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Some years ago we used to have a very active CPC (Conservative Political Centre) which used to hold day Conferences, have a well-attended large Fringe meeting at Party Conference - The Swinton Lecture and hold a very successful Summer School at Oxford, Cambridge or another leading University. The Conservative Political Forum (CPF) has just not been the same! Can we revive the CPC in its old format and particularly bring back the Summer School so that a new generation may benefit from debate, discussion and policy input and feedback?

Jonathan who are these 3 candidates?

Q: What changes would you make to the selection process for MEPs in the wider interest of the Members?

There is a wealth of experience in the Voluntary side of the Party but recently we seemed to have moved away from utilising that experience, skill and knowledge.

What systems would you put in place to give the voluntary side a more meaningful role in determining the way forward rather than the Party just synically taking our subscriptions and votes

A couple of questions. 1(a). How do you communicate to the 'grassroots' (b)?How would you communicate 'what the grassroots want' to the leadership?
2.What do you think of the role played by Conhome?

Would the new chairman of the National Conservative Convention press for the following:-
(a) the selection of ALL candidates purely on merit;
(b) that all candidates for all elections be submitted to the Party membership of the relevant district, division, constituency, MEP region for their continuing approval prior to adoption/re-adoption?

I echo Malcom Dunn's question about the role ConHome could play and indeed I asked something similar yesterday. I believe that ConHome, precisely because it is not the official conservative blog, could play a more proactive role in shaping opinion, as well as providing a great deal of information on a daily basis to the grassroots.

Curious that Sir Graham Bright, who lists virtually everything he has done for the Party for decades on his website, has chosen to airbrush out his role with Conservative Mainstream.

Further to Malcolm Dunn and David Belchamber's comments, Don Porter said in his interview here yesterday that he wrote a report on every Board meeting and sent it to the 850 convention members. That's a pretty big distribution list, so would they be prepared, in the spirit of openness, to consent for their reports - assuming they continue the practice of writing them - to be published on Conservativehome? And if not, why not?

As a party we are still very weak in the North East and Scotland and other such 'Labour heartland' areas.

I personally believe that we as Conservatives face a historic opportunity to "detach" the industrial working class areas from Labour in huge numbers, if targeted strategically and intelligently. (i.e. Election Leaflets with pictures of 'spotty youths' or aged party faithful are just not going to cut it in achieving the breakthrough we need in these areas!).

Taking my own City as an example, Newcastle upon Tyne, there are still a grand total of ZERO Councillors after many years of trying?

How do you feel that the CP Board should address areas such as this?

For the record, I believe that Metropolitan Cities such as Newcastle, Liverpool, Sheffield etc (the list goes on) where we have nil Conservative opposition should be a approached in a 3 (okay 4!) phase strategy:

1. "Soften up the City Centre Professionals / Suburban Middle Class" - Target their concerns (Environmemt, Recyclycing, Schools), survey opinion, invite to a "Future of our City" type Town Hall Forums and public policy debates (SHOW WE HAVE COMPELLING IDEAS FOR THE FUTURE OF THESE CITIES!!) - This is where Electronic Campaigning in terms of E-mail and Internet could reap huge dividends if targeted intelligently here.

