The Tories are in civil war. If that doesn't change, they'll lose

Some Conservative MPs are planning their careers on the assumption that the election is already lost

6 September 2014

9:00 AM

6 September 2014

9:00 AM

The general election is now Ed Miliband’s to lose. This is not a controversial statement: the polls say it, the bookmakers say it and in the last week several of David Cameron’s own ministers have come to believe it. The confidence that seemed to envelop the Conservative party before the summer recess has been replaced by a sense of doom. On its own, Douglas Carswell’s defection to Ukip would not be seen as a body blow — but it hammers home the fact that the right is fractured and many Tory voters made the jump long ago. A party that should be readying itself for victory is now preparing to tear itself apart in opposition.

The Scottish Tory leader, Ruth Davidson, this week felt that she may as well say in public what her colleagues are saying in private. She assured Scots that her party is not ‘likely’ to win the next Westminster election. Even one normally ebullient cabinet minister tells me: ‘I struggle to see how we win now.’

Several Tory MPs are already planning their careers on the assumption that the election is lost. One cabinet minister concedes that in the current atmosphere, it will be very hard to prevent this year’s Tory conference from turning into a leadership beauty parade, as the relative merits of Johnson, Theresa May and the rest are compared. Some think that Ukip is here to stay, and can see why Carswell (who was under threat in his Clacton constituency after Ukip selected a candidate to stand against him) decided to join them, rather than fight them.

It’s likely that more defections will follow — and the hunt is on for the next Tory turncoat. As one government source explains: ‘One thing we have to be wary about is the high level of secrecy that surrounded Cars-well’s defection. We don’t know if there are other people primed to do stupid things.’ Tory chiefs are now monitoring MPs’ use of Merlin, the party’s electoral database. They believe that about three weeks before Cars-well went public with his defection he logged on and accessed the data that he would need to fight the by-election. Polls suggest that, as a Ukip candidate, he will crush whoever the Tories choose to fight him.

For some time now, polls have shown Ukip as the real third force in British politics — but under the Westminster system it’s hard for insurgents to make the breakthrough of winning an actual seat. This suppresses their support as it makes it easy to claim that a vote for them is a wasted vote.

But if Carswell makes it to the Commons, he’ll deepen the split in the right and give Ukip another layer of respectability. Which, in turn, will help its chances next year. As one minister concedes, ‘If Carswell’s defection and the boost to Ukip of having an MP only increases what they would have got at the election by 1 per cent, it will still cost us a bunch of marginal seats.’ And given how tight the marginals will be at the next election, the Tories can barely afford that.

David Cameron did not create this split on the right: it goes way back. But the divide now looks far bigger, and more like a permanent electoral fixture. What’s worse is the degree of hatred involved, a cycle of reprisals and political violence for its own sake. As one Tory MP puts it, ‘It has that civil war quality to it: people just want to harm the other side.’ Even after defeat, there’ll be no easy reunification of the right. Indeed, MPs on the left of the party are convinced that Carswell defected because he feared that Cameron might actually win, vindicating his form of moderate Conservatism.

Certainly, Cameron’s management of his party’s internal coalition has been appalling. Even before the Carswell defection, one Tory MP had nicknamed him Sir David Peel, a nod to the last leader to split the Tories. One long-serving Tory MP complains that what makes Cameron’s handling of the party so galling is ‘that we can see how he turns on the charm with the Libs, but he just won’t bother with us’. Even one Cameron loyalist bemoans how the Prime Minister has put himself at risk of ‘suffering death from a thousand slights’.

The Cameron leadership failed to grasp that the era of command and control politics was coming to an end. As one more reflective cabinet minister remarks, ‘Cameron became leader in the age of Blair and the pager. But he’s ended up as Prime Minister in the age of Twitter, when everyone is on broadcast — not receive — mode.’

In office, Cameron hasn’t changed. He stands accused of being an incompetent Namierite — an insider who doesn’t know the inside track. For instance, no one in No. 10 fully realised the damage that sacking Owen Paterson — the reforming, right-wing and well respected Environment Secretary — would inflict on Cameron’s relations with various parts of the Conservative family. All of this explains why so many on the right struggle to feel sympathy for Cameron now. A strikingly large number of backbenchers talk with glee about the leadership contest that so many of them expect next summer. There is much speculation about what a Boris Johnson leadership would mean. A handful are even pushing the so-called ‘Aznar option’, which would involve Cameron staying on as Prime Minister but somebody else — most likely, Boris Johnson — becoming Tory leader.

This plan is supported only on the fringes — a more popular solution is an early end to the coalition. Advocates of this idea argue that it would not only allow the party to show the voters what it would try to do with a majority but might also help the Liberal Democrats regain some of their left-wing support, which would be good for the Tories in their battle with Labour. The proposal has considerable backing all the way up to the cabinet. But one influential Downing Street figure tells me that ‘Irrespective of its merits, it is not going to happen. Cameron absolutely hates the idea.’

No. 10’s hope is that a combination of the economy and the Tory advantage on leadership and security can still deliver victory. But for this to happen, the Prime Minister needs to stop making unforced errors. His decision to don a wetsuit on a popular public beach where he was bound to be snapped, just days after the brutal murder of James Foley by a British jihadi, was a misjudgment. It was equally jarring for him to come back to the House of Commons to make a statement on new anti-terror measures.

Such minor mistakes stack up. The lack of detail and coalition and legal backing for many of the anti-terror proposals that Cameron has put forward in the past few days weakened him further in the eyes of his party. When he suggests something that is unlikely ever to happen, such as barring British citizens from returning to this country, he devalues the Tories’ most precious commodity: his credibility.

Cameron specialises in getting out of tight corners (as well as getting into them). He may yet wriggle out of this one. Michael Gove’s regular appearances in Downing Street should make No. 10 sharper and give it more of a domestic political focus (he was abroad when Carswell jumped ship). His presence will offset the distorting effect that having a foreign policy specialist — Ed Llewellyn — as Chief of Staff has had. After nine years, the Cameroons now accept that their approach to the party is flawed. As one Downing Street figure puts it, ‘We have got a lot of things wrong on party management in the past. If it was all perfect, Douglas wouldn’t have walked out.’ This realisation should lead to better relations between Cameron and his party.

Cameron’s last, best hope is Ed Miliband. The Labour leader seeks radical change, much of it alarming for those on the right. Rather than keep quiet until polling day, he will seek a mandate. This may focus Tory minds. After all, even Tory rebels have to live in Britain for the five years of a Labour government. The right is more divided than it has been for 40 years and the left more united. A Conservative defeat is not inevitable. But the Tories need to realise that they must hang together or they will all hang separately. ​

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Show comments
  • Kitty MLB

    Oh come on James our little woodpidgeon. Look at this from a different angle…attacking my leader and his party is now a sport,
    I’ll put on my breeches and get out my fencing rapier sword if
    Its always country before party (for labour its neither) Carswell is
    one of life’s solitary wanderers…but so what. The rest have differences of opinions, its allowed they are individuals unlike Labour.They are the ones who remain silent about the sinster
    fractures in their own party, its hasn’t worked with Ed Moribund.
    At least the Conservatives are open and honest about their differences.And the reality of allowing Browns recycled ministers
    back to continue where they left off is treasonous.

  • davidofkent

    The reason for this is quite clearly that fewer people now see David Cameron as a politician to be trusted. He may be a very nice person, but he appears to have no convictions and has already given the impression that his promise of a referendum on the EU will dissolve into thin air should he win in 2015. He will do this either by pretending that he has won great changes from the EU or that there are too many other important things that he needs to be getting on with. At the moment, he is full of bluster over the threat of IS. This is obviously a softening-up process before he sends your sons and daughters off to have another try at winning him his pre-election foreign war.

    • Dogzzz

      The battle against ISIS would be the only war in the last 20 years which would have widespread public support. They have declared war on us directly.

      • Kaine

        Let me know when their tanks are crossing the Rhine. Until then, it’s up to the regional powers, all of whom have rather hefty militaries with plenty of experience.

        • RobertC

          Woolwich, Rotherham, Birmingham schools … haven’t you listened to the News?

  • Chris Quin

    “Even one normally ebullient cabinet minister tells me: ‘I struggle to see how we win now.’” How thick can one minister be?

    Here’s a suggestion. Get Cameron to say one single, short, easy, ***ing obvious sentence. “Vote for me and I will get the UK out of the EU”

    Ukip and Farage (bless him) would be history. Election won at a canter. Problem solved. Won’t happen. Cameron a spineless pro EU liberal moron. Either the normally ebullient cabinet minster get the knife out and does us all a favour or he will go down with the sinking ship.

