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With the best will in the world, stroking your ego does not = 'reassuring the right'.

But emphasing Europe, free enterprise and crime might, ACT!

Well, good. Without the 'and theory' the Conservatives are in danger of coming across as just another centre-left party along with Labour and Lib Dems. Not that this will open up huge policy differences with Labour, since Labour have since 1997 been applying a similar spproach from their own perspective. Of the examples given, only an EU referendum differs from Labour policy - and it was (supposedly) Labour policy to have a referendum until the latest bait-and-switch.

"The shadow cabinet minister who rang me this morning saw the move as an attempt to reassure Conservative right-wingers that the agenda of the party would be balanced."

Sorry Tim but can't resist, did the unnamed cabinet minister have a Foxy sounding name?

Wishful thinking I suspect.

Though I'd be very concerned if Cameron is going to repeat the mistake of Hague and Howard in returning to a core vote strategy.

Even diluting the modernisation agenda with this formula for mixed messages would be a disaster.

Excellent news.

Have always argued that from the start Cameron was advocating And politics. Now he's used the phrase perhaps it'll be more obvious?

Since the defection of what's his name, the nonentity, I already sense even on ConHome some more right wing commenters coming around. The ideological bankruptcy of those who simply hate Cameron, like Traditional Tory and Chello, for example, was amply illustrated when they started praising a rabid Euro-federalist who'd left because of Cameron's stance on Europe - a man who goes against all they profess to stand for.

But most normal commenters to the right are starting to accept that Cameron will not give up on the referendum and that he is true Eurosceptic, strong on law and order, crime, marriage, etc.

Scotty: I'm not going to start going through the shadow cabinet one by one but it was not Liam Fox.

MIchael: The And Theory is not a return to the core vote. It's a discipline. It's about a broad and balanced party that spends as much time staying faithful to core messages as to capturing new political ground.

The politics of and is tricky to use in practice without being contradictory. Nothing against the politics of and, but I do fear that Cameron will mess it up.

Our policy contradictions need to be clarified desperately.

Good stuff but not unexpected in my view. The whole reason I've been supportive of Cameron is because I knew he could sucessfully detoxify our brand whilst retaining our values.

The "and" theory is just common sense. I think most mainstream Conservatives actually believe in both sides - I certainly do. It is common sense and things are not exclusive - how can we expect to govern unless we have policies to improve ALL areas of life?
You won't sort out crime if you don't sort out family breakdown AND increase prison places AND rehabilitate drug addicts etc etc. They are not mutually exclusive and each aspect supports the other aspects.

I agree the 'and theory' isn't a core vote strategy, but it is misguided.

reassuring right-wingers will give voters a mixed message and will play into the hands of Labour who are wrongly trying to paint Cameron as weak.

Trying to please everyone just leads to people on all sides not being convinced.

People want some conviction politics. tacking left then right will end in tears.

I simply cannot believe this thread - it must be a spoof. How anyone can write about use of a coordinating conjunction and wax so lyrical on its innate beauty and importance is beyond parody

One thing to come out of the handover is that we WILL win the next GE. Brown is a busted flush, a hopeless liar and both the public and media are increasingly critical of him. DC needs to stay on course over EU, unleash Davis et al on the utter rubbish in Browns cabinet and we will see the polls come our way.

Cameron was excellent yesterday at PMQ's. He played it like a fiddle. All we need is for Osbourne to up his game and point out the impending collapse in the economy and its roots in gordo's daft policies and we are home and dry.

The US housing market has blown up, the CDO/securitisation liquidity bubble has blown apart on the international markets and we will now see rising rates and rising repossessions. Coupled with a reduction in public spending (required to meet the golden rule) over the next 2 years and we are set for very rough economic times. If we can build confidence in economic management then we will be well positioned.

as for the politics of AND......

reassuring right-wingers will give voters a mixed message

Don’t get too hung up on that old right v left thing. Remember:

* 4 million voters deserted us between Thatcher’s last election (1987) and Major’s last (1997).
* by conventional wisdom Thatcher was to ‘the right’ of Major.

Thatcher gave us the core vote + 4 million. Major reduced us to the core vote only.

So be wary of Smithsonian clichés about elections being ‘won from the centre’. Ultimately the right/left spectrum is a kind of intellectual straitjacket; OK for the guidance of pop-eyed Graunibeebs, but not much use to ordinary citizens.

