP’s?

            Why do UKIP supporters keep up this dream-like thinking, why would a constituency that has voted for a europhile party and candidates since 1994 [1] suddenly vote in swaths for a europhobe party (that came 4th in 2010 behind Labour). Far more likely, Eastleigh will stay LD or return to the Tories, as for a shock result, think Labour or (if they stand) Greens – due to the latter’s support for railways, Eastleigh being a “Railway Town” that still has at least some rail engineering left.

            [1] what is more the two preceding Tory MPs were both at least saw the EEC/EU in a positive way, they were certainly not on Powell side of the debate on what we now call “Europe” by all accounts

        • Chris
          Posted February 4, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          The code of behaviour seems to be to deny something until the very last minute when you finally realise that the game is up. Is it any wonder we don’t trust many politicians? What disgraceful behaviour by Mr Huhne.

      • Nicol Sinclair
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic: “…odd bunch of deluded people?” Deluded I believe is a bit generous. How about “many people who have defrauded the taxpayers over ‘expenses’?

        By the way, I replied to many posts yesterday. They were all ‘lost’. I do not believe that this was due to JR but, rather, to his site. I give up. Unless this is, at least, subject to moderation.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          Are you sure that they haven’t eventually been published?

          Since the recent work on the site I can still see a comment “awaiting moderation” after I’ve clicked on “Post Comment”, but if I leave the site (or possibly even that thread) and then return I can no longer see it; but I think that nevertheless they’ve all been published.

          It seems to me this must be connected to the fact that the site no longer remembers who I am from visit to visit (or possibly from thread to thread) so I have to keep typing in my name and email address, and as this is presumably a matter of cookies I suspect that maybe the person who manages the site for JR has made some changes consequent upon a new EU regulation which came into force recently, and if that is true then we can once again blame the EU for making our lives unnecessarily inconvenient.

          • alan jutson
            Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink


            Thanks for your comments and reasoning,

            I know (little-ed) about computer systems cookies or how they work, I just like sites to work in a logical manner and be user friendly.

            The fact that sometimes the site recognises who you are (you do not have to fill in your details) and sometimes it does not (and you do), is irritating.

            When an error is made Why can you not just press the back key when you forget to fill in your details, and then the page returns with your comments still intact, instead of them being lost.
            That is frustrating and certainly not logical.

            John this is simply not efficient, and goes against your ethos of more for less.

            Reply: I will talk to the service provider and ask him to look at the teething problems some of you are describing.

          • Chris
            Posted February 4, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

            I have a lot of posts in this way as I had thought my name was automatically remembered. Can you explain why this facility has gone, Mr Redwood?

          • Jerry
            Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

            Chris, Denis, Nicol and APL, Please read this earlier blog, in it I have attempted to explain the problem to John, has indicated that he will pass the bug report on to his own webmaster.

            Oh and Denis, this is not a problem caused by or due to the EU Cookie law, that law had been complied with well before the work done last week and all worked OK.

          • APL
            Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “Please read this earlier blog, ”

            Thanks Jerry, I did see your suggestion to clear cookies, which I did for this site. But it didn’t really make any difference to me…, anyway.

            You seem to have a theory about the cookie creation date impacting the behavior? That strikes me as something John’s techie fellow will need to address.

            I did notice behavior yesterday – if you make a couple of posts go off and visit another page – then come back, all your posts awaiting moderation appear to have disappeared – until you post again, putting your name and other details in – then presto! All previous comments seem to be visible again.

        • APL
          Posted February 4, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

          Nicol Sinclair: “[posts] They were all ‘lost’.”

          I have posted this evening, they are no longer visible as they used to be ‘awaiting moderation’. I do not know if they have fallen into an internet black hole, of if the new upgrade makes the post system work differently.

          It’d be nice to know.

          Nicol Sinclair: “How about “many people who have defrauded the taxpayers over ‘expenses’?”

          Now that we know good faith and reputation of a certain soon to be former Lib-Dem MP, is worthless as many suspected, perhaps a closer look at his expenses might be in order?

          • APL
            Posted February 4, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

            The instant I posted the above, the posts I submitted earlier this evening have appeared.

            It’s probably the new system will not show your posts until it has identified you.

      • APL
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        cosmic: “he’s eventually been played to the landing net.”

        Let’s wait and see what his award for; lying, attempting to pervert the course of justice, – perhaps he pled guilty as otherwise he might have faced a long stretch inside for perjury.

        What’s the betting the establishment will close ranks and give him a suspended sentence on some trumped up pretext? Who knows, so he can spend more time with his family, because he has suffered enough, lessons have been learned, bla bla bla.

      • APL
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        lifelogic: “What is it that makes MPs such an odd bunch of deluded people?”

        Sitting on your backside* watching another organization (Brussels) do the work you have been paid in good faith to do, may give one a sort of ‘master of the universe’ syndrome.

        *Given that the Commons is often empty for significant debates, many cannot even be bothered to do that!

      • Disaffected
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        Clegg and Cameron promised to clean up parliament. Clegg wanted to shut the gates of Westminster. Where is the legislation Clegg?? Why is it not being rushed through like AV, Lords reform or gay marriage?? Parliament is over ripe for reform and change. Huhne knew about the texts to his son when he pleaded not guilty, I hope the judge takes his deliberate act to evade justice into account as well as being an MP and minister of the crown who sets laws for the rest of us. No right minded person should believe a word of a Lib Dem- Tuition fees, EU, boundary review etc etc.

        • Jerry
          Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

          Disaffected: “Parliament is over ripe for reform and change.

          Yes indeed and many, many will agree with you “Disaffected”, trouble is many will not agreer with you on what needs to be done, careful what you ask for…

          No right minded person should believe a word of a Lib Dem- Tuition fees, EU, boundary review etc etc.

          By the same rational, no right minded person will believe a word of a Tory, what with Lords reform (and AV) – ho-hum.

          Reply Conservatives said we would see if there was a consensus on Lords reform – they did and there wasn’t one. We always opposed AV and we won the referendum.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

            @JR reply: Indeed John, but we both know that for most people their perception of events is 9/10th of the “Truth”, never mind what the actual facts are.

            As an example, this is why some on the eurosceptic wing of the Tory party and supporters of UKIP keep trying to (metaphorically) bash Mr Cameron over the head with regards his pledge to hold a referenda on the Lisbon Treaty.

          • sjb
            Posted February 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

            @JR’s reply
            The obligation went further than finding a consensus: it was to deliver HoL reform, according to the (Conservative) Minister of Constitutional Reform in July 2012. [1]


          • APL
            Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

            JR: “Conservatives said we would see if there was a consensus on Lords reform .. ”

            While the Lords may well need reform. The body most in need of a good cleansing is the Commons!

    • cosmic
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think they can get rid of him half-way through a term of office, but he’s a disaster with all his unforced errors.

      As the EU speech, it seems to have cheered the faithful but it contained nothing of substance for two reasons:

      it’s dependent in an election win which looks unlikely.

      No one trusts Cameron to deliver a fair referendum.

      Actually, there’s another reason, the idea of remaining a member of the EU but renegotiating the terms of membership to avoid the fundamental requirements of membership, is utterly ridiculous.

    • Martin
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      An excellent post lifelogic and a sadly accurate summary of Mr Cameron. The defective compass observation is spot on. You could have added the dithering around actually getting on with cutting the deficit and the disastrous bungling around pasties and caravan taxes in the budget. As First Lord of the Treasury he has to take as much responsibility for these gaffs as well as the Chancellor.

      And then there’s gay marriage. We’re without doubt in the most difficult economic times in a century, we still have members of our military on active service in Afghanistan and we end up with gay marriage dominating the domestic agenda; all because Mr Cameron (without any mention in the last manifesto or even Queen’s Speech) has decided quite without any mandate to reclassify one of the most traditional of society’s structures.

