Three Leaders Resign Inside An Hour


I found myself oddly pleased this morning.

I was sorry that Nigel Farage didn’t win in Thanet South. I thought that he would be an asset to parliament. But it wasn’t a big surprise. Lots of people had been saying that he was going to lose. And he did. But UKIP notched up approaching 4 million votes.

So what was I pleased about?

Well, I was delighted that the Labour and Lib Dem parties had taken such a tremendous hammering. After all, it was the Labour party (and some 90% of its MPs) that brought in the smoking ban 8 years ago. And in this they were assisted by the Lib Dems (and 95% of their MPs). The latter was something that ended my days as a Lib Dem voter: in doing that the Lib Dems had shown themselves to be neither liberal nor democratic. And now they’d all got what they deserved, in part perhaps at the hands of smokers who voted for UKIP.

I was also delighted that a) we still have a parliamentary democracy, b) we have a government, and c) we have a Conservative government. Because but for the Conservative refusal to even consider repealing or amending the smoking ban, I would probably have voted Conservative yesterday.

The surprise result also means that David Cameron is greatly strengthened. And Boris won’t be taking over any time soon, even though he’s now back in parliament. And now that Cameron has been released from the corpse of Clegg, maybe we’ll see a real Conservative government in operation.

And I found myself wondering, like Rose, whether that might include a relaxation of the smoking ban. After all, it was the illiberal Clegg, not Cameron, who said it was more likely that the death penalty would be restored than the smoking ban relaxed. Cameron has been largely silent on the matter.

But since it remains my view that UKIP is the real conservative party in Britain, there must be a constant temptation for the Conservatives to steal their conservative policies (including a relaxation of the smoking ban). It might be said that Cameron has been forced in recent years to pay his respects to the Green God and the Evil Empire of Health. But does he need to do that any more now? What’s to stop him when the “progressive” left is now in complete disarray? Hasn’t Britain just rejected the sort of top-down utopian socialism embodied in smoking bans?

And since Douglas Carswell is now the sole UKIP MP (and thus effectively the UKIP parliamentary leader) and until last year he was a Conservative MP, I can imagine that it might be possible to engineer some sort of re-unification of UKIP’s dissident Conservatives with their parent party, particularly if Cameron now steers the Conservative party rightwards, as it now seems to me to be open to him to do.

The greatest danger for Cameron over the next few years is that Conservative backbenchers will use his slim majority to throw their weight around like they did in John Major’s time.

I think that over the next 5 years we’ll find out whether Cameron is a conservative who was forced to trim his sails to the prevailing political wind, or whether he’s really as Green and Health-conscious and pro-European  as he’s been presenting himself all along.

I can’t say I’m particularly optimistic. But I think he’ll come under mounting pressure to adopt conservative policies for what is now a Conservative government.

Anyway, it’s an odd day when three party leaders resign their leadership within an hour of each other. I think Miliband and Clegg will now vanish back into obscurity. But I’m sure that Nigel Farage will re-emerge in due course.


About Frank Davis

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37 Responses to Three Leaders Resign Inside An Hour

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Yep Id agree completely Frank. We shall see what Cameron really is now!

  2. dave says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the fox hunting with dogs ban is repealed.

  3. Frank Davis says:


    Unshackled from Coalition partners, Tories get ready to push radical agenda

    David Cameron will use the Conservative Party’s first majority in the House of Commons for nearly 20 years to “deliver” on a radical agenda to cut welfare, shrink the size of the state and re-define Britain’s relationship with Europe.

    Conservative insiders said Mr Cameron would move to the right to consolidate support among his backbench MPs after five years of compromise with the Liberal Democrats.

    Among Mr Cameron’s first legislative priorities will be to enshrine an EU referendum into law, bring in the so-called ‘snoopers charter’ to give police greater powers to monitor internet communications and give English MPs a veto over legislation only affecting England. The Tories also intend to publish plans to scrap the Human Rights Act within their first 100 days. All proposals had been previously blocked by the Lib Dems…

    As well as deep welfare cuts The Independent understands that the Department of Business and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, previously run by the Lib Dems, will be among the biggest casualties in terms of spending reductions.

