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Very sadly, I enorse your editorial line again Tim. It's all been a bit of a damp squib hasn't it?

Whilst I loathe the Cameron agenda and think the document is completely useless, I don't think this can be used to bash Dave. Their have been similarly poor turnouts before and the fact is that many associations (and CCHQ) are too administratively incompetent to ensure that members receive their packs. Maybe it's just a comment on the natural apathy of the average Brit.

But it was interesting that so few people bothered to vote against.Doesn't really seem to bear out the argument put forward by some on this blog that there are 'thousands' of disaffected Conservative members.

Malcolm: by definition, apathy means not even caring enough to vote one way or the other. Many of those dissatisfied with Project Cameron realise that there is little point voting against Built to Last as it would give the process legitimacy (in the same way people didn't bother voting in student elections either) and that a far better tactic would be not to vote at all so as to deny the process legitimacy.

I think that it wasn't really the sort of document that would rouse strong feelings either way.

The interesting point to note is that net membership has fallen since the time of the leadership election.

Fair point. I hope CH can unearth the truth. Maybe you are right. Maybe those who didn't vote are against and couldn't be boethered. Maybe there is a genuine desire to give the Tory left a chance on this.

"Ming Campbell could have said that. Blair or Brown could say it."

Agree 100% - my response to BtL was a big shrug; I disagree with some bits, agree with others, the whole thing seemed an exercise in spin not substance. Referenda are good for single questions, like do we leave the EU, bring back capital punishment, support an entrenched free speech right, etc, but not for something like this.

You also have to ask why they chose to post out this document over the Summer holiday period. They must have known that people would have much rather read the latest Lord Archer novel on the beach, rather than take Built to Last.

The whole BTL thing is very peculiar. What was it all about?

The press release shows CCO on full Alastair Campbell type spin. "92.7 approve" Stalinist that!

If only 25% of the party members approved why doesn't someone deplore the fact that 75% didn't approve. And why did Hague get 54% voting ?

Was it because - -
They didn't like it but still see themselves as members?
Or thoroughly fed up with Cameron and have "done a Bromley" and sat on their hands?
Or torn up their membership cards but still on the books?

And btw you'll NEVER get a true membership figure at any given moment. A trend is the only thing. There are lots of people (on this blog for a start) who are still members on the books but don't consider themselves so. So the comparison with the Hague figure - down about 50k or ~~-16% is the best yardstick right now

I would be interested to know if this turnout is abnormal in anyway to other such requests from membership organisations to endorse policy or elected board members. For example, CPRE campaigns.
Isn't over 25% a pretty good turnout for these types of surveys?

Lots of green on the website now. Not sure the shades of bluw and green really match though.

I keep checking the MEP contacts to see if they've updated the East Midlands section to include Roger Helmer, and I see there is a rather big link to the EPP website.

In the Indy

Party poopers

David Cameron's ambition to gain votes from beyond the traditional Tory rank and file has paid off already - albeit to the embarrassment of party bosses.

The deadline for members wanting their say on Cameron's "Built To Last" agenda, outlining the party's new "aims and values", passed yesterday. And I hear that Electoral Reform Services, organiser of the ballot, has fallen victim to a mass hoax.

"They didn't have a complete membership list," reveals a Tory insider. "Members of rival parties infiltrated the vote by ringing up to obtain ballot papers. What makes this worse is that a lot of genuine party members never got ballots themselves."

Time will tell whether or not the deception is grand enough to lead to the party endorsing the execution of the Queen, the adoption of the euro and the incorporation of a hammer and sickle on to the Union Jack.

Cameron now thinks he has a mandate for further change justified by the BtL...this is a bad bad result. Cameron will now go further and deeper with screwing this Party...

We are so screwed!

It it strange that the Conservative Party voted for a new direction when they voted for David Cameron as leader then as soon as he starts to take us in a new direction many start to say like a little kid out at cricket I`m not playing anymore and they take off home with there bat under there arm.
Those who are complaining now are the self same people who demanded loyalty from Clarke, Patten and others in the Thatcher days and complained of disloyalty when IDS was leader.
Its about time members showed loyalty to the party and its democratically elected leader and stopped this childish complaining eveytime they get a chance

Have you criticised anything Jack? At all? Your blind loyalty is remarkable!