      He couldn’t beat Gordon Brown last time and is surely destined to lead the Conservatives to defeat at the next election seeing us into the calamatious hands of Eds Miliband and Balls. Surely the ignomany of the IMF marching in can’t be far behind Labour returning to government.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      We shall see if Mr Cameron can now win Chris Huhne’s seat in Eastleigh, Hampshire at the forthcoming bye election. If they cannot win even that seat they are surely totally doomed at the next election.

      Perhaps he should reconsider his decision to have David Laws back in Cabinet before the poll. He should distance himself from the green religion, the EU, the endless government waste, and the endless increases in taxes.

      A reduction in income tax to 40% and the announcement of £1M IHT (Osborne promise) the implementation date would be a good start. Best if he does not say anything daft I am a low tax Tory.

      I hear the green deal 7% loans are even more of a rip off than I thought as you cannot pay them back early without penalties. The government as a dodgy double glazing company on HP it seems.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      I am a Redwoodite 🙂 or maybe Thatcherite or maybe just independant so not really politically aligned with George Galloway, although I did find him a fun radio host from time to time when he has had a show. I also thought Cameron made a big mistake with his response to George, and should have just answered the question, as George is after all elected to be there. I also think Georges letter of response to Cameron (available on the web if you do a search) is worth a read, and with some interesting points.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      I see James Delingpole has, as usual, almost exactly my views on the sad tragedy of Chris Huhne but rather more entertainingly expressed, the advantage of being an Oxford English graduate I suppose. I see Huhne was yet another Oxford PPE graduate, 1st class. What do they teach there? Quack global warming science, quack economics and misplaced confidence and arogance it seems. Is it not time to have the course prescribed and banned as being clearly against the national interests?


  2. Nina Andreeva
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    What is the point of getting a rid of him? All that will happen is that you will replace him with another trust fund kid (Boris) or someone of the calibre of Jeremy Hunt or Theresa May and thats going to make things better? I would rather see him utterly humiliated in 2015 when the country tells him what they think of “Notting Hill values”. The prospect of a Labour government however does not fill me with fear as I cannot see how it would be any different to what we are getting now.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Would Labour be much worse? Well they would clearly have similar, tax borrow and waste, pro EU, fake green policies as Cameron – but they might have more trouble with the bond markets which might reign them in rather more. We would, perhaps, get some lunatic lefty things like 80% soak the rich tax rates and rent controls but I agree little difference. Cameron might do these too the way he is going.

      Cameron has clearly blown it with his lack of direction hence failing to beat sitting duck Gordon Brown. Why on earth did the party elect such a pro EU, tax borrow and waste, fake green religion, socialist to lead them and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

      • Nicol Sinclair
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic: “Why on earth did the party elect such a pro EU, tax borrow and waste, fake green religion, socialist to lead them and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?” Because, at the time, the public were unaware that he would change his spots whilst in Government (with the accompanying limousine!).

        • Nina Andreeva
          Posted February 4, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

          Erm the public were not conned if they were they would have given him a majority. Remember he could not beat Labour that were in a new dimension of unelectibility to what they were in 1979 e.g. the banks blowing up 2007/8, a load of their MPs and a former minister ending up in jail. If they were convinced he was up to it he would have have his majority, to a slightly lesser extent he had a Kinnock style credibility gap

      • Bob
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        I doubt that Labour would have increased foreign aid, or pushed gay marriage. They’re more politically astute than that.

      • Nina Andreeva
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        LL what makes you think Georgie is going to maintain the “confidence” of the bond market for much longer? At the moment he is surviving because the world’s central banks are continuing to buy his debt. However how long can they keep the plates spinning? GOOGLE the works of Kyle Bass, he is one of the few hedgies who actually makes money for his investors, rather than just for himself. He will show you that Japan is ready to implode and when it does that should be a sufficient shock to the system that we cannot be too far behind to go under too. Remember our levels of indebtedness are actually worse than that of the US and that is saying something

    • Boudicca
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Well said.

      We are effectively living under a One-Party-State which LibLabCON all promoting and persuing the same policies.

      We need to break-up their cosy CONsensus. I don’t care if Labour win ing 2015. They too will take their Orders from the Bilderberg Committee and the EU – so nothing will change. Just the faces.

      • APL
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        Boudicca: “We are effectively living under a One-Party-State which LibLabCON all promoting and persuing the same policies.”

        Yes, the three parties are but the outward manifestation of ‘ European Union democracy*‘, the policies originate in Brussels and they are sent to which ever party gulls the people most efficiently.

        In the UK the Tories, Labour, Lib-Dumbs, are but three heads of the same beast.

        * No laughing at the back, please.

  3. colliemum
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    It seems to be a strange change in politics generally that people are pushing ‘their’ candidate for office who are factual ‘outsiders’, i.e. helpers, spads, fund raisers, so forth.
    Both the stories about Mr Afryie and Ms May seem cases in point, and similar stories are floating in the USA, in regard who will run for the presidency in 2016 (yes, really.).

    What concerns me far more than these attempts at getting rid of Mr Cameron – that is, after all, an entirely normal state of affairs in politics – is the noticeable change in the attitude of a number Tory Party members/officials in their attitude towards the older members in the party and in the population in general.
    The debates about the WFA, bus passes and the TV licence for the over 75s have shown this very clearly, as have the debates about the gay marriage bill. All these debates have one thing in common: the economic and social inferences are disregarded and discarded for what can only be described as elderly bashing.
    In the end, it will not matter who will lead the Tory Party in 2015, it will not matter if interest groups are successful in pushing a “Tory Obama” or someone else, because a “Conservative” Party which gleefully discards core voters and activists because they are, well, conservative, while chasing the votes of the identity groups du jour amongst the London metropolis, will deservedly lose.

    • Nicol Sinclair
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Colliemum: How elegantly (and truly) stated, if I may say so…

  4. Single Acts
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Do you ever wonder why there is such speculation and muttering barely half way through the first term? This is perhaps a more interesting focus of attention rather than telling Teresa May to shut-up.

  5. Richard1
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Its a bit alarming to hear it confirmed that this story about Mrs May had legs – I assumed it was pretty much a newspaper’s invention. It is very extraordinary that there are Conservative MPs who do not recognise 1) that Cameron polls ahead of the Party & there is no other leadership candidate who would clear raise the likely Conservative vote; & 2) that talk of a leadership challenge after losing a general election is irrelevant. If the Conersatives lose the next election of course Cameron will go. We dont need to start debating that now though – lets have a crack at winning it first!

    Off topic, but why on Earth are Conservative MPs getting so exercised about Gay Marriage? Who cares whether 2 gays are in a civil partnership or are married? There are shades of the nonsense which did for the Republicans in this.

    Reply: Some Conservative MPs are actively opposed for religious reasons – they are Catholics or have equally strong views on the topic themselevs. Some are vocal in oppositino because many in the party are strongly against and they wish to represent their memebrs.

    • Bob
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      ” If the Conservatives lose the next election “

      Bet the farm on it.

      • Deborah
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        I appreciate John’s recommendation that we “bank” Cameron’s promise for a referendum and support the efforts to bring forward the timetable. However, John also tells us that no referendum can be held before the next election. Since the tories haven’t a cat in hell’s chance of winning the next election, then it is all rather a waste of energy.
        I for one would rather just vote for UKIP to register my disgust with the tories.

        Reply: I think we could get a Mandate referendum through this Parliament, as I cannot believe Miliband would dare vote it down, and that is what some of us are trying to get the PM to do.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Personally I think religions should concern themselves with their own believers. They should have not place in the regulation and the legal process controlling others and should have no preferential place in the legislative process as they absurdly do now.

      CofE and Catholic Bishops are however always very amusing with their confused banker and rich bashing (from their palaces) and their failure to understand economics or how the world goes round. Sort of in the Prince Charles hypocrisy (do as I say not as I do) mode but perhaps no quite so amusing.

