Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The End

Well, with Ken Clarke knocked out in the first round and three decent candidates left in the race, its time to call an end to this blog.

I will be back at my usual place and I hope to see many of you there. For those of you who are Conservatives, the best place to be is Once More, a site that I contribute to.

As for the leadership election, I am still a Davis man. The last couple of weeks have not be good for us its true, but I will continue to support him as I believe he has more to offer than the others. I hope you will follow the trials and tribulations of his number one Blogging Supporter.

Finally though, the main reason that I was so dead set against Ken, is that the party has zero chance of winning the election unless it is united. With Ken as leader that would have been impossible.

So lets keep the rest of the campaign clean and really support the new leader, whoever he may be.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Well its all over.

Go Davis Go

Who not to Choose

Not sure I should boast about this, but the Sun is on the case today:
TORY MPs start voting today for their new leader, and for the sake of the country it is vital they get it right. That means a firm NO to Ken Clarke. He would be a disaster.
IDS would look tlike the good old days once he had destroyed our party. Lets hope the MPs realise.

Not Long to Go

So What's it going to be?

Don't ditch me first, pleads Clarke

Clarke battles to avoid Tory wooden spoon


Clarke and Fox fight to avoid elimination

My Money is on the line up looking a lot slimmer later today.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Remember Ken’s boast that only he could win the Election? Not really true, according to the latest polls:
At present Labour are 7 points ahead of the Conservatives.
What would happen with a new leader?
With Cameron as leader the Labour lead would fall to 5 points, while under Ken Clarke the Labour lead would increase to 9 points.
Now I have always taken such polls with a pinch of salt. Four years away from an election, anything could change. But KC was using such polls to support his position, and now even they are turning against him.

The punters have noticed. Ken continues to slowly decline in the betting stakes and he has been in fourth place since Friday.

I’m Too Old

Ken admits he’s too old.
Kenneth Clarke admitted yesterday that he was probably "too old" to lead the Tories in a surprise change of tactics at the start of a crucial week that will determine who MPs want to lead their party.
Now if he could just admit he’s too arrogant and too Europhile, we can get on and select one of the other three.

One Interpretation

When I read Ken Clarke’s weekend comments about his age I was struck by a different interpretation. Interestingly enough I was not the only one.

Ken Clarke
"He's probably too young and I'm probably too old. He's got no experience at all and I am loaded with experience. The ideal candidate may be somewhere between the two of us, half the age but half the experience. But he ain't there."
Hmmm so you need someone younger than Clarke but with more experience than Cameron. Step forward Mr Davis.
Not sure that’s what Ken meant, but it is the logical answer.

Ken Must Make Good

Today’s hustings are Ken’s last chance.
Kenneth Clarke must win over floating votes at a make-or-break hustings this afternoon, or face a third defeat in his quest to lead the Conservatives when Tory MPs cast their votes tomorrow.
But then he is a known quantity, he is hardly likely to surprise anyone ala Cameron.

A Proper Choice

Gav points out that if things continue as they are, the members will get a proper choice.
If Ken Clarke doesn’t make it to the final round, which I hope is the case, the vote will be interesting as all the candidates will be chosen properly by the party (unlike last time when we had to choose someone other than Ken).
My thoughts exactly.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Trend Continues

The current non-story (assuming its weed we are talking about) of Cameron and Drugs could potentially have a positive effect on the fortunes of the other candidates. Just a couple of weeks ago we would have expected KC to be a big beneficiary of anything going wrong with DC’s campaign. Not anymore.
On the face of it that should be Ken Clarke. But Clarke has lost so much ground this week it’s hard to see even this helping his position.
He’s been heavily discounted by all as a real contender. Now any DC scandal would be more likely to help his other rivals.


Two Clarke supporters have switched sides.
Kenneth Clarke's bid for the Tory leadership came under further pressure last night after two of his MP supporters announced that they would be voting for his younger rival, David Cameron.
As far as I can make out, Robert Key had not previously declared but had backed Ken last time. The pool of potential voters is drying out in the Sun.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Once More

I have a post up at Once More. Do pay a visit.


Don’t Bet On It

Political Betting asks:
Is there anything left in this race for Ken Clarke?
Following the rise of DC, KC has plummeted.