Loyalty to the conservative cause, Jack, not the Party. Thats the loyalty I show. I want a conservative Conservative Party, something this Party is not.

Jack - I totally agree. The party voted for change and if some people (who, many of whom, lets face it didn't want Cameron in the first place) choose not to accept that then it's their problem. Thankfully ConservativeHome posters are not representative of the party as a whole.

Christina, I would be interested to know if you voted in BtL and, if so, how you voted.

Max, we might not be representative of the whole party but we can speak for a large proportion of the Party, many of which have been lifelong supporters of the Party who feel betrayed.

I voted for it. Hard not to disapprove of apple pie. Looking forward to the steak pie in due course.

Bearing in mind the quote in the main article about putting stability and whatever Osborne said above tax cuts as well as the way Cameron wants to treat public services, I think you could be waiting quite a while for some steak pie...

James - A much bigger propoportion - according to this very site - have backed Cameron in the monthly polls of member opinion.

It's just a shame that so few wish to post here but lets be honest it's hardly surprising.

Thankfully ConservativeHome posters are not representative of the party as a whole. (Max)

The most representative group would seem to be abstainers.

I would have voted on Built To Last had I received a ballot paper. I phoned CCHQ who promised to get back to me with my ballot details but they never did. Two colleagues also failed to receive a ballot. It is unsurprising that the turnout was so poor, as many members did not even have the chance to vote!

I didn’t get mine either and. I didn’t get a ballot paper for IDS v Clarke so it’s the second time it’s happened. although I did for Cameron v Davis.

It is at times like this that the real bias of this site surfaces. This site does not really support David Cameron in building a modern, compassionate Conservative Party. It really fights to IDSize the Conservatives.

What we have today is a result which confirms that the Conservative membership overwhelmingly backs David Cameron's changes. Positions on economic stability, the environment, action on candidates - all the things which have been so controversial on this site - have been backed by over 90% of the members.

After this result this site and the bulk of those who use it to consistently knock the leadership are shown to be a very vocal, but very small, embittered minority. That is why there is such a desperate and pathetic attempt to deflect from the main findings of this poll. The leadership, the media and the vast majority of Conservatives must see through this. We have voted for change overwhelmingly at every chance we have had - last December and now once more. We will never ever allow ourselves to return to the dark days of IDS.

No turning back. This is the mandate for further, wider, faster, deeper change.

"all the things which have been so controversial on this site - have been backed by over 90% of the members"

Arithmetic isn't your strong point?

changetowin ignores the fact the turnout is so low that you cant take anything from it. Its completely meaningless. The remaining 73.3% could have gone either for or against. The proportion of those voting is so low that no conclusion can be made from it, either against or in favour. The ballot is essentially wasted.

BtL - Our Aims - #1. To encourage enterprise in all its forms.....

Plus ca change, le plus ca reste le meme.

'ChangeToWin' - although I tend to lean towards your side of the argument rather than the Christina Speight side, you don't really do yourself any favours by trotting out the same old tired myths about Iain Duncan Smith and Pravdaesque statistics.

David Cameron's positive change agenda can stand on its own merits without having to resort to hyperbole like Jack or taking potshots at Iain Duncan Smith and/or David Davis.

Change to what? Changetowin. Change to what? If I could get an answer to that question I would feel a little less troubled than I do currently.
I DESPERATELY want us to replace this awful Labour government but I do want to have a much greater idea as to what Britain will be like a few years into a Cameron government. I voted for Cameron (and for Built To Last as it seemed like motherhood and apple pie) but I do want to have a much better idea of what the party I spend much of my time campaigning for will actually do when it is elected.

Malcom – A very sensible post.

I too want to know more but and I don’t harbour the same fears that others have. My problem is with those who have never given him a chance and didn’t want him in the first place and feel the need to attack everything he says or does. I think changing the way the party looks and sounds was extremely important and shouldn’t be overlooked. Nor should it be seen as the end of Conservatism as we know it.

I don’t think (come the next election) the policies that we stand on will be alien to traditional Tory voters but (thankfully) will sound far more appealing to the general public.

David Cameron's positive change agenda can stand on its own merits without having to resort to hyperbole like Jack or taking potshots at Iain Duncan Smith and/or David Davis.


