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If Tim and Sam put enough energy into Conservativehome.com (I think Britain and America is a distraction) they could turn this site into the record of Conservatism in a way that The Telegraph was once.

CH is now the only place to get comprehensive analytical coverage of the Conservative party as well as being just about the only way for members to make their views known. It is the way of the future, well done Tim & Sam!

Three cheers for Sam and Tim. The site is essential reading for anyone in the Conservative party (or anyone interested in politics at all). I don't often agree with the editorials- but hey- you can't argue with the hard work put into this site by all contributors.

The Daily Telegraph is more the custodian of enduring Tory principles and sentiments than the latterday amorphous Conserliblabourtive Party.

The MEP selection "news" was hardly stirring stuff outside of anorak circles, so I don't know how you felt it warranted a newspaper report.

I always thought Conservative Home was a Home for genteel retired Conservatives.

I have to say that I don't care about the MEP selection process. I doubt the Telegraph readers do either.

Since roughly only 0.33% of the population (I worked it out) are Tory Party members, is it any surprise that newspapers dont cover the internal mechanism for choosing MEPs?

Quite, Jon. It's not news.

Jon Gale: Since roughly only 0.33% of the population (I worked it out) are Tory Party members, is it any surprise that newspapers dont cover the internal mechanism for choosing MEPs?

"Cllr" Iain Lindley: Quite, Jon. It's not news.

You'd be surprised what narrow-interest material makes it onto the internet these days. Still, it's good to see that it carries an imprint.

I think this points to the fact that newspapers are absolutely all over the place with the growing maturity of the web. They have been reduced to heaping tat on readers for a few extra sales.

CH is the place to go to for all news concerning the party because it is up to the minute, comprehensive and interactive. As Jennifer Wells intimates above, the Telegraph can't possibly compete with CH as a journal of record for the party.

I gave up on the Telegraph some months back. I remember buying it and thinking it seemed to have missed half the stories I had heard on the radio that morning. The DT is out of touch and it needs an overhaul.

Newspapers are for considered thought and entertainment, they are not for reporting news because they are now too slow at doing that.

The feature of CH I find most useful is the way it brings together links to all the stories about Conservatives in the mainstream press in one place. I don't want to trawl through the Cardigan looking for a story about Tories, but I do want to know what the left think about Tory-related issues.

The Telegraph is very disappointing most of the time - it seems determined to turn itself into a life-style magazine, whilst Celia Walden's column is breathtakingly stupid and usually nasty.

WHAT?!

Haven't read so much rubbish since... the last time I logged into ConservativeHome.

This website may be a useful place to get links to newspaper articles and a good place to read about what the Editor likes to call "TheoCon" thinking. But it is NOT representitive of the modern Conservative Party. Indeed, it is often openly critical of our democratically elected leader and the direction in which he is leading us (endorsed by a huge margin in the Built to Last poll of members and endorsed in opinion poll after opinion poll).

It is fine to use this website to understand the Tory neo-con Christian Right (TheoCon as Editor calls it) and to get links to great journalism from our newspapers and our BBC. But let's not pretend that this website is anything more than that. It remains a cold house for modern compassionate Conservatives.

I think changetowin is about right. This blog has links to mainstream media, who do most of the leg work to research any article or have the skill to write some opinion. It's merely a portal to other sites, allowing (some) discussion.

Some of you have got totally carried away with your own significance recently. And all this painful US ass sucking gets on my nerves too. Can't you just take a pragmatic and rational view of the US, like everyone else?

On the other hand isn't the lack of interest a sad reflection on the state of politics in this country today. The MEP selection process is but one more nail in democracy. It is now impossible for any ordinary member to have any meaningful input into the selection of a candidate. The last vestige of members democratic input has been swept away and it is of so little consequence that it does not even deserve a mention in the mainstream media.

Bit by bit members are being marginalised leaving only a fig-leaf token to allow the party to say they are having some sort of input. The party preaches decentralisation and practices the opposite - but nobody cares except a few so-called "anoraks".

Even the elections for the EU are a travesty of democracy with the closed list system. It is impossible to vote for a candidate you like without supporting those you do not like, and yet we hear virtually no protest.

