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Iain Dale is fun. Guido Fawkes deliciously scandalous but there's a broadsheet quality to this site. Other sites only cover what they are interested in whereas ConHome covers everything. Aspiring to be more and more comprehensive should be your aim.

Thanks for all you do!!

Continue to develop a network of blogging foot-soldiers.

Second only to Guido! Keep up the excellent work.

Much less obsession with opinion polls.

More involvement and contributions from activists/supporters should be your aim.The Tory Diary section probably suffered during the period of moderation which made the free flowing debates of the past more difficult.Many posters appear to have deserted CH which is an enormous shame.Regular entries which should be opinionated and sometimes controversial should be beneficial. Live blogging with shadow ministers or party chiefs would be fantastic.

Good idea for live interviews Malcolm, watch this space.

Sorry, I forgot to thank you both for this site, it's still in my opinion the best despite the stiff competion.

I guess here is always a danger you become an aggregator, so my advice would be to continue with the insiders party news stuff but also broaden the subject related pages. Ultimately a blog is not a diary and should be a signpost for good stuff on the blg - this is something you do very well.

I think one of the most interesting aspects you provide is the "Parliament" section. Is there a way you could expand this type of activity?

Have you thought of providing a writers section where anyone can submit an item for submission and publication (providing you approved it) - or do you think that facility already exists?

I'm always amazed at how much you cram into this site. The praise above is well deserved and I would add to it.

I recall seeing someone write in a newspaper last year that whereas once the Daily Telegraph was considered the house journal of the Tory party, it is ConHome that occupies that mantle now.

Agree regarding "broadsheet flavour" which is a good thing as Guido provides much of the scandal and gossip any politico needs.

I think I'd share the slightly OTT re-action to every single opinion poll - maybe you could have a resident polster like the Times with Prof.Anthony king and do a monthly round-up on any poll news??


Thanks and keep up the good work, Tim, Sam and Co.! ConHome lacks for nothing and is as user friendly and comprehensive as websites/blogsites can be.

I would like to add my thanks to you both for all you do on this site.

I appreciate CH is a platform for the wider conservative movement, not just the Conservative Party, but I do often wonder just how much influence you could have if you were more pro-active in marshalling your army of visitors and encouraging them to do something practical electorally.

Having an open platform for debate and discussion is fantastic and no doubt makes a valuable contribution to the battle of ideas. However, every month, up and down the country, there are real battles for real votes in dozens local council by-elections. Last year there were over 400 such campaigns, seventeen of which where in wards that could (and sometimes did) affect the control of the local authority concerned. However, I can only recall reading six reports of about these - and almost always retrospectively – often lamenting what went wrong or what we could have done better.

I would therefore like to suggest a by-election section where regulars could post details of critical local by-elections as a means of attracting help and support from other users of CH.

Such a facility would provide a useful bridge between CH and the organisation in the field and might even encourage a few of the "armchair army" to leave the comfort of their computer screens and join us on the doorsteps where the real battles for hearts and minds is taking place.


I'd like to see more focus on international matters. It certainly wouldn't be too difficult to reach out to friends in the Anglosphere and have them run a section with the latest on Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and even perhaps some of the dreaded continental countries. I'd like to know what Fredrik Reinfeldt or Nicolas Sarkozy are doing. Not sure if that's possible? RightWingWorld.com tried this, but I think they found it difficult because of the languages and added time commitment.

Dear Tim,

I've was an avid reader of (and occasionally commented on) this site from the outset. I no longer feel the same draw. I think this is partly because I am more interested in the issues facing this country (and remain unconvinced of Cameron's Tories desire and ability to face them) than the perhaps worthy and necessary ins and outs of the party. Do you know what I mean?

I think the site has become too pro-Cameron. It needs to go back to being more critical. The leadership need to be kept on their toes and this should be CH's primary purpose.

bill [at 17:31], ak23566 [at 17:20] and Alan S [at 17:34] are right in that ConHome should be a receptacle for the broadest range of views and even suggestions that the leadership and the Party can both benefit from.

