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Please do not have the entire board from or based in London

Tim & Sam,

An excellent move, which will enhance the already growing and serious reputation of your site. I would suggest that you might also consider running a fixed trial period for your plans and publishing your findings and inviting feedback prior to fixing the system.

Other questions:
- Board members should they be completely passive with regards to the site itself, i.e. no blogging or commenting (sounds harsh, but for impartiallity, possibly required)?
- Board member requirements? Party Member?

Moderation is only good in moderation - it tends to kill sites off in my experience. There's nothing quite like real time debate to sharpen one's enjoyment of a website - and nothing like waiting for moderators to process replies to deaden it.

I agree t and e, there's a balance there and I don't think we're far from it as things are.

On point 1. So how many people have had reason to complain about the site ? and if you allow people to censor you how can you be objective about any subject ?

On point 2. Does this mean past surveys havent been conducted with proffesional integrity ?

On point 3. Advise or instruct surely the site should be led by its users or news of the day. Not spin led by the Tory party if we wanted to read spin we would just read the papers.

Re "As ConservativeHome continues to grow Sam Coates... and I are conscious of the need to ensure that we are fair to all of the people in the party whose policies and reputations we discuss." Does this mean you have been leant on?

A very timely move! Well done Tim and Sam.

Vote Freedom:

1. Barely any
2. No
3. It is being partially led by users by having three of them on the board.

Bill, we've had this in mind for a long time - it's just a way to help people trust in the site's integrity. Just because we don't publish on trees doesn't mean we don't have standards.


I think this site has excellent standards, editorial and otherwise.

Leading the way as usual

I think this is a fantastic move. It seems clear to me that the blogosphere needs to move into it's next phase. There is no doubt that sites like ConHome are now very influential.

With moves like this it ensures that integrity will increase.

Fantastic move, I hope it all goes well!

Definitely a good move, in light of the doubts raised about the credibility and accountability of the blogosphere in recent months.

One question though - given that Stephan Shakespeare and the editor are quite close associates, with a very similar political outlook, is he an appropriate choice to chair the board?

TomTom is right - make sure that there are board members from across the country.

Where as the Labour party controlled the newspapers and television / radio in the 90's I see the Tories have gone for the internet now.

I would suggest this site is as independent as the party line allows it to be. And this process like many others the Tories do. Will be just window dressing on a process. As we still await any firm policies we await to see a site which actually breaks the political mould. Instead of having threads on what to call a subject or how to tinker with existing subjects Why ? Don't you try to lead the way in making policy ideas.

It always seems like a controled sense of freedom on this site. The leash is always there felt around your neck and I guess this grouping will be a way of allowing the leash to be pulled more quickly.

Will the three elected board members be chosen from an a list with a 50% female quota?

In all seriousness this is a good move. I share Tomtoms views about the new board members being from and based in London. Would be good to have some countrywide representation.

Vote Freedom: I'm not sure the party leader will see CH in the same light as the 'media' were for New Labour, and I doubt WebCameron, just now at any rate, are worrying the media barons.

Having said that, and despite the odd (but rare) slight fustration I feel sometimes abour Editorials here, I would have CH any minute, or any day of week, over the Labour-BBC mutual promote pact, or, worse, being a 'News International' lapdog.

Please accept TomTom's point - have at least 2 of the board from outside the M25.

Given Sean Fear's excellent article about the local election results and the problems in parts of the North, especially in Gods own county of Yorkshire, could I suggest that someone from the Urban areas of Yorkshire is included.

VF, if you mean will you be allowed to promote BNP "policy" and attitudes here then I very much hope the answer is no.

We should strike the right balance between welcome constructive dissenters with something to say, who argue their case but are sometimes positive (ie who have open minds) like the Labour-supporting Comstock, for example, and those site disruptors whose only reason to post is to rubbish David Cameron and party policy and to promote their own agenda, like Chad (YHN) or the various BNP trolls we've had.

These people and their parties would ban me if I went to their websites and never posted anything other than an attack on their party platform and their leaders. They are hypocrites uninterested in debate.

I would like to see a few more non-Tories posting like you get at PoliticalBetting to engage with the opposition, but not if their sole raison d'etre is to have a go at David Cameron.

I would also suggest that where a person's reputation is concerned, such as Seats & Candidates, posts that attack that candidate with a personal smear should be required to be non-anonymous. That way there is accountability for traducing somebody else's good name.

