Sunday, 30 November 2008

Tread on them.

TB sadly couldn't make it to the post Conservative Future Scotland Conference dinner last night where Annabelle Goldie spoke and is sore to have missed her laying into the Nats. Today's press release has possibly her best quote on the evils of Scottish nationalism yet:

“I have been growing increasingly angry at the party politicisation of Scotland’s national flag. As a proud and patriotic Scot I wish to make today the day when we reclaim the Saltire from the SNP and give it back to Scotland, all of Scotland.

I was struck how, during the recent by-elections, the SNP wandered around shopping centres, stood at street corners handing out the Saltire as if they owned the flag, as if it was their exclusive property, as if they had a monopoly on the Saltire and it was their symbol.

Well let me say this loud and clear: The Saltire is our national flag of Scotland - not the SNP nationalist flag. It is a symbol of patriotism, not partition. It is the property of us all, not the campaigning prop of one party.”

Hear Hear...
For an example of exactly how this SNP "government" is corrupting the image of Scotland then look no further than the driffle that has dominated every advert break this weekend up here: 


He doesn't sleep, he waits.

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. 

This man had dominated the television news coverage all weekend, expressing his support for his successor. The going is getting tough now for the Tories. Not only are they fighting a political party, but now they are fighting the entire might of a corrupt regime. A regime that uses the police to stamp out opposition.
When the going gets tough there is only one man who the Conservatives need back at the centre of their team.

He's a man that could strangle you with a cordless phone...

A man who doesn't read books, merely staring at them until he gets all the information he needs...

A man who can slam a revolving door...

A man who doesn't wear a watch because he decides what time it is...

The reason Wally is hiding...

The person the bogey man checks under his bed for...

It's time to bring back David Davis.

More inbox amusement...

Catching up on a few days worth of emails sent to TB. Someone sent in the keenest CFer Tory Bear has probably ever seen:

Who is this mysterious painted lady?

19 year old PPC

ConHome is
that 19 year old Nick Varley has been selected to fight the Labour City of Durham seat. Although he would require a 30% swing it's still a fantastic achievment for someone so young to have even made it to through the selection.

Congratulations to Nick.

Not in my name...

This just pinged into my inbox:

Spread it around!

Tonight Matthew ...TB is going to be...

Michael Rock...

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

New t-shirt...

Lefties have always had cooler t-shirts but now it's our turn to protest something. 

Under a tenner from

Freedom isn't Free

TB is still fairly gobsmacked by the Damian Green arrest so will leave it to DC with his greatest quote yet...

Image by 

Rant brewing...


The Guardian have

to the Tory Bear George Osborne trance remix: 

"Here are four words you probably never thought you'd see in the same sentence: "George Osborne trance remix".

Yes, that's George, Osborne, trance and remix.

And it really does mean what it says on the tin: this video features the shadow chancellor's response to the pre-budget report overlaid with a bangin' dance soundtrack.

This deeply strange true blue mash-up comes courtesy of the Tory Bear blog.

Big shout out to the Tory massive."


Thursday, 27 November 2008

SirAlan vs BoJo

Alan Sugar's first move in  an attempt to become the Labour candidate for London Mayor in 2012?

He is apparently going to be fronting a government campaign to get more people into apprenticeships. While TB doesn't dispute that this is a good move and the sort of thing the government should be doing, he can't help think the Sugar part is slightly suspect. While no mention is made of whether he is being paid, Sugar is clearly cosying up to the Labour hierarchy...

TB can't see why, at this rate for Sugar to attempt to join the dying days of New Labour, would be like getting a last minute ticket on the Titanic. People love to hate him but Sugar is a bright guy and sharp. It would be an interesting fight with Boris but TB suspects the national swing in 2012 will still be in our favour, if everything goes to plan with a 2010 election.

BoJo shouldn't be too worried at this point.

Looks like Guido had a good day...

More on the "Save the Pub" campaign

Facebook, Ferrets and Scotland

Many members of CF have often wondered who Anastasia Beaumont-Bott's mystical shadow cabinet contacts were when she discusses the importance of this or that project and how the order had come from the lips of Dave the Golden One himself. Well it now it seems she does indeed have friends in high places, even if they do gently mock her:

Joking apart as Shane Greer, that guy off the telly,
it's good to see politicians actually using things like Facebook properly rather than having a stale and out of date Facebook page set up by their researcher who probably went back to university after that two week internship.

