Thursday, December 19, 2019

Speech - North Down Conservatives - 28th November 2019 Transcript. For video see below

Speech – North Down Conservatives – 28th November2019
John Strafford

Ladies and Gentlemen – Good evening!
Conservative friends
Conservative friends of Northern Ireland
It is a great pleasure to be here and to support Mathew Robinson as your Conservative candidate in the General Election and I look forward to seeing him as the first of many Conservative MPs from Northern Ireland to sit in the House of Commons.

I have met Mathew before and I can tell you he is a great Conservative and a great believer in democracy including within the Conservative Party.

Of course, I have been to Northern Ireland before and each time when I arrive at Belfast International Airport and start to descend the steps from the plane, there on the ground before me I see a great big mat and on that mat are written the words: Welcome, Welcome home!

For that is how I feel.   For many, many, years you have shown me friendship, kindness, hospitality.   There is nowhere in the United Kingdom, except perhaps Sheffield in Yorkshire, where I was born, that has a bigger heart.

30 years ago, doesn’t time fly; at the Conservative Party conference a motion was passed to let the people of Northern Ireland be members of the Conservative Party.   Sadly, many of those who worked so hard to bring that about are no longer with us, but I can still see their happy faces when that motion was passed.  Happily, some of you are here today to remember that wonderful occasion.
Let me for a few moments indulge in a bit of nostalgia to explain to those who were not there what happened.

In April 1988 I was the Chairman of the Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association, one of the strongest associations in the country.   It had 6,500 members and raised lots of money for the Party.

Out of the blue I received a letter from a lady in Northern Ireland writing on behalf of the “Tories for Equal Citizenship”.   In the letter she put the following question:
Why is it that although I am a citizen of the United Kingdom I cannot join and be a member of the political party which forms the government of the United Kingdom?   At the time I didn’t know that, so I took the question to the Executive Council of the Beaconsfield Association and asked them.   They didn’t know either, but went on to say “write to the Party Chairman, who at the time was Peter Brooke, and ask him.   So I did.   His reply was not very satisfactory.   He said it was all historical and the Ulster Unionists had been part of the Party but had left and it was all very difficult!
I began to get more and more involved with the North Down Model Conservative Association, and at the 1988 Party conference a petition was organised and got over 1200 signatures and there was a packed out fringe meeting.

In 1988 the Conservative Party launched a national membership drive and the last session of the conference was on Party organisation so I put my name in to speak.   I was the last speaker in the session and having spoken about what we had done in Beaconsfield about membership I then went on to say “There is other way in which we can increase the membership of the Conservative Party and that is to allow the people of Northern Ireland to be members of it.”   That got a big cheer.   The lovely Teresa Gorman, do you remember Teresa, said to me “you have changed the course of history”.   Nothing like a bit of flattery to get the adrenalin flowing!

Lawrence Kennedy and others were watching the conference in a TV rental shop, because they were not allowed into the Conference centre and immediately found me and asked if I would come to Northern Ireland and address a meeting.   I said “when?”   He said “next Friday”.   “OK” I said, and so I came to Northern Ireland for the first time.   I was expecting a meeting with perhaps a dozen people.   No, the hall was packed out.   I had never seen so much enthusiasm from people wanting to join the Conservative Party.   I was given a standing ovation.

A report of the meeting went to Ian Gow MP, a great man who promptly wrote to Pater Brooke and described the meeting and told Peter Brooke that he now had to take action.   I was given a copy of the letter.

The next month I got the National Union Executive Committee, which I sat on, to support a motion to affiliate the North Down Conservatives to the Conservative Party and I then went on to get a similar motion agreed by the Wessex Area Regional Council.

It was therefore a big disappointment when in November 1988 the National Union announced the rejection of the application.

