ConservativeHome launched on Easter Monday 2005. That actually makes us a little older than one because Easter fell at the end of March last year but Easter Monday seems the most memorable anniversary to mark. The launch of the site was covered in The Times of 28th March 2005. Looking back on that article I hope that the site has begun to fulfil some of what The Times (accurately) promised for it…
- "It will invite people to bypass the media and put forward their own views on how the party should evolve…" …ConservativeHome certainly did that during the leadership election and still does it today – day in, day out. I’m particularly proud of the ConservativeHome Members’ Panel and the way it is ensuring that the party leadership cannot hide from grassroots (or should I say netroots) sentiment. On last night’s Radio 4 Westminster Hour I reported on grassroots support for a greater emphasis on tax relief.
- "It is independent of the Tory party, though supportive of it.." …I hope that is true: we are not afraid to question Tory strategy (and take on the leadership as we did with last year’s attempt to rob grassroots members of their say in the leadership election) but the site wants the party to prosper and still has faith in Project Cameron for the ten reasons given last Monday.
- "It will favour tax relief, oppose British membership of the euro, support the strengthening of marriage and back pre-emptive action in the War on Terror. It will also advocate a broader form of conservatism, opposing the sale of arms to repressive regimes and suggesting that a “bias to the poor” should be its defining mission." …Noone can accuse ConservativeHome of failing to contend for this politics of and!
Alongside an enthusiastic belief in the ways in which new
technologies empower grassroots activism it is the ‘politics of and’ –
a belief in a balanced, holistic conservatism – that explains why this
site finds both the Howard and Cameron leaderships unsatisfactory.
year ago the site was launched with the graphic on the right. Drawn by
Krieg Barrie (also responsible for the shields in the masthead) it
captured my frustration with the Conservative Party at the time. We
were an imbalanced party – focused narrowly on tax, Europe, crime and
immigration. There was little wrong with those beliefs but they were
an unnecessarily narrow rendition of conservatism (and they were
communicated without David Cameron’s culturally-sensitive moderation).
Today the party hardly talks about those core issues at all. It’s all
civil liberties, environmentalism and concern for the poor. One form
of imbalance has been swapped for another.
There’ll be three ten point briefings this week to mark twelve months of ConservativeHome:
- One will make a fuller case for the ‘and theory of
conservatism’ and it will launch a search for a less clunky way of
- Another will examine the ‘conservative movement’ and how it relates to the Conservative Party…
- Another will examine the growing role of blogs.
On Friday I’ll answer any questions you have about ConservativeHome. Please click here to pose questions.