Tories

Vandalise this!

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After the ridicule prompted by David Cameron's giant airbrushed face telling us, "I'll cut the deficit, not the NHS", and "ordinary voters" telling us, "I've never voted Tory before, but..." the Tories have rethought their election poster campaign - looking for something that Photoshop and spray paint won't tarnish so easily.

Lord Saatchi, responsible for the "Labour isn't working" posters of 1979, is back with the Tories. The new posters feature Gordon Brown's smiling face with statements like, "I increased the gap between rich and poor. Vote for me." The Conservative Party website address is written in a small typeface below.

Perhaps they realise that, while people might be persuaded not to vote Labour, encouraging people to vote Tory is easier said than done.

The return of the nasty party: Cameron, Thatcher and the Tories

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The prospect of a Tory government will chill all who remember the 1980s. Yet bad as David Cameron promises to be, a victory for him need not herald a rerun of the Thatcher years. Ian Taylor begins our pre-election coverage by analysing the prospect of a Cameron government and what it would mean

Barring an astonishing turnaround, 13 years of betrayal by New Labour appear about to end. We can hope for a strong showing by left candidates and a campaign on their behalf that draws activists together for the fights ahead. But the likelihood is of a Tory return and a government committed to savage cuts.

The prospect of a victory for David Cameron can lead to one of at least two unhelpful conclusions: either that the result does not matter, since New Labour has become indistinguishable from the Tories, or that Cameron is a new Margaret Thatcher.

Bluster and Bigotry

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"In today's Conservative Party, it seems that it is easier to 'come out' as a homosexual than to come out as a climate sceptic," grumbles Tory MEP and Freedom Association chair Roger Helmer on his "Straight Talking" blog.

Perhaps being homosexual is too easy? "It is outrageous that a bed and breakfast proprietor should be obliged to accommodate under his roof people whose behaviour he regards as offensive and sinful," he foams in another article, gritting his Anglican teeth to agree with Vatican criticism of Labour's equalities legislation. "It is a sad day when it takes a German Pope to correct the errors of an English government."

Cuts, war and MPs' expenses: Are we all in it together?

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A poll conducted after the Tory party conference last month showed that they were down one percentage point over the previous month, while Labour was up three points.

So they received none of the usual boost that the high media profile and set piece speeches give these parties after their conferences, in fact the opposite.

I'm not surprised. Telling everyone that they are going to have to work a year longer before they get a pension is hardly popular. Nor is the constant refrain that cuts in the public sector, of both jobs and services, are absolutely necessary to overcome the budget deficit.

Co-opting ideologies?

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Tory leader David Cameron has been to Manchester to launch a Conservative cooperative movement.

It's a fair bet that Mr Cameron did not learn a great deal about British labour history while he was at Eton - or since - but in his Manchester speech he did recognise that the cooperative movement in Britain has been something associated with the left.

Indeed the political expression of the movement, the Cooperative Party, is linked with the Labour Party, although Cameron didn't quite get around to mentioning that.

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