What now I thought?   Maybe the answer was to alter the Constitution of the Conservative Party.   Big shock – the Conservative Party did not have a Constitution. The Party was not a legal entity!   At that time the Conservative Party consisted of three separate entities; they were the Leader’s Office, the Parliamentary Party and the Voluntary Party which was the National Union of Conservative Associations.   Now fortunately the National Union did have a Constitution and in that Constitution it spoke about England and Wales so I put down a motion to alter the Constitution by inserting “and Northern Ireland” everywhere after “England and Wales” and tabled it for the Central Council meeting of the National Union in Scarborough in March 1989.

That really caused consternation in CCHQ.   Their first reaction was that I couldn’t do that, but I showed them that it was my right to do it.

Next I received an invitation to dinner with Sir Peter Lane, later Lord Lane, who was the Chairman of the National Union and Peter Brooke, the Party Chairman at Peter Lane’s home in Woking.
It was a very enjoyable dinner.   Peter Brooke was concerned that my motion would dominate the Agenda and detract from the media coverage they hoped to get for the elections to the European Parliament which were coming up.    I agreed that I would drop the motion if they undertook to have a motion at the Party Conference in October and would publicly announce this at the Central Council meeting.   They agreed and they stuck to their word.   I was delighted because now I was convinced that it would pass at the Party conference.   It did!

So, ladies and gentlemen that is briefly what happened.    I have not been able to include in this summary details of all the help that was given by people like Myrtle Boal, Lawrence Kennedy, James O’Fee, Barbara Finney, Paul McGarritty and many many others, the media coverage by the Telegraph, the Spectator whose editor was Charles Moore and Deputy Editor Simon Heffer; or the bomb threat I received at my house in Gerrards Cross which meant I had protection by the Royal Protection Squad based in Windsor for a couple of years; or the fact that this led to the Conservative Party getting a Constitution in 1998.

Let me just briefly comment on what happened after this and then I will sit down and take questions.
Lawrence Kennedy fought the General Election in North down in 1992 and came within 4,000 votes of winning it.   The Conservatives in Northern Ireland got virtually no help or assistance from Conservative Central Office.   It was only later that we found out the reason for this.   The Conservative government were in negotiation with the IRA and the Dublin government to try and reach a peace agreement and the Dublin government were putting huge pressure on John Major not to give any support to the Conservatives in order not to jeopardise this.   That situation continued throughout the nineties.   Then in 1997 we got Tony Blair and eventually the Good Friday Agreement.

My view is that the people grasped at the Good Friday Agreement because it offered a reduction in the violence in Northern Ireland and it did.   However, I said at the time it was fundamentally flawed.   It had a democratic fault line running right through it.

Democracy is a system of government in which the people exercise power through their representatives by a process in which the will of the majority is determined.   In a democratic society the majority will take into account the views of the minority when exercising their will and so govern for all the people.   What it cannot do is give a minority a veto on the will of the majority.   This is where the Good Friday agreement fell down and what we see today at Stormont is the result.

Today, politics is in turmoil.   We are taking back power from an undemocratic European Union; a body where legislation is put forward by an unelected, unaccountable European Commission, a parliament where you can only vote for a party and not an individual to represent you, a Council of Minister which meets in secret, a system of voting where a vote in Luxembourg is worth four times a vote in the United Kingdom because the constituencies do not have a vote of equal value.

The road to democracy has been hard fought and tough.   From the Levellers of the 1640s to the Chartists to the riots in 1832 when the great Reform Act was passed the going has been hard and there was no greater suffering than when the suffragettes were fighting for votes for women.
Today the baton of freedom and democracy has been passed to a new generation.  I know you will carry that baton with all the fervour and enthusiasm our predecessors have done.   Let us now ride this rainbow of opportunity and grab that pot of gold containing those precious stones. Freedom, Democracy, Liberty and Justice.

So my message to the people of Northern Ireland is:
You may say I am a dreamer
But I am not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

That is why we have to win this General Election on December 12, because when we do we will take our nation back and begin to build once again a great nation for the future and the World will be our oyster.   Vote Conservative and we will give you back your country.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Mulled Wine and Mince Pies Forum 14 December 2019

Come and join us at the Forum on 14th December See Events  for details.   Celebrate or Commiserate, there will be lots to discuss.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Joy Morrissey - The Conservative Candidate for Beaconsfield


Please support the Conservative Candidate Joy Morrissey 

Keep Beaconsfield Blue.

