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Steve Hilton is as bad at setting up new websites as you Mr Editor.

He's already got webcameron which isn't updated as often as it needs to be.

He's got his Platform 10 project on the way and I suspect he'll be dictating posts to Fiona Melville over Notting Hill suppers.

And now this! I will watch with interest to see if they are able to maintain it. My guess is that updates will be regular at first but will tail off as Steve moves on to chase his next lightbulb idea.

I think it's a good website, although the opportunities for interaction are fairly limited. In particular, the "debate" section could be a bit more user-friendly.

They've also revamped the whole Conservatives.com site, which looks a whole lot better.

If the first question sets the tone of "debate" then it will hardly pull in the crowds.

I like the concept.The design is overly complicated,it would be good to see all the comments on one page a la CH. The online polling is a bad idea. An open invitation to trolls and a stupid question.I wouldn't be at all suprised if we have a majority of people voting to keep people on benefit by the end of the day!

conservatives.com looks much better. Good.

Regarding Conservatives.com
I think it is more complicated to find anything. The Useful Links has virtually disappeared. It is there, but under About Us. So that means that all the Party's groups are very difficult to find.

I agree with most of the comments here. The newly skinned main Party looks nice, but the same problem remains. The majority of the content is static and does not change on a daily basis, particularly that huge block on the right. This is not a time or money issue. It could easily be scripted to draw on different elements from the site to populate this column on each new visit. Whilst I think the Party was right to not allow itself to meet demands of the press to fill the policy vacuum, I do wonder whether now is the time to stand up and shout. I suppose its better than 'Listening to Britain', where we spent many hours sat in village halls and other such venues 'Listening to Ourselves.'

Let me first say I think Stand Up Speak Up is a good idea.

However, I am not surprised to say that I am disappointed with the design of the web-site and in particular the design of the polling tab. It seems to me that this has not been thought through properly.

In turn that seems to be a recurring theme when Steve Hilton's name is bandied about.

Given, it is pretty enough and as a web-site sufficiently easy to navigate. The problem is the content and its purpose.

I agree with Malcolm's comments although feel that there could have been benefits from the on-line poll if it had been approached differently and registration for the site had not been so minimalist.

The problem is that it tries to simplify complex related issues in a random manner. It is reminiscent of the typically simplistic intellectually inadequate PR/marketing/advertising approach is so often apparent these days.

Let's take the SJG report.

On the site you can vote for 18 out of 48 policies. I thought SJG had proposed 190 policies? (Has there already been some kind of sift carried out by the party leadership?)

On Alcohol you have no choice at all. Vote for a tax rise or nought.

Yet the final report has three alcohol related recommendations and the 2 supporting reports have numerous additional recommendations that I believe are far more sensible than the idea of raising the current levies on beer, wine and spirits.

In addition, the thread here some days ago indicated there are many other actions that could be taken to reduce alcohol abuse.

So why does the web-site limit the discussion of alcohol abuse down to a tax rise that has probably have helped cost the Conservatives two points in the latest polls?

More generally, the SJG report is an excellent document that sets out a large number of policies. These policies need to be developed into programmes of work which seemingly need to implemented over many years and possibly over the lifetime of more than one government.

The priority, costing, timing and implementation of many of these policies needs to be identified by people who have expertise to do this not by the public.

Once that planning has been done then those policies which affect the initial term should be opened up for debate and not before.

It should not be simplifed at this stage in the way the Stand Up Speak out web-site tries to.

For example, I believe that most of the recommendations I have heard or read about would be helpful in fixing our broken society. Yet I am asked to pick 18 from 48 when I know that most are probably needed over time.

As a result, the Stand Up-Speak Up polling tab gives the impression of being a policy 'tombola' or 'pick n' mix'. This is neither good politics or good government.

To use a jigsaw analogy it is like saying the jigsaw is complete when you have only put together 20 pieces of a 200 piece puzzle.

It would have been better to ask people to rate the policies(e.g 1-5 and Don't Know), indicating if they didn't like a policy why not. It should also provide the option to state what other things they believed would help, if any other than in the comments section?

At least then the leadership would have perhaps received at least some half decent information on which to further their policy selection process. As it is I doubt if this will provide a realistic view at all.

And Snowball looked in at the window and he could not tell which were pigs and which were men.

I am depressingly reminded of the way management fads come and go in private industry. Something becomes fix-of-the-week (remember TQM, anybody?) and you get lots of memos, and meetings, and maybe even posters and pens. Then it all subsides and a few months later everything is as it was before, except that anyone who was mug enough actually to take management at their word and suggest how something could be done better is marked for life as having criticised his betters and might just as well look for a new job straight away (and yes, there is personal experience there).