His implied chance of winning has fallen from a peak of 22% down to around 10%. The punters are not convinced of his chances then.

Job for Lazy Ken?

Ken’s energy and motivation for the top job is largely a product of 8 years of leisure, having stayed off the front benches. This may be about to change.
Ken Clarke has been the first of the four candidates to be grilled. Interestingly he did not rule out serving the next leader (if his own bid is unsuccessful) - if that leader follows 'the right approach'
Call me cynical, but my money is on him claiming that the winner is taking the wrong approach.

Edging Ahead

Liam Fox is believed to have secured enough votes to pull ahead of Ken Clarke.
The Tory leadership race stepped up a gear last night amid speculation that Liam Fox has secured the backing of 15 Conservative MPs – enough to push Ken Clarke out of the contest at the first round.
It is of course unconfirmed at the moment, but then this Blog never claimed to be anything other than horribly biased.

No Excuse

I always thought that to be a rabid Europhile, there had to be an underlying reason, you know, childhood trauma, personality defect, low IQ. Well one thing is certain, Ken Clarke's views are totally his own and not part of a chemical induced paranoid fantasy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Malcolm Shares His Friends

Malcolm Rifkind swallowed his pride and backed down. He is now supporting “A Man who is head and shoulders above the competition”.

Unfortunately for Ken, as befits a true One Nation Tory, Malcolm’s friends are likely to be shared equitably rather than just transfered.
Deputy Tory leader, Michael Ancram, announced that he would now back David Cameron
Whoops, there goes Ken’s claim on the one nation wets. The only way for Clarke to gain a little momentum at this stage would be to roll himself down a hill.

Not Overly Enamoured

Another Blogger has managed to condense into a paragraph, what it took me a whole blog to say:
I absolutely despise Ken Clark. Not just, as you might suppose, because he is pro-Europe and is fundamentally un-Conservative, but because he is arrogant and self serving to the most damning extremes. He contributes the square root of jack shit over the last decade or so, loafing around selling tobacco and making piles of cash out of third world misery and then has the nerve to suggest that we have "kept him waiting". He genuinely believes that time has just stood still and that his experience of failure in the Nineties is just what everyone needs now. You epitomise everything that is wrong with the Tories these past ten years, Ken. Please go away forever and take all your aged, loser supporters with you.
Not a Fan.

Odd N Sods

Ken is of course the man who can win the middle of the road voters back to the Conservatives. Well maybe not.
Ken Clarke is an unrepentant harbinger of the terrible 90s government.
Others are trying to understand the Fat Man’s appeal. The best I have seen so far:
Support for Clarke has remained quite high surprisingly, maybe due to his uncanny resemblance of the 'granddad' on the Werthers advert.
Meanwhile, for those of you that have not been paying attention, and still actually like the man, The Conservative Leadership Blog has some good news for you:
If you're not quite sure what what to wear at the next Conservative cheese and wine party the funsters at Concept T-Shirts have got the answer.
A Ken T-Shirt, hmmm I think I'll pass.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Malcolm No Longer in the Middle

The latest News is that Malcolm Rifkind has pulled out of the race.

Rifkind departs Tory leader race.

As the former foreign secretary had few declared supporters, this will not mean much in terms of transfer of votes. What is does mean however is that one of the remaining four will leave the contest in the first round.

Could this Blog be put out of a job in so short a time?

Cameron Sinking Clarke

Contrary to what much of the press concentrated on, the biggest loser from the rise of Cameron has been Clarke. The Davis campaign has suffered of course, but not nearly as much as that of Big Ken, who is seen as a Wet, much like Cameron. The Clarke camp may not openly say this but they are aware of it.
There is concern in the Clarke camp that the rapid advance of the 39-year-old Mr Cameron could cost Mr Clarke, 65, crucial votes and prevent him reaching the shortlist of two chosen by Tory MPs.
The problem is that whilst some of Davis’s peripheral supporters might switch, the idea that enough could come over is fanciful.

