Coffee House

‘We aren’t connecting with the electorate’: Michael Fabricant on the Tory election challenge

7 March 2013

4:09 PM

7 March 2013

4:09 PM

The only Tory more Tiggerish than Michael Fabricant is the party chairman Grant Shapps, and perhaps that’s why the two work so well together on campaigns. But even the jovial Conservative vice chairman is exhausted after the full-throttle Eastleigh by-election. Fabricant was shouted at in the street by a voter who, thinking he was a Lib Dem, harangued him about Chris Huhne, and one voter placed notice on a wheelie bin telling campaigners to dump their leaflets there, not through the letterbox.

But in spite of that, from the glowing way he describes the campaign, you might be forgiven for thinking the Tories won it, or at least came second, not a dismal third behind UKIP. Merrily pouring tea in a noisy Commons tearoom, he jokes that the Conservatives were being polite to let the Lib Dems win. He is being serious in one sense – the Coalition may well have suffered more in the long-term from the Lib Dems losing the seat.

‘The Eastleigh campaign was a real full-blooded by-election campaign: not all of ours are. And what was particularly nice was the camaraderie of the parliamentary party. About 220 MPs actually came down to Eastleigh, some on numerous occasions. I would say that we were not necessarily so coalicious in the by-election. It wasn’t coalition, it was demolition.’

But the demolition gang, in spite of their best efforts, didn’t succeed in driving a wrecking ball through the Lib Dem campaign. Fabricant, though, was hopeful right up until the last minute that the Tories might yet succeed, although in the last week of campaigning, he saw a surge in support for UKIP.

So now he’s mulling what it was that deprived the Conservatives of their chance, though he is keen to insist that he would not have changed Maria Hutchings as candidate, even adding that he hopes she stands again in 2015. He also regrets the way the party latched on to comments made by Labour candidate John O’Farrell in his book Things Can Only Get Better. ‘I mean alright, I know it was a by-election,’ he says. ‘But the poor man, if you read the book it’s quite clear he doesn’t support terrorism, it’s quite clear he doesn’t wish Margaret Thatcher had died.’

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There are a number of very clear lessons from Eastleigh that Fabricant wants his party to take on board. He tweeted his initial thoughts on the day the result was announced, which miffed party HQ, although he says there has been no comeback from those tweets. Now he expands those lessons for Coffee House readers.

The first is that Conservative voters are alienated, and do not understand why they should vote Tory.

‘I think the blue collar vote doesn’t understand the Conservative party and that’s why I feel that our message at times is muffled and isn’t clear. I mean Farage said in Eastleigh that they connected with the electorate and I don’t think we are connecting with the electorate at the moment.

‘A lot of the things that UKIP are talking about – immigration, creation of jobs and indeed Europe – they’re all things we’re doing anyway and this is what we should really be talking about in a much clearer way. I don’t think our language is right and we’re not connecting, as I said, with the electorate and we need to have a real hard think about the type of language we use.’ 

One thing that has been muffling the Conservative message recently is the furore in the party over gay marriage. Fabricant is a fervent supporter of the legislation. He has always been socially liberal: in fact, when he arrived in the Commons in 1992, having served as chairman of the Brighton Pavilion Conservative Association and worked as a radio journalist, he found many of his colleagues surprisingly out of touch. ‘The majority of them were living 50 years in the past!’ he exclaims. In fact, some of his beliefs were sufficiently at odds with the mainstream of the party when it came to social issues that he was approached in 1998 by Labour figures who wanted him to defect.

‘Someone quite important to me said to me, come on, you’re obviously New Labour. And I said, no, I’m New Conservative. And then that person said to me there isn’t such a thing, and I said, well, maybe there will be!’

He believes there is such a thing now, and gay marriage is one piece of evidence to supper the success of Cameron’s modernisation project. But he confesses that he was astonished by how much trouble it caused.

‘David Cameron and I rebelled against the majority of the party by voting for gay marriage. And I did it simply because I think it was the right thing to do. But I think what neither David Cameron, and certainly not I, thought was how something which was on a one-line whip anyway because all of these moral issues are on a one-line whip, could dominate the media, and whereas anyone who works in parliament knows that you can have eight pieces of legislation – probably more – going through the Commons and the Lords, the perception is the only thing they’re talking about and worrying about and taking action about is gay marriage and not the economy and jobs and everything else.

