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BenDrown@aol.com

EXCLUSIVE to Conservative Home: chapter one of the international bestseller by Ben Drown – The Da Visi Code.

They found the distinguished, experienced, white-haired, older man sprawled on the floor of Westminster Abbey, in the historic heart of traditional London, England. He had been stabbed in the back 121 times (at time of writing – the number goes up each day). The Police were baffled. They sent for me.
“I’ve absolutely no idea what’s going on,” said Inspector Mitchell. “Wye aye, man, we divvent a clue,” exclaimed Sgt Conway with rough Geordie honesty.
As an American academic specialising in a spurious made-up subject, with a surprising ignorance of basic Renaissance art, mediaeval history, architecture, geography, but a penchant for plagiarising 20 year old books and a completely unfeasible ability to attract leggy French totty, I am of course just the person the Police would turn to in order to solve a serious crime.
“There are 197 suspects,” said Inspector Mitchell. “They were all in their constituencies at the time.”
“Anything suspicious?” I asked.
“They were all in their constituencies. Look, Professor Longjohns, I haven’t the time to solve this mystery. There’s an armed gang of lunatics running around London shooting innocent people in the streets. And as well as Special Branch, I’ve got Al Qaeda to worry about. If this carries on I’m going to miss my next board meeting in Hong Kong. Sort it out.”
I surveyed anxiously the scene. The white-haired, experienced, older man was lying in a pool of (non-blue) blood. Strewn around him were piles of expenditure plans slashed to pieces. There were also four sixteenth century Italian paintings arranged in a line, to which the corpse’s contorted fingers were pointing at bizarre angles; a collection of half-completed crossword puzzles; a helicopter ticket to Blackpool; some discarded photographic negatives; a couple of computer CDs and a switched-on open laptop; on the floor were chalk markings of dots and dashes; and the wall was smeared with writing in blood. Absolutely nothing to go on.
I rolled the body over – because, as you know, it’s standard Police procedure to not check the corpse for clues – and gasped. Underneath the victim was a crushed bottle of fizzy water and some mint imperials.
“Inspector,” I stammered, fighting for air. “We are dealing with a sinister right-wing cult of incense-burning messianic fanatics.”
“You mean?”
“Exactly. This slaying was the work of Opus Dave.”

TO BE CONTINUED…..?

Guido Fawkes

Ben, go on, you have a talent, if Tim doesn't appreciate it, I'll publish it...

Tim - Re too many blogs - I think you should replace the leadership blog with an "all things tory" blog focused on the Tory party's mechanics and machinations. Unless you are positioning yourself as a Cameron critic I can't see the point of blog focused on him personally.

Frontpage is handy, events is too, the platform is good.

The dictionary is bunkum - its like Orwell's "newspeak". You are making up heavily value laden definitions to reflect your ideological prejudices. Which is fine if that is what you intend, but its propaganda. I could always write a few alternative definitions for some of the entries ;]

Daniel Vince-Archer

"This ConservativeHome leadership site will close down some time next week..."

Say it isn't so! Although it may mean I get more work done ;-)

Nicholas S

I think a site for Everything Tory would be a good idea. A focus on Cameron's leadership would be too narrow, I feel. I'd imagine it would also be a breeding ground for moans and whinges which I'm sure the press would pick up on (given the recognition this site has already gained in the media).

A site where we can discuss the Conservative Party and Conservatism in the round would be great.

Not sure about calling it Everything Tory though - http://www.everythingtori.com

I Love DC

Have now checked http://www.everythingtori.com

Looks to me just like the Compassionate Conservativism DC is after:
"There are some experiences shared by young women that have become timeless traditions, puking in public for the first time, subsisting on a diet of Ramen noodles, and curling up on a college issued mattress, listening to a Tori Amos album over and over until your college issued roommate wants you dead." (Interview with Bust Magazine, March/April 2005).

Richard Weatherill

I don't think ConservativeHome has too many sites, though I guess it wouldn't want too many more! My main problem is trying to recover a comment by a particular individual when I can't remember which post it related to. (Not helped by the inevitable fact that some comment threads stray wildly off-topic.)

A useful feature would be a searchable index of everyone who comments showing (at least the first few lines of), say, their most recent 10 comments.

Someone will now tell me that this facility already exists on the site and I'm just ignorant of it. (What on earth, for example, are 'Permalink' and 'Trackback'?)

howard stevenson

I think an everything Tory blog would be good. This would tie in with the questionnaires that you have talked about. There is a diverse set of Tory opinion on this site and does bring different parts of the party together, even if sometimes it is just to name call each other.

It would be good if we could continue that somehow. Especially if it became one of conduits by which the Tory high command actually speak and listen to those of us who are daft enough to deliver leaflets in the rain!

Simon C

Tim,

Thank you for running this leadership blog. It has been a superb facility - almost addictive on occasion - and has justifiably been influential in the contest. Well done - you have given huge ammounts of time to this, and deserve immense thanks.

Going forward, we need a thread on which we can discuss the Party's direction under the new leadership. This to include policy development, strategy and so on. This site has been at its best when it has focussed on policy development. Assuming Cameron wins, he has promised an extensive policy review - we need to be able to contribute.

We also need a thread to enable us to get stuck into the government. Where we can comment on pensions, EU rebates, Nuclear power etc.

