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Misses the point of the "referendum" - of course it is going to be passed overwhelmingly.

In the future if the recalcitrant right cuts up rough it will then be used to reinforce the mandate for modernisation - "the membership backed it overwhelmingly".

End of argument. You only ask questions if you know what the answer is going to be.

Please don't trot out statements such as "tax cuts before stability." there is no conflict, and to make such statements conceeds and reinforces the assertion. I despair that Brown's tactic of trying to present tax increases as somehow good for stability (no return to boom and bust etc) is being parotted by Conservatives in the stability before tax cuts soundbites.

A better question would be that "we recognise that to grow our economy we need to ensure tax rates are internationally competitive." At a time when the rest of the world is lowering rates we are the only ones going in the wrong direction.

A 'referendum' of this kind with no true alternatives is like the old soviet elections.

Cameron/Maude's willingness to go through with them says much more about their true attitude to politics today than any mouthings about being 'open', 'transparant', wanting 'debate' etc.

If they pretend to want to change politics, but revert to Stalinist 'show-referenda', they will simply demonstrate the 'same old politics' that the pretend to want to change.

Well done, I've been saying this is an ersatz-mandate for a while now and it's good to see you campaigning for it. One of my primary reasons for resigning from the party which I detailed in my mail to Francis was that I did not want to be part of the B2L farce and this campaign vindicates my concerns.

You can't have a vote before you have policy, and if it is forced on the party, I fear it could be used as a stick to beat any future dissent like failure to withdraw from the EPP etc.

Good work. The slip in the polls has forced some measure of realism on Cameron that victory at the next election is not likely. Let's hope he now starts to build a solid core of values and doesn't drop them if the polls start to perk up again.

Theresa May had a good performance on Question Time in February which probably boosted her rating. Unfortunately she is still remembered for her 'nasty party' gaffe.

I think you're wrong Guido. The vote in favour will be overwhelming but with nothing substantial at stake people won't bother to turnout. Do you remember Hague's ballot on the 'Believing in Britain' pre-manifesto? It was a Soviet-style ballot and members shunned it. Turnout is only high when something substantial is at stake.

Yesterday it emerged that at a secret meeting of the Euro Commission it was agreed that we should pay another 200 million into the EU budget. That increases what we pay from £115 million a WEEK to £119 million. (This is after allowing for 'grants we get back). For which we get no discernable benefit. But there's no protest. Doesn't anyone care? I say leave full membership of the EU and spend the money on things that matter to us.

Why on earth is David Willets so low (and declining)? He always impresses me whenever he's on TV/Radio.

It is just resentment at voting with Balir over education?

"Unfortunately she is still remembered for her 'nasty party' gaffe." Yeah, right. I'm sure she feels really, really bad about that.

But there's no protest. Doesn't anyone care?

It's hard to argue about being forced to hand over millions to the EU when Cameron and Blair are colluding to pocket millions by forcing taxpayers to prop up their political parties.

I almost pulled my hair out reading the Cameron quote in the Times this morning when he noted that he was being 'tough' with Blair over what type of state funding would be acceptable to him.

NO form of state funding of political parties should be acceptable to a conservative. It should be as simple as that.

A conservative proposing increased state control and that we will be charged for vote for them?

I'm setting up vote4free to protest at this very dangerous development.

David Willetts didnt get a high rating from me because of the farce that was the Education Bill vote.

Frederick Forsyth made an interesting suggestion yesterday of calling a vote of no confidence in someone...a minister and see the Labour Party turn itself inwards to look how its going. Do it after the local elections in May and youve got your scalp.

Cameron has got the basic approach right and the need to change but needs to concentrate on practical community based measures to help swing voters on things like education, health, pensions, council tax. He must avoid being side tracked either by those who want to go back to the right or those that want to provoke clause 4 type internal battles. People already perceive him as different and more approachable and caring. Now that voters are beginning to listen we need to focus on what this new modern conservatism stands for with simple practical measures,

Matt Wright

The fight with UKIP is not a clause four moment by any stretch of the imagination. UKIP arent important and were not the reason why we lost the election three times in a row. UKIP was not the reason so this fight is pointless. I dont even think that the Conservatives could have a clause four moment. With Labour it was something huge. The Conservatives dont have a magic bullet like Labour had.

