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Michael Howard - The Man

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posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 03:19 PM
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well i just finished watching an hour long documentary on bbc2 about michael howard and just wondered how you guys perceive him?

it seems to me as he has changed an awful lot since his days in government, i think he is a lot calmer, a lot more reasoned and a whole lot more diplomatic. i think through his time in opposition he has actually understood a lot about how badly he came across in the 90's, and has changed the way he behaves in interviews and in public situations.

tony blair constantly attacks his record as home secretary, and yes he made lots of mistakes, both policy wise and the way his personality came across. but surely the acid test of a person and a politician is whether you learn from your mistakes and grow wiser and stronger?

whether or not you agree with him politically, i was wondering whether you would like him as a leader (assume no political bias here, purely look at him as a leader, and as a person)? and if you think he has shaken off the negative image (eg dracula) portrayed of him?

[edit on 12/2/05 by gareth_24]




posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 05:28 PM
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Originally posted by gareth_24
whether or not you agree with him politically, i was wondering whether you would like him as a leader (assume no political bias here, purely look at him as a leader, and as a person)? and if you think he has shaken off the negative image (eg dracula) portrayed of him?

[edit on 12/2/05 by gareth_24]


- Personally I'd say he comes across as someone who surrounds himself with 'yes' men.
There is no real variety of view in todays tory front bench unlike in the days when even Thatcher had Heseltine, Howe, Walker etc etc in her cabinet.

I'd also say no he hasn't shaken off his negative image (this applies to the tory party in general too in my view). He will be Mr Poll tax etc etc for many forever.

He's pretty clearly there to try to nurse the tory party to a less heavy defeat than Hague got last time, he's certainly not got a mission of winning. He's to try and keep things ticking over until the next gen is ready.

I'd also say he has managed to get himself the reputation of being set to jump on the nearest passing bandwagon at the drop of a hat.

Things like his attempt to use immigration (and basically any old stereotype Alf Garnet type attitude to almost any issue going) will have left a bad taste in the mouth of many many educated and middle-class potential voters, a serious gaffe IMO.

He's (like his party in general) still way too identified with the worst of the Thatcher and Major days.....

.....and the story of how he and his party have tried to have it all ways round over the Iraq war hasn't done them the slightest favours either.

(probably no surprises there but you did ask.
)



posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 06:04 PM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey

I'd also say no he hasn't shaken off his negative image (this applies to the tory party in general too in my view). He will be Mr Poll tax etc etc for many forever.


ok, in terms of his image amongst those who remember those, you may well be right about the image. do you think this is right? should he be judged on what he did then, or what he can do in the future, like i said i believe he's learned a lot from his mistakes and is a much more rounded politician these days.

and what about how he comes across to younger voters (i suppose i could count myself as one of them) who werent around to remember the poll tax, etc? surely his image to them will be better than it is to those who remember the thatcher and major years?


Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
I'd also say he has managed to get himself the reputation of being set to jump on the nearest passing bandwagon at the drop of a hat.


i'd probably agree with that, but i was looking for more of an opinion on him as a person and a leader rather than his political stances.


Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
He's (like his party in general) still way too identified with the worst of the Thatcher and Major days.....


do you think this is justified? do you think that in anyway he has improved his image - take into account the younger voters as well....

.....and as i said try and look at this without thinking about whether you agree with his policies. do you think now he comes across as a better person and a good leader (regardless of his policies!)?



posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by gareth_24
ok, in terms of his image amongst those who remember those, you may well be right about the image. do you think this is right? should he be judged on what he did then, or what he can do in the future, like i said i believe he's learned a lot from his mistakes and is a much more rounded politician these days.


- I'd say people have an ingrained suspicion about politicians full stop.
Give them a long track record too to examine and that is likely to be pretty conclusive for many.


and what about how he comes across to younger voters (i suppose i could count myself as one of them) who werent around to remember the poll tax, etc? surely his image to them will be better than it is to those who remember the thatcher and major years?


- Well bearing in mind I am in my early 40's I doubt I can claim to know what the youngest of the voters think.

But I would be very surprised if Howard or the tory party are in any way thought of as the party of youth.

Apparantly a selection of young people when asked thought Churchill was a salesman recently God knows what they think of Howard, if at all, ever.


i'd probably agree with that, but i was looking for more of an opinion on him as a person and a leader rather than his political stances.


- OK, I suppose the 'personal quality' that kind of thing brings to mind is crass opportunism? It's not good that's for sure.


do you think this is justified? do you think that in anyway he has improved his image - take into account the younger voters as well....


- Like I said Gareth I think it's utterly inevitable is the point.
People are sceptical of (all) politicians at the best of times but show them something beyond the "we're gonna....." in terms of "when we had a go last we did......" and you can hardly blame people for looking beyond the nice words, eh?


.....and as i said try and look at this without thinking about whether you agree with his policies. do you think now he comes across as a better person and a good leader (regardless of his policies!)?


- I think he has tried to come across better but things like his football support just come out all wrong. Kind of false.

The narrow 'spread' of political thought on view from the tory front bench is very alarming, that as much as anything colours my view of his leadership qualities.

For all the fun some papers have about Blair and Brown for instance I quite like the fact there are characters that obviously see things differently on the gov front bench.
I had thought people had decided 'control freakery' was a bad thing.

A good leader should have and be able to handle a variety of opinion and view - IMO that was when Thatcher completely lost it, when she surrounded herself with people (Howard included) who all sat like nodding dogs telling her everything she was doing was so right and amazing.

[edit on 12-2-2005 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 12:46 PM
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Well, in my opinion, Michael Howard isn't really a person to whom to look up to, he does't have any charsima or real leadership qualities.

What Britain needs is someone who stands up for what is right.