      Listening to their speeches is always a good lesson in the use of bad logic, self contradiction, irrationality, absurd argument and the power of appeals to dumb, irrational, emotion.

      The BBC has a cupboard full of these, thought for the day – Clifford Longley – types it seems to wheel out out, slightly confused into the light, as needed.

      • JimF
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        The answer is for the C of E to disestablish itself and refuse to carry out any ceremonies which aren’t in line with it’s scriptures. I think gay marriage or marriage to any other life forms apart from the human opposite sex would fall outside this scope

    • forthurst
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      “why on Earth are Conservative MPs getting so exercised about Gay Marriage?”

      Meanwhile, ” Proposals to allow gay couples to marry and adopt children finally go before France’s parliament on Tuesday, after months of rancorous debate that split the country.” – AFP

      Apart from the fact that ‘gay marriage’ is an oxymoron, apart from the fact that it will be used as a stick to beat the religious establishment, apart from the fact that school children will now be taught that homosexuality is entirely normal and equivalent in every respect to erstwhile normality in the same that they are taught that immigrants are the same as us in every respect, (words left out-ed), are you not the weeniest bit curious as to who, precisely, is driving this agenda in the West (only) and to what end? How successful have the proponents of the Frankfurt School been in undermining our culture?

    • Nicol Sinclair
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Richard I (or II or even III buried under a car park). “Who cares whether 2 gays are in a civil partnership or are married?”

      I MOST CERTAINLY DO. So,there… The relationship is (not a traditional one-ed).

      Go on JR, moderate me for my views.

      • uanime5
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        Given that the Romans practised gay marriage until they adopted Christianity I wouldn’t say that gay marriage wasn’t traditional.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Whatever the relationship is or is not one thing it isn’t is marriage.

    • Alte Fritz
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      What has puzzled me is that here, and probably in other countries, this legal revolution has been achieved without any formal popular sanction. I am unaware of any recognition of same sex marriage in any society any where in the world at any time in history.

      Does not the departure from such social norms at least require some popular approval? And that, to go to topic, is why Mr Cameron is not as secure as he ought to be. He lacks a certain moral authority. All the same, I think those who talk of supplanting him need to grow up.

  6. Peter Davies
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Broadly I think you are right else you are looking at John Major MK2. That’s not to say he hasn’t bought a lot of this on himself by some of the people that surround him

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      John Major Mk II, but without the excuse of vacuity and having learned nothing from the John Major, disaster era, nor the ERM/Euro experience that he has lived through.

      How many terms will the Tories be buried for this time and how few MPs will they have left in 2015?

  7. Duyfken
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    That apparently so many in the Tory parliamentary party are discontented with Cameron and that further, some may be conspiring to have him removed, points to an acknowledgment of the original error – that of electing him leader of the party some years ago, something also which those of the grassroots, the constituency organisations should not only be repenting but already should have found means to correct.

    So in noting JR’s rationale for trying to steady the boat at this time, I opine it is not that now is the wrong time for ditching Cameron but that it may be too late – the Tories should have done it long ago.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      It is too late their is no one suitable (who could win) and they are stuck with the Libdems. Cameron is all they have alas.

  8. Mike Stallard
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    You are right.
    But why are people talking like this?

    I reckon there are two reasons. The first is that Mr Cameron is totally out of sinc with the Conservatives. Like Mr Blair, he blinds ahead without taking any real stock of where his supporters and potential supporter actually are. Mr Blair ended up in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr Cameron is not getting to grips with the debt and Gay marriage is pretty dire really.

    Secondly he has totally misread Europe. This does not mean he is wrong. Indeed, he is right. He reminds me so much of Mr Chamberlain. A totally decent man, determined to prevent the slaughter of the First World War reoccurring.

  9. Andyvan
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I’d say there were a lot more criticisms of the new “policy” that just wanting it hurried up. A lot of people are dubious of Dave’s sudden conversion on the grounds that he has only done it for party voting advantage and not the good of the country hence waiting until after the election. They are understandably doubtful as his last referendum promise turned out to be a lie. Also there are very many excuses in so long a time frame for the whole idea to be pushed aside even if the Conservatives win the election. The whole thing has far too many variables and vagueness for it to be credible. The country needs action on so many things and all we see is talk, no spending cuts, no tax cuts, no sorting the problems out just wait and see. Maybe we’ll get a referendum or maybe not. Drift and stall, that’s Dave’s MO.

  10. Martin
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Isn’t most of this leadership chit chat a sign of unhappiness about the economy? I suspect that most Conservatives had hoped that by now the proverbial green shoots would be popping up everywhere and that some bank privatisations would be in the pipeline.

    Instead we have the chancellor reported as thinking about breaking up banks http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9846197/Banking-system-must-be-reset-says-Osborne.html

    Three years in and the chancellor hasn’t made his mind up about the banks. Perhaps Prime Minister Cameron is making Mr Blair’s mistake in not moving his chancellor?

  11. Alex Roebuck
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I see we now have to describe Labour and the LibDems as “federalist” to differentiate them from Cameron’s pro-EU Tories.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      The differences are really only a matter of a) the degree of commitment to eurofederalism and b) the honesty with which eurofederalism is pursued.

      There are a lot of overt eurofederalists among the LibDems, while at the other end of the spectrum there are rather fewer eurofederalist Tories and they tend to keep much quieter about it to avoid frightening the horses, or should that be sheep.

  12. niav
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Dear Leader is a disaster. The perspective of five more years of this wretched Coalition, inflating away Britain’s debts and stagflating its economy until Labour comes to finally deliver it into fully-fledged “fairness” (i.e. complete pauperising of the middle classes) is enough to make me nauseous.

    How did you end up with Dear Leader? I simply don’t understand how the Tory party, in its effort to reinvent itself managed to turn to social-democracy (or as Labour calls it, democratic socialism), thus becoming completely redundant. We already have a democratic socialist party: Labour. There’s even a Marxist party, the libdems.

    I recently heard Dear Leader saying that the UK is a low-tax country, with that earnestness of his. I nearly choke with my coffee. I would describe UK’s taxes as extortionate or gouging. They are as bad as France or Sweeden, with none of the benefits. To describe one of the most aggressively high tax system in the word as “low” shows a staggering lack of common sense. Was Dear Leader thinking about his trust fund or – surely – tax (efficient?-ed) inheritance?

    I am really wondering: how is it even possible to have as PM, vice-PM, Chancellor and Leader of the Opposition all people who haven’t done a single day of taxed work in the private sector, and thus seem to live with the impression that life’s as easy for us as it is for them, hence we must be robbed this way by a bunch of crooks calling each other “right honourable”?

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      “Dear Leader saying that the UK is a low-tax country”

      Indeed surely a great talent to deliver that absurd lie and keep a straight face. Rather like the delivery of his cast iron guarantee. If you can fake sincerity you’ve got it made.

  13. backofanenvelope
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    You are quite right Mr Redwood – now is the time for Tory MPs to rally round the Prime Minister. Thus ensuring you all go down together.

    Out here amongst the voters the problem is plain. This government is exactly the same as the last Labour ones. If the next government is Labour or Labour-LibDem, then they will be the same as you. You haven’t got a sensible idea amongst the lot of you!

    • Martin
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Who is the party of self-reliance, small government and low tax? No-one.

      • Bob
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        You might like to check the UKIP policies on their website.

      • lifelogic
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        and UK democracy.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Exactly right! The cherry on top is that, by virtual acclamation, every voter knows Cast Iron has openly BIG LIED to the entire UK. Mr. Bean will get his chance to do so next…

  14. MickC
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Cameron should be left in post.

    Then, with the inevitable catastrophic defeat at the next general election, the fault will lie where it should-with him and his acolytes.

    It will also be interesting to see quite who he will rely on as “footsoldiers” as he has managed to alienate a large amount of normally loyal party supporters. About time those in Westminster realised that central London is not representative of Britain.