2. Achieve a "Pattern Break" once and for all with the notion that we as Conservatives are the uncaring / hard hearted / only-for-the-rich party, these cliches are still the default opinion in many Labour Heartland areas, and regularly trotted out by Lab / Lib parties. Trying to harvest votes in such areas simply through canvassing /leafleting is quite simply like 'SOWING SEEDS ON CONCRETE'.
We must win the ideas battle first, hence:
* Use Open Policy Forums to engage . stimulate deabte;
* Use the skills, talents and resources of the Conservative Party to actually DO SOMETHING, i.e. rather than just saying we will help X local community, let's build a team and go and do it (Think the Rwanda Project on one of our Northern inner-city estates!!)
* Create media deabte (Conservatives invisible in local media - other than when a major shadow cabinet member visits - ) deploy star media performers and great writers (Janet Daley springs to mind) to "Sell The Message" of "It is caring to cut taxes (For People on Fixed/Low incomes)" and we are the party that beieves in Freedom, Opprtunity and efficient use of Government. POSITIVE, POSITIVE, POSITIVE, make it very simple, WE are the OPTIMISTS, the LEFT are the PESSIMISTS!!!!!
* Use high profile media stunts to portray positive and humourous Conservative Messages, thinking again of Newcastle this would be:
#Giant posters on the major sites (where possibe!);
# Banners across the Tyne Bridge;
# Themes projected onto large Public Spaces ("THE WRITING'S ON THE WALL FOR GORDON, LABOUR AND THE LIB-DEM'S IN THIS CITY") (Which also conflates your opponents into one negative entity).

3. Drive home repeatedly a simple, positive and future focused vision for our city. Tightly control at an area level the messengers as well as the message.

4. The use of humour to ridicule and dismiss the Lib Dems as a force for change. (This is really linked to point 1 - We MUST make it unnaccepatble to consider voting Lib Dem ("A Party that are so TWOmindeds, they couldn't even pick ONE name!") Again the whole City Centre Professionals and Suburban Opinion Forming classes are key here.

Sorry I really did intend to just ask a question, but got carried away with the thought of turning Newcastle Blue!!!!

"Curious that Sir Graham Bright, who lists virtually everything he has done for the Party for decades on his website, has chosen to airbrush out his role with Conservative Mainstream." Posted by: Greg Smith

That's very alarming. Mainstream would be more accurately called Extreme. Who can forget the trecherous help this lot gave to Labour throughout the 1980s? I urge everyone to vote against social democratic entryists.

Geordie-Tory you strike me as exactly the kind of rude, arrogant unacceptable face of the party which has most likely kept parts of Tyneside Red for so long.

Go to Bed.

What specifically will you do to make the Conservative Party more democratic?
Will you support having an Annual General Meeting of all Party members at which the Party Chairman submits a report and the Party Treasurer submits the Party's accounts for adoption?
Will you support the Party Chairman and Party Treasurer being elected by the membership?
Will you support a reorganisation of the Party organisation after the next General Election, in order to increase the involvement of members in the organisation of the Party and policy development?

Q: What would you do in this role to unlock the hundreds of thousands of pounds that wealthy Associations are sitting on?

I agree with giving ConservativeHome a greater voice. Then we will be able to clearly see the true face of the Conservative Party. Racist, homophobic, extreme and nasty.

Sequester them on bond. Of course some arrangement has to be made that returns fair value to the Associations. We may have no choice as a governement but to aquire such rights. Money cannot be allowed to sit fustering it must be put to work. So we should have the right to fill empty homes and the right to use money that is sitting for the benifit of the state. We must make our books balance that is our duty as a government. We should be able to open business's in the empty buildings and that should be easy. We should encourage people into start up and we should allow some time for establishment before Tax hits in. We will have to entrust the management of these buildings to more people. We have a recycling industry that means there are no lack of things dirt cheap and almost free.
I see many small scale companies operating in a brave new world of survival enterprise. Freeing many millions of people of the demand economy is a good thing. We must set up self starter groups, pluck out the better types from the dole Que show them the ropes. There can be millions of small business endeavors, which can add up to a vibrant economy. We need to encourage self sufficient trading. There is only one way to beat this recession and as always it is the harder way. In the long run ( and despite the 2012 loons) we will prosper greatly from this overdue retraction and stepping back. Drawing back from the brink will be a very sound plan indeed BTW. We will vilify the greed of the past and despair at the wastage of our planet...we may even beat our chests a little keeping an eye to the dark continent. We should cover our heads in shame and don't we know it. The market has been shaken up but look to the reality. Production at record levels all the goods a man might want and cheap too.There is plenty of doolash to be won but it will have to be won the old way in units moved not mathematical models based on principles we are uncertain off. Its all about calories burnt brethren is it not?

