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There've been some superb pieces and I would be pushed to choose my favourites - but I think Nirj Deva, Jeremy Hunt and Paul Goodman probably top my list. I suppose the "lows" have to comprise the fixation on the Europe theme and the rather stupid postings and name calling that resulted - let's hope 2008 represents a moving on from this!

A regular complaint is that most of the Shadow Cabinet is invisible. Again in the run up to this months survey, nothing from the Shadow Cabinet.

One interesting thing to come up is a lack of communication within the Shadow Cabinet/Minister framework. Tim Loughton MP revealed on the Michael Gove interview thread that Michael Gove has not approached him to discuss looked after children, despite it being in both their portfolios and Loughton having a personal interest in the issue. Its the first time that its been openly admitted. Im sure Loughton isnt the only one frozen out of the policy process.

This is the best political website anywhere. The standard of debate is always light years ahead of other sites. I particularly like the way that opinion is challenged on ConservativeHome. No-one is allowed to come on and make vacuous statements without being held up to scrutiny. In other words, and please excuse my French, no-one gets away with writing bullshit on ConservativeHome. That is what gives this website the edge. There is nothing else like it on the web.

I think this has been an excellent year for this site. I thought the zenith was reached during what was probably the worst moment of the year for the party during the Grammar School fiasco. Hundreds of Conservatives put forward their often very diverse views. The vast majority of those opinions were aired in a responsible and grown up manner.
I couldn't disagree with you more about the European question Sally.Sooner or later this party will have to debate the subject properly. Attempts to sweep it under the carpet as we have done for the past few years are doomed to fail. I would agree with you that it would be better if the debate conducted in a grown up manner.

Pains me to say it folks but

"This is the best political website anywhere...... There is nothing else like it on the web."

is the truth. I only stumbled across it by accident as well.

The local elections would be my pick of the year. I was involved as a counting assistant, finished about 1am then came back to watch the results on Sky News and here. Apart from sleep time and a couple of walks to get away from the screen I think I logged off around lunch time on Saturday :D

Because I was working on it I got a real buzz from it, hopefully Derby will be going to the polls again in 2008.

"I would agree with you that it would be better if the debate conducted in a grown up manner."

Malcolm that is all I am asking for!

Happy New Year to you!


"Fixation with the european theme"

How can it ever be different since so much of our legislation is determined in Brussels?

Parliament has, in many respects, simply become a branch office rubber stamping edicts from the commission.

"Parliament has, in many respects, simply become a branch office rubber stamping edicts from the commission."

I think that is an exaggeration, Jonnyboy. For what it's worth, I'm a Euroskeptic. But I think there are more important issues.

I think Europe has become something people worry about when they don't have anything else to worry about. Ask your average bloke in a low income job living on a crime ridden council estate with kids at a sink comp. school where Europe sits on his list of priorities, and you won't get a polite answer.

But for those who are fortunate enough to have decent housing/jobs/schools, then Europe creeps up the agenda.

I'm proberbly not saying anything earth shattering here, but that is the problem with your party- those who have an interest in current affairs, those who have an education to understand the problems if not know the solutions, they live in rural or suburban places, and, in the absence of other concerns, become preoccupied with things like Europe.

Comstock. You are in many ways absolutely right the average man or woman in the street simply does not understand the impact that the commissars in Brussels are having on their way of life day in and day out. Does the average Joe comprehend that we are powerless to stop the great rush of immigrants?

The deep underlying problem, and why people are not overtly hostile to Brussels is that the majority of thoes elected in this country simply underplay and deny the impact of Brussels and their impotence to stop what is happening.

If the average Joe could comprehend that his/her post office has closed because of eu competition laws then the problem might get home. I'll not recite the whole list of how our lives are being changed and freedoms restricted those can wait for another post.

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