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"Gareth, when Tim pays up the £100 he owes me from the Cameron-EPP-lie bet and publishes the promised photo of him handing it over to the TPA, then I'll happily disappear."

Shall we have a whip-round?

We can help communities and get involved without making a big thing about it. Many Conservatives across the country help in community centres or other schemes without preaching that they help the community. They just get on with it without making a big song and dance about it.

"I'm going to hold you to that, Chad. I'll give the TPA the cheque when I see them on Monday."

No problem. Don't forget the photo too as promised!

"Shall we have a whip-round?"
I've heard you like that kind of thing Daniel...still what goes on etc..

I'm sure we'll cross swords again as we seek to target those important marginals that the Tories seek to either defend or snatch.

;-)

"We can help communities and get involved without making a big thing about it. Many Conservatives across the country help in community centres or other schemes without preaching that they help the community. They just get on with it without making a big song and dance about it."

One reason we have had such a negative image over the last couple of decades is because we are TOO quiet about all the good things we do. No-one is suggesting we issue a press release every time a grand old tory lady spends a couple of hours pushing a tea trolley round the local hospital.

Given that such a central theme of our vision is communities taking the lead, surely it is ESSENTIAL that we are seen to be walking the walk, and that having a big volunteer effort in a local scheme during our conference is a good way to do it.

No-one is trying to pretend it is anything other than an attempt to show an example of what we are talking about as a chance to show the press and the nation what we mean.

I became aware of how I really feel about David Cameron and by implication the (modern) Conservatives on watching parts of his speech on the news - very angry and I decided I couldn't stand him. After the "marriage" part man/woman, man/man, woman/woman I decided there is no point in voting conservative any more, after voting for them since 1983 (I'm now 42). I think investigating UKIP and the New Party is the next thing on my agenda, but I am looking for a socially conservative right-wing movement that has a chance of getting elected. I don't think the Conservatives are that party or want to be.

"I believe that the creation of the NHS is one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century."

I don't! It is difficult to know whether to laugh or to cry at this statement.

It is deeply depressing.

After the "marriage" part man/woman, man/man, woman/woman I decided there is no point in voting conservative any more

I hope you'll tell me that I'm reading this wrongly, but are you really saying that you will no longer vote Conservative because in the 21st Century we stand up and say that we will support the rights of committed gay couples?

I'm sorry to lose anyone's support after such a long period of time, but if the single most important thing for you in British politics is to find a party that props up your homophobic beliefs, then I am proud that the modern Conservative Party is not a welcoming place for you.

I agree Richard, good riddance to all those who have been a millstone round our necks for well over a decade.

"socially conservative right-wing movement that has a chance of getting elected"

You'll spend the rest of your life waiting Mr Cooper, it was possible twenty five years ago but too much has changed since then.

In any case, as you can tell from the freeloaders from UKIP and the like on here, what happens is that they argue amongst themselves, split and then reconfigure in progressively pure and useless combinations. It shows the same lack of political maturity of the far left who have fun arguing over what Marx really meant whilst living comfortably in a society which has proved him wrong.

Well Cardinal, if Labour doesn't win the next election outright, the most likely outcome will be a Lib-Lab coalition.

We can't predict exactly what will follow from that, but I think it is very possible that Labour may finally agree to some form of electoral reform in order to keep the Tories out for good.

I believe that the introduction of PR would fragment the Conservative Party. The Cameroon element would become just one small group vying for votes alongside traditional Tories, UKIP, the BNP and other parties yet unborn.

As for the homosexual question, it's not one which in my opinion has any proper relevance to politics. As long as they keep their private affairs private I have always taken the view that it's none of my business.

However we should perhaps remind the likes of Richard Carey that the "credit" for advancing the cause of homosexual rights is all due to socialists and liberals. Most Conservatives have consistently opposed this cause outright or taken a neutral position.

Let's also not forget that in 2003 "Dave" proudly voted to retain Section 28 which was, of course, introduced by a Tory government.

I think you misunderstand the nature of the lib dem vote, often they are voted for by both labour and conservative voters as a way of keeping the other out. I think it's probable that the lib dems would lose out heavily with PR in place given the way they benefit from that sort of voting.

As for PR, anyone trying to introduce Alternative Vote would do so over my dead body, with other systems however there are greater possibilities. Further down the line I would imagine all the parties splitting into less rigid coalitions. All parties are barely kept together by a common thread as it is.

I hope that a resolution of the English parliament question comes before any sniff of a possibility of that however.

