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Why I am standing for Chairman: Caroline Hunt

Caroline_hunt Conservative Future is an organisation I have dedicated a huge amount of my time and energy to.  It is an organisation that I have served at every level – from a grassroots activist, through branch offices, to being National Deputy Chairman.  I know the ‘ins and outs’ of Conservative Future and not just how to get around Central Office.  If elected, on the day I take up my Chairmanship, I will know what to do and how to do it straight away.

We are often told that Conservative Future is the largest youth political organisation in the country - although no-one actually knows this for a fact.  Every member of the Conservative Party under the age of 30 is a CF member but there is no accurate membership data.  Many associations don’t keep a record of how old their members are and because of this a large number of our members don’t even get to vote in the CF elections.  However it is not all doom and gloom.  All the evidence suggests we actually do have the largest youth political movement in the country.  We are definitely beating the other mainstream political parties on campus and we are the only party with rising membership among the under 30’s.

We are making headway in getting more and more people involved.  David Cameron’s leadership has created more interest in the party among young people.  This is reflected in polls and research, but the main change I notice is the “attitude in the pub”.  My non-political friends are aware of my other life as a Tory.  Most of them got tired of making jokes about it a long time ago.  However, the acid test is when they bring along someone who hasn’t met me before to the pub. 

Over the last few years, I have noticed the reactions of "newbie’s" to my political alignment has slowly been changing.  Three to five years ago, the reaction was usually abject horror and disgust – at best, endless laughter.  A year or so ago, during the 2005 General Election campaign there was a more curious approach.  People would say things like "well, I’ve never liked the Tories but since that Blair has got so awful I might consider voting for you".  But since last summer, I have been astounded by how many people now respond to the statement "I’m a Tory" with "oh really, you know I’ve been considering getting involved with them.  Could you tell me more about it?"

The newspaper stories are finally true - young people do want to join the Conservative Party.  Conservative Future needs to be an organisation designed to capitalise on this, to bring people in, to get them involved and keep them involved.

I have always felt passionately about getting young people involved in politics.  At school and at university; in the debating society and when it came to my generation’s first chance to vote, now I find myself faced with the chance to run the biggest youth political movement in the country.  A chance, to get people involved.  A chance to organise an infrastructure that works to the organisation’s aims, not to act as an A-List grooming ground.  And most importantly, a chance to do my bit to get Conservatives elected, creating an active, vibrant and enthusiastic campaigning force around the country.  For if we are not a political campaigning force, then we are nothing at all.

To read more about how I intend to do this or to email me with any questions, please check out my website.

If you have any questions for Caroline, please use the comments feature below.


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