Conservative Diary

« Manchester hustings tomorrow | Main | Rodrigo Sanchez withdraws »

Dominic Llewellyn: The Big Picture

Dominic_llewellyn Dom is a student at Newcastle University and has worked for both the Party as well as a Conservative think-tank looking at social action.

David Cameron has famously said that:

"there is such a thing as society, it’s just not the same thing as the state"

These are words that we could all agree with, but how do we go about proving this statement?

A lot has been said of Conservative Future’s role as a social club and leafletting but many find these unfulfilling; surely CF has another role.

Many young people have idealism and activism running through their veins as shown by campaigns such as Make Poverty History. 81% of young people would sign a petition for a cause they believe in, yet, only 37% of 18-24 year olds voted in last year’s General Election. Such young people are less interested in joining a political party and more interested in single issues.

Yes, CF have 15,000 members but the reality is that only a small number are engaged enough in the current activities to play a really fulfilling role. We need to offer more opportunities for engagement that build upon people’s interests.

CF nationally has the potential to attract new people to the party; we can not only show the party at large but people outside that we are the voluntary sector and that we know we have a responsibility for the areas in which we live through social action projects (small-scale voluntary initiatives that achieve a socially valuable outcome).

Social action projects are important as they communicate our conservative values of enterprise, community and action in a much better way than leaflets ever could; they help build relationships with people who are cynical of politician’s motives and they demonstrate our competence as a Party of getting things done in a practical and meaningful way.

By pursuing an agenda which reaches out to our communities, we not only learn more about the places in which we live, we’ll gradually become more representative and attract a new type of member to the party. We need to think beyond targeting our typical vote and apply our one nation principles to the modern day.

Locally CF can also take a lead. University CF branches are often the biggest concentration of Conservatives in our major cities. CF has the opportunity in these places to use this type of social activism to help lead the Party’s revival – rather than see ourselves as inward-looking university clubs.

This would, in turn, act as a fantastic recruiting tool for other students who wanted to make a difference to the city they spend 3 years of their lives in whilst many associations would benefit from the leadership and vision which such people could provide.

We have a chance of taking a lead in the party at both a local and national level. The next Conservative Future NME should look to Conservative Future to be the change that the party wants to see in this country.


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.