Coffee House

Miliband, Cameron and the importance of intellectual self-confidence

10 May 2014

11:08 AM

10 May 2014

11:08 AM

Is intellectual self-confidence a good thing? Ed Miliband was teased in parliament by David Cameron for claiming to possess it, and teased again by Lord Finkelstein in his notebook for The Times. ‘I know he thinks he is extremely clever,’ Cameron sneered at PMQs. Lord Finkelstein refers to a book that claims that intellectual self-confidence is a curse because it leads to wrong decisions.  I disagree. We argue in the leader of this week’s Spectator that Miliband is very confident about bad ideas, and Cameron lacks confidence in good ones. More’s the pity.

Cameron was being unfair: intellectual self-confidence does not mean thinking you’re ‘extremely clever’. It’s about believing you have the right ideas, and being prepared to articulate and act on them.  In my opinion, one of the main reasons that the Conservatives failed to win the 2010 general election (in a recession, against a loathed Prime Minister) was the failure to express a clear idea of what they stood for – and what they’d do in office.

Voters want to know: what’s on offer? Ed Miliband is commendably clear. His founding philosophy is that the market has failed, that the recovery is going wrong by rewarding a handful of people at the top. That the Tories’ blind faith in the market is causing what Matthew d’Ancona has referred to as a ‘Bullingdon bubble‘ rather than a proper, shared recovery. Hence stagnant wages, and the need for something different. Miliband says he’d be a more assertive Prime Minister, he’d step in to correct market failures. For example: he’d impose energy price freezes three-year rent contracts to stop landlords hiking the rent, perhaps renationalize the railways – the list goes on. You can argue that this is very dangerous, but it’s coherent. It starts with philosophy and ends up in action: there is a straight line. That’s what Miliband means by intellectual self-confidence: he knows what he believes, he can talk about it, and plans to convert his ideas into action.

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David Cameron, by contrast, shies away from this. Perhaps he believes, as Lord Finkelstein says in the column, that too much certainty is a defect in a leader. I can see Danny’s point, in that voters are unnerved by leaders who come across as ideologues. I’ve heard others (not Danny) make this point in quite heated terms, and behind a lot of it is the old Tory wars. (You’d be amazed, or perhaps you wouldn’t, about how many Tories are still, in their heads, fighting the battles of the last decade, thinking that ‘moderniser’ and ‘traditionalist’ are still useful terms in 2014. Such bizarre sectarianism remains the great Tory curse). Some Tories argue that swivel-eyed certainty kept the Tories in opposition for 13 years, and there is certainly some truth in that the party was hurt by being successfully portrayed as a bunch of zealots.

You can also argue that conservatives reject ideology, and are suspicious of stone-cold certainty. As Lord Melbourne put it two centuries ago: ‘I wish I was as cocksure of anything as Tom Macaulay is of everything’.

But voters do buy into the idea of principle – and a political party that represents a wider movement. The reason that Labour held on to so many seats in 2010 was the enduring strength of the Labour brand. Yes, the party was led by a reviled misanthrope, but the Labour movement was a lot more than Gordon Brown. People voted, then, to protect and sustain Labour values.

Can the same be said for the Conservatives? What are Tory values? The Cameroons are not really comfortable with defining this – so their enemies do it for them. (The latest Labour Party attack video is a ham-fisted attempt to fill this vacuum). In Charles Moore’s biography of Thatcher (p269), he quotes her just before she decided to stand for the leadership:-

‘In an artful interview in the Sunday Express, Mrs Thatcher insisted that “my only wish is to further the Conservative Party and the philosophy upon which it is founded”‘

And who defines that philosophy today? What’s the big Tory idea? I’d say that the Conservative philosophy is richer, deeper, more in tune with modern Britain than the 1970s revivalist stuff being proposed by Miliband. I’d also say that David Cameron is the single best chance that this country has at election time, because he would apply conservative insights that would best address the problems Miliband talks about (and many problems that he doesn’t).

Labour is being admirably clear about its philosophy – and I think it would not hurt the Conservatives to try do the same. You can muddle through an election without giving a clear idea of what you stand for, but as Cameron demonstrated last time, it tends not to work very well. This isn’t about being left, right, traditionalist or modernist – it’s just about being clear. About letting people know what direction you would take the country in. Cameron is always at his best when speaking form the heart; his instincts are sound. All told, Cameron has much to be self-confident about. He has the right ideas, and should talk about them more often.

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Show comments
  • lojolondon

    Cameron cannot articulate his vision. Because it is not a conservative vision, nor even a Conservative vision. It is a left-wing, limp-wristed, hug-a-hoodie, Europhile, anti-grammar school, politically correct, socialist vision. Therefore he has to keep it to himself, and keep blaming the LibDems whenever his ‘big’ ideas get implemented.

  • colliemum

    “But voters do buy into the idea of principle – and a political party that represents a wider movement. “
    That would be UKIP then …
    Thank you, Fraser, for pointing that out, inadvertently.
    😉

  • rtj1211

    I”m afraid that politics is all about the art of deciding which lies to spin to the media to get you elected in the hope that you might be allowed to do something constructive once you get there. The media then create a never-ending daily diatribe of ‘crises’ to stop you focussing on what is important by constantly having to fire fight bullshit stories designed to hold politicians servile to the unaccountable media, super-wealthy and FSD-connected security services.

    Anyone who expresses decent views is then subjected to the ‘Jesus’ or ‘nonentity’ test. If you aren’t saintly, you’d better be so bland and boring as to never have even been tested in the fire concerning your sainthood. You’re not allowed to be in politics if you aren’t one of those two.

    Mercifully for the super-rich, media-moguls etc etc, no-one is saintly, so they can control the world by imposing non-entities on everyone as leaders. They run rings round them, make them waste taxpayers money to a sufficient extent that they are ruined, and then the cycle starts again.

    Neither Miliband nor Cameron have ever been truly tested in the real world. Neither went to war, neither were stretched to their limits in sport, running a business, living in poverty (or escaping it), making scientific discoveries or inventing engineering products. Both were wordsmiths after being brought up either comfortably or extremely comfortably. Both had a gilded life in Oxford and London and neither held a substantive position abroad. Neither was the CEO of a significant sized business, a large school, an NHS hospital, a government department, quango or NGO. Both were elected to leadership in their 30s, one without Cabinet experience and the other having sold his country down the river passing the Climate Change Act.

  • Smithersjones2013

    I’d also say that David Cameron is the single best chance that this
    country has at election time, because he would apply conservative
    insights that would best address the problems Miliband talks about (and
    many problems that he doesn’t).

    And this is where Nelson and so many other Tories are deluding themselves because time and time again when Cameron has been forced to make a choice he has chosen the centralist, centreist,corporatist, social democrat, Blairite option (i.e. the pro-vested interest anti-electorate option). Miliband is succeeding with his deranged ideas because at least people interpret them, as deranged and unworkable as they are, as trying to represent the electorate whereas the Tories gave up on the British people around 1990. That’s why so few think The Tories are ‘on their side’ or are ‘people like me’ because frankly they aren’t and they’re not!

    Once again yet another Tory commentator demonstrates that the basic problem with the Tories is the Tories haven’t got a clue….

  • Andy

    The problem with Miliband is he was brought up by a pair of Marxists and has never understood, must less comprehended, the pure evil of that philosophy. But because he is the son of that Marxist scumbag Ralph, wee Miliband is profoundly illiberal with a very authoritarian and totalitarian mindset. And that is the thread that runs through all his so called ideas.

  • Jock

    Self confidence and self delusion can be bedfellows but, even if Miliband’s self confidence is well-founded, the fact is that intelligence is a necessary but insufficient quality. Ed brings to mind an old quotation –

    “Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.” Alfred North Whitehead.

    Ed’s problem is that he lacks ability. Identifying problems (aka bandwagons) – pretty good. Coming up with workable solutions – not so good.

    Add to that his haplessness – – – – .

