Telegraph: Tory MPs 'still overwhelmingly Thatcherite'

by Stephen Tall on June 25, 2008

That’s the wholly unsurprising news from The Daily Telegraph based on a ConservativeHome.com survey of 120 Tory Parliamentary candidates:

The majority of new Conservative candidates selected to fight the next election are unabashed supporters of Margaret Thatcher’s ideals, a new survey has disclosed. They advocate lower taxes and are more concerned about terrorism than global warming. There is also still a very strong anti-European Union bias among Tory candidates. The future MPs also advocate an expansion in nuclear power, something the party under David Cameron’s leadership has been very reluctant to back.

The paper quotes ConHome’s Tim Montgomerie saying:

At the next General Election we may see the biggest increase in the number of Conservative MPs in modern times. In many ways the values of these MPs will be more important than the Tory manifesto. Most of them will outlast Cameron’s leadership. Within a year or two many of them will be filling ministerial offices. Margaret Thatcher can be proud of them. These are the people who cut their political teeth during her premiership.”

So there you have it from the authentic voice of the virtual Tory heartlands: the Tory party is full of Thatcherites looking to get back into power on Dave’s coat-tails. Who’d have thought it?

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Any news as to bear activity in forest environments?

by Guido Fawkes on June 25, 2008 at 11:30 pm. Reply #

“They advocate lower taxes and are more concerned about terrorism than global warming.”

Hmmm. Isn’t lowering taxes now the Lib Dems’ number one priority? And apparently we’re concerned enough about terrorism to back 28 days’ detention without charge.

I don’t know about bear activity in forest environments, but maybe we should be talking about lapidary projectilism in vitreous habitats…

by Anonymous on June 26, 2008 at 12:19 am. Reply #

They advocate lower taxes and are more concerned about terrorism than global warming. There is also still a very strong anti-European Union bias among Tory candidates. The future MPs also advocate an expansion in nuclear power.

Hey, I believe all that stuff! Well, not quite. I’m a lukewarm supporter of the EU.

by Laurence Boyce on June 26, 2008 at 12:51 am. Reply #

Well, 3.5/4 ain’t bad Laurence. Maybe you could become a Tory MP after all 🙂

Seriously, though, a lot of people have (somewhat wilfully) distorted Thatcher’s beliefs to meet their own political needs. She was a darn sight more pragmatic than a lot of people give her credit for. This is not to say she didn’t make mistakes, and there was an incredibly moving moment (well, for me anyway) when she was unveiling the statue of her in the lobby where she seemed to make it clear it that she understood her failings too. However, I was going back and reading over some of her speeches a few days ago and it is remarkable how well she understood the problems that were emerging in the UK then, and which are very present today. Plus, I think she was the first major world leader to acknowledge global warming, wasn’t she? So maybe not so un-green after all.

by passing tory on June 26, 2008 at 7:14 am. Reply #

There is hope then.

by bishop Hill on June 26, 2008 at 8:10 am. Reply #

Oh look, it’s the ’28 days Anonymous’; the one who doesn’t understand the meaning of the phrase “lesser of two evils”.

And yes, reducing taxes for the lowest paid is a Lib Dem priority, which is no bad thing. Tory tax cutters tend to believe in some version of trickle down economics and want taxes reduced at the higher end of the scale.

by Grammar Police on June 26, 2008 at 8:12 am. Reply #

Grammar Police

A few days ago, you said we wouldn’t be hearing any more from you on this. Can’t you help yourself?

Apparently it’s necessary to nail this lie about Huhne supporting 28 days only as “the lesser of two evils” yet again.

As you refused to acknowledge the plain meaning of Huhne’s other statements on this question, I’m probably wasting my time, but here’s what he said on Monday in Parliament:
“Our judgment is that 28 days detention in present circumstances can be viewed as proportionate, given the evidence from Operation Overt, the investigation in 2006 into the Heathrow bomb plot. I accept that that is longer than any comparable common law country: Australia has 12 days—the longest—the United States two days and Canada one day as the traditional period before a writ of habeas corpus can be served. We will not oppose the need for 28 days temporarily in the UK, partly because it is widely accepted that we face a greater threat in this country than in many others—due not least to our misguided participation in the illegal invasion of Iraq, which is this Government’s sad and lasting legacy on this issue. That does not mean, however, that 28 days should be seen as permanent or that we will not oppose this in future.”

Incidentally, that was a vote on the annual renewal of the extension from 14 to 28 days, so there was no question of the “lesser of two evils”. The parliamentary party supports detention without charge for 28 days.