  15. Mick Anderson
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    JR: I understand your sentiments entirely, but I suspect that most of the commentariat on you blog are not your fellow MPs. The various agitators here all have their own pet theories and agendas, which often compliment your musings. However, as someone who is outside the Party, I can only see Mr Cameron and his clique as part of the problem; nothing to do with the solution.

    There are many shades of grey in decisions to support or stalk a leader, and those of us who start with no Party loyalty can struggle to understand why he might be the best person to be in Number 10. When one looks at any of the alternatives, it becomes more clear as to why if Mr Cameron is the least bad option, he has to be supported whole-heartedly.

    For non-MPs such as me, we have a wider choice. Some have airy dreams of Mr Farage as some sort of Kingmaker, even though we know that it’s not realistic. I have some sympathy with his supporters, if only because he is offering something different to the identikit front benches of the three main parties. He can reasonably claim to have made a major contribution to Mr Camerons new stance on the EU, however little some of us trust that position.

    Effectively, many of those who wish to see Mr Cameron deposed would like to see such an event as some sort of catalyst – a metephorical hand grenade thrown into the House of Commons. In practice, a leadership election would do no such thing – the Government would simply lurch between two equally poor versions of the status quo.

    The reason I am ambivalent about changing the party leader is simply because I don’t see that it would make any difference. The people I would want to see in charge (JR for Chancellor!) would almost certainly not be promoted into the positions where they could make things better. It would make even less difference than the notional change of governing party in the 2010, so it’s impossible to become excited about the whole thing.

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Having challenged John Major, unsuccessfully, I suppose you have experience of such matters. Rally around the leader as much as you like but it won’t be reciprocated. He will blindly go on ignoring your advice and mismanage the economy. He will set his whips to threaten your colleagues to vote for same sex marriage for which he has no mandate and is supposed to be a ‘free vote’. No, I’m sorry, you put a cuckoo in the nest when you elected Cameron. He is certainly doing a good job in throwing out the normal residents of the Conservative party nest at grass roots level. The one thing he is delivering on is being the heir to Blair; unfortunately that won’t extend to winning elections. Those of you in Parliament think about your meal tickets but I fear that many of you will be seeking new employment after 2015 and a new leader for what is left of your party.

    Reply: I applied for vacancy when he resigned! I did not allow my supporters to brief against the PM or brief in favour of a challenge or leadership election prior to his decison to resign, unlike other members of the Cabinet who did allow or even encourage their supporters to run wanabe campaigns.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Great shame John Major retained the position to lead the party over the cliff for three terms … Cameron is showing the same talents. How on earth did the Tory MPs vote for Major when his destiny at that time was so very clear.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Well I wouldn’t be too proud of that! Major began the Decline, davey-boy the Fall.

  17. Kenneth
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Mr Cameron has excellent PR skills and is a very good performer in the House of Commons. In that respect he is extremely valuable to the Conservative Party.

    I am not sure he has any great political convictions. The important thing is for MPs to blow the sails of the ship in a certain direction. If enough MPs do this, soon enough Mr Cameron will start blowing in the same direction too.

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      The PR skills are questionable…remember Webcameron where he tried to convince us he does his own washing up with his shirtsleeves rolled down? The photos from his trip to Africa also look a bit funny too. He is in a suit and tie most of the time though the locations suggest that clothing such as that would get dirty very quickly

      The Conservatives made a fatal error in picking him as leader, he may be a more gifted speaker than IDS but they forget that “entitlement”, as far as the voters are concerned, went out with Alec Douglas-Home. When trust fund kids are replaced by a council flat kid like David Davis then I will think about voting Conservative again.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      That is the only faint hope but it will need a lot of wind though – half the Tories are clearly blowing the wrong way and the LibDems are holding him somewhere rather painful. He cannot even get the constituency changes through.

  18. oldtimer
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    As an outsider looking on, the Conservative Party MPs needs to win back control of the Conservative agenda, and fast, from Cameron`s eminence grise who has been in control until now.

    • John Coles
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      And exactly who is Cameron’s eminence grise?

      • oldtimer
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        His wife. It has been said that Greenpeace should name a ship after her (DT correspondent), She was filmed as the most enthusiastic supporter of his conference speech in praise of same sex “marriage”. She represents the Cameroon version of sofa government – it was reported she sat (on the sofa) in on all the policy making sessions before the last election.

  19. liz
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Mr.Cameron, like many a prime minister before him, goes scooting off abroad when things get a bit tricky at home – always a dangerous thing to do if your troops are restive. Mr. Cameron needs to spend more time with hius MPS and supporters in the country – not going out of his way to annoy them as he is giving the impression of doing. It was not very sensible to push through Gay Marriage but at the same time,renege on your commitment to give married couples a tax break – it was bound to lead to trouble.
    It was disappointing too that neither he, nor the party put up much of a fight for boundary changes, which for the first time for a century and a half will lead to the creation of rotten boroughs in England and fixed elections. Quentin Letts wrote a splendid article about this in the Mail and it is telling that none of the left wing media opposed it or supported a fair vote for everyone in elections. A Democrat, Mr.Clegg certainly is not – nor are many of the, screaming with triumph at the vote, Labour MPs.

    • Bob
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      ” It was not very sensible to push through Gay Marriage but at the same time,renege on your commitment to give married couples a tax break”

      – Or increase foreign aid donations while closing hospitals at home.

      – Or keeping murderers in relative luxury while the elderly are put on the Liverpool Care Pathway.

      • Christopher Ekstrom
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Or tossing the military in the dust bin to pay uncritically for the NHS.

  20. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Every parliament which I can remember, except Tony Blair’s government(allbut nearing the end) has had a good mix of dissension and support from backbenchers and cabinet alike, but do you realise John that the people know this and they understand that the competitive back biting , which is an animalistic display for all to see on the box is not what changes the world. Parliament should be aware that we in the modern day world all undergo the same negative competition , jealousies, perceptions of self as better, power struggles that the government and opposition demonstrate.
    We have all been set up to save money for the greedy , we have all had to pay for the ones who got away with it and to think that support for parties is gained by mindless displays of sparring is fatuous.

    Europe however affects us all and our long term future. We need sensible discussion on a regular basis for all to see with the media honestly, if that is possible, clarifying situations. We have seen the spivs take the money and run. We have seen labour execs take the money from the poor to feed the rich, We have seen conservatives , mocked for their commonsense and tidy living , kicked by greedy ‘whats up with us lot we are as good as you crowd’ . We know .

  21. Bob
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Why couldn’t gay marriage be subjected to a referendum in five years time?

    • forthurst
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      “Why couldn’t gay marriage be subjected to a referendum in five years time?”

      Firstly, it is far more important than the future of this country; second it is a highly technical matter e.g. what constitutes ‘adultery’ or ‘consumation’ in the context of a biological deficit? Luckily, the Tory party and particularly the front bench is well endowed with expertise on these complex and vitaly important issues, although they may be pig ignorant about what the rest of humanity is concerned with.

      • Christopher Ekstrom
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        History reminds anyone literate that prior to collapse the unimportant has a dazzling moment of prominence. Gay “issues” are the very best example. Not since the 60’s (if even then, Guy Burgess managed rather well) have the chosen few been subject to much scrutiny. Now some homosexuals are demanding to be celebrated. All very well at French House but not necessary on the National Stage. But as Mr. Foxhurst points out; The Frankfurt School minions only want to bring down the house.

      • lifelogic
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Clearly a far more important issue that the continuance of any UK democracy and economic growth these can wait five years until Dave is well gone.

    • Gwen Tanner
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      @Bob – exactly, why couldn’t they have a referendum in five years time or, at least, put it in their next manifesto or even kick it into the long grass. Something DC is good at doing! The Equality Act of 2012 is a complete nonsense because we are all unique and we are definitely not all equal. Based on what is happening with same-sex marriage vote, this surely means we should now be able to have an EU referendum in this parliament? The sooner the better.

