Conservative Diary

Why I am standing

19 Feb 2008 09:23:00

Why Craig Cox is standing for NME

Craig_cox_2 Craig Cox, candidate for NME, explains his motivations as part of this year's Why am I standing series.

When I was elected last September to serve on the NME I had a plan of action which I wanted to carry out. I had grand ideas, glorious plans and a romantic vision for change. I was an individual fighting my corner, trying to get my ideas onto the agenda. It wasn't to be. I now understand, with hindsight, that my ideas were a bit too extravagant, a bit too hopeful, a bit too unachievable. What is needed a group of people that have a consistent set of ideas that will work, rather than the NME being fractured along lines of aloof principles and far away concepts of grandeur. Forward Together is this team that will, given the chance, be the best team for the job.

As an incumbent, I am open to criticism. I did my best to help create branches in marignal seats, such as Pendle, Crawley, Solihull, Portsmouth and the Wirral; I intiated them, and they have since taken the reigns of power over themselves and I so pleased to see this happen. I organised the Nottingham Spring Forum CF presence, and many people said that it was an enjoyable experience. Others said it was bloody awful, but that's just life. I have done my best in the last year, and done my best to help CF members across the country have a branch close to them, and to enjoy the times they have amongst their CF friends. If you agree, then thank you. If you don't, then I apologise.

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17 Feb 2008 22:32:14

Why Karen Allen is standing for NME

Karen_allen Karen Allen, candidate for NME, explains his motivations as part of this year's Why am I standing series.

Having grown up in the Labour heartlands of the North East of England, in the only constituency in the country, which has never been Conservative, many people asked me why am I a conservative and what my motivations are? Then, working in the City and living in East London people have continued to ask me why I am a Conservative, but also querying why am I bothered to be involved with politics at all. The answer I would give is that when you passionately believe in something, in my case being enterprise, choice and democracy, you want to engage with likeminded people and you want to do anything possible to make sure you live in a country run by those principles. We do not live in that country now, the nationalisation of Northern Rock being yet another example of incompetence and control, but it has further increased my motivation to working with the Conservative Party to ensure we return to power at next Government.

I have been involved with CF for the last four years. I am an incumbent NME member who holds the Working Life portfolio. Over the year I have served I have tried to organise a variety of events to attract new members and to keep the existing membership engaged. I have acted as a focal point for Working Life enquiries nationally and put together a manual on “Setting Up a Working Life Branch.” Things are really going from strength to strength and we are in the process of setting up a sub committee comprised of individuals from across the country to organise events and to ensure new branches we set up nationally.

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14 Feb 2008 00:48:15

Why Charlie Groome is standing for NME

Charlie Groome, candidate for NME, explains his motivations as part of this year's Why am I standing series.

The last decade has seen little innovation in domestic politics and a gradual erosion of civil liberties. With the triumph of market economics over state socialism the Labour Party's greatest assets have been voter antipathy towards Tories and a charming, youthful leader. Now they have neither. The ball is in our court and I want to guarantee that come the next general election the Conservative Party has a large, adept and proactive youth membership ready to spring into action across the country. We are not a policy organisation – but the networking of speakers, ideas, information regarding think-tank opportunities and Conservative civil society groups fosters the kind of dynamic atmosphere that can propel a movement. This is the kind of CF I want to innovate.

Acting on initiative in 2006 I set up National Conservative Future facebook groups, which now has over 1300 members and act as portals for distributing campaign bulletins, public lecture information and internship opportunities for CF members across the country. It has helped transform canvassing – increasing numbers and substantially reducing the average age of canvassers. I think back to when I first started out campaigning in London in 2004 at a time when many constituencies relied upon the generous support of pensioners and the odd eager local or dedicated party member. Together with the modernization of CF and the broadening of the Conservative movement this has been thoroughly transformed, though much opportunity remains unexploited.

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13 Feb 2008 11:10:08

Why Christian May is standing for NME


Christian May, candidate for NME, explains his motivations as part of this year's Why am I standing series.

