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Hmmm. Given the froth and bile directed at the DC Project by most of the regulars, I'd say that the lesson here is that (among a self-selected polling group, admittedly) 86.1 percent don't feel that CH.com is critical ENOUGH of the Leadership.

"The other encouraging finding is that only 13.9% think the site is too critical of the leadership. Although Sam and I are encouraged by this result it is our intention to work harder to ensure voices that support Project Cameron appear more regularly on YourPlatform".

We can hardly be blamed for criticising the leadership over the grammar schools' fiasco. It was a disaster but if they learn from their mistakes (and admit them), we will no doubt come back on board. It will be a good test to see whether DC has listened.

I would have been interested enough in reading the education policy group's findings in any event but I will now be doubly interested. Who is heading it up, by the way?

It would be great if CCO took note of the first two findings and acted accordingly.

Amazed that presumably 35% of CH users find conservatives.com more interesting than CH. Why? It has no interactivity, there is no debate,it is essentially just a mass of press releases. I had hoped that with the appointment of the chap (who I understand has now left) who was responsible for webcameron that conservatives.com would become more interesting. Sadly for me that has not been the case but it does seem that some people like it.Anyone know how the traffic compares to that of CH?

Anything that gives grass roots Conservatives (not Cameroons) a chance to express their profound disquiet about the way the party is going under Dave must be a good thing.

I think that some respondents (myself included) will have made a distinction between the site (ie the articles) and the comments. On that basis the site is good but the comments are often littered with UKIP supporters deliberately stirring up trouble (and the media picking up on it). This has been going on for many months and long before the grammar school thing. There are too many anonymous and unpleasant posts and this is a big weakness of blogs if we are really going to see a blooming of constructive debate on the internet,


I notice only 7 people commented on the childcare discussion thread on Wednesday. Is that the extent of grass roots opinion on the isssue?
I would like to see the 100 policies debate re-activated

What I like is the magazine/pamphlet quality of the site as it allows people to write articles/posts and then see them published for everyone else to read.

It saves people having to set up their own site/blog especially if they only want to write occassionally or on a specific subject.

There is nothing else like it on the web.

I never read Conservative Home comments because I don't know who the people are or what their agenda is.

I think it's a bad move to have a comments column because when you've only to look at the grammar school debate when the BBC and the press used Conservative Home as an example of conservative activists being highly dissatisfied with Cameron.

Who are these dissatisfied people? Probably Labourites, LDs and UKIP who know they will be quoted as Conservatives.

I'm an activist (is that really true? Who knows) and the grammar school issue has barely been discussed between us and there is very little in the local press at Folkestone.

NB I will read the comments column once more to see the reaction, if any, to this post.

Well done Tim and Sam, you've obviously got something right, which means many in authority will find you a pain in the ass.
Keep up the good work, allowing a platform for those that are not activists but want a voice.

Although the site is unmissable, one reads it with gritted teeth a lot of the time. I can understand why Mike Smithson calls you ContinuityIDS.

The site would benefit from a wider variety of conservative viewpoints.

On a technical level, i do have to say i find it difficult to navigate - there is too much going on.

I agree it's the comments that let the site down.

Far from being an adult political forum it often turns to childish bickering; usually by people hiding their true identity or pretending to be 'Tories' when they are clearly anything but.

This is a problem for any 'blog' that is attempting to mature into a serious forum.

Newspaper letters pages and the main media websites are much more carefully monitored for fake commentators and ramping.

This comes down to Tims team, who really should consider either obliging full registration so that he holds genuine contact details from posters, or restricting comments to members of the party and/or the site, or editing comments before they are published.

"Anything that gives grass roots Conservatives (not Cameroons) a chance to express their profound disquiet about the way the party is going under Dave must be a good thing."

Anything that makes us look split and divided when we're not is a good thing?

The grammar schools debate has just shown how narrow-minded a lot of the grass roots are. Since the 1970s we have opposed grammar schools constantly, yet it's only now that people are in uproar.

Why would this be? Because we're looking like a party of government again, not a right wing pressure group. Some parts of the grass roots are holding us back on this one.

The majority of members are very happy with DC and more importantly the public are. This site does get a higher proportion of loonies.