    • altsegel

      Cameron can’t because he believes in a united Europe – his best bet is to hang on to the pro-euro vote and waffle about concessions. The British do not really want out of Europe – they are too scared to leave and go it alone.

      • Chris Quin

        Until we have the result of a referendum on Brexit we will not know if you are right or wrong. I think that it is only the LibLabCon cartel that is genuinely in favour of the EU. The country could easily make up it mind to leave and are certainly not afraid to do so.

      • MrVeryAngry

        No he does not believe in a ‘united Europe’. We could have that without the EU. What he believes in is a federal Europe. Or, as everyone else thinks of it, a corrupt gravy train for the political class.

      • Dogzzz

        There will be no significant or permanent concessions at all. We need to get out of the EU, or lose this nation’s identity, culture and our “innocent until proven guilty” balance in law. The entire balance of power between the governing and the governed and the assumptions in law and our constitution will be turned upside down. we will lose all democratic control over how our country is run.

    • Mustlllp

      Cloud cuckoo land!

      • Chris Quin

        Maybe, but we have to keep trying to goad the sofa based elite into some action.

        • MrVeryAngry

          I’d have them all on an electric sofa pdq.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Getting a modern politician to say something ‘single, short, easy’ & I would add, obvious & commonsensical, is like getting water to flow uphill.

      • Livia

        It always looks so desperate when Cameron begins every other sentence with an emphatic ‘I believe’, ‘As I’ve made absolutely clear’ etc. It’s like watching a chicken trying to fly.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Don’t forget ‘it’s the right thing to do’.

          • foxoles

            And ‘The reality is …’

          • Damaris Tighe

            You can be absolutely sure that the reality is the exact opposite of whatever he & his colleagues are trying to say with any of these cliches.

            I believe = I don’t believe
            As I’ve made absolutely clear = I’ve made it as clear as mud
            It’s the right thing to do = It’s the wrong thing to do
            The reality is = exactly the opposite of what they’re saying it is

          • ButcombeMan

            Stop it, all of you for god’s sake………..

          • Bob339

            ‘we have to move on…’ and ‘put this behind us…’

          • Damaris Tighe

            ‘Lessons have been learned’

        • Hysteria

          Same school as Obama. “Let me be clear” – code for “listen up, I am going to say something I don’t believe and have no intention of doing”

          • John Dalton

            “Let me be perfectly clear on this because it’s important…”

            Oh f*ck off you pompous, patronising prat. And take your Blair-isms with you.

          • Fred Smith

            Now lessons are to be learned, and will be learned, but we must put this episode behind us and draw a line under the affair.

            There’s absolutely no point in creating a blame culture and I will not do that (especially when I’m justly in line for the blame).

          • RobertC

            And we must focus on the victims.

          • global city

            Or Blair’s ‘honestly guys’

        • Lady Magdalene

          Nearly as irritating as Miliband’ “I have said and I say again” and permutations on the same theme.

          • jasperpepper

            ‘Hard working British families’
            ‘British jobs for British workers’
            not forgetting
            ‘That bigoted woman’

        • cremaster

          Now LOOK, …Of COURSE leaving the EU is something only a fruitcake or a closet racist would do…

      • Dogzzz

        Farage does it all the time.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Yes he does, which is why I like him. The day he & other UKIP politicians start speaking to me as if I’m a child, like mainstream pols do, is the day I stop supporting UKIP.

    • Dougie

      May I suggest you pop over to http://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/06/17/eu-referendum-record-lead/ where you will find that support for leaving the EU is not as high as you may imagine. Only 36% in fact.
      Now compare this with today’s May 2015 voting intentions poll: 36% Labour, 33% Tory, 14% UKIP.
      Your proposal might win the Tories the election, though perhaps not by much given that many Tory voters were pro-EU defectors from Labour at the last GE, but this very clearly does not lead to an inevitable Brexit.

      • WuffoTheWonderDog

        Ah, yougov, until recently run by the husband of the delectable Baroness Ashton, Labour peer and time-server. Yes, anything from yougov should be spot on whatever Mr Miliband says it should.

      • b.edwards

        And may I suggest you pop over to http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jun/21/eu-referendum-majority-leave-opinium-observer-poll,which is slightly more recent than your link.

        • Dogzzz

          404 error. The Guardian do not want people to know that a majority want out!

          • Stereotomy

            Uh, no, the 404 is because “,which” got appended to the URL, you loon.

        • Dougie

          Yes, 5 days more recent. Can public opinion have changed so dramatically, so swiftly? I think not. Just shoes how much the exact questions being asked, the pollster’s methodology and any dramatic events in the few days before the poll can affect the outcome.
          Which, I submit, makes trying to forecast the outcome of a referendum to be held in 2017 a bit of a waste of everybody’s time.

      • Dogzzz

        Dougie, May I suggest that you stop misleading people, by failing to give the context of those polls.

        That percentage depends on what is asked. I believe you are using the comparison of a substancially and significantly reformed EU vs Exit. Most people want the significant reform. keeping all the best bits and rejecting all the bad bits.

        The problem is, that may be what Cameron wants to con the public into believing is the choice, but in reality the EU will NOT grant any significant concession whatsoever. The reality is that we can only actually choose between further in, or exit.

        When asked if people want to stay in an unreformed EU, still on course for full integration, or exit, a majority choose the exit!

        Based upon the reality of what can be achieved, rather than the fantasy option you selected a poll about, people choose out.

      • Dogzzz

        Dougie, Can you estimate what the result of the following referendums would be?

        1: All the way in to the EU Vs exit? If we vote in, we sign up to the Euro and the full and positive integration of the EU. If we vote exit, we leave and stick to the same trading agreements with the EU as the likes of Mexico and the US.

        2. Massively reformed EU or exit. If we vote in, we have a reformed trade agreement relationship where we have full soveriegn control of all our laws and can veto any EU directive we choose, but keep the full, unrestricted access for the free movements of goods. If we vote out, we lose our trade links with the entire EU.

        You see, simplistically taking one poll based on the second option and claiming that the UK will stay in the EU, without explaining the context, is rather misleading. In light of what is actually available from the EU, the former is a more realistic referendum than the latter.

        I estimate that the first referendum would have a clear majority for out, and the latter a clear majority for in.

        • Dougie

          In answer to your question, no I can’t estimate what the outcomes would be and it is pointless to do so. The example of the polls on Scottish Independence show how fast and how far the figures can change as a campaign unfolds. Trying to estimate – should that be guess – the outcome of a referendum to be held three years into the future may be an entertaining pastime but is of little actual value.

    • Daniel1979

      If he said that, there would be not one single person that would believe him

      • ScaryBiscuits

        The only useful thing Cameron could do at this stage to help the Conservatives would be to resign.

        • Philip McArthur

          No he should do a deal with UKIP to not put up a Tory candidate in Labour held marginals and even Labour ‘safe’ seats so UKIP can properly exploit the ‘working class’ aversion to Europe and Immigration. The resulting coalition would of course be problematic, but in comparison with the Liberals……!

          • Dogzzz

            in the Northern labour seats, currently full of disgusted and sickened ex labour voters due to the labour party effectively decriminalising the gang rape of thousands of white working class children by Islamic perverts, UKIP will get a free run against labour. Nobody votes tory up here anyway.

          • Philip McArthur

            Good to hear that Dogzzz. Cameron needs a wake up call regarding his kowtowing to minority groups. He and other politicians think it is ok to have our city streets and schools 99% non white. I am not racist by any means but it is not right to destroy the cultural make up of our once great nation. We are heading towards a civil disaster by deferring to people who do not like us and have contempt for our long held values.

          • George Holliday

            “I’m not racist by any means but…”

            That phrase, along with your racist drivel, confirms that you are indeed racist. Well done.

            Who gives a toss if they’re non-white? That doesn’t mean they aren’t part of our “cultural make up”. Brits hail from all backgrounds and are no less British. What a load of bullshit.

            Do yourself a favour and go and join Britain First, they need more spokesmen and you’d be great at it.

    • MrVeryAngry

      Indeed UKIP would be history because they would have achieved their goal. Job done. That’d look like success for UKIP.

      • b.edwards

        The only success and goal achieved by UKIP I’d like to see,is the lib/lab/con confined to history.

      • Dogzzz

        That was back when UKIP had no ambition beyond getting us out of the EU, When UKIP mistakenly believed that one of the other parties was capable of stepping up and running this country properly.

        It is now clear that none of the legacy parties are competent or capable of even seeing what policies are required to take this country forward, let alone capable of implementing them. All three are run by out of touch, careerist politicians who are 100% ego with no common sense or experience of the real world. So UKIP are stepping into the massive ability, vision and policy void, because none of the other parties are capable.