  • andagain

    I’d say that the Conservative philosophy is richer, deeper, more in
    tune with modern Britain than the 1970s revivalist stuff being proposed
    by Miliband.

    Can you also answer your own rhetorical question and say what that Conservative philosophy is?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      I’ll handle this, Speccie comrades.

      That philosophy is ringfenced NHS, including the Mid Staffs body count. It’s all the quangoes and then some. It’s all the Darling spending and then some. It’s Leveson. It’s VAT increase. It’s windmills carpeting the countryside, paid for by the people. It’s bombs away wherever the islamofascists need help slaughtering Christians. It’s homosexual marriage. It’s global warmingism. It’s Von Rumpy P umpy as der fuhrer . It’s… well, that’s enough for now. We don’t want to give away all our 2015 campaign prematurely, do we?

  • Elizabeth Knollys

    The facts of life are conservative and no amount of ‘intellectual self-confidence’ will change that. Ed Miliband is clearly a poor orator and a poor thinker. The only people who fail to recognise this are those who have neglected the words and thoughts of the political greats of our past. In other words, only illiterate plebeian sorts could be convinced by such a buffoon.

    • Smithersjones2013

      It is rather unfortunate for you that

      a) that ‘Illiterate Plebeians’ have just as much right to vote in this country as anyone else

      b) there are many many more of them than there are ‘Upper Class Tory Twits’ so be nice or the Twits will never be voted back in again……

      The difference is you can teach ‘illiterate plebeians’ but you cant’ give Upper Class Tory Twits any more intelligence than they were born with…..

  • saffrin

    That looks like a many paged book to write “Comply with every Brussels diktat”.

    I guess the rest must be photos of Ed, school, collage, his never had a real job
    photos, his Wallace look-a-like competion, masquerading as a politician and the nose job in action.

  • HookesLaw

    I see that Miliband’s Labour are so full of self confidence that they are running at 35% in the polls.

    • saffrin

      3% less than Nigel Farage then if the polls can be believed.
      No Cameron or Clegg in sight.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        There’s still a couple furlongs to go though, plenty of race for that tough, legendary Cameroon resiliency to shine through. Did you know he was once on the safety patrol at lunchtime playground? He wore a belt and shoulder band and everything. And just look at those puffy red cheeks, and that flabby midriff, and the gob wide open going a mile a minute. He’s in racing trim for sure. It’s into the home stretch now, here we go!

        • Hexhamgeezer

          ..and seeing how important ‘image’ is to the professional value free politico, he still disports himself with his freaky shiny face.

  • Mike Barnes

    To be fair to Dave, the 4 people in Britain who understood what ‘Big Society’ meant absolutely LOVED it!

    More of the same.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    It’s becoming obvious how little you Speccie kids have to say about anything important. I can just stop reading at the titles of these things, it’s getting so bad, like with this one. This particular title is in keeping with your obsession with personalities and your celebrity infotainment approach, and you continue to skip everything relevant or important in politics, from the People’s perspective.

    This is why you lot are so stunned by what is happening right now, lad. It is completely beyond your ken, and it’s amusing to watch you flounder with it. You don’t understand why it is that the People are rejecting you and your approach, as well as the celebrity numpties you chase so feverishly.

    None of you have any relevancy to the Peoples’ lives. Absorb that, and bring that into your ken. You are irrelevant. You are being rejected. Your heretofore secure place within the impenetrable bubble is now becoming insecure. You best spread the word in there. It’s real. Change is coming.

  • Peter Stroud

    It is really frightening that Miliband’s crazy policies, such as: rent and energy price control, will resonate with many of the poorer voters. History tells us that these old populist, socialist ideas will fail. But people’s memories also fail, and many were too young to remember the past shambles, caused by successive Labour governments. i wish I could be confident of a Tory win in 2015: but I am really not in the least confident of such a result.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …you shouldn’t be. They are toast. Their only chance is to dump the Cameroons and embrace conservatism.

  • Hello

    “I’d say that the Conservative philosophy is richer, deeper, more in tune with modern Britain than the 1970s revivalist stuff being proposed by Miliband”

    I’d say so too. In fact, I’d say it’s so deep and in tune that it doesn’t need to be packaged up for easy consumption.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      I’d say that Camerloonianism is a mirror image of the LibLabCon socialist consensus.

    • Conway

      The only problem is, Conservative policy is nowhere to be found among Dave’s outfit.

  • Bill Brinsmead

    Suspect that Ed Miliband’s ‘intellectual self-confidence’ was imbibed from the Primrose Hill hearth of the Marxist Miliband household. There he met intellectually confident frauds and failures such as Tony Benn, Tariq Ali, Michael Foot and not least Ralph Miliband who all knew how to solve political problems.

    Genuine Tories know there are no puzzle like solutions to be found, the best we can do is to mitigate and manage problems.

  • mike hamblett

    You surely don’t expect Cameron to illucidate – ‘…..sadistically fleecing the masses for the benefit of our friends who don’t really need any more loot’, do you?

  • GIN1138

    Surely the main reason the Conservatives failed to win in 2010 is that in 2001 and 2005 they failed to recover sufficiently from the 1997 blood-bath (most people still don’t realise just what a terrible, once in a life-time event 1997 was for the Tories – The sheer magnitude and scale of the defeat was outstanding)

    In 2010 the Tories won more seats than at any election since 1931, but at least half of those was about winning back seat’s they never should have lost in 1997 and certainly should have gained in 2001 and 2005.

    Don’t get me wrong, Cameron did make mistake’s in 2010, but the primary reason we had a Hung Parliament was the toxic hang-over from 1997.

    As far as “intellectual Ed” goes, true, he may have a giant IQ (I’m yet to be convinced, personally) but I find it un-British to brag about it and what’s more, it’s all very well being clever, but that’s no good if all your idea’s are mad.

    I’m sure Gordon Brown was “intellectual” but he was also most probably insane. Oliver Letwin is probably the brainiest politician in the government, but has absolutely zero political skill and is essentially a walking disaster area going from the poll tax in the 80’s to the Leveson fiasco in 2012.

    I’d rather have a leader that’s not especially intellectual but is pragmatic and grounded than a leader that has a huge IQ but who is also away with the fairy’s…

    • Peter Stroud

      An excellent summary of the political scene here in England.

    • HookesLaw

      Correct. I think I make a similar point elswhere and have to endlessly remind people that the Conservatives won nearly 100 seats in 2010. You make an excellent point about Brown and his mighty intellect.
      The only point you miss is in not saayoing more forcefully to Mr Nelson that he is again talking rubbish. What is important about Cameron is not what he thinks but what he has done and the govts record is a good one. Only a nutjob would think otherwise. And only a thick editor would not be reminding us about it.

      • ButcombeMan

        What is truly important about Cameron is that he failed to win against the most hated and incompetent Chancellor (and then Prime Minister) of our lifetimes and THEN, has quite deliberately sought to drive away many of Conservative core supporters.

    • Alexsandr

      cameron did badly in 2010 because he lost the TV debates to Clegg, and could not counter his arguments.

      • HookesLaw

        Doing badly is winning nearly 100 seats? LDs lost lost 5 seats I think.

        • Colonel Mustard

          But he couldn’t form a government. And then he couldn’t dismantle Labour’s built in advantage. But he could introduce gay marriage, hose borrowed money abroad from a country reeling after recession, declaring it his proudest achievement and censor the internet because one barmy, obsessed MP clamoured for it.

      • Colonel Mustard

        From what I remember it was more a case of would not counter his arguments than could not. I remember being surprised at the time by the lack of conviction and pugnacity from Cameron in the face of some outrageous ad hominem swipes from Clegg and Brown.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        The superhero toxicity crimefighter couldn’t take a majority against a one-eyed oaf of a cyclopsean failure, who may have been the single most-hated man in the Western hemisphere. That’s the measure of this lump Cameron, and the numbers have been falling even since that first failure.

    • ButcombeMan

      Your penultimate paragraph is spot on.

