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It is the second time this year that Iain has harnessed the blogosphere to dramatic and excellent effect. In the Labour sleaze book, he tapped a pool of skill that wrote and brough a book to the shelves in two weeks.

Now he has this fresh and insightful world some outstanding promotion. I rather admiore that combination of charisma and skill that turns ideas into reality.

The reason blogs are best is that they are instant, insightful, liberated and frank. It is the contrast with the sterility of mainstream politics that is what truly sets us apart and makes us exciting.

Sorry. That was written almost as badly as some of Iain blackberry posts!!!!!

Note to fellow Conservatives: be very careful about what you post on this site and in your blogs - our opponents use our quotes to use against us politically, as the Lib Dems did in Bromley. Look, as an example, of how I made mincemeat with a Lib Dem in Tottenham-



Tim seems to be admitting that this place is even better for whining and undermining the Conservative Party than the Heffergraph. Crikey!

Iain, if this site was slavishly loyal to everything the Conservative party did, do you think it would be taken seriously amongst the media and the public, or merely seen a spinning tool?

Unfortunately, some blog owners seem to have become rather arrogant of late. Originally blogs were anti-establishment. However, they are in danger of just becoming part of the media establishment - which takes part of the reason as to why they are so interesting away.

Blogging is brilliant because it's given everyone the platform previously reserved for insiders.

Roll on Tory Internet Telly (umm, or maybe it should be called something else).

I've just been talking to my friend Andrew Burkinshaw about blogging. He wondered aloud about what difference bloggers might have made if they had been active in the early days of New Labour. Bloggers challenge complacency and lazy thinking. I think Labour might have been better if had received blog-style scrutiny from 1994ish to 1997.

What examples would you cite Chris (11:27) of blogs becoming part of the media establishment? I can honestly say that I don't think CH has changed since its beginning.

Interestingly enough that very point Justin makes is one of the concerns I have about posting. Ultimately I post what I think. The people will decide whether I am right or not. Im sure my political enemies have heard of this site and probably record some of my comments. In fact I expect to hear them said back to me in the next 7 or so months.

Its not a too distant point from Camerons unwillingness to talk about tax cuts and immigration, because if they say anything itll be used against them. You just have to roll with it. If you tell the truth then the public will forgive you. If you are saying stupid things because you can, you can expect it to haunt you in the future.

Tim, I was refering to the use of blogs by the media outlets. For example the Telegraph and the Times to name but two. Their journalists have taken up blogging so it is no longer exclusively an 'outsider' calling.

Also, it could be said that sites like your own, Guido's and Iain Dale's are becoming part of a media establishment (not necessarily the media establishment) of their own - especially with the advent of 'Messenger Space'. At what point will blogs like these change from being 'outsiders' to 'insiders'? To me, with Iain Dale certainly, it appears as if the transition is already in progress.

Agreed, James @ 11.42:
"Its not a too distant point from Cameron's unwillingness to talk about tax cuts and immigration, because if they say anything itll be used against them. You just have to roll with it".
However, can we not - indeed, should we not - say things like:
"Of the two credible parties, the Labour party historically is the party of increased taxation (witness Gordon Brown's record), while the Conservative Party has generally been the party to reduce taxation - WHEN IT IS IN A POSITION TO DO SO".
Similarly on immigration, can we not say something like:
"There are several categories of immigrants and we welcome most to our country but those who come here with a purely criminal intent must be caught and dealt with as criminals.
Whatever the status of individuals, the whole thing must be managed competently. We must again know who is coming into the country and who is leaving it. The chaos over recent years at the Home Office is totally unacceptable and must be brought under control".
I don't think such statements would frighten the horses but they might reassure the old tory faithful, who really need some reassurance right now.

If you really want a full account of what is happening inside the Conservative Party can I suggest - not very modestly - that this is the best place to come.

Fair enough. I come here because it is a well written site that is frequently updated. It's just a shame that the majority of Conservative members who back the leadership have to hold their noses due to the negative spin put on just about every story that doesn't involve IDS.