I've had to endure a Labour government for my entire teenage life, and I'm damned if I'm going to endure them as a young adult as well.

When I first started working with CF on arrival at Exeter University, it was a social thing. The social scene got me involved in a few campaign days, and after a few more of those I began to realise just how much I despised our wretched government - and what was more, I could now do something about it. Jump forward two years and I'd Chaired two different committees of Exeter CF, tripled membership to nearly 300, campaigned across the region and set up Devon and Cornwall CF - an organisation which has now helped to open 4 CF branches where none have previously existed. None of this would have been possible were it not for the hard work and passion of a great team. It's a lesson I learned quite early on; you're not going to get far if you think you can get there on your own. In recognition of this team's hard work, I was honoured to receive one of the Party's National Excellence Awards last week. I sincerely hope that the next NME will echo the fantastic teamwork that I've seen down here in the Southwest.

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13 Feb 2008 09:55:20

Why Anastasia Beaumont-Bott is standing for NME

Anastasia_beaumontbott Anastasia Beaumont-Bott, candidate for NME, explains her motivations as part of this year's Why am I standing series.

I’m excited about Conservative Future. I can see how good this organisation can be. That it can cater for the all-weather campaigner, the guy who is more interested in the social scene and the member who is convinced she will be Prime Minister before her 35th birthday!

I’m optimistic about the future and I realise that to be all that CF can be, we need to get the basics right. I’ve been a CF activist who has wanted to push on and achieve more for my branch but I have had to face the same problems with communication and teamwork that many of you do too; my emails regularly go unanswered and my concerns often go unaddressed. It is time for action, it is time for practical changes, and it is time somebody was honest about the problems we are facing and constructive in finding the solutions.

Some of our branch and area Chairmen face a daunting task. Too often data has gone untracked and lines of communication have broken down. I’m facing a similar challenge in my own branch, but I’m now working to turn it around and I promise to help you to overcome these same challenges in your own branches.

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13 Feb 2008 09:47:32

Why Daryl Williams is standing for National Chairman

Darylwilliams Daryl Williams, candidate for CF Chairman, explains his motivations as part of this year's Why am I standing series.

CF is a great organisation and the reason for this is simple – our members.  The strength of CF, our potential and our ability to deliver lies with the activists who work tirelessly hard around the country. 

Change is needed, but I am proud of CF, proud of its activists and what we have delivered.  This is an organisation that wants to achieve more, but for this to happen we must recognise the hard work and efforts of those who campaign, organise events and run our branches.  They need to know they have the confidence and support of those who want to lead them into the future.    

I have a decade of experience and joined the Party when many people were leaving us and we had lost power. I have been involved with CF since its creation and have first hand experience of the day to day challenges our members face.  From being a CF Branch, Area Chairman and Member of the CF National Executive I have myself tackled the role of recruiting members, organising campaigns and social events at the grass roots level.    

National CF needs to recognise its role as that of service provider, supporting members locally.  I know that serving in office is a difficult experience and this job will involve making tough decisions, resolving differences and careful managing of our resources.   

There will be many occasions when difficult decisions will need to be made.  Some decisions may not be popular but a leader that can be trusted will do what is necessary with thought and concern for the people they lead.

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13 Feb 2008 09:37:05

Why Matthew Richardson is standing for National Chairman

Matthew_richardson Matthew Richardson, candidate for CF Chairman, explains his motivations as part of this year's Why am I standing series.

We have to be honest: Conservative Future is a fantastic organisation.  It’s packed with passionately committed young conservatives who form the backbone of the Conservative Party.  As an organisation we have achieved a great deal, supporting candidates in marginal seats across the country and helping to bring David Cameron closer to Downing Street.  We are an asset to our party and, by default, our country.

But it’s not just campaigning that makes CF a great organisation.  Thanks to CF I have made friends I know will last a lifetime.  And I know this is something I share with members up and down the country.   

Other candidates have been quick to attack our organisation, but I think when you take a step back and look at things it’s difficult to deny CF is something we can all be proud of.  I know I am.   