        • MrVeryAngry

          The fundamental error is in thinking that the government ‘runs the country’. It doesn’t. It can’t. All it can do is to provide a bit of defence, a system of law that protects freedoms and property rights, a bit of co-ordination around infrastructure and international negotiations. Other than that we can pretty well look after ourselves.

    • John Dalton

      Agreed. But thank you to James Forsyth for one of the most honest, accurate and cogent pieces I’ve read on the Speccie for some time. Much kudos.

      David Cameron – alea iacta est.

      • Bob339

        rectum iacta est!

    • jameslc

      But Cameron does not want the UK to leave the EU.

      • Bob339

        You mean: ‘He is following the order of his jew masters’ surely?

        • BoiledCabbage

          Gulf Arab masters, these days, old son. A million times worse.

    • Ricky Strong

      It’s not just the EU issue though, assuming Cameron were to offer such a opportunity he would still be a staunch advocate of a multicultural Britain, we may remove the free movement of people under EU law but LibLabCon would still allow the inflow of mass migration into this country by other means.

      The EU is indeed a part of the issue, the stale ‘big three’ are also another issue. I for one would not want Farage to become obsolete in the face of an EU referendum, as Douglas Carswell said, it’s the ingrained clique in Westminster that needs to be smashed.

      • Marketthinker

        The real issue is not ‘foreigners’ but the useless, incompetent parasitic bureaucrats and political class sitting in Brussels making bad legislation. The three main parties in Westminster choose to portray the issue as little Englander racism because of course the central case UKIP makes about the EU applies to all of them too.

    • global city

      Right wing tories and eurosceptic ones are gambling not only with the issue of membership of the EU (which they would resoundingly lose in the face of their own party’s establishment) but could witness the destruction of the Tory party.

      • George Scoresby

        And, that would be a bad thing because why?

        • global city

          I agree, but you’d think at least that these things would bother them!

    • Dogzzz

      Nobody would believe him.

      Here is how the tories win. Sack cameron. Get a real working class conservative who understands people’s concerns in the job and move heaven and earth to hold that referndum on the same day as the general election.

      I know, it is not going to happen. Just like the tories are not going to win the general election either.

    • Shorne

      The problem with so many people who comment here and elsewhere is they assume that they are in a majority;
      ‘The British public are increasingly positive about staying in the Union – according to research into how people would vote in an in/out EU membership referendum. YouGov’s latest poll for The Sun finds an eight point lead for those who want Britain to remain in the European Union, the largest lead recorded since YouGov first asked the question in September 2010. 44% would now vote to stay in the Union, while 36% would vote to leave…YouGov also asked people how they would vote in the event David Cameron successfully renegotiates Britain’s relationship with the European Union. In this situation, ‘remain in’ surges to a 35-point lead – the largest since the question was first asked this way in June 2012.”
      “If David Cameron, who has promised to hold an in/out referendum by the end of 2017 if the Conservatives win the next election, does manage to secure a favourable renegotiation of terms.
      In that event, 42% say they would either definitely or probably vote to stay in, against 36% who would probably or definitely vote to leave.”

      This perhaps because there aren’t many people whose jobs in Midlands Car factories depend on EU membership for example have time to post comments. Moreover this is the view from the British Chambers of Commerce website
      “Businesses want more decisions made in the UK. More than half (57%) of respondents believe that remaining in the EU while transferring specific powers back to Westminster would positively impact the UK’s business and economic prospects. These have previously included health and safety law, and employment law.
      Firms feel that fully withdrawing from EU membership would harm UK business interests. A majority (58%) of responding firms believe that leaving the EU would damage the UK’s business and economic prospects.”

      So don’t assume you would get your own way.

    • Mukkinese

      Strange how the E.U. is supposed to be the cause of our problems, yet it does not harm Germany or other northern European economies, which all work under even more stringent rules than we do and have more generous welfare systems…

    • Mukkinese

      Except that it is unlikely that a majority of the electorate will vote to leave the E.U.

      • spiritof78

        Indeed, and that after a sustained generation- long propaganda campaign from most of the print media in favour of exit.

  • altsegel

    I think the next election hinges on the voting of former Lib Dem supporters. It seems the Lib Dems will disappear from the Commons. Will their voters back Milliband – unlikely – or conclude Cameron is after all one of them? Pro-gay, pro-Europe, pro-NHS, it looks good. I really can’t see Miliband winning or UKIP breaking through beyond one or two seats.

    • Ben

      Ukip will win between 5 – 15 seats. Amongst them will be Clacton, Rotherham and Thanet South. If the truth about Muslim child abuse happening in virtually every major town in the country, comes out in the coming months then you can expect more Ukip seats.

      • WuffoTheWonderDog

        But Clegg is going to major on the legacy of Sir Cyril Smith’s wonderful work spreading the benefits of LibDemery among the younger members he brought to the party.

        Are you saying that won’t go down well with the public? Jeepers! Just how ungrateful can some people be?

      • Steve Lloyd

        There’s talk of a grooming scandal coming out of Wrexham in Wales. Ten of it’s councillors including the leader have resigned en masse.

        • grumpyangler

          please don’t call child rape ‘grooming’, we know the BBC does but that’s no reason for thinking people to do so.

        • Ben

          It is happening all over the UK. And has been for years. All covered up by the authorities.

    • ScaryBiscuits

      6 months ago nobody in the political class was predicting a single seat for UKIP and saying how they’d peaked the previous year. Winning their first seat is a genuine break-though but now that’s likely people seem to be redefining it as 20+ seats.

  • ohforheavensake

    We now have a split on the Right: and a split on the left kept Labour out of power for 18 years. This has a certain inevitability about it.

  • JoeDM

    Cameron has brought this on himself.

    His record in government has been one of utter ineffectiveness brought on by the ill-advised coalition deal with the Limp Dims.

    He has shown that he has no inclination to stand up against the EU and does not have the courage to deal with the immigration problem.

    And to cap it all, he quite possibly will be the PM to have instigated the process that results in the break up of the UK !!!!

    Cameron has been a complete failure as PM. (At least I can say I voted for David Davis back in 2005 when I was still a member of the party)

    • madasafish

      So coaltion was wrong?

      Perhaps you could explain how to get any legislation through without LD support?

      • No Man’s Land

        That doesn’t matter to the death or glory bunch, the idea that politics is the art of the possible is wasted on them.

        • ScaryBiscuits

          A what a low, self-serving objective that is. Being proud of being a weasel still makes you a weasel. The idea that politics is about a battle of ideas and ideals is clearly wasted on you and the rest pre-emptive surrender bunch.

          • No Man’s Land

            In 2010 there were three options:

            1. A minority government (untenable in the economic crisis)

            2. A labour-lib-rainbow coalition

            3. A Con-Lib coalition

            If you’re principles are so high minded so as to make you choose options 1 or 2 over option 3 then you may have principles but you certainly have no sense of duty.

          • madasafish

            I find it risible that we have all these keyboard warriors who KNOW that they can do it better. And tell us so.

            But of course do nothing.

            Most of them have no idea of the hard work getting a Coalition to work and think that a Government with no majority can easily pass legislation.

            Of course, it can’t. Just think, no budget could be agreed. No spending cuts.. no reduction in the 50% tax rate.. etc etc

            Their opinions are worth as much as their experience of the real world. Zilch.

          • Dr Cox

            There were experienced politicians in 2010 who advocated a minority government. Had the LibDems challenged such a government the Tories would have called a new election, which they would probably have won. See previous example of Wilson in the 1960s/70s.

            I have managed to reply to you without insulting you. The courtesy of old age.

          • Dogzzz

            Opinion polls from the time suggest that you are correct, Dr Cox.

          • ScaryBiscuits

            I’m not sure I see a difference between 2 and 3. Also you’ve missed off option 4, which was none-of-the-above. I am free to want, and to vote for, any government I want and not to be limited to a choice dictated to by you or anybody else.

          • No Man’s Land

            Ok let’s have your pitch, what are the consequences of option 4?

            I don’t know how this became about me or anyone else attacking your freedom to choose. I am not trying to dictate to you, I am simply stating your apparent position, such as it is, seems impractical.

          • ScaryBiscuits

            I would like a conservative government. I don’t think it’s impractical. I think it’s probably the majority view of the country. It is impractical in the sense that none of the existing main parties are offering it and instead are all just varieties of social democrat. So forgive me if I don’t vote for any of them.

          • No Man’s Land

            I see, so you think that the Conservative’s failed to get a majority because they didn’t run as conservatives (that is to say right wing enough) in the election. I can’t say I agree, I think the size of the Labour majority made an outright majority very unlikely, but your position is clear and I respect that.