I look forward to the day when there is a site which is as professional as this one but that reports stories straight (letting debate and discussion happen in relevant sections). Such a site will be what this blog once promised to be - a home for all Conservatives, not a cold house for modern, compassionate Conservatives.

Do modern, compassionate Conservatives do much other than bitch about people disagreeing with them?

Since ConHome is so obviously anti-Cameron, could someone tell me the name of that popular, informative, entertaining, 100% loyal and pro-Cameron blog? I want to join in with the thousands of other Cameron loyalists - where are they?

You seem to have an absolute fixation with IDS Changetowin.Other than a projected interview with him which still hasn't happened I can see little mention of him or his work throughout Conhome. Therefore I genuinely can't understand your post.
As regards not being a home for 'all Conservatives' how do you explain the continued presence almost everyday of posts from people like Jack Stone or Christina Speight?

Seems like a round of mutual backslapping going on here. Ian Dale and Con Home et al are just part of the self appointed establishment trying to take over the blogosphere and put their blogs before everyone else. One only has to look at Ian Dale's list to realise this. Beware the MSM takeover of the OSM!

Changetowin does seem to get IDS into every posting. Possibly he believes IDS is seeking to take over the party through Tim and this site.

There does seem to be a paranoia amongst the very pro Cameron posters that everyone on this site is out to get him and them. This simply isn't true amongst the majority of the commentators imo. However if the site just reported every story as how great Mr Cameron is, the site would have zero credibilty. It's a free site where anybody can post.

I think it's a bit harsh to say Con home and Iain Dale are trying to exclusively take over blogosphere. Iain Dale has just written a guide promoting hundreds of blogs and many blogs and causes are promoted on here every day.

"I look forward to the day when there is a site which is as professional as this one but that reports stories straight (letting debate and discussion happen in relevant sections)".
There are many people using this site who, I am sure, agree with those sentiments, changetowin @ 12.21 and I dislike, as much as you do, some of the more outrageous personal attacks expressed on the site which create plenty of heat but shed absolutely no light on the topic under discussion.
Given the absence of any hard policies, it is perfectly legitimate to criticise that in a robust way and I have suggested above the sort of thing that could be done to meet such criticisms - but nobody has yet commented on the suggestion!

This blog is not antiCameron. It is a space in cyberspace on which people post comments. Unlike a newspaper there is little editorial control.
Many of the comments here are antiCameron because of his succession of fatuous spinning photo opportunities, cock-ups like the Scotland speech, his policy-lite approach to politics and his determination that the only white heterosexual male middle class MPs in the next HofC will be the underperforming publicity-shy shower in the current one.
If you are looking for a password protected blog containing only Cameron loyalists where you may blog only thoughts of the purest conformity then you will have to create one. As it says somewhere:-
It profiteth not a man that he gain the whole world if he lose his soul....
but for a place on the A list ..tsk

"Since ConHome is so obviously anti-Cameron, could someone tell me the name of that popular, informative, entertaining, 100% loyal and pro-Cameron blog? I want to join in with the thousands of other Cameron loyalists - where are they?"

Why not set it up, if it doesn't currently exist? If it's any good, or interesting in some way, you will get a wide readership and increase your influence.

Sounds rather dull though. A bit like conservatives.com


I think Jonathan's post just proved Loyalist's point.In connection with this link,I have just watched John Reid and was interested that at one point he mentioned how the Militant Tendancy nearly destroyed the Labour Party - I had begun to feel lately that the anti-Cameron postings were so over the top considering his short time as leader that a similar danger exists. Or is it just a few usual suspects over and over again?

Woody - with greatest respect I don't think it is paranoia.

I've been called a 'pro-Cameron luvvie' and accused of working for CCHQ just because I'm broadly supportive of the leadership. And I don't think this casual abuse will be unfamiliar to other pro-Cameron poters. It's also noticable that nothing seems to be done to discourage it. It just doesn't seem like a friendly place to visit.