    • Smithersjones2013

      I disagree. Don’t forget Howard won the popular vote in England in 2005. Howard had stopped the rot and had got the Tories heading in the right direction. If anything Cameron’s pathetic PR stunts and his neverending failed modernisation project did more to undermine that recovery than anything. However that said after 2007 all that was overcome with the Tories leading by 20 points in the polls just a year before the elections.

      Cameron should have been able to seal the deal from there but he didn’t.
      Cameron lost in 2010 partly because he did not offer a credible vision for the future (there was no hook on which to hang his campaign on ) and secondly he equivocated and prevaricated over core issues such as the EU which sent a message to many right leaning voters that he could not be trusted and as he’s proved subsequently they were right !

      • GIN1138

        Of the 179 seats lost in 1997 (I’ll say that again, 179 seats!!!!!!) the Conservatives won back just one seat in 2001 and 33 seat’s in 2005! In 8 years they won back a total of just 34 of the 179 lost in the Great Labour Landslide.

        In contrast, Cameron won 97 seat’s in 2010, almost triple the amount of seats won in the preceding two elections. What’s more he did it while the Tories were still virtually extinct in Scotland and Wales.

        Most psephologists will tell you Cameron did about as well as could have been realistically expected given the circumstances – Despite the big mid-term opinion poll lead (something that Ed Milliband has never achieved in this Parliament – an issue that’s been consistently ignored and glossed over by the like’s of Fraser Nelson BTW) the 7%+ uniform swing needed for a majority in 2010 always looked pretty much impossible from where the Conservatives were starting from.

        Cameron didn’t do badly at all, given the starting position.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          You’re giving credit to that lump Dave for the electorate’s rejection of the one-eyed oaf and his minions.

          Next, you’ll probably be giving credit to the Millipede when the electorate rejects your Camerluvvies, in 2015.

          You’d be wrong in both cases, because in both cases, the electorate was/is rejecting failure.

          • GIN1138

            Well no, because I don’t believe Ed Milliband will win in 2015 – I’m with Dan Hodges on this one – Labour’s position, for this point in the Parliament, is too poor to survive the swing-back that’s going to occur over the next year.

            Conservatives to win national share of the vote and most seats with a continuation of the Con-Lib coalition is my prediction for 2015 (Dan is going for a Tory majority I think, but I can’t quite see that)

            • the viceroy’s gin

              The Millipedes position for this point in the Parliament, well ahead, is due to the Camerluvvies failure. They moved well ahead just as soon as the electorate saw that the Cameroons are failures. This is indisputable.

              The only “swing” is to UKIP. You and your polemicist buddy might want to look into that, as you chart your predictions.

              Oh, and if you’re betting on the Cameroons, and particularly a majority of them, I suggest you go and get the odds. They’ll be quite favorable for you.

              • GIN1138

                Read again. My tip is Con most seats and to win share of the vote. NOT a majority.

                As for UKIP, their bubble will deflate over the next year, starying with a COnservative win in Newark.

                UKIP are a fun distraction, but most people vote on jobs and finances in general elections and they’ll tend to stick with “the devil they know” in 2015.

                UKIP WILL do very, very well in the Euro-Elections though.

                It’s PR, not FPTP and the small number of people that bother to vote in the EU elections will view it as an opportunity to blow a raspberry at the governing class.

                The general election will be entirely different though. I’m afraid it’ll be the not particularly angry people who don’t go on blogs day in and day out ranting and raving and calling people names and being generally nasty, that will hold in sway for that one.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Either will bring you good odds, lad. Have at it. The bookies know you’re probably going to lose, and thus offer those nice odds, in case you were wondering.

                  You’re fantasizing about every party, then? The Millipedes will deflate, as will UKIP, and the Camerloons will rise like a phoenix? It’s an interesting perspective, but no, it can’t all work out like you’re fantasizing. If UKIP takes +10% of the electorate, your Camerluvvie fantasies are finished, Dave’s head gets mounted on a spike and you lose your bets.

                  And UKIP is going to take +10%, lad.

                  Fantasies just don’t stand up, generally.

                • Tunde

                  Stop calling people lad and stop being so damn condescending and supercilious. It’s irritating. Talk like a normal person for crying out loud.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  I suppose I could concern myself with your whining.

                  Then again, I suppose I could ignore it.

                • Alexsandr

                  pure guess work. no-one knows what will happen in the next year. Putting your wishful thinking as fact doesn’t help.
                  for me there are too many variables to say. Lets get the euros counted then we can perhaps make a stab at it. but the scottish vote is another massive variable.

            • Alexsandr

              what limp dems will be available for coalition? they will be back to a taxi-full of MP’s

              • GIN1138

                Lib-Dem’s will win more seat’s than it currently looks as though they are going to. I’ll be surprised if more than half are lost.

                Generally seats lost and won in general elections are far less dramatic than most people think/expect. The exception being 1997 and the 1922/1923/1924 elections where Labour replaced the Liberals.

                • Alexsandr

                  ordinarily I would agree. but I think we are in uncharted territory now, dont you think?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Wait, so you’re fantasizing about the performance of a total of 4 parties now? So let’s get this straight. Contrary to current polls and all data currently in-hand, you’re saying Lab will fall like a stone, the Cameroons will rocket to the heavens, UKIP will crash to nothingness… AND the LibDumbs will surge upwards to the sunny uplands?

                  Have we got all that then?

  • Mark_ld

    Fraser Nelson, apologist and Cheerleader for Ed M. Fraser, time to go back to one of those cosy left-leaning BBC chat shows you so like, boost the personal profile some more. You are unfortunately the main reason I would not subscribe.
    No wonder the BBC love you, the right commentator that is an apologist for the Eds.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Be fair. The kid apologizes for all of the LibLabCon clones.

  • Hugh

    Given he began his “leadership” of Labour with a three-year “policy review” (read “vacuum”) and has only recently revealed all these plans to interfere in the markets after seeing his energy bill freeze was popular he’s not actually that intellectually self confident, is he? Quite the opposite in fact.

    He’s given every indication of not really having much idea of what he does want to do at all (beyond being elected). The Standard shouldn’t have let him make the claim unchallenged.

  • HookesLaw

    I seem to remember that Harold Wilson who had ten times the intellect of Miliband and Nelson put together was the greatest pragmatist of his or probably any other generation.

    Enoch Powell was stunningly convinced of his own intellectual validation. he ended up in a backwater and ruined – when with a little more pragmatism is abilities could have served his party and the nation.

    In short Mr Nelson talks rubbish and crypto marxist Miliband would drag the nation self confidently into a desert.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …all of your LibLabCon mates are set on that course, lad.

    • Andy

      Well I knew Enoch Powell. He probably had the finest brain of his generation in politics, but there is such a thing as being ‘Too clever by Half’.

      Roy Jenkins was another, like Miliband, who thought he was some great intellectual but in reality he was merely infused and puffed up with arrogance. He once went to lunch with a friend of mine who sussed him out in five minutes flat.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Jenkins reminds me of Rowan Williams. Pillars of intellectual jelly.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Plenty of self-confidence with zero self-awareness grounded in little ability and less experience.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …don’t forget all the lathered-on hubris.

  • Fergus Pickering

    I’m sure you have read Burke and Oakeshott, Fraser, but you do not seem to have profited by what you have read. Conservatism is not one big idea. It is the fox not the hedgehog. Just as well. Hedgehogs get run over.

  • @PhilKean1

    .

    Let’s examine David Cameron’s intellect.

    You didn’t think David Cameron could insult your intelligence more than he already has – you were wrong !

    Cameron : ”Taxes will have to rise if HMRC are NOT given the power to raid bank accounts”.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/tax/10819885/David-Cameron-Taxes-will-rise-unless-we-can-raid-bank-accounts.html

    Please, I know you very often see me attacking this useless man. But hear me out.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinanc

    ”HMRC expect to recover up to 100 million pounds per annum by being able to raid bank accounts”

    One hundred million pounds. ONE HUNDRED MILLION !
    NOT one hundred billion. NOT even ONE billion. No, just UP to one TENTH of one billion.

