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« If you want to stay informed - avoid the campaign websites | Main | ICM pours cold water on Tory parade »


James Maskell

I certainly hadnt heard about that rumour Barbara. I wouldnt think it very sensible though. You never know though...

Barbara Villiers


It is true unfortunately and I am surprised that the Davis camp hasn't briefed on it. However, take my word for it - it is known. A nice payback for all those who have worked so hard on the Party's behalf.

Selsdon Man

James and Barbara, I may be a bit slow tonight but I seemed to have missed the rumour that you refer to. Please spell it out for me.

Cllr Iain Lindley

Please spell it out for me.

Barbara appears to be suggesting that Cameron wants a membership cull.

I suspect this is somewhat of a chinese whisper and that the original statement was about increasing and broadening the membership!

James Maskell

To quote Barbara "put the older, more traditional members out to pasture and rebuild the Party from scratch".

Selsdon Man

That is what I thought, James and Iain but I cannot see how the membership can be culled. Are you suggesting that DC's camp is planning expulsions? That would be absurd.

Barbara Villiers

It is apparently Cameron's plan to purge the membership of the blue rinse brigade - wipe out the core vote and start again from scratch.

How he will do this I don't know but I understand that this is indeed the plan - to rebuild the Party. Very much based on what Blair did with Labour - basically tell them to put up or shut up. I know it sounds wild but it has been making the rounds of Westminster for some time. At first I found it difficult to believe but when you see him flounce on TV and say ' I don't care what anyone thinks' it gives me a chill to my bones.

Selsdon Man

A party with large debts will need all the money paid and raised by the older members.

Barbara Villiers

Too right. However the feeling is that they are in their dotage anyway and not long for this world so it is a mercy killing.


I've deleted the incredibly tedious stream of insults from John Coulson and those who responded to him. If he should get round the ban again can he be ignored please? Email me and I'll delete his rubbish.

Henry Cook

Where is the evidence for this? No newspaper columnist has mentioned it, neither has Nick Robinson who seems to be the first to know about plots and intrigue. And what exactly is in DC's plan that would alienate so many members? Nothing at all. Its rumour-mongering, and shouldn't be given any credence.

Selsdon Man

"It is apparently Cameron's plan to purge the membership of the blue rinse brigade...tell them to put up or shut up".

I think that the membership will go along with what the new leader (DD or DC)proposes.

Barbara Villiers

Nick Robinson doesn't know everything I'm afraid.

I'll say no more on the subject. Wait and see.


Exciting - will this cull involve red jackets, horses and dogs disturbing blue rinsed dowagers in their lairs and chasing through the leafy lanes of the home counties?
Apparently voting DC will bring on a totalitarian regime unconstrained by party rules, financial needs, his own parliamentary party.....was William Aitken invoved in this rumour?

James Hellyer

"It is apparently Cameron's plan to purge the membership of the blue rinse brigade - wipe out the core vote and start again from scratch."

Is this the 25% rumour being rehashed again? If Cameron did want to follow that course, I imagine the MPs who saw their seats threatened by the resultant poll slump wouldn't look in it too kindly. I can't see that winning the leadership only to face a Confidence Motion would really be on the Cameron game plan.

Selsdon Man

Well done editor on delaing with that earlier problem. I tried to protect your and the blog's reputation.

Selsdon Man

Unless you can provide more information, Barbara, I will have to agree with Henry.

Al G

Scarily, I can see the reason for concern over this rumour! Afterall, he has said nothing about HOW he will modernise the party. Just that he will.

Could this be the reason for not unveiling his (non-Conservative) policies? Could this really be his dark secret?

Probably not but I heard it here first!

James Maskell

I would think Cameron had gone mad if he thinks copying Labour from the outset in every way possible will work for the Conservatives.

Selsdon Man

I do not believe the 25% strategy - it is a heck of a long road to the required 40%. My own view is that DC will be cautious on policy and focus on re-branding and improving the party's campaigning and communications.


I accept DCs "we can't have detailed policies for 2009" approach but I think he really needs to say what "change" means to the party organisation & membership. Its the job he'd have on day 1 - does he support "affirmative action" / imposing candidates? does he see a change in power between a constituency based versus a centrally managed party?
What does the "change is me" mean?

Richard Carey

Firstly, I hope that the comments regarding change mean that the kind of self-indulgent egotistical rubbish pedalled earlier in this thread will be a thing of the past.

Thanks are due to the Ed for dealing with it so promptly, these idiots do no credit to our Party. If they are members, perhaps they will consider leaving as soon as possible. (Please note that this does not form part of any percentage strategy!!)

"I think that the membership will go along with what the new leader (DD or DC)proposes."

I certainly hope so. Why should they not?

Having elected the new leader by democratic mandate, I think it should be made very clear that those who do not do this will not be tolerated. Being a democratic Party means not throwing your toys out of the pram when you don't get your own way, but doing what the vast majority of our members do with little recognition and intermittent praise. They carry on the work of building and running a campaigning organisation even if you did not personally agree with the minute detail of every single decision taken.

Yet another Anon

If David Cameron wins, his front bench are going to have to have positions in House of Commons debates and MEP's, Members of devolved Parliaments and Local Councillors are also going to have to impliment policies.

The next election isn't for 3.5 years and the Conservative Party is in a position where it has to accept that it is improbable that it will win a majority as it isn't just a matter of Labour losing, the Conservative Party had 8.75 million votes, 32.3% of the vote and 198 seats at the recent election which was only a slight improvement on 2001 and still leaves them with fewer total numbers of votes than they got in 1997 - even if Labour dropped to 30% of the vote the chances of the Conservatives gaining enough seats to form a majority government are improbable, with their 198 seats they can work in the House of Commons to influence legislation within this parliament by blocking and also by negociating with Government ministers especially where there are substantial Labour rebellions. Even if they gain 100 seats after the next General Election and form a minority government (perhaps in a situation where the Liberal Democrats rather than support either Labour or Conservative simply allow a free vote on confidence matters or abstain) they are going to be in a position where they require opposition votes to pass legislation or are going to be in formal coalition with Liberal Democrats and/or Labour and so would have to compromise then.

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