Showing posts with label Guest Post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guest Post. Show all posts

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Guest Post - Top 10 Sexiest Male MPs

TB commented last week that with the state of the Blair Babes 12 years on, it was no surprise that the UK didn't do too well in the rankings of the worlds sexiest female politicians. This however upset Tory Bear's favourite lefty feminist Gabi Jones, from the Women of the World organisation. TB has clashed with Gabi in the past,

very publicly
in the letters section of a student paper over the old "Life's better under a conservative" poster. So for the sake of sexual equality and what not, TB will let Gabi brighten up your Tuesday morning with a round up of the UK's sexiest male politicians...

As a long-time reader of Tory Bear, I am very excited to have been invited to compile a list of the top ten sexiest British male politicians. For a long time I have been criticised for my dreadful taste in men – something I fervently dispute – but with such an attractive lot representing us, this list is filled with the best of British.

1. Ed Vaizey – Conservative, MP for Wantage & Didcot

Rolling in at number 1 is the Adonis of Westminster, 40 year old Ed Vaizey. After seeing Ed’s numerous appearances on The Wright Stuff, I have fallen for his undeniable charm and charisma. Ed looks good in a suit, has a gorgeous voice and a slight receding hairline – what more could you actually want? I just wish I lived in his constituency. Sigh.


Adam Afriyie – Conservative, MP for Windsor

In terms of justifying my choice, I think this amazing photo is reason enough. Body-wise, Mr Afriyie is the Elle McPherson of male politicians. I’d go running with him any day.

3. David Cameron – Conservative, MP for Witney

I appreciate this is turning into a bit of a Tory-fest but maybe life is better on top of a Conservative? Tory leader David is confident, powerful and arrogant – AKA very, very sexy. However, it’s clear whenever DC is with his wife Samantha and their children that he is caring, compassionate and quite a nice guy. Shame he’s married…

4. Daniel Hannan – Conservative, MEP for South East England

Never having heard of Daniel before his infamous attack on Gordon Brown in Strasbourg, I am putting him high up at number 4 completely for that speech. Good public speaking is always a turn-on and Daniel’s eloquence, presence and anger combined make him a very desirable man – at least on YouTube. Some might say he’s going a bit bald but I think on the right man, a bit of thinning on top can actually look quite good and Daniel certainly pulls it off. Did I mention that speech?

5. Adrian Ramsay – Green, Deputy Party Leader

Okay, maybe I’m cheating slightly because Adrian isn’t actually elected to parliament yet, but it looks likely to happen in the near future. Finally, a left-winger to add to this list! Adrian is young, handsome and joined the Green Party at just 16. Set to unseat Charles Clark in the next election, Adrian might make Westminster that bit more attractive. My leftist heart is beating fast.

6. Jeremy Hunt – Conservative, MP for South West Surrey

And we’re back to the Tories – I think I might be flattering the egos of quite a few TB readers here… Mr Hunt is another politician with a divine receding hairline; add his language skills and charity work to that… Well, you just would. Apparently Jeremy runs regular surgeries with his constituents; I might just move to Farnham.

7. David Lammy – Labour, MP for Tottenham

David Lammy doesn’t exactly scream sexy, but he’s got something about him. Not too good at general knowledge, I’m guessing that his strengths lie elsewhere…

8. George Osborne – Conservative, MP for Tatton

He’s arrogant as they come and I really should dislike him, but George Osborne is yet another Tory that I find myself extremely attracted to. Maybe I should concede defeat to my lust for Tories and sign up? On second thoughts…

9. Tobias Ellwood – Conservative, MP for Bournemouth East

Tobias has this, ‘I raised lions and lived in Africa for a long time’ Born Free-ness about him. Actually, he was born in New York and raised in Austria; always a fan of well-travelled men, I definitely approve of this. I’m also a big admirer of the receding hairline / thick head of hair combination.

10. William Hague – Conservative, MP for Richmond

Admittedly, Mr Hague isn’t exactly a looker, but he does have the sexiest voice in Westminster and for that alone he deserves a spot in my top ten. What I would give to have him whisper in my ear.

