Conservative Diary


5 Sep 2007 11:32:06

Freshers Fair 2007

Ff_pack_2 Freshers Fair packs will be winging their way to university branches over the next couple of days.

The packs last year were full of posters and policy leaflets, and this year they are even bigger. The successful, and increasingly apt, Boris theme has been continued.

Almost twice as many as last year have been sent, but there are still a few spares if you want to apply for one last-minute.

Thanks go to Harry Cole and volunteers for getting them sorted out so quickly.

30 Aug 2007 07:12:00

Alister Cooling's political journey

Alister_cooling Alister was recently on Castaway alongside Clare Hilley. Here he gives a very personal account of his political journey from a Labour-voting family in Leeds to an active member of Croydon CF.

Way back on May the 2nd 1997 I reached the age of 15. Something else equally as significant happened that day, something that would change the course of my life.

Tony Blair was appointed by the Queen as Prime Minister.

Before this I had little or no interaction with politics whatsoever, so with this being the first big political upheaval that I can remember experiencing, I sat down with my dad and asked him, what I thought, a straight forward question.

I asked him who he had voted for.

His response was one that shocked me. Not so much who he had voted for but his reasoning.

He gave me the answer of ‘Labour’, to which I asked ‘why’?

He looked at me quizzically then decided to be honest.

I’ll never forget the words and tone he used.

“Because everyone else is”.

Everyone else!

Continue reading "Alister Cooling's political journey" »

31 Jul 2007 09:46:09

Apply for your Fresher's Pack

HarrycoleConservative Future is in the process of preparing for their fresher’s week recruitment drive. Fresher packs are available to be sent all university and local branches to help in their recruitment, these will include everything you need from membership forms to banners, newly designed Boris t-shirts, and posters, Stand Up Speak Up literature and a host of branded paraphernalia to really push the numbers up this year.

Harry Cole (pictured), a politics student and Vice-Chairman/Treasurer of Edinburgh University Conservative Association, is running the recruitment drive out of CCHQ this summer. He is working closely with CF Chairman Mark Clark and Justine Greening MP to make sure a high number of new recruits sign up this autumn. Any candidates with a university in their constituency are asked to get to touch about getting involved in fresher’s week events. Anyone after more information or who wants to get their hands on some packs for their branch should contact him at [email protected]

26 Jan 2007 10:06:04

Breaking the mould in Wales

Good article in the Western Mail today about a teenage Welsh lad from a Labour-voting family being co-opted as a Conservative on to a Community Council:

Wales_2"I suppose I first got interested in politics at the age of four or five, when my grandmother, who was a diehard Labour supporter, used to talk to me. As I got older I would have political discussions with my mother, who also supports Labour. My father is probably the least political person in the family, although I think he also votes Labour. My mother doesn't always agree with me, but she respects my point of view.

I've always been interested in history, and from my reading it always seemed the Conservatives were in the forefront. I'm a big fan of Winston Churchill, who was a great war leader and statesman. The more I read, the more I was drawn to the principles of the Conservative Party - freedom of enterprise, freedom of choice, and freedom of opportunity for all members of society, regardless of their background."

I can't say I share his enthusiasm for youth political issues like skate parks and lowering the voting age, but it is very encouraging that his Association has over 25 members under the age of 18.

This article times well with a CF action week in Wales. They are promoting a petition against NHS cuts as part of the "NHyeS" campaign, and hoping to pick up some members and help the forthcoming Assembly elections along the way.

Paul Rogers, North Wales Area Chairman for Conservative Future, told CF Diary:

"There is a strong link between Conservative Future and the Party in Wales and we are determined to do our part to ensure our assembly members are re-elected in May and that we deliver Conservative success.  Nick Bourne's group in the assembly has shown that we can deliver a stronger government for Wales than that of Rhodri Morgan and his Labour group and CF members can help make the difference in coming months"

If anyone would like to get involved with CF in Wales and help the assembly campaign please email Paul at walesnorth[AT]

4 Jan 2007 07:41:00

Andrew Young: Communication on campus

Andrew_young_4 I got in trouble by disagreeing with an article on this blog promoting the use of newspapers on campus to influence student opinion. Not that newspapers are such a bad idea – I wrote for Student Direct in Manchester - but the thought of CF branches finding the start up costs, investing the time and running the risk of debt or libel suit fills me with dread.

