« Will an economic recovery produce a political recovery for Labour? | Main | "The first thing I want to talk to you about today is the Queen's Speech. I've read it, but I can't tell you what's in it - as I would be arrested." »


Better to be told before christmas so at least they can have a break at Chirstmas time and start 2009 a fresh to move on to bigger and better things.

But, yes, sad that they have to leave at all.

Sad for the staff affected and worrying that our fundraising is weak.

There is never a good time for these things to happen and I am sorry for those who have lost their jobs! This has happened before of course. I worked at the old CCO at the end of the 80s until 1990 (as our Editor will remember!) and was Deputy Head of Speakers Department. It was probably just as well that I left when I did (to work for a Member of Parliament) as if I had remained I would probably have been made redundant myself when the system for obtaining speakers was changed so it was done by the Areas (now Regions).

Always sad, but reality bites in political parties as it does in the real economy, and such things are necessary.

It is enormously worrying that political parties will be immune from this reality that everyone else faces if they push ahead and nationalise themselves with the proposed extension to state funding of political parties.

In my opinion, I expect fundraising has been hit by a number of issues:-

1) credit crunch- donors are shoring up their own finances first, many have lost substantial sums, others have had to lay staff off and cut dividends, so in these circumstances they can hardly then give us a donation.

2) Continuing uncertainty over what exactly our economic policies would be if we were the goverment, to get us out of this mess?

3) The Corfu affair- and the leadership's handling of it

I recently had yet another begging letter from CCHQ - fishing in the general membership who are also asked to support their local Association.

In turn Associations are told to cough up £5 for each member to CCHQ which in turn cuts into local campaigning capabilities.

May I suggest we solve our staffing crisis and sack just one person - our man in San Francisco Steve Hilton?

That should free up a fair wodge and lessen the pressure on our loyal member's generosity.

I wonder whether the current trend of direct and indirect targeted donations ie to shadow front benchers and to key marginals has stripped the centre of 'free' funds.

Clearly if people and business saw the Tories as 'the solution' funds would not be so tight even in the current climate.Dave,Gideon,William and the rest need to raise their game.

abctroll, more like.

The sad matter is that they have made some fantastic people redundant who are key to the make-up of CCHQ at the cost of others.

I think you may be being unfair Common Sense. Not every person who questions an aspect of Conservative policy/ tactics is a troll. Please play the ball, not the man.

if people like steve hilton and outside consultants weren't so overpaid. . ?

As a former member and supporter what do you expect? You trash the very principles of Conservatism and lose 3 to 5 million votes (2 million emigrated fleeing the Great Experiment) - the country has been seized by criminal thugs pretending to be a government and you sit on your hands because you do not want to be seen as the "nasty party". well you are not - you are the useless party. You conspired to give the governance of our country to Brussels and now that our lawmaking is derived at threat and dictat from a foreign source you share the guilt from Heath to Major. And when you have a decent leader you stab her in the back. Tough beans if you go bust and lose all your jobs - you betrayed your core supporters and our nation.
Why should the Party survive with the pathetic present leadership? A Tory MP is arrested and you do nothing. We live in a Police State and you do nothing. You should all refuse to attend the Commons and the Lords until you force a general election. You will do nothing as the leaders are all on salaries commensurate with their ethics and love for the country.

1) credit crunch- donors are shoring up their own finances first,

I think this is almost 100% of the reason.

Yesterday I almost donated to Alex Hilton's fighting fund but, at the last moment, financial caution took over. Six months ago I would have certainly donated. Sorry, Alex.

In short, political donations are one of the first to go from the budget, and rightly so.

UKIP Provo

That would be true if our donations were down to UKIP levels but all things are relative. These cut backs are being made from a very high level of expenditure and campaign activity.

It's disappointing but I don't think that we can read too much into it.

CCHQ is taking the right actions.

But surely that tells Osborne what the Conservatives should do in power - cut the state sector.

So far it is the private sector shedding thousands of jobs which is taking the strain. At this rate there will be nothing but the state left.

When will Osborne get a grip?

Does this tragic news mean we will see less policy development from the Conservatives?

I mustn't joke. It actually couldn't have come at a worse time with the flagship "Sharing the proceeds of growth" being abandoned alongside the promise to leave the EPP and any sense of having an alternative conservative vision to offer.

Will there be prizes for the best suggestion of employment opportunities? I would love to help these PR execs appropriately.

It's a sad situation, but one that even without the credit crunch may be wise. There are some great people in CCHQ doing great work, but it still doesn't function as well as it could, and some streamlining may help that.

