Monday, January 12, 2009


Go On Dave, Appoint Ken and Sod The Old Guard!

Ever since Dave Cameron smoothed his way into the Conservative leadership, some critics and advisers have urged that if he is going to follow the Blair template so slavishly, he should win a big argument within his party. Perhaps one is potentially available over the possible appointment of Ken Clarke to his Shadow Cabinet? Rumours of Ken's possible recall to the front bench given the shadow over Alan Duncan's outside interests and rumours he's not putting the hours in, have been circulating for weeks.

The always restive Tory right-it's their default position- has cried warnings. Norman Tebbitt has delicately suggested, bringing back the 'lazy' big beast would be a 'nightmare' and the Eurosceptic billionaire Stuart Wheeler has threatened to withold funding the party should this happen. Well, I think Dave should go right ahead and appoint Clarkey.

Firstly Clarke might be 'lazy' as Norm alleges- Gyles Brandreth, who was his PPS for a while, coinfirms that Ken was dilatory with his homework- but he is a brilliant politician, the like of whom is lacking on both sides of the House. He seems 'lazy' because he is so clever, just like all the best sportsmen seem to be casual because their abilities give them more time.

Secondly, with the Thatcherite right so opposed, what a golden opportunity to show voters he is his own man and can best the part of his party who put the 'nasty' in 'The Nasty Party'?

Thirdly, the EU seems to have faded a little as an issue-indeed voices have been raised in favour of UK even joining the euro- and I would gues this section of the party is now eminently beatable.

Finally, though this is my reason, I'm all in favour of 'merging sovereignty' and speeding up integration as the only way the world will be able to save itself. I doubt Cameron would listen to my fourth reason but, if he were wise he would attend to the first three.

Make your voice heard.

Vote YES or NO to Free Europe Constitution at
I like Clarke. He is the kind of personality we need to imporve. But this is a non-starter for a few reasons. His politics are unacceptable to too many people in the party.

Firstly you can hardly replace the very able Alan Duncan for having outside interests(no problem here) with someone as obviously idle as Clarke.

Wheeler would rightly cut off the money needed to compete in the battlegrounds. Of course you want Clarke appointed. It helps Labour bankrupt the Tories, but it is not in our interest.

Clarke doesn't just "seem" lazy. He is. Yes he has talents, but his lazyness is neither myth nor illusion.

Dave doesn't want to pick a fight with the right in any case, especially over such a liability as Clarke. The voters know Dave is his own man. What they doubt is his tendency towards gimmickery, which this move would be rightly seen as.

Finally opinion polls show no movement in favour of the hopeless Euro. Indeed they show the opposite. The British people oppose the Euro every bit as much as they ever have. If only the citizens of Europe could have their say on the matter, the corrupt enterprise would be ended tomorrow. The idea that the Euro is a vote-winner is beyond ridiculous. Furthermore, the idea that anyone within the Tory Party could seriously advocate such a position is clutching at straws in the extreme. That debate is over, and Clarke has lost it.

You suggest that Clarke would speed up European integration, knowing the Tories oppose it entirely, then seriously propose that they appoint someone like Ken Clarke?
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