Each candidate needs the support of their core, plus MP’s from other wings. If they fail to win their core supporters, those prepared to cross the line will not make up for that.
A prominent Clarke supporter said: "We are not going to win MPs over from David Cameron or Liam Fox. But David Davis's support is soft.
That admission is pretty close to game over. Cameron is wrapping up much of the modernisers, leaving very little for Ken. It is even possible that he comes fourth in the first round.


The Daily Mirror makes up a story in support of Ken
The big beast mauled the young pretenders with a vintage speech.
Funny everyone else thought that the youngest pretender of all gave the best speech. Meanwhile the results of those speeches tell another story:
Among Tory voters, Mr Cameron’s support as the potential best leader is up from 3 to 33 per cent, where he is level pegging with Mr Clarke, whose rating has dropped by 22 points since early September.
Hardly a mauling really, is it, the final electorate is losing interest in him. Plus among the first electorate, Mr Clarke’s standing has also fallen:
A Daily Telegraph survey of Tory MPs on Monday suggested that support for Cameron in the parliamentary party has now overtaken backing for Clarke. The paper said that Davis has the backing of 70 MPs, Cameron 33, Clarke 20-plus and Liam Fox on 21 while Sir Malcolm Rifkind trails on eight.
The chance of KC getting through to the final round seems to dim by the day. No wonder a Blogger from the dark side reckons he is looking for divine help.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Sliding Fortunes

A new poll for the BBC shows that Ken is the man most people think would make the best Conservative leader. Why am I bringing your attention to this?

Ken has only one selling point (although he lists it four times) he is allegedly an election winner. However, without strong evidence supporting this claim he has nothing and is going nowhere.

So what are we to make of the change in the level of his support, 27% versus 40% in an earlier poll?

Basically he is trading on name recognition, a commodity that whoever becomes leader will have in spades, come the next election. The proof is in the fact that once the leadership campaign got under way, the most recognised candidate was the only one to loose significant levels of support.

Job Insecurity

Following the loss of one job at Unichem, another of Ken’s jobs is in danger.
A Kuwaiti businesswoman has called a shareholder meeting at Savoy Asset Management to try to oust Ken Clarke as the company's chairman.
She is not happy with the company’s performance and alleges that Ken’s continued employment is solely the result of his personal friendship with the biggest shareholder.

Who is Gordon Scared of?

Ken would like to have us think it is him, but Charlie Whelan, a former Brown aide, would have us think otherwise. He says about Ken’s supporters:
They've obviously forgotten how big Gord savaged Clarke when he was Chancellor or how lazy the cigar-smoking apologist for the tobacco industry was.
My view? Gordon is too arrogant to be afraid of anyone. He will still be claiming to be the best chancellor of the exchequer long after we dragged down to the success level of our socialist neighbours across the channel.

Overcoming Gordon needs a revitalised Conservative party, a united front bench a strong alternative vision and a relentless attack on this government’s mistakes, ineffectiveness and lack of success. A big beast on its own means nothing.

More Realistic

A great piece of advice on where Ken should go from here.
Maybe Ken should sneak over to the Liberal Democrats and take them into contention as the natural opposition party?
Its worth a go, he’d fit better over there than in the Conservative party.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Candidates Performance

We need a leader who is dedicated to leading the party and performing as an effective opposition.

Of the five candidates who has shown the least dedication in the current parliament?

Percentage of Votes attended.
David Cameron: 66%
David Davis: 55%
Malcolm Rifkind: 51%
Liam Fox: 51%
Kenneth Clarke: 36%

Ken comes in at a stunning 618th out of 644 MPs, which means that 96% of MPs have a better voting record than he does.

The man with the energy to be Prime Minister? I think not.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Has He Abused his Position?

We all know that as a politician, Ken Clarke has been useless over the last few years, preferring to concentrate on his other career. It is now being alleged that he has gone further than that.
SpinWatch Asks the Sergeant At Arms Office At Palace of Westminster to Investigate Ken Clarke and Whether he Has Abused the Privileges of the House of Commons
They claim that:
Mr. Clarke has been using parliamentary phones and faxes to undertake business on behalf of BAT. Furthermore, Clarke’s parliamentary secretary, Debbie Sugg, has also been acting as his secretary on BAT business. She was even on BAT’s internal mail system.
We await the result of this inquiry with interest.