‘With hindsight, the timing might not have been great and there might have been alternative ways of doing it, but it was the right thing to do. Tony Blair gave the Prime Minister good advice when he said, look, get the difficult stuff over and done with in the first year. I think neither he nor anyone else recognised quite how difficult this fairly straightforward issue would be.’

The same sex marriage bill still has to complete several stages in the Commons before it even moves into the House of Lords, so there is still plenty of danger that it will muffle other issues. But Fabricant warns that the party needs to be careful that it doesn’t annoy its core vote again in the next two years, saying that ‘I think DC may have got the message that we need to be a little bit careful between now and the election about what legislation we do’. He also believes the party needs to ‘shout louder’, ‘have initiatives and time it right, but you know, Downing Street knows that and Downing Street is doing it to the best of their ability’.

The shouting louder from the party in the aftermath of the by-election has widely been interpreted as a ‘lurch to the right’, even though David Cameron clearly ruled one out. Fabricant doesn’t believe this would work in the party’s favour, either, and he believes the kites flown this week on the European Court of Human Rights, migrants’ benefits and NHS tourism aren’t so much a lurch to the right as an attempt by the party to communicate existing policies better. ‘In actual policy terms, it hasn’t moved at all,’ he argues. But it will be talking more and more about Europe, immigration and those other UKIP preoccupations that will deliver a Tory victory in 2015, he says. In fact, it might have delivered one in 2010, too:

‘Perhaps if we have discussed our policies on immigration and Europe a bit more in 2010, we might have won outright.’

Like many other MPs, the vice chairman believes the party needs to offer more than it already has on Europe. Though David Cameron’s referendum pledge was valuable, Fabricant believes Downing Street should seriously consider introducing legislation in this parliament to ensure that it can take place in the next, rather than simply making it a manifesto commitment. He says:

‘Now, as far as the legislation is concerned, there are two issues here, very clear issues to my mind. One issue is that people might not believe us if we promise we’re going to do it after the next election. However, if we have the legislation before the next election it forces Labour into deciding what they’re going to do an although it might sound like selfish politics it is an issue that if Labour were to say OK then we’ll vote for it too, it takes away a little bit of the demarcation between the Conservative party and the Labour party.

‘But as I say there’s a very real credibility issue which Number 10 is going to have to decide upon about whether we can be believed so that we will have that legislation and UKIP were very, very insistent in the Eastleigh by-election about. The ideal thing is that Labour does vote against it and then there is that demarcation. Then we can say we tried to bring it forward, there’s the Bill, this is something we were bringing forth in government, here’s what Labour did. It’s an important tactic that Downing Street has to think about and I know is thinking about.’

After leaving the Whips’ Office in September’s reshuffle, Fabricant caused waves, not just with his energetic tweeting (on the day of the cull itself – when he left voluntarily – he tweeted: ‘Fear and Loathing on the Terrace. Much tears and drowning of sorrows by the sacked. I’m ecstatic. Been kissed by 3 women (&1 man) MP.’), but with a discussion paper published in November called ‘The Pact?’. It said the Conservative party needed to take the UKIP threat seriously, and proposed a pact with Nigel Farage’s party. But though it was the pact – ruled out by Grant Shapps on Coffee House – that attracted the most attention, Fabricant’s intention was to push the party into viewing UKIP as a serious rival. If anyone was sceptical about that before the Eastleigh by-election, they will surely have changed their minds by now.

‘Really the purpose was to stop any complacency there might be about UKIP, and you know there has been a marked change of policy – partly due to the fact that it was happening anyway – if I helped speed it up just a tiny bit then I don’t regret producing it.’


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Show comments
  • telemachus

    Do you really think that the progressive forces in the UK and EU are worried about a Conservative victory in 2015? There is hardly a significant voice in the Tory Party which resists the progressive agenda. Perhaps things might not move forward as quickly as under an openly socialist Party, but the ‘gay marriage’ bill was a pleasant surprise and shows the reactionary forces that they cannot look to the Conservative Party to represent then any more.