    Let me give you a clue as to the magnitude of the value of what Cameron says will force HIM to raise taxes if HMRC do not acquire these powers.

    Multiples of £100 million pounds is roughly the amount that David Cameron sprays around like confetti, allegedly to assist good causes, when he travels abroad, and even when he is here in the UK.

    Please think. This man is your Prime Minister. How much longer can you bear it?
    .

    • Colonel Mustard

      An excellent debagging of a bogus conservative. The emotional blackmail in his statement is worthy of the worst kind of Labour politician – “Do as we say or cute puppies will die”.

      For a supposedly Conservative Prime Minister to advocate state statute-sanctioned theft without the safeguard of judicial oversight and authorisation is appalling and a far cry from his promise to “sweep away” New Labour’s regulatory nanny state.

      • @PhilKean1

        But what is he thinking about? Does he even think at all?

        Maybe he just doesn’t realise that there are still some intelligent people left in Britain.
        .

        • telemachus

          He is in fact the one politician with a credible policy on Europe

          • @PhilKean1

            Just saying so doesn’t make the untrue true.

            His policy on the EU is no policy at all. I could argue the toss with you on this, but we’d just end up, as usual, with me winning the battle.
            .

            • telemachus

              Oh yes
              Dave has a plan-renegotiate and then vote
              The Liberals have no plan
              UKIP have an incredible plan impossible to implement
              How can you win over that

              • @PhilKean1

                (1) – Loss of voters to UKIP effectively reversed his earlier refusal to offer a referendum because he didn’t want to take Britain out of then EU.
                (2) – He changed his alleged “renegotiation of Britain’s membership” to a “reform of the EU” after he realised he’d be unable to return powers back to the UK.
                (3) – His list of “demands” are not really any demands at all. And only now are his weak and gullible backbenchers pressuring him to get tougher.
                (4) – He either deliberately – or stupidly – destroyed his negotiating hand with his EU friends. Tick as appropriate.
                (5) – At the same time he is telling voters they’ll have the chance to vote to leave the EU, he is rushing to get Britain included in US-EU and Canada-EU trade deals – and opting-in to shared EU Crime and Justice legislation – that will make leaving the EU much harder.
                (6) – He has a history of reneging on EU pledges. And he told a Spanish paper he’d not take Britain out of the EU.
                (7) – Why wait until 2017? We know everything we need to know now about what the EU wants, and what Britain needs.
                (8) – Cameron is a man who is wrong about almost everything. Remember sticking to Labour’s spending plans?
                Look at how he has left Britain almost defenceless in the face of the Russian threat.
                (9) – This weeks confirmation, and Cameron’s meek acceptance, of the EU forcing Britain to implement the FTT is confirmation that Cameron intends to stay in the EU under all circumstances.
                .

              • @PhilKean1

                .
                An idiot’s guide to Cameron’s referendum pledge.

                Cameron : “I don’t want to allow A,B and C.”

                So he was forced to give the appearance that he would offer A,B and C.

                Now, when he is being interviewed about the coming elections, as Adam Boulton did, last night – he speaks with passion about why he believes the British people should be offered A,B and C.

                Insult doesn’t come any more brazen.
                .

        • ButcombeMan

          I long ago came to the conclusion that Cameron is really quite stupid.

          Your point about 100 million is well made. He is either stupid or treating his audience with disdain.

          • @PhilKean1

            Cameron’s EU renegotiation / referendum ploy – (Portillo’s words) – show that he really believes us all to be stupid.
            .

          • telemachus

            Cameron is probably the brightest chap currently in the Tory firmament
            Sadly he is surrounded by the Osborne tendency

      • @PhilKean1

        In fact, the “do as we say or puppies will die” analogy just about sums it up.
        .

        • Hexhamgeezer

          Problem is no one believes he’s got the nuts to decapitate a puppy or two.

      • Ooh!MePurse!

        But there are safeguards. Individuals must be given four – four! – warnings that it could happen if they don’t pay up. It can only occur where the individual owes over £1,000 and they must be left with a residual amount of 4 or 5 grand.

        It’s lazy to label a person as a bogus Conservative. All political parties are broad churches, encompassing a wide range of views. Just because the views of the present leadership don’t match yours, it doesn’t make them bogus.

        In addition, a successful political party has to recognize the art of the possible. No politician was more aware of this than Thatcher until the late 80s, and you will not find a bigger fan of Thatcher than me. Fact is, there has never been a time of ‘perfect’ Conservative leadership, it’s as mythical as the Loch Ness monster.

        Rather than carp it is time for all Conservatives to recognize that Cameron is our biggest asset and that our greatest fight, our raison d’être is first to hold back and then ratchet back the forces of socialism. We won’t do that from the opposition benches. We will do it through allowing the economy to recover and then grow, by cutting welfare dependency and challenging the socialist hegemony over education, by demonstrating that freedom, responsibility and opportunity are better than the socialist alternative, better on every level, including morality. I wonder if the leadership of the Labour Party have ever visited the Stasi prison in Berlin, it would serve to wipe the patronising, self righteous grin off their faces.

        I recognize and, to some extent understand Cameron’s imperfections but I’ much rather have an imperfect Tory government rather than a shiny, ideologically pristine Tory opposition facing a socialist threat.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          He’s bogus when he gets humiliated in an election, as will occur in about 2 weeks time. But then, all of the socialist LibLabCon clones are bogus.

        • Colonel Mustard

          “It’s lazy to label a person as a bogus Conservative. All political parties are broad churches, encompassing a wide range of views. Just because the views of the present leadership don’t match yours, it doesn’t make them bogus.”

          It’s not lazy at all. And I’m not judging him on how his views don’t match mine but by what he promised before the election and what he has said and done since. By the empirical evidence of his behaviour.

          It is precisely because Conservatism is a broad church that he should not have been ramming his personal views down our throats as government policy.

    • HookesLaw

      What Cameron said was —
      “We have a choice here. If we don’t collect taxes
      properly and make sure people pay their taxes properly we look at the
      problems of having to raise tax rates. I don’t want to do that, so I support
      the changes the Chancellor set out in the Budget which is to really say that
      not paying your taxes is not acceptable.”

      Do you think not paying taxes is acceptable?

      • @PhilKean1

        The basis of his statement is that his Government will have to raise taxes to recoup the estimated £100 million per annum that is unpaid each year.

        £100 mln. A relatively trifling amount. Can you tell me how much general taxation would need to rise to compensate for £100 million?

        Let us consider another illogical anomaly, recently touched upon by Fraser. – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/10817969/Vladimir-Putin-could-drive-an-army-through-the-gaps-in-Britains-defences.html

        Cameron’s Government has cut defence spending by approximately the same amount it has raised the Foreign aid budget.

        Taking from Peter to give to Paul. Moaning about a deficit at one end, but irresponsibly giving it away at the other.
        Caring about a non priority, whilst neglecting a vital priority.

        This man has got to go !
        .

        • HookesLaw

          The basis of the statement is what Cameron actually said and the principle behind it.not a headline put on top of it.

          I see that some pop group called ‘Take That’ are now going to have to pay back over 20 million in tax. £20 million is not a small sum and that is just one case. Would you rather you were paying that tax to plug Brown’s deficit? Indeed your shrug and saying that 100 million is small beer marks you out as a socialist.

          You refuse to confirm that not payingt taxes is unacceptable which is what this is about.

          You spout your usual pathetic rubbish which ignores all the good things this govt has done and started – probably because you know they would be reversed by the crypto marxist Miliband – the man you are activly conspiring to put into power. You are a traitor to your country.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Only socialist nutters like you and Call Me Dave would leave a socialist government with the raw bureaucratic power to unilaterally seize property.

          • @PhilKean1

            I am a traitor to my country? Someone who, unlike you, objects to Cameron and his fellow Europhiles signing away the British peoples’ sacred democracy to the EU?