            I also wouldn’t have started from here, but I am still unconvinced that anything but the coalition would have been workable.

      • JoeDM

        Force the issues with a minority government and then a second General Election in the Autumn of 2010 and let the people decide if they really wanted Gordon Brown back. Labour would not have had time to regroup over the summer !!!

        But that would have taken real leadership. Cameron took the easy way out and we have suffered as a result.

        • No Man’s Land

          I think we’d have had a run on the pound and our bond yields shot up. Perhaps preventing that wasn’t Cameron’s motives, but I am glad we got a government when we did.

        • madasafish

          Two GEs in a year?

          The electorate would really love that.. Not.

          • JoeDM

            That’s democracy. It worked for Wilson in 1974.

          • madasafish

            Explain to me how a minority Government gets unpopular legislation passed when the Opposition are against it. and they outnumber the Government…

            (this had better be good)

      • ScaryBiscuits

        I wonder if you could point us at any particularly useful legislation that has been passed in the last four years?

      • ButcombeMan

        Cameron if has been possessed of any guts or leadership would have run a minority government and used confidence & supply to get things through the house.

        He should have concentrated JUST, on getting out of The Big Brown Mess. Nothing else.

        A short time later, if he had displayed statesmanship, he could have won another election outright.

        • madasafish

          Your reply betrays you utter ignorance of the real world. And is hardly worthy of reply but here goes:

          A minority Government cannot pass ANY legislation without the support of another Party or Parties.

          “getting out of The Big Brown Mess” would have involved Austerity in one way or another.. spending cuts.

          Labour opposed ALL spending cuts.

          Out of 650 seatsm teh Tories held around 304. So they would need at least 20 other MPs to support them – an they woul have to be mainly LDs.

          Ans what price would they have to pay for such support? University fees for a start. And lots more.

          You really have no idea. The last Government with a small majority was a disaster which lead to 18 years of the then Opposition in Government following weak and shambolic Government.

          So to summarise:
          no certainty any legislation would be passed.
          a very weak Government
          Likely to be defeated on unpopular measures.

          And you think that would work?

          You are unrealistic.. Typical Conservative right wing thinking.. and no popular support (think Howard and Hague).

          • ButcombeMan

            Of course, you have gone off at half cock, you are as trigger happy as Cameron.

            I suggest you Google “Confidence & Supply” and educate yourself.

            Such arrangements fall short of formal Coalition

          • madasafish

            So a reply which starts off with an ad hominem remark and continues in the same vein..

            I know about “Confidence &Supply”. Just because it is possible does not make it happen…

            As for “the national interest”, Ed Balls would have argued that austerity was putting recovery at risk… indeed he DID argue that so Labour would not – indeed could not – have supported ANY austerity.

            As for losing votes, you jest. Yours is an intellectual argument. In the real world, Labour would have gone on about supporting the poor.. and guess what, the Labour supporters would have agreed with them. (see the current voting intentions for Labour- wrong on the economy and they lead)

            As for Cameron’s leadership skills, I’d rather herd cats than lead a Party which has MPs who appear determined to lose an election and are following a right wing course rejected twice by the electorate (see Howard and Hague)

          • George Scoresby

            A minority government, run with any conviction, would have forced on election on a point of principle – the minority gov would have proposed legislation that forced the other two parties to choose. And then when the gov lost the vote, there would be a fresh election with the electorate offered a real choice.

            “The banks would have failed,” is the reason given by the Cameron clique for not playing it this way. We now know that the greatest recession in history was bogus.

            It follows, that the entire Cameron government is bogus – a conspiracy to extend Blairism well beyond its sell-by-date.

          • madasafish

            We now know that the greatest recession in history was bogus.

            So a year over year 6% drop in GDP is not a recession?

            Rewriting history.

          • Dogzzz

            I think he is referring to the “double dip” and “triple dip” recession scare continuing from 2010 onwards. Those parts were, apparently, bogus. There was nothing bogus about a million workers in the private sector losing their jobs from 2008-2009.

            But then, they were only private sector employees losing jobs under a labour government, so the BBC and labour did not care about them. Had it been a million public sector workers losing jobs under the tories, there would have been a BBC led media barage of the “Jobs Apocolypse”.

          • Dogzzz

            he should have continued with the coalition agreement for 6 or 12 months max, then gone to the country to give the people a say if they wanted it to continue. It turns out people actually like a politician who is honest with them, tells it like it is and asks for their permission.

            Ask Douglas Carswell what response he is getting from voters?

      • cremaster

        The coalition was only necessary because CamOron lost the election.

      • MarcusJuniusBrutus

        Supply and confidence.

        Or call a general election a few months after failing to win a majority in the first election.

      • Dogzzz

        Admittedly, with the benefit of hindsight, What Cameron should have done is enter into coalition with the Lib Dems as he did as this was necessary for the bond markets and international investors in May 2010. From May 2010 The tories should have got themselves on the news as often as possible to destroy the labour party for the debt that they left and the scale of the economic damage. That message should have been hammered home on a daily basis.

        Then in the Autumn of 2010 or Spring of 2011 at the latest, Cameron should have stated the following:

        Last May the electorate failed to elect any one party with a majority. We came together with the Liberal democrats to set out a plan to save our country from the economic melt-down that labour had created. We conservatives could not, therefore, implement a fully conservative programme of Government.

        We created a coalition agreement with the broad support of both PARLIAMENTARY parties. But not the broad support of our parties in the country. We conservatives are prepared to implement that agreement in full, BUT the electorate have never been given their say on it. It is wrong that within days of a general election, two parties abandoned the manifestos that they had faught that election on, and created a new “manifesto” which the people have not had any say over. We are prepared to honour that new coalition agreement, but the public must be asked for their permission for us to do so.

        Conservatives would like to see a more Conservative programme of government, which we cannot implement, because our Liberal democrat partners will not agree to that. There are measures which conservative voters want us to implement, and many conservative MPs would love to implement them too, but under the restrictions of the coalition means that we cannot do them.

        When we arrived in Government, we knew that the economic situation would be bad. We were not prepared for the actual diabolical state we found it. Labour’s Liam Byrne left a truthful note for the incoming Treasury secretary stating,

        “Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid there’s no money. Kind regards and good luck.”
        Structural debt is horrific and the scale of what needs to be done to put that right in five years is beyond the scope of a coalition government.

        We have begun to rectify that abomnible shambles left behind by the grotesquely incompetent previous labour maladministration, but before the election, when we promised to reduce the deficit to zero in one term, we did not know how bad things were, nor that we may be hampered in our efforts to do so by the Liberal Democrats.

        It is for the reason of democratic accountability and transparency that we feel that the public deserve to know the truth, and deserve to have a choice.

        We could continue until May 2015 with this coalition and only pay half of the deficit. It will mean conservative promises on any EU referendum, getting out of the ECHR and replacing the HRA with a common sense Bill of rights, Boundary changes, Lords reform, restrictions on immigration, right of recall of MPs will have to be abandoned.

        As things stand, it will take at least 10 years to eliminate the deficit and return to balanced budgets. The public have a right to know how disastrously labour handled the economy. Likewise the public have a right to choose if they want a coalition solution to this crisis, or a conservative one.

        It is for this reason I am calling an early general election.

        We are publishing a new manifesto. Key policies are for a patriotic libertarian conservative govenment. We will give the people a say on our membership of the EU in an honest in or out vote. We will reduce and simplify taxes and invest in trade missions globally to encourage the biggest increase in exports for over a hundred years. We have a vision of an independent UK as free, global traders. we will rebalance our economy, not with borrowing or high taxes, which stunt growth, but with export led growth, bringing revenue into the UK to boost growth. We will scrap the criminal and terrorist protecting Human Rights Act and replace it with a simple, basic and universal Bill of rights, enshrining unparalleld freedom for the law abiding and punishment for the criminal. We will retake control of our borders and control of immigration. We will restore our nation to its rightful place to fulfil its rightful destiny as a beacon of freedom and enterprise for the world.

        Or, We will continue with the coalition agreement, Or we will see our country destroyed by labour.

        The people have the right to choose.

        If he had done that, then he would have won a clear majority and would be looking at another one next year.

        As Douglas Carswell is discovering. People like an honest politician who asks for permission.

        • madasafish

          As you say – with the benefit of hindsight which is 20/20 vision..

    • Lady Magdalene

      I said some time ago that he’d have two legacies:
      1. Gay “marriage.”
      2. The destruction of the Conservative Party
      Looks like he might be adding
      3. The PM who lost the union (the United Kingdom) not the one we wanted out of.

      • Dogzzz

        I will be amazed if Scotland actually votes for their fake independence. As I live in the UK and do not get a vote, I have no interest in what they decide, and genuinely do not care about the result either way. Whatever the result, I hate that Cameron did not give everyone in the UK a say in the future of OUR collective union.

      • Kaine

        You can use scare quotes all you like dearie, but it’s simply called marriage now.

    • Bob339

      Be fair: Dave was only obeying Jew orders.

      • George Scoresby

        That’s a really impressive load of crap you keep dishing out.

  • Mustlllp

    Easy to blame Cameron but what is he supposed to do with silver spooned weak-chinned academics like Carswell who spout off about principles of having a Referendum then make it impossible to have one because he jumps ship to save his own seat and Commons Pension.

    Carswell has looked at his own personal gain and put that first by jumping into bed with UKIP, knowing full well there is little or no chance of a Referendum now because of his actions and the subsequent Labour government.

    He is a self serving opportunist only interested in his own Commons seat and Pension.

    • ScaryBiscuits

      Admit it you just hate UKIP don’t you?

  • This isn’t just about Cameron. The conservatives – from grass roots through to the very top, brought this on themselves.

    • Fred Smith

      I see Cameron as a symptom of something and a representative of the real powers that control the party, rather than a sort of Pied Piper figure appearing from nowhere and leading them to strange places, more or less against their will.

      • Bob339

        You are half right. Credit where it is jew.

    • Bob339

      Dave called them ‘not the Tory party but the Torah party’ check it out!

      • George Scoresby

        It’s the JOOOS! I figured it out. All by myself. Jew. Jew, Jew, Jew. Jews. Pay attention. It’s the Jews. Did I mention the Jews? Everything is because of Jew. Jew is everything. Off with their heads. ISIS anyone?

      • Dogzzz

        After reading several of your posts… I think I am detecting a pattern… Would the Jews have anything to do with your worldview? And if so, what are your thoughts on Miliband? Y’know he is Jewish, right?

  • misomiso

    The Tory party needs to convert to UK version of the SNP, a party dedicated to leaving the EU.

    Only then will these scars heal, as they will have a united mission.

    • No Man’s Land

      Portillo once described English nationalism as the Conservative’s nuclear weapon. But UKIP has beaten them to it. UKIP tap in to that same vein of instincts that Maggie so successfully did and which Disraeli articulated:

      “[..]the people of England, and especially the working classes of England,
      are proud of belonging to a great country, and wish to maintain its

      That ground is now occupied by UKIP. I am not sure how Carswell, the self described Gladstonian Liberal, would react to the comparison though.

    • Fred Smith

      An unfortunate comparison since a central part of the SNP’s idea is joining the EU.

  • Peter Stroud

    Just about everything said about Cameron, in this article is about right. His judgement has been shown to be faulty ever since he became PM. His continuous soft treatment of the LibDems, compared with his off handed behaviour against loyal Tories, has been disgraceful. Sacking Owen Paterson was, for many, the last straw. This was seen as removing a very competent minister, as a sop to the greenie liberals. Idiotic in the extreme. Similarly moving Gove looked like a move to pacify the teachers – and educational establishment.

    However, if a leadership change is required, please don’t promote Boris. The man is a Europhile at heart. He is also in favour of high immigration: if it suits his purpose. And he will do almost anything to become leader. The man is shallow. Charm is not everything: certainly when it comes to in politics.

    • WuffoTheWonderDog

      Consider the possibility that Cameron does not like those naughty MPs who come back from abroad, i.e. anywhere outside Westminster, with fatuous views forced upon them by the voter types. Cameron would probably detest those voter types as well if he ever met any.

  • Stereotomy

    “The Labour leader seeks radical change, much of it alarming for those on the right”

    Until now at least, Miliband seems to have picked carefully to make sure the most left-wing policies are also the most populist. These are the ones that are least likely to alarm Kippers back into the Tory fold.

    • Sapporo

      No, Miliband has to play to his Union funders. In reality the difference in actual policies between the traditional parties will be wafer thin. The public understands that they are the political elite and their perceived differences and carefully manipulated squabbles are just for show. UKIP is the only alternative.

  • jmjm208

    The chariot wheels are coming off – God is not mocked. Cameron flew in God’s face with gay marriage and it will cost him the election.

    • WuffoTheWonderDog

      Some Tory in Oxford said that, didn’t he?

    • madasafish

      Typical claptrap by a religious fanatic.

      If you were a Muslim, you would be preaching Jihad.

      Since church attendances have collapsed over the decade, why base policies on ideals held by at most 5% of voters?

      Out of touch and wrong.

      (Nest you will be telling us to stone gays)

      • ScaryBiscuits

        The last census recorded 59% of the population identifying themselves as Christian. You seem to be equating believing in God with being a religious fanatic and in doing so sound like a fanatic yourself.

        • madasafish

          Sorry but I am not the one who claims he/she knows what God thinks and telling us it’s God’s revenge on Cameron.

          People who claim they know God’s will ARE fanatics -or deranged.. or both…

          I never said believers = fanatics . I just pointed out it was claptrap.

          Unless of course you have a dialogue with God and know better..

  • Chingford Man

    What’s this? Surely we were being assured by James and the rest of the Village People that the Tories were set to sweep to victory?

    What actually happened was that the Tories decided to talk up their chances and their media courtiers were happy to fill their blogs with the CCHQ spin. Those of us with greater sense pointed out that James, Fraser, Izzy, Sebby et al were in cloud cuckoo land and had no real clue about the dynamics in the country as a whole, which presently points to mass UKIP support and a Labour government of some kind.

    Now the penny has dropped. Douglas Carswell’s defection and the possibility that UKIP will win the by-election comfortably has finally forced them to return to reality. Whatever happens, the Tories are as stuffed as a turkey at Christmas.

    By the way, there has been no criticism thus far of Cameron or of LibLabCon that will compare with what’s coming their way if Scotland does vote to go. It’s bad enough to mismanage immigration and endanger public safety, but the political class will not survive the country fracturing.

    • Hototrot

      CM, your’s is a rather spot-on post. And what is also very worrying [for those in the blue corner] is that Labour are keeping their collective head down and seem to have had an easy summer, well below the radar. If Scotland does vote to remain in the UK, the Labour party will take all the plaudits. I predict a Labour majority of 50 plus come next May- now where did I put those emigration forms?

    • Fred Smith

      Not only for Scotland to go, but be dumped into the mess Salmond seems to be conjuring up; no clear explanation of what currency they will be using, although he seems to have ruled out a Scottish Central Bank and is hoping that the rUK would go along with a currency union clearly against its intgerests, EU membership appearing somehow in fairly short order, although this would involve having a currency which had successfully tracked the Euro and a Central Bank, and would meet opposition from EU members such as Spain with their own separatist movements they don’t want encouraged.

      So it’s not just a question of the country fracturing and Scotland going its own way cleanly and with a practical plan for doing that, it’s the psychological impact of Scotland leaving the Union, plus an almighty mess in practical terms to be sorted out, in which they should be acting solely in the interests of the rUK.

  • Several Tory MPs are already planning their careers on the assumption that the election is lost.

    Classic self-fulfilling prophecy territory.

    A great line by John Redwood ‘back in the day’ about the Major government and before the Blair landslide: “No change, no chance”.

    • WuffoTheWonderDog

      Redwood has always looked to the main chance, supporting governments that gave our country away, year by year.

      • Quite clearly that isn’t the case.

      • auntyeleet

        John Redwood has more common sense in his little finger than Cameron and his arrogant sofa cabal have in their bodies. How can a man of his talent and experience can be left on the back benches when we have idiots like Davey in the cabinet. If Mr Redwood was in charge of the EU negotiations the would have some meaning

  • Ne11y

    For those with principle, like Carswell, it’s not so much about winning the next election, it’s a much longer game than that. If Cameron wins and there is a 2017 referendum, there’s a real risk the vote could go the way of ‘in’. A split of the right is exactly what is wanted. In the long term, the new politics of UKIP: direct democracy, out of the EU, smaller state, grammar schools, closed borders with controlled immigration, etc, exactly the policies that the majority of the British public support, will put so much pressure on the Tories so as to force them to change, or, UKIP will rise to challenge the Tories to become the new party of the right, as Labour challenged and overcame the Liberals a century ago. This is not going to happen in one electoral cycle, it will take a long, long time. But it is happening because of the amount of support these policies have from the public. Nothing stays the same forever in politics. Just because the Tories have been around for hundreds of years doesn’t mean they’re invincible.

