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If I wanted to nominate Jonathan Sheppard for his Tory Radio, would that be a Blog? Or had Chad not left the party, his Coolservative idea could have been a winner.

Perhaps we need a category for inspired internet usage.

Please, no wooden spoon award. This should be a positive and celebratory occasion.

But how about an 'unlikely ally' award for someone not associated with the Conservative Movement who nevertheless does something to uphold our values? I had thought of calling this the strange bedfellow award but then thought we'd better not go there.

I would certainly nominate Tory Radio in the broadcast catagory. Also Roger Helmer for Parliamentarian.

Serf and Andrew: opportunities to nominate ToryRadio and Roger Helmer etc will come. Can we stick to discussing categories today, please?

Sorry Editor. I'm not sure about thank tank as there are not a massive amount to choose from and I can't really think of one I'd want to vote for. Also tend to agree about the wooden spoon. With some of the people on here, I think there is a risk Cameron might get it. Could have one for member of the Government most helpful to the Conservative party.

A couple of ideas.....

1) A category for best "poster" so to speak. Not sure what you would call it - but it would be for those who regular post funny, intelligent thought provoking comments who dont necessarily have a blog of their own.

2) It may be part of the categories already mentioned - but something along the lines of most influential conservative grass roots initiative (perhaps someone can come up with a better title) - which would award a website, a person, an organisation which has actually made a policy change within the party.

I think that the woodenspoon catagory could turn a little nasty, if it could be kept light hearted then OK but I am not confident that it will.

Are campaigning organisations and think tanks different in reality? Likewise columnist/author could be compressed down into 'writer'.

I know there is the blogger category but how about a general 'website' one.

I know that conservativehome.com can't really suggest this for fear of appearing to skew the odds but happy for this to be considered. I think a number of blogs seem to have grown beyond the category of blog (eg this one and Politicalbetting.com) and it might be good to seem them taking their chances alongside the MSM.

Ramblings as ever - hope it helps though.

Editor, sorry I was just trying to work out if categories existed for such projects.

Well I would give one big fat award to the TaxPayers' Alliance for its work.

However, for a category suggestion, how about the "Blue Skies Thinking Award" for conservatives who are thinking outside the box to forward the cause of conservatism?

That award could be a think tank, blog or just a single innovative idea posted on a blog for example.

Local associations seem to differ massively. I’d like to illuminate the “best local association" so that others may learn. If that’s too broad, “best use of the internet by a local association”.

"However, for a category suggestion, how about the "Blue Skies Thinking Award" for conservatives who are thinking outside the box to forward the cause of conservatism?"

Imagine the possibilities, aye Chad? I don't think people should have to nominate themselves.

Migrationwatch UK as think tank - taking up the cause the Conservatives should be doing.

Columnist - Simon Heffer, for not abandoning traditional conservative principles.

Parliamentarian - Roger Helmer, because he believes in the sovereignty and independence of parliament above all else.

Wooden Spoon - Francis Maude, for worst impression of a Conservative ever!

Doesnt the party already award associations? Or is that just based on how much money they raise based on their quota?

Tim: you'll have your opportunity for Maude/Cameron-bashing on another day. Today is about deciding on ideal categories.

I like Andrew Woodman's "member of the Government most helpful to the Conservative party" suggestion... probably should replace the "wooden spoon" idea.

Henry, if you read the other threads, you will note that True Blue has made an excellent suggestion concerning prisons that I noted fitted the category perfectly.

Please, cut the all this personal shit and try to contribute positively.

How about Labour, Lib Dem MP we would most like to defect.

What about a category to find the most effective and innovative Conservative Council of the year? Either aimed at the entire Council, or to identify a single local Council-driven initiative that has made a real change for the better?

I agree that the Wooden Spoon award would need to be carefully handled, and is perhaps better not done.

Peter's "strange bedfellow" could be "Non-Conservative conservative" of the year?

Not sure you need both Author & Columnist - what about "Writer" of the year?

