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The Conservatives talk about bottom up politics. I believe now is the time Cameron should be going round local Associations with an open invitation to all interested parties, especially local newspapers, to attend and describe his vision.

This would keep the LibDem leadership off the front pages and could create a greater influx of members into the local parties.

In general terms I would welcome 'unmanaged' public meetings and conferences by the Conservative Party. they could even use soap boxes if they like!

However, if the party was to undertake such an initiative then it can only be done using the AND theory not as suggested here discussing selective issues.

If the party are not willing to discuss the popular or traditional issues (Health, Crime, Education, Immigration) or constitutional issues (EU and WLQ) it risks creating another wave of discontent.

Furthermore, discussion on the environment and housing could easily be hijacked by linking them to traditional subjects.

On the other hand if they do adopt an AND approach, that could equally cause considerable discontent and embarrassment.

For example, I wouldn't like to be Ken Clarke, Nick Herbert or any of the leadership standing up in front of an English audience to discuss Democracy.

Sadly Tim experience clearly tells us that our MPs and national leadership are wholly uninterested in the views and practical front line experience of our Councillors. The Parliamentarians are far too convinced that only they hold the key to meaningful social change and that any Councillor worth listening to would surely get themselves elected to Parliament.Arrogant, yes, misguided, yes and wasteful of a massive resource, yes, but also very true indeed.

This idea makes extremely good sense to me. I was in my early political career as an Association Chairman and local government activist in London between 1976 and 1979 as Margaret Thatcher began her sweep to power. During those years, London had very regular conferences and policy seminars for all activist members in Parliament and out , put together by the late Geoffrey Finsberg, then MP for Hampstead and London policy coordinator, and Basil (now Lord)Feldman,the incoming Greater London Chairman. All ideas and campaign techniques were welcomed and fully discussed, no matter who produced them, and we swept into the GLC in 1977 led by Horace Cutler, into many of the London Councils in 1978 (when Wandsworth began their glorious years of Tory rule, reaching 30 in 2008), and finally Margaret Thatcher won the 1979 General Election. This was a tested and proven path to power, and should be followed again by David Cameron in the time before we believe Brown will have the nerve to face the electorate. There are so many good ideas among our councillors and others all over the country, which should be shared for the Party's common good. I know those of us who have served so long in the Wandsworth progress would be up for it.

Strongly agree with this. Local politics is our campaign base. We have to move beyond the old contempt about councillors and recognise they do the day to day Conservative donkey work.


I thought we already had these meetings.Regional Conferences. Yorkshire has theirs in Harrogate, November 24th.

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