As for social conservatism, I never have been one, not even at the height of that section of the party's control in the past. I just don't understand the need to meddle in people's private lives.

I think you misunderstand the nature of the lib dem vote, often they are voted for by both labour and conservative voters as a way of keeping the other out.

A popular delusion of the "Political Class"

Ordinary voters aren't that sophisticated. They vote for all sorts of perverse and often stupid reasons. When democracy democks, pundits start to rationalise odd results by talking twaddle about "underlying strategies"

Many people vote Lib Dem simply because they are (wrongly) perceived as likely to be more honest and independent than the other two parties. Others like their "pavement politics" and so on.

As for PR, anyone trying to introduce Alternative Vote would do so over my dead body

I'm sure that this forthright declaration will have a major influence upon any future decision.

As for social conservatism, I never have been one

We had noticed.

But wouldn't you say that the word "social" is redundant in this context?

I rather think you are a typical lib dems view of what a conservative is, as such I find it difficult to get beyond the concept that you are that particular type of sheep in wolf's clothing.

I trust you were nowhere near the YC's in the 80's whose idea of social conservatism was a vague attempt not to take any available drug and sleep with multiple parners all at once. Ah, those were the days.....

For me, conservatism is primarily an economic position, it is anti the state and it puts the nation's needs above those of any partner or alliance. Sorry if that position doesn't chime in with yours but I can find no other party which wants those things, the recent shift from social conservatism is a bonus I've been waiting patiently for.

PS - You also prove my point that all parties are barely held together by a common goal.

If there were a PR system then it is inevitable that we would be voting for different parties, just as the firebrand socialists would be voting differently to the Blairites.

@Cardinal Pirelli
For me, conservatism is primarily an economic position, it is anti the state and it puts the nation's needs above those of any partner or alliance.

Apart from the contradiction included in your definition, being economically right wing and valuing the nation over the individual is a pretty text book definition of fascism.

Hence the moniker?

I trust you were nowhere near the YC's in the 80's whose idea of social conservatism was a vague attempt not to take any available drug and sleep with multiple parners all at once. Ah, those were the days.....

I'm tempted to reply that if you remember those days you clearly weren't there.

And in fact you obviously weren't. Yes I was still a YC in the 1980s. There were a lot of fun people around and a lot of opportunities for 1-to-1 straight sex.

Homosexuals were not generally welcomed and drug use, if it occurred at all, was kept extremely discreet.

The only incident of "multiple partners" I recall was when I was drafted in by the area YC chairman to sit in judgment on some hapless YC who had been discovered in a bed at a conference with 2 pretty girls - one 15 years old.

It may surprise you to learn that I counselled clemency. However my plea was not heeded and he was booted out.

For me, conservatism is primarily an economic position, it is anti the state and it puts the nation's needs above those of any partner or alliance.

Actually that's a form of liberalism, not conservatism. However I agree that it was a keynote of this party for many years...

...until the advent of Cameron.

You also prove my point that all parties are barely held together by a common goal.

Agreed

I was a little hyperbolic about the YC's but I see that you got my drift, I'm surprised you took me so literally!

At my educational establishment at that time, at least, homosexuality wasn't an issue (mainly due to personalities involved) and I, personally, have never touched any type of drug (well, apart from alcohol of course) but I'm not going to judge others on that.

I do have a concern that the past may come to haunt some and I suppose a more 'liberal' line is to head off accusations of hypocrisy.

Mrs T was a liberal in the classic sense so I have no shame at being thought of as such, wishy wash leftist liberalism is complete anathema to me however.

As for Jonathan's fascist claim (I'm a liberal and a fascist now!) maybe I could have been clearer. I was referring to both distancing ourselves from partners such as the USA and alliances such as the EU. I understand that many of different political persuasions see such alliances as strengthening us but I think they weaken us. A nation does not equal the state however.

I really don't understand why we aren't kicking up more of a fuss over an English parliament and the Barnett formula. It might not gain us many votes in Scotland but frankly we're doing poorly there anyway and a break might just aid our cause north of the border.

Anyway, at last the party is planting itself in my area, please allow me to have a little pleasure over this for a while at least!

At my educational establishment at that time, at least, homosexuality wasn't an issue

Well you were fortunate. It was rife at mine.

And at Dave's too, so I hear.

'Not an issue' as in no one cared! I went to a co-ed school anyway so I was otherwise employed.

There's one distinct advantage to homosexual activity at the nation's public schools.

Nobody gets pregnant.

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