Coffee House

More Tory splits and plots

2 February 2013

11:32 AM

2 February 2013

11:32 AM

David Cameron arrived back in the UK this morning to newspapers full of talk of Conservative splits and plots. The moment of unity that followed his Europe speech has well and truly passed.

There’s no doubt that the gay marriage is causing a ruckus in Conservative Associations up and down the country and that Conservative MPs will go through different lobbies on Tuesday night. To some extent, this division in the Conservative ranks was priced in. What was not is the continuing and increasingly frenzied leadership speculation. The Mail and The Independent this morning detail plans by allies of the Home Secretary Theresa May to position her for the leadership in the event of a vacancy. Though, to be fair, they have been doing this long before this current speculation burst out into the open.

Part of the problem for Number 10 is that there’s a bit of a vacuum in Westminster which all this speculation is filling. Since the mid-term review, we have only one had one major coalition policy announcement: the single-tier pension. If the coalition had announced its proposals on social care, tax breaks for childcare and the like it would be on the front—not the back—foot.

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Show comments
  • the viceroy’s gin

    …she looks like Danny Devito as The Penguin, in one of those Batman movies.

  • James Barnett

    The tories need to go back to their roots and that is the right, stop immigration, stop benefits for foreigners and leave the EU

    Sign this petition to restrict Bulgarian and Romanians from entering the UK:

    Sign this petition to allow UKIP to take part in the 2015 TV election

  • Bob339

    Since there will be no more than 20 tories in parliament next time, it does not matter.

  • Alan Douglas

    T May was the person who happily gave all opponents a stick to beat conservatives with for ever – her conference remarks about “The Nasty Party”. Such labels may have existed before but I had never heard of them. She is totally unsuited to be PM, even if she fancies herself to be the next Thatcher. Similar to Affriye (spelling ?) He may well be black, but that is the only similarity, he is no Obama.

    Alan Douglas

    • 2trueblue

      That was her biggest mistake ,and you are right it is still a very powerful weapon. They should have neutered it then, now it is out there and can not be recalled.

  • Barbara Stevens

    I just don’t think Ms May is the right choice, after T Thatcher. The Tories need to get votes from all people not just die cast Tories, and having another woman won’t work, memories still linger.

    No, the best shot they could do is either Mr Fox, or Mr Gove, but the latter is not popular, and popularity and charsma as to be there to get votes. Thatcher and Blair had charisma that’s why they succeeded. Now with problems with immigration, EU, Human Rights Act, cuts and mostly foreign aid, we need someone strong who thinks Britian PLc and nothing else. Not much choice is there?

    • Fergus Pickering

      Good God woman. Having another woman… Do you suppose a woman Prime Minister is some sort of a novelty, like a black Prime Minister or a Gay Prime Minister? Most of the people in this country are women. They are not some wretched minority. Dearie me.

    • Wessex Man

      What memories are those, the censored BBC/Guardian new world speak, in which Scargill and Red Robbo were freedom fighters against the wicked world of the powder puff Heath and Sunny Jim or the Glourious Revolution of the Winter of Discontent?

      We need a Premier who is hard as nails and actually cares about the Britain they were elected to serve and none of the above fit the bill!

    • Grrr8

      Britain plc is rather in favour of lots of immigration 😉

  • Adolf Hitler was gay

    Theresa May knows where all the bodies are buried especially those regarding David Cameron and phone hacking. Theresa for PM!

  • Smithersjones2013

    Snooper May the police man’s friend?

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaahahahahahahahahahaha. The Tories are doomed!

    Nasty Party Nasty Party Nasty Party (every PMQ’s)

    They’d have more chance with Teresa May!

    • Wessex Man

      Gosh you are clever.

      • Smithersjones2013

        No not at all in this case. It is far too obvious that the idea of her becoming Tory leader is risible. Her shortcomings are far too obvious and in particular her most notable trait which from her track record seems to be talking before her brain has fully engaged (the nasty party debacle, the failed Qatada deportation commitments, the immigration row, the internecine warfare with senior police which has resulted in her being forced to look abroad because few senior officers in this country will work for her, the ridiculous cat deportation story etc, etc).

        There’s nothing clever about it at all. In fact its quite disturbing to know that there are Conservative MPs who believe she could be leader. Talk about detached from reality.

        What next I wonder? Caroline Spelman perhaps (I have a good line in Kenny Everett character quips if that should be the case)?

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Looks like the Cameroons are dropping decoy flares.