I agree with that sentiment and I speak up for the positive agenda as much as I can. But the way that the Editor and many on this site choose to report this story makes it necessary to make my points in this way. There is a reason why the coverage on ConservativeHome is significantly more anti-Conservative than what we will find in most other media outlets. This is because this site has an agenda which is often different to that of the leadership. We are consistently ahead in the polls for the first time in over a decade and the members are behind the change. Knocking this poll is thus vital to those who want to derail the change agenda.

It is important to remember that IDS is close to the Editor and this site often praises his agenda. The party has a choice - to continue along the road which David Cameron has carved or to go back to the situation we had when IDS was leader. I know which I prefer.

Changetowin: can I ask what your demographic is? Not being negative, just curious. Do you work for CCHQ?

"all the things which have been so controversial on this site - have been backed by over 90% of the members"

Arithmetic isn't your strong point?

That really is a desperate argument. We frequently have councillors elected on a FAR smaller turnout and VERY infrequently with such a high rating. The principles of our democracy are that people do not have to turn out to vote if they do not wish to or cannot be bothered. If people disagreed with Cameron strongly this would be reflected in the votes. To try to spin this any other way is really pathetic.

Do you actually believe what you write?


I've never worked for CCHQ and don't now!!!

The fact that you have to ask this shows how massively out of touch this site is! WAKE UP! We've just had a ballot and over 90% of voters said 'yes' to Cameron's aims and values! The carpers and nay-sayers who make up a majority of posters on this site are not just out of touch with the country, they are massively out of touch with the vast majority of our party! When we've had the opportunity we've voted for change by massive majorities. I may be a lonely voice on this blog, but that's because this blog is a home for carpers and a cold house for the vast majority of Conservatives.


That goes to you too!!!

There is nothing to be surprised at here. The political party in this country is in its death throes, simple as that. All forms of communal groups are coming to an end. The village in which I live has had a Mothers' Union since 1883, it is in the process of being closed down.
When you think that in 1954, the Conservative Party had a membership of 2.8 million, the Young Conservatives with the exception of the Boy Scouts, was the largest youth organisation in Western Europe, where are they now. The electronic media will take over as the main means, eventually the only means of getting a political message across. Even the term political is probably wrong, as British political Parties morph into a Liberal franchise, its probably down to which personalties you feel more comfortable with: franchises really.

John, I rather agree with you.

Changetowin, chill. I understand your point and agree that people should make a decision on how they respond to Dave. He got a reosunding win. I voted for Davis. I really dislike Cameron and won't vote Conservative given his stances. But, hey, I am a conservative and chose to leave the party. I am not a carper. I put my money where my mouth is and resigned to sit as a council Independent and went.

changetowin - what you say about councillors being elected on low turn-outs is undoubtedly true, but it's hardly a desirable situation is it? I suppose the best that can be said is that the 73% of members who didn't vote were at least broadly content with BtL. On the other hand, many of them might have regarded it as such a fatuous exercise that it really wasn't worth bothering with. We shall never know.

You speak, in your previous post, about "the road which David Cameron has carved". He may indeed be carving a road, but many of us on CH who take the more sceptical view would be happier if we had a better idea of where the road was going and if its kerbs were more clearly defined.

changetowin, the argument about 90% of voters supporting the BtL is a wasted argument because of the very low turnout. The result means nothing. Only a quarter of the whole Party voted in favour of the document. Your arguments are based on extremely bad logic and obvious spin.

There are a number of questions that need to be assessed from the BtL result:

1 - Turnout. Only 26.7% of members voted. Why was this and what does this mean? Some here are suggesting that it is a damming response to a drift from traditional values. Some a victory for apathy. Others that it is a resounding success.

2 - Organisation. Many people are reporting that they never received a copy of BtL. This raises questions about the organisational and delivery structures within CCHQ.

3 - Purpose. Was this a ballot or a fund raising exercise? The use of premium rate telephone numbers is not something that necessarily encourages participation. Yes you could vote on-line but not all of our members (and remember the importance of demographics here) have access to or a comfortable with using the Internet.

4 - Content. BtL is a set of statements. Some of which individuals would agree with others perhaps not. How does this translate into a simple yes or no vote? If you disagree with 2 but agree with the remainder does that make it a yes vote or a no vote?