No Vision

No Nation Conservative Ken, has a great way with words, but a complete lack of ideas.
What is more, we know that Mr Clarke has no new ideas, no great vision for Britain, and he is unlikely to convert to new thinking when he has been resistant for so long. The only thing he wants to change about his party is its leader. “Me, me, me” is not a sufficiently convincing slogan or strategy for winning the next election.
As his 6 reasons neatly illustrate, his vision is limited to him becoming leader.


Like Lord Lucan, Ken Clarke has been missing for years. If he fails to win, it seems he is likely to go into hibernation once again.
Mr Clarke said he did not know whether he would serve on the Tory front bench if he failed to win the leadership contest. It would depend on whether he was asked, what job he was offered and whether he thought he would be "parked" on the front bench for six months before being fired.
He may not know, but I would bet large sums of money that he won’t. Someone who wants to lead the party should at least show a little interest in serving it.

Six Reasons

I said give me a reason to vote for you Ken!

So he gave me six
1) Ken will lead the Conservative Party to victory at the next general election:
Ken Clarke is the only leadership candidate who would make voters more likely to vote Conservative.
Nice if its true. I don’t personally believe it though.
2) Ken will win back voters who have drifted to Labour and the Liberal Democrats
Ken Clarke's brand of "One Nation" Conservatism will attract back to the Party former Tory voters. Swing voters back him as leader over his nearest rival by more than five to one.
Its basically the same as the first one.
3) Ken will widen the appeal of the party across all groups
Polls show that Ken Clarke leads his nearest rival in every category of voter. In particular, he has more than twice the level of support over his nearest rival amongst 18-24 year olds and more than four times the support amongst women.
We are still gettng the same answer
4) Ken will accelerate our revival in local government
The party has doubled its representation in local government over the last few years, but there is more to do, particularly in the cities. Polls show that Ken Clarke is the only candidate with the appeal to reach voters in urban and suburban areas.
I don’t believe it, the same answer 4 times constitutes 4 completely separate reasons? Yet we still don’t know whether it is true.
5) Ken will transform the party into a united modern campaigning force
The Conservative Party should represent the people it hopes to govern. Ken Clarke will lead an open and united Party, run with professionalism and integrity, and using the best campaign techniques.
This one we know not to be true. Ken is the candidate most likely to damage the party. As the party is already fragile, thats not something to be sniffed at. As for campaigning force, his only idea is “I want to be leader”, is that what he plans the party’s campaigns to be about?
6) Ken has the energy and desire to be Prime Minister
Ken Clarke is standing in this election because he wants to lead us to victory at the next general election. He is the candidate best able to take the fight to a government led by Gordon Brown.
As opposed to David Cameron who is only in it for laughs, David Davis who has trouble getting up in the morning and Dr Fox who dreams of leading us to defeat in 2009. Who is he trying to kid.

This answer is only necessary because Ken Clarke is the oldest and most out of shape of the candidates.

So in summary, the first four reasons are actually all the same, (all based on the same selective choice of poll results) the fifth one a lie and the sixth irrelevant. Sounds like the basis for a very successful campaign.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


From a Non Tory Clarke supporting Blogger:

There's an element of smoke and mirrors about a self-proclaimed unspun politician who has one of the most carefully-constructed public personas in politics, right down to his choice of footwear.

From Rory Bremner in New Statesman:

Clarke, who does the Blair thing of pretending to listen to the party before telling the members to fuck off.

From Devils Kitchen, a right thinking man indeed:

No one in their right mind is going to vote for a Tory party headed by Ken Clarke. Why? Essentially, because he is insane

What more can I add.

Inexplicable Interval

Camilla Cavendish in the Times sums up Ken’s bid in three short sentences:
Mr Clarke is a jovial bruiser. But his speech was old hat in suede shoes. He seems to think that his job is simply to take up where he left off after an inexplicable interval. It is not.
Why should we support the prodigal leader?

Your View:

Spotted in your view in the Telegraph.
As a Labour supporter, I support Clarke for Tory leader, even though he will certainly take votes away from Labour. It's important for the country that Tory extremists are banished from mainstream politics.
Charles Lowis
What he means by Tory extremists are of course people who believe in anything different to NuLabour.