Winning this General Election

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Monday, September 16, 2019

Fringe Meeting - Party Conference - 30th September

YOUR ONLY CHANCE TO Discuss & Debate

The Campaign for Conservative Democracy (CCD)

invites you to attend:

“Candidates – let the members choose”

Monday 30th September 2019 – 11am to 12.30pm  

 In conjunction with The Bow Group

At 3&4 The Arches, Deansgate Locks, Whitworth St West, Manchester,  M1 5LH 

Chairman: David Maddox, Sunday Express

Speakers:  John Strafford – Campaign for Conservative Democracy
Rt. Hon. Sir John Hayes MP – South Holland & The DeepingsBen Harris Quinney – The Bow GroupDinah Glover – London South East Conservatives 

A vote will be taken as follows:

Should the members decide who their parliamentary candidate should be?



Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Whip Withdrawn, De-Selection. If only they had listened?

On October 30th 2018 I wrote the following letter to Andrew Sharpe, Chairman of the National Convention with a copy to Sir Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee.   I didn't receive a reply.   On 21st December I wrote again asking for a reply.   I received a reply from Andrew Sharpe dated 3rd January 2019.   In his reply he said he had not received the original letter but he would take up the two points with Sir Graham Brady and revert to me in due course.    He didn't revert back to me so I wrote another letter on 18th April asking for his and Sir Graham's reaction.   I have received no reply.

Dear Andrew,

There are two changes, which I set out below which should not be too controversial.   They are as follows:

(1)   Prior to the Representation of the Peoples Act 2000, amended in 2006, relating to the formal start for recording of a candidate’s expenses during a General Election campaign, each Constituency Association held an Adoption Meeting for the candidate including for sitting MPs.   It was this Adoption Meeting which triggered off the recording of expenses.   We believe that there should be an Adoption Meeting for all candidates in a General Election in the 12 months prior to a General Election.   Now that we have fixed term Parliaments this is easier to calculate.   The main reason for this change would be to involve all the members of the Association in the decision.   A secondary reason is that with the reduced membership in an Association many Executive Councils are correspondingly small and thus are easily manipulated.

(2)   In 2005, when Howard Flight had the Conservative Whip withdrawn he was also banned from the candidates list which prevented him from standing again as a Conservative Candidate.   This was a new provision brought in by the 1998 Constitution.   The decision appears to have been taken by the then Party Leader.   It is wrong that the Party Leader alone should have such power and it is proposed that for a sitting Conservative MP the decision on banning them from the candidates list should only be taken after the approval of the Executive of the 1922 Committee.

 I am sending a copy of this letter to Sir Graham Brady as Chairman of the 1922 Committee to ask for his support for the changes.

With best wishes

                              John E. Strafford

Monday, September 2, 2019

How others see us 2

The following article was published in the Boston USA Christian Science Monitor An excerpt is published below:

John Strafford, a Conservative activist and former party executive in Beaconsfield, a prosperous London suburb, says Mr. Johnson’s no-holds-bars leadership has fired up the base. “It’s such a difference. For three years we’ve been pessimistic and down in the dumps and getting nowhere. Now people have got hope,” he says. “They can see an end date.”

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Campaign for Conservative Democracy Forum 7th September

Come and join us on the 7th September for lively discussion on Brexit, De-selection of MPs and other issues.   See events for more details 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Do local Associations have the power not to re-select their Conservative MP?

The following article has been published today on the Conservativehome web site.   Please see the site for the many comments on the article.

The Grieve case raises a question. Do local Associations have the power not to reselect their Conservative MP?

