Friday, October 30, 2009

Criticisms of Lord Ashcroft ignored on Conservative Home Blog

The Independent this morning ran three critical items on Lord Ashcroft as I noted here on Ironies Too:


Conservative Home blog goes silent

We wait with baited breath for the updating of the Conservative Home blog following the damaging stories and leading article in today's The Independent on the new shareholder in that blog and Chairman of Cameron's Conservative Party, Lord Ashcroft. Read it from here, here and here.

I have sent my own unsolicited advice to Tim Montgomerie on the subject of his blog. I will update developments which could restore hope for a true Conservative Party to re-emerge as they unfold.

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posted by Martin at 8:49 AM 0 comment


The e-mail I sent to the editor of the Conservative Home blog was as follows:


I have admired all you have achieved with Conservative Home but surely it is now time to change server to Blogger, which is very effective and requires no backers as it is free.

Conservative Home is Tim Montgomerie, you will be followed by Conservative voters.

The problems for Cameron, Ashcroft and the non-conservative party they have created must be resolved before the election, with Lord Pearson leading UKIP and these revelations in the paper today, a large responsibility has fallen upon your shoulders.

Good Luck,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Conservative Home"blog, twigs truth on Cameron's Tories

Read this post and the comments, from here, probably not there for long so a re-post below:

CCHQ has trashed principle after principle in its manipulation of candidate selection

The decision by David Cameron to introduce all women shortlists (AWS) - a move he described as a "step too far" just three years ago - is the latest in a long line of decisions taken by the Tory leadership to control the selection of Tory candidates and has, in the process, eroded key conservative principles.


It all began with the A-list. The candidates on the A-list (particularly the female candidates) performed less well in previous election campaigns than the men. 22 of the original A-listers achieved swings above the national average swing of 2.21% and 46 achieved below-average swings. Getting on to the A-list was not a rigorous process with candidates revealing that they faced very different interview processes. Some even had second chances.

Given that 70% of approved candidates are men (and the number of women applying to be Tory candidates was actually falling at one point) there was always an unfairness in half-women shortlists (HWS) - an unfairness that boiled over into rebellion at Dudley North. ConservativeHome warned that HWSs could have a perverse effect. We wrote this in August 2006: "Any attempt to impose half-women shortlists may backfire. Associations may, perversely, think that any woman in the final round is there to make up a quota rather than because of her intrinsic merits." That is exactly what has happened. The proportion of women selected has fallen since HWSs became compulsory.


If Associations refused to accept HWSs they lost the right for all local members to have the final say in candidate selection.

Fivekeyresults Also under David Cameron's watch ordinary party members lost the right to deselect sitting MEPs. If they had not lost that right we might have seen Edward McMillan-Scott MEP deselected before he caused such trouble for the party since.

Another subversion of democracy was the decision to put women at the top of regional MEP lists even if they received fewer votes than men.

CCHQ expects volunteer activists to devote years of fundraising and envelope-stuffing to the party but they no longer trust them to choose their parliamentary candidates or their MEPs.


We need more women MPs. We need them on grounds of fairness but also because a debate involving women is richer than one without. We also need more people from public sector backgrounds and people with experience of the voluntary and poverty-fighting sectors. I do not think it is helpful that quite so many Tory MPs are from the City, law, the south and from private schools. True diversity is about more than more women. If diversity was a key aim the criteria for the A-list were too superficial. ConservativeHome's own campaign to help lower income candidates has been consistently overlooked by CCHQ.


CCHQ tried to keep the A-list secret (something ConHome corrected) but the lesson on transparency was not learnt. CCHQ suppressed the data on membership numbers and turnout during last year's vote on non-incumbent MEP candidates.


In all of the above the idea that local institutions are instinctively trusted by Team Cameron has been comprehensively trashed.


Throughout the whole process there has been a lack of courtesy to the candidates seeking a seat. They all make enormous sacrifices for the party and pay an annual fee to be on the candidates list but were not informed if they did not get on to second waves of the A-list. A ConHome straw poll found that candidates had to ring CCHQ at least three times before getting their phone calls returned.


CCHQ will justify AWS on the basis that they are necessary to correct an historical wrong. The same arguments have been used for all ethnic minority work contracts in the USA. Are the Conservatives now willing to support such contracts? They have surrendered any principled opposition to them with this decision on AWS.

Tim Montgomerie

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bad people acting to justify their appalling behaviour

Read a report on an address to a Conservative Association by Sean Gabb, as posted by the author from here.

Please read it all the way to this conclusion:

If you want to preserve this nation, you must be prepared for a radical jettisoning of what is no longer merely old, but also dead. The conservative challenge is to look beneath the plumage and save the dying bird.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cameron should panic on quality of candidates - NOT their sex

The BBC reports that Cameron is once more fretting over the shortage of women and ethnic minorities on the Conservative Party candidate list.

A far greater problem that will cost an avalanche of votes at the next general election is the dishonesty of his sitting MPs AND the refusal to learn from past mistakes in that area by selection of similar candidates for the coming years. Consider these latest two taken from the Candidates section of the Conservative Home blog, linked here:

Oxbridge QC (Blair clone again -Life experience NIL) :

Stephen Phillips QC read Law at Oxford and after a short stint in the Welsh Guards and attending Sandhurst, he was called to the Bar in 1993 and appointed a QC earlier this year. He is also Chairman of the Governors of the only sign-bilingual school in Britain. Douglas Hogg will bequeath a notional majority of 12,687 over Labour.
(Sleaford and North Hykeham).

"Deep experience of the NHS"- Great help for Britain's economic crisis!

Dr Philip Lee aged 39 and a bit years succeeds the disgraced Andrew Mackay in Bracknell. Another safe seat wasted unless a decent independent can quickly be found.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Unimpressive post-conference local government results

West End ward, Westminster
Con - 526 - 61% (+10)
Lab - 169 - 20% (+3)
Lib Dem - 108 - 12% (-2)
Green - 62 - 7% (-8)
Con hold (UKIP did not stand this time)

Penrith West ward, Eden
LD - 387 - 52% (+52)
Con - 157 - 21% (-18)
BNP - 102 - 14% (+14)
Ind - 58 -8% (-37)
Lab - 26 - 3%( -13)
Green - 18 - 2% (+2)
Lib Dem gain from Ind

Grange Hill ward, Epping Forest
Con - 453 - 52% (-32)
Lib Dem - 411 - 48% (+48)
Con hold (Lab did not stand this time)

March West ward, Fenland
Con - 830 -54% (-4)
Lab - 460 -30% (+30)
Lib Dem - 250 - 16% (-26)

Monday, October 05, 2009

David Cameron is Blair's lackey

Remind yourself of that fact and remember that he waved his own party to their feet as Blair left the chamber!

What self-governance will remain in Britain with Cameron as PM under President Blair?