Conservative Diary

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Introducing CF Countryside

Cf_countryside_2 The latest CF bulletin includes a link to a new organisation - CF Countryside:

"Members of Conservative Future Countryside are encouraged and supported to provide time to champion Pro-Countryside Conservative Candidates (urban and rural).  In addition between elections CFC provides a network of contacts enabling young people to get involved in contributing to the daily and future life of their communities often under threat."

It looks basically like an official alliance between CF and the Conservative Rural Action Group. It's a good initiative, and encouraging to see CF getting outside the "Party box" a little. I believe single issue campaigning is increasingly the way party politics will go particularly with the advent of the internet.

What's interesting about this though is that CF as has effectively endorsed CRAG as a corporate policy. This isn't controversial as CRAG and the Party's agricultural team are in practice six of one and half a dozen of the other ( it was launched by Peter Ainsworth five years ago and is run by James Paice). But could or should we see more alliances with the Party's affiliated groups?

We probably won't see more CF versions of groups as they usually have their own youth element if they want one but there are lots of ways of promoting involvement in them - e.g. Mark Clarke's innovation of allocating some National Convention places to such groups.

I've pasted the rest of this month's bulletin below, which includes details of the CF Countryside launch event...

Conservative Future Bulletin - October 2007


Welcome to the latest News Bulletin from Conservative Future


After Gordon Brown’s bottled election that never was and with opinion polls showing the Conservatives in a healthy lead, Gordon Brown’s failure to give people a referendum on the EU Treaty just shows he does not trust the people of Britain. About the Treaty itself, David Cameron has continued to highlight that the red lines negotiated by Mr. Brown did not include the EU Presidency, the single legal personality, 60 vetoes or the ratchet clause. These are just some of the issues that CF is continuing to be concerned about and its one of the reasons why our membership continues to grow among our supporters. Its no surprise therefore that we have also been increasing the number of new branches with the support for our Deputy Chairman Claire Palmer. The new energy around CF is also driven by the appointment of Michael Lunn who is now heading up CF at CCHQ. There are a huge range of events from opportunities to meet David Cameron and Boris Johnson over the coming months as well as other leading MPs. Whether you are interested in engaging in issues that matter to you, or a networking event at the races, or ten pin bowling or even a trip to Brussels there is an event for you to keep the momentum from conference going.


Remember if you have news or an event to share please contact:


In this edition:


* David lays out policy plans


* New CF Staff


* Election Update


* CF Branch Building


* CF Countryside


* Stand Up Speak Up


* South-east CF trip to Brussels


* Fresher’s Fair


* CF Website Articles


* Next Bulletin


* Events






After a successful Party Conference, in which our vision for Britain was laid out, David said the task now was to build on that success. And he explained that with the work of the 6 Policy Review Groups now done, our policies will be developed around 3 key themes:
          - The opportunity agenda will look at all aspects of opportunity, but especially school reform. This will be published in November.
- The responsibility agenda will focus on family and society and propose radical welfare reform. This will be released in January.
- The security agenda will concentrate on making Britain safer and greener and will set out plans for prison reform. It will be published in February.

David promised that there would be no let up green agenda or localist agenda, and that we would continue our campaign for an EU referendum. He also talked about the issue of party funding, and said caps on donations must apply to everyone, including trade unions.






Michael Lunn our new Youth Development Manager has reported that he is busy resolving numerous issues related to Conservative Future. This includes communications, CF database, CF Website, CF elections, CF events and also CF resources. Michael has reported that everything is going to schedule, and he hopes to make a more detailed announcement next month regarding progress. One thing he has been encouraged by is the level of enthusiasm and hard work that is going on around the country, and with that mind he will be calling on the support of all CF Area Chairman to provide him with an update report of progress of CF across the Country. This report will require the support of all branch and university Chairman to enable an updated picture of Conservative Future to be established.






Following the summer announcement explaining that membership lists needed to be prepared to ensure all members get a vote in the CF elections – the databases are now almost complete and are being checked. In the next bulletin an outline plan for the elections will be announced for the New Year.




