Wednesday, 29 September 2010

TB on the Fringe

TB is looking forward to hitting up Birmingham especially after missing out on Manchester. His accommodation will make you laugh.

 is a service that lets you track who is going to what Fringe events and whats on etc. You can also sign up for text reminders for events.


for a full range events or

for what TB will going to. Sign in with Twitter to do your own calender...

Drop him a line if you fancy a beer. TB will be speaking at the Freedom Zone one morning (details to follow) and don't forget to book your ticket for the TB/YBF conference kick off party on Saturday night

See you in Brum.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Will Ed Descamisado It?

The Labour Party website

thinks so
. As did his campaign launch:
Will Red Ed go jacketless today? TB reckons its the sort of cheap stunt he'd try...

Monday, 27 September 2010

CF Election Results - Howlett Wins

Shocking that only 200 votes were cast. 18k members. Nice. So with an overwhelming mandate the winners are:

Chairman: Ben Howlett (Howlett 113, Cox 60)
Deputy (membership): Clare Hilley (Hilley 73, Cooper 47)
Deputy (political): Alexandra Swann (Swann 139, Khan 33)
Appointed Officer - James Deighton (Deighton 72, Sullivan 70)

Two women and a gay guy at the top. Without quotas. Without enforcement, without special patronising identity officers. Eat your heart out Labour. Gutted about Patrick Sullivan missing out by two votes. Good luck to the new team.

Though the massive drop in turn out needs investigation - someone has cocked up here.

Labour Conference Responds to IMF News

"The International Monetary Fund has said Britain's economy is "on the mend" as it backed budget tightening measures taken by the coalition Government." Wonder what Labour will have to say about this

excellent news
for the UK:


Thursday, 23 September 2010

Conference Kick Off

It's conference time kids and that means its karaoke time. This year TB has teamed up with YBF to kick the Conference off in style in the VIP lounge of Bar Risa next door to the ICC. Full details are here. You can reserve songs when you
buy a ticket
. The list is growing - you've already missed the chance to sing:

“Don’t go breaking my heart”
“Lets stick together”
“Things can only get better”
“My way”
“The look of love” Dusty Springfield
“Same old brand new you” A1
“Knowing me, Knowing you” ABBA
“Take a chance on me” ABBA (Iain Dale?)
“Nothing is gonna stop us now” Starship

Get your tickets
. Will be a laugh.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Right People Back Cox

You may have noticed this advert on various political blogs:

Well look out for it if you havent. It's an advert for Craig Cox, a very sound, very ambitious and motivated Conservative. TB is backing Craig to be the next chairman of Conservative Future.

The Tories are in power now, no longer does CF have to be mere leaflet fodder for associations. No longer does it have to be about traipsing up steps and knocking on doors. Now CF has a chance to be a genuine political, ideological and motivational force and it needs a ideologically sound leader.

Ben Howlett is a great guy and TB thinks he will probably win this election. Ben has shown organisational skills that would have been brilliant leading CF in opposition. But now is the time for CF to make some noise, a loyal Cameroon councillor is the last thing the Tory youth wing needs.

They need a leader who is willing to speak out against the government, not a cheerleader. A leader who has learnt the tough lessons of how hard the left will go to smear and lie and distort, a leader who has cut their teeth and isn't afraid to learn from mistakes. For too long CF has been scared of fighting, too scared of breaking party line and too scared to really make a difference. But with the right figurehead all that can change.

Though TB is no longer a member and does not have a vote he would urge you all to take a look at Craig's
and put that cross next to his name. It's time CF had a kick up the ideological backside and Craig is the man to do it.

Coalition Buddies

What was that about no electoral pact at the next election?

It seems the University of Nottingham freshers didn't get the memo...

Monday, 20 September 2010

CF Elects - TB's Endorsements

With just seven days to go, the only contest to be less exciting than the Labour leadership battle will finally draw to a close. Though it turns out TB is no longer a member of the Tories and thus illegible to vote (news to him but hey) he thought he would endorse a couple of candidates in the Conservative Future election. A bit like Sarah Palin without the money or the Jesus lovin'.