As for ABB, well TB is hoping he will once again bump into her at the Conservative Future Scotland Conference this Saturday in St Andrews. He promises not to give the now infamous "ferrets in a sack" speech again, if she promises not to throw things at him like last year. 

Anyone interested in coming up for the event can find details

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Oh darling...

This is pure speculation but well worth a read.

Dolly digs in...

The effect of Derek Draper on the interweb has been noted
today, but TB has spotted a rather irratating reminder slightly closer to home.  The GoogleAds on the right hand side of are now being flooded by Labour Party attack ads. They are cleverely tagged as conservative ads and are cropping up all over right wing blogs purely because of what is discussed on them.

Does anyone know how TB can stop this?

Peston Peston Peston...

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.

News channels are now discussing the prospect nationalising shops! How anyone has the audacity to suggest that peoples money they wouldn't choose to spend in Woolworths should be used to bail it out is frankly insane. While it is sad to see it go under, at the end of the day Woolworths had a bad business model. While the sun was shining on the credit market it was ok because they could borrow the money to hide their losses. In the cruel darkness of a recession relying on people to pop in for the odd sweet, Halloween costume, straight to DVD movie or even a broom isn't exactly the most watertight of plans and the government, all be it with a heavy heart, no doubt have fairly said no to any financial aid for Woolies.

Hat-Tip to the Silver-Fox for the heads up.

The value of money...

How ironic that the store that is famed for selling its wares for pennies will now
be sold for the measly sum of £1. A sad day when Woolworths disappears. 

Something tells TB that this national institution won't be the only casualty to this recession.

Just incase you missed it...

Good on yesterday's Times for sticking it to Brown with this wounding cartoon on the front page:

Lovely tie darling...

has spotted an interesting wardrobe point about our esteemed Chancellor...

Has he been cashing in on the recession inspired price slashing on the High Street?

Seems so...

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Brown cancels Christmas

Over at
it is being reported that there will be no CF Christmas Party this year. Traditionally the scene of much debauchery and drunkenness this event will be sorely missed. Seems Guido will have to look elsewhere for this year's Christmas tottywatch too. Without a CF election anytime soon there will be no opportunity for pissed up hacks to buy votes with their cards behind the bar or for London Transport Police to wake up an anonymous CFer who was found, full of brandy, asleep outside Westminster tube like last year. In these times of economic difficulty TB can imagine how the thinking goes - drunk CFers + camera = tabloids, but it's not as if we didn't prove ourselves capable of behaving at conference. Absolutely no complacency there. None whatsoever. Move along people, nothing to see here.

Looks like TB will just have to go to Stringfellows with the YBF posse instead. Oh well.

UPDATE: 22.00 - the CF press machine never sleeps. Just heard that there will be a Christmas Party after all. Probably a Festive Season Celebration no doubt but a lash up is on the cards all the same.

Labour have done it again - the remix

Apologies for the light blogging today, here's why:

Osborne sticking it to Labour and a bit of trance... spread it around!

Just what you need for an idle Tuesday night.

What we should be doing...

As the dust settled after yesterdays PBR... Conservative Future hit the street. All major cities were covered, as were the main railway routes out of London. Once again CF has proven to truely be the ground army of the party...

More of this, less bitching please.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Wicked whispers...

In recent weeks with the Mandy come back, the NuLabour boyz have been back at the helm of the sinking Brown ship... Interesting to note then that Ed Balls' usual posistion next to the PM at these sorts of speeches has been usurped by ultra-Blarite James Purnell who whispered to Gordon throughout George Osborne's speech.
See for yourself


TB was rather surprised to find out he had been added to the

Hizb ut-Tahir
mailing list. Daily press briefings slagging of David Cameron's
views and generally laying into the Tories ping into his inbox. Now don't get me wrong but they bloody serious? 
Sorry but TB won't take lectures from an organisation that hates freedom, women and Israel. Can you please kindly remove him from your mailing list. TB has no time for the filth and lies that this organisation spreads. TB is sure you can continue with your crackpot dream of a world Islamic state without having to piss him off on a daily basis.
Go away.

Quote of the Day...

Tough competition today... Darling had some corkers but the prize really must go to Christian May: 

"Is cutting 3p off the price of McVities really going to cure this recession? No. The answer lies in flat tax my friend... but that is a debate for another day."

Cigarettes and alcohol

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.