First, let me add my thanks to Tim and Sam for all their hard work and unflagging enthusiasm.

It can be a lively site and I join Teck at 17.44 and the other contributors quoted in requesting that it remain "a receptacle for the broadest range of views and even suggestions that the leadership and the Party can both benefit from".

I sometimes, though, bemoan the fact that ConHome is - of necessity - ephemeral. An argument is here today and gone tomorrow.

I do feel that, with all the firepower that we can muster (though sometimes it has to be kept in order by Comstock), we should (i) come to some conclusions occasionally and (ii) pass these on to CCHQ (if they are not already picking them up).

By way of example, I felt that we had a good thread going yesterday about Brown selling off a large chunk of our gold reserves (mainly of course because coincidentally Andrew Marr had asked Brown the same question earlier in the day).

It was clearly a point that other people felt strongly about and something that DC might cause Brown considerable embbarrassment with at PMQs. But will he or the shadow Treasury team pick it up (even less run with it)?

Part of the problem perhaps is that we don't now have so many introductory articles or comments that give rise to their own thread. There are perhaps too many snippets from papers or the media and just a general comments thread at the end of the day, where comment on a number of topics becomes confused.

I hasten to add that this is more an observation than a criticism and, as always, is open to debate. That is what ConHome is really about!

I agree with Mitch.
It would be great fun to learn more about other European parties of the centre-right/right.

Make a point of including the profoundly important point for Conservatives that it is not what you say but how you say it.

The organisers of ConservativeHome - whose achievement here is extremely impressive - need to sit down and decide what their site is actually for.

E.g. does it exist to further, by whatever rhetorical or practical means necessary, one individual's vision of what the Conservative Party ought to be?

Or, alternatively, does it exist to provide a thorough, in-the-round view of the Party's current situation, including a forum for genuine, sometimes hard-hitting discussion - even if that means e.g. allowing criticism of the Party's current leadership, even at times when that criticism might actually have an influence on events?

My own, personal feeling, for the little that it's worth, is that David Cameron does a lot better in the polls on the rare occasion that he displays something other than offensive arrogance in the face of Tory grassroots opinion, and thus, that the kindest thing his supporters could do for him is to serve him up a lot of that opinion, whether he likes it or not. But hey, that's just me.

Less pro-life and related articles. ConservativeHome should reflect the whole conservative movement. So lets have less on this topic and at least perhaps some from the other side.

Lets be wary of turning readers off with dominance given to a single issue .

You deserve praise and gratlltude. For Conservative activists, CH is simply the best.

Please keep us briefed on the nitty gritty of Party life. Who's in, who's out and who's been selected. lt all matters. Because I check CH every day I am pretty confident that nothing of importance in the Conservative firmament escapes my attention. That is an invaluable service.

PS - Don't stop reporting polls. They matter. A lot.

Congratulations on keeping up a terrific site. It is an indispensible source of news qnd information. I am delighted you are going to concentrate on campaigning. That is a very welcome direction. I hope you will drop the moderation of comments.

From time to time I'd like to see straight contrasting debates on clearly divisive themes. For example Protectionism Vs Free trade, or say Pro and Anti-abortion. I know these debates often get covered as people stray off-topic while on other themes but it would be good if big debates on key areas of contention were available.

I would echo the views of "ak23566" above. I think there could be real scope for making a difference in two or three key council by-elections per month.

I know there is a danger from doing this too visibly but in spite of that there must be immense scope for improving on what we do at present.

I know how the enemy do it and a few dozen of the committed people who read this website could make a real difference.

Meanwhile ...

Anyone who would like to help in a little way to win back Westmorland and Lonsdale by winning back seats on South Lakeland this May please contact me directly.

Some responses...

Kevin, how would that be different to the Platform? Anyone can write for that so long as I think it's of sufficient quality. Click here for guidelines on submitting a piece.

ak8736257802, good idea. I was looking at ways of co-ordinating with Campaign Together when it launched. Will look into getting a RSS feed for it or something.

bill, know what you mean. Generally it is the ins and outs of party politics that gets people coming to the site, but I very much sympathise with you in wanting it to be more ConservatismHome than ConservativePartyHome.

