As conservativehome.com develops I want it to be somewhere where the And Theory Of Conservatism is always on full display. By that theory I mean a combination of those core policy positions most associated with the Conservative Party of recent years (Euroscepticism, a tough approach to crime and lower taxation, for example) with a broader commitment to justice issues (like addressing domestic poverty, human trafficking and environmental decay). The party doesn't have to choose between its core beliefs and a more progressive agenda. The 'And Theory' argues that we can have both if we avoid apeing our political opponents' choice of policy instruments.
On the hour - throughout today - I'll be publishing the two contenders' answers to twelve questions of Conservative belief and strategy. Alongside every question I'll be writing a very brief editor's note and the exciting new David-O-Meter will be swinging towards DC or DD to indicate which of the contenders has given the best answer. By the end of the day it will be fairly obvious which of the two candidates has the best policy positions (IMHO) but I will not reveal whether those positions are enough to make me vote for them. For me beliefs are 80% of the mixture but all of us know that Michael Howard's successor also needs a variety of leadership and personal skills.
ConservativeHome remains an open forum for all Tories and if you want to write a substantial post for the Platform Blog - disagreeing with 'my biases' or proposing an entirely different area for discussion - please email me at email@example.com. And there's always the comments option at the bottom of every post for more libertarian, less hawkish Tories to take issue with my perspective! I welcome all comments of every worldview but will delete comments that abuse other visitors, use unnecessary bad language or are racist, homophobic or are in other ways offensive.
The David-O-Meter will be swinging into action at 9am...