    A common tactic, used to attract heat seeking missiles away from your own aircraft.

    You keep dropping flares when flying in the red zone, and hope these distract the enemy.

    Because if the enemy gets a radar lock on your sorry Cameroonian carcass, you’re going to get blown out of the sky.

    Problem is, the Cameroons are going to run out of flares eventually.

  • Colonel Mustard

    There is something of a whiff of Big Brother/X Factor trivia to this coverage of politics – who’s in , who’s out, who’s on the way out…

    But May as a serious contender? Dear, oh dear.

    • Wessex Man

      She could wave it all about.

  • Daniel Maris

    If the gay marriage opponents feel strongly enough they will do the logical thing and scupper some other legislation where they unite with Labour. That might cause real trouble.

    • AnotherDaveB

      The opponents of gay marriage are opposed to that policy. Uniting with Labour to scupper a different policy would be silly. It’s the sort of thing Mr Clegg would do!

      • Daniel Maris

        Well they can say hello to gay marriage then.

        • Tom Tom

          It will be repealed by a future regime…this soap opera is going to be cancelled

          • ButcombeMan

            If enacted, it will not be repealed. It will be remembered as Cameron’s pointless legacy, the needless masterstroke that destroyed his core support.

            • AnotherDaveB

              The logic of Mr Cameron pursuing this policy is lost on me.

              It doesn’t solve a problem, Labour already addressed that with Civil Partnerships, and it doesn’t enable the Conservatives to differentiate themselves from Labour/LD as they will not be opposing this.

              The bonus seems to be the opportunity for London politicos to sneer at people who disagree with them.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Which future regime, pray? It will not be repealed and in ten years it will be accepted everywhere, presumably heralding the end of cvilisation as we know it and the success of the Taliban in future elections.

            • Tom Tom

              Well Fergus it is hard to believe this farce will continue now that every mainstream political party has been in office during the past 4 years and created a disaster that has unthreaded the whole social fabric. There is every reason to expect Europe as a whole and Britain especially as the major basket case economy – the USA and UK having the largest external foreign debt on the planet – will tire of the repetitive mantras of failed political elites and move towards a Golden Dawn

              • Fergus Pickering

                I don’t believe a word of it. I take the optimistic view. All will be well and all manner of things will be well and our Dave will be in power until 2020. Oh, and England will win all of the nest en testa against the Aussies. Can’t say fairer than that. And CHEER UP, Tom Tom. You can’t help being wrong in every particular.

        • David Lindsay

          Absolutely no one expects the legislation that is going to be given Second Reading on Tuesday ever to reach the Statute Book, so Ed Miliband, while preparing to vote for it in an exercise of the purest gesture politics, may as well make hay by calling for the restoration of the Married Couple’s Tax Allowance.

          Likewise, no Bulgarians or Romanians are going to ship up to what little might remain of the British economy after another 11 months of this wretched Government, so Ed Miliband may as well make hay by calling for the restrictions on them to be retained, something that a Government closer to the trade unions than to big business might very well have done, anyway.

          And might have needed to have done, since such a Government would have presided over a country to which Bulgarians and Romanians, like Poles and others before them, might have experienced the slightest to desire to migrate. No one migrates from their own, improving, part of the Upper Second World to someone else’s, declining, part of the Lower Second World.

  • Tom Tom

    True to form the Tories will limp along with Cameron and Osborne as Labour did with Brown because noone will do the deed. It is pitiful how these parties are full of fishwives bitching and moaning without an ounce of leadership potential. Cameron was Howard’s chosen successor and he stuck around until his adviser clique – Cameron-Whetstone could get their scheme off the ground with the help of the BBC.

  • alexsandr

    well it didnt take long for that silly europe speech to unravel did it. They cant paper over the cracks anymore, it needs the plaster hacking off and re-doing.

  • @PhilKean1


    May for leader? – ABSOLUTELY NOT !

    The leader that takes over must be Conservative-to-the-core and NOT be tainted by gladly accepting a collective-responsibility position in this farce of a Coalition.

    Let us remember that the next chance will be our last chance. We need a Conservative to rebuild the Conservative party from the ruins left by Cameron.

    That means new faces, not old ones. It means ABSOLUTELY no one who has served in a Cameron Government which has dedicated its time to dismantling everything that is good about Conservatism.

    So, step forward, bold, principled, competent, patriotic and honourable candidates for the post of Conservative leader.


    • CharlieleChump

      May for Leader – The Nasty Candidate.