In that thread, I would suggest a regular "Minister of the day" slot, in which we can nominate the most egregious minister of the moment. There's bound to be lots of competition. We could also award "Minister of the month" prizes. - a Conservative Home mug of course.

The frontpage is a great help & the platform is good as well.

CJ

Oops, I think I might have accidentally voted twice (dratted computers). My choice, for what it's worth, would be a general Tory blog. No doubt the leadership will be scrutinised in there anyway, so why make additional work for yourself Tim?

Many thanks on running this site in any case - I would like to echo Daniel's comment about possibly getting more work done when the leadership blog closes!

malcolm

Tim,thanks from me also for running this wonderful blog.It has usually been interesting,often funny and sometimes quite infuriating!
Further to Simons suggestions what about Shadow Minister of the week.Sometimes particularly during Michael Howards leadership it was easy to believe that he was doing it all himself and that many members of the shadow cabinet were rather irrelevant.This might be an opportunity to prove that this is not (presumably )true.

Goldie

There are too many 'blogs' on one site. It doesn't work well, people miss stuff. Why not integrate it all?

Passingthru

two blogs; in fact the more the merrier!
why not have a forum as well? invision among others do free hosting.
UKIP have a fairly active forum anyway, i havent been able to find a 'tory' one yet, maybe i just dont know about it. The american centre right seems to have endless websites for discussion and promotion of conservative policy.
I think this sentence originally from an article in the Spectator sums it up best - One building in Washington DC ... probably houses more conservative brainpower than all the British think-tanks put together.
While i wouldnt describe Conservative Home as a think tank, developing ideas, increasing web and media presence, and bringing seemingly disparate ppl together on the issues is all connected imo.

Conservative home literally seems to be the only openly affiliated/supporting Conservative outlet (ie not like ASI or civitas) that is updated daily, and expansion can do it no harm. From its web, and more general presence, you really wouldnt think the Conservatives are Britains no. 2 party.

Spectator text here - ignore the posts on that website though, it is frequented by some strange ppl http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1210956/posts

Daniel Vince-Archer

"I'd particularly be grateful for observations about whether ConservativeHome has too many sites - frontpage, dictionary, events, platform etc..."

Perhaps you could consider merging the 'platform' and 'commentators' blogs into one 'comment' blog?

Andrew

I'd leave it up. You'll need it again in 18 months anyway.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"I'd leave it up. You'll need it again in 18 months anyway."

That's a bit harsh Andrew. I'm giving it at least 2 years until Sir Malcolm's coronation ;-)

wasp

I'd like a policy blog to discuss issues rather than focusing on Cameron himself.

Give the guy a chance to get the job done without being over analysed.

Wat Tyler

I agree with most of the comments above. I think you should do an everything Tory blog.

It just wouldn't be helpful to have a David Davis First 100 Days Blog- far too tempting for disgruntled DC supporters.

Keep up the good work.

Simon C

Wat,

What are your intentions after the leadership result(whatever the result)?

James Maskell

I think a policy blog would be fantastic. We all know we all have different views on different issues (look at drugs!) and I think that would be a brilliant way of really debating the issues. Pensions as we know is becoming a huge issue and it would be good for us to all discuss the issues relating to Britain.

An "everything Tory" would be just as good amd would not dissuade me from posting.

Daniel Vince-Archer

Not entirely thread-related but can anybody tell me what time the result is due to be announced on Tuesday?

James Maskell

Sometime in the afternoon. I know it doesnt help much but I do remember 3pm appearing as a time. Cant quite remember where. Maybe Im psychic!

Richard Allen

Firstly I would like to add my thanks to the Editor for running such a superb site and providing an invaluable and much needed resource.

Secondly I would like to add my support for the idea of a forum. There certainly seems enough interest in this site to suggest that such a forum could be very succesful.

Mike Smithson

Well done Tim. You have done a great job and provided an invaluable service. It has been one of my regular ports of call.

I should warn you that doing a site like this becomes very addictive and you will have withdrawal symptoms.

William Norton

Largely as a result of watching the unfolding of this blog, I have become a confirmed supporter of the idea of 'open source policy formation'. Push out an idea into the public domain and see how it develops in the light of people's responses. Much better than deciding things by the traditional kitchen cabinet of know-it-alls. Who knows, it is just possible that one of the leadership candidates has been persuaded to structure things in exactly that way. Mysterious are the ways of providence.

For that reason I would prefer a division into two blogs - "Everything Tory" as a general sounding board, and "Policy" as a specific open source commentary on the elements of the next manifesto. This might be cluttered, but it would concentrate minds and allow a division into Coulsonite and non-Coulsonite postings (I hope).

Whatever happens, this blog and its Editor are the only things to emerge from the leadership battle with a reputation which is both enhanced and undamaged (with the possible exception of William Aitken). The spirit and vigour of this blog should be continued.

PS - could someone please answer Richard Weatherill's questions from earlier on? Without an intelligent search/archive facility, we risk losing forever the pearls of wisdom we all post on this site.

James Hellyer

Permalinks are the addresses to use if you want to link another webpage to a thread here.

Trackbacks are links to other blogs (and sent by their authors) that have referenced articles here.

As for a search facilty, I think a blog specific google search could be put in the blog template if Tim wanted an easy solution...

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