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Paypal payment would be good as it's so easy.
Also knowing where the money is going would also be good.
If there was a web-based system on their site which either got a profile of my opinions or had sliders so I can set preferences either on general areas or specific forthcoming actions, which they could then use as an idea of where money should be sent, then I would pay a bit more and should give better opinions than polling as people are less likely to lie when they have paid.
That would help stop the disenfranchisement which is only added to when people start being secretive - ie. if it becomes a "them and us" situation, with "them" in the know and "us" not, then why on earth would "us" want to give "them" our money?

CCHQ treats associations as if they were a collection of ignorant peasants. You can visualize the pegs on their noses whenever they have to deal with us.
Get rid of smart alecs raking in quarter of a million quid for sitting in California (if he's that smart how come we're short of money and down in the polls?), get rid of Spelperson, who is up there with chocolate fireguards, and leave associations to get on with things.
Oh, and drop this totally un-Conservative nonsense of pushing women candidates all the time; like their male confreres, many of them are an embarrassment and only end up on short lists because of CCHQ diktats.
And don't even get me onto the subject of the 'A' list!!!!!
Over the last few years CCHQ has been behaving like a bunch of NuLab control freaks and has had this coming to it. Its behaviour has alienated many genuine Conservatives, who are victims of quite enough top-down, centralised control from the current Government, without having to deal with it in their lives as volunteers - and volunteers who spend a great deal of time, energy and hard-earned money trying to keep the Conservative flame burning with precious little appreciation from the current Tory bigwigs.

You need to learn some management techneeks from the lib Dems.

Another Richard is right - terrible publicity, slash the deadwood - Spelman's P45.

Interesting to raise the Lib Dems...

They have just lost their biggest donor - and the fact they would rather let him go than change policy for one man has actually put them up in my estimation.

Given they were working from a base of nothing (following their bare faced betrayal over the lisbon treaty) that doesn't mean much, but had they changed policy for a single donor they would (somehow) have sunk lower...

if the tories cant run their own central office, who would trust them to run the country?

"What ARE the benefits of joining? Seriously - I don't actually know. "

Hawkeye, you get the oportunity to pay to be treated like dirt, are considered an unpaid workforce to stuff envelopes throught letter boxes, and its viewed with horror that you might actually join a policital party because you have a political view, for political views aren't for the membership, they are only there to be patronised.

Benefits listed here:


"Benefits listed here"

Hmmmm in light of the EU candidates fix up they might be contravening the trade descriptions act suggesting this,,,

‘Decide who represents the Party in local, general and European elections’

Iain, that is absolute nonsense! I don't know which Association you belong to but as well as my own, I have experiences of one or two others with which I have worked in various capacities. My comments may be dismissed by some as "Joyce Grenfell.harking back to the 1950s" but surely to goodness a positive approach breeds positivity? A willingness to "muck in" and do whatever is necessary to elect Conservatives is surely a good start...or am I wrong?

" A willingness to "muck in" and do whatever is necessary to elect Conservatives is surely a good start...or am I wrong? "

To muck in to elect a EUphile MEP, why when many a Conservative member is opposed to that?

Any and all debate is good - though Sally tests that theory once she has posted ten times per thread.

To criticise the sainted editor for publicising the effects of bumbling incompetence and just straightforward inexperience is less helpful than suggesting ways to solve any real problems that exist imho.

And no, I am not being a provocateur in hoping to stir up trouble for the Tories. Actually, such is the dire strait the country is in I think that, ironically, quite a few Ukip voters will feel compelled to vote tory at the next GE, despite the fairly appalling Dave and his works.

I will have to think very carefully indeed about whether to stand again as a kipper in a tory winnable seat. The country cannot afford any more Gordon Brown.

First though, come the Euros where you are led by Timothy Kirkhope, whose approach and politics defy easy categorisation as a British politician, we by the great Nigel Farage!

Let battle continue.

I just assume that pretty much all MEPs are corrupt (all parties, all countries) - because 'that is how they do it in europe'.

Also as (at huge expense to the taxpayer) they do nothing worthwhile (unless thay are anti-eu and they are there to dismantle it) the only motivation to go is for self-advancement.

If anti-eu'ers go they will attempt to dismantle it; if pro-eu'ers go they will just make it even worse so leading to its collapse anyway. On balance, it really doesn't matter who goes (well it matters to them, their families and bank managers I suppose).

Although members can receive some financial benefits through an affinity scheme there are no other benefits from the centre from being a Tory member.

The only benefit I want to see is the removal of New Labour as a political force by the end of 2010.
Unless CCHQ de-beaurocratises (ugh)itself rapido, there is less chance of this happening.

"Any and all debate is good - though Sally tests that theory once she has posted ten times per thread."

Henry, you Sad Old Thing - you've been counting! ;-)

I probably have added my voice too often, for which I apologise but I would just say in conclusion that this really has been the most unedifying thread ever which has shown Conservative Home at its absolute worst!

Actually Sally I don't think it has. Whilst I try (and sometimes fail) to be a loyal member of the party we have to be aware of those aspects of our party where we must improve.
In the 1980's when I was first an active member as a YC and the FCS the operation was slick it was fun socially and at least there was an appearance that our views meant something and the help I offered was greatfully recieved.
Now with the best will in the world that's not always the case. If the party is to thrive financially it will have to do more to attract members who are not political anoraks like I am.

The website is lamentable in terms of soliciting donations. Hiding the "donate" section away as if it's something to be embarrassed about is hardly a winning strategy.

The PayPal donate button should be prominent on the front page, with it also appearing alongside emotive articles, so people are able to donate on the spur of the moment when they are incensed by something. At the moment, if you want to donate, you have to get out your bank card, fill in all the fiddly details and provide your inside leg measurement.