My thoughts and good wishes to those who have lost their jobs.

No more money from Lord Cashcroft!!! Why can't Osborne raid his multi-million fortune?

Local Tory activists will be worried and very angry that the rich businessmen (Cashcroft, Spencer) and trustafarians (Dave, Gideon, Boris etc) who run the party will not back it with more cash at this time.

Donors may have lost confidence in the Shadow Cabinet after their lamentable performance on the economy in recent weeks.

The Tories must be in big financial trouble to sack such a large proportion of CCHQ staff so close to the European and general elections.

So how are the Tories going to fund a general election? The unions will bail out Labour so prepare for an early election.

Gordon will be laughing this morning and will probably rib Cameron over this fiasco at PMQs.

I have a key rule in these matters, Tim.

If a carping or undermining anti-leadership comment comes from a previously unknown name, it's a fair bet that Derek Draper and his underlings are at work.

Draper and other Labour activists know that newspapers pick up anti-leadership comments on CH and cite them as 'evidence' of grassroots discontent.

It would be interesting to do some investigation work into the IP addresses of hostile commentators. I strongly suspect that many of them come from the same source.

There's nothing wrong with criticism made in good faith by loyal Tories, or with non-Tories who state clearly their affiliation, but the tone of some anonymous comments is obviously malignant and intended to demoralise.

I would like to apologise profusely for my light-hearted, joshing, comments above.

Actually, we will have an opening for two trainee fibreglass laminators in the new year. It's real work and we pay £7.15 per hour.

Benefits are that although we are a small company we have a better grasp of economics than Cameron's Conservatives and have solutions to people's problems, so employment is more secure. Also, we actually do share the proceeds of growth.

Five years in the yard and then you can go back to the mobiles and email saying you know what a job is like. www.ecocats.com

Etonians may of course apply.

Poor people, I hope someone will be good enough to send them a Credit Crunch Card.

Henry you are clearly ahead of Lord Mandy on this.What with the current crisis PLUS anti-City EU activity the City will no longer be the power behind the pump and we'll need lots more like you .

£7.15 an hour--- for trainees in the W.Country seems most fair

"Common Sense" demonstrates the usual childish paranoia in CCHQ about Peter Mandelson, Alistair Campbell and Derek Draper. I have nothing to do with Derek Draper or the Labour Party. A quick check on my IP addresses will confirm that.

Party activists and supporters are demoralised because the Cameroons have no plan B. They united around plan A - a PC, green agenda but that is dead. The Shadow Cabinet are now split between the cautious (Dave, Gideon, Hammond, Spelman) and the bold (Gove, Pickles).

"Common Sense" also demonstrates a lack ok knowledge of the internet. For most ISPs, the IP address changes every time the router is switched off and on. It is therefore virtually impossible for blog moderators to ban malicious commenters without registration.

It is time for the Cameroons to stop being paranoid, stop smearing dissenters as Labour trolls and dismissing bad polls as rogue. They basked in the glory of massive poll leads. Now they must deal with harsh economic reality and offer serious policies rather PC garabage like the Priority List and green taxes.

Grow up Tory Boys!! Your country needs you. But your inexperience shows and we fear that you are not up to the job. That's why I and others have left the Conservatives. You must earn our support and not take it for granted.

Hi Michael,

Thank you. Had a great meeting yesterday with the Institute of Ship Science and a VC biz dev guy, so may be doing more around the Solent in the near future.

You are right about the wages but I reckoned CCHQ types could help out in the office occasionally.

It's not Derek Draper. I have a distinct feeling the poster known as eurorealist may be a great deal closer to the UKIP leadership.

It is very sad.
We have a vibrant collection of comomitted individuals and a structure which works.
at the South West Campaign Conference in Taunton last Saturday, it was obvious how much is already in place for Local, European and General Elections, thanks to the teams at CCHQ.
let's hope that this round of redundancies is a one-off.

No one named you as a Labour troll, Eurorealist. Your splenetic and ill-informed rants are a regular feature here.

BTW - your claim that there is a division in the Shadow Cabinet is off the mark - and the idea that Michael Gove and George Osborne are on different sides is simply laughable.

I expect that local associations are also feeling the effects on donations crisis. Many agents will probably be fired over the next few months. Spare a thought for those outside CCHQ who must be fearing the loss of their jobs.

There will also be lots of candidates in target seats who fear the loss of their agent, area campaign manager or administrative staff.