Could someone post me a link to that widely-read website which is more representative than Conservative Home, has more energetic discussions, and which has never dared criticise the leader of the Conservative Party? I've forgotten it's name for the moment.

Changetowin - I do not normally tend to get into these kind of arguments because they are as ubiquitous as they are fruitless.

However, what you say is palpable nonsense. You say that this site is unrepresentative but I see your views plastered on practically every other thread - under your name.

It is overstating it to say that CH is "often openly critical of our democratically elected leader"? However, it isn't Pravda either - and surely better and more interesting for it?

Speaking for myself, this website has published what I would have thought were pretty moderate and mainstream articles of my own in the past, as well as all sorts of other opinions on practically everything from all wings of the party.

As for all the guff about theocons or whatever - you begin to sound like a paranoid leftwinger. Sure the editor is a churchgoer but there is quite a tradition of that too in our party. There are plenty of people (myself included) that come here who aren't interested in that side of things but don't feel the need to grind on about it in such a sour way.

Tim,

I fear that the subtle and subliminal subversiveness of the Telegraph’s focus on Dr Seuss has eluded you completely. This is a complete commentary on the Conservative condition – although some might disagree with all or part of it.

For example, “Fox in Socks” is the parable of the hapless Mr Knox who is led out to play by a fox. (Unusually the precision of the Seuss symbolism breaks down on the narrow point of the leader's identity!)

The fox tells Knox: “We’ll find something new to do now. Here is lots of new blue goo now. New goo, Blue goo. Gooey. Gooey. Blue goo. New goo. Gluey. Gluey.”

Eventually Knox’s patience snaps and he stuffs the fox into a bottle before moving on with the words: “Fox in socks our game is done, sir. Thank you for a lot of fun, sir.”

In contrast “Green Eggs & Ham” relates the tale of an elderly and grumpy looking creature who is asked by the sprightly “Sam-I-am” (to try a new eco-diet of green eggs and ham. He insists he dislikes this new dish, without even trying it. In the end he gives in, tries the green eggs and ham, overcomes his denial and discovers that, after all, he loves his new green food: “I do so like green eggs and ham! Thank you! Thank you, Sam-I-am!”

The Big Tent/Greg Dyke strategy is foretold in “I can read with my eyes shut”: “I can read in red. I can read in blue. I can read in pickle colour too.”

I am sure other CH contributors will be able to mine the rich Seuss seam to find nuggets that are even more golden. Happy delving!

Loyalty to this site deserves to be reciprocated. How far behind are you in sending out ConHome mugs to those of us who have donated over the threshold to receive one? Just trying to see whether you are a Blair (break all promises) or merely a Cameron EPP (will keep my promises, honest, but not yet, Gov). Mostly joking but it would be nice to know we are delayed, not forgotten.

On the main point, I think the Telegraph should have reported on the Euro selection because it is a major point of contention within a major political party. A comparative article on what all three major parties are doing would still be of interest. Sadly the paper is greatly diminished since Charles Moore stepped down as editor. Just shows the value of having a good Old Etonian in charge.

On ConHome, I agree that the USA obsession is a bit wearisome. It should be realised that most naturally conservative people tend to identify with the US when they are young, but the more they experience it, the more they realise that many of the things we think we have in common are an illusion. Just look at their obsession with work, and with guns, for starters. Many of the people are charming of course, but that's a different point.

"As for all the guff about theocons or whatever - you begin to sound like a paranoid leftwinger."

Changetowin *is* a paranoid leftwinger.

Just to clarify - I didn't describe the Editor as a Theocon. He told us recently that 'Mr Cameron described me as a "theocon" - a badge I am happy to wear!'.

"Happy to wear" - his words, not mine...

See the link below to read the Editor's Theocon comment.

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/torydiary/2007/03/back_from_notti.html

I've heard the new site http://www.myspace.com/theliberalconservative will be pretty good...

And please spare me this guff that all those who disagree with this site's self-proclaimed Theocon thinking are left-wingers. Many people who care passionately about this party despair at the values which this site espouses.

A few reactions to things that have been said...

