Prime Minister's Questions – 25 July

To listen to Prime Minister's questions from 25 July click the link below.

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Talk about desperation!

The government should be ashamed of themselves for not paying enough attention to the areas vulnerable to flooding before the rain started to come down last week but, as Dizzy rightly points out, there is a distinct whiff of desperation when Labour blame it all on the Romans.  No joke.

Tom Richmond

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Good, but not good enough?

To this day, it seems incomprehensible that Labour had the audacity to claim that the new EU 'treaty' was not just a rehashed version of the EU constitution.  Today the Conservatives have again called for a referendum for the British public.
William Hague is of course completely correct.  But does it strike anyone else as a little bit odd that the Conservatives are trying to whip up some anti-Labour sentiment when they haven't told anyone what they would do in Labour's position, or what their approach to Europe is?  To provide an effective opposition to the government, it is essential that the Conservatives show the voters in this country why they are different from Labour, especially as David Cameron has made it perfectly clear that he is going to battle Gordon Brown for the centre ground.  There is no point just sitting around complaining that we didn't get a referendum because we're never going to get one, but how are the Conservatives going to dig us out of this hole and return the ability to run our own country to Westminster? 

Tom Richmond

Tory Radio roundup – 22 July

Click the link below to listen to the Tory Radio roundup of some of the weeks political news – plus hear why Guido is backing Boris!

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Where has conservatism gone?

The term ‘conservative’ was first used in a political and ideological context by the 19th century British Prime Minister George Canning. The term deriving from the Latin conservare ‘to keep, guard, observe’ was an apt choice for a party that favoured traditional values and nurturing the ideologies of the rural land-owning class. Britain today is almost unrecognizable to the Britain of 1820, and indeed a failure to move with the times would be fatal to any party.

Our party leader promised that 2006 would be a year of transformation for the Tory party. Indeed, eighteen months on the results are spectacular. Mr. Cameron’s search for a ‘modern and compassionate Conservative Party’ has resulted in a palpable loss of party identity and an acrid erosion of time-honoured conservative values. Today it seems that the Tory party can no longer call themselves ‘conservative’ nor that they are ‘right wing’. Instead their political compass is spinning adrift in a Bermuda triangle of identity disorientation.

Oliver Letwin’s pledges to “help the least well-off in society, not the rich” certainly demonstrate a voracity for ideological change within the party. However, Cameron’s recent policies, and more worryingly, personal opinions, reveal a disassociation from and distaste for the Conservative Party’s long established affiliation with its traditional branch of the electorate.  The leader’s branding of grammar school supporters as ‘delusional’ is one such judgment that has sparked incensed resentment amongst the Conservative hoi polloi and Cameron’s own MPs. The party leader believes the debate is so important that it will decide whether or not the Conservative party is fit for government. For the electorate, it seems the issue will decide whether Cameron himself will make the cut. It is a sure sign of trouble when party MPs begin defecting to the enemy, resigning from the shadow cabinet and raising anxious ululations concerning the state of their party and its leader’s ideological standing.

New Tory policies regarding taxation, the NHS and the environment demonstrate Cameron’s populist leanings and concerns to appeal to liberal and left-wing masses. The party leader seems to have leapt unbridled into an exaggerated form of one nation conservatism, and at a clear price. Few seem impressed by Cameron’s risky decisions. After an initial surge following the leader’s election in 2005, party membership is at an all time low. Labour is unimpressed by the policy overlaps between the two parties and believe that the Tories lack credibility. Even the Liberal Democrats are shunning Cameron’s well-meaning policies branding them opportunistic and superficial.

If Mr. Cameron is wondering why his supply of friends and supporters is spread a little thin nowadays, here is the answer: The party leader has forgotten the importance of the Conservative identity. Yes, it is important to embrace change and to strive at party progress. However, in his desperation to appeal to the masses and to win votes at an increasingly crucial time, Mr. Cameron is hastening towards advancement at the cost of true conservatism – the very foundation and soul of his party. Our own party characteristics and values are being sacrificed for those of Labour and the Liberal Democrats in order to make the Conservative party more electable. Mr. Cameron should set himself a new agenda: to continue to endeavour towards his admirable hopes of a modern and compassionate Conservative Party, but to acknowledge its traditional and timeless values and conserve that which is most important – Conservatism itself.

Eva Krysiak

Editor's note

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Boris down to the final four

 Boris Johnson is now in the final four for for the orimary which will take place to select the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London.

Joining him are, Warwick Lightfoot, Victoria Borwick and Andrew Boff.

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Harry Potter Free zone

 I have no interest in Harry Potter – I haven't been to see any of the films and haven't read any of the books – and as such this is a Harry Potter free zone. Now I'm off out to get a paper hoping to avoid the mad rush for the book at W H Smiths. And what's a muggle?

More free books….

Clearing out the bookcase for my new arrivals means that there are a few more free books for anyone who wants them and will cover the postage and packing:-

The rise of political lying – Peter Oboren p.b.

Too nice to be a Tory – Jo-Anne Nadler p.b.

Chasing Churchill – Celia Sandy p.b.

A better agenda for the  Environment – Bill Wiggin MP p.b

Tory Wars – Simon Walters h.b

The Welfare State We're In – James Bartholomew h.b

Drop me a line at if any of these take your interest!




No charges in the Loans for Lordship enquiry

I've just watched Lord Rennard talking about the leaked news that the CPS apparently won't be bringing about any charges with regard the loans for peerages enquiry.

I have to say that I agreed with much of what he said when he commented that surely this investigation shows that it really is time for the Lords to be reformed. No longer can the impression be given that you can get a place in the British legislature based on if you give money to a political party. Isn't it time to have an elected Lords?

By election predictions

Well the polls have closed – so perhaps I should put my money where my mouth is and say what I think will happen in the two by elections. It gives me no pleasure to say that I suspect Labour will hold Sedgefield – but such is life. Of more interest in the election in Ealing. My take on it is that we have had a great campaign – but a great campaign isn't always enough to win a seat in a by election. My prediction is a bad night for the Lib Dems who will be beaten into third place and that could be the story of the night, as Ming's enemies start to sharpen their knives.

UPDATE – SKY are suggesting the Tories will be in third place – so shows what I know doesn't it!