John Strafford is Chairman of the Campaign for Conservative Democracy.
Before the present Conservative Party constitution was adopted in 1998 Constituency Associations were virtually autonomous.  Is this still the case?
In July last year, Dominic Grieve, our local MP, made a long speech about Brexit. Despite him previously having declared that he would abide by the result of the EU referendum, and having voted in favour of the moving of Article 50, it had become obvious that he was determined to do everything possible to stop us leaving.
In the light of this development, I lost all confidence in him as my MP and started to collect the names of other members of Beaconsfield Conservatice Association who felt the same, and no longer wished him to be our candidate at the next general election.
On February 27th, I gave a written motion of no confidence in Dominic Grieve to the Chairman of the Association. On March 4th, I was told that the motion was invalid since I was no longer a member of the Conservative Party – after 56 years of membership.
By the time I had sorted the matter out, and obtained a membership card from CCHQ, the agenda for the Association’s Annual General Meeting had been published and my motion of “no confidence” had been replaced by a motion of “confidence”. (Incidentally my membership card was dated before the date when I submitted the motion – thus starting the many attempts to prevent me and others from speaking out.)
When the AGM duly took place on March 29th, Grieve lost that vote of confidence by 182 votes to 131. He then made it clear that he would ignore the vote.
In view of his reaction, 60 members of the Association presented a petition requesting a Special General Meeting of the Association to the Secretary of the Executive Council in accordance with Schedule 7, clause 10.1.2 of the Party’s Constitution which states:
“10: Special General Meetings
10.1.2 upon a petition signed by not less than fifty members of the Association or 10% of the total membership of the Association for the previous year (whichever is less) sent to the Secretary of the Executive Council of the Association requesting him to convene such a meeting;
10.1.3 Notice of the Special General Meeting shall be given to every member of the Association. The business of the meeting shall be stated in the notice convening it and no other business shall be discussed.
There is no restriction on what business may be brought forward to Special General Meetings. The petition was duly presented to the Secretary of the Executive Council on May 9th, and read as follows:
“Under Schedule 7, clause 10.1.2 of the Constitution of the Conservative Party we, the undersigned, being members of the Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association petition you to convene a Special General Meeting of members of the Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association in order that the following business shall be conducted:
“The Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association at its Annual General Meeting on 29th March 2019 did not express full confidence in the Rt. Hon Dominic Grieve MP.
We therefore resolve that: he should not be the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Beaconsfield at the next general election and the Association should immediately start the process of selecting a new candidate”.
The petition was rejected by the Chairman of the Association on the grounds that it was ultra vires, and that any such motion should follow the procedures of the Executive Council.
I understand that this was the view expressed to the Chairman of the Association by CCCHQ. Who decided it was Ultra Vires and on what grounds? Was the decision made by the Party Board and if not, under what authority was the decision made?
I would point out that Schedule 7 Clause 6.5 of the Party’s Constitution states as follows:
6.5 The Executive Council shall have the following powers and responsibilities:
6.5.1 The Executive Council shall have the power (subject to any resolutions of the Association made at an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting) to deal with all matters affecting the Association and its membership, and to exercise control over all ward and polling district Branches and specialist committees or groups.
A motion at a Special General Meeting overrides the actions of the Executive Council. Subsequent to the amendment to the Representation of the Peoples Act passed in 2006, there is no requirement to hold an adoption meeting for the parliamentary candidate. This had previouly provided the opportunity for every member of an Association to vote for or against the adoption in question. A number of constituencies, including Beaconsfield, did not hold an adoption meeting at the last general election.
If our petition is to be rejected, it follows that it is possible for a sitting Conservative MP to be re-adopted without the agreement of the majority of the members of their Association.
The Party Board has been asked to instruct the Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association to proceed with a Special General Meeting as was petitioned for, or give detailed reasons as to why it is not allowed. The Chairman of the Party Board was written to on May 24th, but no reply has been received.
After the motion which had been put forward was rejected, it was decided to go ahead with the Special General Meeting, and the Chairman of the Association tabled the following motion:
“That this Association instructs the Executive Council to now request our sitting Member of Parliament to make a written application to seek his re-adoption as our Parliamentary Candidate for the next General Election”.
An amendment was proposed to the motion to insert after application “within 14 days”. This amendment was rejected by the Chairman as once again being Ultra Vires, apparently also at the behest of CCHQ. Yet as we have seen earlier, a Special General Meeting overrides the Executive Council. The same question arises: who issued this instruction, and how was the amendment Ultra Vires?
The un-amended motion was carried by 140 votes to 120. Grieve has again decided to ignore it.
If the right of Party members to determine who their candidate should be at general election has now been taken away, what rights are left?
A general election could well be imminent, which is why this issue should be resolved now. It would be a travesty of fairness, democracy and justice if sitting Conservative MPs went forward as Parliamentary Candidates without the support of a majority of their Association members.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A Tory Tea Party - How the world sees us!