Firstly for Appointed Officer 

Patrick Sullivan
is easily the most qualified candidate. TB has known Patrick for years and he really does have the best interests of the Party at heart. A formidable presence on the CF scene, there are few out there who have given up more time and personal contributions to various by-election and local campaigns. This video also tickled TB:

Secondly CF Wales isn't the most exciting of organisations but it is under threat of being taken over by a Tory Reform Group loon who
an increase in public spending and describes those attempting to save public money as "dicks". The sooner Zahid Raja wakes up and realises he is in the wrong party the better. These quasi-socialist NUS NIMBYs need to be kept as far away from the Tory greasy poll as possible.
Grant Tucker
is your man for Wales. TB met him down at Spring Forum and he's a good guy. Unlike his opponent who has more in common with Ed Balls than any Tory...
Deputy Chairman (Political) is an easy one. Loyal readers will know TB has always had a soft spot for
Alexandra Swann
and who wouldn't want her leading a protest...

As for DC (Membership) TB is somewhat torn. Hampsheir is a top lad, 
Oliver Cooper
is a sound man, very sound, but then
Clare Hilley
has been a member of CF for the best part of a decade and proved time and again her ability at organising London based campaigns. TB doesn't understand why the libertarian ideologue Cooper isn't standing for the Political role which would suit him much better and he would easily win. Clare and TB have had their differences over the last year or so, but there is no doubting she is the best candidate for this particular job, and that slogan was always going to come in useful one day... Don't be silly, vote for Hilley.

And as for Chairman.. well you'll have to wait and see about that one.

A full list of candidates standing can be found

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Movement for Strange

Undercover at David Miliband’s eve of voting rally.

I never like answering my phone in my sleep and especially not to a shrill and excited voice, unfathomable for the early hour of a bank holiday Monday. Yes I was definitely coming, yes I knew where it was, and no I didn’t need any help getting there.

This was the third time someone from David Miliband’s hyperbolic Movement for Change had been in touch that weekend. Despite answering with my real name, they would ask to speak to “Alex” every time, but I’d long given up putting the phone on the desk for thirty seconds while I went to “find him”.

The event was meant to be a culmination of training “future leaders”, a “wonk school” if you will. Out of mere curiosity at what the enemy were up to, I signed up on the website with my legal name Alexander for more information back in July. I was now being pestered at alarming rate. The sense of desperation at getting as many people as possible to Miliband’s rally was starting to show. The event was meant to be a congregation of all the activists the campaign have trained over the summer - allegedly over a thousand, but I for one had certainly not achieved my level one community organiser’s badge.

Most normal people wouldn’t choose to give up hours of their bank-holiday weekend to go mingle with Milband’s new model army, but with ten days of stubble and a Che Guevara t-shirt to mask me, what was the worst that could happen?

My mind was made up by a final reminder text, to which I replied “do I need to bring anything?” The reply of “just enthusiasm” made me cringe and yet somehow feel hopeful at the same time. “Enthusiasm” and the Labour leadership race have rarely been seen in a sentence together. I printed out my ticket and was asked to write my own unique ticket number, 505, on it, but a frantic follow up email asked me to change that to 1005. What a masterful piece of spin, curiously first used by another movement for change, the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (the German Workers' Party who would soon become the Nazis).

Despite being an obvious right-winger, hanging around Westminster enough, you end up meeting hacks and pole-climbers of all parties, so with a last check of my new side-parting, I put my flatmate’s glasses and entered Westminster’s grand Emmanuel Centre and approached the desk. Of course there was no record of ticket 1005. Given I knew the coordinator at one of the desks further down, having to spell out my surname wasn’t particularly helpful. Eventually I was found and ticked and given a little green sticker. No one would give me an answer to what the orange ones were for, but the micro-managing had begun.