I agree there is no obvious equivalent of a clause 4 moment . The issue was that our brand was weakened so enough people weren't taking in our messages. I think swing voters are beginning to listen under Cameron. The clean sheet of paper feeling that he started needs to be built on with practical ideas to define what we stand for.


NO form of state funding of political parties should be acceptable to a conservative. It should be as simple as that.

Don't tell John Howard that, Chad:


"Don't tell John Howard that, Chad:"

Why not? I think we should tell John Howard that.

Oh come on John, relax a little. What I was making to say was that the Liberal Party of Australia, and Australian conservatives generally, have no problem with public funding, that's all.

But John, by all means - if you want to tell him you think public funding's a bad idea, drop him a line at http://www.pm.gov.au

- I'm sure he'd be happy to hear your views.

Happy Easter!

I am very disappointed with the apathy demonstrated by the Party with regard to the EU. In its present form it is doomed to failure and running out of control. The only constructive view available comes from Daniel Hannan but it strikes me that he is a voice crying in the wilderness. How long must we continue to suffer the indignities of this undemocratic regime before it is called to account. Remember the Soviet Union???

I have until recently thought along similar lines to yourself. However:
* Is Daniel a particularly regular attendee at the parliament to defend our interests?
* Does he work with the rest of the Conservative team or is he more motivated by personal agendas?
* Are you aware that the nature of the EPP MAY well be changing soon, even to the extent of a new leader. There is a very real chance of a more centre-right wing EPP whose policies will change to reflect our views. Should that happen, won't it suddenly become extremely advantageous to be a member of it, particularly as the size of our group gives them a vast amount of clout?
Just some thoughts which I hope are accurate and helpful

A point on which I and, I suspect, many others feel strongly is that ministers or a minister has got to get a hold of the Health and Safety Executive. To whom is it accountable now? It goes from expensive excess to expensive excess day by day. Today's is altering the notices on South West Trains' carriages because some lettering is only 32mm high instead of the specified 35mm. Each day reveals a new idiocy and no one seems to have the authority to say stop.

This could be a vote winner but every accident would then be blamed on the Tories. "The Tories killed our child". It needs careful thought but if the Conservatives are the party of commonsense then it has to be a manifesto policy and commitment.

Every day I see more and more people wearing flourescent jackets. Who has told them to? Why? Are accidents fewer? Who pays for them?

Seriously, this needs a think.

I wish the wet, pathetic "call me Dave" would stop going on about global warming and the climate. What is happening is natural and caused by the sun, not man. It is just a con to make believe a myth to encourage them to approve of upping the taxes. Start listening to the people and do your job of opposing the present government who are destroying this country alon with the E.U

I used to be a Conservative Party supporter, but since they sold out England to Scotland they no longer have my support.
Abandon the ridiculous English Votes on English Matters policy, give England a fair deal under devolution and I might return.

It says a lot about the Tory Party that 78% of respondents here can approve of the utterly bogus Cameron. He got all his green policies wrong, then flew in a private jet to look at a glacier [and get a photo-op] in a helicopter to Bury to get on a tram [and get a photo-op] and cycle to parliament [and get a photo-op] with his official car behind him.

Jeff Randall who knew him when Cameron was at PR for Carlton says he was untrustworthy and slippery.

He's a Blair "plant"



It says a lot about the Tory Party that 78% of respondents here can approve of the utterly bogus Cameron. He got all his green policies wrong, then flew in a private jet to look at a glacier [and get a photo-op] in a helicopter to Bury to get on a tram [and get a photo-op] and cycle to parliament [and get a photo-op] with his official car behind him.

Jeff Randall who knew him when Cameron was at PR for Carlton says he was untrustworthy and slippery.

He's a Blair "plant"

I couldnt give much of a damn if he is a plant. Its his policies and general approach I dislike. Hes not even making the right noises let alone the right gestures.

