David Heathcoat-Amory admits “I voted for Liam Fox in the first elimination round and in the final round I will be voting for the candidate I believe would make the best leader of the Conservative Party.” Charles Hendry, a former supporter of Basher campaigner David Willetts, joins Stephen Dorrell and John Bercow in their quest for shadow cabinet positions.
Guido visited the Davis campaign website. No announcements of new backers. In fact it seems to claim a couple more supporters than actually voted for Basher. So much for the “rolling thunder” strategy of continuous announcements of MPs succumbing to the unifying power of Basher, its more “rolling blunder” with rumours of Iain “whatever” Dale and Andrew Mitchell hitting each other with verbal handbags.
UPDATE: Stewart Jackson has apparently made a run to Cameron from the Davis camp (another one to cross off the list at ModernConservatives.Com).
Some better known and not entirely talentless creeps include Damian Green and David Willets. As faces not from the right-wing they are pushed forward in the media now that the hapless Andrew Mitchell has been put in charge of making the tea. (As Basher’s former media handler he distinguished himself at a Tory conference party by asking the editor of The Times who he was and coming close to breaking down on Andrew Neil’s Daily Politics show after that Davis speech.)
Willet’s repeats a mantra that Davis can unite the party, true, the party is increasingly united in the belief that Basher is a charisma-free loser. Willet’s can think of nothing else to say with conviction. Spare a tear also for Damian Green, who tore up his TRG membership card to back Basher. A dripping wet faction fighter in the past, he switched to Basher from Ken Clarke only to see Cameron come through. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.
According to the clearly inaccurate Who Support’s David? section of Basher’s website, 66 Tory MPs were committed to him. The second-raters will now need to switch their pledges to Cameron sharpish if they want a career…
Tim is very busy, apart from his real job at the Centre for Social Justice, he is behind ConservativeHome.Com which has quickly become a clearing house for Tory internal debate during the leadership campaign. Well laid out (after a few early design problems) and well edited, it has become an online community of bloggers. In fact its launch was heralded by a famous (for the blogosphere) article largely written by Tim that went out under IDS’ byline in the Guardian:
Through the tradition of town hall meetings, officials were held to account by local people. Blogger communities are going to be much more powerful. They will draw together not only local people but patients who have waited and waited for NHS care. They will organise parents of disabled children who oppose Labour’s closure of special-needs schools and evangelical Christians who see their beliefs caricatured by ignorant commentators.
All this should put the fear of God into the metropolitan elites. For years there have been widening gaps between the governing class and the governed and between the publicly funded broadcasters and the broadcasted to.
Until now voters, viewers and service users have not had easy mechanisms by which to expose officialdom’s errors and inefficiencies. But, because of the internet, the masses beyond the metropolitan fringe will soon be on the move. They will expose the lazy journalists who reduce every important public policy issue to how it affects opinion-poll ratings.
Tired of being spoon-fed their politics, British voters will soon be calling virtual town hall meetings, and they will take a serious look at the messenger as well as the message. It’s going to be very rough.
Karl Rove is right. The internet could do more to change the level of political engagement than all the breast-beating of introspective politicians and commentators. A 21st century political revolution is now only a few mouse clicks away.
Tim rejects the Tory-Taliban-Lite tag, he is backing Liam Fox, but says he would have backed David Willets had he stood. He also keeps his distance from the headcases of the Cornerstone group and US Moral Majority types such as Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell, claiming they lack a vision for social and international justice with too much focus on homosexuality. Bachelor Tim prefers a pro-family, rather than anti-gay stance.
Tim is nice with spin, it was in no small way due to Tim’s repeated references to Cameron and cannabis that the issue seeped into the mainstream long before Cameron was asked about it on the Tory party conference fringe. It was the Mail group and Tim who publicly and repeatedly, again and again linked Cameron’s liberal comments to the Home Affairs Select Committee on drugs with his personal history. Tim boasted that his
“post of Sunday on ‘Cameron and cannabis’ produced more than 160 reactions (at the time of writing this) and the subject is interesting commentators, too. Pundits are seeing Mr Cameron’s unwillingness to talk about his experience with illegal drugs as a betrayal of ‘the new kind of politics’ that they hope he might represent.”
This lived up to Tim (and Karl Rove’s) hope that right-wing blogging will change the way we engage in the political process. Tim protests to Guido that he was not trying to smear Cameron. Maybe not, but when Cameron placed an article in the Daily Mail defending himself on the subject, Guido hears the Cameron team went to the trouble of alerting Tim to it. Cameron’s people seemed to think it important to engage with him on the issue.
Tim Montgomerie is a wonk to watch, his agenda is gaining traction, its sophisticated and savvy. As the Conservative party seeks big ideas, Tim may find success repackaging American compassionate conservatism for British tastes.
Fox odds have collapsed, Clarke odds have more than halved to 11/1. Punters reckon Fox is a certainty to be out…
UPDATE: And then it reversed. Small panic amongst the punters for ten minutes when they thought Fox was toast. You could have had Fox @ 33/1 for a moment…
Guido has just laid Cameron, perhaps out of boredom, possibly stupidity, but mainly because I suspect his price is too short.
UPDATE:Dramatic moves in betting markets suggest Ken Clarke will come third!
*As a letter to the Guardian said.
If elected, he is not expected to join the Cornerstone Group.
Adam, who has appeared in gay mag Attitude, shared Coronation Street’s first gay kiss with Todd Grimshaw, played by co-star Bruno Langley. He quit the Street in 1999 for a pop career but it failed. In 2002 he returned briefly for mum Gail’s wedding.
(Adam is not the first ex-Corrie star to stand for the Tories. James Gaddas, who played barman Vinny Sorrell, unsuccessfully contested Stockton South at this year’s election.)
Mrs Fawkes reckons he’ll make a good member.
A few months ago he said it was “not a truthful statement and I apologise for that.” Now its just factually inaccurate, in a few months time it will have become an honest answer at this rate.
Inadvertent my arse, it was the political equivalent of a footballer’s professional foul, what a pathetic liar.
UPDATE: The Speaker has given leave for MPs to give him a kicking.
Cameron is Having a Shocker | Iain Martin
UKIP Still Back Flat Tax | London Loves Business
Dave Will Probably Win in 2015 | Dan Hodges
EU’s Tax Harmonisation Agenda | Dan Hannan
Tories Have Always Sneered at Party Faithful | Simon Heffer
French Youth Fleeing Socialism | Reason
Councils Should Not Blow Cash Subsidising Arts | Harry Phibbs
Old Holborn on Twitter Exile | Backbencher
Attorney General Warns Press Over Rebekah & Andy | Media Guido
UKIP Pros and Cons | Allister Heath
“The Double Income No Kids Existence” | Alex Deane
Ai Weiwei in China fighting the taxman…
“Under totalitarian rule, no one is protected by law. We will all be the same helpless victims. When a country insists on its lies, it’s time for an artist to bring forth change.”