    Oliver Letwin, the Tories’ policy chief, has spent the campaign in Whitehall drawing up proposals to merge quangos and slash Government regulation. These are likely to form a key part of the spending review. The review has been made more difficult by Mr Cameron’s late and unexpected election pledge to find an extra £8bn for the NHS. This has yet to be funded and if the Tories stick to their other tax and spending commitments could require further cuts. Most senior Tories had expected to be negotiating another coalition agreement with the Liberal Democrats, giving them the flexibility to raise taxes to fund their additional spending commitments. As it is they are now bound to implement legislation binding the Government not to increase income tax, national insurance or VAT rates for the next five years.

  4. junican says:

    It will be interesting to see who is in his cabinet. During the coalition administration, LibDem wishes had to be taken into account. I still wonder how we came to have three incompetents in succession as health ministers – Milton MP did not know that Treaties do not create legal obligations, Soubry thought that ecigs had been taken out of the Tobacco Directive; Allison demanded PP on the grounds that millions of children would live infinite lives and never bother the NHS. If Cameron has any sense, he will appoint sceptics in every position. Let the Zealots convince the sceptics. Is that what has been wrong all along?

  5. pubcurmudgeon says:

    I do tend to think that Cameron really is “as Green and Health-conscious and pro-European” as we thought he was. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and hopefully the like of Philip Davies can exert some influence on him now the LibDems are out of the picture.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I keep remembering that the very un-PC Jeremy Clarkson is a personal friend of David Cameron, whom he came out in public support of when he was fired by the BBC. I often wonder what David Cameron is like in private. Because in public he always plays his cards very close to his chest.

      • nisakiman says:

        Not only is JC very un-PC, he also smokes like a chimney. Given that he must be very pissed-off with not being able to light up in his local boozer, one wonders what discourse, if any, takes place between him and Cameron on that subject.

  6. smokervoter says:

    I don’t recall where I found this but…

    The argument Britain’s a naturally progressive country took a heavy knock with the combined Tory-UKIP vote 43.1% against Labour-SNP’s 35.2%

    So….on a proportional basis the Tories got 30.4% and UKIP got 12.7%, correct?

    And Labor got 30.4% and SNP got 4.8%, correct?

    Therefore nationally UKIP represents 30% of the right-of-centre vote.

    I realize there’s a huge difference between nationwide head-counts and seats – it’s basically raw demographics vs political geography. But before legislation is proposed those proportional aspects have got to be swirling around inside the brain of the average politician.

    • pubcurmudgeon says:

      Actually the combined Tory and UKIP vote was 49.6%. Excluding Northern Ireland and Scotland, that will rise to over 50%. So yes, the UK is a naturally small-c conservative country.

  7. jaxthefirst says:

    I’m glad you’re pleased, Frank, because I trust your judgement greatly. It was heartening to read your genuinely hopeful analysis of the situation, because I confess I had spent pretty much the whole day in a state of huge depression. My own private hope that there were sufficient “silent” UKIP voters out there to secure a notable increase in the number of seats proved not to be correct, although it was at least some consolation to note that in terms of the total number of votes, UKIP came third with nearly 4 million votes, as opposed to around 11 million for the Tories, and 9 million for Labour. Not bad for a bunch of “fruitcakes and loonies,” eh? What a shame it didn’t translate into more UKIP voices in Parliament.

    I really, really hope that Cameron does make moves in the directions that the Independent suggests. Most would certainly be very welcome (apart from the Internet-monitoring one, which is a bit worrying). The only question marks, of course, will be how much preventative action can the obscenely swelled ranks of the SNP now do in terms of blocking any move to the right that Cameron might try to make; and indeed how much of the same might the largely-left-leaning EU inflict, given that all the time we stay in the EU, they ultimately call the shots on the big decisions, including, of course, their member states’ obedient adherence to the FCTC and their own anti-social anti-smoking instructions.

    But, having read your post, I go to bed much happier than when I got up this morning! Thank you!

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’m glad I cheered you up a bit. I generally tend to be a bit of an optimist.

      I’m not sure that the SNP are going to be able to prevent Cameron moving to the right if he chooses to do so. After all, Cameron now has an unexpected outright majority. He can let the Lib Dems, Labour and SNP all go hang. The SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon clearly saw herself as kingmaker for Ed Miliband, and a major player in the UK parliament. But that turned out to be an illusion. I doubt if SNP MPs are going to want to trek all the way to London to exert zero influence on events there.

      As for the EU, the eurozone remains a disaster area, and public support for the European ‘project’ is steadily draining away. It’s become a project for the European political elite rather than the ordinary people penned inside it.