5 - Objective. What does this validation mean for the party and its direction? Where is change taking us?

There is the obvious concern about turnout. That only 26% of members (that is individuals who have made a specific decision to join the party) voted is a cause for concern. However, the fact that many did not receive a copy of BtL offers some mitigation in this respect, but does not inspire confidence in the delivery mechanisms of the party nationally.

I was obviously fortunate to received my copy of BtL, but it neither inspired me nor repulsed me. BtL is a set of generic statements which it is difficult to get excited about one way or the other. So I did not vote. A victory for apathy in that respect.

I would define BtL as mood music and in that respect I accept it for what it is. However, if it is suggested that this is a mandate of sorts then I would reject that assertion. Politics is about taking a position and sticking to it. There are no positions in BtL so the nagging question remains for me in that what was the vote for, and what does the result mean? I want success but I need an idea of what success looks like.

Very good points anon. The result isnt a mandate and doesnt really say much apart from inadequate organisation in the Party itself. In terms of what the Party thinks about policy, you can read whatever conclusion you want from it, because of the low turnout.

Look at it this way - with a 4% poll lead at this stage of the parliamentary cycle I think it is a fairly safe bet that we won't win the next election.

The Right should keep silent so we cannot be blamed, give Dave the same degree of loyalty and support that Portillo & co showed IDS and Hague, then stand by to pick up the pieces in 2009.

Changetowin & Jack Stone,

I appreciate that you are committed to David Cameron's efforts to change the party; and whilst I am somewhat concerned about some of the things he is saying and doing (and not saying and not doing!), as a long standing member, I am extremely pleased that at last we are making progress.

I believe Cameron has trod very carefully over the last year, has said the right things in terms of attracting back potential voters who have drifted to the Lib Dems and even the Labour Party; but has, understandably, been more reluctant to talk too much about the issues which matter to many Conservative activists (and yes, voters too): tax, immigration, public service reform, crime, etc.

This is fine up to a point, but at some stage, quite possibly not yet, that will have to change. Of course we need a broader support base, but we cannot ignore our core vote. We CANNOT alienate our own workers who put in so much effort year in year out and without whom, we would struggle to win seats.

The problem is that it appears as though Cameron is determined to set himself up against these people as proof that he is an agent for change. This is a dangerous path.

Most Conservatives tend to be pretty loyal to the Conservative cause, party and leadership, but there are limits.

Some members I know are appalled at the way things are going. Some are very enthusiastic. MOST are concerned, but willing to go along with things for the time being. Many did not vote in the BtL ballot because it was an easy way to protest without actually voting against the leadership. In this case, as with all low turnouts, there is a cause for concern.

Cameron attracted support for his leadership campaign for a variety of reasons, including a demand for change; a new youthful leader; a more photogenic leader etc etc.

It is disingenuous to say that because Cameron won the leadership election, the party enthusiastically backs every element of his programme. This simply isn't the case and for you two, and perhaps the Cameron team, to continue to repeat this, demonstrates views totally out of touch with most people in the party.

There is concern and it needs addressing. And yes, I voted for Cameron.

To be fair to DC and CCHQ - and returning to the title of this thread - I doubt if there was any intention to "bury" the BtL poll result. The poll closed at midday yesterday and they were hardly going to delay announcing the result in deference to a lot of Lib Dem blather!

It could even be that the week of the LD conference was chosen so that the (hoped-for) positive BtL result would contrast favourably with anticipated rumblings about Ming's leadership.


Thanks for that.

You've summed up my feelings pretty accurately too Steve.

So Andrew if your dream scenario does come to pass what visionary leader would you like to see at the helm?

And would you consider it OK for those who hadn't got their man elected to show the disloyalty that you seem to wish to encourage?

"I may be a lonely voice on this blog, but that's because this blog is a home for carpers and a cold house for the vast majority of Conservatives." Changetowin

You are a far far better person than I! I agree with most of your posts (and those of Jack Stone) but simply can't bear to come on here every day and hear the same ranting about Europe, immigration or whatever else has supposed conservatives barking at the moon these days.

It's just too depressing and as this site has become more and more critical of Cameron and pushes the Cornerstone/IDS agenda ever harder, it just ceases to be relevant.