Funny how KC's biggest supporters are those who will never vote Conservative anyway.

Lost His Job

Maybe the reason that KC wants to be leader so much is that he needs a new job.
Tory leadership contender Ken Clarke is one of the casualties of the Alliance-Boots merger, losing his £125,000 post on the Alliance UniChem board.
Maybe being leader might come some way toward making up for that. If so it would be a case of Alliance loss would be our loss as well.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Anyone But Clarke Bloggers

If you are a Conservative Blogger and do not want Ken Clarke to become leader, let me know and I'll add you to the Blogroll.

That Speech

In a speech that was by all accounts very well received, KC made the following promises:
If you are sometimes fed up and angry with our plight - as I am - you have a choice. You can give up, bail out, and call it a day. Or you can get stuck in, decide to fight, and give it your all. That is what I intend to do
David Willetts keeps telling us that we will all need to work harder and retire later. I am determined to do my bit.
Good for you Ken. It’s just a shame that you are only interested in doing your bit if you can be leader. With the exception of Mr Rifkind, through no fault of his own, the other candidates have been doing their bit for the last 8 years. Where were you?

What’s the betting that if he fails to win, Mr Clarke will suddenly lose his appetite for the rough and tumble of Westminster and instead focus on his other job.

The Fundamental Flaws

As an introduction to the Blog, I will lay out here the major reasons why I believe Ken Clarke is totally unsuitable for leader.


Ken Clarke’s Europhilia is a well documented belief and forms a very important core of what he stands for. It is all very well for him to say that it shouldn’t matter anymore, but it was he himself that elevated it to such an important role.

He has been active in a number of pro-EU groups as a spokesman and a leading member. He has never turned down an opportunity to speak out on the subject, often to the discomfort of many of his parliamentary colleagues.

It is so central to his beliefs that he has sacrificed a chance of leadership in two previous contests rather than shut up about it. Therefore those members not as enamoured with Brussels as the big beast is, should not discount this factor as he would like you to.

Self Centred

The Conservative Party has been through a very rough time recently. To lose three elections in a row has been very unsettling for the party, destroying confidence, a root cause of much of the damaging internal conflict that has occurred.

Throughout this time, the party lacked telegenic, charismatic figures, who could appear on television and attack the government and advertise Conservatism. Ken claims to have the ear of large sections of Non Tory Britain. Someone who cared even a little about the party would have used this as an opportunity to further the Party’s goals.

Ken wasted every opportunity to support the government’s EU policies, to the exclusion of everything else.

Lack Of Vision

Why should we ever vote for a leader whose selling point consists of “I’m great, I can win an election, Vote for Me”?

Much as our Dear Leader has pushed our political system in that way, we do not have a presidential system. Elections can only be won by competent leaders but they rely on much more than that. They need a party that can sell an alternative, which means a leader that has the ability to communicate such a vision.

Unlike all the other candidates, Ken’s sole proposition to the voters is “Vote for me, I am different to Labour”.

Who knows what the public will think of him in 4 years time, after he has been the victim of unrelenting attacks from the BBC and other media.

A Compromised Candidate

Anyone who understands anything about life in a under developed country will realise that cigarettes are one of the few pleasures available to the poor. Sad but true.

Its their choice to smoke and when you take into consideration the other risks that exist in their lives you can understand why they discount future health problems as an issue.

I do not think that Ken’s business interests are a problem in this respect. However I suspect a majority of the country would not see eye to eye with me on this. I believe that his tobacco past would come back to seriously haunt us.

The Choice of the Enemy

Whether it be the Guardian or the BBC, whoever wishes the Conservative party ill, is a Ken Clarke supporter. They cannot understand why we cannot see the obvious and elect the man.

That in itself should be enough of a warning. He stands for all those things that are an antithesis to Conservatism.


Ken is a man who believes that government always has the answer. It is a belief that runs against the core of our beliefs. Like the man he loves to castigate, Gordon Brown, he would prefer to meddle in creating his wish for outcome.

Just as much of the Conservative party belatedly discover localisation, we could elect ourselves an old fashioned centraliser. He doesn’t want to be the spider at the centre of the web if he can’t control everything.