If Grammar Police still thinks party policy is otherwise, his efforts would be better directed to finding out why the parliamentary party isn’t toeing the line, rather than spending his time on the Internet trying to persuade people that black is white.

by Anonymous on June 26, 2008 at 9:32 am. Reply #

I love the way you are obsessed with this issue ’28 Days Anon’ and try to turn every issue back to it – I wonder if you might need help. I was serious in my suggestion that you should write to Chris and then do an opinion piece for Lib Dem Voice on his reply – that would actually be quite interesting and vaguely constructive. You might even get your point across to a few people in a way that your sniping posts do not.

To be honest, for a while the only person engaging with you on this has been me, and it’s true, I can’t help replying to your nonsense – I don’t know why, because you’re the proverbial brick wall for me to bang my head against. I don’t really know what you’re trying to achieve, but I’m not sure it’s working.

“That does not mean, however, that 28 days should be seen as permanent or that we will not oppose this in future.”

Quite.

At the time, we voted for 28 days because that’s the way we could stop 90 days with Labour rebels and the Tories. From what Chris Huhne has said and the party’s proposals on changing post-charge interviewing and use of intercept evidence it’s clear to me that a Lib Dem Govt would reduce the 28 days detention without charge. It’s also clear to me from the stuff Huhne has said that he’s not really comfortable with 28 days.

Therefore I don’t see that Lib Dem policy is to support 28 days or that the Parliamentary party aren’t towing the line.

by Grammar Police on June 26, 2008 at 9:50 am. Reply #

Grammar Police:
[mindless personal abuse snipped]
“Therefore I don’t see that Lib Dem policy is to support 28 days or that the Parliamentary party aren’t towing [sic] the line.”

Well, all I can say is that it’s there in black and white, yet again.

But I’m not surprised you still refuse to accept it, because Huhne’s previous statements were perfectly clear, and you refused to accept those, no matter how many times they were quoted to you.

And is there any point in my pointing out, yet again, that the fact we say we would like to reduce the period in the future doesn’t alter the fact that we currently support detaining people without charge for 28 days?

I suppose not.

by Anonymous on June 26, 2008 at 10:08 am. Reply #

“towing [sic] the line”

The choice of phrase, dear ’28 days Anon’, was deliberate. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toe_the_line (even if “grammatically suspect”)

I stand my my ‘personal abuse’ – especially the point about asking Chris and doing an opinion piece for LDV.

by Grammar Police on June 26, 2008 at 10:53 am. Reply #

Ah, the choice of phrase may have been deliberate, but the word “aren’t” should have been “are”! Ooops. Shouldn’t try to be clever whilst at work.

by Grammar Police on June 26, 2008 at 11:00 am. Reply #

Grammar Police
“I stand my my ‘personal abuse’ – especially the point about asking Chris and doing an opinion piece for LDV.”

Of course that wasn’t what I meant. I was referring to the bit where you said “I wonder if you might need help”.

Obviously there’s nothing new in suggesting that people who show an inconvenient interest in civil liberties are mentally ill, but it’s disappointing to find that attitude here.

by Anonymous on June 26, 2008 at 12:27 pm. Reply #

It’s not your interest in civil liberties I was referring to; I meant more the sheer determination to try to mention this issue whatever the topic under consideration, and the lack of willingness to take a suggestion to do something constructive with the frustration you feel. You obviously feel this issue is some amazing knock-down point that completely undermines the whole existence of the Liberal Democrats – but I think most people are just ignoring you now.

And it was tongue in cheek exhasperation – although I apologise if I offended you. I guess it’s also an attempt to match the level of hostility I’ve found in some of your replies to me – which is a tad immature I admit. Ho hum, we’re all only human.

by Grammar Police on June 26, 2008 at 2:26 pm. Reply #

Laurence Boyce:

Take the plunge! From lukewarm EU supporter to EU-sceptic! Who will lead the way? Reverse before the next General Election Nick Clegg and Co’s sneaky referendum promise-breaking twists and turns!

Otherwise, why are the majority of British people, who are opposed to our full membership of the EU, ever going to want to give EU-fanatic LibDems the balance of power in Westminster in the future? To stick to their promise to give us an In/Out referendum? Pull the other one!

by Dane Clouston on June 26, 2008 at 3:29 pm. Reply #

Grammar Police
“You obviously feel this issue is some amazing knock-down point that completely undermines the whole existence of the Liberal Democrats – but I think most people are just ignoring you now.”

It’s certainly true that virtually no one seems to be in the least bothered that we’re now supporting detention without charge for 28 days. It shows how little all this waffle about “liberty first” is worth. Evidently that goes straight out of the window if there’s a perception we’ll lose votes by it.

by Anonymous on June 26, 2008 at 4:14 pm. Reply #

Well, this thread is about The Telegraph’s survey of Tory PPCs.