    The interesting thing is that among my contacts in the higher echelons of the Labour Party the only long term fear is the rise of UKIP as a popular force. But there are just too many reactionaries who will always vote Conservative for this to be a real issue, even when the Conservatives are clearly part of the Progressive movement.

    UKIP is perhaps the conservatives last hope, but you’ve blown it. We are in this for the long haul, and the Conservative Party is incrementally advancing our agenda, just as the Lib Dems will and would, and just as we will in due course. The funny thing is that socialists vote for principle and will wait a generation to achieve our goals. You reactionaries vote for nostalagia and would vote for Stalin himself if he was called the Leader of the Conservative Party. You think only of short term measures and so you have lost everything.

    Vote UKIP and get Labour? That’s true and soon our glorious Eds will be back in control. But if you had principles you would know that voting UKIP is the only chance of getting UKIP. You will vote for policies which are the opposite of what you believe just to see people wearing your badge in Government. But they don’t represent you any more. They represent Progess. Yet you still vote for them, election after election, hoping that their actions will one day match their words.

    Fools. This is the way our forces of Progress triumph. While you hope to win a skirmish, we have won the whole war.

    • Wessex Man

      Yes telemachus, we’ll keep the Reg Fla zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • http://profiles.google.com/rayveysey Ray Veysey

    2015, is going to be a watershed for the tories, if they cannot produce a reasonable percentage of the votes, then it could be goodbye to them as well as the Lib Dems. In fact disillusion with the tories could actually go someway to saving the lib dems. I would like to see UKIP win a majority but it is unlikely. However they should at least be in the house, and when labour implode well positioned for any chances that follow.

    • Mycroft

      ‘I would like to see UKIP with a majority, but it is unlikely’. Nice to see that good old British understatement has not gone the way of so much else! And why should Labour implode? There is every likelihood that after they return to power with the help of UKIP voters, they will remain in power for years, just like last time, doing more damage each year.

      • Wessex Man

        Milepede and it’s a balls up!

  • cameronisanutcase

    Very simple- leave the EU, the ECHR and stop immigration

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

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/41492

  • Archi

    It’s not about connecting. It’s not about messages not getting across. It’s that a large section of conservative voters now hold the tory party in contempt. UKIP are the conservative party.

    • CharlietheChump

      Except there’s only Nige . . .

      • Wessex Man

        Yeah that’s why I was in the Neeld Hall, Chippenham, Wiltshire that was packed to the rafters with people clapping every word that Paul Nuttall, Deputy Leader of Ukip MEP and William Dartmouth MEP UkIP said for three hours last night!

        It’s the propaganda that you tory boys use to try and put down UKIP and just makes the reast of us more willing to listen to them!

        • Mycroft

          William Legge, 10th Earl of Dartmouth, Eton and Christ Church; he makes Cameron look like an oik.

          • Wessex Man

            At least he was talking well on Wednesday night especially about the British lads arrested on trumped up charges and rotting away in a Bulgarian hell-hole, who he has been to see and trying to get freed, can’t imagine Call me Dave, Legover or Milipede going anywhere near them somehow!

            • Mycroft

              I was just joking, he is a good man, I am happy to have helped vote him into place as an MEP for my area.

        • CharlietheChump

          OK I stand corrected, that’s Nige – an excellent spokesman by the way – and Paulie and wee Billy. 3 of them.

          We are pretty clear about the EU and immigration but who’s their prospective Chancellor, Foreign spokesperson? Who Home Office? Economic policy? QE? What’s their position on Syria? You must see the problem. It will not do to try to replicate the old sly Lib position of just opposing everything. Not any more.

          I know the media like to concentrate on Tories/Labour – just look at what the Libs got away with for years – UKIP have to force their way in, expose their people and broad policies to the public and debate nationally not in a church hall in darkest Wiltshire. MEP’s are all well and good but UKIP are not a serious party until they get a Westminster seat, coming second is just not acceptable. My vote is up for grabs but my Tory MP – a good man by the way – has a safe seat so here a UKIP vote is wasted. And don’t start on about PR, that just leads to permanent coalition which is disastrous everywhere it occurs.

          As to the Tories, no thanks, far too metro-social-democrat for me, I’d be more comfortable in the Front Nationale.

