Sunday, 30 November 2008
Over the last few days there has been one backbencher who has excelled even his Shadow Cabinet seniors in articulating the outrage felt in the Conservatives, the Commons and the wider world at the shameful arrest and detention of a Member of Parliament.
Catching up on a few days worth of emails sent to TB. Someone sent in the keenest CFer Tory Bear has probably ever seen:
Congratulations to Nick.
That's right kids, for one night only Tory Bear was the Chairman of Conservative Future. Well sort of. It was that time of year again, the winter closing in, the north wind blowing and essays due - it could mean only one thing - a random trek across Scotland for the Conservative Future Scotland conference. Luckily this year it was in the slightly closer and genteel surrounding of St Andrews. A fine array of MSPs and PPCs turned up and so did CFUK national campaigns coordinator Patrick Sullivan. However after a slight glitch in getting a video message sent up from London it fell to Tory Bear to fill in for the big man and what a power trip it was...
Michael Bear officially announced the closing down of CFS and merging it with the CFUK. A complete withdrawal from the NUS and installed himself as chairman for life.
TB was very tempted! No in fact the question and answer session generated some interesting points that he will be sending on to Michael, especially about the NUS which, as ever, got people talking.
Patrick Sullivan entertained with accounts of by-elections, Boris and an insight into the Student Life tours and continued where TB had left off about strengthening the relationship between the two CFs.
All in all it was a good day, a marked improvement on last year and an increase in the numbers...
Friday, 28 November 2008
Lefties have always had cooler t-shirts but now it's our turn to protest something.
TB is still fairly gobsmacked by the Damian Green arrest so will leave it to DC with his greatest quote yet...
The Guardian have
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Robert Peston seemed close to tears this evening on the Six O'Clock News on the BBC. He kept pausing, looking down and seemed close to tears - "For those of us who grew up on pick n'mix, this is a very sad day." Tory Bear doesn't recall him being so upset when announcing Citygroup job losses, in fact he was positively revelling in it. He stated that thousands of Woolworths job losses will effect the "real" people rather than mythical fat cat bankers.
Good on yesterday's Times for sticking it to Brown with this wounding cartoon on the front page:
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Apologies for the light blogging today, here's why:
Osborne sticking it to Labour and a bit of trance... spread it around!
Monday, 24 November 2008
TB was rather surprised to find out he had been added to the
Tough competition today... Darling had some corkers but the prize really must go to Christian May:
TB sadly missed this afternoon's fun of games around the Pre Budget Report. Having now got home to SkyNews it is clear to see that this sham tactic will soon unravel. Labour today announced their long term election strategy that will culminate in Brown going to the country in spring 2010 having fobbed off and bribed voters with gimmicks and cheques here and there. He might as well just post £20 pound notes instead of election material. Labour's frenzied and desperate struggle to remain in power will wound this nation at a critical time and don't for one second believe that the Brown and co are in this for the good of the country. The leaks and briefings before today were specifically designed to knock the Tories of course and try make George Osborne slip up. He survived though and put up a good response to this farce.
Just spotted this on
Sunday, 23 November 2008
TB would like to wish him the best of luck...
Saturday, 22 November 2008
More Regional Coordinator rumours circulating, TB wasn't going to print the one about Dan Patterson signing off emails already as "Yorkshire Regional" as couldn't get secondary verification but seems the CF's blogging minx has
Wrong though apparently.
TB is exhausted after a hard day of leafleting some very high student tenement buildings, up and down the stairs all day. Just watching the X-Factor and having a quiet one tonight but a couple of things have caught his eye...
One member takes the news particularly badly:
Friday, 21 November 2008
YBF exists to directly combat this kind of left wing issue politics. The military are a proud and vital part of our country, and at a time when the are overstretched and poorly treat by the Government, they need all the support they can get back home. Students’ Unions that are trying to pass these motions should be ashamed of themselves.
YOU can help. If your university is trying to pass such motions, or if you know of campuses where this is going on, contact YBF immediately. Email Christian (email@example.com) and YBF can swing into action with its unique combination of resources, supporters and campaign experience. Don’t let them get away with it.
The CF press release after the last meeting confirmed that Regional Coordinators would be in place by 1st December. No reference to how they were being selected or how to apply for the position was included, or subsequently explained. Except to a certain chosen few it seems.
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Every few years a half-hearted attempt is made to gain NUS delegates, or to put up a Conservative candidate for NUS president. This year it appears to be Owen Meredith who is pushing the age old 'don't let down the students' line. I loved your freshers campaign Owen, it was excellent, but on this, you're wrong.
Your argument rests on the premise that those who advocate leaving the NUS to its own devises are somehow letting down students by doing so. We wouldn't walk away from the country you say, so why should we walk away from students? We wouldn't walk away from the country for one simple reason, it is worth saving.
Students on the other hand are a transient bunch. Sure they're worth saving, but what are students? Their priorities have changed from activism to getting a good degree and then a good job. Most are at University for three years, in that time there isn't a great deal of opportunity to cement large scale changes at their University. You get one year to find out what the hell is going on, another year to realise that you can do something about it, and the final year to try and do it. One year is not enough time to effect massive change. Speak to anybody who got involved in student bodies across the country and they will tell you where the real power in their Union lay, with the managers. They are there for the long term, seeing students come and go. They set the boundaries and the scope of what can and can't be done in your term. It's the reality of the situation.