But somehow despite Mandy and Alistair pulling the strings Labour have still managed to cock this up. This attempt to buy voters can not and will not work. If Labour really were in it for the people then they would know that a 2.5% decrease in VAT is not going to solve a thing. Yes it might mean that the 52 inch plasma widescreen TV that you might have had your eye on for six months will be two hundred odd quid cheaper but that will not even be an option for the people the government should be helping. The VAT drop doesn't include food - the key area where people are struggling. The most insulting part of this charade however is the fact that the VAT cut will in part be funded by a RISE in fuel tax. 
What are they smoking in the Treasury?
Not only will the fuel duty rise but so will that on alcohol and fags. Lets move away for a second shall we from the cosiness of Westminster and the ridiculous head-in-the-clouds world our government lives in and look at who these rises are going to hit the hardest. Food, fuel, fags and booze - the four things that young people and people on lower incomes will spend most, if not all of their money on. They have now been spectacularly shafted by this government. No one wins with this budget - the poor get taxed more and the rich get taxed more. The government is deluded and no wonder the BBC pundits were describing this as
socialist budget

Everyone pays, no one wins.

Outside Downing Street this morning...

Probably the worst chancellor in the world...

Just spotted this on

.. seems appropriate for today:
This is from commenter DominicJ at the 
. (07:58 on 24 November 2008)

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1.

The sixth would pay $3.

The seventh would pay $7.

The eighth would pay $12.

The ninth would pay $18.

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.

"Because you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20."

Drinks for the ten now cost just $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).

The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got one dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that is how our tax system works.

The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction.
Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up any more. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Ahh Bristo...

is reporting that two term CF chairman 2003-05
Paul Bristow
has been selected to fight Middlesbrough South. The Hammersmith and Fulham councillor will be up against an 8000 odd Labour majority. Having coordinated Conservative Future's campaign in the 2005 election across the country, Paul will no doubt put up a solid fight...

TB would like to wish him the best of luck...

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Lord Foulkes to run for Rector

Rumours have been circulating around Edinburgh University about possible candidates for
- a position held by Gordon Brown, Gladstone and Churchill in the past and unsuccessfully attempted by Boris Johnson three years ago. Tories on campus haven't forgotten the smarting defeat of Boris by Green former MSP Mark Ballard after the students association broke charity law and diverted student funds to fight a bitter and partisan campaign against a "dumb blonde".

The Edinburgh Evening News is
that the Labour club will be putting up the veteran peer and MSP Lord George Foulkes. TB understands an investigation is underway within
Edinburgh University Conservatives
to find out who leaked the candidates they had approached to stand - Jeremy Clarkson, David Davis and errrh Mark from Peep Show. Reports of this first emerged in
- the campus newspaper and have now spread to the local press.

Whatever happens and whoever the candidates ultimately are, this is already gearing up to be big battle... TB will keep you updated.

That's more like it...

Exciting news from
Political Betting

LABOUR 31% (+1)
LIB DEMS 19% (+1)

ICM reports an 11% Tory lead

What second honeymoon was that Mr Brown? 

Promoted and Published on Behalf of Tory Bear

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

gone there.

Wrong though apparently.

TB is still waiting for the call... Come on guys please can TB have the South-East?

Saturday night in...

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... 

Firstly over at the
Coffee House
they are reporting that JFK's daughter
could be Obama's appointment to be his ambassador to London. Ummm let's just imagine what would happen if Brown sent an ambassador to Washington who had family connections that support and fund Al-Qaeda... it wouldn't go down too well would it? So why then is it acceptable to turn a blind eye to the Kennedy family connections to the IRA and their open support for the violent campaign of murder and terrorism in the troubles?

Secondly despite Gordon's denial yesterday, the
reveal that Mandelson is actively thinking about a General Election and in fact will be the one that decides when it will be. Scary. TB will be furious if it is early in the new year...

Something tells him that finals and an election will not be a good mix...

Reaction to the BNP membership leak...

One member takes the news particularly badly:

Classic stuff once again from the Fuehrerbunker.

Friday, 21 November 2008

It's a tenner...

The first limited edition Tory Bear t-shirt is now up for grabs for the bargin price of a tenner from

TB gear...

New t-shirt designs are up on the
merchendise section

Over the next few weeks limited addition political t-shirts will be avaiable from here. Keep an eye out...

Dropped the prices too...

