Deep down, a part of me hopes that the recent decision by David Cameron
to start a debate with the grassroots has come about at least in part,
because of the discussions which take place on this website. As a
fairly new participant, I have happily found myself blogging away at
peculiar times of the day and night and really appreciate the diversity
and passion of the views which often appear in response to a thread.
During our election campaign in Tewkesbury this year, we really
concentrated on engaging with our electorate instead of relying upon a
barrage of unsupported literature to do the job for us. Feedback was
good and post-election letters in the local media highlighted the way
that voters felt we had been genuinely interested in what is real for
them, rather than just assuming that we know best on their behalf.
Of course, there will always be a difference between local and national
elections, but the fundamentals are basically just the same. We
should also be very minded of the fact that many voters do not
distinguish between the Conservatives running the local Borough and
those patiently waiting for Government in Westminster.
My point is this; sooner or later, an appreciation for the views of people just like those posting on this site will come about and ConservativeHome has made an extremely good start in making this happen.
10 years of Labour has dangerously convinced many that the only way to achieve success is to emulate an apparent winning formula. But has the country really been winning? We could spend a long time picking this Labour administration to bits and most of the people visiting this site would only be too happy to do so. However, I would much prefer to look at the powerful and positive force for change that we can all now be, rather than taking on the role of some kind of quasi-coroner looking at a dying body and wondering how it is continuing to survive for so long.
One of the biggest steps that we now need to take is to live up to what being a Conservative really means and begin to see the issues before us through the eyes of those most likely to be effected.
I am not suggesting for one minute that people on this site are not involved in real issues, but I do wonder how many of us have been guilty at some point, of looking at matters such as the grammars debate through our own experiences and then thinking about how we would like to experience education or whatever other policy we are discussing. Surely as a group, we need to be looking at the potential experiences of others too and translating our own knowledge for their benefit?
Taking the views and suggestions which appear on ConservativeHome personally and then responding as such is a sad waste of time and comment which could be used so much more effectively for the benefit of the Party. As Conservatives, we could do so much more with this site and the debate which it encourages amongst us if we were to build upon the comments of others rather than taking the opportunity to score points in what is effectively a friendly match.
In passing, I’m not talking about our Labour and Lib Dem opponents who visit this site. They come not because they are enjoying the thought of dissention within the party ranks, but because they genuinely fear that cohesion between all parts of the party could commence at any time. They know only too well that once together and functioning as one, the Conservative Party is an unstoppable machine which will deliver in ways that left leaning parties will never be able to.
I like this site and what it represents for us all, namely Conservatives of all kinds using a modern medium to engage in what could become the first part of a representative, wide-ranging and meaningful dialogue on the future of politics in this Country.
ConservativeHome is an opportunity which we may be neglecting as it stands. The time has come to change criticism to encouragement and to realise that we can effect change if we really want to, just by starting here.
Good on you ConservativeHome.