Shameron is playing at politics. Global warming is solar in origin and may be a brief burst a decade long before the next Ice Age which may be well overdue. Many think Glob al Warming ended in 1996!
Shameron should show leadership not middle Blair way followmanship. He should not shirk from leaving Europe and sacking all Euro fellow travellers. More people dont vote than the sum of the voters for Tories and Labour combined.

I have worked for Tory party at grass roots since as a teen ager I delivered leaflets for Sir Robert Peel in the 1950's and have not seen such an abanonment of Britsh interests even since Heath.

At a time of Blair coming off the rails in almost every way possible, I hear NOTHING from the OFFICIAL OPPOSITION about the many dire problems engendered by Blair and his band of Scots cronies.

Are we or are we not an opposition, or do only minnows like the UKIP and Greens deserve out notice.

At a similar stage in 96/97 every rentamouth in Labour and the press was fulminating agains Major and his mob.

We hear NOTHING from us despite all the open goals ready to receive our scoring shots. We are not even on the pitch, it looks like Labour will have to devour themselves, but we will NOT gain any electoral advantage if we are not seen to be actively promoting the interests of Great Britain against this mob of devious Alan B'stards.

Alan Douglas

Writing from SW France, I am delighted to see the Labour Cabinet self-destructing, and hope that our Shadow Cabinet can help them on their way. We vote from here and sincerely hope that all Conservatives living abroad do the same!

There is no emotive 'drive' to HM opposition they always seem to be 'going through the motions' With this awful corrupt labour government and its brown nosed baying backbenchers the Conservatives are missing open goal after open goal. I really don't get it, its easy stuff. Where is the emotion and true belief?

I am a member of the Conservative Party, in fact I am Chairman of British Conservatives in Paris, so obvioulsy I live outside the UK. Why does your survey make me choose between enterning the fact that I am a Party member, and that I live outside the UK? There are many Party members who live outside the UK and a hard workling department in Central Office,Conservaives Abroad, to add to our numbers.

Robin Baker

I like the mood music that David Cameron is playing and I think in time it will have an effect. Policy presentation should be still some way off. David Cameron has stolen the climate agenda.
What I dont like is the shadow cabinets ability to take the government to task and to get its message over and steal the agenda. It a major weakness which must be addressed.

David Cameron should study the hierarchy of needs to understand what is important to people - air first, then water, food, shelter, warmth etc. Then he would understand that posing in Norway and majoring on "Green" issues comes a long, long way down the list of people's priorities after the huge problems in education, the NHS, the police, our dreadful roads (dreadful compared to the major European countries), the issues with immigration ... I could go on a long way before I get to Green issues. He should understand that no election will be won until the Conservatives have first won people's hearts and minds on the things that REALLY matter to them. Green issues are importaqnt but come way down the list.
For heaven'as sake start concentrating on what people see as really important. This Labour government should be crucified for its appalling record - get cracking!!

David cycling to the Commons and having a car take his shoes etc was a crass mistake. David needs a PR minder to ensure that such silly errors don't recur.

The real reason for most people to vote Tory is because they love this country, its freedom and hard won democracy, its tradition for freedom of thought in education, and they want us to survive as England, a part of Great Britain. All policies should stem from this basic belief. What is good for Britain is good policy. All the blather we keep hearing has no longer any basis in grass roots common sense! DavE needs to get real!

Warning often seen in public toilets, "Slippery when Wet".
Green Cameron, how determinedly irrelevant this man is. Is he a lib dem or blue labour or what? Should anybody care? Is he Alistair Cambell's best dodge to date? The Wooden Horse of Tory!