After all why is it that many Tories who support Cameron are happy to post elsewhere (politicalbetting for one) but feel unwelcome here?

Their are issues worthy of debate (such as the upcoming council/Scottish/Welsh elections and how we might go about doing well in them) that don't seem to rate much of a mention and instead we get bogged down into another debate on how awful David Cameron is.

Similarly with the membership why are we not talking about how to attract new people into the party rather than blaming various people for what may or may not be a decline in membership? Surely that is the important question.

I have been a member of this Party for over 30 yrs which I suspect is somewhat longer than loyalist - if I am supposed to be a litant entryist. I have fought through the late 70s, the 80s and 90s to get Conservative policies through and Conservative governments elected. I have stayed loyal to the Party through the sleaze of the Major years and the impotence of the Blair ones. Now at the moment when the Blair government is imploding, when new Labour policies are seen by all to have failed, when the country is under threat from the EU and our jobs from China and India, my Party has been hijacked by a small metropolitan clique, which is intent on throwing away this opportunity to really change the public services and economics of this country in favour of a safety first strategy solely concentrated on flopping over the line at the next general election too stunned to have any idea of what to do with the power they have obtained and too scared to enunciate any programme or strategy to deal with this country's problems.
So yes I am a trifle miffed.

Max is spot on!

Jonathan you talk of the party being hijacked by a small clique and yet this small clique seems - according to a survey carried out by this very site - to have a fairly high level of support (74%) amongst the membership.

I really think people should wait untill we have policies before rushing to judgement. The fact some people wont even give him a chance is a bit depressing.

The Telegraph has been a joke for a long time. Many of those who work there actively stop certain agendas which people wrongly assume the Telegraph is promoting.

For example, the paper's journalists almost all refused to have anything to do with the old No campaign against the euro. They actively rejected exclusives given to them by the No campaign. They wouldn't carry op-ed pieces, their leader writers and "star columnists" were comically clueless about the campaign but wouldn't speak to anybody but MPs (such is their mindset). Toby Helm in particular lobbies internally to scupper aspects of the Right, and frequently argued in internal conferences to squash No campaign stories. George Jones is out to lunch - literally - totally useless. Hence the No campaign did far more with the Sun and Times (Kavanagh and Webster) because they were both more professional and made more of an effort.

If you look now, their efforts on foreign and defence policy are laughable. Internally the paper is consumed by feuds. The sooner people on the RIght realise that the Telegraph is a similar sort of institutional failure as the Tory Party itself, the sooner far better institutions, such as Tim's Net TV, can be built...

An Old BfS / 'No' Campaigner...

A thread on how to attract new membership could probably be quite useful and informative.

I do however feel that, with the greatest respect to the "pro-Cameron" posters, they are in a minority within the party as far as their enthusiasm for the leadership is concerned. I am not criticising their views or accusing them of being “CCHQ stooges”, however I’ve been taking soundings within my own association and even my student branch. There is, for a variety of reasons, a general lack of enthusiasm for the leadership. Although members have been renewing their subscriptions, amongst several of them are letters criticising the Party’s current direction and some have even resigned. Most of them though have still been paying their subs; it seems that people are so desperate to get rid of Labour that they’re still continuing to pay, though how long that will last is another question.

This lack of enthusiasm amongst the membership at large is probably what is reflected on this website. I accept that a rural association from Devon might not exactly be typical of the wider membership, and perhaps I have a mistaken impression; however the poor turnout for the Built to Last Document and the lack of enthusiasm in other Associations I know of is, in my opinion, worrying.

Dismissing people who post on here as head-bangers and out of touch will do little to address the situation. Certainly there are people who post on here who do not represent the Party, nor are they likely to have been either supporters or members in the first place. However a little more tolerance of other people’s views - from both wings of the party -would be more welcome.

