Tory Party Leadership

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by crabtastic, Sep 29, 2005.

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  1. Looks like a 3 way race between Ken Clarke, David Davis and David Campbell that's about to heat up ahead of next weeks conference. I used to delight in watching the Tories disintegration that began fifteen years ago, and I can't imagine ever casting a vote for them, but right now I'd love to see a new party emerge, if for no other reason than to keep TCB and 'Neu Arbeit' honest and on their toes.

    Does anyone think that, if their track record is anything to go by, any of these guys stand a chance of a)uniting the party and b) making the party, in not electable, then at least capable of making things interesting and cut down the self-satisfied hubris that we see with the current mob?
  2. Is it just me or do others also feel that things HAVE (for some reason) to get worse before a new 'breath of fresh air' leader of any persuasion steps forward. I think Clarke is a decent chap with capability but he will not seriously challenge the younger BLiar. The other two I know not.

    The trouble is as much to do with timing. Why would a new thruster want to step forward now anyway?
  3. But how much worse can things get than what we've seen over the last decade or so? Surely now, with the Celestial Navigator in more trouble than he has ever been and with heir apparent Gordon's precious economy looking a little worse for wear they can't really expect a better time. A new leader could be energised by a decent polling in the local elections and then on to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assy. I think the trick would be to focus on local politics to get things going, and then move onto the big ticket items which have caused all the trouble, once they have some momentum.

    (Can't believe I'm talking about Tory fecking campaign strategy.)
  4. Absolutely agree, crabby!

    The current government is at its lowest ebb yet. The last election proved that previous supporters no longer supported New Labour, but far from all of the disenchanted could bring themselves to vote Conservative. This is the perfect time for a new Conservative leader to get in there, float and iron-out policies, win support of the non-aligned and be ready to govern come the next election. Given the right leader (please not Clarke) I think that the worm may finally begin to turn…
  5. I think you're wrong about Clarke. I'm confident in my prediction that Hush Puppies are going to come back in a BIG way :D .
  6. I sincerely hope Clarke doesn't get in because as well as being firmly (and negatively) associated with the scandal-hit Conservative government of John Major, he’s viewed by many as a ‘fat cat’, especially given his recent City stint and he is becoming more and more Leon Brittonesque with his love of Europe. I know we’ve heard it all before, but the new leader has to unite the Party and I've always felt that the Eurosceptics of the Party make life more uncomfortable and leadership more difficult for Europhiles than vice versa. The Conservative Party needs to be forward-looking and I don’t believe that Ken Clarke offers anything that he’s not offered and been rejected for on previous occasions. To elect him as leader after his previous failure to land the job could easily be seen as the Conservatives having nothing new to offer and having to fall-back on a formerly unwanted has-been.
  7. Personally I think that Clarke is way too keen on jumping into bed with Europe. Having said that it was interesting that the other day he came out with the point that Britain is better off out of the Euro. A conversion on the Road to Damascus or just an attempt to placate the eurosceptic right...

    I wonder.
  8. I believe David Davis is the best choice for leader of the Tories.

    He is an intelligent debater, a strong supporter of the Armed Forces and makes Labour nervous.

    As said before Ken Clarke has too much dirt on him from his previous forays in politics, it'd make him too easy a target for Labour snipers which would devalue his worth as leader of the opposition.
  9. Kind of bizarre that we're debating this when we're both living a fcuking great big ocean away from the Motherland, don't you think? I'm going against my own personal views on Europe to suggest that, if handed properly, a healthy Euroscepticism should work to their advantage when it comes the electorate. Their big problem was, and still is, managing to have the debate over Europe amongst the Parliamentary party and the wider party membership, without appearing to be foaming-at-the-mouth dinosaurs to the general public. If Europe is to be a push button issue then they have to turn down the volume a bit.

    I guess the Thatcher Revolution is responsible as it drove most of the old-school pragmatists underground and have been left so unfocused that they can't cobble together a coherent policy platform. I think that these are the very people that will make the Conservatives an appealing alternative to Labour, rather than 2nd rate copies of John Redwood.
  10. Ah, his current financial masters have been whispering in his ear... ;) The only problem with this stance is that a continued opt-out of the Euro doesn’t preclude Ken (if he is elected as Conservative leader and if the Conservatives win the next election) from signing up to a mess of social, political and military contracts spewed out by the unelected and unaccountable EU Commissioners. Ken may be lurking near the road-sign Damascus this way but as yet I can’t see him tabbing that route with any conviction.