Tory T,

At least the BNP have policies I guess that is a concern for the Tories who flounder on the ones they do have and cant think up names for any others. But that aside is the site purely a Tory love in or does it wish commentary from all sides of the community. There is after all over a million BNP voters. And considering both labour and tories enjoy making headlines with immigration statements but never actually doing anything and have caused the influx... anyway this is aside from the thread.

I hope the site allows in some form representation from all views of the political spectrum. With labour and tories fighting for the same middle ground all other positions seem to go unheard. Because unlike what Tory T may say, Nationalist forums are much more open in debate than any others. I find just the mere mention of the party I vote for gets me banned. And I am not even given the chance to comment.

An excellent idea guys. Will there be any kind of term limiting?? I say this because, especially for the elected members, it would probably be good to have some form of continued accountability for the board itself.

Oh dear, talk about taking yourself a little too seriously.

An excellent move at the right time as the site continues to grow and becomes ever more popular. I think that we see less trolls these days and more visits from posters not necessary in the Conservative camp like Comstock which all adds to some constructive and interesting threads.
Can't promise that I won't still fire off the occasional "crabbit" post, but it would not be a truly grass roots site if we could not do that from time to time.
Hopefully if all posters on the site pull together and respect the rules to aid self regulation so that moderation will be kept to minimum.

Its your site guys, so do whatever you choose but my view is why change something that works so well?

How about when you get taken to court over various "liable" issues??? Will the board decide who gets the chop and who should pay the bill and most importantly who will go bankrupt??

But make sure your creativity doesn't become stiffled by bureaucracy ;)

I guess the site will now drift into the bland monoculture mediocrity which politics now espouses: with its own politburo to keep it on the Cameroon line. How sad it is now to be policed and muzzled by the very forces it had liberated the grass-roots from. Another symptom of the distance the central party has moved away from its own supporters, and of its control over dissenters. No wonder many like me have ended our membership after a lifetime. RIP ConservativeHome, RIP Conservative Party.

I take the point about northern members and one or two folk based in the north have already offered to be candidates for board membership. It partly depends, of course, upon who readers as a whole are willing to elect!

Tam and others shouldn't worry about this site's editorial independence. Sam, Stephan and I are pretty independent-minded individuals - we'll continue to say it as we see it but also by avoiding unfairness to individuals who are fellow Conservatives.

Thanks Tim - that is good to know. Independence is its life-blood.

These are very welcome moves that I am sure will entrench the site for the future.

A great sentiment, but, ever the cynic, if you two are picking three of the members, and Mr Shakespeare is there chairing it as well, the "placemen" will rather have control of the rudder - it isn't going to be entirely independent is it?

I don't think the 'grassroots' has found a new confidence. Clearly we have been able to exert no influence whatsoever over the Grammar School issue and have instead been told we are 'deluded' and that debate is 'pointless'.
As someone who feels that to be successful we need to generally support the leadership ( constantly undermining the leader as we have in the past has proved disastrous)I I feel pretty despondent.There has been absolutely no attempt to engage with the grassroots here and little attempt to try and sell what appears to me to be a pretty weak policy. To then go to the media and insult those who disagree is a recipe for disaster.

Sorry Tim, I posted the above on the wrong thread. Is there any chance you can move it please?

Who owns ConHome? Who pays the bills?

Good that you are seeking to expand further.

Not so good if this excellent blog is to be restrained by a Politburo.

The reason why many people now read blogs, often in preference to the established press is that they off a fresh perspective as well as variety in their comment threads.

Please allow that variety of views to be reflected on this site even if they are deemed "unacceptable" by the leadership.

I think the balance between allowing as many views as possible and ocassionally deleting the downright offensive is about right now.

Any attempt to make this too establishment orientated will simply turn off the readers

Congrats to the editorial team for leading from the front in the blogosphere and planning to make CONHOME a positive forum for debate.

Totally agree with Tory T. If it means we no longer have to read the rants of the BNP and UKIP'ers then it will be a welcome change.

Vote Freedom, if you don't like the new site rules, don't post here!

Sorry Malcolm: We can't move comments but we can delete them if you'd like.

Interested: Stephan and Rosamund Shakespeare own ConservativeHome and pay most of the bills.

I would like to see better standards of writing, conforming to journalistic standards.

I think the standard of writing here is very good Kevin.

I suppose the difficulty of a site like this is that it's bound to show up any weaknesses in Party Policy. People aren't going to write in or argue if they agree.

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