      The only question in my mind right now is “How Conservative really is David Cameron?” Because if he really is a Conservative, he’s been given a surprising golden opportunity to dismantle Labour’s legacy nanny state, and stop paying lip service to climate change/health/big government. But it’s all been such an unexpected outcome that I doubt that many Conservatives have quite got their heads around it yet. The true picture will probably emerge over the next few months.

      • StevenL says:

        I think they have to trek down there to pick up the £150 a night allowance now don’t they? I bet they fill their boots and just generally try to disrupt things and annoy everyone. I bet they are a boozy lot too, even by MP standards. And £150 a night buys a lot of booze.

  8. waltc says:

    Q: are they actually “bound to” implement anything just because they promised to do (or not do) this or that pre-election? They all seem to lie and pander pre-vote as a matter of course and then, once in, go ahead and do what they really intended to do all along, or whatever it is that maintains their power at any given moment. FWIW, a Brit pundit on US tv predicted Cameron would separate the UK from the US but, as a sop, go along with Obama’s climate change agenda. Q: how much will he still try to appease your predominantly liberal media, esp in terms of the smoking ban? And where does this leave plain packaging and car bans?

    Thanks for the explanation of the 4 million votes only leading to one seat .

    • Frank Davis says:

      Q: are they actually “bound to” implement anything just because they promised to do (or not do) this or that pre-election?

      No. The Labour manifesto back in 2006 included a proposal to ban smoking in pubs that sold food. When they got in, they banned smoking everywhere. So much for manifesto promises.

      FWIW, a Brit pundit on US tv predicted Cameron would separate the UK from the US but, as a sop, go along with Obama’s climate change agenda.

      I don’t know what’s meant by “separating” the UK from the US. In general Conservative politicians (e.g. Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher) have acted to build ties between the UK and the US. And it’s not as if Labour is anti-American either. As for the climate change agenda, my impression is that Cameron has cooled considerably on all that, and he was even reported to have talked about “ditching the green crap” a year or so back (one of the reasons why I wonder whether he’s really as Green as he started out being as Conservative leader). My guess is that he’ll go along with Obama because he’ll go along with the US whatever, but will change his spots if a Republican is elected President in 2 years time.

      Q: how much will he still try to appease your predominantly liberal media, esp in terms of the smoking ban? And where does this leave plain packaging and car bans?

      We’ll see. I think that one thing that has emerged from this election is that it completely caught out the media elites. Brendan O’Neill:

      The most revealing moments on TV and Twitter last night, as the exit-poll results were unveiled and the first results came in, involved the utter incomprehension of liberal observers and Labourites. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing. ‘But the opinion polls said we would do well’, they all said, confirming that these politicos and observers no longer rub shoulders, or anything else, with the masses and have thus become completely reliant on opinion pollsters as a kind of conduit to the little people: modern-day tea-leaf-readers who might reveal what They are thinking. The Twitterati — the time-rich, mostly left-leaning set, consisting of cultural entrepreneurs, commentators and other people who don’t work with their hands and can therefore tweet all day — were especially dumbfounded by the results. Boiled down, their pained cry was: ‘But everyone I know voted Labour.’ They know nothing of the world beyond Twitter, the world outside the Guardianista colonies of London, out where people work rather than tweet.

      These people belong in a media bubble where they all only listen to each other. I think that bubble got pricked yesterday.

      I don’t think that it’ll make any difference to plain packaging or car smoking bans. But since the Coalition government at least put up token resistance to these, before caving in, I imagine that the new Conservative government will resist further measures slightly more strongly. But that’s just a hope really.

      • Rose says:

        But since the Coalition government at least put up token resistance to these, before caving in

        I think the caving in was more to do with Cameron beginning to feel vulnerable with Labour carping on and on about Lynton Crosby’s previous employment every time these matters were discussed, however correct you may be there really is no arguing with those baying hounds. I think conservative principles were sacrificed just to shut them up.

  9. Zaphod says:

    My feelings and hopes are pretty much the same as yours. Frank. Disappointment turned to hope, (optimism costs nothing), and there was a fair bit of delight at the plight of Libs and Labs., not to mention the pollsters.

    I think that Farage’s contribution may just turn out to be important in the long run. I’m devastated that he was rejected after all he did, but Politics is a cruel game.
    (Incidentally, his thorough demonization by Big Media has really opened my eyes.)

    I doubt that an unfettered Cameron has what it takes, but it is a possibility.