Andrew, that's the counsel of absolute despair.I can't wait another 3 years for us to mount a credible challenge.
Lucy, I really don't think this site pushes the 'Cornerstone/IDS agenda' either.Does IDS actually have an agenda other than to push for the work of the CSJ? He's been extremely loyal to the leadership as far as I'm aware. This site generally just reports Conservative news and a range of opinions from all ideological persuasions.I suspect the editor allows numerous opinions with which he disagrees on this site,not least from me!
As regards your point about the site not being relevant,that is just plain wrong.The numbers from Hitwise show how well read this site is now, nothwithstanding the numerous quotes from this site that are now appearing in all the national newspapers.

I thought a lot of IDSs beliefs have been integrated into Conservative thinking through social justice...

Why did I not vote on this? Because there has been NO debate. That's it, NO debate, zero, zilch, nada. I went to this website when I received my papers to vote on BTL, no debate on the pro's and con's whatsoever. So I didn't bother sending in my ballot papers. I am against the pcness agenda and didn't want to vote in favour of something that could be endorsing that, even though the document itself SOUNDED reasonable it contained too much leeway to bring in yet more politically correct garbage.

Malcom - can you recall any qoute appearing in the media that wasn't negative? I even saw one paper describe the site as 'semi-official'. I would be very dissapointed if the public or the media thought the balance of opinion here was typical of the Conservative Party as a whole.

I'm afraid I agree with Lucy. As a pro-Cameron Tory I feel decidedly, and increasingly, unwelcome here.

For those who think ConservativeHome is being overly negative about the BtL result this is the London Evening Standard headline:

"Tories' Hollow Endorsement For Cameron Plan."

Rather ironically, my ballot paper turned up this morning. It is sitting here on my desk at work whilst I read the results...

But you know how lazy journalists can be, Tim. They probably nicked their story from us!

lol...well, theres a point there in the LES

What a pathetic damp squib of an "Endorsement".

26.7%? Since when did that get successfully spun into a 90% endorsement. Labour, Liberal and Media alike should shred this performance.

If Cameron and Maude still think policy-lite will get activists turning-out, they need look no further than the 73.7% of the membership that is either dead, bemused or too appalled to even bother to respond to "Built to Last".

The document has the staying power and presentability of a 1.1 litre Austin Metro.It is gutless, soft Labour, non-Tory " values-driven" drivel and has been seen-through before it got off the starting blocks.

As Labour moves Right, along with the electorate, we'll be holding hands with a bunch of eco-lefties and social democrats wondering where everyone went.

Or perhaps the new-Tory, Aquarelle-tree hugger party really does comprise a total 65,646 members, in which case it will take Lothian-writ large by Gordon Brown and his team to wake the English electorate.

Perhaps we can only be saved by the electorate's distate for the incumbent, rather than desire for the taste of new additive and policy-free Torylite.

Or maybe the electorate doesn't care who's in power anymore and just wants a change of face with the occasion entertaining surprise - a Parliamentary Big Brother show.

Yes Max, I have just looked at quotes from 3 National newspapers.The only negative quotes I can see are about the logo (not the most important thing in the world) and the A list.A ll the rest are supportive.

Max has it occurred to you that the media negativity might be based on the fact that many perceiv Cameron as being Blair mkII and that Blair has been rumbled as being all fur coat and no knickers the same also applies to Cameron. The current preferance for image over substance would at least support this position would it not?

Malcom the only qoutes I saw were negative if there were others then fair enough.One of the negative comments was attributed to a certain Jack W who was described as a 'Conservative activist' despite the fact he isn't.

My guess is that changetowin is Fiona Melville (CCHQ Comms Team).

Dave - see response to me above. He or she says not. Oh, whom to trust in politics?

Does Jack W post on here?I can only remember seeing him on politicalbetting.com.

"but simply can't bear to come on here every day and hear the same ranting about Europe, immigration or whatever else has supposed conservatives barking at the moon these days."

Immigration and Europe haven't figured as topics for quite a while. I agree that constantly going on about them is boring but they are important issues that cannot be ignored.

Or perhaps ChangeToWin is our old friend Barbara Villiers?