Mitch, the state of conservatism in the anglosphere is one of our hobby horses. Could certainly do more on European parties though, have got an article on Icelandic politics coming up soon!

David Belchamber, I've thought having a daily open thread like they have on Biased BBC and Little Green Footballs, but the comments on the frontpage post would be the obvious place for that wouldn't it? I don't know if we have the capability for this but would a Most Active Posts or Most Commented On Posts feature be useful in the sidebar for keeping track of conversations? I think the Recent Comments thing does that pretty well.

Agnostic, I genuinely can't see how you would think there is too much pro-life stuff on here. There hasn't been much at all considering the size of the issue, certainly not enough to put an avid pro-choicer off reading the site. I did keep pestering somebody for a pro-life article before Christmas but that hasn't come through yet. Happy to take one off you?

I would like more pro-life and pro-family articles, as these are and will always be core values Conservative concerns; the silent majority of Christian conservatives (large and small C) must have their views represented. The mainstream media seeks to silence them, especially on abortion; ConHome should not give in to pressure to join the bias.

The idea about by-elections as a section is a terrific one. Where to focus effort.

Westmoreland Activist you need to post a contact email!

Deputy Editor, Ruth Kelly will probably write a pro-life article if you ask her. Its one subject on which she very committed. I too support a pro-life position, its a position I believe is growing across the nation.

Sam, I think your suggestion would be useful, if you can do it:

"I don't know if we have the capability for this but would a Most Active Posts or Most Commented On Posts feature be useful in the sidebar for keeping track of conversations?"

Why not take a vote on it?

It you went ahead, it might mean selecting a few lead stories, each with their own comments, and then piling all the less important ones together with a final comment.

Does CCHQ pay regular attention to us or not? In my opinion they should do because we are effectively an unsolicited focus group that doesn't mince its words much.

I pop in at least once a day (oh alright...several times a day!!), and my main draw is the summary of all/most political news links in one place. Ie - links to articles in daily online papers, BBC online news etc on political stories. I find that really useful.

In fact, if I read a paper that has a political article that isn't pointed to on ConHome, I find myself wondering why not...

I feel about ch the way I did about the old telegraph, that it's the family newspaper of the conservative party. That means it has an editorial voice, confidently enunciated, which I don't always agree with, but is carried in such an open and inclusive way that no reader should feel excluded. I feel at home here, even when I disagree with an editorial position or a platform piece. Do you know what I mean? So I guess that if you're evolving, I'd suggest following even more of a broadsheet model- stricter separation of news (in the diary) and editorial (in a combined platform/column 'centre page'?)

I hope it goes without saying how monumental an achievement you have delivered. It's hard to think of a more important media initiative for the centre-right. Forza, conservative home!

Ps yes more quantitative review of polls and less innumerate reasoning a la 'poll of polls', said the statistician!

agnostic does have a point. I have read pro-life articles but no pro-choice articles and I have read what I interpreted as pro-Christianity articles but none from an athiest / agnostic perspective.

The majority of people who vote for Conservatives do so for economic reasons rather than social reasons. It's important not to take any official stance when it comes to issues like abortion or religion.

Otherwise, you do a very good job indeed. Well done to you.

I like Conservative Home but feel there is too little said about the economy. As financial woes are likely to increase in 2008 perhaps there could be a bit more coverage of this topic

Do the decent thing...shut down.

"I have read what I interpreted as pro-Christianity articles but none from an athiest / agnostic perspective."

Probably because even non-religious Conservatives tend to be pro-religion for cultural reasons. If by pro-atheist and pro-agnostic you mean anti-Christian then I would think that would be more suited to a left-wing website.

I think it's a fundamental question: What is the purpose of ConservativeHome? Do you seek to be an alternative news outlet or a special interest group, lobbying and swaying the party towards your agenda? I think your answer is crucial because there really is nothing like ConservativeHome in any other country. U.S. politics has heaps of blogs, but certainly no central destination comparable to ConservativeHome and the same for other countries.

