Friday, July 13, 2007

Cameroons to Launch ConHome Rival

Fraser Nelson reveals today that a new Conservative blog is being set up with the overt intention of providing a Cameron-supporting rival to the more off-message ConservativeHome. Called Platform 10, a beta version of the new blog will be appearing HERE soon.

Dizzy seems to think that Platform 10 has ConservativeHome in its sights and its aim is to destroy it. I doubt that. I am sure there is a frustration at CCHQ that they cannot control what is written on ConHome, but I doubt very much whether it will be any different with Platform 10. While the editorial stance will no doubt be very Cameron-friendly, if it just seen as a Steve Hilton mouthpiece they will find it hardgoing.

Contrary to what Fraser Nelson says I know for a fact that Platform 10 was not initiated by Steve Hilton. Steve is a good friend of Fiona Melville, the woman behind Platform 10. They worked together on David Cameron's leadership bid and are good friends, so naturally people put two and two together. But it was her idea and she's the brains behind it.

I think the advent of Platform 10 is a very good thing. Diversity usually is. I don't think ConHome should feel under threat, although it may be more difficult for them to get exclusives from certain members of the Shadow Cabinet. But, so what? It is such a huge site now, with a loyal following, and I suspect it will go from strength to strength. My prediction is that ConHome readers will indeed read Platform 10, just as my readers will too. The more sites the merrier.
In truth, the advent of Platform 10 is yet further proof that the right of centre blogosphere is flourishing and is in a very healthy state indeed. Contrast it with the poor efforts of the left. Is there a single left of centre blog that is a "daily must visit" site? There are several LibDem blogs that I visit most days, but very few Labour blogs. LabourHome is so on message that it's almost painful to read - a lesson which hopefully Platform 10 will have learned from.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't the medium, it's the message.

Anonymous said...

Yawn

Anonymous said...

The great thing about blogging is that nobody controls it.

Your strength Iain, and I applaud you for it. is that you allow crazies like me to leave comments.

We are under attack from anti-democracy as never before.

appeasement of the PC brigade, belief in Nothingism, and the BBC are trying to turn our society into a sub-third world entity. Cameron/Hilton is trying to do what
Blair/Campbell did. They must be stopped. Free speech is the battleground. There may be another Peterloo before we are finished, but it is worth fighting for.

Luis said...

To be known as "HILTONHOME" from now on ?

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid ConHome has cornered the market - provided it remains (relatively) 'off-message'. There is no niche for this new site.

If it turns out to have an independent view then it's unlikely to be as good as ConHome. If it's merely a Cameron mouthpiece then the punters might as well go to WebCameron, or even the official CCHQ site.

Anonymous said...

Why is it called Platform 10?

Anonymous said...

Will we be able to see Dave doing the washing up, or wiping one of his kids snotty noses via a web cam. Give me strenght, is there no end to this PR drival from CPHQ

Anonymous said...

They might read it, but it will do more harm than good if it is full of sycophantic drivel.

Mind you that would make it perfectly Camoroonian.

Johnny Norfolk said...

So the party is now trying to manipulate blogging. Why does it not just listen and act the way we want it to rather than try to block and hide away from the truth.

It is just what Blair has done and Cameron is hiding his head in the sand rather than have open debate.

This is not the Labour party who are frighted of their leader.

Tony said...

I have experience of running an unofficial (but co-operative and fair) website that then found itself challenged by a new official site. The exclusive interviews were lost and news was naturally directed to the official site.

However this allowed my site to concentrate more on commentary and I was not beholden to official sources. Some good things came out of it as a result and the readership stats were unchanged - people could read the official take then go to the independent site for analysis and to make comments.

I think ConHome will be fine.

Anonymous said...

I used to really enjoy your blog Iain but have had a couple of bad experiences of it recently, for instance, your piece on the Grant Shapps astroturfing.

I do hope you will stand a little taller going forward. Sorry to criticise. Overall I love your site, just not so much, recently.

Anonymous said...

Ah ha - a Campbell-like attempt to control the media eh?

Don't worry about the lack of left wing blogs, lefties have realised that blogging only attracts the already converted, the dreadfully obsessive, the desperately loney and a few political geeks. Other methods remain more effective ways of contacting the undecided and the fish...

jailhouselawyer said...

Why is it called Platform 10? Probably because the launch for Ten Downing Street will be from here...

Anonymous said...