Is there room for the equivalent of the 'best actor' award at the Oscars - something along the lines of simply 'Conservative Hero'as a focal point for the awards?

The rest of the areas seem to be sub-categories in a way (I'm not beliittling them when I say this!) and it could be good to have a star category.

My initial suggestions are

Campaigning web site (non-blog)

I would agree with the idea of merging author and columnist into writer.

A Parliamentarian award would be like a best actor but perhaps an award for a grass roots campaigner in addition to that might be an idea.

Stephen B: I like your idea of best actor very much. The over politicisation of the conservative movement is a serious problem and I think room should be found for one or two cultural ideas. Best actor may be a bit narrow... we may want to award a movie, a book, a producer, a TV series...

This is going to sound very me, me, me, but I think there must be a category for Conservative Cllrs. There will be candidates out there this May who inspire big turnouts or win huge swings / majorities.

Despite losing, I won a local consitutency cup in 2004 for winning a swing of 21% and helping to inspire a turnout of 56% for a local election. But I wonder how many other constituencies recognise the efforts of their members.

It would be a real boost for candidates / Cllrs electoral achievements to be paraded more widely. It thanks them for their work and inspires others to get involved.

I think you are right Andrew - I would like these awards to be for the little people so to speak, who are an important part of the Conserative movement. Yes I think there should be an award for Parliamentarian of the year - but lets remember MPs have awards for that kind of thing anyway.

I'd like quite a few categories to be for those people who wouldn't normally be recognised for what they do.

"But how about an 'unlikely ally' award for someone not associated with the Conservative Movement who nevertheless does something to uphold our values? I had thought of calling this the strange bedfellow award but then thought we'd better not go there."

Peter Tatchell for his consistent and principled objections to Mugabe's regime?

I would nominate the Adam Smith Institute that is for sure. And, of course, the might Mark Steyn.

Editor -the idea about the Conservative Hero 'best actor' was more that at the oscars is forms a focal point in an evening of many awards but is recognised as a special category and likewise we could implicitly say that X was deserving of special recognition (beyond their categories) at these awards

I think Andrew is right when he says this is probably by default Best Parliamentarian but would like to think that it could be anyone - from David Cameron to George Bush (depending on taste!)- and not just from the Parliamentary Party so that it could include grass roots, MSPs, AMs, councillors, activitists etc etc

There should definitely be an award for council of the year, and councillor of the year. They get a lot more done than MPs frankly.

The awards will place, "a particular emphasis on internet technologies, encourage a stronger and more dynamic movement" - so do we need more categories that recognise the use of new technology in advancing the Conservative movement?

thought-leaders who inspire young minds to become conservatives...

The most important in some ways, since the party needs a future, but where is this in your list of categories?

How about, 'Most inspirational thinker (or communicator?) to engage young minds'?

Open to wording improvement.

Please, though, no award for 'cross cultural progress' or 'best ethnic diversity advisor'. Chisty doesn't deserve anything.

Conversion of the Year?

No, not a rugby-related award, but a nod towards those who have genuinely been won round by Cameron's Conservatives™, whether it be defectors like Rehman Chishti, Adrian Graves or Alison Halford, or those of us within the party who were previously sceptical/opposed to the leadership of David Cameron.

John Hustings, James Hellyer and Simon Heffer need not apply.

chad: how about the "Blue Skies Thinking Award"

what about "Vertical Enabler and Syngery Award" instead?

I like your idea DV-A, and of course "Conversion of the Year" could be won by someone whose opinion has changed in the other direction as well.

It would also be open to Shadow Cabinet members responsible for some of the recent spectacularly abrupt policy U-turns.

Chad's suggestion is an excellent one -- good ideas need to be promoted. Remember that the 'right to buy' didn't come from the centre and was in fact actively resisted by the party establishment.

it's the Birtspeak name, not the idea that irks me.

Maybe a "Lifetime Achievement/Contribution" type award would be a reasonable idea?

I'm sure we would have plenty of nominations from across the whole party spectrum.

