All Modernisers Now

Maude’s appointment as party chairman signals that Howard wants the modernisation of the Tories to be his legacy. Now everyone’s a moderniser despite whatever they said last week. Doc Fox rather weakly tried to position himself as a moderniser too, a freedom loving libertarian even, “whose instincts are economically conservative and socially liberal in tune with the diversity and aspirations of Britain in the twenty-first century”. He told the Politeia crowd some other platitudes about the reality of modern urban Britain. If it was a leadership speech it was hardly barnstorming.

Some real modernisers have been writing in the anti-Tory press about what they think the Tories need to be doing. John Bercow has been putting himself about telling the Indy and anyone else who will listen what needs to be done (he won’t run, but might be a key lieutenant). Tim Yeo said similar things in the Guardian, Alan Duncan got profiled in the Indy, Malcolm Rifkind in the Observer signaled he wants to go back to watered down socialism. All very well, but do Tories read those papers? Chaps, who elects the next Tory leader?

Guido thinks it amusing, and a sign of shrewder judgement, that only David Davis has thought to write in the Torygraph for the benefit of his potential constituency. Maude and Stephen Dorrel, neither of whom are running, are the only others to do so. Of everything so far, John O’Sullivan talked the most sense in the FT about what is going on.




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John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, says….

“The UKIP vote is going to the Tories. That’s the story of the first week of the campaign.”

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