It is about time the Tories stopped this nonsense and started being serious about politics. He may put on his serious face at PMQs but the public are media savvy and can see through this. ConservativeHome, 18 Doughty Street, WebCameron, and the plethora of Conserative bloggs and official web sites is mind blowing. Now another website, which will get 24 hour publicly for Cameron ( He thinks this is good ). However, the message is blurred, disjointed, two facing and confused in the maze of internet content.

Anonymous said...

Platform 10? If the Cameroons want to reach out, they must do more than attempt to appeal to geeky Harry Potter fans. Are the subscribers going to be issued with wands?

Newmania said...

There is definitely a place for a Cameron supporting blog... (like mine)

Newmania said...

Can you get more Cameron supprting than this ?...recent post

".....Then ,just as the sea of evil smelling soul`s corruption seems endless there springs up bright fresh hope form the heart of things . That hope is David Cameron. This week he pulled the bathrobe away revealing the disgusting old bruiser Brown is at PMQ`s .This morning his performance with Marr was magisterial. Naturally pussy cat Marr turned Tiger when dealing with our hero but his bias back fired . The harder the ball zinged down the wicket the more momentum Cameron had to use. He was quite simply the most accomplished performer I have ever seen .I am quite serious.

He is not in a position to repeat easy slogans his point is subtle balanced and yet clear. For example , he dealt with the accusation that he did not like single mothers with fulsome praise for the way they cope with a difficult job . He dealt with Brown’s acquisition of Digby Jones by suggesting how useful some of the advice he has given him in the past might be . He was delighted to be unable to support Brown’s not very mysterious reticence in taxing Private equity income….( Would you like to guess why ?). He was gemstone bright simultaneously wafting comforting pheromones towards moderate England . There was something new here though , a side we have not yet seen and that was when he got on to the subject of the broken society

It was here I felt my heart swell with pride as a Conservative sketched an overhaul of the benefits system and not in a vengeful but in a careful and sympathetic way . When he spoke of a multi generational task to “mend the country” you felt this was a man who meant it and could do it. I have always admired David Cameron but I can understand the frustration some have felt in the phony Tony war period Now the game is afoot he emerges as an inspirational leader.
You may sneer but people tell me they have had their “Cameron moment “ and this morning was mine . The moment you looked at him and no longer felt inclined to be cynical , when the burden of disillusion slipped from your shoulders and everything seemed possible again. With such a man to lead you and the talents of the British people why should anything be beyond us . Conservatives must choose to sulk in their tents or be part of the greatest story of the age …….


This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.


Who`s with me !!!

Tapestry said...

Maybe it's the platform she travels home on each day from waterloo.

More blogs the better.

The problem is the name Conservative Home will always be seen as the main conservative blog.

P10 will be seen as a subdivision of conservatives.com

Anonymous said...

Yippee. I can't abide Conservative Home. It's not the home for many conservatives at all. It's full of IDS supporters and the nonsense expressed their would put off the voters that the Party needs to attract if it is going to win.

Man in a Shed said...

Maybe the Cameroonies don't like Conservative home that much - but they should. It provides a real safety valve. The alternatives are owned by UKIP and the English Democrats - so they should tread carefully.

But as you say the more the merrier.

Anonymous said...

I've actually been visiting ConsHome less frequently over recent weeks, and will be glad to see another site with a different message. I applaud Tim and Sam for their work, and fully support their right to put their views first on their blog - I shall just be pleased to visit somewhere that has fewer of the constant negatives in comments about Cameron and his team.

There are two types of criticism - negative and positive. Being at the receiving end of endless poisonous negative criticism is tiring and depressing, particularly when it is the type that constantly harks back to the golden Thatcher years. I was and remain a big fan of the Baroness, and the main lesson we can learn from her is that you deal with life as it is NOW, not how it used to be. So I shall give Platform a chance.

Anonymous said...

I am sure here is a place for a moderate conservative forum. The trouble is that blogs seem to attract much more attention when they are complaining to/objecting about something, otherwise for some reason they are seen as establishment stooges (see above comments).

The truth is that the majority of conservatives seem to be happy with the general Cameron direction (if horrified by one or two proposals)-vide all the ConHome reader surveys- but the silent majority is taken over by the rabid ideologues who comment on ConHome.

Most of us luckily have better things to do than spend our time ranting against our own side when there is so much red and yellow stuff to get really angry about. The trouble is we are no more likely to comment on platform 10 than we are to waste our breath on ConHome

Anonymous said...

I think he has missed the point of conservative home.

It is supportive yet critical. If it was to cameroonian it would end up like labourhome, which isnt great. I dont like tories but the Conhome website is a good website compared to its counterparts.

They have to learn to embrace the voices of dissent, not spin out against them! There not going to just go away.