Of course just because we’re proud of CF doesn’t mean we can’t strive to be better.  And in determining where improvements could be made there is one thing that should be foremost in our minds: the next general election is at most two years away.   

Accordingly the next NME will be in charge of getting CF into fighting shape.

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12 Feb 2008 00:01:00

Why Matthew Lewis is standing

Matthewlewis NME candidate Matthew Lewis explains his motivations as part of this year's Why am I standing series.

I did not grow up as a Tory, I wasn’t led into it – I chose to join the Party after a lot of thought, and even after voting for another party (no, it wasn’t the Lib Dems!). For me, being a Conservative is not a social affectation, it is a commitment. I am tired of the state of our nation, and of the apathetic attitude of its people. What motivates me is the hope of a change of government, and whilst it is probably too much to promise to say I will deliver that should you elect me to the NME, well, every little helps!

I have been a Party member for just over three years, and they have been busy. I do not join something to become a bystander; I join to give my full commitment to improving the organisation for all its members. That is why I will make an able member of the NME; I may not be the most experienced of the eleven candidates, or have been a Party member for as long as some of my colleagues, but my time in CF has been marked by passion, commitment and sheer hard work. At this stage I think character over a packed political CV is the most important attribute for selecting an NME member. I will not spend my twelve months in office feathering my own nest or proclaiming past accomplishments – I will work hard to help my Chairman make this the finest year for CF in memory. Those who put great store in experience however, are more than welcome to head to my website and peruse the ‘about’ page, where my achievements are clearly laid out.

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7 Feb 2008 05:03:14

Why Owen Meredith is standing for NME

This is the first in this year's Why am I standing? series.

Owen_meredith_3 For the past five years I have been part of CF; having been a treasurer, chairman and area chairman. I’ve experiences successes and set backs, but overall as my time in those roles has come to an end I believe I have given everything I could to them and helped improve CF in those branches I have had the privilege of working with.

I am standing for the NME this year because I want to continue making a contributing to Conservative Future and I believe that I can carry my experience from those roles forward to the national exec. I want to use my track record of experience and achievement to focus on building a truly national network for CF, which engages its members and supports its branches.

I joined the Conservative Party in 2002 and have been actively involved since then. Growing up in Caerphilly in South Wales and then moving to North Staffordshire to study at Keele University, I have always lived in Labour constituencies and I’m fed of up loosing! Conservative Future is going to be the key at the next general election in making the difference between another 5 years of Labour’s failings, or the real change that the country needs with the Conservatives and David Cameron in Downing Street. Our campaigning needs to play a big role in what CF is, but we need to make it more efficient and effective by having national campaign days to give us the momentum, but localising them to make them effective.

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26 Aug 2006 07:34:00

Why I am standing for Chairman: Mark Clarke

Mark_clarke I'm fed up with losing elections.

I'm terrified that in 2009 we might end up in coalition with the Liberals.

The purpose of the Party is to win elections. But CF is not playing its full part. The contribution that CF can make is to be an on the ground campaigning force. But we have only around five CF branches in our top 50 marginal seats. How can CF make a meaningful contribution if it does not exist where it is needed?

Look at Crawley which we lost by 37 votes. We had no CF branch. I'm certain if we had had a CF branch we would have won that seat. Look at Croydon Central which we won by 75 votes. I'm certain that the active group of young people we had there made a major difference in gaining those 75 votes.

The next election will be close. More of the same, internecine discussions on structures, regions, policies, NUS etc are not what is needed now.

My term will be focused 100% on building CF branches in marginal seats.

If we do that, then we will have made a meaningful contribution to a Conservative victory in 2006.

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25 Aug 2006 16:38:00

Why I am standing for NME: Ranil Jayawardena

Ranil_jayawardena_1 My first political experience of the Conservative Party was a pretty standard one.