Extract from: When all we can do is bitch:

…Unfortunately, much of the British political blogging scene has caught the same disease, which is hardly surprising, dominated as it is by the same self-appointed claque of wannabes, "insiders" and groupies, their posts infected with ego-driven "wheneyes" and "eyeams", the phrases, "When I..." and "I am..." invariably to be found in the first paragraphs, if not the first sentences.

Thus, unlike the US blogs, the most hard-edged of which deal with real politics, we see the obsession with "trivial pursuits", the same diet of gossip, backstabbing and character assassination that sustains the dead tree sellers and the airwave polluters. No wonder the MSM sustain and promote their favoured few – they come from the same festering cesspit. Little minds stink alike.

Max, I think there are extremes on both sides. there are those who will praise Cameron even if he restored the 83% tax rate and those who will criticise every move he makes. There are many in the middle though who post on the site (which is what i would say I am). If people are confident in their arguments, there is no reason why they shouldn't post on here. It's an open site.

I wouldn't agree that the editorial line on membership was too negative. Just reported the number as fact. I'm sure Tim would publish a post about ideas for increasing membership.

Interesting to know where you get your facts from VFTSW. The leadership vote and yesterdays Built To Lat was very convincing even if the turnout was low. I was quite suprised by how low the vote against BtL was,after all it was a heavan sent opportunity for them to register their displeasure and they didn't take it.
A bit more representative than a straw poll from an Association or a student branch I think.

Interesting to know where you get your facts from VFTSW.

It's anecdotal evidence, Malcolm, and conforms to my own observations.

Many people voted for David Cameron because they wanted a winner, and not becuase they endorsed his agenda. That's why there is a lingering dissatisfaction with the leadership from many quarters, but also why it won't amount to anything while the polls are still - quite - favourable.

I'd hesitate to extrapolate anything from the "Built to Last" vote. Like "Believing in Britain", it was too "Apple Pie" (or anodyne) to stir up feelings either way.

I cannot understand the view that pro-Cameron`s are a mnority in the party when just nine or so months ago he won the leadership with a vote of seventy odd per cent.
If this view were to be true which I don`t think it is it would say more about the fickle, stupidity of Conservative Party members then the merits of David Cameron`s leadership.

It was an observation Malcolm, from reading those letters (btw - I have yet to read one which has said what a wonderful man David Cameron is) and from talking to members from both from my university branch and home association. I'm sorry that it isn't scientific enough for you Malcolm, but if you read through my original post you would have noticed that I added the caveat that what I have seen may not be representative of the Party at large. What I do believe though is that I have correctly judged the mood of the associations/branches that I belong to.

If Conservative members are broadly satisfied with Cameron's performance (as I believe they are), that doesn't mean they're fully signed-up Cameroon groupies either. Many of them either don't believe he means what he's saying, haven't heard everything he's saying, or believe it's worth keeping schtum for the sake of the Tories' electoral chances.

The membership of the Tory Party are usually pretty supportive of the leadership -- they're like that.

That does *not* mean that there are not strong concerns about Cameron's direction, reservations about his electoral tactics, and that that the criticisms that frequently appear in the comments of this blog do not reflect those concerns. I believe they do.

If anything it is the large number of sycophantic pro-Cameron posters (those that support *everything* he does) who are unreflective of the membership, simply because many of them are careerists, and therefore have a very "insidery" perspective on politics. These are the types that are more interested in gossip and tittle-tattle than real issue politics.

The great thing about Conservative Home (in my view) is that, unlike other prominent Conservative blogs which I won't name, there is still room for real discussion of political issues. I wouldn't want to see that change.

If you only realised the damage you do by calling members fickle & stupid Jack......unbelievable! Please never do any canvassing Jack, I would hate to see that we had lost Southend because of it!

Rest assured Jack, those who support the leadership aren't a minority of the party - that claim is just another example of the increasingly vocal minority who seemingly don't have the party's best interests at heart believing their own Hefferesque hype.