Newmania said...

I thought Conservative Home was quite moderate ? I hea the commenst aren`t always but the smae will serely apply to Platform ten

Anonymous said...

bbc HYS worth a look today about thye loss of trust in TV!!!

Anonymous said...

"Steve is a good friend of Fiona Melville, the woman behind Platform 10. They worked together on David Cameron's leadership bid and are good friends"

As I recall, she did little more than lick stamps at Dave's HQ back office. Who COULD have briefed her role to Iain?

Anonymous said...

Curious about your assumption that anything that's 'on message' is dull and somehow contrived and insincere whereas ConHome with it's rebellious, anti-Cameron flavour is somehow more authentic or honest? Most of the comments above seem to echo this but nobody has explained why it should be?

ConHome is interesting because it's popularity IS a direct function of Cameron's radical realignment on some issues. It may be sacrilege to suggest it on this blog but shouldn't we at least consider the possibility that the relative timidity of Labour Home is a reflection of the more or less 'settled will' of most Labour members?

Both left & right have their individual loony blogs at the extremes but, speaking as a moderate Tory, it's rather perverse thing to pride ourselves on that our loonies & extremist are more organised and have better media awareness!

Hughes Views said...

"the poor efforts of the left" wrt blogging were ably explained over a year ago at: http://about-whose-news.blogspot.com/2006/06/why-right-wingers-blog-so-nicely.html

and again, the very next day at: http://about-whose-news.blogspot.com/2006/06/more-on-rightwing-blogs.html

Anonymous said...

Our Dave ever the PR man ,trying to get his message to masses,he should be doing what he did the other day ,he got on most of the telly channels ,places like conhome and here he should be reading as to what people are commenting on and see if some of the ideas can be used.

Anonymous said...

Good luck to the new Site. I've no time for ConHome; it's dominated by a small band of anti-Camaroons, who are wound up by Tim Montgomerie picking out negative stories from the press.

Iain, at least ConHome isn't infested with Labour astro-turfers.
You recently asked your regulars what they wanted from you. Overwhelmingly, they wanted you to get rid of Labour trolls. Assuming you sympathise with them, have you given any thought to how you can do it?

Anonymous said...

Here is a passenger announcement.

The Blue train now standing at Platform Ten is the 8.56 pm to nowhere. Calling at all stations from Rampant Trotsky to Milton Friedman. Zhaggers are situated towards the rear of the train.


Here is a further customer announcement. The train at Platform Ten has been decomissioned due to the wrong kind of Snow in the Line. Passengers are notified that a replacement bus service is in operation which will stop only at Norris Tits and Boris Knob end.

Anonymous said...

Well, since that last comment was neither intelligent, insightful or humorous, I can understand why you signed on as 'anonymous'.

Anonymous said...

That'll be Bliar for the tories then.

Anonymous said...

I beg your pardon, That should have read 'That'll be Bliar watch for the Tories then.'

Newmania said...

I just wonder if David Cameron was conceived one dark night Platform ten of Victoria Station.

bgprior said...

I can't see it as a bad thing, from an independent's point-of-view, for the Cameroons to have a blog where they try to put their perspective on stories and policies. A part of their problem is that people like Willetts and Letwin have been so inept at explaining their ideas that it has made reasonable ideas sound bad and focused attention of the worst parts of what they have to say. If they explain themselves on the blog better than they sometimes do in interviews, and if what they are explaining actually makes some sense, it could help with their communication problems (a big "if", I realise).

But it is a risky strategy for the Cameroons themselves. Providing an outlet that is seen as "Dave's mouthpiece" will mean that critical comments posted to the site will be seen as a more direct attack than criticisms posted on the existing, independent blogs. It could become a repository for the contempt of all those who are not signed up to the Cameroon project, and be used by the opposition as illustration of how opposed the grassroots are to Tory policy. And if they try to deal with this by a strong moderation policy, people will simply ignore the site.

It's not a threat to Tim, Iain & co, but it is a risky strategy by DC and SH. Should be fun. We'll see if fortune favours the brave, or whether discretion is the better part of valour.

Anonymous said...

As I recall, she did little more than lick stamps at Dave's HQ back office.

I had to read that several times...if you read it too quickly words like orifice get mistaken for office

Anonymous said...

If anything us 'conhomies' will have a look at the Hilton site, and go straight back to CH or yourself! I don't think blogs too close to the leadership are a very good idea....

Unknown said...

The new site is different from ConHome as ConHome is primarily "IDS-Home" and only then "Save Dave-Home".

We need a "RealCon-Home" site!