      • telemachus

        Indeed and ineffectual too
        If you want to see a true hero you should join me here on this auspicious day outside the Hall of Heroes
        We are all paying homage to the magnificent hero who dragged his people to victory and a few months later the whole of the West to win The Great Patriotic War.
        There has been no Leader like him since

        • rugby god

          T-dick, I think you’re confusing ineffective.
          USE the correct damn words!

          • Wessex Man

            rugby god, don’t encourage it.

            • Radford_NG

              Just to put on record that VASILY GROSSMAN is the name to look-up for a first-hand account of The Defence of Stalingrad ;and a haunting account from later months of the emptyness of a Ukraine where there are no Jews left anymore.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Well, only Pol Pot and Mao probably. Stalin’s NKVD murdered 700,000 largely innocent and ordinary people. He personally signed death warrants for at least 40,000. He ordered the deportations of over 3,000,000 of which 43% are estimated to have died.

          No wonder you admire him in your little Socialist Workers Party, pro-Soviet fantasy world.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Dear Colonel, I congratulate you on a succinct and effective rebuttal of some deliberately provocative nonsense.
            That said, I would encourage you and all other reasonable contributors not to engage with the likes of Telemachus whatever the provocation. Telemachus is probably a group of people within or affiliated to the Labour party whose role is to disrupt right of centre debate. They offer ludicrous and provocative statements which if responded to derail debate and rational analysis particularly in the economic field.
            One has only to read the thread of debate in Coffeehouse blogs to see how much energy is wasted trying to refute their nonsense. Reasoned arguments are just turned away with brief leftist platitudes designed merely to ‘stoke the fire’ and rational debate is the loser.
            My particular favourite is all that “Charismatic Superstar” nonsense which at first, I thought was encouraging us all to consult Elvis, Michael Jackson etc on economic matters. On reflection, talking to dead pop stars certainly would be more sensible than asking Ed Balls for an opinion. That however, is the point of the Telemachus group, David Lindsay etc to distract and stifle sensible debate. I encourage you and other balanced contibutors to deny them the oxygen of attention that their destructive and nihilistic slogans crave.
            I apologise if my tone seems condescending and i suspect you recognise these issues without my intervention but these people hate this country and they hate freedom of speech so I felt compelled to air these views.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Thank you for that but I’m sure that Mr Lindsay is not part of the group you describe. He uses his own name, has his own blog, writes with a distinct style of engagement and engages in a way which, although I might not always agree, at least addresses the subject in full and sets out his own argument or counter-argument.

              On the other hand, “telemachus” is, exactly as you describe, a serial peddler of Labour party soundbites and slogans whose main purpose does indeed appear to be to mischievously disrupt and provoke.

    • AnotherDaveB

      I think Mr Gove has to the front runner. That aside, I think any MP from the 81 who voted in favour of a referendum in 2011 are off to a good start.

      I’d also favour those who voted to reduce the abortion limit from 24 weeks.

      • David Lindsay

        Michael Gove is invariably held up as the Leader-in-Waiting by breathless people who insist that the Conservative Party is entirely other than it is or ever has been.

        Gove has been very aggressively in favour of same-sex “marriage” at least since his days on The Moral Maze, a decade and more ago now, when the New Labour Government of the day was specifically and articulately ruling it out.

        That was Gove’s only discernible point of dissent from New Labour. Even after he had been selected as the Conservative Party’s candidate for one of its safest seats, he was still using his Times column to express his schoolgirl crush on Tony Blair.

        While heaping praise on the subsequently disgraced old Trotskyist Stephen Byers, on the erstwhile Trotskyist bookseller Alan Milburn, and on the SDP and Lib Dem veteran Andrew Adonis. All of whom he announced as a fact would have seats in Cameron Cabinet.

        As would indeed have happened in the extremely unlikely event of a Conservative overall majority in 2010. Gove now fills the position that Adonis would have done. That does at least spare us the direct influence of Gove’s psychotic views on foreign policy.

        On coming down from Oxford, Gove was refused employment by the Conservative Research Department on the grounds that he was not traceably a Conservative, or even political at all. Instead, then, he became an employee of Rupert Murdoch, with whom he continues to have regular, off-the-record meetings.

        Gove’s wafting first into Parliament and then into the Cabinet constitutes a worse assault on our sovereignty even than John Major’s appointment of Jonathan Aitken as Minister of Defence Procurement on the orders of the Saudi Royal Family. Aitken was at least an MP already, and his preferment was at least to a non-Cabinet post.

