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Is it possible for a grass-roots favourite ever to be Party Chairman? Some tough decisions and some straight-talking have to be done by the Chairman, better to have someone able to do this rather than a popular figure.

Even if they are popular when the enter the job, they won't be just a couple of months in.

Hmmmm 32% against means 68% for, right? Hardly a failure...

Maybe not a grassroots pin-up, but at the very minimum someone who is respected by the core vote, without the baggage of having been a destabilising agent in the past.

Since the Party was constituted in '98 each of the Leaders has to a greater or lesser degree acted as though he were sole proprietor of the Conservative Party. Patronage is dispensed through CCHQ in a manner that does nothing to serve the interests of the wider party. Often those who are appointed turn out to be grossly disloyal.

There is a fundemental lack of accountability at the Party Centre, a growing arrogance coupled with a lamentable procession of employees entering and departing CCHQ on an all too regular basis.

Steve Hilton's employment at considerable cost calls into question just how members and supporters money is being spent at the moment.

I am beginning to think that we need a directly and regularly elected Party Chairman who can be made responsible (and sackable) for the state of our organisation instead of these failed frontbenchers who the Leader has appointed (to shut them up?) and are paid a pretty penny on top of their Parliamentary salaries to perform jobs they are not qualified or fit to perform.

The 32% hardly represents the floating voters that DC is no doubt aiming at.

We need a fulltime Chairman or CEO. A part timer in such a key position is a recipe for failure.

Many of Francis's failings are because he is just not spending enough time; directing CCHQ, ensuring our campaigning is upgraded, focusing on the regional leaders and they in turn on the Associations, etc etc

Replacing Francis with another part timer is just like shuffling deck chairs on the titanic.

The 32%, Mr Brooking, may represent some of the millions who have stopped voting Tory since 1992?

Having read this article, I've just called a source in Central Office re: what Maude earns as Chairman - and to my surprise, he doesn't actually recieve any form of renumeration above his MPs salary.... Also, I'm told that he is very much a permanent feature at 25 Vic Street - working extremely long hours - Strikes me that everyone should give him a break - especially when he has achieved a hell of a lot in a very short space of time.....

What complete nonsense. You can just imagine the sort of infighting and disputes you would get with a right-winger in the post.
I think Francis Maude as done a good job so far and I see no reason why he should not be left in the post and be able to continue the re-organisation of the party. I also think his present in the post shows the wider public that the leadership is serious about change.

I think that Francis Maude has done a superb job. David Cameron needs Maude because Maude knows what changes need to be made and is prepared to do it. Maude isnt in the job for the glory, he is in it because he knows where we should be and where we have got to go and he has the balls to take us there. Maude has made some controversial changes to the Party but lets face it we needed to change. We needed a break from the past and Cameron needs a Maude to keep us on track. Everone thinks that the Chairman does nothing - well if he did nothing he'd be long gone. It isnt just Cameron who has got us the steady poll lead (one that we haven't had for many years - so dont say lets go back to where we were re policies because we have never had it so good for many a year)its down to Maude. Keep Maude in!

32% dissatisfied!

Your glass is definitely a third empty.

To respond to some of Maude's supporters.

"works long hours" = Yes but is he too tired to think properly? Is he working at hours when the people he needs to speak to have gone home?

"I see no reason why he should not be left in the post and be able to continue the re-organisation of the party." Well one reason is the Bromley by election!

Maude has failed as a Chairman and is simply causing potential divisions. He has caused more harm than good. He has to go.

Maude as failed as Chairman. I think sometimes people forget how much progress the party as made during the last year and one of those who as been most responsible for that progress is Francis Maude.
Mind you I say forget, I suspect with a lot of the wingers and moaners we get on this site they want to forget about the advances we have made as they have there own agenders and want to see a turn back to the right. My message to them is dream on because there way is the way to certain defeat.

Three cheers to Francis Maude from me too!

I see they are currently discussing Jack Stone on the official UKIP forum. The consensus seems to be that he is "a Labour troll trying to wind the Tories up".

Which is interesting, because I always assumed he was a UKIP sockpuppet.

Maude, of course, is absolutely appalling. This arch-leftist masqueraded as a Thatcherite in order to get the traditionalists on board then turned on them with a viciousness worthy of a Stalin or a Beria.

The man's gaze resembles that of a rattlesnake stalking its victim. The sooner he is out on his ear the better.

As for these much-vaunted "long hours" he's possibly emulating Mussolini who used to leave his office lights on all night while pursuing pleasures elsewhere - or simply sleeping it off.

I was also under the impression that he was a UKIP sockpuppet after someone posted on the UKIP forum hinting very strongly that he was Jack Stone.

I'm not sure the Party Chairman is ever going to be a grassroots favourite, at least not in the short term.

Making progress at CCHQ is a very good thing, hopefully making them more of a "service provider" to Associations. But some Associations themselves also need to be challenged to change and adapt, if we're going to continue to improve our campaigning capability in the field.

Of course this is going to take a combination of a firm touch and much cajoling, but I can't see this making any party chairman a "favourite".

I am tempted to say we need a proper CEO focusing on the job,


Should there not be a need for a separate recommendation for the appointment of a "Campaigning Tsar" akin to Rennard?

Our by election capability has been terrible going back 10 or more years.

Surely it needs specific improvement?

Getting rid of Maude would be a huge error of judgement. At times he may have the ability to be a bit of a 'rattlesnake', but it's that 1000 yard stare which has forced through some very necessary changes. Change is always going to be painful, but if you replace him with some half-arsed panderer who tries to please rather than do what's necessary we'll never get anywhere. The aim is to win elections. As long as we're on our way to doing that let's leave things alone.

Maude has failed as Chairman by alienating Tory MPs and Associations. The membership 'survey' was void by the fact it said what answers it wanted the respondents to select. The A List is devoid of credibility. The more money CCHQ takes from Associations means less money for local campaigning and less activists willing to cough up membership subs. Maude is killing the Party with centralisation, the very thing we are supposed to abhor.

Maude cannot pass the buck to his Deputies anymore. We talk about responsibility so much in this Party. Lets show an example of this. Maude should he held responsible for his failures in the past year. Francis Maude must go.

I don't think Francis Maude has done a bad job as chairman, but it seems his previous usefulness as a lightning rod to detract criticism away from the leadership has now all but vanished.

I'd be fascinated to know which 'grassroots favourite' the Editor has in mind to replace him as punchbag-in-chief though, given that David Davis, Liam Fox and William Hague are already accounted for.

I am neither pro UKIP or pro Labour I am a true Conservative loyalist who believes in the direction the party is being lead now.
Its a pity that some on this site when there argument can`t do anything else but resort to childish abuse. Grow up gentlemen please!

The replacement would be a big headache. I really can't think of anyone. All I can think of is ex Cabinet ministers who might have some popularity or you promote a shadow minister to it. Would Sir Malcolm Rifkind be interested or is he sticking to foreign affairs now?

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