This year we have had a focus on building our branches in marginal seats, and have already helped tens of branches form and grow this year. Additionally we have helped those who have sought our support in non marginal seats. At Conference alone we assisted a further 12 Associations and / or CF branches.
  If you are trying to grow your CF branch, or set one up, then please contact me at, and we can have a chat about any particular problems, and give you some focussed and personalised advice.
  There are three key factors that have come up time and time again
*    Individual Communication - whilst it is all well and good to send out mass mailings, and a great way of communicating from a large number of potential attendees, nothing beats a personalised communication to encourage someone to attend.
*    Balanced Committees - it is vital to ensure that you are attracting a variety of members from 18 year old students to 29 year old professionals, non-graduates, and a mix of men and women, and different social backgrounds.
*    Liaise with your Association - it is important to work with the local Association, encourage them to offer discounts to CF members for their events, collect date of birth data, and to involve you in their campaigns, as well as using fresh young legs to deliver leaflets.






Since the initial posting back in May a number of CF members have been working to establish a structure for a new network of contacts of young people with a passion for the countryside in order to establish solid support for conservative candidates that support the countryside (rural or urban seat). All united in the belief that the countryside has been one of the victims of the Blair years and now under Brown things look as bad. The countryside lobby has a long history of supporting pro-countryside MPs usually Conservative whether through Vote OK or the Countryside Alliance. A number of CF members are working closely with a number of organisations including CRAG to form CF Countryside – a pressure and social group for people under 40. It aims to ensure that while the party pushes ahead in urban areas it continues to supports rural areas from housing to hunting and channel rural support into these urban areas. In addition a series of social events are planned across the country over the next year.


If you would like to get involved please email [email protected] or visit the new website at It will be launched on Saturday 17 November at the Cheltenham Countryside Raceday. Please see the details in the events section.






David Cameron has launched 'Stand Up Speak Up' a crucially important consultation exercise to help him and the Shadow Cabinet develop their programme for government, following the conclusion of the most comprehensive review of policy ever, carried out by six main Policy Groups and over twenty taskforces since


David became leader at the end of 2005.


David himself has stressed that ' we are not automatically accepting every recommendation in the Policy Review reports. There will be some proposals we do not agree with. In some areas, hard choices will have to be made between competing priorities and, of course, no policies will be adopted until they have been properly costed by the Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne. It is against that background that the vital ' Stand Up Speak Up' consultation has been organised---to initiate a nationwide debate before Conservative policy for the future is put into a hard and fast form.


David is inviting everyone to have their say because he wants to stimulate and revitalise democratic debate in Britain: for far too long too many people have not been properly engaged in that debate.The results of the consultation process are bound to be more valuable and better informed if CF members are fully involved. Full details of how 'Stand Up Speak Up' operates can be found at and a team of advisers are available on 0207 984 8277 or www.






Calling all CF Members in the lovely Euro-Region of South-East England!


Would you be interested in spending a couple of days in Brussels at the European Parliament? Ranil Jayawardena and Daniel Hannah are putting together a trip for 27—28 November, which would be partly subsidised by the European Parliament. Although it won't be completely free, I hope to be able to charge less than £40 for the whole trip, including Eurostar tickets, meals and hotel. Daniel said “I was lucky enough to go on a similar trip when I was Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Students in the early 1990s, and I'd like to repay the favour, as it were”.   


“In the European Parliament itself, we'd meet a series of MEPs and officials from Britain and the Continent, representing the full spectrum of opinion on the EU. Whether you have been a member in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire & the Isle of Wight, Kent, Surrey, Sussex or Oxfordshire for years, months or just days, I would really like it if you were able to come and see what Europe is really about, from the inside”. If people are interested please could you, at this stage, let Daniel or Ranil know if, in principle, you'd like to come along and whether there are any other members in your area who might also like to come along too? Daniel will then get back to you with a programme and exact costs.


You can reach Daniel at [email protected].eu or on 07790 905557. Ranil is on 07879 035530 or email to [email protected] .






Those people interested in writing for the website should send their articles and stories to Christian Walker at






The next Bulletin will be issued w/c 19 November 2007 with details of the CF Christmas Event 2007. The deadline for this issue is Monday 12 November 2007. For news in between bulletins please visit CF Diary at






If you have an event please send them to Christian at For events near you please contact your Area Chairman.