I am relieved to see that you intend to work harder to ensure voices that support Project Cameron appear more regularly on YourPlatform and to provide more news coverage of announcements by the shadow cabinet - I had begun to think this site should be rebranded as 'Conservative Outdoors' with a strong desire to remain there!

The website is fine as it is. Admittedly I do not post as often as I did, but I still read all the articles.

anonymous @ 10.59. Sorry - decided not to read your post as I don't know who you are or what your agenda is.

I read CH with interest and find it a useful venue to share views. What I do find curious is the practise of putting up comments under assumed names. I have to wonder why that is.

If you are not prepared to stand behind your comments why make them? Do you not have the courage of your convictions?

Or are those people afraid that by openly expressing contrary views opportunities for candidate selection will be blocked?

Dissenting voices need to be listened to. This is a problem that all leaderships have and Project Cameron is no exception.

Those who speak out do so because they can see flaws in a plan that comes from bitter experience (Been there got the tee shirt).

Change is inevitable and necessary. It is how that change is managed that matters. Project Cameron has overwhelming support in the party at large (remember the membership vote???), however has been inept in managing change.

Can I suggest that if the leadership want to lead, to get the party shouting on your behalf, then listen to those who "complain" find out what the concerns are. Don't criticise those who criticise. Chances are they are doing it from a love of the party and a desire to avoid pitfalls that others have seen elsewhere. Above all don't insult loyal and hardworking members of the party by reducing yourself to intemperate language such as we saw in the Grammar school debate. A wholly pointless argument brought on by the leadership itself.

I never read Conservative Home comments because I don't know who the people are or what their agenda is.

A powerful, well reasoned argument stands on its own. Names and agendas are incidental.

These findings are roughly what I would have guessed they would be. The site is a credit to Tim and Sam.

I think I would agree with the other posters about anonymous posters. The trolls do ruin debate in so many threads. People really should post under their own names as well. Add more credibilty to their posts.

Tim & Sam, I applaud your intention to censor some of the more puerile and abusive comments. There is a case too for not allowing anonymous contributions.

I don't think we are too critical of Cameron - but I do think that he is too critical of us.

He pays lip service to the idea of democracy so he should be happy with the way 'conservativehome' works. It is democracy in action.

Malcolm 09.58 - if you are interested in a debate you can have one on Webcameron. DC sometimes joins in!
Matt Wright 10.04, Anon 10.59, Marcus Wood 11.11, Michael Rutherford 11.18, Jessica Salter 11.20 : Well said all!Some commentators in the MSM think that the comments posted here are typical of Tory members. Our enemies are quick to use this to undermine DC.Perhaps there should be some way for posters to register their party membership (or none).

Good to see so many postings under their real names. Could this be a brave new world for CONHOME??

Perdix, I enjoy looking at Webcameron. I do think there is huge room for improvement with conservatives.com 'though.

I would like to see threads talking about local elections. We had some good results yesterday. We need to share insights into what works.

I think it's fine to be anonymous. Some Conservatives will want to criticise the leadership without fear of reprisals. Others who support the leadership, as I do, may want to be free to comment without it leading to accusations of currying favour.

I must just point out that because Conservative Home readers think that they are the grassroots, does not in fact make them the grassroots. Not to belabour the point, but opinion polls regularly show a far higher level of support amongst the actual grassroots for Cameron and content with him than one finds on ConservativeHome, especially in the comments sections.

A self-selecting survey doesn't mean an awful lot in that regard.

Really Tory T, which polls are those? Most CH polls have shown 70% plus support for DC which I would have thought is quite accurate in terms of grassroots support. I haven'yt seen any other polls which measure the 'grassroots' opinion.Please enlighten me.
As regards anonymous posters, I generally as I've said on another thread attach far more weight to the opinions of those posters who have the courage to post under their real names. I have been blogging on this site for about 2 years and during all the time that we could simply scroll over posters names to email them I only received 1 abusive mail despite having many arguments on various threads.

Malcolm: politicalbetting.com usually reports on all the polls. For named leader questions satisfaction with Cameron is in the upper eighties, iirc. "Almost all" Conservative voters stick with the party when his name is mentioned. This is a much higher figure than for the LDs and Lab with their respective leaders.

If you read only the ConHome comments - and yes, occasionally the editorials - you would think there was grassroots dissatisfaction with his leadership. Poll after poll tells us there is not.

A fantastic result for a fantastic site and the finding that only 13.9% think the site is too critical of the leadership proves what many of us have been saying all along.

CH is not just representative of the grassroots. CH is the grassroots.

I never read Conservative Home comments because I don't know who the people are or what their agenda is.

I always post under my real name and I doubt if my identity, Conservative Party record, or general opinions are hard to find on the web. If you are really interested you could start with Hansard online.

malcolm: Amazed that presumably 35% of CH users find conservatives.com more interesting than CH.

Proves 35% of you are CCHQ trolls! :)

If you are really interested you could start with Hansard online.

Wow! Praised by Blair! I'm surprised Dave hasn't called you in for a high-level consultation

The very last thing we need is another site pretending that to be a 'serious forum' you have force people to reveal their identities and censor their opinions.

The comparison with the newspaper sites is a good one - I no longer post there because I know that it will take two hours to get a post up, the post to which I am replying will be lost in a sea of later posts that all go live together, and if I express my self as I want my post may simply not appear.

This site has been extraordinarily successful because it does not moderate unless things really deteroriate, does not direct its users to follow a given line and does not punish those who disagree with the leadership. Rough and tumble is healthy democracy in action.

Despite that it attracts senior party figures as well as rank and file MPs and councillors because they know it's power, if the fear is that they will no longer come because the atmosphere can get a little like a Dickensian pub that's fair comment but I don't believe it.

Better what you have now than a site where senior figures won't come because the rabble have moved on, even though the introduction of heavy moderation and identity would mean party figures 'engaging' here would be recording a press conference in effect. That's what the offical site is for, no?

That's right T&E, but one of the two factions here (guess which one) seems to have found the ideal method of pressurising the site owners.

They bleat loudly that they are being silenced and harrassed by 'trolls', accuse the editors of anti-party bias and threaten to sulk in their tents for the foreseeable future.

90% of the anti-CH comments here come solely from one faction. Guess which?

A great blog. Please do not give way to pressure groups who want us to regain power at all costs. We must become the party of government because we deserve it, not because we campaign in disguise as liberal leftists.
I am very worried about Darfur. I would rather Cameron produce some strong thoughts on that than waffling about a ban on endangered timber. We all know that will not happen for very many years. In Darfur people are being killed and dying of starvation today - and tomorrow.

Sorry Tory T.I have spent the last half hour going the political betting.com (good site) and cannot find them commenting about any polls other than the usual national polls of the electorate from MORI,yougov etc, which are not polls of 'the grassroots'. I can also find no reference to what you describe as 'named leader' or any reference to Cameron polling in the 80%s. Am I being thick (not unusual) or am I looking in the wrong place?

Marcus Wood I think you make some very good points. The trolls do spoil threads from time to time - invariably on the subject either of Europe or the Middle East.
Perhaps the editorial team might think about not playing into their hands by debating those two subjects quite so often?

There are several very good reasons why some of us post under noms de plume (but consistently the same, so regulars can "get to know us"). I have stated these before, but as it has come up again:

1. I have had experience when posting in the past on other sites of my comments by name then coming up on internet searches mixed up with entries connected with my (non-political) line of work. I want to keep the two things separate thank you. This would be the same with most people with any substantive and/or in the least public facing job these days.

2. If I was still involved in standing for public office, I would not want to hand the weapon of selective (mis)quotation to any political opponent who trawls this site. Free flowing discussion does not allow, and would not be helped by, editing every comment with that possibility in mind.

3. One can sometimes be more frank on matters involving personal experience (sexual mores, religious beliefs, the divorce laws (!)) than if there is the possibility that people who know you might read it under your own name.

4. Some of us occasionally post when we should be working for our employers!

5. You can't be victimised for your views either within the party or outside; but, at the same time, us "regulars" do have reputations to protect, in my case under "Londoner" - a separate reputation from my own.

I had no problem with seeing the internet addresses - set up one specially for such political postings - and it was quite good occasionally to be able to continue a discussion/debate off-line. It only happened two or three times, and I never got any junk mail.

I also think registration with the site as to whether people are party members or not might be a useful addition (I am). However, if you don't know it is easier for the party to disown any outrageous comments, so I am not even convinced of that.

All good points Londoner

All good points from me too, BUT my point still stands there are many people who post on this blog some of whom have executive positions within the party or who are candidates etc who have the courage to reveal their true selves. Their views carry much more weight with me than those who don't.
I'm as you may have noticed as guilty as hell of point 4. As regards the others I simply don't care (about myself).

"Tim... should consider either obliging full registration so that he holds genuine contact details from posters, or restricting comments to members of the party and/or the site, or editing comments before they are published." - Marcus 11.11

I absolutely disagree. The openness and easy access of this site is it's greatest strength.


I'm not great with internet googling, but every time a new poll comes outr pb.com covers it. In depth, which means it looks at what they call headline figures (Con Lab LD) and then "named leader" where the question is "And if the next election your choice is for a Conservative party led by David Cameron, a Labour party led by Gordon Brown and a LibDem party led by Sir Menzies Campbell, whom would you vote for?" This "leader question" usually sees a shift from the headline patterns.

In the "leader question" more Conservative voters say they will vote Conservative than Labour voters say they will vote Labour etc. In other words, Brown's and Ming's name's prompt drifts from their party, and Cameron's prompts both loyalty from Conservatives and some switching from Labour actually to the Conservatives.

Polling companies break it down by who answered "Con" in the main voting question. Those are Conservative voters, the real "grassroots", and their approval of David Cameron is absolutely overwhelming.

Named leader questions suggest the effect that a GE campaign will have, when the media is saturated with the images and speeches of all three leaders. For the last year, Cameron has consistently done best, often by large leads.

and their approval of David Cameron is absolutely overwhelming.

You are like a stuck record on this. Anyway the reason is obvious.

Blair is a busted flush whose collar has been felt by the police and Brown is not yet a party leader ('if' polls are utterly futile on this score). Ming has been a total washout. In the circumstances it's hardly surprising that Cameron has some 'edge'

But in this country people vote for and against parties rather than personalities. In 1979 they wanted Labour out because of their obvious incompetence. It wasn't Maggie's personality that won that election.

Some of these people may love Cameron (although I meet remarkably few - and none outside the party) but I'll wager they love their suppers a good deal better.

Have you ever stopped to consider how utterly nerdish is this obsession with obscere nuances of polls? Why not read tealeaves instead?

This has been a great site from its first launch. Right from the start IMO there has been a great deal of what one might call "sceptical" opinion (i.e. not only sceptical about the EU but Cameron and a lot of the modernisers' agenda).

I cannot recall a single occasion when pressure to debate the site's content, to edit or censor it, or to ban contributors or force them to reveal their identities has come from the sceptics. That demand seems to me to always come from Cameroon modernisers (although I must admit not all of them).

If the Editor wants to circumscribe debate fair enough; that presumably is his prerogative. It would however IMO emasculate this site and to many intents and purposes render it a lot less worth visiting.

Londoner's (14.47) comment summarises my reasons for relative anonymity perfectly. I am afraid I would just not be able to post anyway near as freely and widely - and certainly not as much - under my real name.

Given the title of this post... my answer is that CH is great but needs searchable archives, please, editor if you're listening. Also, what happened to 100 policies? Do you need some more?

Thank you Tory T.I still can't find these statistics you mention on pb.com.)I've gone back three months). Is the named leader stuff in the comments section rather than in Smithsons coverage? I don't have time to look at all the comments, pb.com get's many more comments than CH.

Malcolm - I agree that well known party or public figures posting under their own names do sometimes carry more weight (or on occasion reveal their limitations!), but I take it from that that you do not object to those of us who do it the other way if we are prepared to accept that lack of "weight". At least when people agree with us we know it is on merit.

Now that you are I think an elected Councillor, I do think you might consider my original point 2. I am not sure if you consider your posts on here anonymous or not but, although all your opinions are usually entirely reasonable, could a Labour opponent, for instance, carpet you for self-confessedly misusing your employer's time (see above)? Could they say: "we assume no claptrap from Cllr XXXXX about higher productivity being required in the Council's offices when he wastes his own employers' time on blogs?" Just a thought - not hostile to you at all Malcolm as I am sure you appreciate.