I challenged one of the more frequent would-be Heffers, Christina Speight, to explain the reasoning behind her regular assertion that core Conservatives are turned off by David Cameron and his agenda, despite their endorsement less than a year ago. Unsurprisingly she couldn't.

My own experience in Hertsmere mirrors that of VFTSW. Of those leaving, a fair proportion have cited the direction that David Cameron is taking the Party in, as their reason.

Falling membership in the Conservative Party is not principally down to David Cameron. Our demographic profile means we have thousands of people dying each year, and we need to recruit thousands just to keep pace with them.

At the same time, as others have pointed out, some associations are very unwelcoming. Others may be welcoming, but things like jumble sales, and arguments about last month's minutes, are not going to appeal to younger members.

But it's clear that the surge in numbers that people were talking about in the Spring has not actually occurred.

I think the issue is more to do with the language that is used by some and the sometimes personal digs made, for example the thread about candidates and K&C, butlers, gardeners etc and words such as headbanger, rather than the actual views expressed. This site should be one for sensible open debate but some people do go rather over the top sometimes.

Yes this site could be construed as being anti Cameron though I would hope that all Conservatives would, and will continue to, support the Party, no matter who’s Leader. I know I have over many years. Kicking the Leader now is not helpful (though we have at times been very good at it) – don’t we want to win?

Only those with a strong viewpoint feel motivated enough to comment. Many just can't get that excited enough to post, they'd rather have a conversation about it - as I’m sure many of us will do in Bournemouth.

I posted on DC before, but as I cant find it now, it may have missed. What I said was:-
A friend of mine, not Tory, not partisan at all, but a deep thinker and observer, had this to say about DC:-
" Ok, smoothness and tactical fence sitting. He is not, however, just a fence sitter. He is also being incredibly careful and thorough about policy. Zac Goldsmith, the environmental campaigner, recently said that the Tories currently have 150 people working on their environmental policy.
DC is the first leader of either of the two major parties to come from the mid to late sixties generation. He therefore represents a whole new spirit in British politics. The seriousness with which he is taking environmental issues suggests that he does indeed embody this new Zeitgeist, he is a true child of the sixties, and it is coming not from Labour, where we would expect it, but from the Tories. Labour does not have a monopoly on idealism."
Now I deeply repect my friends intellect and reasoning powers. I have never found him to be any other than spot on with his assessments of people. So lets just get behind DC, and watch him get into his stride over the next couple of years.
I fully expect several hats to be eaten when we produce our carefully crafted policies.

Many just can't get that excited enough to post..their B2L ballot forms.

The sheer size of the non-votes for B2L offered the press a much stronger opportunity to bash Cameron than any comment from this or any other blog could offer.

Why do you think the turn out was so low when around 200k managed to vote in the leadership election just 10 months ago?

This was the membership's chance to show their endorsement of their new leader's agenda and 3 out of 4 didn't bother.

No, Annabel, your original post didn't miss - I read (and responded to) it yesterday, albeit on a different thread. I'm afraid I didn't think much of it then and it doesn't improve with re-heating. Can you explain why being "a true child of the sixties" is such an admirable thing?

Still, I hope your prediction of a feast of millinery is accurate (though I have my doubts).

Woody – A typically fair and measured post. I agree with a great deal of what you said.

CJ – Again I agree about the sort of language that is used and you only have to look above to see pro-Cameron supporters described as sycophants and careerists. I for one gain nothing personally from him succeeding. Who in their right mind would give up a career in accountancy for politics – or for any other career for that matter!

Despite your protestations Chad, about your concern to post on matters conservative rather than pertaining to the Conservative Party, you seem deeply interested in another political party's internal affairs. I couldn't care less about your party's internal wranglings, why do you feel the need to offer a stream of negative commentary on mine?

I would have thought that the main aim of people who profess to be conservative voters, would be to do whatever necessary to get a conservative government back in power, particularly as the government in power at the moment has caused such general havoc in the country in every way!