This list is overwhelmingly leaning to the right, okay; I admit I have a thing for Tories. Maybe it’s their infuriating politics? I think my friends were definitely justified in buying me one of TB’s own ‘I kissed a Tory… and I liked it’

for my birthday…

You can follow Gabi on Twitter


Thursday, 20 November 2008

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...

Friday, 10 October 2008

Guest Post - Matt Richardson

A year after the Forward Together slate launched the longest CF election campaign in the organisation's ten year history, can exclusively bring you a guest post from Matt Richardson, it's founder and Chairman candidate.

This piece will no doubt spark quite some debate...

In defence of Michael Rock or The only things that change are the names.
by Matthew Richardson

Today represents 1 year since I came up with the “brilliant idea” that was Forward Together, the concept was simple make sure that a group of people who have all been involved with CF for ages, who have lived, loved, worked for and helped the organisation for years, an get them in a position to run the organisation. It sounds like a great idea on paper and maybe it was but the true test of an idea is how these things are received by the electorate. Of course it is a matter of record that Forward Together was consigned to the dustbin of history.

Lately I have started going to young conservative events again, YBF, Salisbury Club, Students for Freedom and association organised campaign days. People have started to saying to me “We wish you had been elected instead of Rock!” They go on to tell me that CF has pulled a vanishing act, a great magic trick. Apparently, there are committees, officers, working parties, sub-committees, and titles galore but nothing seems to happen. The campaign days that CF was becoming famous for (300,000 leaflets in a year) have stopped. The visiting that Mark Clarke used to do all over the country just doesn’t happen any more and the flagship new branches scheme has vaporised. The NME are all but anonymous aside from some sniping and intrigue which appears on the blogs. Area chairman are all in rebellion and the massive budget Mark’s exec battled for seems to have been revoked.

Despite all of this I say the same thing to all of them “I don’t wish I had been elected instead of Rock, not even a little.” Here’s why: Michael and I are approximately as capable as one another, in fact, if truth be told Michael has more management skill than me. It would have been just as much of a disaster if I had been elected too, the problem isn’t the chairman and it never has been. The problem is the NME, the fact is that they are useless. Patrick Sullivan, the man with my old job has done nothing. Not one thing! “Scurvy” Steve Ricketts is nowhere to be seen. Where are they? What have they done? Christian has lost interest and is working very hard on YBF very well and frankly helping the cause much more than if he was looking after CF portfolio and although she is working hard Adele is staying in the North. Rock could be the best General in the world but the problem is the troops are useless.

Michael is a dedicated, liberal tory and an excellent manager, the problem is that his exec are morons and life might just have been better if the dedicated people of Forward Together had been elected. We need people who care about the party more than their CV. Michael Rock is one, I am not sure that any of his exec are.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Guest Post 3 - Clare Hilley

Why CF is the future

For many young people the world of politics is viewed as archaic, out of date and uninviting. Years of spin, deception and deceit at the hands of the Labour Party has helped galvanise this view into the minds of a generation of young people.

From the horrific ten pence tax debacle, which slammed some of the poorest people in the country, to the stomach churning lies on Iraq, the Labour Party has caused catastrophic damage to the public perception of political life.

Mercifully, the Conservative Party is developing the remedy to the Labour sickness in the form of Conservative Future. Already the largest political movement in the UK attracting over 15,000 members, Conservative Future is leading the way as a modern and accountable vehicle for ambitious young people keen to get stuck into politics.

From campaign days up and down the country to late night social events, CF opens up a wealth of opportunities to young people looking to make a difference. The organisation offers a variety of diverse events from LGBTory to social action projects, whatever your interests you will find like-minded people here.

I first joined Conservative Future when I was fourteen years old and have been an active member ever since. During this time I have seen members come and go and political careers flourish as years of hard work and commitment to the cause pay off. I have made lifelong friends and learned much about policy, life and people, which has been invaluable to my personal development.

Conservative Future is the engine of the Conservative Party, producing and training some of the party’s brightest young stars. In no other organisation will you find young people so committed, so diverse and energetic ready to get out onto the doorsteps and spread the message.

Playing a key role in the election of Boris Johnson in London and the Crewe by-election, wherever they are needed CF activists loyally work - and work hard. Conservative Future is the key to winning marginal seats and the perfect way to show the public that life is better under Conservative Government.