  22. Tad Davison
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    We desperately need a strong leader who is wholly in tune with the settled will of the people, and will fight their cause. We don’t presently have one. I couldn’t care less what quarter that leader comes from, but we need one soon, before the worst and irreversible excesses of the EU take effect.

    And I don’t even care if Cameron himself suddenly becomes strong and virtuous. Anybody. We are heading towards an abyss from which we may not extricate ourselves. So the need is stark, and the solution simple. Politicians are our representatives, not our masters. We need somebody to do our bidding. Anything else is undemocratic and illegitimate.

    If someone has an alternative ‘vision’ to that of the rest of us who wish once again for the UK to be an independent sovereign nation, let’s hear it, and put it to the test in a proper debate. What we’ve had so far, on Europe, the economy, law and order, defence, and a host of other issues, is those alternative visions foisted upon us without that proper debate, or more importantly, without proper reference to the electorate. I’d even consider a military coup if it ultimately delivered our country back to the people.

    The present system doesn’t work, which is patently obvious. Democracy in the UK is a sham. In its present guise, it has delivered far less than it should, and we need a strong leader to put it right. John Major once said he wanted a nation at peace with itself, then set about creating something that caused untold mayhem, discontentment, and unrest. We just can’t go on like this.

    Tad Davison


    • lifelogic
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink


    • Gwen Tanner
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      @ Tad – a military coup – yes, let’s do it! We do once more want to become an independent nation without interference from Brussels – the sooner the better.

  23. Boudicca
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Cameron’s destroying the Conservative Party. If he is kept in place, he will have two legacies:

    1. Gay ‘marriage.’
    2) The destruction of the Conservative Party – possibly permanently.

    The man is divisive. He’s untrustworthy and he’s incompetent.

    His ‘new policy’ on the EU is to do whatever it takes to keep us IN the EU. He will never hold a FREE AND FAIR In/Out Referendum – even IF he is re-elected, which isn’t likely.

  24. Man of Kent
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    It’s the tone of the Government that upsets me – plus the lack of engagement with eliminating the deficit while debt just rises and rises.

    Sadly the ability to negotiate is just not there.
    The possibility of negotiating with the EU over a new relationship is unlikely if you could not get the Lib Dems nailed in to boundary changes [the most important Tory policy in the Coalition Agreement]

    I’d back Birgitte Nyborg to get the job done.
    DC must watch Borgen to find out how to do it .

  25. MichaelL
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    It is easy to see why UKIP is appealing to many voters. A bit like the SNP, they have a leader that is a distinct advantage to them. How well would either party compete without them? Take Nigel Farage – some people may not agree with his politics, but I think many people regarded him a genuine person.

    With David Cameron, his entire judgement is brought into question – by the people he associated with, Rebekah Wade and Andy Coulson spring to mind. That judgement, that association will cost the Conservative party in the next election.

    “All these debates have one thing in common: the economic and social inferences are disregarded and discarded for what can only be described as elderly bashing.”

    I almost fell out of my chair laughing at that comment? Are you serious? We have an economic policy designed to placate the baby boomers and old folk – the youth of today have a terrible deal, they’re paying for the propped up assets of the boomers , the deck is well and truly stacked against them in a basically immoral way.
    Recommend you have a read of Bill Bonner (Moneyweek).

    • Kenneth
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Regarding UKIP, today’s news could be a game changer. If Nigel Farage stands they have a prospect of gaining the Eastleigh seat.

      Reply Will he run?

      • Kenneth
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Will he run?
        I don’t know but somehow I suspect I will not be able to resist it.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        He would be wiser not to stand himself, but instead be around for as much of the campaign as possible to strongly support somebody else as the UKIP candidate. That’s unless the Tory candidate is signed up to “Better Off Out”, provided of course that Cameron would allow any such person to become a new Tory candidate, or the LibDem candidate is another raving euromaniac like Huhne who should be blocked from entering the Commons.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        I’m sorry, Kenneth, it’s unrealistic to suppose that UKIP would have any prospect of winning the seat this time even with Nigel Farage as their candidate.

        That would be too much of a massive single jump from coming fourth in 2010 with 1933 votes:


        Coming second would also be a massive jump, not much less massive than actually winning; but overtaking Labour to come third would probably be achievable.

        • sjb
          Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          The SDP’s Roy Jenkins contested the safe Labour seat of Warrington in 1981. He came a close second with a 42.4% share of the vote. Similarly, independent candidates have come from nowhere to win.

          It seems to me that if UKIP really expects to win some HoC seats at the next general election then they have got to do very well in the Eastleigh by-election.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

            I certainly agree with your last paragraph.

    • colliemum
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      MichaelL – it is regrettable that you seem to have swallowed the propaganda against the so called Baby Boomers without any thought.
      In the first place, it is unworthy of conservatives to single out a social group as the only blameworthy group in society.
      Age, like skin colour, is not something one can choose or not choose for oneself. It also may have escaped your attention that ageing is not something which you personally can escape.
      As for the much vaunted ‘economic’ arguments brought forward: spare me. conservatives ought to stand up against this class war attack against Baby Boomers, or have you not noticed that this is the old and tried demonisation of a group seen as ‘haves’, who must be punished for actually having something, something which they accrued during their lives?

      • Chris
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        All part of the divide and rule approach which in itself breeds further discontent/envy. Society is not in a healthy place at the moment, and the Conservatives should have had nothing to do with this.

      • sjb
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink


        Let me recommend an interesting book on the subject written by a Conservative MP, David Willetts.

      • MichaelL
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        “or have you not noticed that this is the old and tried demonisation of a group seen as ‘haves’”

        There is no class divide here, its basic economics. Young people are being handed a bill (via QE and other policies) that has funded the lifestyles of older people.

        Again, Bill Bonner (of Moneyweek) is hardly a left wing loony.

        The people that need to think again are the in name only conservatives – that would be up in arms – if the free market fairness ever applied to themselves.

        Its not just the benefit claimants that are living off taxes … as someone who is fairly libertarian, I’m all for free markets (and I’d abolish the Bank of England and its ability to print money) … but that includes stopping everyone that is basically milking the system and then stopping it. Some people don’t realise how hypocritical they are … but that is down to basic stupidity.

    • Bob
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink


      The political class us divide and rule tactics all the time.
      Old/Young is just another way to divide us, don’t fall for it.

    • sm
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Its more a question as to who benefited from the pumping up of the FIRE economy. “The Insiders” and the barons of the Zombie economy?

      Well if we look closely at wealth trends/distribution it shows clearly across countries.

  26. Leslie Singleton
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Dear John–I suppose you have to say what you have written this morning but I am afraid it is hopeless–Cameron has engendered too much contempt and amid his own former supporters to have a chance. Not only are his policies wrong and obnoxious but his attempts to bounce us in to them are just plain silly. If he wanted to promote non-procreational “marriage” he should have announced that it would be in the the Tories’ next manifesto–except of course that would have given the lie to the idea that this close-to-blasphemous idea had much support which would have made it even more certain he would lose the next election. Even as regards what he is now, repeat now (only now) , saying on the EU, it is blindingly obvious he is saying to try and save his skin. Logic unfortunately no longer comes in to it–voting for him is simply out of the question for many of us. A new broom would at least have a chance.

    Reply : I do not have to say this – it is my carefully chosen advice to the party seeing at close quarters the various plots.

  27. Chris Sheldrake
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    John is absolutely right in everything he says in this article.

    There is no way the Conservatives are going to win the next election if they change the leader in a bloody bout of in-fighting that would probably last 12 months.

    The uncertainty would be incredibly damaging to the pound as a change of leader would almost certainly see a change in both policy and Chancellor.

    Conservatives should concentrate their efforts elsewhere : Today’s big news of the resignation of Huhne provides a huge opportunity to put the Lib Dems firmly in their place after their treasonous behaviour over boundary changes.