It is true that political parties have to try to change in order to appeal to each successive young generation arriving on the scene - all you 'young turks' on this website at the moment, will VERY shortly no longer be the younger generation!! - time passes so quickly.

The modern problem seems to be, to find a leader who can appeal sufficiently to both ends of the age scale at the same time. But on the other hand even that is not enough - witness the present PM, who appealed right across the board to all age groups - apparently, when he first came on the scene. Nowadays, as anno domini shows its heavy hand on his once young visage, what is left?, just an extremely good salesman, who is now seen as that!

Surely if you want the Tories in government, you criticise the antics of the people in government at the moment, and it just so happens that any criticisms of this government are entirely justified. When Tories are back in power and maybe are demonstrating inefficiency (hopefully NOT sleaze), then one can criticise them. There is a whole army of paid people, who are more than willing to undermine any conservative progress, why do we have to help them, THEY GET PAID TO DO IT.

Actually, it's infinitely better to criticise now than when we're in government, Patsy.

The electorate loathes divided governments.

Sean - What about the Labour Party in the 1980s? (Though I recognise we are no way near that, nor indeed near to where we were during the 90s).

I would have thought that the main aim of people who profess to be conservative voters, would be to do whatever necessary to get a conservative government back in power...

And the issue is that many people don't believe that the CamCons would actually be a conservative government.

"Meet the new boss, he's the same as the old boss..." as the saying goes.

Gareth, WTF has it got to do with you? It's not your blog.

Now, why don't you express your point on the issues, and let others express theirs.

It's quite simple. That's how the wisdom of crowds works. If you work a site to bang the Cameron drum, then go and start one.

It seems that a very narrow group seem to think that Tim has some bizarre obligation to run his blog as a pro-Cameron propaganda tool.

"CJ – Again I agree about the sort of language that is used and you only have to look above to see pro-Cameron supporters described as sycophants and careerists."

Oh yes, because there's never any insulting language used to describe the other side is there?

In any case, what I say is true, even if it doesn't apply to you, it certainly applies to some others that I can think of.

Sean @ 15.16

I am sure some 'associations are very unwelcoming', and jumble sales are very boring (money has to come from somewhere), but you talk about appealing to younger members, as if some show has to be put on, before a young person an decide they might be interested. How about people putting some of their vigour into local associations? No of course they can't, because apart from everything else they have to work and make their way, SO the only people who do the slogging in these associations, are the rather disregarded older people, who probably get not much money and, it seems, very little thanks for the work that they do. It would be nice if some younger people could come up with some ideas about how the present situation with associations out in the country could be improved or changed!

John - I didn't say it doesn't go both ways. However I don't think it's nearly as commonplace but yes it does happen. I don't think that makes it right though.

And there is no if about it - your description doesn't apply to me. And I'm sure that goes for plenty others too.

Yes I was typing fast in the post above. The end of the first sentence and beginning of the second should read..... but you talk about appealing to younger members, as if some show has to be put on, before a young person Can be interested. How about YOUNG people putting some of their vigour into local associations.....

Patsy – I think that it’s less about whether or not local associations are welcoming and more about getting people interested in the first place. My own association could not have been more welcoming although I’m fairly easily won over by cakes and ice-cream!

I joined largely because I’m from a farming family and I hated Labour for the complete lack of sympathy shown to farming families during F&M. I also disliked their general attitude towards rural people which is why I’m so keen to kick them out of government now. However I am not naive enough to think these are feelings shared by other young people (I’m 25) and that many would join the party for that reasons.

Boys enough already !

Whether we like him or not, he's the best on offer at the moment. Some things are good some bad, but its better than Blair/Brown.

Lets start "opposition bashing" thats always made politics fun for me !

The young people issue is tricky. I has to laugh at the comment about arguing about the spelling mistakes in last months minutes. Does seem a waste of half an hour of your life and very petty.