The point of contesting an election is to gain power. Tell me (because I really don't know), what on earth does the NUS actually have real power over? (All they seem to do at the moment is 'campaign' for a series of minority groups, commission silly polls and hit their head against the wall of tuition fees).
Lets say for a moment that you had control of the NUS. What would you do? What good would it do the country? Or for that matter what good would it really do for students? The NUS is an irrelevance. For all the blood, sweat, toil and tears, what actual power would you be gaining? Can you control individual Uni's? No. Can you set policy? Yes, but what is the point if you have no ability to put it into action? It's worse than that though, remember that it's the Nation UNION of Students. It would be a bit like the Conservative Party trying to get more activists as members of UNITE, or the NUT. There are plenty of Conservatives in these organisations, teachers are advised to join for example, but there is no call to try and take them over. Why not? Because there is no point. There must be a place for the leftists to have their fun. Do read
Simon Smith, the disgruntled anti-Semite, decided that the BNP was “being managed as a state safety valve”, and some might argue that every society could do with a legitimate far-right group to channel the activities of those who hate foreigners. Some may ask, doesn't every good country need a Nazi party? Just so long as it has absolutely no influence and does absolutely nothing is my answer.”
Doesn't every country need a group of naive young people who believe that Marx was right? Or that Che Guevara is an appropriate pin-up for your wall, and Livingstone is a living god? Just so long as it has absolutely no influence and does absolutely nothing.
The NUS I think most would agree fills this roll valiantly. Let's imagine for one final time the idea of a Conservative controlled NUS. Where would all the young left wing nutcases go for their communal fix? Out on the campaign trail, under the 'respectable' guise of the Labour party. Many already do, why on earth would we want to encourage more to do so?
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Now TB isn't one to jump to conclusions but he can't think of many reasons why the the Conservative Future consititution would have been removed from the Party website unless someone didn't want members reading it. Are some of these changes coming up perhaps a little...ummm... unconstitutional.
Continuing with the NUS debate, after a very amusing chat in the
In a strongly
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
One possibly rogue poll today has the Tories ahead by just 3% but as far as TB understands from various contacts in marginal seats, the private polling undertaken by the Party is still looking good where it matters.
Bring it on.
You can now read the "full" minutes of Saturday's meeting of the Conservative Future national executive
Keeping with today's theme of debate around the NUS, this watered down line of what was actually discussed caught TB's eye:
So do you think you have the NUS-Factor?
Citizens of Cardiff, Bristol, Swansea, Edinburgh and Glasgow in November, Leeds, Huddersfield and Sheffield in December, Peterborough, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham and Newcastle in January and Plymouth, Portsmouth and London in February beware!
Residents can expect a darkening of the skies, earthquakes and spontaneous playing of the Carmina Burana on the radio as some form of early warning system to detect the Dark Lord approaching. Citizens of these fine cities are advised to take cover in a prepared bunker, or failing that under a desk or the kitchen table. Under no circumstances should the Dark Lord be approached as there is extreme danger of death, (both actual and political.)
Local councils and police will be issuing emergency statements on this matter in due course but in the mean time citizens are advised to stay vigilant and report any unusual activity in any of the above cities to the authorities immediately. To find out the location of your nearest shelter contact your local police station.
TB wants to kick start the debate about Conservative Future and the roll it should play within the NUS. Further to some NUS conference fall out last week, this post by
"The National Union of Students: A memorandum to Conservative Future:
The NUS is, to most students, an expensive irrelevance. It is a playground for those who seek aggrandisement and who wish to pontificate on national and international affairs on behalf of hundreds of thousands of disinterested and apathetic students in whose name they purport to speak.
Rather than focusing their efforts on fighting (and in all probability losing) NUS elections in the Spring, it would surely make far more sense for CF activists on our campuses to focus on taking power in their own students' unions and using that position to deliver real and valuable change to their fellow students. Many universities are, of course, in key marginal constituencies. Were overtly Conservative sabbaticals and officers to manage their own students' unions effectively and on budget, the Conservative Party stands to reap the rewards locally and nationally.
Those who bleat that by engaging with the NUS they might change its direction and worldview are as deluded as Europhiles who think that by placing Britain at "the heart of Europe" we will somehow reverse the inexorable tide of EU federalism. History shows this to be a false hope. The comparisons between the NUS and the EU are stark. The same cry that Eurosceptics shout should likewise be shouted from the rooftops of every campus of every university that has the misfortune of still being affiliated to the bloated, politically correct and rabid NUS...
Better Off Out."
If you feel you have something to say on the matter then send Tory Bear 3-400 words and you might just see it here.
Interesting and little known
Cameron has finally hit the nail on the head this morning and offered a clear and precise narrative of Labour's failings on the economy and what the Conservatives would do about it. No more ridiculous ideas of matching Labour spending plans. Tory governments come to power at times of dire economic need and they a voted in to pick up the pieces left by Labour. It's what we do and hence why it has been so vital that we get our economic policy into gear.