    Cameron should go all out to beat the LibDems in Eastleigh – unless, of course, he agrees not to put up a candidate in return for support in another vote on boundary changes.

    As for Huhne, he has behaved disgracefully :
    It’s been clear that whatever the technical outcome of the court case might have been, he was guilty of pressing the hapless Mrs Huhne ( Vicky Pryce ) to take the speeding points. Yet, up to this very morning, he has repeatedly asserted his total innocence. So by his own admission in court today he is now both a criminal and a habitual liar.

    Yet over the last 12 months Huhne has been strongly supported by Clegg and the other top LibDems who are now tainted by their support for him.

    None of the LibDems come out well over this and they will inevitably pay a heavy price.

    Or should that be a heavy Pryce !

  28. Neil Craig
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    While Mrs may, no matter how pretty her shoes, asw PM does not much appeal Cameron has been wrong on almost everything – from coming to party leadership to “share the fruits of growth” without concern about creating them, going back on the cast iron promise & rejecting UKIP’s offer of a deal, his enthusiasm, for the LudDims, his europhilia and prevaricating on a referendum & his enthusiasm for gay marriage.

    If the Tories wish for power, or even for the party to survive meltdown at the next election they have to get rid of Cameron.

  29. Acorn
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps circle the wagons would be more appropriate. Frankly, no M.P. out of the nominal 650, jumps out as Leadership material. But, as an once-upon-a-time empire, experiencing terminal decline, just like Rome, al sorts of deviances and debauchery become the norm toward the end. So the next prime minister will probably be black; pregnant; lesbian or transgender in a wheel-chair. Probably “married” (new Tory legal definition) to a gender reassigned hermaphrodite; (etc ed).

    Anyway, while you lot have been ranting on here, I have been studying ZLB. That is Zero Lower Bound (when central bank interest rates are forced to near zero percent). There is a lot of ZLB stuff going on at the moment by clever people with PhDs. Stuff like the following, which is becoming mainstream in PhD land. It is wonkish for this site, but persevere. It will give you a clue why the lack of economic knowledge is causing the coalition to paddle the economy aimlessly up the wrong creeks. ZLB hypothesizes that when Central Bank interest rates get near zero, strange things happen to the old text book economic equations. A bit like flying close to a Black Hole.

    “In this paper, I argued that social policy uncertainty can have large and adverse effects when the ZLB binds. Using a new-Keynesian model with endogenous capital accumulation, I confirm the findings of past studies and show that the effects of social policy uncertainty are small when the monetary authority is not constrained by the ZLB. In addition, I showed that uncertainty about both short-run and long-run social policy can cause a large contraction in the economy. Finally, I offered VAR [value at risk theory] evidence that implies that shocks to policy uncertainty have had a particularly large effect on the U.S. economy over the past four years, which is consistent with the implications of my model. These findings have important implications for government policy when the ZLB binds. Studies like Eggertsson (2009) and Christiano et al. (2011) advocate raising government spending in response to an episode in which the ZLB binds. My results imply that the effects of such a policy action will in part be determined by the level of social policy uncertainty. Moreover, my findings suggest that clarity in the future path of social policy is at a premium when the ZLB binds. Correia et al. (2011) have argued that with a flexible enough tax policy, the detrimental effects on the economy associated with the ZLB can be avoided. However, my results imply that uncertainty about the willingness or ability of the social authority to implement the correct path of policy may mean that prices and allocations differ drastically from their desired levels. It seems clear that the social policy response to the Great Recession in the U.S. and abroad has been far from optimal and at times erratic. The subsequent uncertainty about both short-run and long-run social policy could have further depressed economies across the globe. Quantifying the effects of social policy uncertainty during the Great Recession remains an important topic for future research.”

    Good init. A little BTW. These ZLB wonks all come up with similar theories. Basically, the way out of our current black hole is more government spending to replace the lack of spending and too much saving in the private sector. This spending must not be a substitute for anything the private sector can do, and is doing, for itself. Sales Tax reduction gives the biggest bang per buck to improve demand in the economy; but, the government has to imply that the reduction is temporary, so people go out and buy stuff now.

    A common feature with these wonks says that Sales Taxes and Duties must be obvious to the purchasers, so they can see the price of the goods and the taxes separately and see which is giving the discount. Our VAT and Duty system camouflage the price of the goods and the taxes into one sticker price. Apparently the latter is not as effective on consumers. Imagine if we did that on petrol pump receipts!

  30. David Saunders
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Cameron is certainly part of the problem, not the solution, not least because of his reneging on promises and ambivalence towards the Lib Dems as a ‘liberal Conservative’. He is widely mistrusted and going through Heath to get to Thatcher is the likely scenario. I am a life long Tory and in a safe Tory seat (sadly a Cameroon MP) but I will no longer vote Conservative so long as Cameron is leader. If I am one of many or a few remains to be seen.

    • Gwen Tanner
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      @Dave Saunders – trust me you are one of many; I have been campaigning on the doorstep for an EU Referendum on behalf of ‘people’spledge.org’ and they all talk of their dislike for Cameron, mainly because of his deceit and lies. I loved Cameron in May 2010 and now I loathe him.

      • APL
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Gwen Tanner: “I loved Cameron in May 2010 and now I loathe him.”

        And that is my position vis a vie the Tory party.

  31. The PrangWizard
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think Cameron believes in anything worthwhile. I’m not sure he knows or cares about the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. If he does he doesn’t try very hard to show it. He just seems to care about himself and day to day politics, and his mirror.

    The idea about gay marriage is based in what? Some perverse theory of ‘equality’? Why is he pressing on with it? Was it in the manifesto? What mandate has he for it? What deep and historic long-held belief is it based on? How is adultery to be defined? Will that reason have to be abandoned, if so where does it leave a normal marriage – yes I use the word deliberately?

    Does he claim justification for it because the opinion polls say a majority of people do not object? Is that how principles are decided these days – I think I know the answer to that. There are exceptions of course – when it doesn’t suit. Is he planning to turn people like me who oppose it into future criminals when we speak out against it? Will I be allowed to? Will I be deemed a homophobe if I do? Is that more free speech closed own by the State?

    Why has he refused to do something to endorse marriage between a man and a woman, the only true form of marriage, by backing out again on the promise of tax incentives for them? It was just a lie in the first place to get a few votes to help get himself elected. Don’t get me wrong I don’t want the Marxist Left to get elected next time, but he’s going the right way to ensure it does.

    Does he want to remain friends with Clegg, the man who has been harbouring a criminal for years? (Mr Clegg believed Mr Huhne’s denials -ed – other words left out)

    Traditional dissent is being closed down, the police are agents of the State, so throwing rotten eggs may now get you in gaol for a long time and a good thumping along the way too, but thanks to the internet and enlightened MPs we can throw eggs in a new way.

    Still, I don’t think there should be a leadership challenge – there are some I’d like to see in his place but fat chance any of them will be allowed anywhere near.

    Rant over.

  32. Chris
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    All part of the divide and rule approach which in itself breeds further discontent/envy. Society is not in a healthy place at the moment, and the Conservatives should have had nothing to do with this.

    • Chris
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      The above comment was supposed to be a response to Colliemum earlier. Apologies.

  33. Barbara
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Well Mr R, if your party is thinking about challenging Mr C, there must be discontent on a large scale. Surely they wouldn’t do just for the sake of doing it? Perhaps when they return to their constituancies they are getting feed back that is not really conducive to what they want to hear. In the country all is not well, people are questioning the Conservative parties ideas and progress, particularly H2, gay marrige, and foreign aid. The most talked about and the most reviled; while our country needs all the money it can muster. Now today in the Daily Mail we see we spend 1 million per week on child benefit for children who do not reside here, while some of our parents take cuts. That will please them I bet? Then you begin to understand why there may be some truth in the behaviour of some of your fellow MPs; they are worried about their own seats while all this goes on. You can blame them. The whole country is being taken for a ride, made to look foolishly silly and robbed left right and centre. We don’t need H2, or gay marrige, or foriegn aid, what we need is government who puts the UKplc first, and let the rest rot. If you don’t you will see more challenges, and the next one might succeed.