            Oh, and my understanding is that what Take That were alleged to have done was legal. Let me spell it out for you.

            Tax evasion : illegal
            Tax avoidance : legal.

            Cameron didn’t only aspire to be the Heir to Blair, he has become his true successor.
            .

          • ButcombeMan

            I am by no means a socialist and I do not agree.

            100 million is chicken feed in relation to total HMG spending.

            HMRC is an organisation in chaos since Gordon Brown so stupidly, on the basis of an evidence free report, merged HMC&E and IR.

            100million is not enough to justify giving draconian powers, worthy of a dictatorship, to such an obviously dysfunctional organisation.

            • @PhilKean1

              Yes, Mr Man. Draconian powers indeed.

              * Like continuing to allow the Americans to engage in extraordinary rendition of British citizens.
              * Like maintaining the EU equivalent and, to my utter disbelief, opting-in to shared EU Crime and Justice legislation.
              * Like penalising responsible drinkers and eaters by imposing fat, sugar and alcohol taxes.

              Raiding personal bank accounts is simply par for the course.
              .

            • Colonel Mustard

              “HMRC is an organisation in chaos”

              I can testify to that on the basis of personal experience. I wouldn’t trust them to manage anything efficiently.

          • southerner

            Embarrassing post. Simply beyond parody.

      • saffrin

        Cameron does regardless of what he claims.
        Google and that Coffee House to name but two.
        The thing is Hooky, Cameron is just as much a self serving crook as the rest of the Westminster Village residents.

      • Lady Magdalene

        No. But I also think raiding peoples’ bank accounts is unacceptable.
        Cameron/Osborne have learnt from the Kommissars – who did precisely this in Cyprus.
        There is NO justification for Government theft.

    • Smithersjones2013

      So we can add State endorsed Bank robbery to Cameron’s achievements.

  • Holly

    ‘Intellectual self confidence’?
    What the heck does than mean to the average Joe?
    Arrogance?
    Being cocky?
    Bozo told us he had a ‘moral compass’, and that he was being ‘prudent’.This turned out to be the biggest lie, and the public found out when it was too late to stop the rot, it had already set in and almost destroyed everything beyond repair.

    Miliband may be saying all the right things to all the right people(MSM) but the public do not trust Miliband, or Balls to manage the economy.
    The public have come to understand that while what Miliband is proposing sounds great, (lower energy bills, lower rents, cheaper rail fares) the way these things are set up, it would cause all sorts of other problems, and how would these be funded.
    This adds to our mis-trust of Labour, and how they would manage the economy so they do not send us back into the ditch we have just spent the past three years trying to dig ourselves out of.

    You might be in awe of Miliband’s ‘intellect’, but most of the public find him offensively ignorant to what he, and Labour did to the country while in office.

    I could be wrong though.

    • Fraser Nelson

      It means knowing where you’re going.

      • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

        Miliband is unintelligent. All he has to say is “tax bankers get young back to work” and he will be elected. He has a team of advisors, every snippet of him you see has been over-rehearsed, just look at his body-language when on the sofa with Farage, he’s a shameless-reproduction of Blair.

        Miliband wouldn’t know where he was going on an escalator.

        • HookesLaw

          Well Mr fruitcake he would know where he was, but he would not know if he was going up or down.
          And by your actions all you are doing is ensuring he gets elected.

          • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

            I don’t doubt he will be elected. it is up to the Tories to offer us a referendum. They have a choice.

            • HookesLaw

              So shoot yourself in the foot. there will be a referedndum, offering a clear choice. But you just throw that on the bonfire of your vanity.

              • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

                Why not have it before 2015?

              • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

                That’s right, no answers…..

              • Alexsandr

                why not sept 2014. If he really meant it he would do it. Introduce a bill into the commons and challenge the other parties to defeat it. He does not have the cojones.

                • HookesLaw

                  And what are the options? What are the options if we leave? What are the options for staying in. You talk like Salmond. What is right is proper negotiations so we know what we are voting for.

                  Why do you want to gift the nation a europhile Miliband all for the sake of waiting until 2017 for a referendum. Indeed there will probably be more chance of a No vote in 2017 rather than a rushed referendum in 2015.

                  And why split the tory party at election time and gift Miliband an assured and big victory?
                  The truth is the tory party is not bigoted enough for you and your kind. You care nothing for the nation you only want to see your bigotry victorious even at the cost of a Labour victory.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  So they’re bigots but you want them to vote for you, eh laddie?

                  You are still an incredible plank.

                • Smithersjones2013

                  Yep Hooky thinks all the ‘nutters, bigots and fruitcakes’ should vote for those idiotic and disloyal Tory backbenchers he keeps talking about.

                  I’m surprised CCHQ hasn’t picked up on such an obviously brilliant campaign narrative. It’s amazing Lynton hasn’t scooped Hooky off to advise him.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  As I’ve said all along, this guy is working for Nigel Farage, and is his best recruiter.

                • Alexsandr

                  i find justfying giving away our sovreignty to an unelected foreign power pretty bigoted. Especially as the electorate has never been properly asked. Pity you cannot make your argument for staying in without resorting to insults – the refuge of the intellectually incapable.
                  we dont need the EU to run our domestic markets, or our trade outside the EU. we can do that quite well ourselves. And the EU will continue to trade with us because we buy more from them than they from us.
                  a proper debate with out lies (like Clegg saying we would lose 3m jobs if we left the EU -he said it in hid election broadcast the other night) followed by a referendum.
                  If the argument for staying in is so good then I am sure the referendum will reflect it.
                  But I guess the europhiles are ‘frit’.

                • Lady Magdalene

                  We already know what we’re voting for.
                  Do we want to be a part of an undemocratic, corrupt, dictatorial European union
                  or
                  Do we want to be an independent Sovereign, self-governing Democracy.
                  Waiting until 2017 isn’t going to change the fundamentals.

                • Conway

                  He doesn’t want us to leave. He knows he won’t be in a position to have to renege on a referendum because he won’t have a majority. He can pretty much say what he likes, safe in the knowledge that he won’t have to deliver.

          • Alexsandr

            no the tories should stand aside in some seats to stop the right of centre vote being split.

            • HookesLaw

              Laughably ignorant. You think this country wants to be goiverned by a nutjob like farage – and more to the [point nhis ndim fruit loop followers. In a chouce between Miliband and farage you would see a massive Labour majoirity and a big vote for the LDs.

              • Alexsandr

                The nutjobs are the tory left who have deprived large part of the party of a voice. they you wonder why they are deserting the tories in droves.

              • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

                You are against democracy, give us a referendum, we demand it.

        • Alexsandr

          trouble is the electorate has rumbled liblabcon as being a con. Without UKIP I reckon 2015 would have the lowest turnout ever, or loads of spoiled ballots.

          • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

            All the Tories need to do to win us back is give us a referendum before 2015, the ball is in his court.

            • Holly

              Abso-blooming-lutely!!!

      • HookesLaw

        it means ‘thinking’ youn know where you are going.
        Hitler was full of intellectual self confidence. So are you, but all you are getting is a blog which pays host to nutjobs anbd bigots.

        • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

          That’s just rude, Nelson is entitled to his opinion based on a skewed press-release handed down by his Tory over-lords who will never win another election.

          • HookesLaw

            Its telling the truth. You betray your bigotry by wanting to see a labour govt.

            • Colonel Mustard

              I don’t want to see a Labour government but I don’t want to see a bogus Conservative one that is perpetuating New Labour’s nanny state and proposing to censor the internet either.

              I’m a voter entitled to vote. I’ve always voted Conservative. The onus is on Cameron to persuade me to continue to do so. There you go.

              • Alexsandr

                hooky believes we should vote tory and be grateful, then tug our forelocks. Doesn’t work like that no more.

                • Conway

                  All the three main parties believe they own our vote. Time to disabuse them of that idea.

            • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

              I don’t want to see a labour government, but I refuse to vote for the Tories until they give us a referendum on our EU membership. Camoron has a choice, the ball is in his court.