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 12:57 PM
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ok i can see this thread continuing on a similar mode! if anyone has any positive comments it about him it would be interesting....!!! i generally agree with the statements made, but what i was getting at is that i think he has improved his image compared to what it was.

so i'll move it on - what about william hague? can you ever invisage him making a comeback?

now theres no doubt this guy got his policies wrong - a young leader, comparatively inexperienced campaigner. with the lost election experience behind him could he comeback?

my opinion is "i hope so". he has plenty of charisma, fantastic debating skills and comes across (to me) as someone who is in politics for the right reasons, and there arent many i would say that about. there certainly is noone else in the tory party who has the ability, IMO, to lead a general election winning party.



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by gareth_24
so i'll move it on


- Apparantly if Howard takes a worse battering in the coming general election than Hague did in 2001 we'll all be moving swiftly along!


what about william hague? can you ever invisage him making a comeback?


- I've heard him do a little broadcasting.
Now he has the rod from out of his @ss, has stopped trying to sell the unsalable, changed topic and can relax a little he comes across a lot better.

I don't think that means he can step back into leading the tory party and expect any more success than he had last time though, even if they'd pick him again.

(and this is all reliant on the party roots given the selection process they now have)


now theres no doubt this guy got his policies wrong - a young leader, comparatively inexperienced campaigner. with the lost election experience behind him could he comeback?


- Sorry Gareth but IMO what you image to be Hague's faults are simply in fact today's tory parties' faults.

There's no point blaming him for the entire direction the party has taken.......and for proof I suggest a trip to a conservative club or two. Have you never been and heard it?
After around 10.30pm when they are getting suifficiently pis*ed on the cheap booze you'll hear the true voice of the tory party roots. It could be argued that the Parliamentary tory bunch do a fine job keeping such loony right-wing attitudes out of their parties' policy!


my opinion is "i hope so". he has plenty of charisma


- He's not as horrid as some, I grant you.


fantastic debating skills


- Oh come on, telling the occassional good gag in the HOC is not the be-all and end-all. It did him no good when he led the tories and it is hardly the basis for a come-back now.


and comes across (to me) as someone who is in politics for the right reasons, and there arent many i would say that about. there certainly is noone else in the tory party who has the ability, IMO, to lead a general election winning party.


- Gareth I'd love to see it. No harm to anyone like, but only because I think he would repeat the 2001 experience of suffering a disasterous thumping at the polls.

In any event IMO it's not so much the personalities that are so key to the on-going tory failures - although they really do have a knack of picking desparate no-hopers - it is their policies.....

.... and because their policies are so right-wing the 'pool' of sufficiently 'true believers' to try and sell them is limited hence the unappealing characters they keep having to come up with.

Ken Clarke told the party the unpallitable truth a while back just after the 2001 drubbing. The tory party is not losing elections because it is not right-wing enough or insufficiently anti-Europe.

Sadly (for the tories) he was too late and the tory party is irredeemably in the hands of those who neither wish to listen to such sense nor are they capable of understanding it even if they do listen.



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 01:08 PM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey

There's no point blaming him for the entire direction the party has taken.......


i wasnt, but as a leader, you should have the ultimate say on the policies, and he got them wrong - i feel through naivety rather than any bad intentions.


Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
and for proof I suggest a trip to a conservative club or two. Have you never been and heard it?
After around 10.30pm when they are getting suifficiently pis*ed on the cheap booze you'll hear the true voice of the tory party roots. It could be argued that the Parliamentary tory bunch do a fine job keeping such loony right-wing attitudes out of their parties' policy!


no i havent actually....! however, i can imagine! this is where, IMO, lies the main fault with the Tories, they are "old Britain".


Originally posted by sminkeypinkey

- Oh come on, telling the occassional good gag in the HOC is not the be-all and end-all. It did him no good when he led the tories and it is hardly the basis for a come-back now.


no i stand by this comment of him having excellent debating skills, yes the occasionally joke showed his wittiness, but of course theres more to debating than this. he won his fair share of PMQ's with blair, even with c**p policies. ive no doubt that with good, substantiated policies, he would be even stronger.


Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
- Gareth I'd love to see it. No harm to anyone like, but only because I think he would repeat the 2001 experience of suffering a disasterous thumping at the polls.


dont you think Britain needs a strong opposition? at the moment we dont, and IMO, its damaging.


Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
In any event IMO it's not so much the personalities that are so key to the on-going tory failures - although they really do have a knack of picking desparate no-hopers - it is their policies.....


a strong leader will identify this and have the sense of mind to take the party in the right direction. howard has taken them on from IDS (mind you even david beckham couldve done a better job than him), but i think has taken them as far as they can go. i want there to be a strong conservative party to challenge labour. but i cant see a person to lead them back to greatness (i define greatness here as being in charge, rather than actually what they did while they were in charge). i am fascinated by leaders and what they can achieve which is why i dispute your point. so my belief is with the right man, yes i believe that the tories can turn around theyre fortunes. however, as long as there are weak men in charge they will continue down the same path.



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 01:19 PM
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Originally posted by gareth_24
dont you think Britain needs a strong opposition? at the moment we dont, and IMO, its damaging.


- Yes I do.

But I'd also like to see a move towards cooperative politics much more like they have in Germany or France, with PR.
Sure they have confrontational political parties too but these tend to be small.
I think they have achieved much of worth without our 'winner takes all' system.

Personally I think landslide government is unhealthy (and I can at least claim to be consistent, I thought it unhealthy and didn't like it under Thatcher either.....how many tories can say that, hmmm? )but absolutely the predictable product of a class-based political system.



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 08:18 PM
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Originally posted by UK Wizard

What Britain needs is someone who stands up for what is right.



chaaces of that happening is more likely that i will win the jackpot this saterday in the lottery




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