    • foto2021

      These are policies I personally support, however I think we would be deluding ourselves if we believed that our views are shared by ‘the majority of the British public’.

      Alas, there will always be a mass of the British public who vote for the party or parties that appear to promise them the softest possible life.

      • Sapporo

        I think only Grammar schools could you argue that these policies are not supported by the majority of the public.

        • WuffoTheWonderDog

          Hmm, are you for or against grammar schools? Difficult to tell.

          • madasafish

            A smaller Government is the opposite of what Labour and LD voters want. That is between 45 and 50% of the electorate…

            People going on about what people support when reality is clearly and provably different must live on another planet.

          • Dogzzz

            LD voters want smaller government that does a lot more, with less money and promotes freedom and liberty whilst controlling every aspect of how we use that freedom and liberty. They are deeply confused people.

            Most labour voters are utterly clueless and only know how to write a cross next to labour, because “mi dad did an mi grandad did” Many of them support policies which are completely alien to the labour party, yet still vote labour. Many of labour’s policies are directly harmful to them, yet they still vote labour.

            Labour effectively decriminalised brutal, racist gang rape of white working class kids by Muslims all across the North and they will STILL trapse out and vote for them. Utterly Clueless!

      • ScaryBiscuits

        Yes, but just because the majority doesn’t share them now or think they’re important, it doesn’t follow that they are wrong or won’t be supported by a majority in the future. This is why Nelly is right to say this isn’t just about the next election, even if that is the event horizon for most MPs.

      • No Man’s Land

        You’re right, but minds can be changed over the long term. The Thatcher revolution started with a bunch of academics (Hayek et al) in the late 1940s. It takes time, but in the early stages it’s no way to run a country, is Carswell a Keith Joseph, I don’t think he is. It’s also worth noting that the practitioners of those ideas never live up to ideals. Thatcher guaranteed the NHS, Hayek wouldn’t have approved (although he probably understood)

        • Kaine

          Hayek was a liberal.

      • pointlesswasteoftime

        Just a philosophical question (not getting into the economics of it): what is wrong with wanting the softest possible life?

      • Dogzzz

        Opinion polls show overwhelming support for controlling our borders and a very steep restriction in immigration. 80%+ support limiting immigration. Over 50% support stopping immigration altogether. Likewise if given a real choice between further integration into the EU and exit, a majority support exit. In a false choice between a fantasy version of unobtainable significant reform, and exit? A majority favour the fantasy of reform.

    • Dogzzz

      Indeed, where are the whigs these days?

  • realfish

    Oh dear. Tories looking inwards and talking to themselves again.

    To many ordinary VOTERS – you know – the man and woman in the street who actually elect people (rather than the conspirators and activists), Patterson was regarded as an incompetent fool.

  • foto2021

    “But the Tories need to realise that they must hang together or they will all hang separately.”

    As the self-appointed ‘Heir to Blair’, Cameron has from the outset aimed to take the Tories to the centre ground formerly occupied by ‘New’ Labour. This is based on the simple theory that elections are won in the centre ground.

    Both Cameron and Miliband are looking to claim votes from the centre, so Tories on the right of the party can see that David Cameron has far more in common with Ed Miliband than with them. Nothing Cameron says or does now will change that.

    • madasafish

      I will repeat three names to you:



      Duncan Smith

      All ignored the centre ground and were washed away.

      The UK public does not support right wing policies of their type and have proven so at the ballot box.

      Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Einstein.

      (See also English on day cricket team)

      • WuffoTheWonderDog

        At least two of the three married because they liked women, so not entirely bad.

        • madasafish

          And the Tories had the only gay PM last century…

    • Fred Smith

      But it’s a centre ground consisting of things they are comfortable squabbling over in Westminster and what they imagine will sway floating voters in key marginal seats.

      It studiously ignores large areas of genuine widespread concern, such as mass uncontrolled immigration.

  • Livia

    I have zero faith in Labour, and doubt that in practice they’ll be any different to the coalition, but the coalition needs to waddle off the stage. The smarmy dweebs of the front benches belong in an aquarium, not political power. If only Labour had literally anyone else in charge.

  • madasafish

    I have long ago decided that MANY (not all) Tory MPs are selected on the basis of their lack of common sense.

    After all if this quote above “or instance, no one in No. 10 fully realised the damage that sacking Owen Paterson — the reforming, right-wing and well respected Environment Secretary — would inflict on Cameron’s relations with various parts of the Conservative family” is true…

    then most MPs seem to have lost all common sense. Paterson looked out of his depth in the floods , was too slow to react and frankly he persuaded watchers and viewers he had no sense of urgency.
    I have as much respect for Paterson as I have for Miliband.. (the badger cull was a shambles operationally and PR wise)

    I think most Tory MPs are precious, pumped up of their own importance and with the mindset that the British Empire is great and we are the Party to lead that Empire.

    Scotland and Wales are now lost – forever -to the Conservatives because of their approach whilst in Government.

    That approach is best epitomsed by Owen Paterson… incompetent, arrogant and wrong.

    And now you claim they are planning on defeat.. Well I have news for them.. if the muppets who are revolting tried to elect a right wing leader they would lose a lot more heavily. See Howard and Hague and Duncan Smith as proof.

    The world has moved on . The Conservative Party has not. They appear a bunch of unreconstructed old fogeys out of touch with newcomers to society and changes in its attitudes.

    • WuffoTheWonderDog

      Oh, you know Bob (Working for You) Neill MP well, do you?
      I certainly recognised him from what you wrote.

      • madasafish

        No but having looked him up, he sounds the type I described…

    • ScaryBiscuits

      Howard and Hague right wing? Howard was the Tory establishment’s safe choice to lose the election whilst the prepared Cameron. Hague pretended to be right wing “24 hours to save the pound” but showed his true colours in the FO, having promised not to “let matters rest” on Lisbon and then doing exactly that. The only recent Tory leader who was actually right wing was Mrs Thatcher and she won three elections in a row (you may have forgotten).
      I’m guessing you’re a Labour or LibDem supporter but most of what you right above could equally be said about Ed and Nick’s parties. Ed’s doing a great job of being in danger of losing against a totally divided Tory party.

  • derekemery

    Assuming Scotland votes yes then long before the general election the markets will have reacted. Goldman Sachs has predicted a Eurozone-style financial crisis could hit both
    For Scotland and the remainder of the UK and that will be very soon after the result is announced. The pound has already dropped at the prospect.
    Labour governments everywhere are by nature economically and financially incompetent (witness Hollande’s France). The markets will react to the probability of a Labour government more strongly after a Scottish yes as the general election draws close. They won’t be expecting it to do better than the coalition but much worse as it has no worthwhile economic policies that will meet market expectations as it wants to go in an opposite direction.

  • Daniel1979

    Cameron listened to Blair, who led him down a rabbit hole. Blair’s advise was to triangulate all policy to occupy the middle-ground. But that’s only half of it to win and keep power as you also need to carry your political base with you. Blair did this for a time; but Cameron ignored and abused his base, he invited people to leave if they didn’t like it and sneered at others.

    The warnings have been there for years; those who chose to ignore them must now suffer the consequences of their actions.

    • Bob339

      Cameron listened to Blair, who listened to Rothschild and other jewboys.

  • ScaryBiscuits

    The Cameroons are right to believe that some in Conservative Party don’t want to win under Cameron. I’m against HS2, more wind farms, foreign aid, fighting ISIL with press hasty releases whilst cutting our armed forces, foreign aid (particularly for Hamas), “positive” discrimination and multiculturalism, a third runway at Heathrow, anti-family policies, the EU arrest warrant, further impingement of free speech and borrowing our way out of a recession caused by too much debt. I’m also against leaders for life, where once they are elected they never need to stand for party leadership again.
    All these things are, incredibly, more likely to happen if Dave is re-elected. Even if his victory is only because Ed is even worse, he will interpret his victory as validating his approach and push the centre-of-gravity of British politics further to the left, giving Labour a victory even if they don’t win.
    The only way I can make this less likely is to vote for another party at the general election.

    • pointlesswasteoftime

      You’ll vote for another party while remaining a Conservative councillor? Do you wonder why people do not trust Tories?

    • Dogzzz

      Do a Carswell. Defect to UKIP. You will receive a very warm welcome and loads of support.

  • S&A

    ‘Even before the Carswell defection, one Tory MP had nicknamed him Sir David Peel, a nod to the last leader to split the Tories’.

    Sir David Peel? Who he?

    I’ve heard of Sir Robert Peel, and I’ve heard of David Steel, but not Sir David Peel.

    Is it the unnamed Tory who knows bog all about an important figure in his party’s history, or James Forsyth?

