Thursday, 4 September 2008

And so it continues...

CCF Reforms‏


Adele Douglas (


04 September 2008 18:42:51


Christian May (; Cllr Steve Ricketts (; Michael Rock (; Patrick Sullivan (; Anastasia Beaumont-Bott (; Richard Jackson (

Hi Guys,

With regards to the publicity that the proposed reforming of CF has had today, I would like to make clear my position.

I expect that there will be a vote within the NME on the 13th - I fully intend to vote against the reforms being put to the Board.
I don't believe that the idea of Regional Chairmen is a bad one; they exist within the main voluntary Party. However, I do not believe that an RC could perform the function that a CF AC performs - due to constraints of time, travel and it simply being harder to be familiar with a whole region of the UK than one county. I believe that organisation in the remote parts of
England and Wales would suffer if AC's were removed. Michael, I know we have discussed this before, and you said that AC's would be "optional" with regards to how the individual branches wish to organise themselves. This is fine, the more autonomy people have to run their branches the more successful they have proven to be. However, I believe that it would be far too much pressure on one individual as Regional Chairman to do the job that currently c. 25 AC's per region are doing - particularly if they are performing the function of an NME member at the same time. I also believe that the majority of AC's are passionate about, and committed to their area. I do not think you would get this depth of personal involvement on a regional level. I would also question the commitment that the executive of RC's could give to the projects of CF - such as Social Action - if they are first and foremost concentrating on regional politics. These projects need leadership and commitment, as does running a region or area. I feel that under these proposals, the lines would become too blurred, and there would be a very small amount of people trying to juggle a very large amount of responsibility.

I am aware that we do not currently have every Area Chairman position filled, but, as I have said many times previously, the key to achieving this is further engagement with groups of young people who are "small c" conservatives, and having a more positive approach to campaigning. We will not attract new members by re-writing the constitution but by being proactive, visible and approachable. Similar projects have been tried in the past, and have failed - mainly due to opposition in the North - the exact people you claim this will further include.

I would also urge you to remember that CF is first and foremost a voluntary organisation, and if members are not happy they will vote with their feet and leave. I think turnout at recent events has shown that this is already beginning to happen. Any proposed reforms to the organisation to which they give their time and effort to should be put first and foremost to the membership, as I believe we can only act legitimately as an executive with the member's consent. I will also say that the handling of this situation has been appalling and the membership are beginning to think that the NME hold them in contempt.

The Conservative Future that I joined was a fair and democratic organisation (unlike many other youth political organisations), and, as long as this is still true, the member's stake in the running of CF cannot be removed. Fairly or not, this is what these reforms are perceived to be doing, and I cannot stand by and watch while CF factionalises and tears itself apart.
This should not be taken as personally by anyone, it is an email I have been contemplating sending for a long time and expresses simply my opinions on what I believe to be right for the organisation.

See you all on the 13th.


Well that should liven things up a bit...


Anonymous said...

has owen been fired? or just leaved out cause he is a tool?

Alex Agius

Adele well done for making your stance absolutely clear, even if you did not intend your email to end up on tory bear!

You are right in all that you have said here, especially when you point out people will vote with there feet, I know of "a few" already ready to do this

I believe you will be voicing a lot of members opinions when you speak at the nme meeting, don't let them intimidate you

Anonymous said...

bet she'll be gagged or poisoned before the meeting by gollum

Owen said...

I spoke to Adele about this directly which is why I got left off the email.

Anonymous said...

"We will not attract new members by re-writing the constitution but by being proactive, visible and approachable."

This isn't a re-writing of the constitution, this physically changes who is in control of branches across the country and can only help in making branches MORE suitable to local members and potential members - making local branches more approachable.

A system of RCs and ACs is a brilliant idea.

Paul said...

Adele, your letter has delighted me. Personally speaking I am huge fan of Micheal, but the way this has been handled has been disappointing.A lot of people are unhappy about the way this has developed and though I doubt they would leave the party over this, it certainly dampens their enthusiasm. Any reform should be a long drawn out affair with the maximum amount of consultation.

Anonymous said...

Owen was too busy complaining about Steve, I think.

Anonymous said...

Considering how badly CF is organised currently, it's a ridiculous idea to introduce regional chairs. Until the people running CF have learnt some social skills and gained some common sense CF will not be run well no matter what system is put in place. I have been to numerous events where those who have organised the events have cancelled the event but not told anyone, or just haven't shown up, and on one occasion I waited outside a station in the rain for 15 minutes before ringing the organiser who told me that he wouldn't be coming. I am not well known in CF and as a result I have felt uncomfortable at CF meetings and events, as I feel that CF is run by an elite who aren't interested in talking to members of CF who aren't a member of this elite. When facebook invites for the Boris CF party were sent out I wasn't invited, despite the fact that I had met the organiser through campaigning for Boris, and we were facebook friends, which I felt came down to the fact that I wasn't a member of the CF elite. When I joined CF I wasn't contacted and the only reason I managed to get involved was because I happened to know a local councillor. For new members who have no contacts within the party it is very difficult to get involved, because CF does not reach out to new members. In fairness I must say that there have been a few members who haven't ignored me and who have engaged with me at meetings, for which I am grateful, but these people are few and far in between, and I am frequently put off attending CF events by those members who have felt it necessary to be rude and turn their noses up at me.

I didn't join CF to be made to feel like an outcast. I joined to make a difference and because I wanted to help elect a Conservative government. However, all that CF seems to be interested in is backstabbing and bitching.

As for the NME who have dealt with this situation very badly, you would be treated by the CF members much better if you just told the truth. Even if people don't agree with what you have to say they will be much more forgiving if you are upfront about it rather than having to hear about it on an internet blog.

Phew. Just wanted to get that off my chest.

Anonymous said...

She's right!

I guess some members of the Exec just don't realise how big some of their proposed 'regions' are.

We don't need these changes. The current system works fine.

Caroline Hunt

Excellent stance by Adele. She is completely right.

Post a Comment