The broad thrust of Conservative policy should be focussed on maximum freedom of the individual coupled with responsibility - both for one's actions and to the needs of society as a whole.
We need to be rid of the restrictions that go with membership of the European Union with its meddlesome intrusion into UK legislation - not in any way incompatible with trade and co-operation in other ways.
Education should offer suitable facilities for academic and all other talents by providing customised schools (eg. Grammar schools and Technical Colleges)to maximise the potential of every youngster and not just the academically gifted. This to be coupled with the clear recognition that university education is not an appropriate goal for everyone, although there should be opportunity for change of tack at any age. Availability of adult education for continuing improvement of qualifications is also important.
Policy for both Health and Education should encourage the development of both State and private enterprise alongside each other to allow the best of both worlds. Some element of tax relief for those prepared to provide for themselves would help maximise investment in both areas and this in turn would encourage providers to more fully answer the legitimate requirements of the public.
While there should be no emphasis on "hand-outs", there should be an effective safety net for those who through whatever misfortune are unable properly to provide for themselves - the elderly, the chronic sick and so on. Conservatism should not be seen as incompatible with a caring society.

I am really disappointed with David Cameron. When are we going to get a real opposition to this corrupt government. Prescott's trouble with his trousers if 'purely a personal matter'. Like heck it is! Prescott roasted the Tories in the Major govt. He should be given both barrels now. Why are our side so wet? Is it a case of people in glasshouses? Oliver Letwin, Francis Maude & Andrew Lansley are so wet you can wring them out. The indigenous population of this Country will be a minority in our grandchildren's lifetime. What other nation in history has given its country away? There are so many issues that need addressing but all we hear is drivel about global warming. As we have no buses and even if we had I am not prepared to have my decent clothes ruined with other people's bubble gum left on the seats and suffer their badly behaved children, nor would I stagger home with bags of shopping. I find Cameron patronising and insulting.

I am getting a lot of feedback from my members and supporters complaining that David cameron is getting more and more like a copy of BLAIR. They suspect he is keen to ditch basic Conservative beliefs and policies.

For heaven'as sake start concentrating on what people see as really important.

I have tried to neatly show why Cameron is focussing in the wrong area (maybe not the wrong but the least a more minor, electorally ineffective one) by introducing the 30-second elevator pitch on ConservativeVoice

Just imagine you are in an elevator (lift I know but the phrase comes from vc pitches but could equally be a 'doorstep' pitch for an activist), and you have just 30 seconds (50 words or less) to convince a sceptical, floating voter why they should vote out Gordon Brown.

I think this is such a worthwhile, though difficult exercise because it forces you to concentrate on what you think will really sway the voters.

I just wish the Cameroons would give it a go, not just a long set of reasons, but a focussed 50 word or less pitch to convince the electorate not to vote for Brown, but to vote for you.

Cameron was a terrible mistake. He should resign now and join the Liberals and take with him Theresa May, Francis Maude, Oliver Letwin,Burkow,Duncan and the whole rotten bunch of smarmy creeps that now run the Conservative party. Jeff Randall's view of Cameron does unfortunately ring true, and the electorate has now got measure of him.

Chad, its easy.
Gordon Brown represents a Scottish constituency. Just ask voters how, under English Votes on English Matters, Mr Brown could be PM but be unable to comment on or vote on English Education, English Health, English transport, English local government etc.

His position would be untenable.

After reading all the comments today, I have to agree that David Cameron is a big disappointment inasmuch as he is not proving to be an good Opposition, in fact he frustrates us all by being NO opposition at all. He should, as many others have stated, get onto the subjects that affect all our lives like the continuing march of State control over our lives, the gradual loss of free speech, the loss of the ability for people to be able to laugh at others who are hippocrits instead of being threatened with police punishment, Get back to daily needs, schools, taxation, pensions, education and particularly the NHS - he has got to get real. He continues to talk in platitudes. A nice man, a very nice man, but weak and useless in opposition - sad but true.

The survey question about biggest international threat excludes the biggest of all, the threat that continued membership of the EU will drag down our economy and with it our prosperity. Who in his right mind would invest in a business for which the auditors have refused to approve the accounts nine years in a row ? That is what Blair is doing without a peep of protest from David Cameron. Why are our MEPs still aligned with the EPP? During the Leadership Election David Cameran promised to break that link. He has not done so. How can anyone trust his promises in future.
Cllr. Frank Tomlin.

No female shortlists for potential MPs.
Selection by merit.
Selection by "local worthies" unworkable.
Their political affiliation may not be known.
Selection should stay with the constituency members as they HAVE the political affiliation.
Why else would one wish to be a member of a political party.
More robust criticism of government policies/behaviour.