Nice definition here:
"Blue-skies thinking" is a term often used for strategic thinking which starts from first principles, takes an independent approach, and results in new ideas.

And it has a nice extra relevance with the use of the word 'blue' being the conservative colour.

Sorry to irk you but I hope that definition helps.

Nope the defintion doesn't help me at all. In fact it irks me even more. It's littered with management consultant speak. A bit like saying "going forwards" instead of "in the future".

We should design this in terms of likely turnout. The Gold List votes achieved about 200 responders, whereas the Members Survey seems to get in the 1,500 mark. If the turnout is in the 200 level then it wouldn't be fair to include councils and councillors because the vast majority of the country won't be covered by a voter.

The difference (? correct me if I'm wrong) is that Our Editor sends out an email reminding people to vote in the survey. I assume that is what he would be doing. We'll also need Gold List style background detail on 3 finalists, perhaps 1 vote per day, and on that basis you're down to at most 7 categories.

I wouldn't have Tory Of The Year - it will just become a vehicle for pro- and anti-Cameron back-biting.

On that basis I suggest therefore that nominations are by responses to Tory Diary item (like this one), Editor's Choice out of nominations is final with 3 finalists for each of these categories:

1. Tory Councillor of the Year
the councillor who has done most to spearhead the local recovery of the Party
NB councillor, not council - so hold it after May 4th to see who is still there

2. Speech Of The Year
the speech which has done the most to further or enunciate the conservative cause
CH should be doing its bit to revive oratory, and this is where we can inlcude our parliamentarians

3. Blog of the Year
the blog which has done the most to further the success of the Conservative Party by its activities or innovations
CH would have to be excluded from this

4. Campaign of the Year
the non-CCHQ group which have done the most to further the success of conservative values

5. Writer of the Year
the commentator (in any format) who has rendered the greatest service in the expression of conservative values

6. The Boomerang Award
the most brilliant tactical move with the most unintended consequences (i.e. gimmicks which back-fire)
This is where you get your wooden spoon contest, and framing it this way picks up on James Cleverly's point about keeping it non-nasty

7. Defining moment of the Year
keep this nice and wide-open

Here's a defintion stripped of management speak:

"original thought"

I second the proposal that the TaxPayers' Alliance deserve an award; also completely deserving recognition is the Campaign Against Political Correctness.

I wonder whether we can make clear that there is a distinction between Conservativism and the Conservative Party. We often comment that, in America, the Conservative Movement is strongly than the GOP. So I think any awards should be given completely independent of party affiliation.

I'm refering to awards such as "Tory Councillor of the Year" etc. It's party specific and gives the impression that service to Conservativism means supporting the Tory Party.

I agree with you John H. The Tory Party can present Tory awards, ie councillors. This is about the conservative movement. Tory councillors should be able to win, for example, a 'local hero' award but the awards should point to a broader conservative movement.

Agree that this should be a positive exercise. If you start putting negative catagories, you can bet that DC will win and that is all the beeb will report.

Other than that the Taxpayers' Alliance deserves to win.

Deserves to win what Alex? I thought this thread was about categories - not nominations.

Tory councillors should be able to win, for example, a 'local hero' award but the awards should point to a broader conservative movement.

One only ever disagrees with Our Editor in a spirit of fear and trembling, but he surely recognises that in large areas of the country the Conservative Movement is a theoretical concept kept going solely by the poor bloody infantry of the Conservative Party who get zero thanks for what they do. An award like this for someone who is able to get elected as a lone voice in the wilderness might go some way to redress the balance.

You can have as many Movements as you like but they're worth sod all unless someone gets elected.

William, Surely its the party who should be urged to thank the infantry - as opposed to the role of this site??

Young conservative of the year award?

Though what would be defined as "young" ?

You're activists, not infantry and these are local/general elections not Dunkirk. Cheer up guys!