          • Wessex Man

            What am I? your political resercher or what? get off your big **** and look it up yourself you apology for a wit. You could be related to Call me Dave.

    • Andy

      No UKIP are UKIP. stop trying to label them something they are not! UKIP have policies the other 3 won’t enforce because they want to EU to dictate to them! It’s Simple UKIP want us to control our-self to set our own rules tory’s want to be dictated to by the EU.

  • AnotherDaveB

    I hope I have the opportunity to vote for a UKIP candidate this May. I’m looking forward to it.

    • HookesLaw

      Are you so keen to be represented by labour then

      • sameerakhan

        If that’s what it takes to de-socialise the Tories, so be it.

  • CharlietheChump

    There are many good Conservatives in parliament and in government but with Davey and Georgie playing their little political board games and no real effort (and certainly little success), in projecting their platform at the General Election or since, the Conservatives are just not winners especially because the Cameroons have swallowed the “social democrat” lie.

  • HookesLaw

    This is a pathetic bleat from Fabricant. HE is not connecting with the electorate. HE should get on with the job of vocalising govt policy and excoriating the previous labour govt who have left a total mess.
    HE represents the thickness of tory backbench MPs.
    Given that the alternative is labour – it makes you wonder how we ever manage to get governed at all.

    • Smithersjones2013

      You better be careful Hooky, Slagging off a Party Vice Chairman (and the party’s election co-ordinator in Eastleigh) like that, CCHQ will take your log in away and tear up your membership card!

      • HookesLaw

        Fabricant is a pathetic vice chairman if all he can say is that HE is not doing his job properly.

        • Wessex Man

          He’s only running true to form Hooky!

    • telemachus

      Don’t worry, the socialist politician knows how to govern. It is in his blood. And Fabricant is one of us, just as Cameron. They live to govern, and love to govern. In politics there are no accidents, whatever we are experiencing is a necessary aspect of the path to a modern comprehensively socialist state.

      • tele_machus

        not I

        • telemachus

          Stop trying to pretend you are the great telemachus. You are a pale imitation, just like your avatar.

          • Wessex Man

            oh come on, do you think any of us are impressed with you arguing with yourself? It just makes you seem even dafter that you are and zzzzzzzzzzzz

    • dmitri the impostor

      That’s a bit harsh, Hooky. I would sooner have a few more chartered engineers in the party and a few less PPE monkeys.

  • andagain

    ‘Perhaps if we have discussed our policies on immigration and Europe a bit more in 2010, we might have won outright.’

    Or lost. In 2010, most voters voted for a party to the left of the Conservative Party, and very few for a party to its right. Just like in 2005. And 2001. And 1997.

    • Smithersjones2013

      Funny then how there was a 14% swing from left to right in Eastleigh then? The majority of voters there (53%) voted for either UKIP or Conservative who both talked about immigration and Europe.

      • andagain

        And all those Labour and LibDem victories in by-elections and general elections over the years mean nothing.

        • Smithersjones2013

          All those before 2010 mean little or nothing at all anymore. Unless of course you mean Labour losing 5 million votes (almost 40% of their vote) between 1997 and 2010. Thats quite significant.

          Post 2010 Labour’s victory in Corby, the Libdems collapse virtually everywhere and UKIP’s rise in the polls in a number of by elections are all significant as is the drop in the Tory vote but other than that what else are you thinking of?

          Its also significant that Labour are now starting to talk tough on immigration to don’t you think?

  • David Ossitt

    What the heck is going on, the Spectator Coffee House is becoming a joke, I tried yesterday to post a simple comment on the “David Nicholson’s select committee session” only to have it go straight to the moderator never to return and now attempting to post a comment (there are non yet posted) on the “Vicky Pryce found guilty” thread we are told that the comments are now closed.

    Is this our beloved Spectator or is at now a branch of the ConLibDem Stasi?

    • HookesLaw

      cannot think why we cannot comment on she who must not be named as she has been found guilty now.

      • CharlietheChump

        Are we discussing the one who will be relocating to Holloway?

        • David Ossitt

          Yes but for him there is to be an extra or more extreme punishment
          he will have to share a cell with her.

