Coffee House

The Tory task in Birmingham

6 October 2012

11:59 AM

6 October 2012

11:59 AM

Too often the debate about the future direction of the Tory party is polarised between those who want to ‘modernise’ and those who want to ‘go right’. But there’s another problem, these labels now obscure as much as they reveal.

In the next few days in Birmingham, the Tories have two important tasks: to show that they understand the squeeze on people’s living standards and are doing something about it and that they have a proper growth strategy.


Some Cameron aides have long argued that the Prime Minister with his personal wealth can’t talk about the cost of living. But as Mitt Romney, a far less able political communicator than Cameron, demonstrated in the US presidential debate this week, being well-off need be no bar to a politician communicating his personal commitment to economic growth.

The Tories do also need to respond to Ed Miliband, to show that this is not a government of the rich by the rich for the rich. As Neil O’Brien writes today, ‘Polls show the answer to the “party of the rich” label is not to whack the rich but to focus ruthlessly on driving down unemployment, helping people earn more, and cutting the cost of living.’

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Show comments
  • scotsview

    Read The Scots View….every Sunday, a weekly review of Scottish political affairs..This week…the independence campaign gathers momentum…

  • paulus

    I have to say DL I enjoy your post but your fetish with paternal authority is a bit worrying, there was a lot of injustice and inequality associated with that social system. I would uch prefer, aternal and paternal equality, and in reality a system that reflects peoples real life experiences.

  • In2minds

    james 102 has spotted that “The comments seem to be on the wrong article”, and there is more. All the ones critical of our Muslim friends have gone. So IT problem or censorship?

  • james102

    The comments seem to be on the wrong article.

  • Alexius

    I suppose the idea is to send them somewhere where the Criminal Justice system won`t let the rest of us down.

    • Amergin Selby


  • Jackthesmilingblack

    I can’t help but notice that the “Kenya Torture victim” trial story faded away indecently rapidly. “What us torture? We’re the good guys.”
    Not any more, Britisher pals. You don’t get to be third most hated nation without making a concerted effort.
    Suck it up, Britisher pals.

  • Daniel Maris

    ” both Ahmad and Ahsan are British citizens”

    Proof please, Shiraz. Their local MP – a highly trained lawyer describes them thus:

    “Both Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan are British-born Tooting residents,
    and as their Member of Parliament I have made numerous efforts to have the
    evidence against them reconsidered by the British authorities and a trial held
    in Britain.”
    Why does he refer to them in that way if it is clear they are British citizens?

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    This High Court ruling is bad news for the likes of Gary Mackinnon and Richard
    O’Dwyer, both of whom are fighting extradition to the U.S. Or the United States of Torture as it is increasingly frequently referred to.

  • Junis

    I am a Briton of Pakistani descent and the status of being British is no accolade for me whatsoever. I am British because I was born here and and my first language is English.

    A Briton is not superior to a Frenchman, Pakistani or Somali. If anything, Britons need to be mindful of the countless crimes Britain has committed against world peace just in this decade alone. Just think of former prime minister and war criminal Tony Blair who has never been arrested by police and subject to a verdict by a British judge.

    ‘White’ Britons feign innocence and respectability whilst being neither.

    Israel did 9/11 and ‘white’ British police officers are the informal, racist enemies of Muslims and blacks.

    What do you think the following terrorists have in common?

    – Ku Klux Klan
    – Stern Gang
    – Irgun
    – Raymond Davis
    – Anders Breivik
    – Adolf Hitler
    – Tony Blair
    – Ariel Sharon
    – 9/11 (WTC7)
    – Eric Prince Blackwater
    – Wade Michael Page

    Answer: they are WHITE. So much so for racial profiling.

    • anyfool

      You are forgetting the countless inventions and discoveries that lifted the world out the feudal sewer, some countries cannot and will not take advantage, instead they force their barbaric ideology on others.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Submit that to your English teacher – you’ll get and A*

    • Daniel Maris

      Junis –

      The fact you included 9-11 as an act of “white” terrorism (whatever that is…) says it all really.

  • TomTom

    Justice is a concept. What Courts deliver is in direct proportion to how much you can spend on lawyers. Abu Hamza seems to have infinite resources to spend on Barristers which is amazing, since most Britons would have lost their house long ago to the rapacious lawyers and their costs. Justice is a pompous concept that has little to do with lawyers and courts which are simply casinos

  • Frank P

    WTF??? Who’s supposed to be matching the comments with the posts. What is this, the (un) lucky dip?

    This blog is following the trajectory of of the nation; it’s bound for Barking Creek.

    • james102

      Yes very weird

  • james102

    Sounds like the Sunday papers have stories about the
    Milibands’ wealth. Good bit of timing.

    Coffee House seems to have serious problems the postings are
    all over the place.