In recent months the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other international papers have published articles about the Campaign for Conservative Democracy.   The following article was  printed on  the Christian Science Monitor of Boston web site on July 22nd 2019: 

A Tory tea party? How fringe voters are reshaping British politics
·         By Simon Montlake Staff writer
A quarter-century of agitating at the grassroots of Britain’s oldest and most successful political party has taught John Strafford a few tricks.
Meet regularly but not too often. Budget modestly: Rent a cheap space and serve a simple lunch. And always pack a spare kettle for endless cups of tea, just in case.
On a recent Saturday morning, Mr. Strafford, a retired accountant and entrepreneur, set out four rows of chairs in a small church hall in this leafy London suburb of million-dollar houses and stalwart votes for the Conservative Party, of which Mr. Strafford is a lifelong member. His small group of party activists was gathering to discuss, among other matters, a national leadership contest: It is widely assumed the winner will be Boris Johnson, who is set to replace Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday.
But Mr. Strafford and his allies are not content with merely voting for their next leader. They want a much greater say going forward in how the party is run and who stands for office, particularly in safe seats in the heartland for the Tories, a center-right party which has its roots in a 17th-century parliamentary faction and styles itself as the natural party of government. And when it comes to the defining issue of Brexit, that means purging Conservative members of Parliament who stand in the way of a hard break from Europe.
Mr. Strafford describes a long war of attrition between the party establishment and its corporate donors, and activists in towns and suburbs like this one. “Brexit brought it to a head. It was going to implode at some point,” he says.
That tension between the Tory base and the elite has echoes of the tea party revolt a decade ago that reshaped the GOP and blazed a path for Donald Trump’s presidency. Here, as in the U.S., the revolt is as much about culture and identity as it is about economic policy. And in Mr. Johnson, an Eton-educated populist who became the face of Brexit in the 2016 referendum, it may have found its man, a bridge between a Brexit-at-all-costs base and a flailing party establishment.
Crucially, Mr. Johnson is also seen as a vote-getter who can take on Labour, the party’s traditional left-wing foe, and the upstart Brexit Party that is snapping at its right flank. In May, the Brexit Party polled first in largely symbolic European Parliament elections; the Conservatives finished fifth.
For Jon Stanley, a fellow at the Bow Group, a right-wing think tank in London, the Conservatives have no choice but to embrace Brexit and stop trying to hold Remain voters.
“These two groups are now permanently aligned and if the Tories don’t choose the obvious group, which is the Leavers, it will be in trouble really, really fast,” he says.
“Do or die”
Around 160,000 Conservatives were eligible to vote in the month long run-off race between Mr. Johnson, a former foreign secretary and London mayor, and Jeremy Hunt, the current foreign secretary. Ms. May agreed to step down in May after failing to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union in March and being forced to negotiate a Brexit extension until Oct. 31.
Mr. Johnson has vowed that the U.K. will leave the EU on that date “do or die,” and embraced a no-deal Brexit in the event that the EU refuses, as it has done until now, to amend his predecessor’s contentious withdrawal agreement. Ms. May’s own government forecasts that a “hard Brexit” is likely to trigger a deep recession; many U.K. businesses have repeatedly urged Conservative leaders to abandon the threat.
But polling suggests that Conservative members, who are older, whiter, and less urban than the broad electorate, support a hard Brexit. Mr. Strafford says any economic setbacks, even a drop in living standards, would be justified by the freedom and liberty that a clean break from Europe affords. “This is a gut feeling among the British public,” he says.