+ No excuses on the mugs. Very bad. Must rectify. Also bad at replying to emails quickly. Sorry.

+ ConservativeHome is opinionated (but so is The Telegraph). But opinions in favour of party democracy and the 'and theory' have been known from the beginning. There's been no secret agenda.

+ The frontpage newslinks cover nearly all Tory stories and not just those favoured by me and Sam.

+ This is an open site where all Tory opinions are welcome within threads and longer opinions on YourPlatform.

+ I don't mind the theocon label. I'm a Christian, theologically conservative and a political Conservative although my guess is that some will use the label as a term of abuse!

Very entertaining Stan. Editor - watch out!

How pathetic of changetowin to say this is a cold place for compassionate conservatives - Tim Montgomerie practically invented compassionate conservatism and devoted several years of his life to its advancement. I don't know what your agenda on here is but give us a break will you.


Well, it's a pretty inept comment from ChangetoWin. This site attracts people from both the Left and the Right of the Party, and is read by thousands of Party members. Its interest for most people lies in the fact that it is not a propaganda outlet for the Conservative Party, but is independent-minded.

Tim Montgomerie practically invented compassionate conservatism?

Really?

I thought he had just been the brains behind IDS's time as Conservative leader. I had no idea he'd worked for George W. Bush too!

I think Sean Fear is being far too kind to Changetowin. CH has its opinions for sure and attracts comments from party loyalists, Cameron sceptics , libertarians and reactionaries in roughly equal measure. It is ,as far as I'm aware, the only political website that achieves perhaps with the exception of Iain Dales' blog which achieves such a breadth of coverage and should be wholeheartedly applauded for it. Even when CH has editorials with (as with the Telegraph) I profoundly disagree it delivers them in a measured way.
It is so easy to criticise, Changetowin, as you often do but so apparently difficult to suggest what you would do instead which you never ever do. I suggest you go away and think about that.


The turgid and relentlessly on-message LabourHome is probably the sort of thing ChangetoWin would like this site to be, Malcolm.

Changetowin - I really hope you are right in what you say! If I felt that CH represented the mainstream of the Conservative Party then I should have to think very carefully about whether I wanted to stay in the party myself. I realise my departure might bring joy to some, but as I have been a member and activist since the early 1980s, I would feel very sad to have to leave.

Tim and Sam - I want to say that my comments above in no way are intended to denigrate you and the excellent work you do!

Sorry about the apalling punctuation in the above post, I was being being shouted at by my boss as I typed it.

"Sadly the paper is greatly diminished since Charles Moore stepped down as editor."

Agreed, the Telegraph just doesn't seem the same any more.

The Daily Telegraph wants to be more and more like The Daily Mail.

Congrats on the mention by Andrew Sullivan.

Changetowin, ahh it really must be nice living in that cloud cuckoo land you inhabit.

You say that you "Haven't read so much rubbish since... the last time I logged into ConservativeHome". Well personally I haven't read so much rubbish since the last time you posted on CH.

Changetowin , I can understand your criticisms and sometimes feel too much prominence is given to opposing the party organisation but surely a healthy party can take criticism and that's the point of a membership/supporters website?

Tim has a viewpoint, and the editorial line reflects this, but equally he and Sam allow a pretty free and open discussion. I do get tired of the personal attacks and think it devalues the argument - Sally Roberts was called the voice of Timothy Kirkhope yesterday, most unlikely, and that highlighted the paucity of that poster's argument.

Thank you, Ted for your voice of common sense!

It is rather ironic that on another thread we have been debating "civility"!

I'll throw this into the mix, for what it's worth. I was a reasonably prominent London activist (altho' Justin H would probably say I wasn't much good at my job); I've been a fairly successful election agent; I've assisted the party at a senior level and written one or two policy papers I've been quite proud of - BUT - the only thing anyone ever wants to talk to me about is when I'm going to write another one of those ruddy spoof film reviews for Conservative Home. Ozymandias or what?

ConHome is as valuable to the grassroots conservative movement (notice lower case C = not the Party) as the Freedom Association, Taxpayers' Alliance, Better Off Out and other non-partisan groups that present, promote and develop proper grassroots conservatism and not the facade Cameron oozes.