            • Smithersjones2013

              Oh Hooky you really are becoming the caricature of a parody of a cardboard cutout Tory swivel-eyed nutter.

              Do go find some counselling. It will help you (and give the rest of us a break from your incessant ranting)

              PS Look on the bright side. If Miliband is as bad as we all think he will be then it should ensure that Labour are out of government for a generation after he has been in power for 5 years.

        • Andy

          You a ‘nut job’ or a ‘Bigot’ then Hookey ???

          You’re certainly a moron.

      • Alexsandr

        come on fraser. most people outside the westminster bubble find him a cartoon figure with no gravitas. If labour do any good in 2015 it will be despite him, not because of him.
        and people will remember the labour government, of which Milliband was a member, as one that overspent and spoiled everything. And that 5 of their MP’s went to jail for expenses fraud (why not more?) nd that they were apologists for paedophilia. The labour brand is toxic as the tory one now.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Yes, you bubble denizens know where you’re going, no doubt.

        • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

          the tories will get a shock when labour offer to give a referendum in 2017

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Yes, that’s the point here, the Millipedes are holding that one in the bank. If they find themselves seeing any vote slippage to UKIP, come the GE, they can break out that little gem (lie though it might be) and bring the wandering flock back home.

            And they can sit on it ’til then and watch and wait to see how best to play it, after watching Dave and company flounder about.

            Dave isn’t even playing checkers, let alone chess. I don’t know what game he’s playing. Does anybody?

      • Holly

        Yeah, and it helps more if you actually realise where you’ve been!

        Miliband hasn’t a clue what Labour did/got wrong while in government, and the Labour shadow chancellor doesn’t see why anything went wrong while he was at the Treasury/city minister either.
        So when you have the two major players refusing to admit any fault/blame/culpability in how they screwed the economy, how is anyone with half a brain supposed to believe, all of a sudden they are financial geniuses?

        You might like what Miliband is saying, along with thousands of other folk,(me included) but that is all it is….meaningless words that neither Miliband or Balls managed to achieve while advising Bozo on their dismal stint at the Treasury.
        They have EARNED my absolute dislike of them, and my utter contempt at their complete ineptitude at anything financial.

      • sarahsmith232

        Fraser Nelson, it’s took me a few minutes of strolling just to get to the section in the comments which actually relates to the article. Can you not do something about collapsing comments, like in the Guardian? Telemachas and Colonel Mustard always take up 2 pages on nothing more than throwing stupid personal insults at each other. It’s always the same, this Tele’ one picks the first comment to respond to and then waits for the insults to roll in. It means that the real comments get buried right down here. Thanks

    • Des Demona

      ” but most of the public find him offensively ignorant to what he, and Labour did to the country while in office”
      Never confuse the comment section of The Spectator with what the rest of the public think.

      • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

        Never confuse Des Domona, Orhelo’s bed-fellow with a person with any insight into the zeitgeist.

        He’s as ignorant as they come.

      • Alexsandr

        no. I hear the anti labour sentiment outside the political blogs

      • Colonel Mustard

        You don’t know what the rest of the public think. You only know what your fellow travellers would like them to think or would like to think they think.

        And polling does not bear that out. Democracy and pluralism in politics means that you will find the comments section of the Spectator different to the comments section of the Guardian or your erstwhile home the New Statesman. Suck it up.

        • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

          UKIP supporters are a majority on the DT, DM here, and many other papers, I rarely see a comment that’s pro-miliband

          • Conway

            What amazed me recently was how anti-EU comments BTL on the Guardian were! I had to double check I was reading the right paper.

            • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

              BTL?

              Even one about how immigration is good was FULL of people saying what a lie the article was.

        • Des Demona

          Really? I don’t find it any different. Same bigoted ”I’m right and you’re wrong” As you bear out more than most.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Two assertions by the same person:-

            “Never confuse the comment section of The Spectator with what the rest of the public think.”

            “I don’t find it (the Spectator comments section) any different (to the Guardian and New Statesman).”

            Hmm.

            • Des Demona

              And the contradiction is? The comment section of every political journal of whatever persuasion will tend to reflect only the views of of the readership who bother to comment.
              That is not necessarily the view of the general public Or indeed the general readership..
              Take UKIP for instance. If you read the comment section of the Spectator which tends to filled to the brim with pro-ukip vitriol then you may be under the impression that they were a huge powerful party – whereas they will be lucky if they get one Westminster MP. So there is a massive disconnect there.

              • Colonel Mustard

                zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

                You don’t know what the rest of the public think.

                Etc.

    • Conway

      Sadly, there are still some people who think Gordon Brown was a good chancellor! Never mind the debt, the deficit, the selling off of the gold, the PFI … Thank heavens Blair wanted us in the euro; if he’d opposed it, GB would have taken us in.

  • Swiss Bob

    Anyone with any nous can see Miliband is of average intelligence who was gifted a path to power and that now he has it he has no ideas beyond 6th form politicking, on top of that you can see he’s a bully, no doubt as a result of his school years.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …so he’s a clone of Dave, then?

      • Alexsandr

        cameron, glegg, milliband. all clones of each other,

    • Ooh!MePurse!

      Yes, well said. As demonstrated in the election ‘broadcast’ shown this week. Whatever next? Compulsory donning of flat caps in public?

  • Colonel Mustard

    “Is intellectual self-confidence a good thing?”

    If you are an advocate of a hierarchical “Social Order” inflexibly promulgated by a socialist elite who think they are always right, think that any problems are always someone else’s fault and think that they know better than anyone else what is good for everyone then yes, it is.

    If however you are an “unreconstructed” conservative then it is out of touch elitism that oppresses the poor and forces impoverished children in Tower Hamlets to go about without shoes and you deserve to be called “Tory scum”.

    Such is the polarised era we live in where the centre ground, now shifted left of centre anyway, is being squabbled over by the socialists who are furthest right and the socialists who are furthest left. At the same time the furthest left socialists are accusing the furthest right socialists of being “far right” and the socialists further right are treating the socialists further left as if they are not deluded loons. Small ‘c’ conservatism isn’t getting a look in. The centre ground in as much as it represented moderation, tolerance, circumspection, reason, maturity of outlook and pragmatism is long gone. You youngsters didn’t think it was worth preserving.

  • sfin

    ” In my opinion, one of the main reasons that the Conservatives failed to win the 2010 general election (in a recession, against a loathed Prime Minister) was the failure to express a clear idea of what they stood for an what they’d do.”

    I agree – but the main reason that the conservatives failed to win in 2010 was that they had, under Cameron, ceased to be the Conservative party. Cameron tried to ape the electoral success of Blair by aping Blair – precisely at the time when the whole New Labour project was being exposed as the toxic tissue of mendacity and spin that it had always been (you can’t fool all of the people all of the time – and all that jazz).

    Tony Parsons has nailed both Cameron and Milliband in an interview in today’s Telegraph – “5th rate men with 1st rate educations”. Education, alone, does not an intellectual make.

    • telemachus

      Education, alone, does not an intellectual make.
      But as Fraser says
      “Ed Miliband is commendably clear. His founding philosophy is that the market has failed, that the recovery is going wrong by rewarding a handful of people at the top.”
      That is the point
      The whole point
      The conservatives stand for a divisive society with the haves and the have nots
      The country must move forward on the basis of fairness and equal opportunity

      • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

        Do you mean “Education, alone, doesn’t make an intellectual?
        Labour have NEVER achieved fairness, they are not capable of such things,
        they tax low income workers from £6,500 compared to the coalition’s £10,500..and their mass immigration which provides a huge amount of competition to low-skilled workers and drives down their wages.

        • telemachus

          While I refute all that,

          I also wish you to refute that “the recovery is going wrong by rewarding a handful of people at the top.”

          • saffrin

            Which no doubt explains Labour’s peerages for crooks and err cash.

            • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

              Like lord Dyson making 600 million

          • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

            Which facts do you refute and why? I think you’re in denial.