Editor

I personally think you're too ready to be reassured by warm noises and, as I've said before, if the Conservative Party isn't very conservative then I for one won't be supporting it. For me, there are just too many things being said which make me disbelieve the party's commitment to free enterprise, it's commitment to reforming public services (which will benefit from the use of market mechanisms) and its true commtment to social liberalism (as distinct from politically correct Liberalism).

The last thing we need with economic challenges from China and India is a stifling consensus. As a party we need to be brave but make it clear that we embrace every kind of human being and believe in people's rights to live as they wish. We have thrown the baby out with the bath water.

Thanks Frank.

There has to be breadth and depth. Both are important.

We have to aspire to build a broad coalition so that we address issues that matter to a wide range of people - those who think the tax burden is too high AND those who worry about the environment etc. That's the breadth.

Then there's the depth which you rightly highlight. I hope this summer's policy review process will show that we aren't just talking about a broad range of issues but are determined to do something serious about those issues.

I guess we'll know much more on breadth and depth by the end of the summer.

The "and theory" is meaningless. It can mean anything from Cameron trying to be all things to everyone to for example a mix of "10% environment AND 90% free enterprise".

I also support frank aylesford arguments.

The "And Theory"

So let me get this right: It means if you take one thing, lets say A, and then you take another, lets say B, then you put "And" in the middle, it allows you to say both....as in "A and B".

However the "And theory" is already passe, as it has been superceded by Warrick's new doctrine on choice: The "Also Doctrine".

Of course, this should in no way be confused with Professor Vicki Pollard's "Yeah,but No...But Yeah, but No" theory.

Seriously!

Afterthought:

The "And Theory"....shouldn't this be a posting on Lib-Dem Home (if there is such a thing!) really?

After all, it is the Lib Dems who are past masters at being (for example:) against Country Sports in the Cities AND for them in rural areas.

The LIBERAL ("AND") DEMOCRATS....a party so two-faced, and indecisive they couldn't pick one name!

And....lets not go down that route!!!

Michael said: "Trying to please everyone just leads to people on all sides not being convinced". As an approach, it didn't serve Tony Blair too badly and I thought David Cameron was the Heir to Blair?

In any case, the kneecap-the-core-vote strategy of Francis Maude et al is not exactly a runaway success when it leads a well-known MP on the LEFT of the Tory Party to defect. By the way, what news on the whereabouts of Mr Bercow, the Knight Errant of the Tory Backbenches?

The newspapers are full of Brown and his appointments. Unless you are a total Dave groupie like 'bluepatriot' this damp little squib is going to impress nobody.

Reminds me of a pathetic story in some Major-supporting paper (Standard?) during the disastrous reign of the underpants man. 'John Major has an exciting new philosophy' it burbled. 'It's called Majorism'

I must be one of a tiny handful who remembers that gem.

BTW, now that Margaret Beckett has been given the bum's rush is there any chance of her removing her gas mask?

"* 4 million voters deserted us between Thatcher’s last election (1987) and Major’s last (1997).
* by conventional wisdom Thatcher was to ‘the right’ of Major."

Phil, you miss out the 92 Election where Major got many more votes than Thatcher. Major lost those voters in 97 having moved to the right. But he lost those votes largely because of a divided Party. I agree that the left / right isn't as important as being seen to be united and in touch...but to be in touch, you've got to be on the centre ground where the majority of voters are...and for us to do that, we've got to journey left.

Major lost those voters in 97 having moved to the right.

really ? and I thought it was simply a result of incompetence over BSE, ERM, Maastricht, and privatisation of railways....

That's what I'm saying TomTom - Major lost voters because of a divided Party, not because he moved to the right. I was just making the point that Major won many more votes in 92 than Thatcher in 87 - I was disputing the accuracy of Phils statement, but agreeing with him that we shouldn't get too hung up on the left/right thing...voters want a Party that is united and in touch. But to get back in touch, we've got to be on the centreground - "reassuring rightwingers" won't help, which is why the 'and theory' is misguided.

Michael

but allowing that your theory is correct, the party will remain divided as long as the centrist leadership clique are so far removed from the aspirations of the great majority of the members - who undoubtedly do sit (to varying degrees) to the right.

You are right that simply trying to 'reassure rightwingers' won't work. What Cameron needs to do is enact some real right wing policy and then deal harshly with the left wing rump who represent a far, far smaller proportion of the party.