Enough with the “*we’re* now supporting . . .” already, I don’t believe for a minute you’re a liberal democrat (although I don’t really care if you are). If you believe the Party has changed its position, challenge Chris to explain himself, and then come back and tell us all what he said.

by Grammar Police on June 26, 2008 at 4:20 pm. Reply #

‘Anonymous’ and ‘Grammar Police’

It seems to me that people get too hung up on 28/14, 28/90 or 28/42 days when what seems more important is the prospective effectiveness of the safeguards for when any number of days either will or will not be used at all.

Given the astounding lack of human rights in many other countries over the years – I have just finished reading The History of Iraq by Charles Tripp – we, of all races and religions, are very lucky to live in the UK. Long may that continue to be so, thanks to liberal-minded politicians and political activists, whichever party they may belong to!

by Dane Clouston on June 26, 2008 at 4:54 pm. Reply #

Grammar Police:
“Enough with the “*we’re* now supporting . . .” already, I don’t believe for a minute you’re a liberal democrat …”

Well, that’s just another mark of your own stupidity, because I’ve been a member of the party for more than 20 years.

Actually, the thing I find hardest to work out is your own attitude. You spend most of your time trying to argue that Chris Huhne means the opposite of what he says. You seem to think you’re somehow being loyal to the party in misrepresenting its policies.

And when someone disagrees with you, you imply they’re mentally ill and/or only _pretending_ to be a Liberal Democrat.

I thought it was bad enough that Huhne was supporting 28 days detention without charge. But if anyone within the party who opposes 28 days is now going to be accused of “not being a Liberal Democrat”, maybe it really is time to go.

by Anonymous on June 26, 2008 at 5:05 pm. Reply #

Cameroons are just closet Thatcherites.

by Anonymous on June 26, 2008 at 8:43 pm. Reply #

Maybe it is 28 days Anon, maybe it is.

I’m not “trying to be loyal to the party”. The views I’ve expressed are what I think. I’m certainly no party loyalist. Nor did I suggest anywhere that you were “mentally ill”; please read what I wrote above at 2.26pm.

All this “we” business does annoy me, because I think you’re pretending to be a Lib Dem – many anti-Lib Dem posters do on this site (if you’re a member we can carry on this debate on the forums rather than across a load of random threads on the main LDV site – what’s the betting you can’t access the forums, which are open to members?). It’s certainly not because we disagree, nor because of your views on 28 days (which I share; I just don’t agree with your assertion that the party’s position has changed).

But as I said above, I don’t really care if you are a member or not.

I’ll say what I said at 4.20pm, if you believe the Party has changed its position, challenge Chris to explain himself, and then come back and tell us all what he said.

by Grammar PCSO on June 26, 2008 at 10:40 pm. Reply #

Grammar PCSO/Police (or whatever you call yourself)

As you say, whether you choose to believe I’m a member or not is irrelevant, and precisely what you meant by the insult you earlier apologised for is irrelevant.

And all this stuff about “challenging Chris” is irrelevant too, because Chris has made his position crystal clear in Parliament. He has said 28 days is “justifiable”, he has said 28 days is
“proportionate”, he has said he is “very happy” with 28 days, and he has supported the extension of 28 days for another year.

Which of those words don’t you understand, for heaven’s sake?

And – for the record – I have been in touch with the policy unit at Cowley Street to clarify the matter, and in response I have communicated my concerns to them. Not that I think it will have the slightest effect.

by Anonymous on June 26, 2008 at 11:08 pm. Reply #

Brilliant. Great. Let’s agree on the irrelevance of our debate and I’ll look forward to hearing the results when the policy unit get back to you, which I’m sure they will as you’re a member.

by Grammar Fed Up on June 26, 2008 at 11:15 pm. Reply #

Back to the article….shocking news isnt it (not)….at the first opportunity Camerons back will become a knife rack…

by Darrell on June 27, 2008 at 12:10 am. Reply #

Most Tories joined the party when Mrs Thatcher was leading the party, and they enjoyed her nostalgia for the British empire and her disdain for the Trades Unions.
David Cameron has decided that the Tories should now be liberals, not because that was what he signed up to when he joined the Tory party, but because that is the only way he thinks the Tories can win the next general election.
It is true that the Tories could only benefit from the anti 1960s backlash for so long, and by the 1990s the Tories looked very outdated.
Michael Portillo tried to modernise the Tories, but the Tory party membership rejected his agenda and tried to resussitate different kinds of Thatcherism instead, all to no avail.
Cameron is right. It is Conservatism that is the problem that has held back the Tories. The problem for the party is that Conservatism is the very reason why most of them joined. Who else ought they join?

by Geoffrey Payne on June 27, 2008 at 12:13 am. Reply #

Of course the _debate_ isn’t irrelevant. What’s irrelevant is all the diversionary nonsense you’ve been coming out with.

And the policy unit got back to me the same day, to say we were backing 28 days for the moment, with an aspiration to reduce it in the future. What one earth else did you think they would say?

by Anonymous on June 27, 2008 at 12:16 am. Reply #

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