Support our troops

Now TB has had a crack at people shamelessly just nicking content from the YBF site for content for their blogs but past hatchets have been buried now and
this is worthy
of reproduction: 

All over the country, left wing Students’ Unions are making ‘political statements’ by trying to block the OTC from operating and recruiting on campus. This. Is. Wrong. 

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 ( and YBF can swing into action with its unique combination of resources, supporters and campaign experience. Don’t let them get away with it.

Can TB have a wristband please?

Exclusive: Regional Coordinators

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.

Tory Bear got wind yesterday or rumours that James Morton had already been asked by Michael Rock to take up the appointed position. There will be no contest for the coordinators other than a check with CCHQ. Other candidates have been approached for positions around the country but at this time the South West region is the only one that can be confirmed. TB has ears everywhere so perhaps discussing his promotion in the pub wasn't the wisest idea...
TB's sources in the executive of Conservative Future adamantly state that they have not been consulted on the appointments, and as the next NME meeting is in January it seems they will not be able to veto any appointments put to them. As far as TB can tell the Chairman and Deputy Chairman and communications officer have drawn up the list and it will be put to the rest of the NME after the candidates have been selected and approached, making sure any opposition to the appointments from the NME would come too late.

The CF constitution clearly states it is an NME wide decision:

8.1 The NME shall in each Region appoint a CF Regional Coordinator responsible for:-
coordinating CF campaigning and political activities which cross Area boundaries;
assisting CF Area Chairmen in the organisation of activities which cross Area
Stretching that pretty thin if it is indeed just a final nod the NME members will have.

As for the appointment of James Morton to the position, well TB was at school with him so knows him to no doubt be a good egg. Currently the Area Chairman of Devon and Cornwall it is a sensible decision for him to take over as RC in the interim. He caught up with James a couple of minutes ago but as he was on a tractor he couldn't really talk.

As for the rest of the country it seems Area Chairman have specifically not be consulted about who they would like to see appointed to their area and the decisions are coming very specifically from the top.

The RC's are due to be in place in 10 days... If you know anything about who it will be in your area do email in.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Sam sees the light...

All sorts of rumours flying out of Devon and Cornwall today but one watertight story is that Sam Farage, son of Nigel, the leader of UKIP has recently renewed his membership of the Conservative Party.

Should make for an interesting European election campaign next spring for the Farage family...

NUS Debate: Guest Post

Richard Holloway
says no to NUS:

The question of Conservative Future's involvement with the National Union of Students feels older than the bible story. In fact the tale of David and Goliath would be apt if the NUS could be toppled with a single stone. Alas it is a larger and altogether more resilient beast than the Philistine army was.

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 
David Aaronovitch's column in the Times.
 In it he talks about how the BNP can never make itself respectable. However it is his concluding remarks that are relevant to this NUS debate.
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?

David should put away his stone, leave the Philistines to their own worthless existence, build a catapult and prepare for the far more important war with the Babylonians (Labour).

NUS debate: Guest Post

Benjamin Gray
offers another voice in the NUS debate...

I'm basing this argument on the premise that the new constitution for the NUS gets ratified.  If it doesn't then disaffiliation may well become necessary, and I will be proposing it in my union.  It is also comforting to know that I am a masochist; political involvement is not about personal comfort.

We should first dispense with the notion that the NUS is some EU clone.  It is not.  The NUS has virtually no ability to dictate the policy of individual unions, and acts instead as an umbrella organisation to represent their interests.  It  bears closer resemblance to the LGA than Brussels.  The idea that it is "bloated" is also a myth; in the past few years the organisation has undergone drastic efficiency drives and downsizing to balance its budget, to the point where they sold off their headquarters building.  It has a budget far smaller than some of the unions it represents.

Far from being a mere collection of unwashed, unshaven, oppositionalist placard-wavers keen on demonstrating about whatever it is trendy to be against this month, the NUS performs roles that are vital to many student unions.  It provides training and a forum for sabbatical officers to share ideas that many individual unions simply could not afford.  Through NUSSL and NUS Extra it helps provide services to and discounts to unions and their members.

When those on the Right are organised, we have successes.  It may surprise some to learn that the NUS has had two CF members on their executive in recent memory.  We don't know if we could get more on because we haven't tried.  When the Right are on top of their brief and in command of the facts, we are able to make valuable contributions to the debate.  The fact that our ideas are neither the empty rhetoric of the left, nor the stereotype expected of the right, gives us a distinct advantage in discussions.

