Thursday, June 16, 2005

Two Davids Remix "Pretty Awful"

As previously posted, our dream ticket is the Two Davids Remix. DD becomes leader, with his natural successor David Cameron right there at his side. Unstoppable.

The only slight problem is that relations between the two camps are rumoured to be cool to frozen solid. A couple of days ago George Jones reported in the Torygraph that:

'Allies of Mr Davis say his relations with Mr Cameron are "pretty awful" and predict that a contest involving the two men will be lively.'

The punters at Politicalbetting reckon the anonymous 'allies' really boil down to Derek Conway, who is thought to loathe Cameron. So maybe we shouldn't be too concerned.

But the underlying story goes back to at least last March. Allegedly, the Howard team were already preparing their 'Stop DD' plans, and got Francis Maude to draw up a secret list of Tory MPs, splitting them into friends and black-listed enemies.

The Mail on Sunday reported the whole thing on 6 March, noting in passing that:

'Right-winger Davis, the product of a one-parent family, and Old Etonian Cameron are deadly enemies.'

It didn't elaborate, concentrating instead on the main story. On that, an unnamed MP was quoted as saying:

"This is a 'stop Davis' list. Howard and his cronies are terrified he will pounce the day after the Election. Howard's camp wants to prop him up for a couple of years so he can hand over to Cameron when he has a bit more experience."

The Howard camp denied all knowledge:

'When contacted, Mr Howard's allies initially claimed they knew nothing about the list and said Mr Maude had been given a dressing down. "Francis was told he had acted like a bloody idiot," said one. But a source close to Mr Maude said the leadership knew about the list from the outset and had "encouraged" him to produce it.'

Hmm...what's the truth we wonder.

Trusty old Guido Fawkes had no doubts at the time:

'Some truth perhaps in the germ of this story, but Guido suspects the machivellian hand of the Policy Exchange crowd in this story. Maude, Gove and some behind-the-scenes players in the Tory party use Policy Exchange as their base.'

That sounds more like it. The full secret list is here, and you can see how some of the 'handlers'- unofficial whips designated to corrall the lobby fodder MPs- were Policy Exchange people (including Nick Boles, its head) who weren't even MPs.

This was Maude and the Portillista rump plotting in their upstairs room at Clutha House to keep DD out. Who leaked it is unknown, but I suppose somebody might have thought itmight scare a few of the flakier MPs out of supporting DD.

So are the two Davids really 'deadly enemies'? Or is it all just a bit of noisesome fall-out from the Maude plot?

Unless any of you have got some meat to offer us, I don't propose to lose any sleep over it.
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