The playing field between the Conservatives and other parties is more level now. This would be an excellent time for Tory MPs to sign up to BETTER OFF OUT and remove the UKIP threat. It's only COMMON SENSE. (LOL!)

BTW, watch out for Tories supporting Labour's plans for state funding of political parties. They have to find a way of paying the fat cat salaries of Hilton and Coulson.

This would be an excellent time for Tory MPs to sign up to BETTER OFF OUT and remove the UKIP threat.

And end up probably losing more votes net due to people who don't agree with that thinking twice.

I left the Conservative Party over two years ago in protest at Cameron's Blairite agenda. I voted for Cameron in the leadership election but regret it bitterly now,

However, my local association and CCHQ are still sending me mailings. The latest local newsletter arrived this morning. They simply cannot accept that one of their large donors has no confidence in Cameron's leadership or Osborne's ability.

The latest figures on the Electoral Commission says that Tory party membership is down to around 200,000 (330,000 under IDS). The unsolicited mailings make me question the accuracy of the Tories' returns to the Electoral Commission.

Membership could have halved under Dave. It would explain the decline in income from £5 membership fee tax and donations. It is only now that the party and its staff are paying dearly for falling for Cameron's PR spin. I am glad I stopped paying for it long ago.

I think such is the anger of Conservatives against this current Government and their determination to do whatever they can to electorally remove them that you will find an increase in the number of people willing to offer whatever help they can to the Party on a voluntary basis.

Raj, you (like most Tory MPs) are out of touch with public opinion.

Take a look at Global Vision's June 2008 poll. 55% want out of the EU, only 35% want to stay in and 10% are undecided. That result was validated the Tonight Programme's referendum in Luton.

UKIP will cost the Tories MORE seats at the next election (about 20 in 2005). That could mean the difference between winning and losing. The more MPs that sign up to BETTER OFF OUT, the greater the Tories chances of forming the next government.

In the meantime, Tory activists who want to leave the EU can send Dave a potent message by lending UKIP their votes in the European elections. Some donations would help too!

Forgive me for pouring cold water on what you say, Eurorealist but I was listening to a radio phone-in on LBC last night where admittedly the topics were deliberately kept light-hearted, but public opinion on that was pretty pro-Europe (beyond the general Conservative Party viewpoint) and many people said they would be quite happy to join the Euro!

Sad to hear of any job losses - I was at CCHQ when the axe fell once before and can tell you from experience that one of the most upsetting things was seeing the usual suspects on Con Home cheerily celebrating the fact that hard-working colleagues were losing their jobs. And true to form, we see it again today. Grow up, chaps.

Come on people. How have you managed to turn a thread about people losing their jobs into a discussion of Europe? Further off topic comments will be deleted.

"recent (probably temporary) slippage in the polls - has hit fundraising and forced CCHQ"

I bet the poor sods heading out the door won't be raising a glass to Osborne's 'genius' economic strategy that took the Tories from 24 points ahead to 24 cchq'ers out the door.

I give up with the Conservatives I really do will they ever take us out the EU no! so for that reason Ive just signed up to UKIP on their website and will be resigning from my branch chairman role on monday

Nigel, I dont think anyone is celebrating that staff at CCHQ, or anywhere else, are losing their jobs. Everyone knows how awful it is - many from first hand. Dire does not begin to describe it.

This country is in a desperate situation and many of us are frustrated that the Conservative Party is not leading.

The front bench is not leading over the credit crunch nor the loss of our liberties. Indeed on the latter point Nick Clegg has been outstanding - and I'm not a LibDem!

The Parliamentary party has excellent MPs - on the backbenches. Two are to attack the government this afternoon. But backbench - not frontbench.

Sorry Tim if this is off-message!

Apologies Tim! It is so easy to get side-tracked by all these riveting UKIPPERS! ;-)

In response to Common Sense, I will not get personal with you, that would be merely stooping to your level.

I am no troll. I am an active party member who pays a lot more than just £25 per year.

Lindsay, what is wrong with celebrating the Conservative Party getting a wake-up call and these people going to look for useful work which will pay into the economy and give them some skills?

What's wrong with that?

This is the first time I can congratulate Mr Cameron on his management. Even though I am not a Tory Toff I am big enough to celebrate his now proven acknowledgment of reality. I hope his work in this area continues and wish him and Mr Osborne all the best with it. Starting from La-La land can't be easy for them at all.

I have already offered to see if we can take on two of their staff at above market wages and give them some training as well.

I hope that CCHQ can break the bank and give Sally a job to run the Conservative's European election campaign.

