« Eric Forth MP has died | Main | Hague II becomes latest Tory to talk up Libservative pact »


Thanks for this Malcolm.

I was very impressed with David Cameron yesterday in terms of his likeability and pitch. I'm not sure he really dealt with my concern that Built To Last is too uncontroversial to deserve being put to an expensive ballot of party members.

The event also, for me, showed the superiority of blogging. There was something very unsatisfactory about last night in only being able to put one question and not being able to have a follow up question or comment on other peoples' questions. The debate that is taking place on the thread provoked by yesterday's Francis Maude's Platform article is much superior to anything that happened last night. What would be great would be for David Cameron and Francis Maude to sit at laptops for an afternoon and debate with party members on a blog. I think it would be much more rewarding for all sides.

DC said he reads comments on this blog... If you're reading this one, Mr Cameron, please consider this an invitation to a BtL ConservativeHome debate!

Does anybody have any info as to where the future roadshow events are likely to be?

This from CCHQ, Rich:

*Details of the roadshows are as follows:


*Further details regarding locations and times will be announced in due course.

Cheers, Editor.

Bit disappointed they haven't found a spot for Sheffield, particularly when were always talking about winning seats in the northern cities, but I suppose it can't go everywhere.

Details are available on the Conservative Party website, Rich.

I'm thinking about signing up for the Cardiff event - are any of the other CH regulars going?

Yes it was a good event, and David is getting better and better at these things, which is good to see. Previously he was good a delivering speeches, but tended to get flustered when taxing (ho ho) questions were asked.

Regarding Public Services, I still think we need to be very careful over this issue - Labour will take the BtL statements and say that we intend to put them through the wringer and the Rich can go private. We need to tie out BtL statement into the "sharing the proceeds of growth" more tightly to reassure doubters that we are committed to high standards of public services.

I've signed up for the Southampton one - waiting confirmation but if confirmed would be pleased to meet up with any regulars (or lurkers).

I think you need a mixture of public events like this and blogging; they're complementary and one is not necessarily superior to the other. Also: whatever happened to the Conservative Policy Forum? Is that still going? Throw BtL out to them for their views.

Where blogging scores over public meetings is the on-line discussion allows you to tweak a draft. Earlier in the year we went through each of the statements and suggested amendments. I've not followed the detail of this - and this may be a naive question, but here goes - can any one say to what extent if any there have been drafting revisions?

I am very mindful of what James Cleverly told me last night: the selection panels will be looking at the few white middle-class men on the A-list and deciding that they must be really special to be there despite the positive discrimination against them. It’s basically the law of unintended consequences in action.

However, cynical as I am, I still think the A-list is the right course of action. It won’t make a blind bit of difference to the diversity of our MPs. But that’s all pretty irrelevant to the biggest task that David Cameron faces: to change the perception of the Conservative party. To do that, our proposals have to play-out well in the TV media. Malcolm is absolutely right that this has the whiff of image politics, but that whiff is unavoidable in the game.

Clearly a Road Show infront of cameras is more about PR than actual discussion. Only a fraction of the views there could actually be expressed. The PR is necessary, but I totally agree with Tim: a good blogging session would be far more productive at revealing members' views!

I agree that last night was far too short and not interactive enough*. Apart from a brief mention by Tim we did not get to discuss the tax issue which I feel is the most controversial point in this document. I trust that DC is true to his word and checks out the Maude Platform discussion.

*I think the intention to be interactive was there but the cameras, audience diversions and lack of time stifled debate.


Did you come away feeling that the membership has any chance to actually change the content of B2L before the vote?

Do you think a statement on state funding should be added to B2L to be part of the vote?

It seems bizarre that such a widely opposed policy would not be included in a vote on party direction. Or is it all just a feel-good soviet-style mandate that you fear Tim?

Good to see that Cameron has abandoned his lime green tie in favour of a nice soft light blue.

I'm afraid I couldn't make it because of an exam this morning.

Will probably go to the one in Manchester, have just registered for it online. The CP website has improved markedly of late.

I agree John. That tie is a shocker. Sorry if you're reading Mr Cameron but it is.

What must we, non-Tories but potential Tory voters, do to make it clear to the spoilt rich boys at the head of the party that we do not need them to "create excellence" or "improve health and education for all". We have had a state run education for over 130 years and a state run health system for almost 60 years and both are going from bad to worse. The best thing the state can do is to get out of it as far as that is possible. Giving as much choice to people through some voucher system together with greater encouragement for insurance schemes will be helpful to everyone not just the rich. That has been the socialist propaganda in this country for years. Never did I think that I would hear it from the Conservative leader.

I signed up on line for July 21st, Leeds. Depending on where they hold it, parking is a nightmare. If very central, take the train.

Anyone else going to Exeter?

I will sign on for the Southampton one and try to get there.

Being stuck in Thanet, I cant make any of the roadshow events.

spoilt rich boys is far too apt a description to be comfortable - but I'd extend it to spoilt rich boys who will do anything to get what they want including ditching conservative principles completely.

And the thing to note is this - if they are rich (and I have no idea if they are) the likes of our leader and shadow chancellor certainly haven't made it themselves.... So where's their experience of the real world?

No Chad I do not think if last night was anything to go by that members can change B2L.They will have to vote for or against as it stands.
I hope you have made your comments on state funding known to Hayden Phillips' commission.Serf highlighted the website address earlier this week.

It is very encouraging to see people signing up for this.

I would reccommend that you go to one of these events if you can, as I was impressed by how open the questioning was. If you feel strongly about something (like the A-List for example), then it would be good to address it at one of the BtL events.

ps, Malcolm, that was a very good report on the event yesterday.

hope you have made your comments on state funding known to Hayden Phillips' commission.Serf highlighted the website address earlier this week.

Hi Malcolm
You bet I did, Serf kindly mailed me the link.

I basically proposed that despite with massive opposition, being realistic, the big 3 will inevitably push forward with these disgusting state funding plans, so the parties should be made to choose between state funding and heavily limited private donations (<£1000 pa) or waive any entitlement to state funding but donations would not be capped.

That way, the public can choose between private or state (taxpayer) funded parties.

Thanks for your report Malcolm, was good to meet up with you and the others after the event. I will be linking your report to my blog's coverage of the event, the detail you have included is of great interest I am sure to those that weren't there.

Tim, will ConservativeHome have a presence at the other events?

No Chad I do not think if last night was anything to go by that members can change B2L

Tim, you dropped your conHome campaign to drop the B2L vote because you believe that members will be able to change B2L before the vote.

If members come away with the same pessimism, will you reinstate the opposition to the vote?

Thanks for the kind words Oberon & Hugh.

A great summary of the evening Malcolm, and like everyone I believe the 1 hour that was allocated was far from enough.

Tim, Hugh, James Cleverly and everyone else who I met, thanks for all of the interesting discussion. It was brilliant to be able to fit in, despite being the youngest person present!

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker