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.

  1. Another example of Rusty Dave’s angry response to any hint of criticism or suggestion that he is wrong on any facet of his leadership skills. The chucking out of toys from the pram springs to mind

  2. It is great to have a debate and it is true that ConHome has an editorial stance, but in my experience, Tories are their own men and women. They have their views, they express them and will rarely change their basic beliefs about whether we should be in/out of the EU, promoting free trade or protectionism or bombing Iran or not.

    Where blogs have failed – mainly lefty blogs – is in trying to push an editorial line so hard that people get turned off. Where Tim succeeds is in generating stories and comment – hence traffic, ad revenue and a nice income to pay for his MUFC season ticket – from both left and right of the party and beyond it.

    ConHome has provided that platform. A pale imitation which makes the mistakes of the lefty blogs in pushing a “line” will go the same way and fail.

  3. The “centre left” seems a crowded place, occupied by Cameroonians, NuLab and LibDems.

    Despite the high percentage of the political class who occupy that space, I doubt they will get many bloggers other than the paid for commentariat and bored political assistants.

  4. How much more proof do the Conservative Party need that they have been hijacked by left wingers masquerading as Conservatives, the enemy within, and that they urgently need to retake their party?

    Cameron has to go if this is his way of dealing with well deserved criticism. and for a myriad of other unacceptable sins as well. He is without a doubt the worst Conservative PM of the modern era and patently committed to either the wholesale destruction from within, or sale to the LibDems of a, once great, conservative Conservative party.

  5. The Remittance Man says:

    @ John Moss,

    Personally I think the reason “establishment” blogs fail is pretty simple – blogs live or die by the liveliness of their discussions. The more outrageous and freeflowing the comments are, the better the blog. Establishment types, be they of the left or the right, cannot tolerate what they see as dissent and hence freeflowing disuccions and comment are anathema to them.

    CameroonHome is being set up to try and counter the success of ConHome so it is almost a given that its starting point will automatically be anti-discussion.

    And even if the editor manages to initially keep the discussion forums free, he will very soon provoke the ire of his masters simply because those forums will quicl=kly become dominated by the majority view. A view which I suspect will be just as “right wing” as those found over at ConHome.

  6. Cast Iron Cameron says:

    I hold in my hand a piece of paper signed by Frau Merkel which guarantees Tory peace in out time. There is no need for a referndum, furt.hter resistance is useless, bloggers must be linsed by the State

  7. Nothing wrong with healthy debate – a right wing site versus a centre-right site.

    p.s. Platform 10 is still there.

    p.p.s. do you have a source for the quote about Iran?

  8. I cancelled my subscription to the Conservative Party a few weeks ago. I did so entirely because of the duplicity and poor leadership of David Cameron. Let’s hope whoever is left in the party gets the message and kicks him out and then people like me might rejoin. Otherwise we will all join a new party that seems to be forming on the right, consisting of 70-80 Tory rebels, UKIP and most of the right wing/libertarian blogosphere.

  9. Archie Ponsonby says:

    I’ll take Montgomerie over Cameron any day! Cameron’s a dead loss and the sooner the party realises that the better.

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