Conservative Diary

Internet related

2 Sep 2008 19:00:33

ToryBear's second survey

ToryBear's second survey focuses on opinions of Conservative Future's National Management Executive, and can be completed now.

2 Jul 2008 09:32:51

Tory Bear's survey

Tory_bear CF aficionados will enjoy the recently-launched Tory Bear blog, it looks to be the new go-to place for CF gossip (I particularly enjoyed the explanation of Patrick Sullivan's mysterious hat!).

The irreverent, insidery blog seems to be pitched as a Guido Fawkes of the CF world. Holding CCHQ/the exec to account is obviously something CF Diary would support as long as it doesn't make things too personal and foment divisions.

Anyway, it's holding a survey on CF which you can take here.

18 Apr 2008 17:33:00

New CF exec blog launched

The Conservative Future exec have now got a blog just for their use - check it out.

It's a temporary measure before the new CF website is launched but it has the potential to be a great way for keeping members in the loop. Christian May told me that:

"This is the fist step that the new NME have taken towards to increasing communication and involvement. When the main website is developed you can expect many more ways for the members to get in touch and get involved."

3 Jan 2008 15:49:55

Most recently added blogs

2 Jan 2008 08:54:47

What features does the new CF website need?

Cf_websiteIt was back in October when I revealed that a new CF website had been launched. It had limited functionality as a temporary blogspot but was a great leap forward in that it was at least out of the CCHQ system and could be updated straightaway.
Mark Clarke has said that CF is going to "invest significant funds in a state of the art website". Realistically there's only so many features that website can have, but it'd be useful to hear what you'd like them to be...
Here's a few for starters:
  • Michael Rock thinks that CF-eligible people should be able to join the party through the CF website instead of having to go via the party website.
  • Forward Together want: "an interactive campaign database showing branch numbers, member levels, leaflets delivered, events held and offering comprehensive support services" and a forum within the site, possibly like the very popular LDYS one (which also has a private members section for discussing internal matters).
  • I've mentioned setting up an interactive Google map of CF branches a few times, like the LibDems' Flock Together. This is something Forward Together advocate and I believe Matt Richardson is already working on it.
  • I'd like to see more online activism like LDYS' United4Belarus campaign and the Conservative's excellent "inner tosser" video about debt. 
  • Advergaming - like the TaxManGordon pacman game goes down well with us youngens, especially if they are funny and easily spread over email, Facebook etc...

30 Oct 2007 11:56:00

New CF website!

Cf_website About a week ago I stumbled across a prototype CF website at a blogspot address. It's all set up and ready to go now and the URL has been redirected to it within the last hour so do check it out.

This is great news. It uses very simple, user-friendly blog software that can be updated immediately without having to jump through the hoops required for sites on the CCHQ server. It is basically a youthy version of the Party's website that includes relevant Party news and things like viral videos and games.

It really baffled me that something like this couldn't have been set up a year ago (for free, in five minutes). That marginal seats were a priority or that the CCHQ web team was busy didn't excuse the fact that the website - the first point of contact for many interested young people - was completely static. Hopefully it will become a regularly updated source of information on what's going on in CF world.

I've always said that I was hoping to be put out of the job in that respect. Whilst CF Diary pragmatically filled the gap in the market and I was happy to provide the news service, it is obviously not ideal for an unofficial site to be the only place for official news! The potential for the site now that it seems to be free from its shackles is massive.

Well done to Michael Lunn for getting it up and running so quickly. I'm sure he would appreciate any constructive feedback on what you'd like to see on the site.

Here's one suggestion for starters - one thing I kept meaning to do was build up a Google map like the LibDems' Flock Together network. Anne-Marie Bray gave me the inspiration and I got as far as getting a friend to set up a test page but didn't get around to setting it up properly. Perhaps this could be integrated into the new site so that people interested in getting involved can find out where their nearest branch is easily?

24 Sep 2007 15:14:03

Recently added blogs to the list

4 Mar 2007 22:23:44

More CF blog links

1 Mar 2007 14:26:35

A few blog snippets

  • "I do not like young people much they have far to good a time. I shuffle to work everyday like a miserable Monk, being harvested by the State for my life force, while they skip and cavort with sexy new media projects ,and have ,“ vibrant “ web communities of smarmy Conservative Future members." - Islington Newmania
  • "I know attempts have been made to devolve CF in Wales before, but I think it is time to review the situation and give CF in Wales autonomy. There will be some unionists who’ll have their doubts, but I do not see this as an issue of national identity, rather it is an issue of political reality." - Nick Webb
  • "Conservative Future has adopted a "marginal seats" campaign which is far too conservative (with a little c). Three of the seats targetted (Solihull, Wirral West and Portsmouth North) are notionally Tory under new boundaries anyway! Finchley and Golders Green (Con target no 1!)and Harlow (6) need a fractional swing to be won and even winning the least marginal target seats of Pendle (45) and Worcester (59) would only leave the Tories in hung Parliament territory." - PragueTory

25 Feb 2007 10:08:00

Another five links to check out...