    • Amergin Selby

      of course haven’t you worked out the naturw of the game.

      • Nicholas

        As you haven’t worked out how to spell, teacher.

  • David Lindsay

    No one, not even the murders of Stephen Lawrence, should be tried for a crime of which they have already been acquitted; that conviction now makes it possible, and therefore imperative, that protection from double jeopardy be restored.

    Likewise, no one, not even Abu Hamza or Baba Ahmed, should ever be extradited from the United Kingdom to any jurisdiction with less than equal reciprocation.

    One Nation, with an equal emphasis on the One and on the Nation.

    Inextricably bound up with which is British justice, with an equal emphasis on the British and on the justice.

  • David Barnett

    None of these people are British, except according to the loosest possible meaning of the word. Good riddance to them all.

    • Junis

      Who gives a damn whether a person is British or not. What matters is fairness and justice which racist and fascist Britain does not seem to have.

      • David Lindsay

        You two deserve each other.

  • steve

    Very rich coming from a man who’s worth millions. Sorry but have the tories ever visited planet earth?

    • james102

      These posts are getting mixed up but to answer your point
      tomorrow’s papers are said to have details of the Milibands’ wealth.

  • Jimil

    Ahmad and Ahsan should be tried in Britain first, then America upon successful extradition. As for Abu Hamaz et al, they’ve had there day in court.

  • telemachus

    I assume you mean Ahmad and Ahsan
    I cannot understand Isabel increasingly reasonable not waiting to get shut of these terrorist monsters at the first chance
    Why should we spend a penny more on them than we have to?

  • Amergin Selby

    We need the law to do so. Where is it?

  • telemachus

    Correct John

    Do not forget their screw on pensions

    The Tories want to drive down the living standards of millions of public sector
    workers. They hope that this will strengthen them in a bigger battle against
    the whole country.

    The government wants public sector workers to pay more for their pensions, work longer and get less when they retire.

    They have already imposed increases on pension contributions and plan to impose more. For some workers this will mean paying 50 percent more every month within two years.

    Workers are already suffering pay cuts and freezes as the cost of living goes up.

    Increased pension contributions could even force some to leave their pension scheme altogether.

    The Tories have also changed the inflation measure that pensions are linked to.
    They are using the CPI measure to calculate pension rises instead of the
    usually higher RPI one.

    This means that pensions will rise more slowly over time and lump sum payments will be slashed.

    Finally the Tories want workers to work years longer to get substantially worse

    This week will expose them for the sham they are

  • 2trueblue

    Energy prices matter to everyone as they affect everything we buy. The green agenda is one of our greatest problems and all parties are responsible for the sheer stupidity in not looking at the impact on family budgets. Never mind the fact that soon we will all be living in darkness as the last lit made no provision for our future energy needs and the current agenda is not showing any promise of catering for our needs.

    MPs are all living a standard of living that none of us can hope to emulate. We pay for everything they have in their ‘second homes’, the comfort and style they travel in, and the facilities they enjoy. It has very little to do with just their personal circumstances, it is the fact that they do not recognise the reality of the vast majority of the population. It really took off over the 13yrs of the so called boom.

  • james102

    And we have the proposal to remove people on low earnings from
    council tax exemptions while relying on councils to find saving in other budgets to fund exemptions!
    What planet are they on?

    Councils will still fully fund Equality units and publish free
    newspapers so what incentive is this for people to come off welfare into jobs?

  • alexsandr

    not checked out what is happening in the private sector then, tellytubby? Or tried to buy an annuity?

  • Sarge

    ‘Do not forget their screw on pensions’ -thanks for reminding us about Gordon’s shameless raid on them. It’s still not year zero yer numpty

  • ToryOAP

    Still spreading your words of lunacy telekiddyfiddler I see. Give it a rest.

  • Hexhamgeezer


  • HooksLaw

    Only today Cameron announced 140 million extra to the NHS for Nurses training and IT.
    And benefits? this is what Labour said in their manifesto
    ‘we extend the use of our tough-but-fair work capability test’
    ‘We will reassess the Incapacity Benefit claims of 1.5 million people’
    ‘Housing Benefit will be reformed to ensure that we do not
    subsidise people to live in the private sector on rents that other
    ordinary working families could not afford’
    ‘all those who can work will be required to do so’
    ‘…paid for as savings accrue from housing benefit through our reforms’

  • Sarge

    Went to the shopping centre today – packed with people buying non-essentials. No sign of any food banks either. And this in a medium sized English city. Hardly recession like behaviour is it?Just cos the media says it’s happening does not make it true. Open your eyes . Or have you got some other agenda?