Keep up the work Tim, Sam and co.!

I don't agree with all the Editors' views.

I certainly don't agree with some of the more rabid posters on ConsHome.

But I do think ConsHome provides a unique and valuable service. I value the media links, and the 'have your say' articles, and the opinions of many of the individuals who post here.

Although I'm gradually retiring from active political participation, ConsHome is an important part of my political day, and I wouldn't be without it.

Ted,

Thanks for that. But free and open discussion? I have been a Conservative member since I was sixteen and have supported this party through thick and thin. Yet when I come on this site and support the leadership, I am attacked as if I am a communist! This site is a TheoCon pressure group. That is fine - as long as it not represented as a home for Conservatives...

Back to the Telegraph.I'm a bit unsure about it at the moment. Whilst I agree with the majority of its leaders but it is without a doubt duller than it used to be. I think it is trying to get away from being a Conservative 'house' newspaper but that has been the case for some years.
I do have a bit of sympathy with the Telegraph 'though. The internal workings of the Conservative party are not of huge interest to the general readership.
I understand from friends who work there that the new editor devotes most of his energy to their digital properties which is perhaps why the newspaper is drifting.

Changetowin @ 17:16 - I agree with you! It is very sad to see people who have given years of loyal service and dedication to the Party being vilified and insulted simply because their views do not accord with those of some others on CH.

Like many others I suspect, I gave up on the Telegraph when Charles Moore left. I agree the editorials appear generally conservative (with a small "c") but the general froth seems less so. If one's overall impression is that the paper seems much less Tory than before, the same applies to the Conservative Party leadership.

It's okay for changetowin to come on this site and rubbish the Editor but not okay for others to criticise changetowin. Thanks for clearing that up, changetowin.

Jennifer
No it is not alright to rubbish Changetowin - you call it criticism but it is personal attacks. Tim posted an editorial, making claims about the site, which changetowin disputed without attacking Tim. In return he gets called names.

Where I disagree with changetowin is that it is "cold house" - if it does become one thats because we let it. C'Home has survived the UKIP hordes, the BNP squatters and some particularly viscious trolls and yes the voices of the 30% or so who dissapprove of Cameron do sometimes become a bit overbearing. It's up to those who support the agenda of a 21st century conservative party to fight their corner. But let it reflect the diversity that the party contains without becoming a place where opposing views lead to name calling.

This weekend we've got about 60 friends & family coming round to celebate my Dad's 80th - some are crusty old colonials, others pretty left wing. There will be lesbian and gays mixing with graduates of Oral Roberts University who have done their Christian mission, there will be black, white, brown (but no yellow). We'll all get along, bound by kinship & friendship and civility. The Conservative Party is less diverse in opinion so why can't we be civil to each other?

Oh William, please don't despair!

And when's that next film review, please?

@Sean Fear
Changetowin *is* a paranoid leftwinger

Francis Maude's PA, I think you mean.

I've also stopped buying the DT after many years of reading it religiously. Basically I woke up and realised that its tired, fusty and out of date,

Matt

Dear Changetowin,

You get attacked on this site because you always start by attacking someone, often everyone, else first. Come on, if you pick an argument than at least be adult enough to accept that you will be attacked back. The trouble with you, and those like you in our party, is the basic inability to see that what is sauce for the Goose is also sauce for the Gander, this nis a typical left wing failing. When Hague, IDS and Howard were our leaders the current euphemistically named "modernisers" (of whom presumably you are one)attacked our leader, our party, our direction and briefed constantly to the media in order to destroy their leadership. This was especially, and especially disgracefully, the case with IDS.

Now that you have your man in pole position you all squeal like stuck pigs if anyone on CH so much as questions the Dear Leader. Compared to what was done to our previous 3 leaders by the LibDem tendency of the party a bit of criticism on CH, which truly is the home of the grassroots as opposed to your offices at 30 Millbank which are anything but, is nothing. Leastways it is ignored as if it were nothing by the focus group and spin obsessed with whom you work who, just like you seemingly, couldn't care less what Conservative members and activists, let alone Conservative voters, think about or want from what is ultimately their party.

Personally, I visit the Guardian's website!

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