  • MrVeryAngry

    Small point, Carswell is not ‘of the right’. He may well be to ‘the right’ of Labour, but actually he’s to the left of the Tory confused authoritarian/modernisers. The Tories and Labour are statist authoritarian groupings. Carswell is classical liberal.

    • Hear hear: I hate that ‘of the right’ slur — for that is what it is.

  • Steve Lloyd

    A Mirror Journo has been harassing Carswell’s wife in London, asking her if her marriage has broken down. Why is a Labour supporting rag doing the TINO’s work for them? Has McBride defected?

  • ButcombeMan

    Cameron has been committing slow hari-kari since he became PM.

    In no particular order:

    He has failed to make the Boy George get a proper grip on wasteful spending.

    he has weakened our already weak armed forces.

    He left the weak and ineffective Hague in charge or the Foreign Office in one of the most difficult of times, plainly beyond Hague’s ability or drive.

    He indulged in reckless, Blair style, adventurism in Arab lands and encouraged internal destabilizing disruption in those countries.

    He has redefined the meaning of marriage without having it in his manifesto and without HAVING to do it. while knowing it alientated many core supporters and religious groups.

    He has not reformed the fiendishly complicated tax system. .

    He has gone along with the ridiculous and expensive Police Commissioner nonsense without reforming Policing.

    He failed to live up to his promises on the Europe issue (and still does) to the point that trust in him is gone.

    He has name called, core supporters as “fruitcakes” as they flirted with UKIP.

    He has sacked Gove, needlessly, in response to leftist mob rule.

    He has sacked Paterson similarly, in response to other lobby pressure, much probably from the very same people.

    He panicked and allowed the Police Federation and bent MetPlod to sack Andrew Mitchell (Prefaced by allowing the plainly inadequate Cabinet Secretary to do a useless investigation)

    He has placed the future of the UK at risk through the Scottish vote.

    He has done almost nothing about electricity generation, we are now on the very edge of “outages” in very bad weather.

    He has failed to touch those C1 & C2 voters (especially in the North) he needs on board to win convincingly.

    He has failed to control immigration despite promising to do so.

    He has failed to control serious crime and fraud.

    He is in power, without having a long term plan, on almost everything

    Somebody please tell me something he has done well.

    • Mike

      You forgot he has also presided over the new phenomena known as the UK Jihadist and has been an apologist over the gang rape of vulnerable girls for the sake of political correctness.

      There is nothing he has done well unless what we see in the UK right now was his game plan all along.

      • ButcombeMan

        I put the vulnerable girls exploitation issue, much more at the door of Labour and incompetent, overpaid, useless, self serving,”Common Purpose” cultists, in local government .

        The voters blame Labour.

        He has not challenged “multicultralism” to the extent I would have wished but then he is in bed with Clegg and needlessly alienated many minorities, through his re-definition of marriage.

        • Mike

          True to a point, but as in the 1930’s, how much blame do you put on the architects and implementers of the gas chambers compared to the 95% of the population who looked the other way. Thats how I compare Blair and Cameron, not a lot between them really.

          As for Clegg the apologist, we know the LibDumbs have an endemic problem with sex abuse after the exposure of Cyril Smith and his addiction to young boys.

  • smileoftdecade

    not sure on what basis it would be “readying itself for victory” – all those anti-EU folk are quick to forget that it was only the compromise of EU friendly Lib-Dems that got Cameron into power in the first place – Now they want to shit all over the party like they have done before – and always at the expense of appearing to be reasonably human, and electable.
    they deserve to lose permanently.

  • Why would anybody entrust Labour with the nation’s fate — AGAIN???!

    • Dave Cockayne

      Cameron had a chance to win over the white working class but instead decided to screw them over and carry on importing millions of immigrants to replace them to prop up the housing market and further trash their living standards.

      Politicians seriously need to get out of the multicult bubble and understand that if they don’t start taking drastic action on immigration there will be a civil war in this country.

  • Fred Smith

    One of the big fault lines in the Conservative Party is their position on ‘Europe’, on which the only two coherent positions are to be in and go along with the fundamental objective of the EU, which is political integration, or to leave and be independent.

    They’ve papered over the crack with an attractive, but dishonest fairy story about reform and repatriation of powers (in conflict with the Aquis Communautaire). That strategy stood them well for a long time, but eventually it was going to run out of road, and that’s part of what we’ve seeing here.

  • Miliband is a communist. That ought to be disqualifying in British politics, never mind the details.

    • madasafish

      Very democratic thinking

      • Even democracies have to draw the line at whatever eradicates them!

        • madasafish

          I don’t know.. The Germans voted Hitler into power.. and he was quite clear about his intentions..

          • I think that proves my point rather than otherwise — and actually (I have done a study of the subject), Hitler lied to the people and consistently presented himself as a man that wanted peace while also disguising his tyrannical ambitions.

          • Jhb

            Can you send me a copy of your study?

          • Read Ian Kershaw’s several books on the subject and John Lukacs’s The Hitler Of History to be going on with.

          • Jhb

            You’ve read a couple of books. Well done. That’s not the same as “I have done a study” as you childishly put it. Have a word with yourself. Maybe go out for a quiet pint.

          • Look mate, I’ve written a book. Now go and find someone else’s skirt to blow up.

          • Jhb

            What’s it called? I’ll buy a copy.

          • Like h=ll you will.

          • Jhb

            Finally- do you really think, even in your wildest dreams, you can write stuff like “Milibands a communist”, and NOT get the piss taken out of you?

          • Statement of fact. Cheerio.

    • VacantPossession

      What’s really worrying is that people will actually vote for him, What is going on there?

      I suppose the same applies to DC.

    • Jhb

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Shit the bed!!!!!! What time did you hit the meths old bean?

      • You obviously don’t read the news. As well as talking like a tramp.

        • Jhb

          Nurse! Can we have some medicine please? There’s a person here who thinks that the Daily Mail writes news! I’m off back to my cardboard box. You carry on son.

  • crackenthorp

    After reading all the posts below i come to the conclusion that the Tories are not fit for office, never were and never will be as their supporters (see below) are all off their collective trolleys and should be admitted to their nearest mental institution. Oh i forgot Maggie closed them all

  • Diggery Whiggery

    I think 5 years of Milibland will be just about enough to remind voters that there is no right or left, only right and wrong.

    Vote Tory. Get Labour.

    Get Labour. Get Rotherham.

  • NeilMc1

    The strength of UKIP and the reason for it’s rise is that it is the new, ‘second force’ in British politics, not the third. The majority of people in the country now are seeing all the traditional, legacy, parties as one establishment stitch up.

    UKIP are offering a breath of fresh air which is why the old parties are so scared, confused and are paying ‘Social Media Coordinators’ to troll on blogs like this one.

    What they hate is UKIP standing for democracy, freedom, honesty, integrity, decency and for the British people and not actively working against the best interests of the them.

  • XH558

    Mr Cameron would rather lose the election and leadership of his party than run any serious risk of leaving the EU, to which (for whatever reasons), his primary allegiance lies. This has been clear for a long time. He will get his preference.

  • Lady Magdalene

    The split on the right was created when Heath took us into the EEC brazenly lying about the impact it would have on our Sovereignty.

    Major exacerbated it when he forced through the Maastrict Treaty, morphing the EC into the EU without a mandate and without holding a Referendum.

    Cameron promised a Referendum on the Lisbon Treachery – no caveats at the time – and then reneged on it. He promised not to let matters lie there and then did precisely that.

    The split has been a long time coming. But it’s too late to put the genie back in the bottle now. The Party Grandees are pro-EU but they are generals leading the remnants of an army which wasn’t.

    The most important thing for the country is that the electorate now has a choice of voting for a Party that wants to restore our Sovereignty and independence. And that has to be a good thing for democracy (if not the CONservative Party).

    • Fred Smith

      Eloquently put and Heath was a major culprit, but it dates back before then to around 1960.

      “The Tories have been indulging in their usual double talk. When they
      go to Brussels they show the greatest enthusiasm for political union.
      When they speak in the House of Commons they are most anxious to aver
      that there is no commitment whatever to any political union.”

      (Labour MP Hugh Gaitskell, October 1962)

      They’ve run with the hare and the hounds on this for a good 50 years and now they are being called on it.

  • goatmince

    The key failure of Cameron’s government is not the economy, not the position to Europe, not failing to respond to Ukip and other treats on the right.

    The key failure is to make people understand how they avoided the complete collapse of the British economy.

    But of course they cannot make that case. If they did the Tories would have to be honest about the causes of the crisis, the approach taken, not obscured by spin but explaining in frank and simple words (because it is simple) how they did it. They are not doing that. They can’t. It would require to identify the real delinquents and that would cause widespread public outrage.