Mark Fulford wants to know how I voted in a secret ballot!!! Ooooh! How do I know who is asking since he uses a pseudonym. and says "FOR DEVIOUS SUBTERFUGE I use several myself." Is there anybody on this blog apart from me and Denis C: who IS using their real name??
Changetowin "the Conservative membership overwhelmingly backs- - -" 27% is hardly overwhelming - or were you always bad at maths? Oh I see someone else has asked that too!

Steve - "we are making progress" But we're NOT! Membership down. poll lead down with all external factors in our favour

Lucy - "It's just too depressing" But that's all you say - Have you any personal views to share?

Chris McL: "the staying power and presentability of a 1.1 litre Austin Metro." If it's THAT good I might change my mind!!! My Metro is 12 yrs old and has never given trouble, does 110 when I let it and has passed its MOT today!! :-) Otherwise spot on!

Chris McLaughlin | September 19, 2006 at 17:17
Well said. It seems to me that as long as the electorate can buy lottery tickets, get drunk, watch Big Brother, play golf, see the big match, ogle at page 3 and so on without any disruption to their lives they are pretty content; forget the loftier ideals of freedom of speech and expression, protection of civil liberties etc. We live in an "I'm all right Jack" society. Sweeping generalisation, but I'm sure you get my drift.

I did not vote for BtL; agreed with some bits, disagreed with other bits, other bits passed me by. I couldn't vote for, I couldn't vote against and certainly couldn't get passionate about any of it.

In all this writing no one mentioned Sweden. The right wing there makes no bones about being Cameron supporters. But then the Swedish elections are a clear endorsement of the Cameron agenda, so, we mustn't mention it.

Malcolm @ 1743.

I do post here from time to time, although the preponderance of trolls is somewhat off putting.

As a former GE Tory voter and now non alligned I look on myself as the Castro of ConservativeHome ...... close but no Cuban cigar .... yet !!

Jack W, I'd follow you over here but I couldn't cope with the shame of being quoted in the tabloids.........

Avast me hearties!

(International talk like a pirate day by the way)

BtL was just meaningless pap, of the Miss Universe "Do you want to help people and work for world peace" type. Noting to disagree with, no policy or belief statements, nothing Conservative: just empty and bland media fuzz.

I had a ballot but could not be bothered to vote - there was no point, it was just a marketing excercise, planned to show "approval" for Cameron's project, and give him a mandate for more dismantling of conservative policy and principles.

Dave - see response to me above. He or she says not. Oh, whom to trust in politics?

Pathetic! Is it so hard for you people to believe that there might be someone out there who will actually speak up for the leadership? Once more I say it - this ballot shows how completely out of touch this website is with the average member.

I think a 26% turnout for this type of ballot is pretty good; typical mass mailing get 1-2%, feedback surveys on goods and services around 10%.
The East of England Plan which affects 5 million people overwhelmed the Regional Assembly when 21,000 people responded - less than 0.5% response rate. Only 250 people in Suffolk responded.
What baseline are we using to judge good/bad turnout?

Mark Fulford wants to know how I voted in a secret ballot!!! Ooooh! How do I know who is asking since he uses a pseudonym. and says "FOR DEVIOUS SUBTERFUGE I use several myself."

Oh Christina, lighten-up! You don't exactly keep your opinions secret so I didn't imagine it would be a big-deal to ask how you voted.

As for DEVIOUS SUBTERFUGE, you really don't get irony do you.

UKPaul I agree, I'd come here more often if it wasn't so depressing. Maybe if all those sensible Conservatives or likely Conservative voters who are happy on Political Betting come over here and we will then be able to show that the majority of the Party want change - which is why the majority of the Party voted for Cameron in the first place.

Christina, over 60000 people voted for the BtL document, only 4700 or so voted against. The Labour NEC elections, by contrast, attracted on 36000 returned ballot papers. I actually think that if there were (as you contend) vast armies of Tory members who were against Cameron, they would have used this referendum to get rid of him. They didn't.

At the end of the day, the vast majority of Conservative members are happy with the new direction (back into Government) and this is why I am now getting more volunteers to deliver leaflets or come out canvassing - people who refused only last year.

A gigantic and embarrassing flop - as I guessed it would be when this pathetic little pamphlet came through my door.

Frankly I couldn't be bothered to waste a second-class stamp on this pitiful offering.