ConHome is great, including the comments threads. Sometimes things turn nasty but usually it's great fun and very illuminating. A bit like real life really. It's also right that it has its own editorial personality which most of those of us who do not go all the way with its "theocon" tendencies have no problem with.

I didn't vote in last month's survey but try to do so each month, however, my answers wouldn't have altered the reported results.

This site has been a godsend for me in its coverage of Conservative politics from most angles (I do think the One Nationers are underrepresented) and has challenged me sufficiently to move my politics more to the centre and to join the party.

As for registration, I am not sure it is necessary. I haven't seen enough trolls camping out here to merit it; and also wouldn't registration just show that we are following the present Government's mania for control? [On an IT aside, if it would involve cookies I would no longer be able to post].

Anyway, well done Tim and Sam. Now where is my mug?

I don't see the point in constantly criticising and nagging away at the conservative leadership, since most of the media - certainly TV, spend their time trying to rubbish most things conservative! When there is a particular subject such as grammar schools - more or less, then that is different, but even though that subject seems to have more less run its course on this site - thank goodness, as usual the interviewers etc: on TV keep dragging it up again.

I think one should be highlighting the areas where the government which is in power, is demonstrating that it is inefficient, wasteful, mendacious and misleading, since all these things ARE or HAVE BEEN actually happening to the detriment of the general public. Whereas a PROPOSED policy, such as the one on grammar schools, is only proposed at this stage - discussion, yes, but not endless.

But then as I suppose I would qualify as a 'grassroots' person, what do I know!

Sorry but I don't have much respect for people who don't have the guts to use their real names. We are only put on this world once, you either beleive in what you do and what you are saying or you don't. If we believe in democracy we have a duty and a social responsibility to be open,


I think CH is a great site and it is good that its not afraid to make criticism when necessary. I think it does give ground roots members, a voice.
Mr Cameron does need to learn that his position is to represent the people in his party and the people who voted for him, and not to impose his will, but the will of the people, not follow the 'Blair' dictatorial road - we have all had enough of it. Its alright to try to modenise the Conservative Party but many of oiur basic beliefs were very creditable. We want to move away from the Nanny State and the constant daily issuing of new rules and regulations, give us all a chance to think for ourselves, not be afraid to have an opinion and to get on with living helping those who need help and giving others the opportunity to look after themselves. It makes me cringe when I hear that Divid Cameron is reported to be considering himself Blairs Heir - God help us.

Matt Wright - you could be right - I would like to have the CCO job titles for Jack Stone and Tory T etc.

Peregrine, we have them delivered but the holders to send them out in haven't been delivered! Watch this space..

Sorry but I don't have much respect for people who don't have the guts to use their real names.

I suppose what you mean is that some pseudonymous posters are bugging you. Well that's just too bad.

If their views are rubbish you'll have no trouble demolishing them.

The problem is, is it not, that it is the 'Roon view of the world that constantly takes a pasting?

Anonymous @ 10:59

Apropos the Grammar School debate and whether non-Conservative posters have given a false impression of the party, later quoted as representative opinion of the Conservative Party in the media and BBC, can I say that we certainly gave the GS debate a good going over in Milton Keynes.

It was discussed and I would say that by and large the general dissatisfaction with the whole issue (not necessarily grammar schools per se) here in MK was reflected on here (ConservativeHome).

So from my point of view ConservativeHome can be taken as a reasonable reflection of the grass root opinion. Despite others' misgivings, I'd say the view on Europe or more accurately the EU was fairly accurate, too.

Full marks to Tim and Sam for what is an astonishing achievement.

I agree with Marcus Wood @ 11.11:

"Far from being an adult political forum it often turns to childish bickering; usually by people hiding their true identity or pretending to be 'Tories' when they are clearly anything but.

This is a problem for any 'blog' that is attempting to mature into a serious forum".

There is always the danger that, access to the blog being so open, those who only want to be spoilers can monopolise the proceedings.

I do not object to anonymous posters but, like Marcus, I would like the thoughts of genuine supporters of the tory party to feed into the shaping of party policy.

This can only happen if we are allowed to be open in criticism of matters such as the grammar school issue that we do not agree with and, secondly, if debate is encouraged to reach conclusions and not just peter out.