Winning the battle on campus is important. Students comprise 49% of active members of CF. More importantly however, the political opinions formed there will last a lifetime. Hence the number of strong Thatcherites honed by the campus battles of the 80s, and the general apathy of the grown-up students of the Major era towards Conservatism.

Winning the culture wars is key, but newspapers, except those funded by an obliging Student Union, are a bad idea. The solution? Need you ask? You’re reading it…

Continue reading "Andrew Young: Communication on campus" »

28 Oct 2006 07:00:00

Tom Mludzinski: Why I became a Tory

Tom is a second year politics student at the University of Warwick

“You’ve done what?” That was my mother’s reaction when I told her that I’d become a card-carrying member of the Conservative Party. She was in shock; apparently when students go off to university they are supposed to ring home with the news that they are addicted to drugs or have got a girl pregnant. What I had done was, in my mother’s eyes even worse! She still hasn’t fully forgiven me and holds out hope that I may change my allegiances.

The thing is, I haven’t really come across this partisanship amongst my peers. I voted for Labour in 2005; the election was held two days after my 18th birthday. I supported some Labour policy, but most of all I was a great admirer of Prime Minister Blair. I’ve even had an internship working in the Westminster office of a Labour MP. And yet I ended up joining the Tory party.

My vote for Labour in 2005 was for Tony Blair rather than the Labour Party, and that was based not on domestic policy but on his position as an international statesman. There really was little else to vote for; I couldn’t imagine Michael Howard as Prime Minister whilst I did not see the Liberal Democrats as a credible challenge to the major parties. There was also a certain embarrassment about voting for the Tory Party. Having only got interested in politics in 1997, seeing Tony Blair sweep into Downing Street I feel I’ve only ever lived under a Labour government, I don’t remember any different.

Continue reading "Tom Mludzinski: Why I became a Tory" »

7 Oct 2006 06:34:00

Edward Keene: Holding onto alumni

There is generally acknowledged to be something of a crisis in party recruitment amongst younger voters, and this is not least in the Conservative Party. On the whole, the bulk of young professionals outside London who are active in the party are those interested in standing for elected office. This is in contrast to the multitude of healthy student branches and associations where there is much more of a pronounced social side to membership – indeed, the main focus of student groups is ‘the social side’!

As Mark Clarke, the new National Chair of CF is fond of saying “You are four times more likely to be a Conservative if you are 19 than if you are 29.” Note well: that is a big-C Conservative – not a little-c conservative. There is ample and growing little-c conservatism in young Britain, as people across the country wake up to the fact that society can run itself without the nannying intervention of big-government. Thus the lack of members in the 21-35 age band is not down to decreasing conservatism in society, but a failure of mechanism and structure.

The exact nature of this failure is debateable, and arguably academic, but I would say it is a result of greater mobility, which has produced a generation of natural conservatives who, rather than return to the communities of their upbringing after University or training, move to areas overwhelmingly populated by similar individuals. These areas are even more lacking in social hierarchy and entrenched social institutions.

Continue reading "Edward Keene: Holding onto alumni" »

4 Sep 2006 10:02:00

Freshers' Fair ideas

It's not easy to come up with ideas for how to bring in the punters at Freshers' Fairs, or at least ones which aren't cheesy, cliched or expensive.

The CFTV blog is running a competition for funny ways of advertising CF at FFs.

It'd be good to hear of anything that has worked for you in the past as this is very much the preparation period for the looming Fairs (and I need more ideas for mine!).

2 Sep 2006 11:51:00

Martine Martin: How to make a "Tory Girl" from scratch

Martine_martin Martine (blog) is a student at Hull University, and will next year be posted to Westminster to make coffee for MPs. She explains how her experience with education made her a "Tory Girl".

In that great old 1946 film A Matter of Life and Death, pilot David Niven describes himself as "Conservative by birth, Labour by experience" just prior to leaping from his plane with no parachute - an action I can sympathise with if that sentiment were true.

I, on the other hand, describe myself as the opposite; Labour by birth, Conservative by experience.

But what exactly does it take to turn someone from a fairly hard-up background (my dad was a Labour ex-coal miner and my mother ended up a single parent) into one of the "Tory Girls"? Here is a short step by step treatise on the making of a young Tory.

Continue reading "Martine Martin: How to make a "Tory Girl" from scratch" »