          Hip, hip, hip, hurray the jury found her guilty and we can all
          come out and pray,

          That the judge gives the both of them lots of time, so that they
          can both reflect on how they should have pleaded guilty from the start.

          • Wessex Man

            You are so cruel, Hooky is leading you astray!

  • JP

    It really is a communication issue. People instinctively prefer blank and white, and a good foamy mouth rant telling them the way it’s going to be if only they was in charge. These things are never as simple as they’re made out to be. Unfortunately the reality is shades of grey, a bit more nuanced, which takes a lot more explaining, which they simply aren’t doing well enough.

    Apart from the debt / deficit reduction thing, where actually Balls has the more nuanced position. One of the reasons why he’s not getting it over very well – also the fact that he’s still claiming he’d be expansionary whilst not borrowing any more (I think that’s what he’s saying!) … which of course doesn’t quite stack up.

    • HookesLaw

      If swivel eyed rants solved anything the world would be a rich and better place.
      it don’t work that way. Ask most Germans in 1945.

      • Smithersjones2013

        Where as you prefer the Chamberlain 1938 way don’t you Hooky!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

          Chamberlain would have won a landslide in 1938 had he called an election, Churchill lost in 1945

          • Smithersjones2013

            Well why did he resign then?

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

              Who ? Chamberlain won the Vote in the House of Commons but chose to step aside so Halifax could take over but Labour wanted Churchill. Churchill was not Conservative Leader until Chamberlain died of bowel cancer in Nov 1940, having resigned on 22 Sept 1940 after a stomach operation in July. Churchill could not have run the Cabinet without Chamberlain being there as Lord President of The Council and Leader of the Conservative Party. He was 71 and 5 years older than Churchill so I suppose suffering from cancer he had had enough

  • telemachus

    We are fortunate to live at a time when people like Fabricant and Cameron have essentially adopted the socialist gospel and are helping to provide a coherent and consistent socialist programme, together with the LibDems and Labour, so that the reactionary right is unable to derail our path towards a progressive future.

    The only way to prevent the socialist future we need would be a violent (not necessarily bloody), but a violent revolution of the right, but reactionaries are all talk and will not rouse themselves to do anything. In 2015 the Eds will take over the baton from Cameron and Clegg. But it is the same team. Socialism is already victorious.

    • Colonel Mustard

      More banning and regulating eh? But don’t be too sure of yourself tele. For the real English there is always a tipping point.

      • telemachus

        There is still plenty of money. The socialist state takes on a life of its own after a while and will not allow itself to wither away. Indeed the answer to our present circumstances is to continue to grow the state. If the state was essentially responsible for all trade and income then it would be able to properly distribute it for the good of all. It is not that we are taxed too much, but too little. It is not that the state is too big, but too small. Efficient government will come with the total control of the state over the economy. We need the sort of one national socialism that the Eds are talking about because that will remove the inequalities that are causing so much harm and unrest to UK society.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Ha ha! I get it!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

          You are correct. Osborne is growing the State and making the apparatchiki look to be the wise ones for their big salaries, safe jobs and big mortgages. You are proven right by Osborne having raised 299 taxes and cut only 119

          • telemachus

            Of course I am right. Our Parliament is thankfully filled with socialists of one hue or another, even if many are of the pale pink persuasion like the pseudo-telemachus who has started posting here.

            There is nothing that can stop our progress to a glorious socialist future unless the people themselves rise up, but they never will. It is too easy to moan and complain and do nothing. Our future is already secured.

        • Smithersjones2013

          You mean a Labour politician lied! No it cannot be?

          In fact lets nationalise the nation. Instead of citizens (they can all be deported to the Falkland Islands) lets just have the state? What do you think? Then the Labour Party can glory in its splendid one nation superiority!

        • David Ossitt

          How I loath your stupid crass silly opinions, but then you are not well you are sick in the head.

    • Smithersjones2013

      It was not violence that brought down Soviet communism. It was that they ran out of money and I’m sure once the Children Of Brown have done their worst socialism will collapse in the UK. Why? Well as Liam Byrne once wrote. “Labour have spent all the money!”

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

        I think you will find it was Violence. It was a war in Afghanistan and a Coup d’Etat against Gorbachev in Moscow.

