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The despatch box

We're you thinking what the Conservatives were thinking? Did you believe the Lib Dems were the real alternative? Is Labour moving forward not back? This blog will focus on all things political. It will be irritating, agitating and maybe just maybe it will get you thinking.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Renewing the party

The Direct Democracy site which has been much publicised in the Telegraph is well worth a look. Knowing some of the authors of the book, and also the new supporters - including the likes of Priti Patel and Iain Dale, it is clear this organisation clearly won't be short of ideas or input.

Having been brought up in the Midlands -(actually 15 minutes south of Sheffield) it is clear that the party needs to ensure that we have high calibre candidates who aren't just representative of the "Tory South". The party has to ensure it is a party representing the whole of Britain - and that means winning seats in the North - areas that have historically been seen as the "Labour heartlands".

Policy is key to success - but so is presentation. Pinstriped suits and posh voices win no friends where I live and campaign - and presentation has to be modernised hand in hand with policy.

1 Comments:

  • At Sunday, June 12, 2005 1:01:00 pm, Blogger Mark O'Brien said…

    I'm worried that Direct Democracy - whilst it strikes the right notes in terms of what kind of principles the party should have - is very thin in terms of policy ideas. Perhaps we shouldn't really expect a lot of policy proposals, but I'd have expected more of that, even though I agree with the emphasis of what the book says.

    I agree with you about the need to develop a better identity so that we're no longer seen as the party of the south. I'm a blunt Yorkshireman - the kind I'm sure people love to see fighting their corner on a television screen! - and it's my political ambition to make this county blue!

    However, simply changing our look will not make that dream a reality. I believe we need to change three things: new people, new policies, new strategy. We need all our talented MPs in high-profile positions, because we have an extraordinarily talented parliamentary party, especially when you consider the 2005 intake. We need new and ambitious policies for government, and we shouldn't be afraid of being too radical - school vouchers, much stronger local democracy, radical changes to welfare. And we need an electoral strategy that doesn't focus all our efforts on southern marginals like in this last election.

    Most importantly of all, we need the ambitious and the energy and the confidence to be able to walk through cities like Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester and proudly proclaim, "I am a Conservative!"

    The problem: finding a leader who can bring all that about!

     

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