When I attempted to set up a branch at my sixth-form college I was told by the local association that "we don't work with CF”. I set a branch up anyway and within a month we’d attracted more than twenty-five new people to the Party. Following that, I stood to become the Area Chairman of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and I’m proud of what the area team and I have achieved by working together with branches. At the last General Election, the Area Team in Hampshire did the most important thing I think a CF Area can do: we got people out on the ground and making a difference in the key marginal seats of Romsey, Eastleigh, Winchester and Portsmouth North & South where the next election will be won and lost. Additionally, if there’s a Council by-election – safe or marginal – we send a team.

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25 Aug 2006 07:23:00

Why I am standing for NME: Patrick Sullivan

Patrick_sullivanIn the coming months and years, British politics is about to become far more interesting. It is vital that we, as a party, are ready for the opportunities and challenges that the post-Blair era will bring. We cannot respond by mimicking Labour electioneering strategy. We must respond to this challenge by being many steps ahead of them in communicating our message to the electorate.

The next CF NME will have an important role to play in both articulating and communicating this message. David Cameron is right when he says that "there is such a thing as society, it just not the same thing as the state". We must show that we are Conservatives because we believe in society and because we believe state action can often cause damage to that society. For too long we have allowed ourselves to be caricatured as uncaring Tory Boys, whose role models are Alan B’Stard and Francis Urquart. This characterisation is both untrue and unfair but it is very powerful simply because elements of the media have been promoting it for years. This has made many people reluctant to join our party and reluctant to vote for us. We must rid our party of this image, by challenging it with our actions.

David Cameron has said that we must be the change. There are three ways in which we can do this...

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24 Aug 2006 11:44:00

Why I am standing for Chairman: Andrew Young

Andrew_young Every year, every CF election, every candidate has one thing in common – they all say they want CF to change.

And every time, they're right. But this time the stakes have been upped. Finally, the Conservative Party is ahead in the polls. Finally, we have a leader the public identify with. Finally, the party's structure, methods and organisation are being fast-forwarded into the 21st century. And CF needs to change this time – this is the golden opportunity to transform CF into an organised, effective political youth organisation.

But unfortunately, we are not presently fit for purpose.

I won't mince words; a year serving on the NME had left me disillusioned about CF. We go through the motions every year- we send out Freshers' packs; we labour over appointments of chairmen; we struggle to organise a national ball; we decry the various problems we have and lack the power to fix them. Then to cap it all off, we throw on elections in which a huge number of active CF members never get votes, and we start all over again. The cycle continues; whilst out on the ground branches struggle and fall, entire areas remain untouched by CF and recruitment continues to be an uphill battle.

It ends here.

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24 Aug 2006 08:12:00

Why I am standing for NME: Claire Palmer

Claire_palmer_1 I am re-standing for the NME because I have worked hard this year for CF and seen the benefits when enthusiastic, professional people get involved, and I want to continue to deliver for CF. 

If I am re-elected for the National Executive I will work for an organisation:

  • with even more variety of events that give a better balance of politics and social events;
  • that focuses on our target seats and our cities;
  • with effective and enjoyable training;
  • that supports its branches, both locally and on university campus by offering the opportunity for   regular contact and support;
  • that retains its members and looks after you!

Many people have talked about CF being a failing organisation that needs radical change for it to succeed. I agree that CF has its problems, but do not think that it is entirely broken. What CF doesn’t do well enough at the moment is engage its members – i.e. members of the party who are under the age of 30. If we can’t keep our members happy, how are we going to convince new people to join us.

That’s why small steps such as making our events friendly and approachable, ensuring that communications are responded to, and helping individuals to become more involved locally or nationally, is something that is easy to do, but pays dividends. I have ensured that every event I have organised has done this – such as our incredibly successful Policy Discussions, and "New Members, New MPs".

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23 Aug 2006 09:49:00

Why I am standing for London North West: Andy Peterkin

Reading the submissions of the other candidates for London North West, I think we are all agreed on one thing - namely that London North West is a unique Area with a wealth of talent, resources and potential. The winner of the current election will therefore find himself in the same position as the manager of a top football team - anything other than excellence will be unacceptable. But Jose Mourinho would doubtless tell us that despite the availability of Siberian millions, nothing happens without a great deal of hard work and graft. So it will be with London North West.

