Conservative Party Toolbar

Keep in touch with the Conservative Party updated website with the latest on Speeches, policy ideas, job vacancies, future events and anything linked to true-blue interests.

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33 thoughts on “Conservative Party Toolbar”

  1. A brilliant idea. As so often the Tories are ahead of the other parties on web issues – could be much better, but still better than the other “big 2”.

    But it’s a shame that this is only availaible for Explorer. Firefox is increasingly popular, and as an open source app is very easy to write add-ons for. This good idea could be taken much further (…Aaron?!).

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  2. Amy: Would LOVE to develop the bar for Firefox, but alas, I really just don’t have the time to read through their coding guides and such. Maybe in the new year at some point?

  3. This is a very, very bad idea. And no one who knew anything about software would use this.

    Once I install something like this and give it access to the net, I’m unable (in the normal way of things) to monitor where it is going or what it is doing.

    It’s not a question of mistrusting the Conservatives: I think I would trust both of the parties not to abuse my privacy (within reason) but I wouldn’t allow anyone to install software like this on my machine on principle.

    I never install anything unless I can verify the source is trusted; unless I know I *need* the software in question; unless I know the sotware is well-written and unlikely to do harm to the machine; and unless I know exactly what the software is doing and how.

    It almost certainly installs via an Active X control – it’s these that make “Internet Exploiter” such a menace to the average user. I wouldn’t in any case use Internet Explorer. It’s predominance is a bad thing for the web, because Microsoft’s aim is – in Dave Winer’s words – to “lock the web in the trunk”:

    http://essaysfromexodus.scripting.com/backissues/2003/06/13

    It is also an outdated and unsafe browser:

    http://www.webstandards.org/act/campaign/happy/

    There’s no need to try to persuade incautious users to install software on their machines. All the Tories have to do is offer an RSS feed. Simple as that.

  4. Damian: I take it you haven’t actually looked at the toolbar? It’s pretty simple and, to be honest, relatively primative.

    Wifey: Why not contact him and suggest a blog?

  5. ‘policy ideas.’ This is what I love about the conserative party they have policy ideas – but – ahem – NO POLICY! When will the tory party put it’s cards on the table and start acting as if they are on the other side of the house and not in government? All of this and the big one coming in may. Or may be sooner. Any one for a pre-buget election? One sits back waits and wonders.

  6. Aaron: I know what ya mean…I’ve made a huge list of Firefox extensions I want to write, but I don’t suppose I’ll get around to any of them any time soon. The web can swallow your life.

    Damian: I share your dislike of Internet Explorer, but I don’t think people need be concerned by the likes of the Tory Toolbar. It seems to be their own version of the very popular, useful, and harmless Google Toolbar. I agree that an RSS feed would be ideal (certainly better than a mailing list, but then they wouldn’t get all those lovely addresses for their files!), but the toolbar incorporates search, and from the Tories’ point of view, increases their visibility on your browser.

    I don’t want it myself, but it’s very savvy of a party to make such tools available.

  7. Of course, you also have to remember that some may not know how to use an RSS feed, or possibly even have the capability to.

    Whilst we’re on the subject, what’s your personal favourite RSS reader?

  8. “Everyone hates the tories” because it’s fashionable. Claiming the Tories have no policies is equally fashionable. It’s an excuse not to bother thinking about who to vote for, just follow the rest of the herd, like a good sheep.

    There’s even a section on the Conservative party website marked out in huge capital letters “WHAT WE WILL DO” – if that’s not a policy statement, then the Labour party don’t have any either, and the Liberals even less so.

  9. ‘It’s an excuse not to bother thinking about who to vote for, just follow the rest of the herd, like a good sheep.’

    Oh right so voting Tory turns one in to an individual? And because some one votes otherwise we have to be part of the herd and sheep. How fashionable of you to denounce people just because they write critism of the party. It’s ashame that you can’t engage more Phil.

  10. Nick, I’m afraid your comment really proves Phil’s point in its entirity. If you had actually taken the time to read his comment, as opposed to ‘skimming’ it, you would be able to see that he sees hating the Tories and saying that they have no policies “because it’s fashionable” is what makes you a sheep, and not just failing to vote Tory.
    It’s a shame that you can’t engage more, Nick.

  11. No Nick, not voting Tory because it’s fashionable is being a sheep. By all means read the Tory policies, disagree, and vote against them (if you can find the webpage) – I can respect that. But making blanket statements like you did without even bothering to discover the truth just looks uneducated. I had a debate with someone on Boris’ blog about referendums, and I made the point that most people will just vote for whatever The Sun Says. It was people like you I was thinking of. If you want to criticise the Tories, go ahead, but make a valid criticism based in fact, not one based on “everyone knows” type “wisdom”.

  12. Actually Aaron my comment proves nothing to Phil’s point because of your own misreading. What Phil argues is that by taking a ceratin point of view and not nessery the Tory view of the world we have to be unthinking sheep. This is the kind of discourse that was launched at the american’s who voted in Bush, all 53% of them. The number of article and leaders I read that denouced this group for being sheep was unbeliveable. They were taken apart for being sheep. They had to be for voting for Bush. they had to be the unthinking herd for voting some whose ideology had convinced them that he was the man for the job. So we vote for some one and get denounced as unthinking sheep. We vote for another person and get denouced as being sheep. In the end denouncment is the easy way out of constructing a rational arguement. The thought is they have to be wrong becuase the denouncer always thinks that he or she is right and is not willing to look at the underlying themes. Therefore we are all from the point of view of the denouncer unthinking sheep.