Michael, I agree that a strategy that concentrates on reassuring the right exclusively will not work. But nor will a strategy which simply turns the Tories into yet another left-leaning party. No party - least of all Labour - has ever won power just on the back of the floating vote. The idea that the right will turn out for you regardless is woefully wide of the mark. Read Hitchens' blog where he quotes Peter Kellner as saying that under the current system, the Tories need 3.5 million more votes than Labour to win an overall majority. Simply chasing the "centre ground" (whatever that is) isn't going to deliver the goods.

Or is your strategy all about merging wtih the Liberal Democrats?

It's about time someone gave Dave an 'and.

Why on earth did Cameron tell his MP's to rise yesterday in the House and join in with the standing ovation to Blair?

I ask again. What will we Conservatives do if we form a government AFTER Labour has ratified the New EU Constitution without a referendum? Just shrug and say it's a done deal? Or have the referendum anyway?

When did you ask the question first Roger!?!?

Roger,

I don't think it is wise for the Party Leadership to give an answer.

It very much depends on what Brown does and how much pressure is put on him.

There is no point pre-empting what he will do. It is Labour who have made the commitment to a referendum and they should be judged on whether they keep their word.

It is absolutely right for the leadership to give a clear answre to Roger's point right now.

Just as David Davis has made clear that the Conservatives will scrap the ID card scheme if they gain power, no matter what stage it is at, so David Cameron should make it absolutely clear that we WILL have a referendum and we WILL abide by the results even if Brown has already signed us up.

This has the dual benefit of making clear to everyone where the Conservatives stand as a matter of principle and also of making it clear to Brown and the rest of the Europhiles that whatever damage they might try and do to our soveriegnty, it will be undone when we next have a Conservative government.

Roger is right to push this one. But it kind of concedes that Brown does not have to call one immediately, if Cameron declares this Policy too quickly.

First we should pressure Brown to concede a Referendum immediately, and persuade his backbenchers to rebel.

If Brown doesn't concede a referendum, Cameron will have to concede Roger's request or lose support from his core voters in a General Election. Meanwhile Roger should keep asking the question, and keep it on the agenda.

For those who wonder how the international money markets view the Constitution Treaty proceedings, they will see that the Euro is being dumped by international markets, aware that Spain is in economic meltdown - recently sold off 25% of its gold reserves - joining Italy and Greece in the basketcase economy stakes.

The euro rate of exchange is being held steady by manipulating interest rates (which should in any case be far higher), but the volumes being held across the world are tumbling. The idea of convincing the world that Europe is a viable unified economy is failing.

Euro infaltion has been around 15% since its launch not the 2-3% claimed by the ECB. In the Wall Street Journal which Murdoch is tyring to silence, you can read the truth.

See - FRANKFURT June 25th -- The euro's international role has declined in several areas, notably in the debt and foreign-exchange markets, while the U.S. dollar remains the world's dominant currency, a European Central Bank report said.

The euro share of international debt securities fell for the first time since the start of the European Economic and Monetary Union in 1999, the ECB, headed by Jean-Claude Trichet, said in its sixth review of the international role of the currency. It ...

Yes, it is really a question of political emphasis. The 21st century media (sadly) only picks up certain key 'megaphone' messages from politicians so one has to choose topics carefully and clearly. The 'and' theory is perfectly fine for the think tank seminar room but less suited to the harsh reality of contemporary politics in the UK. That's why Cameron has focussed on key messages hitherto....

"There will be two key 'moderniser messages' - the environment and the NHS - and two 'core vote messages' - crime and the family."

Excellent!

"The politics of 'and'" is crass AND facile. Am I getting the hang of it?

Politics is about choices. 'And' is fine, but it tells you nothing about where you stand on the issues where one has to plump for one approach OR another. If you think you can always have your cake AND eat it, you are probably a "modernising", centrist, policy-free spin-meister. If you think that Brown won't be able to spot AND exploit the tensions AND contradictions of trying to be all things to all people, you are in cloud cuckoo land.

I particularly like the example "tough on crime and its causes". Now where have I heard that before? It may have sold, but it didn't deliver, because it was as meaningless as saying "keen on mum, and keen on her apple pie". Of course we all believe in both, but what then? If you want to talk about crime, you need to set out how you are going to tackle it, not a soundbite saying that you care.

Roy Jenkins maintained that a statement was not interesting unless a reasonable person could assert the opposite. So let's try that:

"Soft on crime and its causes" or
"Tough on crime but soft on its causes" or
"Soft on crime but tough on its causes"

It's meaningless, sub-Blairite twaddle. And if you think that this is the sort of thing that people will be missing about Blair, and wishing that Gordon gave them more of, by the next election, you have got another think coming.

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