Agree that you have acheived a huge amount- so why not put some advertising on to pay for a third person to manage the huge workload?? I'm sure any shortfall could be made up from donations from your devoted readers.

Also agree about international parties.Why not have a section devoted to anglospheric conservatism?

All strands of Conservative opinion need to be represented, but the amount of pro-life, and pro-traditional family articles is good - this is defending the genuinely weak and vulnerable, including the unborn, and promoting lasting values on which a secure society is built - surely true Conservatism. As is defending freedom, strong law & order to defend those who just want to live peacefully and do what is right, a small state and low taxes, the nation state, and the defence of our nation. (All this sounds so different from what the liberal/left represent, and the damage that their ideas that have been imposed on us have done since the 1960s).

Anyhow, thanks to Tim, Sam & all – much appreciated. I think this needs to contuinue as the 'home' for party members, but also for wider conservatism. I particularly value each day’s home page of news, ToryDiary, and there are often great articles on Platform. The links to other blogs are very useful, and perhaps the front page could be arranged to encourage visitors to read other CH pages, articles and comment.

The future of ConservativeHome depends on what you want it to be. The website is easy to navigate, and the “news and blogs” links are very useful. If your aim is to be “conservatism home”, I would suggest creating a separate page for “Conservatism Abroad”, to sit alongside the "ToryDiary" for UK issues and the "London Mayor" for Boris stuff.

Your editorial line is clear, but it remains refreshingly unobtrusive. Not only does ConHome do what it says on the tin, it makes sure it is said on the tin to begin with. Beyond some of the inane comments (like Willy Eckerlsike, Jan 7th, 21:20), ConHome remains the best quality, most readable blog on the market.

Thank you Tim and Sam, for a wonderful site. I visit every day, but rarely comment, as the discussions get a bit technical for an old bird! I must give CH a big vote of thanks for their part in getting CCHQ to loosen up re local candidates versus A listers. We now have a wonderful local PPC who has not stopped working since his selection, and very effectively too. I fully expect him to be elected once Gordon gets a reality check and goes to the country.

Follow your instincts. They've served you well up to now.

The Editor should resign. Immediately. Then Tim, you must return to your Scottish roots and help us get something similar going north of the Border to stimulate and nourish the renaissance of Conservatives at Holyrood and throughout Scotland. As you are doing in England and Wales.

Superb job. Thank you for all you do.

TALK RADIO!!!

NigelC, I second your call for more economic imput. Perhaps daily links to articles of interest on Bloomberg or CNBC. Saying that though I suppose there is a danger that the imponderables of currency fluctuations might not appeal to everybody. Still, as Michael Davidson correctly says economics do determine elections, with the exception on 1997 of course.

I often think of Tim and Sam's committment as I post at some hour after midnight along with others, knowing that somebody else will be posting a comment around 6am when I am often still asleep.....thank you!

ak23566's suggestion for a by-election thread, presumably, ideally to run concurrently with a particular by-election, sounds as if it could be very interesting.

Alan S @ 17.34 - you sound as if you are hoping that if David Cameron is criticised enough on this site, he might step down! Endless criticism can get very boring to read, although no doubt it gets some bile out of the system of the bilious blogger!!

It would be nice to know whether CCHQ does take on board some of the ideas that are suggested on this website - it should do! I mean positive ideas, obviously, after all there are plenty of places like mainstream TV - the BBC of course and many newspapers, that spend their time knocking Conservatives and conservatism and criticising any policies suggested.

So apart from positive advice and ideas that hopefully CCHQ might take on board, I think that ConHome HAS to ferret out evidence of the wrong-doings, wastefulness, and quite simply lying of the present government, so that they get the widest audience and might, in the long run have a growing effect. After all, nobody reads ALL the newspapers each day, and even the tabloids that some people even on this site dismiss as rags, DO have quite significant articles - if you actually look for them!, and summarising them on here gives the subject matter a wider audience. Come on we cannot let this government get away with the arrogance and disregard of the public, that they display regularly these days, without at least talking about it, otherwise we might as well sit back and let the dictatorship become a fixture.

