A group of centrist Tory MPs are plotting to challenge the blogosphere quasi-monopoly of Conservative Home. Michael Crick reports that allies of David Cameron have been meeting “to establish a significant website which will do for the centre-left what Conservative Home does for the right” and that “substantial resources are available” to challenge Lord Ashcroft’s cash.
Designed to help Cameron take on backbench and grassroots right wingers, Scrapbook is hoping upon hope that the project will make for some popcorn-worthy internecine warfare. David Cameron’s antipathy for Conservative Home, edited by right-winger Tim Montgomerie, is well known. When asked about the use of force to curb Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s nuclear ambitions, Cameron once quipped:
“We’ll send planes to attack Iran, provided they bomb Conservative Home on the way back.”
The launch of this new political outfit online rather than in print has some poignance given the recent fate of paper-based lefty counterparts. With Tribune magazine facing a potentially uncertain future after being sold to staff for £1 to by owner Kevin McGrath and the socialist Morning Star potentially “going under by Christmas”, real questions remain as to the viability of small to medium size paper-based outlets.
Time will tell whether “2020 Conservatives” is more successful than Labour’s “2020 Vision” website, founded by those doyens of blogging, Alan Milburn and, errr, Charles Clarke.