  • David Lindsay

    There is no energy shortfall. Not if we reopen access to
    this country’s vast reserves of coal, and develop other secure,
    high-waged, high-skilled, high-status jobs for
    working-class men in the form of hundreds of the nuclear power stations
    demanded by the relevant trade unions. Neither side of this is possible
    enormous State action, in practice necessitating public ownership. It is
    that or this. Which is it to be?

    Like the coal on which this island
    very largely stands, nuclear power is absolutely vital to defending our sovereignty,
    not least by keeping us out of wars that ought not to concern us, while
    cementing the Union and while securing the high-wage, high-skilled, high-status
    male employment that is the economic basis of paternal authority in the family
    and in the wider community.

    Nuclear-generated electricity would be so cheap that
    it might not even need to be metered. But there is absolutely no need for the
    price to be paid in increased electricity bills in the short term. China will
    be using the coal ash from her coal-fired power stations to provide the uranium
    necessary for her nuclear power stations. There is a reason why some countries
    last and some do not. China has been China for five thousand years.

    This perfectly beautiful programme has
    been developed in partnership with Canada, the source of much of our uranium,
    which we also obtain largely from Namibia, and from Australia when the
    government is not made up of the ecomaniacs who have, alas, taken over the
    Australian Labor Party and disenfranchised its natural supporters. Who says
    that Commonwealth ties no longer matter? The ruling faction of the ALP is as
    anti-monarchist as it is hostile to the proper jobs and the energy security
    that nuclear power provides. That makes sense.

    Apparently, British coal is too
    high-quality to deliver uranium. Just as well that we have the Commonwealth,
    then. But the right sort of coal is abundant in Spain, Germany and Poland. Good
    luck to them. And good luck to the Japanese, who are looking into extracting
    uranium from seawater. Yes, seawater. Have we any of that? Yes, we have.

    Reverse privatisation. Renounce
    climate change hysteria. And restore the proper jobs that ground proper
    communities, the economic basis of paternal authority, the national sovereignty
    that is energy independence and public ownership, the binding of the Union that
    is public ownership, the Commonwealth ties on which our uranium supply depends,
    and the freedom to stay out of wars over other people’s oil or gas. All
    guaranteed by the State, since that is what it is for.

    Our society needs to reassert paternal
    authority, and thus require paternal responsibility. That authority and
    responsibility require an economic basis such as only the State can ever guarantee,
    and such as only the State can very often deliver. And that basis is high-wage,
    high-skilled, high-status employment. All aspects of public policy must take
    account of this urgent social and cultural need.

    Not least, that includes energy
    policy: the energy sources to be preferred by the State are those providing the
    high-wage, high-skilled, high-status jobs that secure the economic basis of
    paternal authority in the family and in the wider community. Nuclear power. And
    coal, not dole.

    Ed Miliband, having told a hundred
    thousand people and the television cameras at the Durham Miners’ Gala that you
    were going to reopen the pits, over to you. After all, who else is going to do
    it? The collectors of Margaret Thatcher memorabilia led by the collectors of Any
    Rand memorabilia? I don’t think so.

  • telemachus

    Tories are good at energy
    They gave us the 3 day week
    They gave us the miners strike
    Now they give us fuel poverty

  • TomTom

    Someone has to pay to built these power stations – a coal fired station costs billions. The Government wants someone in the private sector to build them but they want government guarantees since it is lumpy capital. Look at Germany where the Government is going to FORCE companies to run coal-fired power stations as backup to windmills at enormous economic loss to the utilities

  • telemachus

    No energy shortfall
    Just a resource shortfall fo the poor to pay for it

  • HooksLaw

    The coal of which you speak is deep and expensive to mine. It is also entangled in geological problems. You desire is just a fairy tale.

  • telemachus

    Truth is truth

  • tomdaylight

    I think the education platform is the biggest key to that goal, and something I hope the Conservative Party will make more noise about as it is the single biggest success of this government.

  • alic

    you wouldn’t recognise truth if it bit you on the arse mate

  • linuxonian


  • Amergin Selby

    telly like me is aware that the contributors here only regurgitate, without thought, what they spewed and chewed over in the Conservative Club bar last night. I know what goes on and what has been said I was there. What I heard is why I left.

  • Amergin Selby

    He wants to fuck off. Permanent.

  • Amergin Selby

    Did you go into the back streets and the estates.? No? I thought not.
    yesterday I walked along a sun drenched beach.. Stopped , with a beautiful woman,, for a jug of sangria while someone quietly plucked a guitar.
    What a wonderful world? I don;t thimk.

  • Amergin Selby

    You can bet that if look close the 140 million was already promised.

  • Nicholas

    As opposed to your unvarnished truth of course. Now there are two of you. The Spectator is welcome to you both.

  • Nicholas

    I might say the same about you. An especially nasty spud of the genus Troll. A bogus advocate of socialist shit. The thought that you once brainwash . . . er, taught children fills me with despair.

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