CF is the natural place for younger members to be welcomed in, but I don't think its current form, anyone in their mid twenties would feel at home in it as it feels like a student organisation. A new twenties grouping might be the solution but could be low on numbers, in which case a regional organisation could be the answer.

It's a tricky question. We'll have to see what our new CF chairman comes up with.

As ever Chad, you wholly miss the point.

You profess an interest in conservative ideas/philosophy etc. and defend your right to post on a conservative site (actually, I think it's a Conservative site, but no matter) on that basis. Your posts then comment on the internal workings of the Conservative Party - a party which campaigns against your own. Why bother? Why the interest in the Conservative Party's internal ballots? You seem strnagley obsessed with us.

Woody it's even more difficult, I would have thought, in large rural constituencies where what young members there are may live miles apart. As well as that we don't seem to have many means of actively recruting young people outwith Universities. I know you yourself are an exception to this.

It will indeed be interesting to see what the new Chairman of CF comes up with.

Andrew, I'm glad I made you laugh. I'm going to a branch committee tonight, at which I know someone will criticise the minutes of the last meeting. With the best will in the World, it's not the sort of thing that encourages new members to attend any future meetings.

WRT jumble sales, I'm afraid they do make us look dowdy and down-at-heel. In my experience, they raise very small sums of money for the party.

We used to get large numbers joining in the past, because a lot of peoples' social lives revolved around the Conservative Party. I don't know if it's possible to recreate that.

My Party has been hijacked by a small metropolitan clique, which is intent on throwing away this opportunity to really change the public services and economics of this country.

Jonathan. A magnificent post which (in full) sums up the way all the scores of decent solid Conservatives on this blog and in the country feel. More power to your elbow!

Jack Stone are you actually a member of our party? You remind me of an old guy I know who spent years voting Labour and moaning about "Thatcher ruined the country", then suddenly turned on them over Iraq and actually started voting Conservative.

Same with you?

Do report back if they do Sean.

Back to the subject thread, we really do need to look at the internet more to recruit young members. Perhaps via creating an msn messenger style community through the main website or something like that.

What's that guy from google up to?

I'll tell you how to recruit younger members, Andrew.

Make sure there are plenty of chicks on hand.

Always used to work. You seem to be struggling these days.

Must be something to do with the metrosexual thing.

Might not be far wrong there Wallenstein.

Well said Alison @ 17.20:
"Whether we like him or not, he's the best on offer at the moment. Some things are good some bad, but its better than Blair/Brown.

Lets start "opposition bashing" thats always made politics fun for me".

Might I suggest that we should not only be opposing but, if we can get people to play the ball and not the player, perhaps between us we could also be proposing some positive policies - or at least statements of general policy based on traditional conservative values to fill the gaps in BtL?
It is very encouraging to see so many young people posting their thoughts and we should not put them off by arguing among ourselves, nor should we object to Chad and others who are not conservatives from taking part.
If our arguments are good enough, they will prevail.

"It seems that a very narrow group seem to think that Tim has some bizarre obligation to run his blog as a pro-Cameron propaganda tool."

Not at all - some of us object to interlopers from other parties using this site as a Trojan horse to spread propaganda for those other parties, stir up trouble and seek to create a distorted impression of disaffection for the current Conservative leadership and its agenda.

And before you get all defensive and/or tell me to grow up Chad, I wasn't just referring to you.

"Chad and others who are not conservatives "

I'm very much a conservative thanks David!

I was promoting progressive conservatism when the Tories were pumping out ugly "it's not racist..." posters.

This is a great forum for conservatives from different parties to share ideas. It's not about press-ganging or luring new members but seeking to work together on a generally shared ideology to beat the left.

In short, for me, it's about a positive vision of conservatism and discussing them whether you are a Tory or Ukipper.

Chad, you could read the comment this way: "..nor should we object to Chad (and others who are not conservatives) from taking part".
I was merely objecting to those who object to your posting. I might not on accasion agree with your views but I will defend to the death your right to express them, especially on CH.

