Thursday, February 25, 2016

Conservative Election Expenses

Time for the Conservative Party to come clean on by-election expenses.

John Straffords interview on Channel 4 news 25 February 2016

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Eurozone by Roger Kendrick

COPOV has no view on whether we should vote "Remain" or "Leave" in the European Union Referendum, but we do encourage debate, so all the views on this site relating to the Referendum are personal.

See a very clear explanation of the Eurozone expressed in terms we can all understand.

Give more than 100%?

What Makes 100% ?

What does it mean to give MORE
than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%.

How about achieving 103%?

What makes up 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:


Is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%


11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 =

But ,

1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%


2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.

1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty, that while Hard work   and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude   will get you there.
Its the
  Bullshit   and   Ass Kissing that will put you over the top.  
Now you know why some people are where they are!


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cameron - Dictator or Leader?

David Cameron gave a message to Conservative Members of Parliament on Wednesday 3rd February on how to vote in the EU referendum - “Members should not take a view because of what their constituency association might say or because they are worried about a boundary review.”   Yet these are the constituency associations which work their guts out at election time to ensure that Conservative MPs are elected.

Once again Cameron has shown contempt for the Party membership.   He just does not understand the difference between Leadership and Dictatorship.   We have been here before.   Remember the “A” list of candidates, gay marriage to name but two issues where the views of members were ignored.

The Conservative Party has a tribal instinct.   It likes a strong Leader but the Leader must listen to the members before taking a major decision.   If he does that the members will continue to follow the Leader even when they have disagreed with him.   At least they have had their say.    A Dictator doesn’t listen but just says ”This is my decision, take it or leave it.   I am not interested in what party members think”.

The decision as to whether this country remains in the European Union or leaves is the most important decision we face today, and yet within the Conservative Party there has been no debate.   No motion was tabled at the Party Conference at which members could express their views – in fact there are no longer any forums within the Conservative Party at which ordinary members can express their views to the Leadership.

Is it any wonder that Party membership is at an all time low.   The Conservative Party is the only major party which has not increased its membership since the General Election.   Membership is about 135,000 of which about 10% are active members (mainly Councillors and their families).  Compare this with the Scottish National Party which has a membership of 110,000 and only fights 59 seats in the Westminster parliament.   To fight a ground campaign at a General Election on a National basis the Conservative Party would need 1,000,000 members.

   One final point, in the EU referendum, whichever way the electorate vote there will be a substantial minority perhaps as many as 10 million who will be bitterly disappointed and who may have voted against their Party for the first time.   They will be deciding which political party to support in the future.   After the Scottish referendum the Scottish National Party attracted huge support in spite of losing the referendum.   Which party will the disappointed turn to after the European referendum – one of the major parties or one of the new parties?.   What is for sure is that we are moving towards a major shake-up in British politics and it will be those parties which are democratic which are likely to be the beneficiaries.   It will be those parties where the Leader listens to their members that will win.   By telling Conservative MPs to ignore their Constituency Associations Cameron is telling them to act as Dictators.   Perhaps when selection of candidates comes up after the Boundary Commission Review, party members might just remember that.

It is reported that 70% of Conservative Party members are in favour of leaving the European Union.   If the vote in the referendum goes against them they will form a huge pond in which other political parties will fish.   The kaleidoscope of party membership will be shaken.   How will it fall?

What is certain is that if a political party loses it’s membership it will in due course cease to exist.   Interesting times!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Grass Roots letter in The Sunday Telegraph Feb 7th 2016

As Conservative Party members and supporters, we were proud to campaign for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union during the 2015 general election. It was a historic opportunity to secure a democratic vote for the British public on this vital matter.
The goodwill of the Prime Minister committing to a referendum has been undermined by his comments this week in the House of Commons urging his MPs to ignore the views of members of the Conservative Party and its associations. It was through the dedication and hard work of Conservative Party members that David Cameron secured the majority he needed to form a government. Grassroots Conservatives pounded the streets in all weather, knocking on doors, running street stalls and raising money to ensure that their Conservative candidates were elected and Mr Cameron would secure a Conservative majority. It is deeply regrettable that the Prime Minister dismisses the very people who helped secure his victory, and he should remember that no prime minister has a divine right to rule.
The EU referendum is a testing time for the Conservative Party as it evokes such passionate views on both sides of the debate. We urge Mr Cameron to accept that loyal Conservative Party members want the opportunity for a balanced debate and that he and his colleagues should listen to the views expressed by all at the grassroots.
We urge the Prime Minister to refrain from showing any disrespect to the loyal servants who helped him win a majority government.
Ed Costelloe
Chairman, Grassroots Conservatives
Somerton and Frome
David Allen
Gillingham and Rainham.
Colin Aylin
Raymond Cade
Diarmid Campbell
Alan Chapman
James Cheetham
Andrew Clift
Paul Diamond
Mary Douglas
Stewart and Sheila Drennan 
Bexhill and Battle
Matt Ewart
South Staffordshire
John Fifield
Weaver Vale
Robert Flunder
Brentwood and Ongar
Richard Fontes
Guy Hordern
Kath Howell
Ian Hunter
Colchester and North Essex
Paul Jemetta
Ros Jump
Haltemprice and Howden
Arthur Kay
Bexhill and Battle
Anthea Kemp
Somerton and Frome
Jeremy Knapp
South Suffolk
Roger Lomas
Fermanagh and Tyrone
Richard Mackenzie
Kingston upon Hull North
Gladys Macrae
Anne Meek
Rutland and Melton
Delyth Miles
Bob Moore
Andrew Nicholas
Pam Notcutt
Tony Partridge
Clwyd South
John Sharp
Haltemprice and Howden
John Sheldon
Esher and Walton
William Stebbings
Peter Steveney
Thirsk and Malton
John Strafford
Tony Tucker
Edinburgh North and Leith
Geoffrey Vero
Surrey Heath
John Waine
John Wilkinson
Hastings and Rye
John Winter
Scarborough and Whitby
Ken Worthy
Esher and Walton