    So the chaps have got to bite the bullet and carry on pretending they didn’t save the nation. Shocking and sad, but sadly the script.

  • bugalugs2

    “But one influential Downing Street figure tells me that ‘Irrespective of its merits, it is not going to happen. Cameron absolutely hates the idea.’”

    And that in a nutshell is the nub of the problem. Cameron is so arrogant that he demands that the Tories do what he wants, irrespective of what anyone else might think or the merits of doing something different even if a better proposal than his own. And when he doesn’t get his own way, as on Syria a year ago, he starts behaving like a petulant spoilt child.

  • cambridgeelephant

    ‘After nine years, the Cameroons now accept that their approach to the party is flawed. As one Downing Street figure puts it, ‘We have got a lot of things wrong on party management in the past. ‘

    Well you don’t say ! If you start out with 250,00 and ten years on you have less than 100,000 – what bright spark, what Socratic Einstein is it in Cameron’s inner circle, that has just worked that out ?

    Little d’Ancona perhaps ? Or maybe Boris ? It certainly couldn’t have been Isabell Hardman judging by that video as she looked about as detached and disinterested as possible.

  • maurice12brady

    What a really stupid comment ‘ — david cameron did not create this’ !!! — Oh didn’t he!

  • VacantPossession

    Referendum on leaving Westminster?

  • global city

    The Tories have only ever squatted on right wing issues, they have never really believed in them. Tories have always been happy to go with what ever they see as the prevailing as long as they could stay in charge. A major consequence of this has been the destruction of anything remotely right wing ever taking properly hold in the UK since the war.

  • Bob339

    Conservatives? Liebor? Passe.

  • grutchyngfysch

    ” After all, even Tory rebels have to live in Britain for the five years of a Labour government.”

    Yes, and you know who is to blame for that specific length of time? Cameron. In addition to gift-wrapping the next election for one of the weakest leaders Labour have ever had, he has all but handed him the means to cling, depserately, grimly to power for a full term. Had he left parliamentary terms intact, we would now be facing the probability of a weak Labour government only a few scandals short of a collapse – a Callaghan government that might have been trounced at an early election by a united Right.

    Instead, we will have a situation where there will be no pressing urgency for the Right to resolve its civil war, and no reason for the Left to go the electorate until it is forced to by legislation. 5 long years – and perhaps, worse than that, 10 or more long years if the Tories don’t shape up, ditch the Liberals within, and start representing the people who elect them.

  • wattys123

    at the end of the day the Tories got elected on a promise to reduce debt and immigration,both are totally out of control – they deserve to get smashed.

  • CortUK

    Cameron is not a conservative but a social democrat, which is why he prefers the company of Nick Clegg and knifed Michael Gove and Owen Patterson.

  • Chingford Man

    What an odd clip. It looks like Fraser and James are lecturing a clearly distracted Isabel who gets cut off just as she is about to say something.

  • Dr Cox

    Cameron implemented a strategy attributed to Letwin – shift the Tory party to the left, occupy the ‘middle’ ground, destroy the LibDems, remain in power for ever.

    Cameron has destroyed the Tory party.

  • Blindsideflanker

    If there is a split in the Conservative party it is Cameron and his coterie against the conservative voter, and if there is any nastiness in the debate its been around for a long time, where hostilities were initiated by Cameron when he called us ‘sour faced little Englanders, the Tory Taliban, the swivel eyed closet racists’ etc, and when Cameron and his modernisers gleefully boasted that the right had no where to go, and that they would permanently marginalised now that they had jumped in bed with the Libdems.

    • cambridgeelephant

      How very, very, sadly true.

      Too late to start regretting it now.

  • Lina R

    Don’t understand why so many of those in the Tory party are in self-destruct mode, paving the way for Miliband to rule/ruin the country.

  • Barzini

    Any true Conservative party would be against EU rule and against third world immigration….

    Unfortunately the party is compromised and controlled by exterior forces……whilst putting on a show of being more to the right than Labour, the truth is there’s basically no difference between these parties and the chances on the big issues anyone against EU rule or third world immigration has no chance of leading these parties………

  • Zimbalist

    From “gay marriage” to “This has nothing to do with Islam,” Cameron is wrong, light on substance, all puff and lacking in foundational principles. And people see this and will respond accordingly at the ballot box.

  • Mukkinese

    Wake up!

    They have already lost…

  • statechaos

    Never mind that as the major partner in the Coalition, the Conservatives have given us the fastest growing economy in Europe, faster than the industrial powerhouse that is Germany. Never mind that in 2 weeks time the Scottish people will have a referendum on whether or not to stick with the Union. Never mind that the only political party that will/can give us a referendum on whether to stay in the European Union or not is the Conservative Party. Never mind all of these things lets find other sticks to beat them with like ‘gay marriage’ and the number of immigrants who are here thanks to Labour, and let’s vote for UKIP en masse because that fairy godfather Farage will be able to fix everything else with one flick of his magic UKIP wand. Madness.

  • revkevblue

    Wake up. The Tories will not win the next election, their MP have already excepted that fact.
    So you can say a vote for the Conservatives is a wasted vote,they seem to think that, and that will let Labour in.
    Labour will not let you leave the EU, or curb Migration. and will plunge us into further debt.
    So vote UKIP and get UKIP.

  • Tim Morrison

    I had a horrible day, raining outside and so on, then I reading this article and the comments below. You have all cheered me no end. – it does my heart good to watch the Tory party fall apart – battles on the left are so much more dreary but you do it so well. This election defeat coming will be all the more delicious because it has been self inflicted – it normally takes a governing party three terms to get to this level of bickering but to have achieved it so quickly is more than my socialist heart could have hoped for. And as the opinion polls get closer Tories behaving badly makes a ‘yes’ vote much more likely. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • tjamesjones

    Although on the other hand, most of the people who think this is useful analysis also think that Nigel Farage is a credible politician. Maybe it’s not that easy forming a government, though it’s easy to type liblabcon.

  • Dr. Heath

    It’s routinely claimed that a political party may in fact want to lose a general election because this eliminates any risk that that party will be blamed for failing to deal with the nation’s insoluble and looming problems. Isn’t there also, in the case of the 2015 election, the promise of a serendipitously huge amount of entertainment, hilarity and delight for all in the spectacle of Ed and Ed f*cking up absolutely everything for five years and, in time, earning approval ratings from the electorate in single figures? Even skint ex-Tory MPs are going, like me, to enjoy the 24-7 farce, the unceasing laughs that will emanate from Westminster if Miliband’s PM.

    As for Cameron winning the election by making a serious promise to get us out of the EU, you can forget it. It’s been said here, because it’s true, that Cameron wants us in the EU. His own MPs don’t believe him when he talks about a referendum. Too many of them have noticed the crossed fingers behind his back.

  • evad666

    Lessons will be learnt by the establishment if Scotland leaves the Union and of course they will not be:-

    All government Ministers shall, covered in sackcloth and ashes prostrate themselves outside the stock exchange. All MPs shall covered in sackcloth and ashes submit themselves to public ridicule for a period of 14 days and nights. Where available public stocks may be used.
    Stocks of rotting fruit and vegetables shall be provided by local traders

  • Christian

    Anyone who is a patriot should rejoice at the demise of this charade of a party. Only once the Tory party is destroyed is there any hope of salvation.

  • global city

    You can’t manage fundamental issues of trust…that’s his problem. He can’t convince enough of his MPs that he will do anything other than lobby to stay in a mostly unchanged EU because they KNOW that he is utterly dedicated to the EU cause, it’s strategy and long term destination, so he’s lost.

    Boris will know all about Tissaphernes, but the problem he’s playing the same game as well.

  • global city

    By the way, on the Marr show yesterday Osborne used the peculiar phrase ‘Our EU’… keep an eye out for this odd terminology over the coming months by MPs and the MSM? They are trying to sell us something and plan to do so in creepy ways.


  • Worker337

    Who do the ‘Tories’ represent….. certainly not the working people in England……. perhaps the non working people in England, perhaps whoever they think might give them some votes….. this is no way to govern a country……. certainly with UKIP the Leader has some common sense and a determination to put British people first……

  • Full Name

    >”Central Office’s support for Gardiner expired in January 1997 when he described Major as Clarke’s ventriloquist dummy, and he was deselected by the association later that month.”

    Cameron is the EU’s ventriloquist dummy Mk.II, not sure if Clarke’s or another infiltrator.

  • paul

    The Tories are Revolting and I cannot wait until next May !!

  • Mukkinese

    The election was lost years ago…