  34. matthu
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Last week the French National Assembly approved the most important article of a bill to legalise same-sex marriage following months of protest and counter-protest.

    In Spain and Portugal, which both recently adopted gay marriage legislation, the state is now duty-bound to marry homosexual partners while the church is not obliged to do so – similar to what the giovernment is proposing here.

    And now Cameron is pushing through a vote later this week for gay marriage which was never mentioned in any manifesto and is opposed by the majority of his own party.

    So it is pretty clear that this isn’t some great coincidence: the urgency for this law is coming from external sources i.e. Europe. Failure to be up front about this is another reason why I won’t support the government.

    John, am I wrong here? Will you be up front about this and tell us whether the new law is in fact being forced on us by the EU? And if so, why the great pretence that it is Cameron’s idea?

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      A good question which has not been answered here. I therefore think we should assume that it is being forced on us by the EU via Cameron.

    • Chris
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Yes it is part of the EU agenda. Gay marriage apparnetly to be “forced” on member states after vote in European Parliament in November 2010. Harmonisation of member states will apparently lead to similar policies being required in each country, and as there are arrangements for 3 in a marriage in the Netherlands, apparently, it seems to me the scope is endless. No, Mr Cameron, you have not thought this through at all.

    • Robert Christopher
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      “Will you be up front about this and tell us whether the new law is in fact being forced on us by the EU? And if so, why the great pretence that it is Cameron’s idea?”

      It could be being forced on Cameron by the EU. What is being used, carrot or stick?

      This force appears to work well in other European provinces.

  35. waramess
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Would the Conservative party have chosen him as Prime Minister if they had known in advance that he would almost lose the election to Gordon Brown?

    It is clear he does not enjoy the support of the electorate who almost re-elected GB, and it is high time a stalking horse should set off a leadership challenge.

    If something radical is not done the Conservatives can consign themselves not only to an opposition role for the forseeable future but also, collectively and wrongly take much of the blame for a failing economy and poor financial mismanagement.

    It was always predictable that the Chums were not up to the job and now would be a good time to jettison them

  36. Normandee
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    You cannot be in 2 camps at the same time, you either want to come out of the EU, or you want to support Cameron. You cannot do both, however you excuse it he lied before ( a promise made knowing the “if” clause was going to be needed), and he is lying again. This time the promise is even weaker than it was before, he will get offered a lash up of seemingly good opt outs and conditions specifically put together by the fascist EU to make him look good, as they did when Bliar gave away part of the rebate, and then millions of our own money will be spent on a massive campaign to swing a vote in a referendum (if we even get one ). He desperately wants to stay in, you want to come out, the problem is as we have found out before you are incapable of making a commitment desperately wanting to be in 2 places at once “just in case”
    Politicians, anyone who says he wants to be one should be put down immediately.

  37. matthu
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    It seems that my last submission may have got lost in transmission? Apologiy if this is a repeat.

    Last week the French National Assembly approved the most important article of a bill to legalise same-sex marriage following months of protest and counter-protest.

    In Spain and Portugal, which both recently adopted gay marriage legislation, the state is now duty-bound to marry homosexual partners while the church is not obliged to do so – similar to what the giovernment is proposing here.

    And now Cameron is pushing through a vote later this week for gay marriage which was never mentioned in any manifesto and is opposed by the majority of his own party.

    So it is pretty clear the urgency for this law is coming from external sources i.e. Europe. So why the great pretence that this is Cameron’s idea?

    It seems that not one major political party has the balls to let the electorate know what is going on.

    John, am I right on this or am I misguided and this is all Cameron’s idea after all?

  38. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    “I read that MP Mr Baron next week will launch a Bill to try to speed up the legislation on the referendum”

    Pity that his Bill is to speed up legislation for a referendum after the next general election, and not for a referendum this autumn.

    This week, Wednesday the 6th, it seems from this:


  39. Leslie Singleton
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Once again one of my (two today) efforts seems to have disappeared. I am far from High Tech but how much is there one can do wrong? Since the changeover I have been filling in my name and e-mail religiously–what more do I need to do–what is the secret?? Say not the struggle naught availeth.

  40. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    If Cast Iron were to win the next election it would be confirmation that the perception of Milliband is even dimmer than Brown. That is possible. A smooth attractive opportunist/liar vs. Mr. Bean. Both parties are dem-socialist. The ultra (feeble-ed) ( Lib- Dem) are finito. Perhaps the Greens pick up the nutter vote. Meanwhile my darling, UKIP, takes 3-5 are makes things fun at the Sub- EU meeting hall (formerly known as Parliament).

    Mr. Redwood seems to think his leader has all the time in the world…

  41. Leslie Singleton
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Now lost two today with one published. What am I doing wrong?

    • Chris
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      I think it is happening to a lot our posts.

  42. Paul
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May, a woman with leadership ambitions, is hardly likely to call in those MPs who want her to be leader and say you are no friend of mine. She must be delighted her name is being touted and is privately hoping (as are most proper Conservatives) that Cameron will resign or be forced out before the next election. JR’s undying love for Cameron and Osborne, two hopeless college kids who could not be less suited to their roles, is disappointing to see. They will lead the Conservatives to a heavy defeat in 2015. Their obsession with gay marriage, an issue which should go to a referendum, is just further proof of their obsession with Tony Blair. The Conservatives will be finished in 2015.

  43. Leslie Singleton
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    All I wanted to say is how perfectly wonderful it would be if Nigel Farage were to stand and win a seat from the Liberals. That would be truly portentous and would nail the mantra about no UKIP MP’s. Could easily lead to a non-Cameron/ UKIP coalition when we would be knocking on Heaven’s door.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Three cheers for Leslie!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      But it’s extremely unlikely that he would win.

      Not impossible, but he’d have to achieve a phenomenal increase in the level of support for UKIP, whose candidate came fourth in 2010 with just 3.6% of the votes cast.

      It’s sometimes pointed out that Caroline Lucas managed to win in Brighton Pavilion in 2010 and suggested that if Nigel Farage was any good then he should be able to do the same thing, but she had a much higher base to build on as in 2005 another Green candidate there had already got 21.9% of the votes, nearly taking second place from the Tory candidate.

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Erm the last time Farrage stood for election I think he came fourth behind Bercow. You really think he is going to walk it in Eastleigh after he failed to beat him? I would put 50p down to say that he actually chickens out and refuses to stand

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        Nina–I realise the difficulties and did not say I thought Mr Farage would win but stranger things have happened and I would be very very surprised if his vote were not considerably higher than the 3.6% mentioned. As I see it the Liberals have made fools of themselves and the Greens, aren’t they the misguided people who like wind farms……..and don’t forget the swathe of former Conservatives who will express their disgust at Cameron (need I say why?).

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        Third behind Bercow, pipped to the post by a man who had previously been the Tory MEP for the Thames Valley, who broke away to form the Pro Euro Conservative Party, and when that new party bombed transferred to the Liberal Democrats, but who stood as the independent “Buckinghamshire Campaign for Democracy” candidate without providing voters with a complete and up to date history of his political career.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      I submitted a comment here, but it has been lost.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Well, it’s awaiting moderation, and therefore wasn’t visible …

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Strategically it would be a bad move for him to stand. The Corby candidate was extremely savvy and did the expected job of a very good losing result. No doubt there is a similar candidate for Eastleigh. Even in the unlikely event that Nigel Farage won he would be swamped in the Commons – cannot see the Speaker giving him much truck. He would be better to stick to Buckingham in 2015 with the 2014 European Parliament Elections under his belt.