20 Feb 2007 11:02:00

Thank you

CF Diary has now had over one thousand comments on its articles.

  • Although this is a fraction of the huge number of comments on ToryDiary, this is a niche blog that has direct moderation
  • Cheers
  • Comments are usually of a high quality, there have been very few comments that I haven't approved since this site launched last summer to cover the CF elections.
  • Posting will become daily again in a few months when the next elections are closer, there isn't enough to write about between elections without losing focus
  • CFDiary now links to 60-odd CF blogs (scroll down left sidebar) - the number of them is growing all the time and a lot of debate has been sparked on them. Again, if yours isn't on there let me know!
  • I'm delighted that John Moorcraft has agreed to bestow his wisdom upon us every week, click here to see the columns he has written thus far.
  • The next development will be a weekly mailing list linking to events, news and debates of interest to young conservatives.

I want this to continue to be a serious forum for young Conservatives, neither a gossipy chatroom nor a personal megaphone. If you ever have any suggestions or criticisms, always feel free to email me - sam[AT]

19 Feb 2007 19:13:53

Five most recently added blog links

12 Feb 2007 14:52:07

Blue Shark TV launches today

BSTV has now launched, featuring an interview with Iain Dale.

12 Feb 2007 09:49:03

Two websites to watch

  • Bexley CF have complimented their MySpace page with a new multimedia website. Their blog has been updated daily for a while now and they occasionally send press releases out. Perhaps this professionalism is in part due to the Bexley having eight CF-aged Councillors - with the Chairman and Deputy Chairmen all being Councillors themselves. If the multimedia side of their website develops, I think they will have a strong claim to having the best CF website.
  • Mark Clarke, CF Chairman this year, is standing in the open primary parliamentary selection for Tooting tomorrow. He has remodelled his CF campaign website into a portal for people in Tooting to see what he believes in and what he has been doing there - worth checking out.

11 Feb 2007 11:47:00

Is the CF Website good enough?

John Moorcraft writes a weekly article putting current young Conservative issues into a historical context.

The political establishment are constantly being told by those who consider themselves experts on the subculture of contemporary British youth that they must learn the rules of engagement specific to this particular hoodie wearing section of society if they want to persuade increasing numbers of them to take an interest in all things political.  The aspiring politician is forever being reminded that the next General Election (assuming it is not held this year of course) will see youngsters born in 1990 (after the fall of the Berlin Wall and during the fag end of Thatcher’s premiership) entitled to vote for the political party of their choosing. This, we are informed by the experts, should scare politicians to death on the premise the traditional method of choice for making themselves popular with the public (promising to make us all wealthier whilst improving public services) simply will not cut the mustard with the new kids on the block.  Instead, we are led to believe this cheap flight loving, iPod owning, broadband internet using generation wants to hear about “post material” issues such as environmentalism and ending world poverty, not to mention whether any wannabe MP loves the Arctic Monkey’s and can drink 14 pints of beer on an average night down the pub. 

Continue reading "Is the CF Website good enough?" »

5 Feb 2007 12:10:00

Coming soon: Blue Shark TV

Alex Crowley, Andrew Young and Caroline Hunt have been working on a interesting project, "Blue Shark TV".

Andrew and Caroline were CF Exec members from last year, and in some ways this project seems to be an independent successor to the axed CFTV and CFRadio initiatives - it has retained the "Friday night live-ish" show for example. It is however very much seperate from Conservative Future. Alex, who is on the Campaigns HQ show of 18 Doughty Street tonight, told CF Diary that:

"Blue Shark Tv is an internet broadcasting project aimed at opening up the world of politics and current affairs to young people, and, with no party political considerations to worry about there is considerably more freedom for self-expression and good humour. The content will be a mix of radio and tv podcasts, blogs and users' videos."

Blue Shark TV isn't intended to just be video-based, but will have audio, art and writing.  It's encouraging to see another independent youth-based conservative-inclined initiative starting out. I do think they may be able to carve a niche between CF Diary (because of its broader political focus and use of multimedia) and 18 Doughty Street (by targeting young people exclusively) - so good luck to them for their impending launch!

14 Jan 2007 21:45:22

Which young conservative's blog was the best in 2006?

Blogger If you hadn't spotted the Conservative Blog Awards you might want to check out the category for young conservatives before nominations close at the end of this week.

It looks like the hardest category to make a shortlist from at the moment so having your say could swing it for your favourite!

14 Jan 2007 07:15:00

Five more blogs added to the list

10 Jan 2007 21:56:00

Five most recently added blogs

6 Jan 2007 17:52:59

Links and events

Keyboard Just a note to say if your blog is not linked to from the CF Blogs list on the left, and you think it should be, please let me know so we can ensure it is as comprehensive as possible. Relevant suggestions for what blogs and websites get linked to in the "Other links" list are also welcome.