Though the idea that a CF defeat in the NUS would affect our party's standing in a general election is absurd, there is the genuine possibility of the NUS becoming the focus of future opposition to a Conservative government on education policy.  The only way to reduce such knee-jerk automatic hostility is to have people inside the Union making the case for such policy.  Even if the NUS retains a left-wing slant, which it will for the forseeable future, better that their ideas encounter stiff opposition than the unanimous approval of an audience unaware of any alternative.

It has always been something of a bogeyman to demonise the NUS as the front group of a band of revolutionary Trotskyites.  Though disproportionately represented, they still remain in a minority.  That minority is shrinking year on year, as witnessed at the last annual conference, where they suffered a major rout from the NEC.  A vast swathe of delegates belong to no faction whatsoever, and are willing to vote on the merits of the argument.  We owe it to them, as well as the students we represent, to make that argument.

The idea that we should spend more time and effort organising and campaigning on campuses is indeed a laudable one, but it does not come at the exclusion of conservatives organising for and within the NUS.  Part of the reason the hard left are disproportionately represented is because on many campuses they run the strongest campaigns.  Were CF members to offer organised, sustained, issue-focused opposition we could reap similar rewards.  The divisive politics of the hard-left are off-putting for many students.  We are in an excellent position to offer a viable alternative.

Fundamentally, the idea of organised national representation for students is a good one.  We cannot simply keep out of the organisation that does that because we disagree with its current policies.  Conservatism, if it means anything, is about working within flawed systems to reform them, rather than seeking to overthrow them in a utopian fantasy or fit of pique.  A new rival to the NUS isn't going to come along.  Education policy is currently severely flawed; we have to remain in the NUS to explain why, and how we would improve it.  We have to remain in to make sure that left-wing dogma does not go unchallenged.  Above all, we must remain in because to leave would be to silence ourselves.

Over to the anti bunch...

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

'ello ello' ello'... again.

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. 

Luckily for you lot, you can now find a copy of the constitution

NUS - Guest Post - Owen Meredith

Continuing with the NUS debate, after a very amusing chat in the

comments on Blaney's Blarney
, Owen Meredith has
into the argument:
"Now don’t get me wrong, I dislike the NUS as much as the next person. In fact, I brought a disaffiliation motion to Keele University Students Union just over a year ago. The NUS doesn’t function properly, it doesn’t represent students adequately and it doesn’t represent anything near value for money.
However, where my views disagree with some of those raised by others over the weekend is that they because of everything I have just mentioned we should walk away, and I believe that is exactly why we should stay and fight.
Look at it this way, I believe this country doesn’t function as well as it should, I believe this government doesn’t represent people well enough, and I believe this government doesn’t represent value for money. But would any of those advocating walking away from the NUS advocate walking away from this country? I think not.
They would stand up and fight for it back!
Surely as Conservatives we owe it to students to give them a conservative choice in NUS elections? Hundreds of thousands of students are represented by the NUS, and by surrendering that national voice to the left, we are letting down hundreds of thousands of people.
As a Conservative I fight battles on a basis of ideology and ideas, I don't run away from the ones we "cannot" win.
If we walked away everywhere we cannot win, then there would be tens of local councils where 10 or 15 years ago we would have stopped fighting, but now we are in control. We have to see the big picture and play the long game. By doing so we can win.
In a bizarre claim, the argument has also been put that in loosing an NUS election the Party would in some way be damaged. This is ludicrous! We loose elections all the time where we are not expected to win, by-elections recently in Glenrothes and Glasgow East are prime examples. They did no damage to the Party, and if anything standing up and fighting when you are expected to loose shows the public we are a Party of principal and a party that cares about people, not about winning. We cannot win everything and nobody expects us to. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t offer people a choice.
And while we are on this, lets be honest for a moment; a Conservative win of the NUS Presidency would hardly be a big news story of the day, so loosing certainly wouldn’t be. (And for all those statistic hacks - since we haven’t stood in years, the swing too us will inevitably be a positive one which is always good news!)
I’m more than happy to have this debate on disaffiliation CF from the NUS. But we need to have an academic debate, rather than an emotional one. Yes, we need to fight locally and win sabbatical positions. Yes the NUS is a filing organisation. And yes, we should be pointing out to students that the NUS is wasting their money. But we also need to be fighting in unions up and down the country to win NUS delegates and start the process of change.
We’ve allowed the left to dominate the NUS for too long. It’s time to take it back! 
Fight for it!