Fewer than a quarter of our membership bother to endorse "Dave"s tatty non-manifesto and, surprise, surprise, ace Cameron brownnoser Changetowin hails a glorious victory.

I'm still laughing so much at CTW's ridiculous claim that it hurts to type. This guy should have been spinning for Napoleon after Waterloo. What a loser.

And will somebody please tell Jack Stone that the possessive of the pronoun "they" is spelt "their" - not "there".

(Cue another monumental mud-slinging debate on English usage)

Ben, Sorry mate, I'm sticking to Political Betting.com. Those of us who actually want the party to win the next election find this not a home for thoughtful and mature discussion among Conservative friends, but more a ghetto for the terminally demented.

..but it is interesting that 134,446 people voted for Cameron in the leadership just 10 months ago, but less than half of that amount could drum up the interest to vote on B2L.

Were those other 70,000 odd votes all dependent on the EPP withdrawal pledge? (I know one was for sure)

Hi Ben, well I'd hardly call myself a potential conservative voter but I seem to agree with Cameron more than a lot of people on here so you never know!

By the way, could all tories lay off Alan Johnson, I stand to win stacks of money of he becomes labour leader, do it all you like after but now's not the time. :-)

Trust me to pick the wrong analogy.

Christina, I apologise for choosing Austin -even thouugh they are dead and buried - unlike your excellent vehicle!

The Swedes are mentioned by some emailers as being Cameron-modellers, especially in their heroic 2% victory on a promise not to change anything really, very much, if its all right with you ...

Is that our strategy to?.

Sweden boasts a top rate tax at 60%, its major corporations prefer domiciling outside the jurisdiction and they have a social model that makes one in four young people unemployed - whilst providing benefits that make job taking pointless.

Today the Swedish model is a Size 18 on the global catwalk. China and India, by contrast, are size 00. Hungry, emaciated and determined, they want our lunch and we are pleased to offer it - rather than change the unaffordable European social democrat post-war, let's buy them out of voting communist,model.

Built to Last suffers from the same self-delusion. Tell everyone there will be chips and cake for tea forever and they will vote for us.

Well they won't - unless they are completely infantile, which is possible after 35 years destruction of our education system by the Left.

There are as, Al Gore might say, "Uncomfortable Truths" in today's global economy. Yet nowhere in BtL does it say that Gordon Brown's 9 year tax binge has bought less effective public service from more public servants with unaffordable pensions and benefits the private sector can only dream of; or more quangos with more areas of interference to monitor them; or that together these offer less productivity and less delivery than ever.

Nor does it say that Conservatives will slash red-tape, reject civil servants gold-plating pointless EU Dictats, or even demand UK Parliamentary sovereignty over Brussels; it doesn't even seek to boost productivity through reducing taxation which has worked from Estonia to the USA.

Nor does it admit there will be winners and losers in life and that a government's duty is to provide a safety net, rather than 24/7 nannying.

It doesn't even touch on the thought that people should be left to make their own decisions, with their own minimally-taxed money. Leaving us Free to succeed, or fail.
No, all must have prizes.

But the electorate know the World doesn't work like that. We are not going to win respect pedalling half-truth through our own stand-in spare Blair.

BtL, in marketing-speak stands for Below the Line. It is the catch all descriptor including direct mail, PR, viral marketing and non-print advertising.

Built to Last is so far below the line drawn by real free market thinkers, that it could be read-out by Grasping Gordon, or the Emperor Ming, without comment from their faithful.

That alone should send real Tories for the shelter of the nearest green oak. The reality deluge is about to commence.

So John O, persuade us to side with you. I want to be persuaded, but at the moment I dont see a single reason strong enough to encourage me to leave the side of the traditionalists...

Come on, its a losing battle but thats the point of politics. Fighting a battle you know you might not win, but do it anyway because its the principle of the thing.

Chris your post is about as far from reality as it's possible to get. Personally I've always preferred a curvy size 18 to a size 00!I wish the Swedes all the best with their new government.

Chris I object to your intimation that I'm not a real Tory simply because I believe in the party line. I was distinctly uneasy by some of the rubbish that came out of CCHQ when IDS was leader, and I am pleased with what Cameron has done - so far.