I was quickly sent upstairs, guided past a silent brass band, and as a proud member of Lambeth Constituency Labour Party herded into the South London section of the audience. Strangely my constituency comrades hadn’t seen me around before, but that wasn’t to stop a friendly chit-chat ensuing. I was new to the constituency of course, but my neighbour on the left didn’t seem particularly involved either. He hadn’t had any Community Organiser training either, nor had the person next to him, or his mum, or in fact anyone sitting around me.

Scanning around the room there was undoubtedly an impressive turn out, but as even Miliband supporters noted there was a distinct lack of young people. The room was full of “Future Leaders” most of whom were much older than their hopeful messiah. The surroundings could not be more appropriate. For someone trying to escape the title of being heir to “St Tony”, the home to the Emmanuel Evangelical Church, was a interesting choice of venue. Everywhere the eye looked was a combination of Miliband’s elongated slogans and overt new-age Christianity. Bringing Labour together, Leading Labour to... redemption?

The atmosphere had the feel of a church congregation full of anticipation. Jim Murphy gave a panto style warm up, the audience fully embracing the “Are you ready... I can’t hear you” banter while stylish female spinners and handlers looked on from the corner of the stage with awkward, embarrassed smiles.

As the pre-game warm up continued the brass band played, the rainbow flags were waved and various handpicked Miliband supporters were paraded across the stage to cheers. A dire duet by MPs Willie Bain and Stella Creasy who narrated the story of the Labour Party like teachers at a school play was not enough to dampen spirits. The fervour amongst the audience was growing, with a rapturous response every time the word “ConDem” was mentioned. I was beginning to think this could turn into a Mid-West evangelical roof raiser, with people having visions and speaking in tongues, running up and down the aisles at any moment. And then it did.

One man stood up singing, shouting, screaming and began to run toward the stage, suddenly whole rows of black women were singing and clapping and screaming “we want David”. It was a practiced routine and a whole block of the audience knew the words to their song. Suddenly I realised what the orange stickers meant. It seems the Movement for Change has been working rather closely with London Citizens, a grassroots community group that have come under attack from being left-wing extremists but also have had praise heaped upon them by no less than David Cameron and Steve Hilton.

Suddenly the “grassroots” effect began to tarnish, clearly Miliband was taking a leaf out of the Obama book, this was a “movement” not a rally, this was about ordinary people not him, yet he needed the help of a well-funded and well organised group to flood his “movement” with room-meat. The facade had slipped and given the speed at which a glamorous blonde staffer was running around, the team knew this. She ran so fast to the back of the room to work out what to do, that her DM4Leader badges were peeling off her silk dress.

Order was restored and suddenly there was piano playing a ConDem ballard. Sob stories by Assistant Regional Inclusion Managers for unions were told over what sounded uncannily like the “Lonely Man” theme from the end of The Incredible Hulk. One man actually said the ConDem cuts were going to kill him.

And then suddenly there he was, David, the golden child. He actually kissed a baby as he walked in less than three feet from where I was standing. He had the pointing-at-people-you-pretend-to-know-in-the-audience trick down to a tee and I even got to touch the chosen one’s hand. No religious experience for me, though I did feel a little breathless from the unending standing ovations and cheering and wooing during the speech. When in Rome.

We were treated to Miliband’s vision, a vision of the “Good Society” where people, not politicians were in control. Communities were going to be empowered, localism rules the day, but this was not the Big Society. Don’t you dare even think this could possibly be an overlap with the evil ConDems. No this was different, this was Miliband’s Jerry Maguire “help me help you” moment. It was as if Cameron had talked about the Big Society in 2005 when he was standing for leader rather than deploying it as a last minute election grenade that he forgot to pull the pin on.

It was a competent speech, polished, no notes and even attempted a little self-deprecation about the justified mocking he had received for his “how to organise a drinks party” briefing. The joke was on David though, through his desperation to not be seen as a micro-manager and instead an empowerer, he managed to show just what a micro-manager he is.