I would like to see ConservativeHome refrain from some of it's highlighting of bad news from the past. For instance there is no need to link back to Sayeeda Warsi's comments you didn't like goodness knows how long ago even when shes doing something you do like now. Let sleeping dogs lie.

I'd like to see more scrutiny of Bills as they pass through the Commons. The House of Commons Library do great neutral guides -how about one from a Conservative perspective for each Bill when it has its second reading?

Neo-Conservative Home would be a more appropriate name! We need more traditional Conservatism, e.g, Scruton, Oakeshotte, Kirk and Nisbet. The Kristol's and Podhoretz's are Liberals, not Conservatives.

Quite right, Agnostic. I guess the point here isn't that we shouldn't have a Christian perspective to some of our articles on ConHome - that's fantastic, provided we make an effort to cater for the full range of religious opinion (including, of course, that held by atheists) within the conservative movement. The point is that there seems often to be a base assumption that we Conservatives are people of faith and there is a sense in which the matter is just not up for debate, whereas when articles about other highly controversial subjects are posted, there is a real effort to avoid making that sort of assumption.

That said, when I read the 'offending' articles, I'm not exactly filled with anger and a desire to stop reading this otherwise outstanding website. Rather, it induces the rolling of the eyes, a long sigh and the phrase, "here we go again".

On another point, and without wishing to seek controversy, the regular poll features are excellent and it would be a shame to see them go. I think most ConHome readers are sensible and intelligent enough (excluding, perhaps, those who advocated the removal of our party leader during the summer) to cope without being deluded into a false sense of either despair or hope every time a poll report is published on this site.

Essentially then, great stuff!

The news/opinion split is a tricky one for you

It is your website of course not ours -- but as far as your agenda is concerned less is more.

I don't mean that in a disparaging way -- I agree with your line on most things. BUT the less often you editorialise the more impact it will have when you do.

All of this feedback is really helpful. Thank you everyone. I'll respond to all of it soon. Probably at the weekend.

I find Conservative Home excellent in objective and detailed analysis.

The one aspect I do object to is subjective campaigning. On a couple of occasions recently ConHome has appeared to lobby for jobs for CCHQ workers who have fallen on difficult times.

Whilst I accept that these individuals may well have given favours in the past to Con Home which need repaying I think it would be more acceptable for a media outlet to editorialise about the need for a position rather than lobby for a specific indiviual to fill it.

If I read a newspaper which treated news stories in such a subjective and clearly biased way I would stop reading. News coverage is usually separate to Editorial and even then newspapers seldom lobby on behalf of individuals.

I think ConHome is an excellent, through, high level resource but this sort of individual promotion leaves a bad taste.

Which individuals, calcio? Please email me if you'd rather not discuss publicly.

[email protected]

I didn't want to name names for the same reason I would prefer ConHome doesn't name names it prefers in news stories.

But the relevant positions were for External Communications and a campaign manager for Boris Johnson.

The articles appeared to be written around the individuals rather than around the need for the positions (which is surely the news story?)

Frankly if there are only two examples of recommending someone for a job then that shows how responsible the editors are.
Put a resource like this into the hands of 99% of Westminster types and it would quickly become a little more than a vehicle for their personal interests.

Fiar point Anthony but you agree with the premise that it is a bad thing.

That was the only point I was making. Other than that irritant I think this site is excellent!

I was responding to the Editor's appeal for how the site could be improved.

The site gets better all the time. Well done. Balance is about right and positive which is a great improvement on a phase where things seemed overly negative at times. But if I'm picky I would say the following might be improved:

1) A little bit of interaction seems lost recently possibly because although "CentreRight" is good it can't be commented on.
2)Some use of video would be good.
3)More on ideas from centre right parties across the world would be really good in putting us into context and broadening our approach.

Matt

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