Coffee House The View from 22

Podcast: Tory civil war, Scotland’s political soul and naked photos of celebrities

4 September 2014

Do the Tories think they’ve already lost the election? Their behaviour is certainly beginning to suggest so. In this week’s issue, James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman discuss the civil war that is raging in the Conservative party. A party that should be readying itself for victory is now preparing to tear itself apart in opposition. But can Cameron do anything about this? Isabel, James and Fraser Nelson weigh up his options in this week’s podcast.

It’s a different story up in Scotland. The referendum debate has ignited politics, and galvanized both sides of the political spectrum. The Yes campaign has been impressive, and to its credit, has brought back conviction politics, says Alex Massie; it’s been as invigorating as a seaside walk on a raw and windswept spring morning. Fraser and Hamish Macdonell consider how this newfound political spirit might transform Scotland, whatever the outcome of the referendum.

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And finally, is clicking on Jennifer Lawrence’s naked pictures really as bad as hacking and distributing them? That’s what some have been suggesting, but Hugo Rifkind isn’t quite sure he buys it. Jamie Bartlett, from think-tank Demos and Emma Barnett, the Telegraph’s women’s editor, discuss whether or not we can blame people for peeping at the pictures.

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Show comments
  • chouenlai

    I have been active on this site for a few days and hope to continue. What I have observed is a very common attitude “why do you defend Cameron’s Tory party, he and they are as bad as Labour”. I very strongly disagree with that concept and believe the Kippers and fellow travellers who are quite happy to see Miliband in power will live to regret their irresponsibility.
    The other attitude that I believe is very short sighted, and downright wrong, is the “oh why must you keep defending the Tories against Labour, they are both utter crap”.
    Who exactly will change the world in the way you want it ? Surely it is not Nigel Farage that you have in mind. Is it ? Because he has no team and nowhere near enough support, 14.6 % of the vote will not bring one MP. If you think people like me are wet middle of the road liberals, no better than Labour, you should go on the Guardian website for a week. Its terrifying.

  • Liz

    Can we apportion blame to people who “peep” at child abuse pictures if they didn’t produce or distribute them? Then you can blame people for peeping at pictures that violate women’s privacy. You’re the audience they were stolen to satiate.

    • whattheflip

      In the first case, possibly yes it could be a crime to look at these because child abuse is involved. In the second case, no way. It isn’t a crime to look at pictures of naked adults. Yes the “victim” didn’t give permission but their negligence (and vanity) led to the leak.

      • Liz

        A crime has been committed.

        • whattheflip

          Yes by the hackers, but NO not by the people viewing the pictures. As the law stands, that is fact!

  • The Masked Marvel

    Surely there are more important pointless, lightweight issues you could have covered than stolen photos of celebrities, thus supporting the notion that they deserve more privacy and security of their personal data than the rest of us. Capture our identities, keep us under total surveillance when we’re out about town, record our phone calls and emails, but when some idiot actress has a few photos leaked, the security of their personal files is more important?

    As for the Tory fiasco, can Cameron do anything about it? Yes: step down. As soon as possible. Remove his inner circle from power.

    • Liz

      What on earth is lightweight about the stealing of data from a company that promotes itself as bring secure? About the modern day threats to our privacy and most intimate moments? About the levels and growth of online misogyny that terrorises female users and threatens the vision of democratic communication of the net? About the popularity of shaming women for being sexual? About the astounding levels of self-entitlement to women’s bodies so many men live by? About distress?

      Sure, the Spectator may have given it a lightweight treatment, but that’s another matter.

      Why is she an “idiot” actress? You don’t have s*x? You’ve never done anything that could be potentially embarrassing? You sure your data is safe from hackers? You have to watch your back 24 hours a day while people devote months of their time trying to violate your privacy and feed the baying mob? Get off your high horse. Go on admit it, “idiot” just tripped off your tongue because you’re a Pavlovian sexist.

      • whattheflip

        No you can’t blame Apple. The people who had their data stolen used passwords that were easy to guess. If you can’t secure your account properly, its no use trying to blame others for your own negligence.

        • Liz

          You have no idea what passwords they used.