It is so refreshing to see a Tory who thinks that LBC phone-ins are a better guide to public opinion on the EU and Euro. Think of how much the Conservatives can save by cancelling all opinion polling and focus group research. Just let Sally listen to LBC instead!

Come on Dave, give Ms Roberts the job - it's only Common Sense!

Sally, we don't use rivets. It's all bonding these days. Boom boom!

Henry, I dont like the word celebrate - especially someone losing their job. Otherwise you make good points.

By the way a big thank you to Tim for the marvellous green ribbon on this site. We have had an excellent response all round.

Yes very good Henry! Ever thought of superglue? That might be even better (but don't swallow it!) ...boom boom!!!

Thanks Eurorealist! Your faith in me is touching! ;-)

Lindsay, thanks. I see the Cameron Conservatives as a metaphor for Britain today and the first step back towards reality worth celebrating. These young people are going to be in charge shortly. We need them to 'get real' and a slap's the only way. They've had more soft words than has been good for them.

I suspect that many Cameroon office workers and helpers are well-heeled and won't notice the loss of a few months of salary. If they are not they are chancers in taking a job at Cameroon HQ instead of getting a training.

Yes Henry I take your points - nothing beats experience.

As to the last - unfortunately there aren't many new jobs out there and wont be for rather a long time so let us hope the CCHQ staff are indeed well-heeled.


I feel for the people losing their jobs - it is an awful shock and I don't believe they deserved this especially now. it simply is a result of the dire financial crisi we are in - its getting very personal.

I hate to admit it but I find myself agreeing with Peter Watson and Lindsay Jenkins apart from Boris nobody has emerged as a big hitter .The general public can not gain any comfort from a very nondescript Shadow Cabinet.
The large lead in the polls was more to do with Zanou Labour being so poor than Conservative’s being so good.
It breaks a lot of peoples hearts to see in power a party that are guilty of so many wrong doings and has brought the country to its knees.
It is a bad state of affairs when the old brigades are the only big beasts.
I observe that most of our Shadow Cabinet makes very hard work of winning points with second rate Journalists and members of the opposition. I would put Lindsay Jenkins or Nigel Farage or many of the previous Conservative Cabinet up against any of the Shadow Cabinet Ministers on most subjects and would be sure of the outcome.
With the Damien Green affair David Cameron should have had a press conference and led daily the attacks on these incompetent people that are the Government of the day. Perhaps it is a good thing many people have gone bring in experienced people that know how to attack the opposition instead of schoolboys .
David Cameron has many things going for him as an individual but he lacks the cunning and passion of a street fighter when you are fighting this despicable crew you need these assets. Who is the Conservative that could see off Mandleson?

Of course it is sad when people lose their jobs, but I recall some very wealthy people contributing £500,000 to to fund Osborne`s office. Perhaps some of that could go to help their redundancy payments. Or maybe it has all been spent.

Looks like somebody didn't fix the roof when the sun was shining

They may be my opponents, but I actually do sympathise with their position. But as others have said, the crunch hits political parties as much as anybody else.

Did they fail to fix the roof while the sun was shining?

"David Cameron has many things going for him as an individual but he lacks the cunning and passion of a street fighter when you are fighting this despicable crew you need these assets."

You can't have been watching this afternoon then, Dominic! DC was superb - angry and scathing and displayed distinct street-fighting qualities.