Another thing that struck me about my opponents' ConHome articles was their length. Sitting at home on a Monday night, wondering how I can possibly come up with such an impressive missive of my own, the thought crossed my mind that perhaps I don't really need to. I can't help but think that we serve no-one, and certainly not the interests of members in London North West by the promotion of form and style over substance. If you want to set up a Conservative Future branch in your constitutency, thats great, and I'll support you in any way I can. If you don't, and just want to be a member and come along to events, thats fine too. If you want to join the Area Executive and have a hand in planning and organising Area-wide events, then welcome aboard. If you just want to help out your local association, but would like to occasionally attend a policy forum, then we aim to please.

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22 Aug 2006 12:08:10

Why I am standing for London North West: Gregory Stafford

London North West – Why it is so special:

It has been my great honour to serve the area of London North West over the last 2 years as its Deputy Chairman and then as its Chairman. The Area is the largest in the country in terms of membership and it encompassing some of the most active CF Branches and Associations. The Area has always providing high quality events, with ‘big name’ speakers and top class venues. I am proud to have continued this tradition this year.

Campaigning – The best successes:

This year we have focused mainly on the local elections and the area had some of the best successes ever. CF Members in London North West played a vital part in turning so much of the capital blue. In the Area itself we now control Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Enfield, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hounslow, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster. This is a fantastic result and we must work to replicate this in the next General Election.

I will set up a dedicated campaign team to liaise with Associations to build up our campaigning skills and focus.

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21 Aug 2006 20:07:35

Why I am standing for London North West: Rodrigo Sanchez

RodrigoWhy I am standing for CF Chairman of the London NW Area?

Over the last six months, David Cameron has begun to transform our Party into a modern, compassionate Conservative Party bringing with it a new mood and message of change, optimism and hope.

So too must Conservative Future change, and bring about the same message of optimism and hope.

Feeling valued with a new attitude and a new outlook

However, to meet this challenge we need firstly a change in our attitudes and outlook; we need a reformed and re-vitalised Conservative Future.

For too long we have heard the same old rhetoric: improving CF communications, bigger and better events or making it the best year yet…I have heard enough of that…we have “had” enough of “it”. Conservative Future needs to be a genuine working body, subject to the needs and recommendations of all Branch leaders and the local community rather than just a “talking shop” or a “token organisation for young people”.

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20 Aug 2006 12:27:00

Why I am standing for London North West: Munish Chopra

Munish_chopra_1 Until recently I had no intention for running for London North West Area Chairman. Although as someone who lives in Pimlico, works in Victoria, worships at the Arya Samaj Hindu Temple in Ealing and has campaigned in the last two elections in Hendon, I feel a great affinity with the area.

However, voluntary roles within the Party are very demanding. They take-up a lot of your free time, energy and money and at the end of they day, they are very thankless tasks.

However, prior to and at the recent Working Life Training Weekend I was approached by many of the prospective candidates for the CF elections. With a unity of purpose all of them sang the warm praises
of Cities of London and Westminster Conservative Future and urged me to run for London North West Area Chairman.

Two years ago, when I first moved to Westminster, I surprised to learn that there was no Conservative Future branch within the association. I contacted the agent, Donald Stewart and he agreed to setting up a branch in the association. However, I found it really difficult to get support from London North West Conservative Future. Last year, London North West has had very few events and the organisation seems to have become moribund.

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19 Aug 2006 09:52:34

Why I am standing for NME: Tim Aker

Tim_aker_1 My candidature is not one to bring complete panaceas to CF.  It’s not meant to be sweeping, general and holistic.  What it intends to do is practically target areas where CF can grow, influence and, more importantly, flex its political muscle!

From the ground up we need to make conservatism the dominant influence on policy where CF is active - that is my vision.  I’m not going to ramble on about how much I believe in conservatism, but instead I’m going to say how we spread our message, recruit and expand. We can’t spread our message if we don’t have a voice.