Why can't we have donations by text? At the end of every Webcameron video, youtube viral or PEB, we should have a "Text your donation amount to TORIES/ 867437 " in the same way some charities do. We need to make donating to the party as easy as throwing a coin in bucket.

We need to start learning lessons from Obama's campaign about net fundraising, and perhaps speak to Ron Paul about using Youtube and the internet to foster a grassroots campaign.

Sadly, many constituency associations and eve MPs either don't have websites or have ones that are very poorly kept. I have just started working on some of my local associations' websites and am slowly but surely getting them in some kind of shape. I think it's a disgrace if an MP, assocition or PPC doesn't have a functioning website. What is CCHQ's position on this?

Why should you join the Conservatives? Easy, because elections don't pay for themselves. It's far easier to sustain organisation rather than resurrect it every 4 years and your membership will hopefully help deliver a Conservative Government which, overall, is far superior to Labour. £25 a year is an absolute bargain for all the benefits better government brings. Joining locally means you support the work at the coalface whilst the Centre gets a cut. Join centrally and local Associaiton gets nothing.

If you don't buy that, sorry mate, your stuck with Labour who get much of their money from trade union political levies.

Our problem is that we've been governed by Labour for so long that we've forgotten how good it is to have sound Government.

I don't know about you but I am absolutely sick with desperation to be rid of Brown. God I loathe him and his dreadful motley assortment of socialist busybodies - they are trashing this country. I despise the equivocators in UKIP and the Lib Dems who dance around their pettyfogging issues whilst the country continues to slide.

Which WHY I despair when I see CCHQ being run like it is. Where are the modern equivalents of Tim Bell and Alfred Sherman? Where is our Keith Joseph? You feel me? As they'd say in Baltimore.

I'm not in this to tweak the socialist state. I want a proud confident Conservative opposition that doesn't wobble when it hears the words 'Peter Mandelson' or 'Tory cuts' but rises to the challenge of facing down the lies and smears of Labour.

I want, at the next election, like we had in '05 but lacked in '01, a Campaign Guide published. Does everyone know what that is? Its published by the Research Department and gives our policies, rebuttals for those of our opponents and is essential for a coherent campaign.

No Research Department equals no Campaign Guide equals candidates effectively unbriefed and heading off in a hundred different directions. Unprofessional and inexcusable. A recipe for disorganisation.

Its time the Leadership realised that the good governance of the Conservative Party is essential to ensure we are able to win an election and thereby deliver good governance for the country. Start as you mean to carry on. Sort out CCHQ then let it get on with the job.

Tim's point about the closed process re senior CCHQ appointments is bang on the mark

A rampant 'jobs for the boys' culture reigns at CCHQ - completely disgraceful and utterly unacceptable from the perspective of equity and efficiency. This is exactly the mistake that New Labour made

Just contrast with Obama's approach - a 'team of rivals', focusing on who can best deliver what needs to be done, not who is on the inside/ outside

No doubt the European Election GOTV campaign willl be devised on the assumption that every constituency party has 100s of deliverers. Reams of paper will be produced - much of which will end up in a skip on June 5th.

So a realistic assessment of resources would save money at the national and local levels of the party.

Prodicus. If you get this (or Tim if you can pass it on) could you contact me via my website www.rupertmatthews.org? I have been trying to sort something like this out for the East Mids myself.



The Party Chairman should not be an MP - MPs have more than enough to do, if they are doing the job properly.

Re comments above on Associations not responding to eager enquiries - quite right, that's because the Party foolishly stopped financially assisting Associations to have Agents, and then cut back on Area Agents too.

All the work rests on volunteers' shoulders - volunteers who have a full-time job, other political committments, families, etc etc.

We all know what should be done, we simply lack the time to do it - so get the professionals in where they are most needed. Not in the leafy true-blue suburbs, but in the metropolitan and rural areas where there is real potential, and we could rebuild the Party's base.

Old Hack 7 Dec 13:06 “I used to find those campaigners for democracy in the Conservative Party leafleting outside Conference a bit weird. But it seems there are times when we need them.”

I was reading this thread in a mood of déjà vu, finding no new thing in it, conscious that it was going nowhere. Suddenly I was alerted by this brief reference to democracy. Ah me ! Those were the days !

Actually, I can tell anyone who looks at this thread before it gets wiped that We Outside found it weird to be outside being thought weird (sometimes) pitiful (more often) an absolute disgrace (more often still). Some of us are still valiant for the Conservative Party while having pretty well given up all hope for it – like being fond of an incurably dipsomaniac relation perhaps.

“There are times when we need them” – no thanks ! You need (and do not know that you need) a leader who understands and believes in democracy. If there was a senior parliamentary Conservative who even, in a general sort of way, believed in civil liberties – he might fill the bill. Ordinary activists like you do not understand practical democracy – but would no doubt respond if the Leader had democracy as his “thing”.

At present you do not understand why European candidates are chosen as they are, or why we still have no policies, or why we will not cut taxes if we get into government, or why Patrick Mercer had to be sacked, or what is the peculiar charm of a particular Russian oligarch, or … but you understand power and understand that it takes a long time to cascade anywhere near you. And those weird guys with the leaflets were miles further from the power than you.

No-one seems to notice how fundamentally unhealthy is the whole Party organisation. The organisation was bad enough when we were leafleting, but at least there was lots of it. After 1997 the voluntary party, completely shafted, has had no useful function or purpose except at constituency level.

It is obvious and natural to wonder if the leadership’s failure to manage the Party’s money might caste doubt on a Conservative government’s ability to run the national economy. Its failure to sustain, extend and derive useful support from the Party membership hints in the same way that, however craftily they get themselves elected, they have no idea about running the country afterwards.

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