    The electorate, possibly, is not as stupid as I thought? Wow! That is cause for optimism!

  10. Rose says:

    Last night, flicking through the channels, I managed to catch the tail end of Question Time just in time to see a distraught and confused Paddy Ashdown wondering why the public had decided to “punish” the Liberal Democrats and it set me thinking as to what a strange and insular world politicians must live in, they really must regard us as a mass rather than as individuals.

    How can the public possibly get together and collectively decide to “punish” a party, when the public consists of millions of people who don’t know each other and who vote in private and alone?

    With the Smoking Ban, MPs only needed 326 of them to get together and decide to punish millions of people, their friends and families and those businesses that catered for them, and they were allowed to collude.
    Individual voters just don’t have that kind of power or opportunity.

    People individually decided to vote for another party as is their right, politicians should never make the mistake of thinking they own the voters, perhaps that’s why they think that they can meddle unasked in the lives of the public and they’ll still come back and vote for them.

    Put it this way, when a customer goes to a cafe and decides to buy an egg mayonnaise sandwich instead of the chicken salad sandwich they bought last week, they are not “punishing” the chicken salad.

  11. Rose says:

    Case in point.

    Liberal Democrat Stephen Williams lost Bristol West to Labour after serving the constituency for 10 years

    “He said: “A lot of people turned against us because they hate the Conservatives.”

    “Stephen Williams voted strongly for smoking bans

    On 14 Feb 2006: Stephen Williams voted yes on Health Bill — New Clause 5 — Smoke-free premises: exemptions — as amended

    On 13 Oct 2010: Stephen Williams voted not to relax the smoking ban and allow smoking in pubs and private members clubs where no food is being served.

    On 22 Jun 2011: Stephen Williams voted for a ban on smoking in private vehicles where there are children present.

    On 10 Feb 2014: Stephen Williams voted in favour of a new law requiring private vehicles be smoke-free where a person under the age of 18 is present in the vehicle.”

    The people of Bristol West probably voted for someone else quickly before he could get a chance to vote for sugar taxes, banning butter or fine them heavily for walking on the cracks in the pavement.

    • Frank Davis says:


      I lived in Bristol West for many years, voting Lib Dem every single time (back then it was the safe conservative seat of William Waldegrave). So I would have been one of the voters who first elected Stephen Williams in 2005 if I’d still been living there. Because back then I saw the Lib Dems as a) liberal in the traditional sense, and b) democratic in the sense of being responsive to ordinary people. But after the Lib Dems proved themselves in 2006 (by all voting for the illiberal and undemocratic smoking ban) to be illiberal and undemocratic “progressives” no different from Labour, I would have been the first to stop voting LIb Dem. But I wouldn’t have voted for Labour. Given they didn’t have a UKIP candidate at this election, I probably wouldn’t have voted at all.

      I’m glad I no longer live there. I think of it these days as Britain’s own version of San Francisco. It used to be relaxed, laid back sort of city. But now it’s full of crazy progressives, many of whom used to be my friends.

      • Rose says:

        Here’s another of Stephen Williams’ accomplishments, I’m sure we all remember this –

        “Silent Salesman”
        January 16, 2012

        “This morning I was pleased to help launch Europe’s first major campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of glitzy tobacco packaging to children”

        “I’m proud that Smoke Free South West is spearheading this awareness raising campaign and that it was launched in my constituency.”

        Stephen Williams MP wins award for anti-smoking work

        A Bristol MP has been given an award for his anti-smoking work by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
        http: //

        Which reminds me, now the Conservatives have a majority could they please have the promised “Bonfire of the Quangos” and get rid of all those taxpayer funded fake charities that New Labour set up.

        “Yet only a handful of those 96,000 respondents came from individuals submitting their personal views. Almost 70,000 came from those collected by pressure groups entirely funded by the Department for Health.

        Among the groups submitting block responses were SmokeFree NorthWest, SmokeFree Liverpool and SmokeFree North East, which were all set up by the Government to lobby against the tobacco industry”

        “Mr Lansley said: “It will come as no surprise to us if the Department of Health has funded organisations that provide the responses to consultations that the Government is looking for.
        “The public are understandably cynical about the way Labour consults the public – it’s time we had a Government that treats the public and their views with the respect they deserve.”

        Indeed it is.

    • jaxthefirst says:

      Oh, and wasn’t/isn’t Bristol one of those places who have proposed one of those “voluntary” (yeah, right) bans in one of their main squares/shopping areas/parks or something like that? There may be no connection, but my impression is that to a large extent there’s a sort of resignation amongst many people that the present situation i.e. no smoking indoors/OK to smoke anywhere outdoors, is (just) about the fairest compromise we can come to, given the diametrically-opposed positions of either side of the argument.

      I’m sure there are a lot of dyed-in-the-wool smoke-haters who would like further bans, but I think they realise at heart that it would cast them in an unreasonable light to push for further restrictions than we’ve already got – given that those restrictions are so wide-ranging – and that would lose them a lot of support generally; similarly, there are a lot of people who feel that the current ban is unfair and unreasonable, but are prepared to put up with it rather grudgingly without making too much noise all the time that smokers can, at least, smoke outside without legally-mandated harassment.

      I’m sure there are other factors which played into Williams’s being booted out, but it’s possible that, in a kind of last-straw scenario, Bristol’s tentative steps towards an outside ban (which were no doubt supported by him, even if the council made the actual decision) may have played at least a small part in making both of these groups say “enough is enough.”

      • Rose says:

        Bristol squares to become UK’s first major public outdoor spaces to go smokefree
        2 Feb 2015

        “Fiona Andrews, director of Smokefree South West, which initiated the pilot, says:

        “This is an exciting initiative that we hope will have a lasting impact on not just Millennium Square and Anchor Square, but the wider region and potentially the rest of the UK. These city centre squares are often full of children playing and this pilot will provide a smokefree environment for kids and their families to enjoy.”

        Be There Tomorrow campaign

        “New Bristol research has been conducted by Smokefree South West to coincide with the launch of the campaign which shows that smoking can cause a huge strain on relationships and high levels of anxiety amongst the friends and loved ones of smokers.

        The research found that nearly nine out of ten (85%) people in Bristol who have a friend or loved one that smokes have encouraged them to quit and one in ten (10%) do so at least once a week.

        A third of the people surveyed (31%) said that the main barrier to persuading their loved one to quit was that they were scared of starting an argument and 70% had resorted to extreme measures to force the change, such as guilt-tripping their loved one (28%), chopping up their cigarettes (7%), hiding them (26%) and refusing to buy them (20%).”

  12. Edgar says:

    “He said: “A lot of people turned against us because they hate the Conservatives.” Surprising, then, that the Conservatives were elected. Clegg made his choice during the last election and, despite the howls of indignation, continued to prop up the coalition. He has paid the price for that, and so have so many of his party. It’s not like this comes as a surprise! The horrible, authoritarian, self-righteous bastards should have been completely wiped out.

  13. Thoughtful analysis Frank, and I wouldn’t disagree. I’ve heard many a Tory backer saying that tye couldn’t be truly conservative with the LibDems dragging them down, well now we shall see what they do with a majority – no excuses.

    It would be nice to think that they’ll pick up on a few UKIP vote-winners, and we know very well that UKIP targeted the smoker vote and those who are against the nanny state. Tories would be wise to heed that and stand as the party of self determination.

    • nisakiman says:

      Cameron cannot be unaware that UKIP garnered a substantial block of votes, coming third after the Conservatives and Labour in terms of actual votes counted. That is a significant section of the electorate, and to be ignored at his peril. He will also be aware, as a professional politician, that many people who voted Conservative did so for tactical reasons, and had Labour not posed a threat would probably have voted UKIP instead.

      We can only hope that he gets the message.

  14. Rose says:

    While we are at it, another illiberal Liberal bites the dust.

    Charles Kennedy loses seat of 32 years to SNP

    Charles Kennedy in police quiz after smoking on train
    Jul 7, 2007

    “FORMER Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy was spoken to by police officers yesterday after refusing to stop smoking on a train.”

    “Mr Kennedy told police he thought it was okay to smoke if he leaned out of the train window.”

    “A Great Western source said: “It is just common sense that smoking out of a train window could result in a fatality. Not just from the smoking but from the trains going at speed in the opposite direction.”

    “Mr Kennedy voted for the England-wide ban on smoking in enclosed public places which came into force on July 1.”
    http: //

    From the same article –

    “It appears that he is not the only MP to find “no smoking” rules on trains and in public places difficult to adhere to.
    On Thursday, the House of Commons was told that some MPs were not obeying the new smoking ban at Westminster.
    Although the Palace of Westminster could claim exemption from the new rules as a Royal Palace, both the Commons and the Lords have agreed to restrict smoking to four designated outside areas.
    Betty Williams, Labour MP for Conwy, told Harriet Harman, Labour’s deputy leader and the Commons Leader, that some people were flouting the rules by smoking in the lavatories.”