The problem with the awards for a lot of these things is that you risk the ASI/IeA etc. dominating the think tank award, Iain Dale/Guido Fawkes etc. dominating the blog award etc. These clearly contribute a huge amount but are already very well known and, hence, there is value in spreading the awards more widely.

I like local hero although I have no idea who you'd give it to.

I share the concerns expressed about the wooden spoon.

Oh, and John H... if you think you are doing a service to conservatism opposing the Conservative Party you've missed the point somewhere along the line.

I think the challenge is going to be between providing the just rewards to the professional/semi-professional and giving genuine amateurs something to play for. For that reason I'd suggest that several of the categories could use "best newcomer" accompaniments.


How about an award for the unsung heroes ?
People who have given their lives to the Conservative Party. They have been members often for 40 years or more - given all their time , spare cash and even forgone careers to support the cause. They have taken on whatever they have been asked whenever they have been asked wherever they have been asked. Councillors, branch chairmen, canvassers deliverers,association officers-all for no recognition and certainly no reward apart from seeing the country or their local authority run by the party of their choice.
The price they have paid far exceeds any major donor as a proportion of their lives!

I like your idea Matthew of recognising newcomer status in some way. Thanks for the link!

How about "Right-Wing Celebrity of the Year" to try and counter the array of lefty celebrities that Labour (and the Democrats in the US) can always produce?

Personally I'm sure Sir Alan Sugar's endorsement of Labour in the election campaign last year had an impact on all those Apprentice viewers.

Tim - how long is the ceremony going to go on for - It looks like you will have about 50 categories! :o)

"local heroes who fight heavy-handed public sector bureaucracies..."

I would expand this to any local hero who stands up for themselves and the community againt bureaucracies AND other entities such as businesses/charities who are being heavy-handed and bureaucratic.

I also agree that it should be Councillor of the Year and not party specific

Rob - Do you mean conservativehome should have an award for a non Conservative councillor?

A Socialist Fighter of the Year award would be great, even better if it can be done on a knockout basis. Also, how about an award for those who have done the most to promote individual liberty, in the UK or abroad.

Jonathan, yes I guess I do because these awards seem to be about conservatism not for Conservatives so there may be an independant councillor out there who has achieved great things in line with conservative principles.

However, having said that I couldn't name one!

Oh, and John H... if you think you are doing a service to conservatism opposing the Conservative Party you've missed the point somewhere along the line.

Matthew, these awards are about conservatism not the Conservative Party. If you think people will give up their conservative values to blindly vote Tory you are in the wrong decade.

For example, the TPA have bravely come out and opposed state funding of political parties, which is a conservative approach (small government), but not the Conservative Party approach which is in line with John Prescott's soviet-style state-sponsored political parties plan.

Opposition to the current Tory party line does not mean opposition to the Tory Party as a whole, just its current direction.

Surely it is the job of small c conservatives to seek to promote conservatism whereever that may flourish and influence the conservative parties if they stray from conservative values?

Conservatism is independent of the Tory Party, just take a look at the values of a lot of the small c-r parties like UKIP, English Democrats, New Party and yes even my new c-l party.

I hope these awards achieve that to include all parties that overlap conservative values.

You stress the need to promote newcomers over the popular and established organisations in terms of blogs. Why should the same not apply to the newcomer conservative parties too?

(puts on tin hat and ducks)


I am not sure there is room on your head for a tin hat and some ducks

Chad - The difference may be that new parties are in competition for votes - whereas conservative think tanks and pressure groups just compete on ideas which is different.


Matthew's point was about promoting newcomer blogs over the established ones, which could easily be competing for attention.

All I have pointed out, that surely it should apply in the same way to other parties that promote conservatism?


... because the new conservative parties (no prejudice against yours) are almost invariably cranks who can't accept the basic logic of parliamentary democracy. The English Democrats in particular are utterly unstable.

In a first past the post system you need to form up into the biggest coalitions possible. By all means fight to ensure that your party follows your own perspective but forming a tent does mean that your party won't always be your own personal wet dream. Criticism of the direction Cameron is taking should therefore be kept in the right perspective; advice to an ally rather than Hefferite war on your own side. E.g. point out the flaws of state funding as I did in my blog rather than getting hysterical and calling him Stalinist.


I don't expect blind loyalty. I just think that some people have entirely lost perspective if the Conservative Party isn't right wing enough for them. Do you think that rubbishing Cameron will leave Redwood Prime Minister? Compromising with reality does not imply any lack of principle.

Apologies for the long, off topic, post. Needed to get that off my chest.

UKIP are not a "conservative" party Chad. They are opportunistic maniacs who believe that the only issue that all life in this country revolves around is Britain being in the EU. The fact that they have said they will contest all seats which Conservatives will stand in during the general elections, even the eurosceptic candidates just proves the point.

Chris, I don't support UKIP. However, I'm simply pointing out that a setof awards that promotes conservatism should include all parties that overlap with the core set of conservative beliefs.

If no-one likes what they are saying, they won't nominate or vote for them, but it would be wrong to narrow the field to just one party.

Perhaps a "Defender of the Faith" award - for unparalleled defenders of all conservative values, nominees might include Norman Tabbed for example?

I meant Norman Tebbit... stupid word spellchecker!

"The problem with the awards for a lot of these things is that you risk the ASI/IeA etc. dominating the think tank award, Iain Dale/Guido Fawkes etc. dominating the blog award etc. These clearly contribute a huge amount but are already very well known and, hence, there is value in spreading the awards more widely."

This isn't true if you only judge them by what they've done in 2005/6. The IEA/ASI, I think, have been less noticeable in that time than, for example, The Taxpayer's Alliance, which seems relatively new on the scene.

As for the blogs, Guido Fawkes might be widely read by Conservatives, but he isn't championing Conservativism most of the time (neither is Iain Dale). They are more gossip blogs. So I think that the field is quite open in this category. Personally, I think the EU Referendum Blog is very good.

"Oh, and John H... if you think you are doing a service to conservatism opposing the Conservative Party you've missed the point somewhere along the line."

And if you think that investing all your hopes and energies exclusively in the Tory Party serves the interests of Conservativism then you're sadly mistaken. There is more to politics than political parties.

TYhe only award Norman Tebbitt deserves is Backstabber of the Year.

I thought Tebbit was being quite well behaved at the moment Jack. Portillo would get a lifetime achiever award for that catagory.

"Medical Insight from Tory politician" should be a category - am second to none in my love of Ms Widdecombe but her musings in the Express are a wee bit off beam today re HIV and AIDS.

I think it was Mark F who proposed "Assoc of the year" - I think that's a good idea (step forward William!).

May I please nominate Rt Hon Tony Blair MP in the category of "the best Conservative Prime Minister we never had" ;-)

How about political operative of the year? A lot of these people are the ones who make the machine work behind the scenes.

"May I please nominate Rt Hon Tony Blair MP in the category of "the best Conservative Prime Minister we never had" ;-)"

Shouldn't a Conservative believe in a smaller state?

I suggest a Courage Under Fire award: for someone who sticks with the cause through particularly tough times.

And also a Taxcutter of the Year, in the event a Tory council cuts taxes...

I agree with those that are saying its about time there was an award for the unsung heroes in non-traditional Tory areas who keep the beacon of Conservatism alight eg as councillors in Labour areas etc,


"And also a Taxcutter of the Year, in the event a Tory council cuts taxes"

Our Conservative Party believes in cutting taxes?

Can I apply for the Wooden Spoon Award?

commendations to:

Adam Smith Institute - their blog is consistently on the money.

Taxpayers Alliance - ditto. Esp. for their brilliant paper on flat tax system; hopefully when GB and Toni have finished enervating, the blues might actually - to paraphrase another Gordon - grow some balls, take up the cause of small government again and start energising. God knows, we'll need it.

"Shouldn't a Conservative believe in a smaller state?"

Not necessarily. There has been no shortage of big state Conservatives, although they have tended to be European.

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