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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