        There is hardly the vocabulary to describe what would have befallen this Realm if Gove were to progress any further.

        • AnotherDaveB

          I don’t see being refused a job by the Conservative research department as a negative.

          Mr Gove didn’t ‘waft’ into parliament. He was elected.

          Being employed by one of Mr Murdoch’s newspapers is not a criminal offence.

          • David Lindsay

            No one has yet been convicted of it, no.

    • David Lindsay

      Cameron sought the Leadership of the Conservative Party as a pro-EU social liberal (the pro-EU Right on the Continent, by the way, is anything but socially liberal), he beat a less pro-EU social conservative by more than two to one, that minority is dying off by the week or even by the day, and even those members of it who are staying alive are leaving the party in droves.

      It follows, then, that Cameron always did represent his party’s mainstream, and that his position is rapidly becoming almost the unanimous view within it: socially liberal, and pro-EU. Of course. When has that party ever been anything else?

      • @PhilKean1

        Then the sooner the “Conservative Party” splits and disinfects itself of its Liberal 5th column, the better.

        I think it needs to happen, even if they manage to paper of the cracks of “Gay Marriage” and the bogus EU referendum.

        • Colonel Mustard

          It’s not a Liberal fifth column but a marxist fifth column working to a common purpose. Since the fall of the Soviet Union our country has been subverted by a full on cultural revolution perpetrated by shape-shifting marxists and ideologues pretending to be something they are not.

          Yeah, I know, tin foil hat, etc. That is precisely why it has worked so successfully. Conspiracy? What conspiracy? Plus of course the useful idiots of which there is never a shortage.

          • @PhilKean1

            One and the same, in my book.

          • Common Purpose

            A lot of leaders aren’t just out there because it’s useful to them as professionals, or because society needs them. They are there because they want to be. They want to make a difference beyond their core circle – and civil society is what enables them to do it. As I watch people on Common Purpose programs, in Teesside in the north of England, or in Dublin, or Johannesburg, or Frankfurt, I see a re-emer- gence of philanthropy. And a growing belief that politicians cannot – and cannot be expected to – address society’s issues on their own. As citizens, this new generation of leaders is more likely to volunteer. They worry about short-termism and about the cultural fragmenta- tion that they see going on around them. It’s the silo problem again: but across society – and writ in very large letters. For me, the best illustration of this came from the program in Birmingham. A young participant described feeling as if she had been in a maze, where every organization and each community has its own separate section, until finally someone cut down the hedges for her. Now she could survey the whole landscape. She could spot short cuts – and avoid dead ends. But perhaps mostly this new generation worries that, if leaders do not address these issues head on, trust in both leaders and the very idea of leadership will erode.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Pure organised and orchestrated rebuttal propaganda on behalf of a secretive and elitist cult. Such a coincidence that the “issues” being addressed by CP are being resolved with marxist “solutions”.

              England, Dublin, Johannesburg, Frankfurt. One size fits all. Even more sinister. And I don’t recall Common Purpose coming forward to support Cameron’s ‘Big Society’, despite the philanthropic guff and nonsense you have posted above.

          • David Lindsay

            It is not a fifth column at all. The Conservative Party has been hoovering up Liberals for a very long
            time: Country Whigs, Patriot Whigs, Liberal Unionists, Liberal
            Imperialists, National Liberals as one of whom Michael Heseltine first
            sought election to Parliament, Alfred Roberts’s daughter, those around
            the Institute of Economic Affairs (although its founders and its
            founding backer, like Roberts, never actually joined), and now the
            Liberal Democrats.

            The feud between the former Miss
            Roberts and the present Lord Heseltine was fundamentally and ultimately
            an intra-Liberal affair, and it remains so. Even if vicariously and
            posthumously, Margaret Thatcher’s father was the last great Liberal
            commercial magnate from the provinces to exercise national political

            One third of the Cabinet Ministers dismissed in one
            night by Harold Macmillan were National Liberals, raising yet more among
            the many serious questions about how conservative or Tory the sacked
            six’s economic views, which went on to become monetarism, really were or
            were not, are or are not. It
            is entirely incorrect to say that members of the present Coalition are
            the first Liberal Cabinet Ministers since the War. By the time that he
            was Home Secretary between 1954 and 1957, Gwilym Lloyd George had ceased
            to be a member of either of the Liberal parties that had each
            separately asked him to lead it in 1945, but nor had he joined the
            Conservative Party.