  44. alan jutson
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Like your sense of loyalty John, but afraid:

    It is Mr Cameron who has let you down.

    It is Mr Cameron who has let the Conservative Party down

    It is Mr Cameron who has let the Country down.

    It is Mr Cameron who chose to join up with the Lib Dems.

    It is Mr Cameron who supports Gay marraige

    It is Mr Cameron who is happy with no spending Cuts

    It is Mr Cameron who is increasing Foreign Aid.

    It is Mr Cameron who has given confusing signals about the EU.

    It is Mr Cameron who has supported Tax Rises.

    In short Mr Cameron does not appear to have a clue as to what the majority of the people actually want, and what our Country really needs.

    Problem is, is there anyone better ?

    As others have said, he needs to be pointed in the right direction………………. but would he listen ?.

    • Credible
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Not to mention
      Mr Cameron who promised no top down change to the NHS.
      Mr Cameron who has given a tax cut to millionaires who don’t need it.
      Mr Cameron who does nothing about corporate tax avoidance.
      Mr Cameron who thinks Mr Gove knows something about education.
      Mr Cameron who thinks Mr Osborne knows something about economics.
      Mr Cameron who reduces incentives for the the low paid to work.
      Mr Cameron who runs (allegation remobed-ed)
      Mr Cameron who has politicised the running of the police.
      Mr Cameron who believes the ‘big society’ will make everything alright.
      Mr Cameron who is striking at the poorest and taking away from middle incomes while the very richest (his mates) continue to get richer.
      Mr Cameron who says we’re all in it together.

      It’s a difficult position he’s in.

    • Kenneth
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Much of what you write may be right but Mr Cameron has not suffered the hounding from the left wing media as Mr Major did and Mrs Thatcher did.

      The BBC in particular sets much of the political agenda in the UK and perhaps Mr Cameron (and presumably his advisers) are taking the path of least resistance. This is why it is vital in my view that the pressure is kept on the government.

      An example of why (in my view) we have the policies we have:

      If the Conservatives had promised to slash foreign aid budgets at the last election the BBC would have given as much air time as possible to those opposed to the policy.

      However, as the Conservatives pledged to increase foreign aid the opposite did not happen. I am pretty sure the Taxpayer’s Alliance was not invited to talk about it at the last election.

      This is how the tail wags the political dog these days in the UK. This is how a PR man gets to become Prime Minister and how we end up with crippling debt.

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        “Much of what you write may be right but Mr Cameron has not suffered the hounding from the left wing media as Mr Major did and Mrs Thatcher did.”
        … because the Government is following the BBC agenda.

        “This is how the tail wags the political dog these days in the UK.”
        … so it’s not the EU, but the BBC, running the country! Same thing really!

      • APL
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        Kenneth: “the BBC would have given as much air time as possible to those opposed to the policy. ”

        A one line private members bill put through parliament.

        “The BBC licence fee amendment bill”.

        clause 1.The BBC licence fee is voluntary.


        If there is time for legislation providing for Gay marriage, or Lords reform, then we have time for BBC reform. Let the BBC be subject to market forces.

    • APL
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      alan jutson: “It is Mr Cameron who has given confusing signals about the EU.”

      With you every step of the way until this point. Cameron hasn’t given confusing signals about the EU, before becoming leader there was a Tory policy on British fishing that after becoming Tory leader Cameron abandoned.

      The very first thing Cameron did as Tory leader was capitulate to the EU. He has not stopped since.

  45. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    There will only be one reason to replace Mr Cameron, if he fails adopt a good negotiating position and ‘bottom line’ on Europe. One way or other, this may be clear by this autumn. This is why I keep urging you all to make your views on Europe known to your Member of Parliament. Don’t let this be a top down exercise.

  46. NoTrophyWins
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    The fact that Cameron could not win an overall majority in the last election says it all. He is a loser. The sooner the Conservative Party ditches him the better. You are not going to win the next election, not that it seems to make any difference which bunch of self-serving hypocritical buffoons get to form the government. We are ruled by unelected socialists in Brussels. JR I pity you, mate.

  47. Credible
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    It seems even more likely that David Cameron promised a referendun to keep the knives of the right-wing Tory bully boys out of his back.
    Most politicians pretend they have the best interests of the country at heart, when the only interest they really have is self interest.

  48. Matthew
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Yes rally round the leader.
    Maybe the leader should move the chancellor, who seemed to get off to a good start, but now seems to be getting bogged down.
    If Mr Osborne was a team player on a football field, the manager would probably look at substituting him now.

  49. JimF
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Really struggling to see what difference mrs may might do to your chances in future elections
    Votes were cast in 2010 for policies which haven’t been implemented whether cutting spending cutting taxes or a referendum on the legality of an unelected former P M ratifying the Lisbon treaty shortly before losing a general election
    No second chances
    Convert to UKIP

  50. Bert Young
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    The combination of Hague and Redwood would restore the confidence badly needed in the Conservative Party . The other names that have been floated around in the last few days are non-starters in my book – particularly the MP for Windsor . A change in leadership should not be put off ; if Cameron is still around at the time of the next election , then all is lost for the Conservatives ; we must have individuals at the top who combine real life experience with their role as a politician . Hague as Prime Minister and Redwood as Chancellor would do the trick .

  51. uanime5
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Local elections this year, European Parliament elections next year, and a general election the year after; so it seems that they’ll be two opportunities to measure public opinion before the general election. Though there’s also the Scottish referendum I didn’t include it because even if Scotland votes to leave the UK there will be a delay between voting to leave and actually leaving.

  52. Jon
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe there are people serious about a leadership challenge. Quickest way to ensure Labour win the next election and interest rates on borrowing go up through the uncertainty whilst its all going on. I understand there are issues but we have 1 Prime Minister for a country, they need to attract the votes of non Conservatives as well to get in power.

  53. Electro-Kevin
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    It would be interesting to see the Tories produce the first black Prime Minister. They produced the first female PM and are the only party to offer true equal opportunities and a real shot at the top slot.

  54. Robert Taggart
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Johnny – once bitten twice shy ?!

  55. David Langley
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    David Cameron has no policy on the EU, he is being dragged about by it. In the same way he has no policy on the Independent Scotland issue. You will not get him to explain the vision of an independent UK or an Independent Scotland, the mantra he favours is an in vote and he will not articulate the benefits of independence. His EU speech was a crafted statement that was appealing to the electorate that he wanted peace and plenty and sunshine for all. Real life as he well knows is a hard struggle and not easy, sometimes you have to do the hard thing and that takes risks, his speech was basically an attempt to to do things risk free it will never happen.

  56. Terry
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    I disagree with you, John.

    You appear to acting just as the run-of-the-mill MP and the Whitehall Civil Service Bureaucracy. ‘Why do it today when it can be put of until next month, or even, indefinitely’.

    There is no reason why Cameron’s so-called commitments cannot be brought forward to start right now. Waiting up to 2017 coincides with the Fiscal Compact enactment whereby the whole of the EU accepts Fiscal Union. And that to the UK, is doomsday. We won WWII and saved the Nation from tyranny only to hand it over to a Marxist conglomerate called the EU. The Dead and mutilated from the Wars to protect this land of ours, will have fought for nothing.LIONS LEAD BY DONKEYS DEJA VU.

    • Jerry
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      @Terry: “We won WWII and saved the Nation from tyranny only to hand it over to a Marxist conglomerate called the EU

      You read like the “The Germans” script from Fawlty Towers – hyperbolic nonsense!

  57. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Dear Jerry: so pleased that there is one Cast Iron fan left in the UK! As the old cliche goes ” there’s always one”. Perhaps you could find a Gordon Brown devotee & form the Minority of One Fan Club/UK. Links to the Jimmy Carter Fan Club would establish international credentials. Murbarek is another likely “solo”; though less so than little davey Cast Iron wonder boy.

  • 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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