    Crabby, considering we appear to be debating this from different parts of the ideological spectrum, we’re in an awful lot of agreement!
    That is spot-on! People almost forget that there are divisions over Europe within New Labour because other issues are pushed to the fore. Sadly, because of the notorious factions within the Conservatives over this issue in the 1990s, the media will always lock-on to any EU related blood-spilling within the Party and exploit it, hence whilst debate is essential and compromises need to be reached, control will have to be exercised lest valuable debate and policy-making be lost amongst hysterical and ugly in-fighting.
  11. I have a preference for Ken Clarke - once he drops his tobacco interests! He is a heavyweight politician and has made some effective attacks on Bliar over Iraq and trust. He doesn't have the Iraq baggage that others have, as he voted against military action at the outset and has the luxury of saying "I told you so". Europe has been neutralised as a political issue and Liabour appear to be closer to the Tories position than they would like to admit, with talk of withdrawing from parts of the Human Rights Act (probably not possible, it's either the whole thing or none of it).

    David Davis is also a highly credible candidate and if he wins, then this will also benefit the Tories. He needs to devise a way of attacking Bliar over Iraq alghough the pro-war camp is rapidly dwindling in the face of events.

    The key is that the winner must be completely supported by the parliamentary party. Either Ckarke or Davis will perform credibly; I would prefer Clarke but cannot see any reason why his supporters should chuck their teddies if Davis wins and vice versa.
  12. It's got to be Ken Clarke. David Cameron is far too much of a political bantamweight at the moment (but is no doubt storing up lessons for the future) and David Davis hasn't been the most spectacular of shadow ministers, has he? Whereas Clarke has the ability to stand up opposite Gordon Brown (forget standing up to Blair, he'll be gone before the next election - we hope!) and say 'Your major achievement over the last eight years? Breaking the solid and growing economy that I left you.' Yes, he's been dismissed as one of the old Tory 'big beasts', but actually, in the House of Commons, that's not a bad trait.

    As for Europe, I don't think it's on the agenda for quite some time now. The Euro is a dead duck and the constitution is, if possible, even deader. There won't be any major decisions made about Europe for another decade.

    That said, I'd rather David Davis won with a united grassroots/parliamentary party than either of them won with a fragmented one - IDS-redux.

  13. I have a leaning towards the Tory party and feel a deep sense of despair as to what is going on.

    Labour are definitely rocking and reeling from blows that they have delivered themsleves. The brewing leadership battle, the waining Furherprincip and the potential for a receeding economy are all body-blows that will not defeat the Labour party but it will leave them vulnerable.

    With their arch rivals in this punch-druck state, why is it the Tories seem so incapable of delivering a knock-out blow? The lack of strong leadership must surely be the answer.

    I believe it matters less who they choose, but the critical thing being that they should do it quickly. They have yet again let their in-fighting scupper a glorious opportunity to elect a new leader who can set about uniting the party whilst still applying the pressure to a weakened government.

    Whoever they choose must obey the simple principle of any fight; Win. Labour proved when they undermined the Major government that any tactic is admissable in order to win. For the Tories to become strong and electable it is not so much a matter of improving themselves, they must destroy the Labour party.

    How? Start by embracing their own leader. Copy the early exploits of BLiar and rally behind a visually acceptable and sound-bite savvy leader. They should also look for weakness. The amount of sleaze that is produced by the giovernment has not been capitalised on. Play the press and hammer each and every minister for even the smallest indescession; show no mercy.

    This may appear to be negative and not in keeping with the high morals that should be what a government is about but the Tories must realise; win the election and they then have 5 years to become a real government. They must stop pretending to be a government in waiting and get on with the real business of being a difficult, ruthless opposition.
  14. Have to agree old chap. Davis is the only real chance to pin Blair down in a debate.

    As for Clarke, what sort of impression will it give if they elect a guy that has lost 2 previous leadership elections? In my eyese, It would look like they had settled for the 3rd best.