            They make tax cuts to encourage investment in our country, France did the opposite and look at what happened.

            • Conway

              London – or should that be Londres? – France’s 6th largest city.

              • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

                Tele just doesn’t get it, he never will.

                • telemachus

                  Your avatar tells us that you are the one that never will

                • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

                  How so? You use my phrase “never will” without transposing it into a new meaning, so are essentially saying my support of UKIP means I don’t understand that labour are a disgusting paedophile party who cause mass poverty and stifle the poor with huge taxes and debt…….

                  Your reply is illogical.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Tripe. One cannot possibly have a “founding philosophy” that the “recovery is going wrong” because firstly that is not a philosophy let alone a founding one but merely a dogmatic assertion. Secondly a “recovery going wrong” is approaching oxymoron territory (with the moron bit especially relevant in your case). Thirdly that is not borne out anyway by facts about the recovery.

        Essentially Miliband is a communist who has slithered his way to leadership of the Labour party by pretending he is not and being backed by the Unions. His founding philosophy, schooled by his communist father, is Marxism and he would be seeking to apply that (although not admitting to it) regardless of the state of the recovery or anything the Tories or coalition were doing. He is the mutant resurrection of Michael Foot.

        You bleated in triumph about Hollande and how we should look to France for evidence of socialist policies triumphing. Well, look now and you have gone very quiet about that. Your credibility is shredded and no amount of tediously cretinous hagiography of your Favourite Labour Figures is going to change that.

        • telemachus

          No hagiograpy
          Pick any one
          Look at the actual rubric and philosophy
          Tell me which party is the best custdian of the British tradition of fairness
          *
          Miliband is the true heir of Disraeli

          • Colonel Mustard

            “Look at the actual rubric and philosophy”

            Oh dear! Or maybe oh dire! A rubric? Anyone can plan, say or headline anything. But the lesson of the Labour party is that the consequences of its actions seldom match its intentions. Usually the effect is the direct opposite of what was intended. Just because Miliband or Balls bleat about something doesn’t mean that:-

            a) It will happen

            b) they will get it right

            Don’t be so naive!

            • telemachus

              Listen

              Balls had a few false starts after the defeat in predictions

              However when he has his hands on the levers he will address the accusation

              “that the recovery is going wrong by rewarding a handful of people at the top.”

              I know Ed subscribes to the Healey philosophy

              “I warn you that there are going to be howls of anguish from those rich enough to pay over 75% on their last slice of earnings”

              He did not actually say

              “tax the rich until the pips squeak”

              However Ed will say it, mean it and act

              • Alex

                Why would there be howls of anguish? They’ll simply leave the country, taking their money, taxes, businesses and jobs with them. There’s a country where you can see it happening; place called France, maybe you have heard of it? It has an unemployment rate nearly double that of the UK.

                • telemachus

                  A few will go
                  But that is all to the good
                  Ongoing fairness in the end benefits all

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “But (under Hollande) the French economy has struggled to grow and unemployment has continued to rise. Increases in taxes to plug holes in public finances have further angered the French people while failing to achieve the results hoped for by Mr. Hollande.

                  With his own popularity at record lows early this year and unemployment still rising, the president switched tack and said he would focus on spending cuts to fund tax breaks for businesses to help them invest and recruit.”

                  Muppets all of you.

                • telemachus

                  The French as you know are spineless and lack application and industry
                  You did not read the Canadian Post

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …isn’t that waaaaaaaycist, lad?

                • telemachus

                  When it comes to the French, PC is suspended

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …so you are a waaaaaaaaaaycist.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Just goes to show what nasty hypocrites you are, which is the established theme elsewhere.

                • telemachus

                  Oh dear
                  I thought we had agreed that when it comes to the greater good for the majority that the ends justify the means

                • Colonel Mustard

                  No, that’s you that is. I never agreed that any end justifies lying, conniving, deceiving, smearing and all the other nasties the left engages in, even if we were to agree what that end should be, which we don’t.

                  So pack up your little magic box and jog on.

                • telemachus

                  Every ruling class in the world operates on the assumption that the “ends justifies the means.” In every war, these rulers risk the lives of millions of ordinary soldiers on both sides in order to control some market, some bit of land or some slice of power.

                  Asked if killing half a million Iraqi children was “worth it,” Secretary of State Madeleine Albright responded that “the price, we think, is worth it.”

                  Trotsky wrote “The ruling class forces its ends upon society and habituates it to considering all those means which contradict its ends as immoral. That is the chief function of official morality.”

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “Ruling class” is the key phrase and tells us everything we need to know about you. The fact that you quote Trotsky is the icing on the cake and tells us everything we need to know about the modern Labour party and the type of people in it.

                  The Long Marchers didn’t just work their way through the establishment and the right…

                • Colonel Mustard

                  It’s Hollande not the French, the man you were holding up as a socialist messiah when he came to power and telling us how “Ed” would follow his lead.

                  Give it a rest you muppet. You are all over this site like a rash and like your Dear Leader offer nothing but turgid clichés from dreary 1970’s socialism.

                  And you must be employed by the Tories because as an example of an advocate for Labour you are a laughing stock.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Yes, that muppet works for Cameron, clearly.

              • Colonel Mustard

                I’d rather not listen thanks. Nor do I wish to return to the days when the top rate of income tax was 83% and 98% on investment income. I remember what that did to the economy and how it stifled aspiration. If you think that will work any magic I suggest you have another look at Hollande’s mess.

                It is amazing how socialists always insist on repeating mistakes and reinforcing their failure.

                But then you don’t care about the country. You just want to stick it to the Tories and the “rich”. Ironic considering how many fat, stupid and lucratively paid socialist millionaires there are now!

                • telemachus

                  I’m telling you and you will listen

                  Think Canada

                  There are three main reasons for the large government deficits in Canada:

                  1. Tax cuts,

                  2. the recession of 2008-2009 and

                  3. a very slow and shaky economic recovery.

                  Raise taxes on high income earners and close loopholes

                  Canada is growing more unequal. Social and economic disparities threaten democracy itself as those with the most wealth are able to influence political decision-making, and do so to protect and strengthen their own interests. The wealthiest, who can afford to pay a fair share of our public service costs, enjoy a tax system skewed in their favour.

                  A more progressive tax system can help to narrow the growing gap between rich and poor. Higher tax rates on higher income brackets should be restored.

                  But restoring higher income tax rates for higher incomes will not ensure the rich pay a fairer share. Most very rich people don’t pay anything close to the highest marginal rate on their income because they find all kinds of ways – both legal and illegal- to avoid paying taxes.

                  Then there are all the tax breaks that disproportionately benefit the rich, such as the very high limit on RRSP contributions, and the Stock Option Deduction, which saw 90% of the benefit going to the less than 1% of tax filers with incomes of over $250,000.
                  *
                  Colonel Mustard
                  We must restore fairness

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “I’m telling you and you will listen”

                  What was that? I can’t hear you…

                  Laters…

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  If you’re using Canada as some example of debt and deficit, you’ve chosen badly, lad. They are a model of fiscal rectitude. .

                • telemachus

                  Not mutually exclusive
                  High tax
                  High spend
                  Be brave

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Can any other of you socialist nutters translate this nutter’s gibberish?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  It means this:-

                  High Tax + High Spend = Nothing to show for it, high level of debt, no surplus but beaucoup bureaucrats and lots of misery

                  Or to paraphrase Yamamoto:-

                  “In the first six to twelve months of an election victory I will run wild and tax and spend. But then, if the money runs out again I have no expectation of success and will have to blame the Tories.”

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …wait, does that mean Balls is the Divine Wind of caring and reasonableness and charisma, and will fly himself into a flaming end?

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  No he is a socialist nutter and even if you could translste his gibberish it would still just be socialist nuttery.

                • Ooh!MePurse!

                  You will listen! No I won’t!

          • Hexhamgeezer

            Aye – Foot’s lapdog.