The Grass Roots in Sunday Telegraph 7th Feb 2016

Bob cartoon, February 6

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Cameron and the "grass roots" update - todays Daily Telegraph

From "The Daily Telegraph" 6th February 2016

"John Strafford, a former association chairman, who now runs the Campaign for Conservative Democracy said the "obvious home for disgruntled Conservatives will be UKIP".   He said "For a long time Tory party members have supported leaving the European Union and unless Cameron pulls a rabbit out of the hat they are going to vote against him.
"These members who have been Conservatives for most of their lives will have to vote against their party for the first time.   But once you start voting against your party you lose your attachment to it and when you lose your attachment you start looking around"

Friday, February 5, 2016

COPOV Forum 20th February

See Events

Cameron and the "grass roots".

David Cameron gave a message to Conservative Members of Parliament on Wednesday 3rd February on how to vote in the EU referendum - “Members should not take a view because of what their constituency association might say or because they are worried about a boundary review.”  

This is what "The Times" said today:

"John Strafford, chairman of the Campaign for Conservative Democracy, accused the prime minister of acting like a dictator.   He said that the Tory leadership had shown "continuous contempt" for party members.
"The essence of leadership is to listen to your followers and then take a decision," he said.   "The essence of dictatorship is to tell your followers what is going to happen". I am afraid Cameron has moved into the latter position of dictator.   What he should always remember is that the party members are the ones that put Conservative MPs into their position.   If you don't listen to them they will react."

Tuesday, February 2, 2016



The following is an article by a member of COPOV. It is a personal one and does not necessarily reflect the views of other COPOV members or of its Management Committee: 

It is looking increasingly likely that within the next six months the general public will again be asked to make a decision on whether to remain in the European Union as it is now constituted. So much has changed in the last forty years when the previous referendum was held. The admission of those former communist countries in Eastern Europe, the fall of the Berlin Wall , economic and monetary union with the euro as a single currency, the vast migration into Europe from many states in the Near East, the rise of terrorism and most notably the threat posed by ISIS.  These are enormous changes posing great problems for the leaders of the free world. Is it possible I ask myself for the United Kingdom to adopt a policy of seemingly ‘splendid isolation’ in such a situation?

Let us not kid ourselves. Referendums are alien to the British Constitution and should be used only sparingly. Unfortunately they tend to be used for party political purposes in an attempt to patch up differences within those parties. Most of you reading this article will remember that in 1975 the so called renegotiation undertaken by the then Prime Minister Harold Wilson and his then Foreign Secretary James Callaghan when put to the Cabinet had seven dissenting ministers who were given a licence to campaign for withdrawal. Twenty or so years later and after the fall of Margaret Thatcher, John Major’s government was rent asunder by differences over Europe. These differences have never been resolved and our party in government again now has to finally face up to the fact that we are split down the middle with those wishing to secede probably having a very slight majority. The referendums concerning devolution in the late nineteen nineties (confined incidentally to only Scotland and Wales) and the September 2014 referendum in Scotland only confirm the dangers of using such a device and should have been a warning. In the nineteen eighties the Labour party holding a large number of seats in Scotland fanned the flames of discontent by accusing the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of having no mandate in Scotland when the Unionists were in a minority in Scotland and were relying on English Members of Parliament to get Scottish business through. And Margaret Thatcher, stubborn as she sometimes was ,only added fuel to the flames by insisting that  the ‘community charge’ (poll tax) be introduced in Scotland first as a trial run for the rest of the country. Secondly the Labour Party accustomed as it was to large majorities in some very safe seats could never conceive of the possibility of ever losing its Scottish fiefdom which it had ruled ever since the mid sixties. The continued advance of Scottish Nationalism since 1998 and the astonishing and unprecedented 2015 General Election results have shown how false that assumption by the Labour party has been. A second referendum on Scottish independence is being mooted in some quarters in the hope of reversing the 2014 decision. And, if by a quirk of fate, in the forthcoming European referendum Scotland votes to stay in and the rest of the United Kingdom votes to come out then we will have a constitutional crisis par excellence. This, of course, may not happen but there is going to be bitterness whichever side wins and the wounds so inflicted will take a long time to heal.