  Date: Every Second Monday of the Month
  Organisation: Bristol & Gloucester CF
  Location: Bristol (email for venue details)
  Start: 2pm - 5pm
  A chance to meet, chat and network with fellow CF members
  Contact: Nick Webb
  Email:[email protected]
  Website: /




  Date: 31 October 2007, 6pm
  Organisation: Bristol University
  Spokesman: Damien Green MP
  Location: Brunel Suite, Bristol University SU, Clifton
  Contact: Chris Smith, [email protected]
  Website: /






Pendle Action Day


Location: Cross Street, Nelson, Pendle


Date: Saturday, November 3, 200710:30am - 5:00pm


Details: Matt Richardson - [email protected] or 07838150180




  Date: 03 November 2007
  Organisation: Bristol & Gloucester CF
  Spokesman: Jacob Rees-Mogg PPC & Jack Lopresti PPC
  Location: Bristol Conservative Club,5 Westfield Park, Redland, Bristol, BS6 6LT
  Start: 2pm - 5pm
Guests confirmed: Jacob Rees-Mogg (PPC for North East Somerset), Jack Lopresti (PPC for Filton & Bradley Stoke), Chris Skidmore (Chairman of the Bow Group), Anastasia Beaumont-Bott (Founder of LGBTory & candidate for CF Executive), Alister Cooling ("Big Al" from the BBC's "Castaway")
  Contact: Nick Webb, [email protected]
  Website: /






With the Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP, Leader of the Opposition


Location: Park Lane Sheraton, Piccadilly, London W1J 7BX


Date: Monday 5 November
  Tickets: Prices TBC 
  Contact: Steve Stanbury at [email protected]






Campaign Action day in Cheltenham, including drinks with Cheltenham PCC Mark Coote


Date: 10 November 2007 10am start
  Contact: Mark Coote or Nick Webb - [email protected]






Location: Ten-Pin (was Megabowl)
  Centre Severn, Barnwood, Gloucester, GL4 3HR


Date: 11 November 2007, 7pm
  Organisation: Bristol & Gloucester CF
  Contact: Nick Smith,






Celebrate the countryside with drinks and light refreshments before day of racing with fellow conservatives wanting respect for the Countryside.


Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire


Date: Saturday 17 November 2007


Tickets: For racecourse entry (range of tickets available both on the day and in advance) see


Drinks Reception Tickets £4.00 see


Contact/RSVP: [email protected]






Monday 19th November


Finchley and Golders Green CF @ Commons


Macmillan Room, Portcullis House


For further details e-mail Rachel at [email protected]


An Evening with Boris Johnson MP




Location: Will be announced nearer the time


Date: 22 November 2007, 7pm - Finish: 8.30pm
  Organisation: King's College Conservative Society, London.
  Spokesman: Boris Johnson MP
  Ticket Price: Free for members, £6 non-members
  Contact: Colin Moore – President, [email protected]
  Tel: 07976 483614






Campaign Action day in Leicester with dinner later on with Jeremy Hunt MP


Date: 28 November 2007 2pm onwards (dinner 6pm - 8pm)
  Contact: Simon Whelband
  Email:[email protected]
  Phone: 0775 4485783






Location: TBC


Date: 29 November 2007 Time: TBC
  Organisation: King's College Conservative Society, London.
  Spokesman: Chris Grayling MP


Details: Ticket Price: Free for members, £5 non-members
  Contact: Colin Moore – President, [email protected], 07976 483614




  Conservative PPC, author and policy expert, Jesse Norman is the guest speaker at this Gloucestershire CF event.


Location: Gloucester Conservative Club


Date: 29 November 2007, 7pm
  Organisation: Bristol & Gloucester CF
  Contact: Nick Webb, [email protected]
  Website: /




  Mark Coote PPC joins CF members for a Gloucestershire social to end the year.


Location: Cheltenham (email for venue details)
  Date: 14 December 2007, 7pm
  Organisation: Bristol & Gloucester CF (email for venue)
  Spokesman: Mark Coote PPC
  Contact: Nick Webb [email protected]
  Website: /






With the Rt. Hon. Oliver Letwin MP


Location: At a central London venue (TBA)


Dress code: Business attire


Date: Thursday, 20 December


Tickets: Prices TBC
  Contact: Karen Allen at [email protected]



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