Impressive at first, the whole Movement for Change is a fraud, a room full of community organisers who weren’t just there because Miliband had empowered them; they were Community Organisers and charity workers while he was still carrying bags for Tony Blair. Where were these thousands personally trained by the Movement for Change? It was telling that he ended his speech begging the audience to join Labour.

It was clear he wanted it to be an Obama style event, swaths of the audience were waiting for an Obama style event but, cometh the hour, the man was nowhere to be seen. In the end it was nothing more than a tacit endorsement for David Cameron’s Big Society which his speechwriters have clearly had a selective browse. The Good Society, the Big Society, whatever you want to call it, if Miliband wins, there is hope that common ground can be found on the reining in of the state. This all could have been said without the charade though.

A hack I knew, had started to make intrigued eye contact, I began to think my game was up, and besides the show was drawing to a close. I made a dash for the exit. As I stood outside reading the confirmation I had been rumbled on Twitter, a man clocked my Che t-shirt. “You don’t see many of those anymore, we’ve all got them though.” A Chinese man next to him, with a green sticker on, said “the best thing my father ever did was sign me up to the Labour Party and the Chinese Communist Party on my 16th Birthday.”

It was no surprise that these old-timers felt more comfortable outside smoking than with the stage-managed intensity inside and conversation quickly turned to great left-wing leaders. It was a deeply surreal experience for me to hear Chairman Mao praised in such lavish term, Castro had to be expected though. Thankfully there wasn’t much expectation that David Miliband would join these greats, a mere shrug when I asked. He could give the Chinese Communist party a run for their money on the organisational front though.

PMQs Thoughts - Clegg Getting Good

After his dreadful first outing at PMQs, Clegg has grown into the role. It wasn't as if his opponent was up to scratch though. Straw was slow and sluggish and wasted six questions on one vague accusation from drug addled, booze soaked, hack with an axe to grind.

Though clearly wanting nothing to do with the Coulson stuff, fate interceded and Clegg found himself slamming the party of "the dodgy dossier, cash for honours and Damian McBride" It was a cutting and well delivered put down. One line that was clearly being saved for Dave was the fact that Brown had called Coulson the day he resigned from the News of the World to tell him he had done the honorable thing and had told him he would go on to great things. The Labour front bench were suddenly quiet and could do nothing but shrug. Funny how quickly their opportunist fit has unravelled.

Nice to have PMQs back and as entertaining as the ding dong was, we learnt nothing. Labour wasted their one chance this week to hold No10 to account, instead deciding to waste it on political point scoring and hysterical rants. Some have said Labour have realised they are in opposition this week and they better get used to it. With a performance like that they are going to be there for a very long time.

Clegg 5 Straw 1

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

CCHQ's Fax Pas

There was some confusion last night about Oliver Cooper. Well more than ususal levels at least. Rumour spread that he had nominated himself for Chairman of Conservative Future at the eleventh hour and this true gossip quickly spread. However when the nominations were published last night it seems he missed the deadline. As thought CCHQ...

Though after a mild fuss and documentary evidence that the papers had been faxed well before the cut off of noon yesterday was presented, it seems there was a change of heart and the nomination was accepted.

And what was the cause of the problem?

Well it seems someone at the slick, well oiled, election winning operation, had forgotten to put any paper in the fax machine... 

The election results will be announced on the 27th September once a suitable brewery has been found for the celebrations.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Hilley Running for Deputy

got to scoop.

Full list published at 5pm apparently.

Cooper Seeks Keys to Office

Currently going for deputy
but sees an opening. He will split the rights vote if he continues his key message that he is sound. Good news for Cameroon Howlett.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Cox Statement

TB seems to have kicked things into action. These statements were meant to be coming out tomorrow morning apparently:

Today it has been announced that my former opponent, Simon Cavalier Jones, has pulled out of the race to be the next CF Chairman. In addition, it gives me great pleasure to note that he is throwing the whole weight of his campaign team behind Cox2010.