"Spending restraint under Conservatives, tax rises under Labour"
Monday, 17 November 2008
He also agreed with TB during the question and answer session that it would be Ed Balls everyone would like to see suffer the Michael Portillo 1997 moment of the next election. Balls represents everything wrong and stale with this current government and TB is disgusted that as Children's Minister he had to be
Oh well back to the dissertation...
Check it out!
*Whichever is sooner.
It seems that there is some concern over what will be contained in the minutes of Saturday's meeting and what we mere mortals will be allowed to know. Either way it seems one exec member was particularly concerned with the direction that CF is taking -“It is undemocratic for this executive, which was elected to serve a maximum of 15 months under the constitution, to vote to extend that term. This is an indefinite extension until sometime after the general election which may be as late as May 2010. This would mean a potential 2 and year term, way beyond our electoral mandate.”
While others are upset that the options presented to the NME by Chairman Michael Rock were rather blunt, either scrap one member-one-vote or not have an election for another 18 months, Christian May the Deputy Chair was jolly as ever when he spoke to Tory Bear: "The pure focus of Conservative Future should not be on internal politics but getting a Conservative Government elected and to that end I am delighted that the exec have supported these reforms and that we can now focus our efforts entirely on getting match fit for whenever Gordon Brown has the bottle to go to the country."
You spin me round round baby round round. Apparently the NUS campaign ideas aren't as straight forward as intended either.
OK then... so it seems that the NME have voted to keep themselves in the job until 2010 potentially. While this may seem like an extreme step, it must be considered that the last NME ran for over 18 months and if there is an election in May, this regime would still serve for less time.
However there is a very real possibility that the next General Election will not be in 2009, but in May 2010, making the current NME have control for over 2 years. As far as Tory Bear can tell the executive voted on this course of action 5 to 1.
To be fair to the NME they weren't exactly presented with many options, it was either this or subscribe to a ridiculous electoral college system of branch chairman and their mates electing the national chair. The NME have saved CF democracy for the time being but TB understands that they were told the party wasn't going to fund another CF election before the General. In order to keep one-member-one-vote, the reforms would have to be kicked into the long grass. As far as TB can tell some members of the NME were not aware that the current statement put out by the CF press machine would be quite so extreme. It now seems to TB that the reforms have been snuck in through the back door.
While TB wouldn't question for a second the idea that CF should be ready for the General Election at any moment, Conservative Future has to be an organisation with everyone on board, and this sentiment is particularly vital with it's elected leaders. The current NME have had their fair share of problems, seen resignations, bitching and briefing against each other. Are we ready for anthor two years of this? Apparently these moves are in the best interest of the organisation, but will the membership really buy this stance?
To TB this doesn't look like a press release that has been drawn up over night but something that has been prepared and ready to go for some time...
Reforms to the national organisation:
Following the meeting held on Saturday 15th November the National Management Executive have voted to support the following actions:
1. To postpone any election for the national organisation until after the next General Election. It is vital CF is ready for the General Election and we cannot be distracted by an internal election.
Who will make up the new National Executive?
2. To begin the transition from an NME to 12 Regional Chairmen:
1) Election Timetable
With the local and European elections timetabled for
The NME is united on this issue and looks forward to delivering a stronger, more effective Conservative Future for all our members.
2) Transition from the NME to an Executive of Regional Chairmen:
Under the agreement passed by the NME at the meeting on 15th November several steps will take place in the coming months.
12 Regional Chairmen (RCs) appointed under section 8 of theConservative Future constitution.
Their primary roles will be:
To co-ordinate branch development, regional campaigning, communication improvements and national campaigns within their given region.
To support CF branches within their regions. The NME will handover their ‘regional’ responsibilities to the newly appointed Regional Chairmen.
2 The new NME roles will be:
As a body:
To assist with the handover to the Regional Chairmen.
To provide support to the Regional Chairmen, Area Chairmen and Branch Chairmen
Hold the Regional Chairmen to account
All Area Chairmen to stay on and work with the Regional Chairmen until August 2009.
The NME will vote on the future roles of Area Chairmen following feedback from the membership. The NME will then be disbanded and the 12 Regional Chairmen will become the National Executive.
Following the General Election:
Elections will be held for all the national positions.
The most important role Conservative Future needs to play is to support and help our Party back into power. With a possible General Election in the next year it is far more important for CF to prepare itself for the battle ahead.
In the coming weeks we will publish more specific information on the future roles for each level of the national organisation. If you have any comments or questions on this announcement then please contact one of the NME. Contact details for us, and a ‘post’ for comments, can be found on the Exec blog.
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Seems the reform issue has been settled, in a way. It also seems a decision on a course of action with the NUS has been established. TB reckons that the full and frank debate about CF and the NUS he has been calling for might just happen now.
Come back tomorrow for more information, it's been like trying to get blood out of stone tonight and seems all the NME members have been sworn to secrecy over what was discussed yesterday. Must be something big or fishy going on...
Come back tomorrow for more details...
Incidentally TB had his most hits ever today... not a particularly big news day and a Sunday. Very odd.