In schools we should aim to set up branches, get students onto school and students’ councils to show not only are CF being active in schools, but also in the community.  In the universities we can take back the NUS, SU’s and if we stick to the course of university CF branches running candidates for committees, NUS and SU elections, in 10 years time the Left will, and should, wonder what’s hit them.  The Leftist influence in the NUS isn’t going to go away until we make it go away.

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18 Aug 2006 07:47:00

Why I am standing for Worcestershire & Warwickshire: Matt Hartley

Me_3 The question of whether or not to stand for Area Chairman, Worcestershire and Warwickshire was a tough decision.  I’ve been a member of the Party for a long time, and I’m the Chairman of my University CF branch, but I’ve always chosen to be more involved with the senior Party than with CF at a wider level.

CF elections, as far as I could tell, could often be characterised by rancour, ill-feeling and division, and to be honest I didn’t have the appetite for such a contest.  Which is why I’m delighted that in the election I now face, Anne-Marie Bray and I are both determined that this will be a good-natured, well-fought campaign.  I want this year’s election in Worcestershire and Warwickshire to be a model of how a CF election should be run – with the acknowledgement that we are all on the same side and that win or lose, our objectives are roughly the same. 

We both want to see Worcestershire and Warwickshire CF in a stronger position, and we would both serve the two counties’ members to the best of our ability.  Whatever the result, I look forward to the progress that I know Worcestershire and Warwickshire CF will make in the coming year.

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17 Aug 2006 15:25:00

Why I am standing for NME: Karen Allen

Karen_allen_cf2006_1 I have been involved with CF since 2004, which in comparison to many other members is a very short time, albeit I am 27 years old. Since living in London I have been involved with my local Conservative Associations, canvassing at the General Election, By Elections and Council Elections. I was in a Constituency which was apt enough to keep constituents’ dates of birth on record and hence I started to receive some correspondence from Conservative Future. As a late joiner to CF I was aware I was entering a group where many members who were around the same age as me had anything up to ten years of experience. I do think, however, this puts me in a very good position as I was able to give fresh input. I had no preconceived opinions or notions, but came from a professional background and only wanted to become more involved with promotion and campaigning for the Party.

I want to be on the NME to be in a position to attract more people from this sort of background. We have been attracting many more new members since the appointment of David Cameron but we are still a long way from the ‘80s heydays where the Young Conservatives were thriving and their membership was roughly the same size as the entire party membership is now. The bulk of new CF members have been aged 18-24. I would concentrate on attracting more members 24+, those people who think they don’t have enough time or are intimidated by other members with a perceived wealth of experience. I believe I am in a good position to tackle this task; working in an environment where there is a vast network of twenty somethings.

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17 Aug 2006 10:54:00

Why I am standing for NME: Greg Stafford

Greg_staffordConservative Future needs to change!

I am running for Conservative Future’s National Management Executive because I think we can and must make a huge contribution to our Party's chances of winning the next General Election. Helping the Party to win must be the priority for CF over the coming years and I will work with the other members CF NME to make sure we never lose sight of this goal.

Two distinct organisations:

For too long CF has been trying to organise events and campaigns with two different groups of people; students and young professionals. Both these groups need special attention. Parties organised for 18 year old students will have little appeal to the city banker aged 29 and vice versa. Likewise with campaigning, resources are spread using the blunder buss technique. Students usually have more time on their hands and are willing to stuff envelopes and knock on doors, while professionals who have less time to spare would prefer to help in dedicated and targeted ways such as a stint of telephoning canvassing. If CF continues to try to appeal to the morass of 16-30 years old it will continue to miss its mark in both cases.

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16 Aug 2006 09:21:00

Why I am standing for NME: Christian Walker

ChristianwalkerpictureI believe it is time to re-evaluate why people join conservative future and respond accordingly, this is a key reason why I have decided to stand for the National Management Executive.  Having been involved at county level for six years I believe recent executives have let down members and area chairs.  Last year's election was a farce with many people not getting a vote and after all the promises of those that were elected last year things have got worse - now is the time for action.