            The Conservative Party is itself therefore two parties in
            one, which would be entirely separate in many other countries, competing
            hardly at all for the same votes and co-operating hardly at all on any
            issue of policy. The metropolitan, urban, capitalist, secular,
            libertarian, make-the-world-anew party has finally defeated and banished
            the provincial, rural, protectionist, church-based, conservative,
            mind-our-own-business party. The Whigs have finally defeated and
            banished the Tories.

            The most blatantly obvious
            outrider or trailblazer is Elizabeth Truss, a veteran anti-monarchist
            campaigner, and also possessed of most unorthodox opinions regarding the
            institution of marriage, but whom the Conservative hierarchy forced
            upon a safe Conservative seat in time for the 2010 General Election. But there are many, many, many more. As there always have been.

    • 2trueblue

      Time was when any Conservative could not get a minute on BBC or mainstream television. Cameron did crack that and although presently the media is getting better at presenting more viewpoints, there is still a problem.

      The BBC are always pushing their ‘rent-a-mouths’ from their Liebore lot that it is still difficult for anyone else to get their point aired fairly. The BBCs favourite sayings whenever discussing the governments viewpoint is to follow it with ‘Liebore would say…..’ The BBc always seem to be remarkably on top of the up to the minute thoughts of Liebores policies. Add to that the Liberal mix and their problem is a big mountain.

      The Liberals have become an even bigger problem.

      Whatever happens the whole political landscape is now pretty toxic. There is very little time for the Tory party to get it together, and who has the ability to bring the fold together? Liebore are playing their cards a bit better.

    • LEngland

      Yes. Dismantling everything good, kind and noble about our country.

  • Boudicca_Icenii

    If the Tories ditch Cameron – as they should – they need someone completely untainted for supporting the current administration and Cameron’s wet, pro-EU Lib-CONs.
    In that context, Afriyie would be a better prospect than May. Better still would be someone like Jenkins, or Reckless.

    • CharlieleChump

      Even Truss or Leadsom

    • Barbara Stevens

      No he wouldn’t, Liam Fox should be our man, he’s got conviction, and is a true Tory. Gove would not hold the party together in the long term. Or Jessie Norman, now there is a true Tory.

      • Wessex Man

        Do’nt be stupid, this bloke is a greasy little Hitler who always looks after his own first.

      • Tom Tom

        Don’t look for saviours in the wrong places; the truth is the Conservative Party is dead in the country with a few constituency associations still functioning. There is simply a great disconnect and that applies to all parties, but after 13 years in Opposition, Cameron has destroyed any credibility the Conservatives once had on anything – he is the man who will dismantle the Conservative Party and destroy it. There is no prospect of any leader putting it back together, so start thinking afresh

  • francbanc

    I’d be concerned for TM if she ever became Prime Minister. She looks tired enough as it is.

  • Lizzie1a

    Teresa May would be worse than Cameron (if that is possible). She is a heartless, vindictive woman

    • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

      I don’t particularly want a “nice” person as PM. Nice people tend to get walked on. Give me an arch-superbitch any day, as long as she’s in the mould of the Thatcher arch-superbitch. I’m not certain that Teresa May is.

    • Fergus Pickering

      And, I have heard, she eats the babies of the poor.

      • Lizzie1a

        I’m sure you’re right!

      • Tom Tom

        Jonathan Swift recommended it at least it would be better than paying a Welfare Baby Bonus so long as they don’t work for a living

    • ButcombeMan

      She is also at fault for the ridiculous Police Commissioner non-event, without sorting out the multiplicity of Constabularies, many too small to be able to do the job properly.

      Border Agency dysfunctional. Illegal immigrants and overstayers not deported, long lines at Heathrow.

      Gove & Pickles are the only two Ministers who seem to have anything like a grip.

      Gove is the best candidate to replace Cameron.

    • Grrr8

      Let’s not forget cheaply populist re: Gary McKinnon.

  • HooksLaw

    What we have is a vacuum between your ears.

    • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

      What an enlightening insight.. Thank you for sharing your perception.

      • HooksLaw

        Sadly it takes little perception to spot a trumped up story. A story perfectly designed a bit like bear baiting to get the numpties howling.

        • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

          So why didn’t you say that in the place, instead of sneering?

    • CharlieleChump

      Subtle, insightful

    • Daniel Maris

      An observation replete with sagacity.

    • Smithersjones2013

      Did you have training to become such a friendly and pleasant individual or is it life experience or were you just born like it?