Conservative Diary

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Why I am standing for NME: Karen Allen

Karen_allen_cf2006_1 I have been involved with CF since 2004, which in comparison to many other members is a very short time, albeit I am 27 years old. Since living in London I have been involved with my local Conservative Associations, canvassing at the General Election, By Elections and Council Elections. I was in a Constituency which was apt enough to keep constituents’ dates of birth on record and hence I started to receive some correspondence from Conservative Future. As a late joiner to CF I was aware I was entering a group where many members who were around the same age as me had anything up to ten years of experience. I do think, however, this puts me in a very good position as I was able to give fresh input. I had no preconceived opinions or notions, but came from a professional background and only wanted to become more involved with promotion and campaigning for the Party.

I want to be on the NME to be in a position to attract more people from this sort of background. We have been attracting many more new members since the appointment of David Cameron but we are still a long way from the ‘80s heydays where the Young Conservatives were thriving and their membership was roughly the same size as the entire party membership is now. The bulk of new CF members have been aged 18-24. I would concentrate on attracting more members 24+, those people who think they don’t have enough time or are intimidated by other members with a perceived wealth of experience. I believe I am in a good position to tackle this task; working in an environment where there is a vast network of twenty somethings.

CF is being wrongly perceived by the first or second jobbers, who have not previously been involved with the group as a student. I want to change this. I also believe many first or second jobbers think they won’t have enough time to "get involved". Indeed I thought I wouldn’t have the time, but have found that working with teams of dedicated activists, whom I have met through CF, it’s been possible to use concentrated time productively to achieve some great results.

Another important issue to me and a factor in my decision to stand is that, I don’t think there is a wide enough range of backgrounds currently on the NME. To be able to adequately meet the demands and requirements of CF at a national level, it’s vital the Executive has representatives from different backgrounds. I grew up in the North East, in South Shields, although I have now lived in London since 1998. I also strongly believe that we need to set up more regional branches where the potential support is there but is just not being tapping into and given a proper outlet. We need more people on the Executive who want to work on this.

The young vote wins elections. We are the voters of today and tomorrow. I want to be elected to the NME because I am dedicated to improving CF and want to be in a position where I can maximise my input. CF is the future of the Conservative Party.

Please use the comments feature if you have any questions for Karen.


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