And then there were five...

In a strongly

worded statement
Owen Meredith has announced his intention to quit from the CF exectutive. In accordance with the constitution - particuarly section six, paragraph 2.1 that requires elections for the chairman and the NME to be elected every 15 months, Meredith will resign when this NME's term should have come to an end between March and June 2009.
He also urges the rest of the NME to do the same. They don't seem to be playing ball though.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Snap snap snap...

Just weeks ago
Labour candidates
would rather photograph themselves with David Cameron than Gordon Brown but now according to
they are queuing to get that all important leader snap. This is another rumour that has been doing the rounds today that point to an early election. TB can't quite believe that team Brown could be stupid enough to let speculation about any early election mount once again unless they were really planning one...

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.

Exec meeting minutes released...

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:

"NME discuss possible NUS President candidates but rejected the idea of supporting those candidates. NME agreed to field official Conservative candidates at NUS national elections, and begin a process of application and approval of candidates immediately."

So do you think you have the NUS-Factor?


News is reaching Tory Bear that the Dark Lord Mandelson is planning on leaving the Brown bunker to conduct a
nationwide tour
for some apparent reason.

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.

Never a man to mince his words...

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

Donal Blaney
deserves reproducing in full, as a right-of-reply from those who feel the NUS should be avoided like the plague:

"The National Union of Students: A memorandum to Conservative Future:

Word reaches me that the perennial chestnut of engagement or disengagement with the National Union of Students is being earnestly discussed by the Conservative Future National Management Executive. While the majority of CF activists nationwide want little, if anything, to do with the NUS there remains a handful of misguided NUSophiles who seem to think that it is in CF's - and the Conservative Party's - interests to spend time, money and effort on attempting to wrest control of the NUS from the hands of ideologically driven leftists.

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.

A reworking of a classic...

Hat-Tip -
The Prince

Interesting and little known
about the original 1992 tax bomb poster - the idea was thought up by a young treasury staffer called Dave, with the help of his mate Steve who worked at the advertising agency hired by the party...

In Dave we trust...

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.

this speech
the morning the airwaves and television stations have been flooded with tories and on crystal clear message.

"Spending restraint under Conservatives, tax rises under Labour"


Monday, 17 November 2008

An unusual drinking companion...

TB has just got home from a rather enjoyable drinks with Francis Maude. Can't help but think that DC made a bit of a boo boo by replacing him with Caroline Spelman as Party Chairman on the basis of political correctness. Maude is even more articulate and precise in real live than he is in his excellent media performances. TB was lucky enough to have a rather extended chat with him about the media's blatant boredom with the idea of the Tory's being way out in the lead and conscious decision to liven things up a bit in the last few months.

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
by the Speaker of the House today to be held accountable on the baby P outrage. What a horrible little man.

Oh well back to the dissertation...


the brain-child of TB's good chum Paul Nizhinsky has had a bit of a rebrand. Some of the greatest documentries about the Conservative Party's greats and history can be found there.

Check it out!

Peterkin offers his two cents...


*Whichever is sooner.

Move along people...

...nothing to see


The fall out continues...

Another one of those day's where TB's Blackberry is overloaded - some members of the Conservative Future National Management Executive are spinning harder than Mandleson today.

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 half to 3 year term, way beyond our electoral mandate.” He added “If the cabinet were to vote tomorrow to extend the term of parliament we would be in uproar! Neither option is perfect, but we should not be attempting to extend our elected term.”

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.

In simple English...

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...

Ummmm. So this is the press release:

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.

2. To begin the transition from an NME to 12 Regional Chairmen:
Who will make up the new National Executive?

1) Election Timetable

With the local and European elections timetabled for 11th June 2009, the possible addition of a General Election to that date and the restructuring of the national structure of CF, it has been agreed that the this term will be extended to a minimum of August 2009; this was also agreed and minuted in the first meeting of this administration. The importance of next year to the Party, the pressure on resources and the need to focus on supporting the Party’s bid to form the next Government is at the forefront of this decision.

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.

December 1st 2008:

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.

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

Something's going on...

The Conservative Future executive met yesterday and from what TB can understand so far, a lot was covered. Expecting a statement tomorrow.

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.