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« My ballot paper has arrived... | Main | David Davis passes Tebbit's test »

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Kenneth Irvine

This is a copy of my post on the platform blog.

The Party Chairman has picked up my comments on membership benefits, incuding the one relating to Heartland magazine, on the homepage. Here are a few suggestions that he may wish to consider.

Everyone should have be able sign up to receive the daily bulletin, possibly in HTML format with links to speeches etc. It should include news on key events, campaigns, council by-elections etc.

The Conservative Policy Forum briefs should be sent out by email to those who register on the main party site to receive it. By logging on members should then be able to offer feedback. Members could register to be respondents on policy surveys - like Yougov and other online market research companies.

Conservatives Direct should be a national project for everyone that encourages activism. Many activists do not know that it, or its website, even exists.

Heartland should be more than a printed magazine. It ought to be real time magazine that complements this blog. Shadow cabinet members, MPs and CCHQ staff should be posting articles and speeches for comment and feedback. It should also publish articles by ordinary party members and think tankers. Too much valuable content is hidden away in the archives in conservatives.com.

We need a national policy conference, away from the media spotlight, where policy can be discussed in detail with contributions from policy experts and non-party organisations.

Members should be able to participate regular in training conferences, especially on campaigning and running councils. I have just signed up for the one on fighting the Lib Dems. It is cheap at £5 - I would have paid more.

Finally, we are balloting 250,000 members this month. We ought to be able to attract free membership benefits from retailers, banks, utilities and other companies who want our business. That way they can get memmbership back in discounts etc. We ought to able to get advertising and sponsorship to fund, if only in part, some the initiatives I have suggested.

We need to build up a network of informed, trained and empowered grassroots activists that can mobilised as fearsome election fighting machine. Without it, our new leader will be a general with a big headquarters but no army.


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