This is a bizzare thread. It went from there being a discussion on some redundancies to rants about Europe from the usual suspects. There was mention of declines in membership. As stated ad nauseum by all parties and many organisations - membership is declining across the board. The economic difficulties are also no doubt affecting how much extra people can contribute. Apart obviously from my membership of the party I have been through my statements and cancelled many of my memberships of other organisations to save money. Across the UK millions of people will be doing this right now. As to the crazy and deliberately divisive comments that its all the fault of not being right wing enough, I can predict with certainty that had we taken that route, our membership would be even smaller. It may have been more fanatical but much, much smaller and less appealing to ordinary people. Same with any funds. Indeed take the arguments of commentators here to the logical conclusion and were we to satisfy the obsessions of some fanatical groups our membership numbers and resources would end up the same size as them ie UKIP! As has been shown time and time again by Tims polls on this site, the vast majority of people support the direction of the party under the leader. It took us to huge poll leads and appealed to swing voters. There is always scope for sensible debate about the details, what narrative we should have, what policies we should concentrate on etc. Thats fair enough. I for one beleive that when we pursue a consistent narrative on a strong issue the public are interested in, we then end up doing better. The borrowing/debt angle (tax bombshell) just before the PBR and after is a good point, it was robust and clear and it needs to be pursued again, as no doubt it will. New Labour were brilliant at identifying an issue and a message and sticking at it relentlessly. When political parties do this with the right issues they succeed. All this is do-able and people are keen to listen. As little as 3 or 4 years ago many people wouldn't even listen to us. The comments about not being strong on the Damian Green issue are completely nuts! The whole party has been consumed by it and there have been endless column inches to such a degree there is actually an argument to say that even if it is very important (as it very definately is) there should be some division of labour to ensure we don't miss the other key policy areas. Mandelson piling in on this issue suggests that possibly and I admit I'm speculating, he thinks its become a diversion and he is encouraging it. Brown has been a useless chancellor and PM and the economy is in a very serious mess; some sections of society are lawless and unwilling to work even if there are jobs; education is lack lustre; the target culture is crippling and bureaucratic etc - anything that detracts from theses sorts of issues could be helping Labour. I think the Green issue is of fundamental constitutional importance but it would be wise to pick someone who is forensic and determined to pursue that and get evereyone else back on track. I suspect strongly that the Comres poll is rubbish, the recent ICM and MORI polls were averaging about 12% lead. We are on the right track but need to be relentlessly focused and up for a fight on the issues that matter.

One of the very few good posts on this awful thread MG.
My own view? Big donors are cautious, the financial crisis is hurting them badly. The Conservative Party is not doing anything at all to attract new members and takes its existing members entirely for granted. Freesh thinking within CCHQ is desperately needed or these will not be the last redundancies.

So will Osborne be told he has to go? About time.

We all know that UKIP is a front for (Federalist) Labour - a postbox to be emptied by Brown on June 5th. Bigger fool anyone who gets taken in by them.

Make your mind up Malcolm. You've got about as much sense of direction as a wind vane in a hurricane at the moment :)

It appears that MG went to the Charles Tannock school of grammar and syntax.

Superblue's post at 22.o3 is yet another classic example of delusion. The real federast front is Cameron's Conservative Party - Blue Labour. A vote for the Tory Europhile MEPs is a vote for President Barroso who thinks that British voters don't matter.

Make up my mind about what Henry?

At the beginning of the post you put the lack of funds down to the credit crunch. Many of your posts that I have seen recently have been very supportive of Cameroonism. You wind up with saying that the party is not doing anything at all to attract new members, current members are taken entirely for granted and fresh thinking is needed.

I'm confused, but you knew that already :)

The lack of funds from big donors is I expect down to the credit crunch.
The party will find it difficult to replace this money from small donors as it is losing members. One of the resons for that in my opinion is that it does nothing to try and keep them.
Perhaps I should have explained myself more lucidly.


I am told that "Your splenetic and ill-informed rants are a regular feature here." Anyone with a brain can see the massive differences between federalist Labour and sceptical Conservatives - given the above quote, my previous post must have been uncomfortably close to the truth for you.

Seeing comments from UKIP "gloating" about this, when they only have £40,000 to fight next year's elections is plain bizzare.

With 3/4 of the UKIP MEPs losing their positions next June the redundancies will be huge for their staff.

Looks like most of cuts are in the "external affairs" dept which has been pretty much a disaster anyway. i rember a fanfare on here when Eustice was "appointed" to the role when he was sidelined from a press role but it has never been heard of again. Harsh to say but it looks like a trimming of fat.

Looks like most of cuts are in the "external affairs" dept which has been pretty much a disaster anyway. i rember a fanfare on here when Eustice was "appointed" to the role when he was sidelined from a press role but it has never been heard of again. Harsh to say but it looks like a trimming of fat.

Dear all,
The Psycho Ops going on in this country isvery severe. I understand you have lost faith in Cameron et al. It could be true that they are also part of an Evil Empire - either the Labour communists who are taking children from the parents (BTW parents if this is happening to you - just tell them you won't give your children to paedofiles and they willleave you alone as they don;t want a court case on this). Or the big business fascists who are replacing British workers with those from abroad - the families you then have to educate and the mothers you must pay the NHS for for treatments - but big business is not paying for it so they don't care!

So although we don't if Cameron/Osborne is part of the global fascism/communist agenda, at least they are better than Labour who definately are. So Lets stick with them and make the Tories win the election because frankly the alternative is too dire to comtemplate. (Just a hint - if you live in a rural area and the local County Council is insisting that a large detention centre is to be built near you to house criminals- you are the criminals they plan to house ! So in light of that - support Cameron and get Labour out, then we can sort out Cameron.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker