Conservative Diary

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Matthew Richardson's third monthly report

Mathewrichardson_2I hope that everyone had a happy and holy Christmas and a thoughtful New Year. Once again the publication of this report has been delayed, this time by the festive period. Please accept my apologies; I understand how important it is to keep you informed of my activities.

There have been no official NME meetings since my last report but I attended the CF Christmas Party and the Battersea campaigning day, both in my official capacity. I have been in regular contact with the executive via email and I am pleased that each member is fulfilling his or her individual responsibilities to the satisfaction of the chairman (such as that is.)

I have been unable to evaluate the performance of Greig Baker, our newly-co-opted member.

Campaigning portfolio 

Before I report on our past and upcoming campaign days, I would like to make an observation about my portfolio. It is obvious that campaigning is not the sexiest portfolio going and does not have the perquisites of the other portfolios held by officers. In fact, trying to badger people to give up a Saturday to work hard for long-term rewards is tough, especially when executive members do not always display the willingness to do so. I suspect the chairman selected me to endure this burden because I was the only member of the executive not to have endorsed him!   

I have worked hard to rebuild the reputation for effective campaigning that CF once had. While I am guided by the solicitations of local associations and members of CF, the ultimate strategic decision over where we campaign has to rest with one person.  To this end, I find it difficult to work when executive members attempt to stage and promote rival campaign events. This serves only to lower attendance and divert our focus from events which have been carefully planned to have maximum impact. It also makes the organisation look stupid. I appreciate that everybody has friends who need favours but I would ask officers to stick to the strategy which has been agreed, and use their own portfolios to distribute patronage. 

Battersea campaigning report

I was exceptionally pleased with the turnout of over 30 people in Battersea. It was good to see more than half the executive present and CF grandees Pickering, Smith, Peterkin, Bristow and Hunt. I look forward to seeing Craig Cox and Christian Walker at a campaign day in the future – Hammersmith, perhaps.

Around 10,000 leaflets were delivered by our blue-Santa-hat-clad campaigners in this most marginal of marginal seats (the sitting Labour MP has a majority of 163.) I would like to thank Nick Bowles and Justine Greening MP for the training and talks they gave us in the morning, and Jane Ellison and the Battersea Conservative Association for their hospitality.

Hammersmith campaigning day

I will be releasing full details about this shortly. For now I would simply like to draw your attention to the date that we are going to this new seat, created out of the recently-won Tory seat of Hammersmith and Fulham: 20 JANUARY. If you know already that you’re going to be able to attend, please email me at [email protected].


I am pleased to tell you that the opening event of the area CF was a huge success. Unfortunately I had to be in court throughout the day of the event (in the good way) but Anne-Marie Bray sums it up very well (and should be congratulated for her hard work). I am also grateful to Christian Walker for attending. Anne-Marie writes:

So, last night was the Worcester CF launch party, and I’m pleased to say it was a great success.  We had about 25-30 people at Deco, Worcester and although by no means all of them were potential new members of Worcester CF (that figure is probably 6) it was a great evening that everyone enjoyed.  We had members from West Worcestershire, Shropshire, Gloucestershire and Bromsgrove (sorry if I’ve missed anyone) who all came to enjoy the fun. 

I thoroughly enjoyed myself (this may have something to do with the abundant wine) and it was great to meet so many people and see so many enthusiastic conservatives in one room!  It was a great morale boost for everyone.

Many thanks must go to Deco our venue and I would urge anyone who ever wants a snack, drink or lunch in Worcester to try out Deco and give them support, as last night wouldn’t have been possible without their generous support.

Manifesto commitments 

In my manifesto I highlighted the need for more events for young professionals, more policy days and a decision on NUS involvement. Karen Allen is continuing her portfolio responsibilities of organising more events for young professionals and policy days. 

I still haven’t heard from anyone with their thoughts on our NUS policy, which is a little unusual given the strength of (various) opinions out there. Please do let me know, and I will endeavour to raise your concerns at the NME. Email [email protected].


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