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Old 15th Feb 2005, 9:20   #11
Wavid
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The full transcript of Blair's speech can be found here. But his jibe at Howard was

Quote:
Are these things worthless? No, Mr Howard, they're just worth nothing to you because you're a right-wing Tory who never delivered them in the past and can't deliver them for the future.
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Old 15th Feb 2005, 10:00   #12
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That's fair enough isn't it? Whatever the 'things' were!
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Old 15th Feb 2005, 10:04   #13
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Well, I think it might have been the tone with which he delivered it. And of course it is a rather personal thing, which we Brits are supposed to shy away from.

It was newsworthy last week, anyway. :wink:
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Old 15th Feb 2005, 10:31   #14
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Is it personal though? There has been talk about Labour doing a personal campaign against Howard but I don't buy that. What it consisted of I believe was them digging out records of all his votes in various Commons debates and so on - that's not personal, that's political. The fact that he used to be Home Secretary within recent memory and was pretty widely reviled; so it's just his bad luck, or foolishness, to have become Tory leader when all these things can legitimately be chucked against him. If they attacked him for the way he spoke or dressed or his family or hobbies or for his most fatal personality flaw - being a big fan of Scott Fitzgerald's tiresome and impenetrable Tender is the Night - then that would be personal.
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Old 15th Feb 2005, 10:43   #15
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You may well be right. But surely there is a point at which New Labour will have to stop banging on about the Tories' record in power - after all, it was eight years ago. I'd rather they had the confidence to campaign on their own record, rather than on the fact that the opposition aren't terribly credible.

Those proposed posters featuring Howard as a hypnotist were a little unpleasant, though it's important to remember they were just ideas, and were never to be actually used.

This is all by-the-by anyway, really. Labour to win on a reduced but still significant majority.

As for the main question of this forum, whether the Tories are doomed, I'm not sure they are forever. Think of this election as 1987 with the two main parties swapped round. At some point, Labour will become as power hungry and bankrupt of ideas as the Tories were in 1997.
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Old 15th Feb 2005, 11:06   #16
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Mind you, they deserve to die out if this is the best they can do.

Quote:
Tories urge migrant health checks

Foreigners wanting to work in the UK will have to undergo mandatory health tests for TB and HIV, under plans unveiled by the Conservatives.

Leader Michael Howard said the checks on new arrivals from outside the EU would ensure public health standards.

A positive test for TB would mean visa applications being turned down, while HIV would be dealt with case by case.

Labour said the scheme was "desperate" while the Lib Dems warned both parties against "pandering to prejudice".

The proposals, which would be brought in if the Conservatives won the General Election, would not apply to people comingy to the UK for less than six months unless they intended to work in health or childcare or teaching.

Mr Howard said the plans were based on policies already in action in Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

"It's very important that we should safeguard the good standards of public health that Britain enjoys and we think that in order to maintain those standards it's necessary to introduce health checks for people coming to live and work in Britain," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

His party aimed to "minimise the health risks of diseases such as tuberculosis", to ensure taxpayers get good value for money and to protect access to the NHS.

'Action needed'

Government figures suggest that TB in England has increased by 25% over the past 10 years. "Nearly two thirds of people with TB are born abroad," said Mr Howard.

"I don't think a responsible government can stand aside and do nothing in the face of this problem."

But Mr Howard said the plans would not affect asylum applicants' claims.

The proposals include:


People coming to the UK from outside the EU for between six and 12 months from a "high incidence TB country" will have to undergo a chest X-ray.

People coming to settle in the UK permanently from outside the EU will have to "demonstrate they have an acceptable standard of health".

They will also have to show they are unlikely to be a danger to public health and are unlikely to "impose significant costs or demands" on the NHS.

The tests will include a health check, chest X-rays for TB (except for children and pregnant women) and tests for hepatitis and HIV for over 16-year-olds.
Only the discovery of TB will mean people will be automatically denied a visa, other conditions will be dealt with on a "case by case basis".

Mr Howard added: "At the next election people will face a clear choice: limited and controlled immigration under the Conservatives or unlimited immigration under Mr Blair."

Labour immigration minister Des Browne said: "The Tories are a bit late to this issue.

"As the Government's five-year plan for immigration and asylum, published last week, says, 'We are implementing our existing powers by targeted health screening for TB in high-risk areas at the entry clearance stage. Those who are diagnosed would then need to seek treatment at home before being allowed to enter the UK'.

"The Tory policy is little more than a desperate attempt to catch up with Labour's five-year plan."

Mark Oaten, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: "This is another worrying step in the war of words over asylum and immigration between Labour and the Conservatives.

"They are in danger of pandering to prejudice rather than challenging it."

Lisa Power, head of policy at Aids charity the Terrence Higgins Trust said the policy was prejudice-based rather than evidence-based.

"In fact, it would be more likely to drive people with health conditions to falsify tests while others gain entry by simple dint of their EU status," she said.
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Old 15th Feb 2005, 16:21   #17
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Some people might say that it would be better to put more money towards fighting AIDS/HIV and tuberculosis in the developing world, rather than pandering to tabloid-driven fear and ignorance about immigration and stirring up racial hatred, which can ultimately only help the far right.
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Old 21st Feb 2005, 10:36   #18
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Or not. Nick Griffin of the BNP is now complainign the Tories are stealing their policies.

So I see the Tories are serving up the old recipe of xenophobia and tax-cuts again this election year. Thatcher must be delighted that her boy is back on track again.
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Old 15th Mar 2005, 13:32   #19
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Quote:
Nick Griffin of the BNP is now complainign the Tories are stealing their policies.
Pretty scary, that. I realise the BNP have been gathering followers and gaining votes over the past couple of years but until now I've been able to view that as a tabloid-driven fad that should die out as soon as people grow up and realise this world is for everyone, not just their norrow-minded selves. But if the Tories are nicking the racists' policies, that's another matter. They may be going through a really difficult period, but they're still a big force in politics, and the wider these ridiculous theories spread amongst politicians, the more acceptable they're going to appear to the electorate. And I ain't happy about that.
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Old 27th Sep 2005, 15:49   #20
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Oh joyous day - the Tories' proposed change in the rules for selecting a leader has been rejected by senior party activists. This isn't particularly surprising, since it was designed purely to stop the mainstream party members from choosing the next candidate, on the basis that the last candidate they chose was Iain Duncan Smith. In other words, Tory MPs know that Tory party members are incapable of choosing someone who would actually win an election. Here's hoping for a long and bloody leadership contest lasting well into 2006, in which the eventual victor is anti-contraception moonbeam Edward Leigh.
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