Matt Wright @ 21:04 on 8 June - I couldn't agree with you more and that's why I always post under my real name - though amusingly I have heard "through the grapevine" that some people don't think I am really me but am the "nom de plume" for someone else! Not true - I really am a middle-aged female activist from Hammersmith!

What I didn't say in my comment yesterday, was how much I enjoy reading through the various threads on this site. I am always telling people what a fantastic site this is, with all sorts of links, so that if one could spend 24hrs on it, one would not get bored.

I know a little old lady who has macular degeneration and therefore cannot read, and she is always very interested to hear of various comments.

Thank you Tim and Sam!

The fact that so many readers do not feel that the site is over critical of the readership merely shows how divorced from the party they are. Probably in a different party in fact. The idea that we should not be criticising the other parties more (only 30%) is further proof that most posters here are non-conservatives, this is not something to be proud of, it is something to be ashamed of.

Whenever I see this being described as the grassroots I know that is a complete lie, this site is the voice of non conservative troublemakers.

I should also add that the element of the site that I most use is the link to news articles/blogs, that saves me a lot of time and effort.

On the anonymous issue there are some jobs where being party political is frowned upon and it's best to be on the safe side.

Anonymous comments, or the use of a nom de plume should not be allowed. I am surprised that the management continues to print them. Why do people do it? I am not afraid to make my name known.

A couple of points Cardinal. I usually agree with you on most things but I'm interested to know why you think this site is made up mostly of people from other parties. Do you have any evidence for that or are you making a completely baseless assertion for which you should humbly apologise to Tim and Sam?
Interested to which jobs you think it is frowned upon to be a Conservative. I doubt even the BBC would fire someone for that.

"Interested to which jobs you think it is frowned upon to be a Conservative. I doubt even the BBC would fire someone for that."

For pretty much any job in the public sector (or quasi-public sector), to have views other than those of the Guardian or Independent you will be regarded as suspect. Same applies to those working for firms that get most of their business from the state.

malcolm - a bit late replying, my apologies.

I was being rather intemperate I feel, it's just a few who post endlessly, who either have no life or who indeed are put up to it by those who would benefit most from spreading discord. Most posters are most definitely within conservative strands of opinion, it really is just the very vocal minority to which I referred. Unfortunately the vociferousness of that minority is taken as being representative.

I didn't mean to suggest that there were jobs where it was a bad idea to be connected to a particular party, just that being party political of any colour is frowned upon as an element of neutrality is preferred.

On anonymity, at the risk of labouring points made already, I am in the private sector and colleagues know I am a Conservative party member, that is no problem. However, if a client or contact of my firm, in connection with which my name is given on websites, press releases etc, were to Google me and find a whole load of comments on Tory Party matters from this site, mixed up with the references to me in my professional capacity, they would regard that as unhelpful and I would regard it as very inhibiting. The same would be true, I imagine, of a barrister in private practice, which presumably was partly why someone like "Gareth" (who used to post on here regularly but now is probably too busy (or too wise) as a Birminghim City Councillor) never gave him surname even though it was widely known on the site who he was.

The inhibition point would also apply if I intended standing as a local Councillor, for instance. Why give your opponents that potential ammunition?

In any event, surely the essence of debate is the quality of the contribution, not who it is from.

Anonymity is useful for many understandable reasons. On balance, I would find it a regrettable loss of some interesting comments if it was banned.
Anyway, how do we know if those who are purporting to be posting under their “own” names are genuine, unless we happen to know them?
What I find frustrating is the spitefulness of some of the contributions from those who clearly wish us no good. Enemies of our party should not be given the oxygen of publicity here!
Sadly, some of the most vindictive comments really DO come from actual Conservative members, who should be less irresponsible. A minority seem to be more interested in insulting anyone who holds views different from their own, regardless of any damage inflicted on the standing of our party.
The editors quite rightly prevent abusive posts - perhaps there should be a requirement that we should only be allowed to be published if we have serious (and relevant?) points to add to the debates and without disrespect to others who might not agree.

Nevertheless, this is a great site providing a greatly appreciated service to supporters.

Thanks a lot for all your comments, Tim and I will sit down and discuss them.

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