    Minister behind the smoking ban is driven from her office – by all the smokers outside
    January 2008

    “The architect of England’s smoking ban has become a victim of her own legislation – driven out of her Commons office by smokers lighting up outside her window.

    As Minister for Public Health, Caroline Flint was the champion of regulations that outlawed smoking in workplaces and forced tobacco addicts into the open air.
    But what Miss Flint could not have predicted was that the parliamentary authorities would create a designated smoking area right outside her own ground-floor ministerial office.”

    “When the ban came into force in England and Wales in July – following similar measures in Scotland and Northern Ireland – the Parliamentary Estate, thanks to its historic privileges, was exempt.
    But the Speaker, Michael Martin, ruled that the Commons should follow the “principles” of the new legislation.

    Lighting up inside in the Palace of Westminster is now outlawed and all the smokers among the several thousand staff who work there are confined to a handful of courtyards.

    The Speaker is understood to have vetoed plans to put a smoking zone below his own apartment overlooking Big Ben because he did not want visitors to be greeted by the sight of huddled smokers.”

    http: //–smokers-outside.html

    When I was 18 I walked into the Black Bull at Otley carrying a crash helmet, though the pub was empty the landlord from behind the bar shouted at me “There are plenty of good pubs in Otley, go find one”
    I have never been back there since. So if anyone thinks I’m ever going to forget about any of this they are sadly mistaken.

  15. Greg Burrows says:

    AS a UKIP branch Chairman I was a tad dissapointed it takes UKIP 3,881,129 votes to get one MP, the Tories just 33,000 for each one of theirs, but that’s the FPTP system, the system does not reward us for our efforts and the people did vote against the AV system of voting so that’s what we are stuck with, why UKIP failed to secure more MP’s, was I believe the SNP, without doubt, upon waking this morning I would have liked more UKIP MP’s, Nigel would have made a major influence on his own.
    We have been saved from the Health fascists north of the border who would without doubt have joined with Labour in their control by temperance, more of our self determination would have been drained from our lives slice by slice, not only by them but with collusion with the EU and the WHO and any others who wish to offer controls.
    We at UKIP have had a profound influence though, without us, over immigration from the EU, would not be on the debating table, nor would the referendum to stay in or out of the EU, we will have to wait and see in what form this materialises, if it to be like the Ireland one voting on the Lisbon Treaty, where a vote was re-held after the right answer was not forthcoming, and yet more money from the EU poured in to get the right answer, we will have to wait and see, as Mr Cameron like ED and Cleggy is a europhile.
    The Smoking ban we have to remember was not British led but was colluded with by the Labour government at the time, it came from the commission of the EU in collusion with that other non elected body the WHO.

  16. Frank Davis says:

    Fraser Nelson

    Finally, nothing is holding David Cameron back. So what will he do?

    Never has David Cameron’s political authority been greater. He has just won an outright majority on his own terms, confounding a throng of critics and every opinion pollster in the land. Some Tory backbenchers had been looking forward to his failure, ready to denounce him as a sell-out and an electoral liability. They have been proved wrong; the PM has been proved right. His victory gives him a windfall of political capital, now his to spend.

    When chosen as Tory leader, Cameron felt hemmed in by public opinion and seemed to live in fear of caustic polls. Once elected, his found his hands tied by coalition. Now, having declared that he will not fight another election, there is nothing left to fear. A slender majority can, of course, quickly turn into a bed of nails. Plenty of battles with deeply irritating Tory rebels lie ahead. But for now, having confounded critics, Cameron has a few months during which he can do pretty much what he likes.

    He could whizz through the policies that the Liberal Democrats had thwarted. A year ago, he had to pause school reform as he feared it would become a problem in an election campaign. No such concerns should haunt him now. Just a few days ago, Nick Clegg decided that he wanted to be Education Secretary, so as to dismantle the reforms he had spent the last five years fighting. It seemed, then, as if Cameron would have to agree. Now, he is choosing his own Cabinet – and for the first time, choosing his own government to carry out his own agenda.

    This poses a question that Cameron has never quite answered: what is his personal agenda?….