        • Smithersjones2013

          And what do you need to run a war?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

            Then the USA is in deep and dire straits….after all Reagan started the Big Borrowing Binge running National Debt up from $930 billion to $2.7 Trillion. The Coup had nothing to do with Money and everything to do with Raisa Gorbachev’s ideas influencing Gorbachev to be a weak leader giving ground to the West

            • Wessex Man

              This is true and the sooner the good ole USA goes down the pan the better!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      You are right in that Cameron and Osborne are continuing the Brown Agenda and socialising the economy through their economic policies

      • Wessex Man

        and taking us ever deeper and down!

  • Smithersjones2013

    ‘A lot of the things that UKIP are talking about – immigration, creation
    of jobs and indeed Europe – they’re all things we’re doing anyway and
    this is what we should really be talking about in a much clearer way. I
    don’t think our language is right and we’re not connecting, as I said,
    with the electorate and we need to have a real hard think about the type
    of language we use.’

    If Fabricant believes that he is as deranged as his increasingly demented leader. If Fabricant believes that Brighton Pavilion (gay Britain central) is representative of Conservative Britain he is living in cloud cuckoo land.

    No its not the language the Conservatives use that’s the problem, its the fact that it is all pretension, prevarication and misrepresentation

    The Conservatives are pretending to address immigration whilst leaving the Brussels black hole in tact

    The Conservatives are pretending to run an austerity Government whilst borrowing £600 billion more and bleeding the taxpayer dry whilst doing it. We are not all in it together. There is one rule for our parasitic Government (particularly Cameron and his vanity projects) and another for hard working voters

    The Conservatives are also pretending to address EU issues but the idea that we are in Eirope but not run by Europe is risible. The bankers bonus cap demonstrates that. ‘The UK is in Europe and screwed by Europe’.

    It is not the fact that the message is muffled. It is because the message is inauthentic, disingenuous and in regards to the likes of renegotiation on Europe quite frankly is utterly delusional because Barrosso and Van Rompuy have made it clear that negotiation will not happen! So even if Cameron gets re-elected which is hardly likely the rest of his disingenuous promise is nothing but empty rhetoric.

    The bottom line is many many people think the Tories are lying! Few trust them now and much of that is down to that despicable Blairite clique around Cameron.

    The reality is that as never before the Tories need a total makeover and they need to do it without Cameron or Osborne or the rest of that rotten clique.

    • HookesLaw

      When you talk about ‘gay Britain central’ you show how bigoted you are. You are the one obsessing about homosexuality.

      Only you and people like you in the depths of your nasty hysteria think the govt is ‘lying’.

      There is no Blairite culture around Cameron. You are a nut job – sadly like the poor they will always be with us. But pandering to them never won an election

      People are p$$sed off because they are being squeezed as a result of 13 years of labour misrule.

      • Archi

        People are fed up of authoritarian “liberals” like you.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Fed up “with”. Tired “of”. But yes, indeed.

          • dmitri the impostor

            Do you not mean Grayson Perry?

            • Colonel Mustard

              No. I should be quite happy for Grayson Perry to replace Claire Perry in the government though. That gentleman has an infinitely better understanding of personal freedom than Ms Perry does.

        • HookesLaw

          Me a liberal? What a joke you are.

          • Wessex Man

            Oh dear Hooky you’ve been rumbled, go and lay down in a dark room my old mate.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

        Cameron is a deadbeat who could not beat Gordon Brown. The way Brown brought Cameron near to defeat was remarkable and less to do with Brown’s briliance than Cameron and Osborne being inept and politically incompetent. It is their unbelievable incompetence that is on display and has marked their entire period in government. Compared to Cameron and Osborne Clegg is a tactical genius

      • Smithersjones2013

        Oh I do like you hooky you are such a good straight man!. You give me such good canvases to paint my picture on!

        The only bigotry in that comment is in your mind. It is more a reflection of you than anything else. Do you really think that suggesting Brighton is a centre of the gay population (which it is) is bigoted? All my comment points out is that Fabricant is wrong to think Brighton is demographically representatative of most of conservative Britain. Clearly it is not which is why it elected a Green MP last time out.