:-) There does seem to have been an increase in objectors recently I agree.

It doesn't make sense to me. It's the mix of views that makes this site so valuable.

Gareth - 15.45 : totally agree with you. Chad, go waste people's time on your own site, whatever it is.

Agreed, Perdix. Although I do read Chad's blog now and again, it's a good laugh and it is fun to contrast his offer of "co-operation" with the proportion of posts on there critical of Conservatives or his fellow UKIP members rather than Labour.

In short, for me, it's about a positive vision of conservatism and discussing them whether you are a Tory or Ukipper.

Funny, for me it's about ensuring that the Conservative candidate wins and the opposition candidates get beaten. That includes UKIP, especially given that most ardent UKIPpers are somewhere on the scale of political nuttiness near to the sort of LibDem who knits his own sandals!

Patsy - the problem Associations have when recruiting young people is that they are not seen by some of the 'older' members as being 'committed' until and unless they join a branch committee and frankly waste hours discussing things which are of little relevance to the Party or its organisation, example - nitpicking branch minutes. That is not to say that the branch structure is unneccessary, quite the opposite, it's just that I think some branches and some members throughout the country may have lost sight of what their purpose is .... to fight and win elections.

BTW there are lots of good looking chicks in the Party. It's the boy front that's sadly lacking.

Maybe more people, young and old, would attend - and then possibly join - association meetings if they actually offered serious debate on political issues that affect people; tax, pensions, housing etc, instead of a diet of occasional rather dry and dusty parties.

Hear hear David.No political discussion allowed at most functions I attend!

Daivid Belchamber @ 12.45 - I think you are right as far as you go, but two things occur to me - if there is to be serious or interesting debate, someone in the group attending or maybe the leader of the debate, would have to have a reasonable knowledge of the subjects. So many people, outside the circle of activists and young students, become disengaged with politics and political discussion. I am deliberately not putting an age spin on this, because I can produce examples in my own life - I am old but I can debate on political subjects - I think, up to a point at least; my children with young families, almost go 'ughhhhh, Mum' if I start on about anything political!!

I think the machine - the conservative one at least, has got stuck in a rut, and what it really needs is a COMPLETE overhaul, but on the other hand I can't say exactly what local associations should be replaced with. After all if you are going to ask volunteers to work for you either as a low paid job, or with no money involved at all, you are going to have to provide some other sort of incentive, with the LimpDems it is idealism which is why so many students join that party. With Labour it is 'up the workers', 'equality for all' mirage that pulls 'em in, or of course those lovely champagne socialist hypocrits that we are so familiar with. So what do Conservatives have to offer along these lines, well I think THAT is where David Cameron came in!!!!! After all he IS appealing to young people - which is what everyone wanted, so now a way has to be found to join the whole lot up together!! Jsoozj it up!

Patsy @ 14.39:
"..if there is to be serious or interesting debate, someone in the group attending or maybe the leader of the debate, would have to have a reasonable knowledge of the subjects".
Absolutely right; when I lived in Nicholas Bennett's former constituency in Wales, we had a political cell that regularly discussed topics provided by CCHQ with briefing notes.
The topic was introduced by someone with some knowledge of the subject (perhaps mugged up for the meeting) and a lively debate usually ensued. Notes were taken and a report sent back to CCHQ.
I could also see an Association inviting pupils from local schools (working through the Head) to take part in debates on topical subjects, again introduced by a lead speaker (perhaps occasionally the local MP or candidate).

Yea David @ 15.31 - I think what you have said sounds hopeful, I am not quite sure how one could get it 'off the ground country-wide'. It would be encouraging if one could think that someone high up from CCHQ would provide the necessary impetus to provke widespread enthusiasm?!

Excuse me for not getting beck sooner, but I forgot which thread I had put my post above, on, and I have been trawling through several days of likely threads trying to find it - old age!!

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