  17. Rose says:

    Nigel Farage jubilant as Ukip take control of Thanet council

    “Ukip has taken control of Thanet council with ex Conservative member Chris Wells set to become leader.
    In a rout which saw Labour decimated to just four seats, the party won 33 of the 56 seats making it the first Ukip controlled district council in history.

    The Conservatives held on to 18 and Bob Grove as the only Independent won a seat in Thanet Villages.”

    I shall miss Nigel Farage while he takes a well earned break , however it’s also a very good opportunity to show detractors that UKIP is definitely not a one man band.

    I’m have to say that from what I’ve seen of her, I am rather impressed by Suzanne Evans.

  18. Rose says:

    Local Elections

    “As of early evening on Saturday, the Conservatives had won 4,985 seats – an increase of 518 – and now control 148 councils, an increase of 29.

    Labour lost 197 seats, maintaining 2,099, and lost three councils, bringing their total to 72.

    The Lib Dems have seen the number of councils they control halve from eight to just four and have lost 343 seats, with their total now at 591.

    UKIP gained 76 seats to bring them up to 189, and won their first council.

    The Greens, who control no councils overall, lost 14 seats with a total of 63.

    About nine councils still have to declare.”

    The strange first comment refers to this incident –

    Sorry, they’ve not even started counting the votes for Nigel Farage’s target Thanet South yet
    8th May 2015

    “Sky News confirmed at 6.58am on Friday that the count had not started but said it would be beginning soon.”

    “The slowdown has been blamed on a delay in the arrival of postal vote ballot boxes.”

    You would have thought that with all the media attention they would have been sure to have the count run smoothly.

  19. smokingscot says:

    Further to my comment yesterday with regard to the two remaining MPs of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health. Sadly I have confirmation that both Sir Kevin Barron and Bob Blackman were both re-elected.

    Can’t have it all… yet.

  20. beobrigitte says:

    I was sorry that Nigel Farage didn’t win in Thanet South. I thought that he would be an asset to parliament.

    So do I.
    Nigel Farage: “I’m a man of my word – I said I would resign and I will”. [Quote from BBC news]
    A rather refreshing thing to happen, a politician keeping his word!

    Unlike Farage who did resign, I believe Paddy Ashdown still hasn’t eaten his hat as he said he would if the Liberals did badly in the election….

    So what was I pleased about?

    Well, I was delighted that the Labour and Lib Dem parties had taken such a tremendous hammering.

    I did not get the icing on the cake (Farage winning Thanet South), but I thoroughly enjoyed Labour (didn’t Miliband ‘promise’ to milk the tobacco companies for cash in the last weeks coming up to the election?) and the Liberals (didn’t Clegg lump in the smoking ban with the death penalty in 2010?) getting trounced on good style!!!! I could re-play and re-play and re-play their faces endlessly!!! It is coming up to 8 years of ‘being-exiled-to-the-outdoors’ for me. This is a long time for nurturing resentment!!!!!!!

    And now that Cameron has been released from the corpse of Clegg, maybe we’ll see a real Conservative government in operation.
    That depends on Cameron’s dependency on the tobacco control infested EU. I would like to think he is English in the first place. (And, as mentioned above, his friend Jeremy Clarkson is as much a disgruntled smoker as I am!!!)

    We have to wait and see.

    Perhaps Brian Binley’s
    could be revived?

    Anyway, it’s an odd day when three party leaders resign their leadership within an hour of each other. I think Miliband and Clegg will now vanish back into obscurity. But I’m sure that Nigel Farage will re-emerge in due course.
    Milibandwho? Cleggwho? And, I sure do hope to see Nigel Farage re-emerging! In any case, I believe Farage picked UKIP’s interim leader well, indeed:
    According to Wikipedia
    In 2014, Evans blamed poor UKIP support in London on city’s high number of “educated, cultured and young” in comments that were seen as ill-judged. She explained that she thought that in London, voters were “more likely, I think, to have read some of the negative press that’s been about us, and I think they’d be more likely to believe it” whereas outside London people were more cynical about media reporting.[11]

    I would have to agree with her; the “educated, cultured and young” can be told anything – they believe it. The rest of us will have to continue thinking for ourselves and take media reporting with a pinch of salt.

    It takes a lot to follow Farage’s footsteps – hope she has it!

  21. harleyrider1978 says:

    Just heard Obamas folks were runnin both parties campaigns……………on the independent. I wouldn’t doubt it.

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