This feeling is not shared, however, by Dominic Grieve, a former attorney general who since 1997 has represented the Beaconsfield constituency – in which Gerrards Cross lies – and has threatened to bring down any Conservative government that pursues a no-deal exit. Which is why Mr. Strafford and other disgruntled local members are trying to stop Mr. Grieve standing again as their candidate. He is one of several pro-Europe Tory members of Parliament, including current and former ministers, facing de-selection campaigns, though few have been as outspoken on Brexit as Mr. Grieve.
At the church hall meeting,  Mr. Strafford provides an update on their campaign and how they can keep up the pressure. “It’s critically important that we win this battle so that the voice of members is heard,” he says.
U.K. parties don’t hold primaries and the process of deselecting a sitting MP is complex. In the case of Mr. Grieve, who lost a no-confidence vote in March, the Beaconsfield Conservative association has asked him to reapply to stand in the next general election. Still, warns Mr. Strafford, that mechanism probably won’t work in time for a snap election.
Asked by a Monitor correspondent for a show of hands as to who would vote for Mr. Grieve as their candidate in such a scenario, none go up.
Older and whiter
In seats like Beaconsfield, a drop in the Conservative vote may not sink the party. But the rise of the Brexit Party, perhaps the closest analogue to the tea party, could prove disastrous for any Conservative leader trying to win a fresh mandate, particularly if Brexit is unfulfilled, as was shown in May when droves of Conservatives defected in the European parliamentary election.
“If we don’t come out they’ll stay with the Brexit Party, and then the Tory party becomes a rump,” warns Mr. Strafford.
Allies of Mr. Johnson have suggested that he could strike a one-off electoral pact with the Brexit Party in order to avoid splitting the anti-EU vote, as happened in a by-election in Peterborough in June that Labour held, despite only polling one-third of ballots cast.
Such a strategy is risky, though, since it would jettison moderate Conservative votes, say analysts. And it doubles down on the ideology of a base that is out of step with modern Britain in its preference for a no-compromise Brexit even if it wrecks the party and its brand.
Rory Stewart, a Conservative minister who ran as a centrist in the leadership race and failed to make the run-off, said in April that if the party advocates for a no-deal Brexit, “we’re saying goodbye to young people, goodbye to Remain voters, and goodbye to the center ground of British politics.”
Ahead of the leadership race the party’s membership has grown, but at 160,000 is a fraction of its post-war peak. As recently as 1970, it represented over 3% of the electorate and Conservative social clubs and events were a mainstay of town life. Now it is less than 0.4% of Britons.
The raw numbers may be less important than demographics; Conservative activists skew older and whiter, while their fervor for Brexit is failing to win over the next generation of voters.
“They’re increasingly locked out of urban Britain, which is younger and more multicultural,” says Tim Bale, a professor of politics at Queen Mary, University of London who has surveyed the party’s membership.
He points out that an aging Tory base in prosperous towns finds it easier to dismiss as fear-mongering the forecasts of a no-deal Brexit recession. “They’ve got their house. They’ve got their pension. The state of the economy isn’t so much of a worry for them,” he says.
Maureen Holding, a Conservative councillor in the New Forest in southern England, says Mr. Johnson is the right leader for the party as he can speak to younger voters. Just as important, says Ms. Holding, who defended her seat in a May council election that saw a surge in votes for the pro-EU Liberal Democrats, he’s committed to leaving the EU on Oct. 31.
Asked about the economic disruption of such an act, Ms. Holding raises her chin. “We are Great Britain,” she says.

Friday, July 26, 2019

COPOV Summer evening party - 10th August

Come and join us and celebrate the new government.   At last we are on the road to Brexit.   See events

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Message from Boris Johnson MP

We have received the following message from Boris Johnson MP.   We accordingly give him our endorsement to be the Leader of the Conservative Party.