We do not need websites or votes. What we need are MPs and candidates who are willing to listen to people who in many cases have a special interest in particular subjects and know more about them than anyone in the party hierarchy, and who are then willing to take those opinions on board, rather than simply explaining in a friendly but patronising fashion why nobody cares (Hi there Ms S******n if you're reading).

This initiative will do no good and will probably do harm. What Cameron ought to do is get all his people in a big room and tell them to go out and not only talk to people, but even more, let themselves be talked to. Instead it will be used as an excuse for even more of the smug complacency that has left the party so isolated from popular opinion over the past ten to fifteen years.

While this is positive I worry that it is seen as a substitute for real politics. Most voters have only the vaguest idea of what the SJG report says (they probably only know of the beer tax,). To ask people to respond to 18 questions cannot provide any serious contact with voters particularly in terms of the general view which is the bottom line to joe public.

The party, and I don't just mean a few leaders need to stand up and speak (or yell) to people. I do not understand why Tory comments are limited to the relevant shadow spokesman when Labour leaders regularly pitch in on everything, hence, the get heard far more often. Oh yes, and they also used language that punches points home, e.g. they are saying the Tories are all spin when it's Brown's lot spinning like mad but since the Tory leadership doesn't come out fighting Brown is looking better.

Web sites like this MUST not be seen as a substitute for real politics.

Web sites like this MUST not be seen as a substitute for real politics.

I quite agree with this, David - and as you probably know, this is only one facet of the Stand Up, Speak Up campaign. The other, and more important, angle is that Associations across the country have been asked to get constituents involved, organising public events to discuss policy and to get input. An expanded version of the old CPF, if you will, but involving the wider public which can only be a positive.

Real politics, as you so rightly put it, is done on the ground - and we all have a role to play in getting people engaged in that.

In terms of the website, I think that the debate forums will bear more fruit than the online votes in terms of pointing the way to good ideas, perhaps some of which we hadn't even considered before. I think the key issue with the website is not the design, but is ensuring that the views from it are used in a constructive way and communicated internally.

I LOVE the new conservatives.com layout. Very professional and very attractive.

This campaign could go either way. I'll take part, and I hope it can create a strong set of policies, but we really need a foundation, not just a bunch of ideas thrown into a manifesto. So we'll have to see how this pans out.

Well this is a part of a bigger picture and in that sense good, but I agree with those that warn it must not be a substitute for clear and strong articulation of where we want to take Britain and our ideas, especially when our opponents are trying to portray us as gimmicky. I understand the position the party is in, given that in the past when we announced things Labour nicked them and pretended they were theirs. In light of this I can see that it was clever to extend the policy formulation and string out the announcements but this has been going on a long time now. Also there is a danger that by the time we get to the real meat of our good ideas people will have switched off or been sidetracked or we will have fallen behind and the public settled into a view of us. I am a big supporter of a more modern party and broadening our appeal but I just want this to happen now in a practical gritty way. Of course its important to position ourselves in peoples perceptions and in terms of the spectrum of left-right but only so along as we are going to clearly say what we stand for. We had a good lift when DC became leader and people liked what DC was saying and they wanted more. He was (is) forward looking and positive and we did well in the polls as a result (more than a bounce, it lasted a good length of time) but they do want to know more and were waiting for us to bring this to life. They won't wait around much longer in my view before settling in their opinion of us. There is a timing to life and some people have a feel for that. My feeling says we have to move up a gear now and stop messing around,


Oh God, that hideous green is still there. I find the width of the site annoying and it's hardly exciting is it?

The poll on the SUSU site has no restriction so anyone can vote 'no' as many times as they want...

The name itaself is a rip off of footballs anti racism campaign of the same name and this is a fad. A joke site that will get into the press for the ease to which people can slag off the Tories to their hearts content.

Whats happened to the Conservative Policy Forum? Is there a point to it anymore.

I have looked at the new Stand Up & Speak Up site and selected my options on the offered choices.

However, there is no facility to comment/offer opinion on possible policies outside of the Social Justice field.

Where do I get to know about draft Tory manifesto thoughts on other subject areas - such as EU, WLQ, immigration, defence, crime, etc, etc?

Where do I get to know about draft Tory manifesto thoughts on other subject areas - such as EU, WLQ, immigration, defence, crime, etc, etc?

You could wait a long time for that opportunity.

Like all good barristers (which I daresay many of them are) our PC masters know in advance what the answers are likely to be.

Hanging, flogging, and Powellite responses to questions on immigration are things they desperately want to avoid.

BTW I'd love to know what the guy (either changetowin or bluepatriot?) who believes that ALL publicity is a boost for Cameron would have to say about that.

More likely they'll restrict you to a carefully vetted list of bland responses.

Traditional Tory | July 16, 10:57

I put some comments to the Democracy Task Force section of the party website.
Just got email reply:
"Delivery Status Notification (Failure)"


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