UKIP’s appeal has crossed the party divide appealing to those elements in the Conservative Party who believe in ‘England, my England’ a nostalgic look back at times long gone and to the old working class Labour voter in the South Wales valleys and in the mill and steel towns of North and North East England who feel that the Labour party they once supported no longer understands them run as it is by a rich and powerful elite based in London whose roots in the Labour party are as one person said of Tony Blair ‘like a stick of celery’.  But those supporting UKIP are no visionaries and seem to the writer to be hankering after a better yesterday.

The forthcoming Presidential Election in the United States of America is also affecting the way the writer intends to vote. It seems that the leading USA Presidential contenders in both the Democrat and Republican Parties are likely to be an extreme Liberal and an extreme Conservative with Hillary Clinton for the Democrats having the edge. In some quarters it is rumoured that the United States could conceivably pull its 100,000 troops out of Europe and were this to happen some sort of common European defence policy would have to be thrashed out. The so called special relationship between the United Kingdom and the USA has on times been under severe strain notably when Harold Wilson as Prime Minister  refused quite rightly not to agree to Lyndon Johnson’s request for British troops in Vietnam, Edward Heath, his Common Market negotiations successfully concluded held Richard Nixon in distain, Harold Macmillan was left to repair relations with Dwight Eisenhower after the Suez debacle although judging from the telephone conversations now available over the internet concerning the Cuban Missile crisis in 1962 John Kennedy whose eldest sister had married in Macmillan’s in laws kept the then Prime Minister fully informed about the developing situation.

Ronald Reagan’s love in with Margaret Thatcher (or was it the other way round?) lasted for eight years although relations there were sometimes strained. I remember at one Bournemouth conference in the early 2000’s Sir Malcolm Rifkind relating the story of how Reagan was taking a phone call from Margaret Thatcher and after a harangue of about ten minutes he put his hand over the telephone and turning to one of his aides and whispered ‘Gee! Isn’t she wonderful?’  Tony Blair’s closeness to George W. Bush at the time of the Iraq War probably was not good for either man’s reputation. Even the great Franklin Delano Roosevelt had his disagreements with Winston Churchill particularly over how to deal with Soviet Dictator Josef Stalin. And while accepting Margaret Thatcher’s view that Europe was the cause of two World Wars in the twentieth century it has to be remembered that Hitler’s rise to power in Germany in the late nineteen twenties and the early nineteen thirties only came about because he was able ruthlessly to exploit the harsh penalties financial and otherwise which had been imposed, largely at France’s instigation, on the German population via the Versailles Treaty in 1919. The USA itself is changing, the white population is shrinking, and there are more and more Latinos and other races taking up residence there.  The United Kingdom never has been and never will be the fifty first state of the USA. We are tied not only by geography but by our history to Europe. That fact cannot be denied. Within ten years people will be asking ‘What was so special about our relationship with the USA?’

Many of our biggest companies when not owned by other European companies have important trade links there. You can get on an aeroplane from Heathrow at 6 a.m. in the morning do business in maybe two European Capital cities such as Paris and Brussels and be back in London at 8 p.m. the same evening. The writer believes that our future lies in Europe and that we will not be forgiven by future generations if we were to leave.

The writer would be the first to concede that not everything is well in the European Union.  Many of our previous Commissioners have been failed politicians from this country. The lavish salaries and perks showered upon Members of the European Parliament coupled with virtually no accountability stinks and just shows how out of touch many of the Members are. Others get well paid jobs there based not on ability but on whom they know. The European Union’s complete failure to come up with a solution to the continuing refugee crisis that is fair and acceptable to all countries has only fanned the flames of discontent and resentment. Surely playing a prominent role in trying to solve the problem is better than no role at all. The writer has grave doubts whether we could in any case successfully implement border controls desirable though they might be.

The reader will by now have probably guessed that the writer will reluctantly vote ‘yes’ for remaining in. As Harold Macmillan once said: Better stay with nurse for fear of something worse. Or as USA President Johnson once said (though his language would have been classed as an ‘expletive deleted’): I would rather have him inside the tent looking out than outside the tent looking in!

Hopefully the debate in the coming months will be fair frank and open with both sides able to freely express their views. The result is very important and will decide the United Kingdom’s destiny for the next hundred years or so.

1 February 2016