Stand Up, Speak Up Progressives!

The Tories are taking their Policy Review recommendations on the road around the country because Dave says
“I want us to end the age of top-down, ‘we know best’ politics. Politics should be bottom-up and open – driven by the passions and priorities of the public. Many hundreds of experts have worked on our Policy Review, and I’m hugely grateful to them for the time and dedication they have brought to the task. But no experts have a monopoly on good ideas, and I want us to be the party that harnesses the ideas and enthusiasm of everyone in this country, not just the political elite.”

This will be fun. When CCHQ types meet the great unwashed and even their own members they are going to be in for a shock. There is also going to be “online discussions hosted at conservatives.com and moderated by the Policy Review team.” Moderated? As in censored? That seems a bit “top-down, shut-up, we know best” doesn’t it?

Dave is really going on-the-road to sell his policy shifts to the party. Team Cameron is positioning itself well to the left of Tory activists who are sick of hearing about windmill-powered huskie sleds and the like. Only Redwood’s recommendations on economic competitiveness are likely to provide red meat for those wanting to hear the old credo rather than tree hugging and fluffy bunny policies. The effort to reach out to the party faithful will have the slogan “Stand Up, Speak Up”. In the Observer this morning Dave is claiming to be a “progressive”. The activists will love that…

Happy Birthday GordonTories Poll 40% Against Blair / 42% Against Brown

As Gordon celebrates his 56th birthday this morning, we learn that an ICM poll in the Guardian puts Cameron’s Conservatives on 40 (+3), Labour 31, LibDems 19% (-4). A gap only seen three times since Margaret Thatcher’s day. Labour hasn’t polled as badly as this since Michael Foot. On a 40% share the Tories could achieve a parliamentary majority.

When ICM compared Cameron’s Conservatives vs Brown’s Labour vs Ming’s Lib Dems – it got even worse for Labour. The margin widened further to Conservatives 42% (+2): Labour 29% (-3%): LibDem 17% (-3). Happy Birthday Gordon…

Osborne Tried to Lure LibDem’s David LawsOver to the Liberal Conservatives

Peter Oborne has a fascinating article on the extent of the Team Cameron outreach mission to LibDems. In it he claims that George Osborne surprised David Laws with a Cameron sanctioned proposition – a shadow cabinet position for the Orange Booker. Also mentioned as a high value acquisition target is David Owen, the original social-marketeer.

In the article Oborne mentions also that Peter Mandelson has twice met Cameron in the past two months, once for a long private meeting in Brussels and then for a “brief but cheerful chat at the Davos World Economic Forum”.

Guido can reveal that Oborne is wrong on this point. In fact the Heir-to-Blair has met Mandelson three times in the past two months. The other time being on December 18, after Dave spoke at the Royal United Services Institute [pictured].

Can the Heir to Blair Match Blair?

According to newspaper reports Blair’s speech to the Labour party mesmerised Cameron when he was watching it. Tony’s last turn was without doubt an undeniably class act. Cameron’s leadership winning speech last year was good, but brilliant only in comparison to David Davis. Dave prowled around the stage empathatically, he did passion, he did fresh and they lapped it up. The act isn’t so fresh and we know most of the lines now. The media narrative for the conference is already focusing on the speech, which is highly risky for the Tories. Team Cameron had already decided to focus on “Brand Cameron” exclusively before knowing that the Blair speech would be such a tough act to follow. Dave’s performance at PMQs has been equal to Tony, will his conference speech match him?

Blair Heir : Picture Exclusive

Blair’s Heir

Some people think he is too young, but punters are putting their money on the kid on the right in the sandpit. He is now second favourite after Gordon (16/1) to take over from Tony Blair. Impossible? David Miliband is a year younger than David Cameron…

Once Upon a Time…

Once upon a time there was a King, his daughter the Princess was very unhappy. The King was very busy waging war on his enemies. The Princess ate a poison apple. The King was very worried and full of despair. But the Princess awoke. The King told all his Knights to keep it secret. The Knights only hinted at it. Then a Lord bragged about it. The King was very angry.


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Quote of the Day

George Osborne paraphrases Boris, telling the FT:

“If the ball came loose at the back of the scrum, I wouldn’t fumble it”

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