In the 2005 election Conservative Future was the key to winning vital marginal seats. The extra leafleting and activism was the undoubtedly helped us win the extra votes.

We have come so far so quickly, but there is much more to be done. We need a centralised membership database, more recognition for outstanding campaigners and more attention and funding from the wider party.

Conservative Future is the home of some of the brightest thinkers on social action and the breeding ground for a generation of party leaders. We are in touch and up to speed with what this country wants in a Government.

But we are only effective when we are united as one.

So let’s pull together, forget our differences, work hard and kick this tired and ineffective Government out of Downing Street.

Let’s get out on the doorsteps and show the whole country that there is a better life waiting for them and that the future’s bright, the future’s blue.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Guest Post 2 - Ed Kozak

Are you tired of politics these days? Tired of a New Labour that is old and stale? Or a Tory party that supports a neo-socialist like Obama, a party whose claims to be right wing can be called seriously into question? Maybe you are just fed up with the whole charade that is the national political scene? Well we were, and that is why we established the Edinburgh Institute. More than just a think tank, the transatlantic Edinburgh Institute is dedicated to the revival and protection of that once mighty concept: British Liberty. For too long governments on both sides of the Atlantic have trashed the very concept responsible for their existence. Whether it is the welfare state, income tax, health and safety, or even cannabis prohibition, these infringements are the very antithesis of protecting life, liberty, and estate.

Ah, life, liberty and estate! Remember those? We call them natural rights. A few hundred years ago they were important enough that protecting them resulted in regicide, regime change, and, in the American colonies, revolution. What about today? Today we live a daily existence that sees our rights trampled on. We’re told what we can or can’t do to our own bodies and where, the level of government spending is irresponsibly astronomical - which of course results in an obscene amount of taxation, and we have governments that would see the right of their own people to free speech traded in for the rights of foreigners to spread anti-western hate.

This is why we established the Edinburgh Institute. If we can remind not just the governments, but people on both sides of the Atlantic as well, where it is we come from, why the political systems are as they are, and why the American Founding Fathers and those responsible for organising the Glorious Revolution are turning in their graves wondering why we haven’t starting shooting back, then maybe we can begin to dismantle the oppressive nanny states and political correctness that plague western liberalism.

Right now the Edinburgh Institute is basically an idea. Yes it exists, and yes it is active. But if we want the Edinburgh Institute to make a difference, to start changing peoples’ minds across Great Britain and across the Atlantic, we are going to need your help. If you believe in our right to free speech you can help. If you believe in the right to control one’s own body you can help. If you believe in the free market, or legalising most drugs, or ending welfare, then you can help. The Edinburgh Institute needs volunteers to write policy, exposés on ideological enemies, politico-philosophical essays, and to do PR work. If you are a believer in freedom pure and simple, then please contact us, and help bring Liberty back to Britain.

Ed Kozak is the Policy Director of the Edinburgh Institute

Any one who is interested should drop TB and email and he will pass on your details.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Guest Post 1 - Christian May

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.

In a nutshell, our idea is this: CF will comprise of Branch Chairmen (elected) Regional Coordinators (elected) and a National Chairman (elected). Please note that none of these positions are appointments. The reason for this proposal (and I stress again that is is simply a proposal) is to make CF more effective at a local level and to increase its accountability. In replacing Area Chairs with regional Coordinators our aim is to remove the ambiguous "second layer" between Branch Chairs and the National Exec. We all know that a well run Branch often constitutes CF at its best. We also appreciate that there are many superb Area Chairs - and we think that they will function more effectively as Regional Coordinators, overseeing a larger area. Of course, if a collection of branches held an AGM and decided on the need for a figure in between themselves and the Regional Coordinator, then they could vote one in. However, this decision should be made at branch level. Again, it's about promoting accountability and grass root level effectiveness.
We anticipate that there will always be a few (largely anonymous) criticisms of this plan, but this is the 10th anniversary of CF and I think we should mark such a milestone by shaking things up a bit and giving more responsibility to the Branch chairs.

More details will be announced as and when this proposal is put to the Party. It might go ahead, it might not. Either way, your Exec are only ever working with the best interests of the members in mind, and we'd never undermine the democratic nature that is so highly valued within our organisation.