Conservative Diary

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Please submit your ideas for 'the grassroots manifesto'

Over this 'Mission Week' we are highlighting some of ConservativeHome's biggest themes:

  • We began on Monday with Frank Field MP writing about the need for reform of the teaching of history. This forms part of our hope that patriotism will be a big part of the next Tory manifesto. Jeremy Hunt added to the theme yesterday with a Platform piece on British sport and today Brandon Lewis writes about British tourism.
  • Yesterday I published a draft speech for David Cameron's Party Conference speech.  The speech contained many of ConHome's favourite themes including the need for much more honesty about the public finances, the need for a fair sharing of the pain of austerity and, third, a balanced conservatism that blends the traditional and modern dimensions of our politics - not least social justice and social conservatism.  The idea that there are massive tensions between the different conservative traditions is nonsense.

Part III of this 'Mission Week' is the next stage of our championing of the Tory grassroots.

Grassroots Up until now we have sought to represent the grassroots in three main ways:

  • Monthly polling of a panel of members (a panel that very accurately predicted the outcome of the 2005 leadership election). We poll on policy and grassroots' members' views of shadow ministers' performance.
  • Protecting the rights of members in internal party elections and selections. We won victories in 2005 on the party leadership and since then against the party's efforts to keep the A-list secret and as the only mechanism through which Associations could choose candidates.  We have been defeated on MEP selection and by new efforts by the party leadership to centralise shortlisting. 
  • To counter the way many in the media caricature the grassroots.  We will continue to argue that Tory members are much more enlightened and much more balanced in their views than is regularly suggested.

Throughout September we will be conducting a weekly poll rather than a monthly poll in order to have the very latest information on what most concerns the people who give so freely and energetically to the Tory cause.  The results will form a little blue book we will be publishing on the eve of Tory conference.  Please use the thread below to suggest questions that we should ask.

Tim Montgomerie


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