        • HJ777

          How can his credibility be shredded?

          That presupposes that he once possessed some credibility. Where is your evidence that this was the case?

          • Colonel Mustard

            Quite correct. No evidence whatsoever. I shall amend accordingly, thanks!

      • sarah_13

        The conservatives do not stand for a divisive society. Labour has always stood for dividing society; calling people toffs, when they aren’t and workers when they aren’t. Miliband is impervious to reality; he’s just plain wrong. People see he looks wrong and his ideas are wrong.

        • telemachus

          Osborne’s philosophy articulated almost as such is we will work for us and ours

          The poor continue to get poorer on his watch

          “The number of people earning £1m or more has almost doubled in just two years, according to the latest HMRC figures.”

          That from the Tory House Journal

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/10095574/Super-rich-get-richer-while-everyone-else-gets-poorer.html

          • sarah_13

            The poor have been entrenched in poverty because of labour and their cynical policies, socialism is a fantasy with a party full fantasists. Those of us who come from humble beginnings want the freedom to work and do not begrudge anyone their upbringing whether they were were fortunate enough to live in a trust owned home like miliband or George Osbourne. People don’t care, they care that treaties like the Lisbon treaty are actually read before they are signed and the repercussions are explained to the people. (Caroline Flint did not read it) That money spent on the nhs is spent wisely or not at all that the economy is governed on sound principles not the fantasy of 19th century wealthy lawyers son whose grasp of other peoples lives was not what it might have been and only studied economics in England where he lived of the handouts of his freind’s family business. We need people who live in reality and deal with the facts not the spin of Campbell, or the stifling of debate of the Harriet Hartman. Labour are and have never been fit for government. I know of no one under the age of 35 except the metropolitan liberal bbc employees and journalists and public sector lecturers who would vote labour. It is simply because Mr Miliband has no sensible policies for the 21st century.

            • telemachus

              I know of no one under the age of 35 except the metropolitan liberal bbc employees and journalists and public sector lecturers who would vote labour.
              Not sure where you mix
              All my children’s friends–20’s & 30’s are voting Labour

              • sarah_13

                Many apologies my mistake, I meant to say under the age of 35. My view is that only the young and impressionable will vote labour, with the odd vested interest public sector workers.

                • Conway

                  Many in the 18-25 bracket won’t vote.

              • Andy

                Which shows that your children have very unsuitable friends. Your children should all be taken into care immediately.

                • telemachus

                  They are self evidently caring and may provide care

                • Andy

                  They should be taken into Local Authority Care. One of those places your lot allowed wide spread abuse to occur.

            • sfin

              Bravo!

          • HJ777

            “The poor continue to get poorer on his watch”

            Where is the evidence for that assertion?

            And by the way, if some people have got richer it does not logically imply, or even suggest, that others have got poorer or that their wealth was acquired at the expense of the poor.

            • telemachus

              You know well
              The cost of living is such that the poor have less purchasing power than in 2010
              While the rich have well kept up

              • Colonel Mustard

                Who are these “rich”?

                • telemachus

                  Most in the home counties for starters
                  Try property prices in Merseyside against Hertfordshire
                  And the contemplate the need for a Mansion tax

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Pff! Try not being a simplistic, naive Lieborg stooge.

                • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

                  All you want is to TAX TAX TAX, rich already pay more than anyone and are vilified constantly.

                • telemachus

                  And they can
                  They can
                  And if they do not we get a divided society

                • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

                  But why should they? They don’t use any of the public services as it is yet pay the most for them. The problem is how the money is spent. You’re just a jealous labour voter.

                • telemachus

                  Your reply encapsulates the problem
                  Why care?
                  Send em to the food banks
                  If non white ship em out

                • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

                  What a disgusting thing to say. Why do you think I should be taxed to pay for someone who refuses to work?

                • sarah_13

                  No, your reply “encapsulates the problem”, it amounts to paying lip service to caring, to competency, to equality, to fairness and then continue with incompetent policies that reinforce poverty, difference and division. For the labour party as long as you hate the tories you can do anything. Let the NHS grow out of control, where people are killed in hospital wards either from lack of care or lack of hygiene long before the coalition was even thought of. Or allow ket addicted individuals, play acting at being clergymen, to run banks; as long as you hate tories you’re in. Or like Gordon Brown wreck the economy with the knock-on-effect on the global economy etc etc. Or sign treaties the ministers can’t even be bothered to read, and sign up when you leave to massive bailout agreements without so much as a care for who actually pays all this. All of this happened long before the last 4 years of the coalition.

                  Any crisis we are experiencing we can thank no one else but labour, Ed Miliband, Ed Balls, Harriet Harman, Douglas Alexander etc etc. They are the problem, the fact that their mess will take years to put right is no one’s fault but theirs and paying lip service to “fairness” and “niceness” will do no one any good and in fact just exposes them for the hypocrites they are. You have commented that your children’s friends will vote labour well that is a great shame. A shame for all of us, we will not escape in tact from another labour government and certainly not if the best they can do is bash “toffs”. As I have said before those of us from less than grand beginnings don’t need overgrown students condescending to us to know who is responsible for the mess, the fact that impressionable individuals will still vote for this nonsense is, like I said, a terrible shame for us all.

              • HJ777

                It’s just that I’m having difficulty reconciling your assertion with this statement from the ONS in July 2013 which seems to contradict you:

                “Disposable incomes have fallen since the start of the economic downturn, with average equivalised income falling by £1,200 since 2007/08 in real terms. The fall in income has been largest for the richest fifth of households by 6.8%. In contrast, after accounting for inflation and household composition, average income for the poorest fifth has grown over this period by 6.9%”

                http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_317365.pdf

                Obviously the ONS must be wrong because you are saying the opposite is true. Can you explain how they have got it so wrong and could you tell me where I can see your figures please?

                • telemachus

                  You forgot to mention the date of the ONS report(2011-reflecting the last year of Gordon’s Premiership)
                  We have had 3 further years of Osbornism and this analysis of the recent budget
                  “George Osborne today launched a high-risk pensions revolution in a Budget designed to buy votes in Tory heartlands.

                  The millionaire Tory Chancellor unveiled a string of policies to help the rich get richer.

                  But he hammered the poor with a further £7billion in spending cuts and a cruel new squeeze on welfare. ”

                  http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/budget-2014-george-osbornes-thatcherite-3262856#ixzz31LBPj3FX

                • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

                  What is cruel about cutting welfare? They also don’t tax the poorest until they earn over £10,500 compared to labour who started taxing them at £6,500.

                • telemachus

                  Now where did I read that?

                  As to

                  What is cruel about cutting welfare
                  I cannot believe I read that

                • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

                  These people should get jobs.

                • HJ777

                  “There was a fall in income inequality between 2010/11 and 2011/12”, i.e. it fell after we were rid of Brown.

                  You are aware that the number of households with incomes below 40% of the median (i.e. the poorest) rose under the last Labour government?

      • sfin

        Equal opportunity – I agree – and the left, positively, do not have a monopoly on that aspiration. Given universal equal opportunity there will always be an elite who do much better than anyone else. It is a law of nature. Wishing otherwise is like trying to change the weather – we humans do not have that power (although that has become another, tiresome, debate)

        Fairness is entirely subjective – a word favoured by Nick Clegg – part of which makes him such an intellectual lightweight in my opinion. Ed Milliband is proposing policies that take us back to 1970’s socialism which was disastrous for this country – and if his ‘intellectualism’ cannot even learn from such recent history – then we should all be dismayed that such a mentally challenged person is leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      They don’t have 1st rate educations, either .

      • telemachus

        I thought Oxford was accepted as evidence of that, lad

        • saffrin

          Lucky cycling isn’t on the curriculum.

        • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

          I can tell you didn’t go to Oxford tele. There’s a difference between being a book worm and having a good education

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …accepted by socialist nutters, perhaps.

        • Ricky Strong

          It used to be.

          • telemachus

            In the days of Miliband and Cameron?

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