There continues to be an inner M25 focus which seriously needs addressing.  As a management consultant working for a Project Management and Interim Management Consultancy I believe I can bring a number of skills to the National Management Executive table including reviewing the operational structure of CF both in the interim and long term.

The Midlands CF is in crisis with area chair vacancies rising by the month with many key area chair posts vacant.  Sadly the picture is replicated across the country in other important areas such as Bristol and Gloucestershire. No attempt has been made to address these issues.

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15 Aug 2006 15:42:00

Why I am standing for Worcestershire & Warwickshire: Anne-Marie Bray

Ambray_1 Although it would be much easier, simpler and quicker to win an Area Chairman election uncontested, I still feel quite pleasantly surprise that I am now facing an election for the Worcestershire & Warwickshire; not least because I forked out £8 for a web domain and spent several hours designing a campaign website.

Someone remarked to me the other day how boring politics would be without a good socialist to fight against during elections (the comments did not extend to the Liberal Democrats who, like yellow spots, are just irritating). With the CF elections, though we’re all on the same team here, I feel privileged to have a good clean election battle coming up and I am thoroughly looking forward to my campaign. 

While this year’s Area Chairman elections (both of them) are going to be very interesting and hopefully fun for everyone involved, it is sad to see so many uncontested positions, and it will be even more of a shame if like last year, there are some vacant positions that CF is simply unable to fill. It is very sad that there isn’t a single person under 30 in some areas, comprised of two or more entire counties, who want to put themselves forward for the position of Area Chairman. Perhaps it would be a good idea to extend CF to people over 70, as there seems to be an abundance of enthusiastic pensioners within most Conservative Associations! Perhaps not, but I do believe something needs to be done to address the real problem there seems to be about the profile of CF across the country.

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15 Aug 2006 12:18:27

Why I am standing for Chairman: Caroline Hunt

Caroline_hunt Conservative Future is an organisation I have dedicated a huge amount of my time and energy to.  It is an organisation that I have served at every level – from a grassroots activist, through branch offices, to being National Deputy Chairman.  I know the ‘ins and outs’ of Conservative Future and not just how to get around Central Office.  If elected, on the day I take up my Chairmanship, I will know what to do and how to do it straight away.

We are often told that Conservative Future is the largest youth political organisation in the country - although no-one actually knows this for a fact.  Every member of the Conservative Party under the age of 30 is a CF member but there is no accurate membership data.  Many associations don’t keep a record of how old their members are and because of this a large number of our members don’t even get to vote in the CF elections.  However it is not all doom and gloom.  All the evidence suggests we actually do have the largest youth political movement in the country.  We are definitely beating the other mainstream political parties on campus and we are the only party with rising membership among the under 30’s.

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15 Aug 2006 12:07:00

Why I am standing for NME: Craig Cox


The last time the UK was in the position it is now, was 1975: the Labour Party was withering towards cessation, public opinion was divided, and the Conservatives had just elected a vibrant new leader. Now, 31 years on, the parallels are all too similar. If we are to take back the keys to No.10- just as Margaret Thatcher did 27 years ago, then we must embark on a road of principled practicality; if we can manage our organisation efficiently, this Party can achieve great things once again”.

These simple words open up my election manifesto for the CF NME elections later this summer. The words efficiency, accountability, and decentralisation appear throughout, cementing my opinions on how we should run our organisation, and how enforcing such views would turn us into a respected and envied machine.

We currently have a CF that is capriciously spread across the UK: some areas are getting corpulent on success; others are showing signs of scandalous starvation. This shouldn’t be the case; why can we not understand the importance of creating bonds between strong and weak branches? We did it in Horsham and Crawley: within the year, we turned into the strongest branch in Sussex. It cannot be difficult to realise the potential gains from such mergers; I will do all I can to get our branches turning into efficient recruiters, with the goal of achieving membership back up to levels of the Thatcher era. It can be done.

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