Please correct the attribution ref. April 29th, sender: Jennifer Habib, "Slippery when Wet" comment. This comment was sent in by Jim McCubbin (myself). The following lengthy comment attributed to Jim McCubbin, "The broad thrust of Conservative Policy..etc." 29th April 13:09 was certainly NOT from the keypad of Jim McCubbin and the sender should be properly recognised for it was a well thought out and constructive contribution.

I am a lifelong Conservative.
With the following exceptions, I have voted Conservative at every election since I was old enough to vote.
I did not vote Conservative when Heath was leader of the party as there was little to choose between him and Harold Wilson.
I did not vote Conservative in 1997 as the MPs were not listening to their own activists, never mind the public, and thought the rest of us were here to keep them in a job.
I may not vote Conservative at the next General Election as things do not seem to have changed much since 1997.
What I will probably do is take a good hard look at the Conservative candidate and ask myself if he/she is a Conservative. The candidate will get my vote if the answer is 'yes'.
The questions I ask to determine this will include ascertaining the candidate's opinions on the EU, local and national government arrangements since 1972 (I live in Scotland - we have SIX levels of government), the constitution, what to do about Iraq, Iran etc, Education, the NHS, Taxation, Transport, government priorities, and anything else which occurs to me.
I subscribe to the idea that I am voting for MY representative to represent ME at Westminster, rather than for a self-seeker looking for a career in politics.
I commend this approach to others.
I am a Conservative councillor.

I agree with James McCubbin - I will vote for any Conservative candidate - IF I AM CONVINCED THAT HE OR SHE IS ACTUALLY A CONSERVATIVE.
We seem to have been taken over by the wets at the moment. Central Office isn't giving us much in the way of CONSERVATIVE policies.
A true blue has practically no one for whom they can vote at present. A large slice of the electorate has no one whom they would wish to represent them. Please can we return to Conservative policies?
Anne Worrall.

I agree with Anne Worrall that we seem to have been taken over by the wets at the moment. What is even worse, I listened to David Cameron on the Today programme with John Humphries this week and could be forgiven for believing I was listening to a Party Political broadcast on behalf of the Labour Party. Being "nice" is one thing but that interview was beyond the pale.

The politically correct way of choosing Conservative candidates is a disgrace. We criticised Labour (rightly) for doing it. What is more it gives the BNP a stick with which to beat us. We should get back to choosing candidates on ABILITY alone, regardless of their sex or colour - be it black, white, yellow or green.

The Tories under Cameron/Maude are SouthEastern party. Has no one told them that they must win 20-30 seats in the North and the Midlands to form a government ?
Unless they are hoping that the LibDems will go bankrupt( following the funding scandal ) and they will "walk" into all the LD seats. They MIGHT just get about 1/3 of them the others will go Green and Labour ...get up t'north Lad and find out t'FACTS

David Swanson, a problem for some of us in the South East is that we feel that we have been labelled "dinosaurs" and have been shoved aside for the metrosexual elite that forms the core of the Party upon high. I have no problem with change. Im adult enough to recognise it is necessary, but the change that is happening is not only too far but the cases in favour of such changes arent even argued. We are just given a blanket "You voted for this!" excuse...thats not good enough. Cameron said he wanted a debate about the future of the Conservative Party...lets have that debate.

You waste of space

Remember Cash For Questions, then Blairs Cash for Honours...perceived corruption in the House of Lords..coverups....lies that took Britain to War and so on.

Does anyone know about the 'game of politics' played by known Freemasons?

There are even Conservative Councillors named on this blog who witheld membership (declaration) of their own Fryerning Freemason Lodge from local residents before a vote was passed in favour of a Stock resident/Councillor to buy up/develop land on an Essex site.

The sooner the British public are given a public listing of Freemasons to out these types of individual, the sooner Mr Cameron and David Davis will be forced to revisit the 'root issues' of UK corruption raised in the House on 14th February 1994. (See Parliaments Hansard Records on Freemasonry).

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