I believe that the Government should provide a safety net for the most vulnerable in society, but that Mrs Thatcher was right when she suggested running the economy as a woman runs a house - on a budget! However that doesn't mean I want to see tax cuts put before fiscal stability. Nor, I suspect does any Conservative. I beleive that there is a lot of waste in the system. However I would like that waste to be shared between tax cuts and better public services - for instance if some of it came to local Government we wouldn't be facing massive reductions in service like we are.

The 'green thing' as some people have come to call it is a real issue, and many people of my generation respect DC massively for introducing it to mainstream political discourse. I know a number of new Tory voters for whom this is the issue that allowed the switch.

On Europe, I believe that you can engage in Europe without signing up to everything, and tend to view those who say 'with me or against me, I hate Europe' as brainless idiots from UKIP/BNP. I have an association deputy chairman who is highly experienced in campaigning amongst my closest friends. She is vehemently against the EU, because it doesn't work and reminds her of Socialist Russia. However even she would admit that some of the benefits of membership are good enough to stay in.

To be honest, the public doesn't care about this. In my regular survey's of voters in my ward, the clear priority is good public services. Go out into the street, and ask people what the number one priority is and they will tell you NHS, Education or Social Services. A small number will say getting out of Iraq, or EU. There are more people who would like us out of Iraq than out of Europe.

In short, I don't understand why all these posters on here (there seem to be about twenty) who hate DC are even posting on ConservativeHome, since they seem to be more at home on UKIPHome.

Because UKIPhome is a dead end, and Cameron provides hope. That's why eurosceptics are still here.

Oi, oi saveloy, just because people disagree with the direction Cameron is taking the Tories in doesn't make them ukippers.

Well, not yet anyway.. ;-)

"Because UKIPhome is a dead end"

Just two months old and listed at 34 on Iain Dales top 100 non-aligned blogs. Hardly dead-end Mr T. ;-)

>>I don't understand why all these posters on here (there seem to be about twenty) who hate DC are even posting on ConservativeHome<<

Maybe because they're Conservatives Ben.

Some of the Cameron crew wouldn't recognise a Conservative if they had a head-on collision with one.

Because UKIPhome is a dead end

Chad, I notice that UKIPhome has a thread today with 2 comments (50% of them being from you, true to form). Is that a record? ;-)

:-) Well I could have gone for the usual lots of comments from anonymous trolls to look popular approach but decided to charge £2.50 to register.

Stll picks up over 1,000 page views a day after just 2 months and gets the 34 position in the top 100.

What was your blog's rank?

He charges 2.50 but its still making losses... Its probably cheaper to go for the trolls option Chad... Itll break you into the Big 25!

Wallenstein - who voted for DC as leader? Sorry, what was that? Oh yes, the Conservative Party. By a decent majority. 'The Cameron Crew' as you call them aren't some other party (like UKIP are despite the ideas of Mrs Speight) but Conservatives. Many of them have worked for the party for years. Many of the MPs have been around for years.

Mr Cameron is the first guy to allow us to look like winners, potentially the next Government. Unfortunately there are still those in the Conservative Party who would rather be in opposition than in Government. Easier to shout from the sidelines than actually do anything about it.

Ben, you think Howard, IDS and Hague wanted us to look like losers?

I don't think they wanted us to. But they acheived it. David has been lucky, true. But he has acheived a lot in this time. We look like winning a GE for the first time in fifteen years.

BTW I don't think we'll win the next GE, but we'll come closer under DC than under anyone else.

>>Wallenstein - who voted for DC as leader? Sorry, what was that? Oh yes, the Conservative Party. By a decent majority.<<

Too true Ben, but we all make mistakes and the signs are that a growing number of Tories are realising the crass error they made in failing to elect David Davis.

The prevailing groundswell of Conservative opinion is reflected in the views increasingly expressed on this democratic forum.

To those rather sad people who attempt to tarnish the opinions of others with silly and rather desperate epithets such as "headbanger" I have this to say.

The loudest skull to floor headbanging on this blog is heard when the dwindling clique of Jeremy Cardhouse types prostrate themselves at the sound of the sacred and ineffable name of the celestial "Dave".

No names - no pack drill.

UKIPhome is a deadend because UKIP is a deadend.

Tapestry who do you think should be Tory leader.

Aah, that's what you meant. You should try to make your insults a bit clearer!

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