In a strongly
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Monday, 17 November 2008
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.
Friday, 12 September 2008
Whatever happens at the NME meeting tomorrow people have to keep sight of the bigger issues here. If we devoted half the energy and time spent whipping up things up in to frenzy over reforms to campaigning, Conservative Future would be unstoppable.
Yes these reforms may not pass, we'll just have to wait and see but in the mean time lets not lose focus on the ultimate goal. Sticking to Labour where it hurts.
Another busy weekend for TB so blogging will be light. There will be a full round of whatever happens when TB knows and has a minute to jot it all down.
Tickets will be available for TB's party at the Disraeli Club drinks thing tonight. Intensive media training tomorrow and then a 21st somewhere three hours train ride away in the middle of nowhere... three weekends in a row.
TB doesn't want to think about his liver...
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
TB couldn't help but chuckle that the CF Area Chairman are holding their very own special
It's understood there will be rousing speeches about holding strong and fighting for survival...
UPDATE: News is reaching TB today that some sort of petition is in motion.
The Great Reform Act isn't going through without a fight.
Monday, 8 September 2008
That is pretty slick... very OTT and very very funny.
Who was really bored today?
UPDATE: It was emailed to TB by one mysterious Anthony Reedham - who unsuprisingly doesn't have Facebook.
They did however have access to the Area Chairman contact list...
They may be good with a Windows Movie Maker but they didn't hide their IP address very well.
UPDATE 2: Christian May: "This person should spend a bit more time campaigning and a little less time sitting in his mother's basement making conspiracy videos."
TB can't stop laughing.... ahhh the music.
Looking back at the developments of the last few days TB is wondering what the next week will bring. Through unintentional revelations and a leak or two a rift has clearly emerged at the top of Conservative Future.
In the furore of the public declarations of opposition to the reforms by two NME members, this hilarious story of anonymous briefings backfiring almost slipped by unnoticed. When TB started his blog it was to highlight that sort of banter and although this reform stuff is significant in the long term, in the next six days there is very little that can be done before the executive meet and thrash this all out amongst themselves.
It has to be noted by them that the Area Chairman are clearly a force to be reckoned with and can create quite a shit storm when their cages are rattled..
Sunday, 7 September 2008
It is with great regret that I feel it necessary to write this e-mail however I feel that something needs to be said so that we can move forward from the divisions that have arisen in recent weeks. I also thought that given the criticism we have come under for failing to communicate, I should communicate my thoughts and what I intend to do at the Exec meeting to you. I would like to state at the beginning of this that I cannot speak for any of my colleagues – I would only like to explain my position to you and why I feel that I have to take it.
My personal concerns echo much of what Adele said in her e-mail that ended up on Tory Bear. I also share many of the concerns expressed by Clare Hilley (AC for London South), Alex Agius (AC for Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire), and Paul Wells (President of UEA CF), Matt Lewis (AC for Staffordshire), Matthew Davison (AC for
I would also like to recognise that the opposition to these reforms does not appear to London-centric but from all areas. The opposition to these reforms also comes not only from those who voted for Matt Richardson or Daryl Williams at the last election but many who voted for Michael as well. It would be a mistake for the opposition to these reforms to be viewed as an attack on anyone’s personality. Those that oppose it, or at least the majority of those that do, do so as a genuine matter of principle.
My reading of Michael’s e-mail is that if any reform proposal is decided at exec, it will be sent to the party board without a consultation period. I have checked with some of my NME colleagues as to whether that is their interpretation as well and it is. In my mind that is not acceptable and I intend to express this sentiment in the Executive meeting on the 13th.
When I first considered running for Exec for a second time, I spoke to the then Chairman Mark Clarke about what exactly the role involved. Mark very kindly spent most of an hour going through how the organisation worked, putting me right on some of my more loony ideas and explaining that in a voluntary organisation no one ever truly has power they only have influence. It is that final point that I have continued coming back to during over the past few months.
As an Executive we do not have the power to force our membership to do anything that they do not want to. It is important to remember that volunteers are just that- volunteers – and anytime they give to helping our campaigns is voluntary.
To push reforms through which do not have the support of a substantial majority of the membership will cause them to lose what faith they have in CF and to potentially to feel so slighted as to withhold their support, in terms of time and physical resources from the organisation. At anytime this is damaging but in the run up to a General Election it will be especially so.
If any package of reforms is agreed on the meeting of the 13th, I feel that we will be opening up a Pandora’s Box. It at best means that this destructive debate goes on and on. At worst it means that CF gets an unnecessary and counterproductive structural overall the year before a General Election.
CF has developed an increasingly unhealthy focus on internal politics. This has to stop so that we can return to focusing on what really matters – developing new branches, empowering and supporting Area and Branch Chairmen and Campaigning in our Marginal Seats.
I will be voting against these reforms in Executive and whilst I cannot speak for any of my colleagues I sincerely hope that they are voted down.
All the Best,
And so it continues...
Will comment on this whole saga in depth at some point but in the mean time TB can't really think straight and needs some sleep.
Thursday, 4 September 2008
Adele Douglas (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Christian May (email@example.com); Cllr Steve Ricketts (firstname.lastname@example.org); Michael Rock (email@example.com); Patrick Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org); Anastasia Beaumont-Bott (email@example.com); Richard Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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
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...
Based on a survey of 13% of the CF electorate there is clearly a feeling that something needs to be done to reinvigorate and restructure the organisation but the reforms put forward by Michael Rock are clearly not seen as the answer:
It's not too late to salvage this. TB is receiving word that an email from Michael will go out to the Area Chairman sometime this afternoon...
Looks like this could be the announcement they've all been waiting for...
Friday, 22 August 2008
Exclusive: Christian May on the CF Reforms
The Exec have been watching all sorts of comments fly around on various blogs concerning 'proposed reforms' to CF. Comments have varied from the mild ("who will stand for election?") to the extreme ("Rock is parachuting in his 12 best friends to run CF"). We have yet to see an accurate comment on the ideas we're working on. The reason for this is simple; we haven't proposed any changes yet. Michael stood for election on a very clear policy of regionlisation - a policy which I very quickly signed up to as I think it will sort out a lot of the nonsense in CF. Before I talk a little bit more about our ideas, let me make one thing perfectly clear: there will be no unelected appointments. I shall say that again for the slower ones amongst you: there will be no unelected appointments.