Reciprocated links to CF Diary (rather than just ConservativeHome) are always appreciated :-)

Also, I am going to be more relaxed about the type of articles that go up on here this year (making it more like Iain Dale's Diary than YourPlatform) so don't hesitate to ask for plugs for your events etc.

5 Jan 2007 07:11:00

Right Wing World

RwwAn excellent new online initiative for young conservatives has been launched this week -

The idea came from a meeting of minds at the recent IYDU conference between American Dennis Lennox and Swede Fredrik Bertilsson. Its professional-looking website aims to be a popular forum for young conservatives around the world - something the IYDU should have looked into doing really.

Fredrik told CFD that the two main aims were:

  1. To get people to blog about their own countries domestic politics in English (hurrah!)
  2. To bring young conservatives from all over the world together in an

Once you've registered with its Community, which I strongly encourage you do, it's possible to become a writer for it as well. I think this website has a lot of potential, it's got a clear niche and is making perfect use of "new media" with its various interactive features.

24 Oct 2006 11:50:00

Best of the blogs

Mark Clarke's is being updated very regularly at the moment and putting CF Diary to shame. Did you know Mark left his job to do CF full-time for a few months?

Nick Webb's is a must-read especially if you are in the Bristol & Gloucestershire area. He's recently merged his personal blog with his AC blog so it is well looked after - only suggestion from me would be to allow comments.

John Moorcraft - the guru of all things CF - has picked up his rate of posting of late (could you increase the font size a little, though!). One of yesterday's posts pointed out that the CF website hasn't changed the names of those on the National Team yet.

Aberystwyth CF have a model branch blog in that it has several contributors (although they haven't posted for a week). They write about general issues and it is a blog that I'm sure any student at Aber would be interested in reading. Love the rolling quotes feature too.

Martine Martin's "lebwog" is getting quite popular, and has a highly unique look.

Andrew Young's blog has lots of random YouTube videos. Serious posting today on last night's C4 Muslim debate.

There has been a marked rise of regularly updated CF blogs of late. The list of CF blogs on the left-hand side is certainly not comprehensive yet, please do point out any omissions. Thanks!

15 Oct 2006 11:26:57

CF blogs summary

A quick look at what some of the CF blogs are saying...

David Coleman (Surrey) comments on the justification for violence in films

Paul Hayes (Sheffield) writes about an interview he did for his uni radio station

Caroline Hunt (Hammersmith & Fulham) offers her thoughts on the veil debate

Martine Martin (Hull) on the DC lookalike

Anne-Marie Bray (Worcestershire) thinks we should leave DC alone

Mark Clarke (Chairman) reviews a couple of tough things he's done for CF

Daniel Hayward (Oxford) points out one of my favourite YouTube videos

7 Oct 2006 14:39:19

Scottish CF website

Scottish_cfFor those of you studying/living in Scotland, the Scottish Conservatives have been building this website for Scottish CFers over the last few months. It looks quite professional and includes an events page and descriptions of the local and university branches.

One of the great things about the internet is that it doesn't matter where you are geographically - you can still be in the know and have a say about things without being in the Westminster village!

31 Aug 2006 13:01:00

Andrew Young: Harnessing the internet

Andrew_young_1Andrew, standing for CF Chairman, explains his vision for CF Net and other projects

Guilty Secret #1: I know nothing about computers.

I’ve spent the past year in charge of ‘e-Campaigning’ (like most phrases involving the Internet it’s a made-up term) and I have no technical expertise other than that which I’ve been able to teach myself.

However, as I had previously managed ‘the website team’ (writers, not techies) that was the job I was given. Strange then, that I, a non-technical person, am now the leading proponent for IT in CF.


Well, as part of the frantic research for my new job, I soon realised that you, the CF member are surfing the wave of a technological revolution. Almost entirely connected to the Internet, increasingly through new broadband connections, you are even starting to switch off your telly in favour of surfing the net. Wait ten years and there mightn’t be a difference between the two.

For a fractured national organisation, with members under-30, the Internet, with its power to connect people at little cost, is a natural home. However, we have a lot of work to do.

Continue reading "Andrew Young: Harnessing the internet" »

29 Aug 2006 07:09:00

Radio interviews with the Chairman candidates

Cf_radio Click here to listen to them being interviewed individually by Alex Crowley.

If you can't make one of the two hustings this will be one of your only chances to get to hear them in action (although there is an event tonight in London with Mark Clarke and some NME candidates, which I'll be going to).

Thanks go to Luke van Rensburg, the sound engineer.

23 Aug 2006 17:42:51

Do you have a blog?

Quill_1 It would be useful to have a list of blogs written by young Conservatives compiled in one place.

I've made a meagre start in the left-hand side-bar, do you know of others?

Please comment or email if you want to swap links.

This section of ConHome (which as a whole has been reaching 40,000 page views per day recently) is holding its own in terms of hits so it should send a few more like-minded people your way.

Thanks :)

p.s. reciprocated links to CF Diary from candidate websites also appreciated!