    The fact is the Tory party only have at the moment a seris of documents that they err and ahem over with nothing soild on the tablel. And let me tell you this no will vote for a party that is erring and ahemming – a party that will not put it’s cards on the table. There needs to be a frim policies coming from the front shad bench. The people of this country have to be told what the party stands for. And why we should vote for them. The party as a whole sounds within the media the same as they did in 1996-1997. That same kind of mock confidence of John Major as he walked around the country telling everybody that he was going to win the election. A tatic that Howard is employing now. And with an election only so far away things do not look good. This is not fashionable – this is reality. Times have changed but the conservatives have not. This faliure to reinvent is going to be sadly the down fall of the party for the next election.

  13. Nick – so a series of documents clearly titled “What We Will Do”, covering all areas of policy, and a timetable for action after a Tory general election victory are not solid enough for you? What would you accept then as a clear statement of what a Conservative government would do in practice? You say they have not changed – surely then you know what they stand for, it’s the same things they always have stood for.

    The next thing I expect is that you want them to give you a precise budget without knowing what they would be left with by the outgoing Labour government, and then when they find themselves unable to stick to it, you’d label them as failures because they couldn’t meet your unrealistic objectives. I wonder, are you in middle management?

  14. ‘After a Tory general election victory.’

    Phil – I’m sorry to say this but I don’t think the conservatives are stong enough to make it through the next election just because they are not at this moment idealoicaly strong to push against a center right New Labour postion.

    The reality is the fact that they could do major damage while at the same time putting themsleves in the postion to use this election as a jumping pad for the next. Instead all I see is a party treading water looking to the past and not future. In fact the party as a whole needs to start looking beyond Margaret Thatcher for if they don’t the party may well end up looking at a fourth term on the other side of the house facing may be a Gordon Brown led Labour government.

  15. Nick – you’re starting to wander off the point. This argument is about whether the Tories have policies. I presumed by your complaint that you meant policies for what they would do in government – after all, it’s hardly worth making policies on what they would do in opposition. It seems to me like your opinion is mostly formed by what the papers tell you to think about the Tory party, rather than an objective view of what their policies actually are.

    As far as doing major damage, the only way they will do that is by having people read their policies and not be blinkered by New Labour’s bleating that they haven’t got any. If the US election showed anything, it showed that no one ever won an election by campaigning on the basis of “Vote for anyone but that guy”. Quite how the Tories change their image against the current background I don’t know – I can’t see Howard achieving it. But if they fail to win the next election, they will fail on image, and not on policy. Sic transit gloria mundi.

  16. Phil – is not that the point though. These days elections are won and lost on that duelality of image and ideology (policy if you like.) They both have to come together at the right point and win over the voter. It happened in ’79, and in ’97. But it is unklikly to happen in ’05. They may well have the policy according to your arguement.(I still don’t see it.) The image though does not go. And if it is the case that the message is not getting out through the media. Then it could easily be time to find a new approach to the uses of the media, while at the same time building a new idelogical underpin.

  17. I’m not claiming that the Tories have the right policies – I remain unconvinced. My original claim was that they do have clear policies, and they’re based on core conservative values. I don’t think the Tory party is actually capable of such a reinvention as Blair pulled off – they seem to me to have much more courage in their convictions. Remember, Blair has been described as a Thatcherite, and who could imagine Neil Kinnock agreeing with the iron lady about anything?

    I think the Tories suffer most from their incessant need to shoot each other down. The public reaction to Boris’ sacking was generally that he shouldn’t have been, or so it seemed from the media coverage. It seemed to be yet another example of friendly fire.

    I also read an astonishing article by Michael Portillo – Boris, if you’re reading this, you badly need to have a word – where he claimed that Boris could never be in touch with the people because of (a) his name(!) and (2) the fact he went to Eton and Baliol (spelling?). I almost choked on my cornflakes – surely the measure of “in touch” has nothing to do with some form of inverse snobbery? Maybe Portillo is out of touch because of his Spanish ancestry? What a load of rubbish. If he’d said that Paul Boateng couldn’t possibly be in touch with the common man because he’s black, there would be a national outcry. This kind of attack though on a prominent member of the party simply isn’t helpful.

  18. ‘policy ideas.’ This is what I love about the conserative party they have policy ideas – but – ahem – NO POLICY! When will the tory party put it’s cards on the table and start acting as if they are on the other side of the house and not in government? All of this and the big one coming in may. Or may be sooner. Any one for a pre-buget election? One sits back waits and wonders.

    Phil can I correct something here: what I infact said back on the 27th above was that the conservative party had policy ideas but no firm policy everything that comes out of head office seems to be a consultancy doucument and nothing written in stone. The number of pices on tevlevison Frost and on Newsnight where Mr Letwin said that the tax document was just a list of ideas and that they are not making a satement on tax had been numouerous. To much humming and haaing. The cards need to go on the table

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