          • whattheflip

            They used insecure passwords – do a bit of research if you are capable of understanding this topic. Just trying to introduce some facts to the debate as a counter to your irrational and futile, dogmatic nonsense

      • The Masked Marvel

        Who has had a Pavlovian response, then? Male actors are idiots, too.

        It’s a lightweight issue for two reasons: it’s about celebrities needs appearing to be more important than ours, and it’s about photos that only an idiot would put on the cloud, rather than about actually serious data like banking and identity information.

        Like the author and the rest of the media, you are hijacking a very serious issue we all face for your own agenda.

        There are so many other issues more worthy of attention this week, and this tabloid fodder demeans the publication.

  • you_kid

    Why can’t I stop thinking that this poor girl’s inept handling of her personal files in the cloud will somehow be used to justify changes and have an effect on my life?

  • Earthenware

    I think I heard someone say on that podcast “Cameron’s most precious commodity is his credibility”.

    How did we as a nation reach the stage where the media are so completely out of touch with the electorate?

    Virtually no-one believes a word Cameron says, especially on the EU. It’s as though the people and the media inhabit two parallel dimensions. I know we talk about the Westminster Village – but I didn’t realise that the Westminster in question was on the moon.

  • misomiso

    Boris wont be able to unite the Tories as he’s pro EU.

    The issue with Cameron is that his political objective is to keep the UK in the EU, and the Right’s nightmare is that Cameron holds a referendum and wins it ( as the polls show he will, re Dominic Cummings).

    The Right will not unite behind Cameron as to them Cameron keeping the UK in the EU is worse than Ed Miliband than PM.

    Better to lose then become a party of OUT, that will campaign to go out at a referendum, and win next time against a weak Ed M.

    • misomiso

      What you guys ( pro George Osborne journalists (!)) dont understand is how much we loathe the EU.

      Its all very well saying that the Tory party needs to wake up to Ed M, but if the things we care about, like institutional corruption in the EU,
      immigration, reform of the ECHR, arent going to change anyway, why should we care whether DC or Ed M is PM?

      We want OUT.

      • Makroon

        For most people, the EU is tottering irrelevancy.
        The state of the economy, taxes, public services and plenty of jobs, are the only “political issues” which interest them.

        • Wessex Man

          You are too complacent.

    • Makroon

      Whatever Cameron says or does (and he would be a blithering idiot not to negotiate really hard – but that is not guaranteed), the population will vote as they see fit.
      The UKIP plan, to wait for “a weakened Labour” (they won’t be for many years/terms), then strike opportunistically, is manipulative, and very probably pie-in-the-sky.
      Like smart-Alec’s cunning plan to wait for “a weakened Conservative government”, to con the Scots into voting ‘Yes’.

    • crackenthorp


  • YahYah

    I think the calculation has already been made that an Ed Miliband government would deliver a future Tory majority, so it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. I think too many Tories agree with Fraser, that Miliband would be a disaster, but see that as a good thing.

    Stupid really. The greatest detoxification of the Tories was being in power. In opposition they’ll start to stink again, bleating on about things that a Labour government simply doesn’t care about, and so the media will not find it relevant to discuss.

    Matthew Parris, Nigel Farage, Paul Goodman, Douglas Carswell…the problem with these people is that they each have a complete, and completely different, vision for the country, and having a complete vision they’re unable to compromise on anything. They each know how everything will fit together, to compromise is to miss the vital part of the plan. That’s the problem with being out of power for too long, you develop a huge backlog of special interests that eventually get illogically bundled together to save time and give the impression of philosophical coherence.

    • Makroon

      No British political party can win without capturing the centre-ground.
      It seemed at one time – after a decade in the wilderness – that the Tories had finally understood this simple truism.
      Alas not. The stampede to the right, egged on by UKIP, is well under way and will result in disaster.
      These people simply don’t understand their own country.

      • Wessex Man

        I think your steps are out of time rather than anyone else’s!

    • crackenthorp

      What a load of gibberish twaddle

      • Darnell Jackson

        Well argued.

        • crackenthorp

          well that’s that could be said about that nonsense

          • chouenlai

            Beautifully explained.

      • chouenlai

        There were a number of words of more than four letters, therefore you would struggle.

        • crackenthorp

          up yours

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