Firstly, I would like to thank Simon for really contributing to the debate about CF's future. He has shown himself to be truly committed to the future of our party and the election campaign so far has been a testament to this. Work for anyone in the current climate must be a priority and I think, though being a difficult decision, Simon has shown great maturity in coming to his conclusion and I wish him the best of luck in his new job.

The fact that Simon has chosen to support me means that one thing is absolutely clear: Cox2010 is the best choice for CF. It has the right values in which to shape CF, it has the determination to succeed, and it has the support to match to act as.

CF is no longer purely in the mindset of winning elections. The Conservative Party is now in government. As a result, as I have said all along, we need to act as an effective pressure group within the party to make sure that we are listened to seriously. That means taking a firm line in opposing the AV referendum, avoiding at all costs the introduction of a grad tax, supporting young people starting up businesses, and making sure CF is a force to be reckoned with.

We must not forget that CF is also a body that needs to foster a sense of fun, and we must be clear that we are all young people. Although politics is important, we must always remember that CF is a place to meet new people, make new friends and have some decent banter. Cox2010 has always encouraged this mindset, and, tempered with my experiences at Nottingham, CF will continue to offer the best there is.

Simon Cavalier Jones has now supported my campaign to become the next Chairman of CF. He, and his campaign team, are now fully on board and helping Cox2010 in anyway they can. I urge you all to follow Simon's lead and support the only campaign that has the experience, dedication and values to make CF an even better organisation. That campaign is Cox2010.

It will be interesting to see how Howlett plays this. He can't ignore it and the SCJ backing brings a northern team and infrastructure to the London based Cox campaign. If Cox wants to take advantage of it, this could be just the shot in the arm that his campaign, and this race, so desperately needed. And that's meant with no offence to Simon. TB wishes him well in the new job. Oh and thanks for lunch.

SCJ Statement: Slams Howlett

In short.. "New job, no time, Ben played dirty, I like Cox"

Long version:

"Over the past few weeks I have been contemplating withdrawing from the race for CF Chairman. Sadly this is not due to any scandal or interesting revelations in my private life, but due to my starting a new job with a Hedge Fund. Unfortunately this role will mean I have less time available to be involved in political activity. As such I feel the only appropriate thing for me to do is withdraw from the race.

I would like to thank all the people who have helped with my campaign and supporter's, who have shown that CF is in rude health and with the right leadership can only prosper. My sole aim in running was to continue the good work of Michael Rock and see CF develop into a proper organisation, one with unity, purpose and above all a sense of fun.

I will not be seeking any role with the new administration, but I like all true Conservatives do care about the Party and its future. For that reason alone I am backing the only candidate in this race who has proven he has the skills, maturity and strength of character to assume the mantle. That candidate is Craig Cox.

We need a Chairman with the right values, the right sense of direction and somebody with a sense of fun. CF is a Volunteer organisation, it depend's on hard working individuals on the ground not just a central executive. The executive should exist to focus on national issues such as funding, proper communications, training and national events. We can not afford to pander to the pointless bureaucracy advocated by the Howlett camp. CF needs focus and this can only be delivered by Craig Cox.

One of the biggest factor's in my support of Craig is his strength of character. During this campaign, Craig has behaved like a true gent, he has been honest and respectful to all comers. I will not say too much about the other candidate, but I do not believe he has the strength of character or integrity to lead.

I am proud to say that East Midlands and Yorkshire CF are moving across to back Craig, and I urge anybody who was supporting me to do the same."
All to play for...

Simon Cavalier Jones Out of CF Race, Backs Cox

Expect a statement from Downing Street imminently, great distraction from the old Coulson nonsense.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Unite Against Fashionistas!

Don't Panic on the English Defence League:

Brilliant. And brave!