        As for the lying. Well was it Osborne who said there were no plan to increase VAT and then a matter of weeks later increased it? Of course honesty is the watchword of politicians

        As for the Blairite cult it was Cameron who described himself as the ‘Heir to Blair and it is Cameron who has spent seven years trying to manufacture a Clause IV style moment and failing abysmally. It is Cameron government who revived Blairs education policy, Field’s welfare reforms, made Alan Milburn Social Mobilty Tsar and enacted John Huttons pension reforms and has tried and is failing to bring in Blair’s NHS privatisation as well (not to mention those cozy Downing Street suppers between Dave & Sam and Tony & Cher). if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck……

        As I keep telling you calling people ‘nutjobs’ and such like doesn’t help you influence people and given your party desperately need the ‘nutjobs’ support perhaps you might stop being UKIPs poster boy for proving the Tories are the nasty party (although to be honest you send more Labour in the way you treat people. Have you ever voted for them?).

        I do agree that they are being squeezed but given the VAT rise, the foul energy policy, the rail price increases, the inflation driving QE, minimum alcohol pricing and what the TPA estimate is 100 additional taxes or more that hackneyed old line that it is all Labour’s fault is getting a bit tiresome and threadbare (unless you are pretending that this Coalition Government has done nothing in the last nearly three years) then it is time you Tories took responsibility for your economic policy..Its Osborne that is squeezing hard working families now.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

          Well was it Osborne who said there were no plans to increase VAT and then a matter of weeks later increased it?…………He copied Geoffrey Howe in 1980

    • perdix

      The only deranged people are the kippers.

      • Wessex Man

        please expand on your allegation, or are you a desperate Call me Dave?

        • David Simpson

          Ukippers are all deranged together with the tories.

          There is not a ha’porth of difference between them, they are like characters from Dr Who, you laugh at them but that is all you do.

          There is not an ounce of gravitas in both parties. Come the next election they will both be smashed to smithereens

          • Wessex Man

            Well it ‘s only a couple of years away before I have to rub your nose in it dear boy.

            • David Simpson

              they wont be in existence in two years time and now that Farage has been found with his snout in the trough, fiddling payments to his party from the EU.
              He will be next to be put in the jug

              • Wessex Man

                and the other “parties” have admitted to the same thing, dear boy, still look forward to rrubbing your nose in it in 2015. Your smears are seen as just that.

                • David Simpson

                  Again you cannot tell the truth, you truly are a kipper and the party should be proud of you but please do try and separate fact from fiction

      • thucydides

        Unfair my child
        Adherence to their cause is equivalent to a proposal of reasonableness in 2015

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

    Has Fabricant ever considered that Conservative Party is a regional party for the South East and has no real purpose outside that demographic and economic interest group ?

    • Smithersjones2013

      Well given that in 2010 the Conservatives controlled vast swathes of the Midlands, Wales and the North of England he would be rather misguided to do so.

      If anything it was Labour in 2010 that were the regional party having been virtually wiped out in the south. Outside London the Conservatives have 4 times as many MPs in the North of England as Labour have down south (only 10 seats outside London) and they dominate the Midlands constituencies 63 to 40. Whilst I am anything but a fan of this government such a suggestion is risible

    • HookesLaw

      Terrible when smithers has to contradict you.

      • Smithersjones2013

        Indeed I don’t want to give the Tories a false problem when the real one is probably worse. The Tories have an urban problem. They have virtually no inner city seats across the whole country. From Edinburgh to Exeter.Which makes it all the more puzzling when Cameron is attacked as being part of the metropolitan liberal elite and the party are losing vote share as well. It looks like he’s not appealing to anyone anymore.

        • HookesLaw

          Ah I have not done you a disservice. people who believe in faeries at the end of the garden voting LD on one wing and UKIP on the other are the tories problem

          • Wessex Man

            Now listen here Hooky you are beginning to sound like a st zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

  • sarah_13

    He was supposed to be thinking of the difficult stuff for the country like securing the future of a Tory majority by agreeing the boundary change before the av referendum, by making the tough decisions on the economy that would have been very difficult to cope with for a couple of years but would have paid dividends later. Also europe. These were the tough decisions he should have taken first, surely! Not gay marriage, why did that need any time when it was always going to have a majority in the commons he could have done that when his Tory majority was secure. His priority should really have been a Tory majority. No 1.

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