“I have strong support for the kind of requests that are being made by the followers of the Conservative Campaign for Democracy.  Reform of the Party Organisation is long overdue and this will be a priority if I am elected as Leader of the Party.  The idea of a Party Commission with a set deadline to come back with specific reforms is something I will look at seriously.  I am grateful to Conservative Campaign for Democracy for taking the initiative on this important issue.”

Friday, July 5, 2019

Which Political Party is more democratic - Brexit or Conservative?

Democracy: Brexit Party V. Conservative Party Constitutions

At the time the Brexit Party registered as a political party with the Electoral Commission it submitted its Constitution.  This has as yet not been implemented, e.g. you can only join the Party as a Supporter which at present does not appear in their Constitution.
We submitted to all the Leadership Candidates for the Conservative Party essential reforms needed by the Party if it is to avoid oblivion.  Boris Johnson has said that he will give a top priority to Party Reform.How does the Brexit Party compare?   The following were the essential points for reform of the Conservative Party:
Five Essential Reforms
1)      The National Convention should be replaced by an Annual General Meeting to which all Party members are invited.
2)      The Chairman of the Party Board, Deputy Chairman, Treasurer, Chairman of the Candidates Committee and Chairman of the Policy Forum should be elected by and accountable to Party members and present Annual reports to the Annual General Meeting.
3)      Constituency Associations should have the right to determine who their Parliamentary Candidate should be with due process and minimum interference by CCHQ, with safeguards for Constituencies where the membership is below a certain level.
4)      Motions for debate should be re-instated at the Party Conference and/or at the Spring Forum.
5)      The Party Constitution should be capable of being changed at a General Meeting of the Party by Party members on the basis of One Member One Vote with a 60% majority. The present minor changes to the Constitution have been under discussion for four years and nothing has happened.

1)      The Brexit Party will have an Annual General Meeting to which all members are invited.   They will not have a National Convention which is a barrier to communication between the Party hierarchy and the membership.   Brexit Party is more democratic.
2)      The Party Board in both parties are unelected and thus unaccountable to the Party membership.   However in the Brexit Party the Board members have to present reports to their Annual General Meeting.   Both parties are undemocratic but there is an element of accountability in the Brexit Party.  
3)      Both parties have very centralised systems for candidate selection.  It will be interesting to see how they change, if they change.   Both parties are undemocratic.
4)      The Brexit Party will have motions for debate at its Party conference.   The Conservative Party does not.   Brexit Party is more democratic.
5)      Changing the Party Constitution is long and convoluted in the Conservative Party and ordinary members have no say.  The Brexit Party looks to be more democratic in that changes to its constitution will be put to all members in a ballot.   However it looks very difficult to propose changes.  There is a typing error in the submission which reads as follows:
b) at the request of 200 or more properly constituted and duly registered the cost of the ballot.
 This doesn’t make sense.   I presume it means that 200 Constituency Associations have to propose a change and pay for the ballot?   On balance the Brexit Party is more democratic.

Both Parties are effectively dictatorships rather than democratic organisations.   The members of the Conservative Party have no say in getting rid of their Leader and only get a limited say in the election of their Leader.   The Brexit Party elect their Leader on the basis of one member one vote but ordinary members have no means of getting rid of their Leader, although the Leader is elected for a fixed term of four years and then comes up for re-election.
The democratic fault lines in the Brexit Party, as in the Labour and Conservative parties are that they are undemocratic organisations increasingly reliant on big donations.   As with all parties big donors want influence and a say.   If the Brexit Party can avoid this, once it is set up and running it will have a major advantage over Labour and Conservative parties.
The Brexit Party is attracting the votes of large numbers of Conservative members.   When they find that they have a bigger voice in the Brexit Party than in the Conservative Party they may well decide that the Brexit Party is for them.   Unless the Conservative Party embraces radical reform as outlined above it is doomed to oblivion.