Rose, thank you for you utterly unfounded comments, if anyone knows anything about rudeness and arrogance it is clearly your good self!

Just out of interest, as I consider myself, and I believe I am considered by all who know me, to be a model of reasonableness and affability, on what precisely are your comments "you strike me as exactly the kind of rude, arrogant unacceptable face of the party which has most likely kept parts of Tyneside Red for so long" predicated?

Jack Stone - why do you bother? You have to be a junior Labour Lackey, no-ones life could be THAT empty as find fulfillment in spewing utterly unfounded (do you know Rose?) anti-Conservatove bilge on here. No-one's life could be that empty, not even a Liberal Democrat's, surely?

Do you, like me, feel it's high time Tim brought in registration for ConHome?


Do you think CCHQ staff, including ACDs, should help in key local government by-elections (they rarely do)?

Sally, I couldn't agree more.

Actually, I would like to see the "Area CPC" (Regional CPF as it would be) restored. I attended these meetings at Newmarket for eight years, including a November conference, and the Eastern Area CPC President was .............. (Sir) Graham Bright.

PS We had a troll there - a plum-mouthed Euro-superfederalist "gentleman" farmer from South Suffolk - and we had great fun baiting him, although I didn't know the word "troll" then.

Will you please ensure that EVERY candidate for election to the EU has to be selected by the membership and not put on the list by CCHQ. We should have the opportunity of getting rid of all MEPs who have gone "native".

Derek Green. So you want something resembling Stalin`s Communist party. The Conservative Party showing there true colours yet again.

Draper-Stone has excelled himself this time. Derek Green's proposal is that PECs be selected democratically - a word Stalin had considerable trouble understanding.

Geordie Tory - Do you take a strange pleasure in insulting old ladies? After all you've done it twice today. Not to mention insulting the many young people who work hard for our party.

Give me a Conservative Party of energetic youngsters and older people giving more time than they should than lazy, nasty armchair generals like yourself.

I hope you are ashamed. We nor Tim need you on this site thank you.


"Give me a Conservative Party of energetic youngsters and older people giving more time than they should than lazy, nasty armchair generals like yourself." ....and I'll give you Council(s) with Zero Conservative Represenetation.

I'm sorry Rose, I take no pleasure in insulting anyone, it was you and you ill-considered comments which were rather insulting to me too, I was merely trying to make an earnest and well-intentioned contribution to where I feel our party could make more of an impact.

As to "lazy, nasty, armchair, generals" (your fine at taking offence but seem happy to spray unfounded, offensive ill-davised remarks like this about!) I work bloody damn hard as a Marketing Professional, I would love to have more time to devote to helping the Conservative cause, alas busniness must come first in current climate.

I thank you and take your point thoroughly though, practical, experienced professionals in areas like the North East do need to get more fully involved, if only to rescue the party from the shamateur activities of the more dotty elements of the voluntary party, although as I dont know you, I am not suggesting this applies to you, again I'll leave unfounded slurs to you.

As an alternative to 2nd home allowances & all the spin offs that go with them, how about giving MPs visiting London a fixed-cost hotel allowance which they can use when required, at a hotel of their choice and claim the money back? Simple, much cheaper that kitting out homes etc and removes the accusations currently dogging certain MPs. The finance Dpt might get a discount from hotel chains for frequent use, too.

I can understand someone wanting to dedicate their time to their business but the price of that is to keep your mouth shut.

Geordie-Tory seems to want his cake and eat it. Do nothing and snipe from the sidelines (which he seems to have found time to do), criticising those who work as being to blame for the for the lack of representation on the city council. (Conservatives do have representation at parish level).

If the party is serious about building representation in the North East beyond the rural and coastal areas, it will need to invest more resources in the urban areas. Geordie-Tory should be arguing for more support from the party not criticising activists working for against the odds.

Happiness is intrinsic, it's an internal thing

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