Monday, 11 August 2008

The Ed Hallam Phenomenon

Not content with his new position as Chair of CLWCF it seems Ed Hallam is already preparing for his next "election":


Lets hope he remembers his YBF training...

Nod to
Iain Dale
for the software.

Working Strife

"There will be no Working Life conference this year. We will be looking to hold events later in the year, but the cost and lack of interest in working life conference last year, means we are not going ahead this year.
However, we will be ‘re-launching’ Working Life shortly. The question is, what exactly we will be re-launching? That is where you come in. I firmly believe CF is at its best when we operate as a member led organisation, so I will be taking my led on Working Life from you - the members" writes Owen Meredith on the
NME blog

Over the last year the rumour-mill has generating all sorts of banter about last year's
cancelled conference.
Senior officials claimed to the incoming NME that that Party lost "thousands" through the cancellation, but TB has been talking to a source close to the former Chairman who has shed some light on the matter- "...there was literally zero support from CCHQ for the entire time I was on the exec." The conference was cancelled at a cost of £600 due to the fact that despite an impressive range of speakers, only eleven people applied. ("
There are still some places left!
" haha!)

TB's source said "I thought that Karen [Allen] and her team did a great job and had they had even the slightest bit of support from CCHQ they would have delivered but the fact is that CCHQ don't want to know about young professionals unless they are in donor clubs"

It is reassuring to know that the the web address
is clearly still owned by Conservative Future however the main reasoning behind this post was a call to arms more than anything. Member retention after university and increasing membership of those aged 25 to 30 is a vital part of CF's role. Something has to be done.

Owen's post gives more than a smack of desperation.

If you feel you can help, why not get
in touch
? Whatever the reasons for lasts years cock-up - and it doesn't strike TB as a lack of effort, the same mistakes can not be made again. TB fired off some emails on this subject and the response from those who should be keen Working Life members was not exactly a resounding thumbs up;

"it's been 6 months since they started, I am a young professional in London and this is the first time I have heard from the NME on working life...and I bet I'm not the only one."

Let us not forget that Karen Allen failed to get re-elected to the NME after taking the poisoned Working Life chalice, having previously topped the ballot.

Better pull your finger out Owen, you were 33 votes from the top...

It's Alive!!!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Russia Vs. Georgia

Congratulations to both Russia and Georgia who rather ironically both won medals at the Olympics today...

For shooting!

Interesting to note the Russian beat the Georgians for the silver.

No one beats the Chinese it seems.

Thanks once again to "the Barrister" for his ever dry humour.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Freedom isn't Free...

A tip-off from someone who has been asked to contribute led TB to Conservative Liberty - a website very much under construction.

Apparently it's the relaunch of a blog once run by Patrick Sullivan nearly five years ago. A little googling turned up very little content of this old blog but TB did find this on Samizdata:

Why Eastenders leads to Big Government

It's a great little article and hopefully Con-Lib will follow a similar path.

Just a week ago TB was calling for more for more factionalism and discussions about ideology amongst CFers, this alone would have been a welcome addition to the blog networks. However in what appears could be a double whammy, click on the picture below to see what else has recently been registered:

Are two libertarian blogs set to go head-to-head? This is a fantastic development if it is the case... nothing like a bit of competition to ensure high quality.

OK so the tables are turned on the Thatcherites, Pro-NUS folk and the Cameroons... where are your blogs?

Friday, 8 August 2008

Hold on a second....

Thank you to the ever useful "CFer" who pinged this into TB's inbox as soon as the last post was published:

(Click to enlarge)

Seems ABB is slightly more bothered by The Blue Guerilla than she let on in that interview. Yes that comment was appalling and totally beyond the pale and it's for reasons not dissimilar from this case that TB has comment moderation, but is threatening legal action the answer? A simple phone call would have been far more effective than hollow threats.

TB would like to think that this issue could be resolved amicably and the need for threats of legal action disappears from CF.

Exclusive: ABB and London Spin

Seems it's a flurry of interviews in the CF Blog world today... London Spin has be given a Pravda style Q and A with Anastasia Beaumont-Bott. It's billed as an exclusive "My Story":

TB hasn't seen it all yet but hears that it covers all sorts and can reveal first and once and for all that ABB will not be running for Chairman of Conservative Future.

Here's what she had to say about TB:

Q. -What do you think of current blogs and their content (TBG, TB) do you think it does damage to the Conservative brand?

A. I think Blogs have the potential to be an amazing tool in gauging the CF membership, engaging the CF membership and involving them too. TB and TBG are the two most talked about ‘anonymous’ (though I guess my definition of anonymous and theirs slightly differ). When they report on something factual or find a discrepancy in something, it is right to bring it to the attention of others. As long as the facts are presented then the debate can be held but there must also be a willingness to admit when they get something wrong.

We have also got to remember, as recently shown in a post by tBg that it isn’t just members of CF that read these blogs. While I must stress that we should be able to air our views, the one thing that saddens me is that people use the apparent anonymity to simply attack – that only makes us look like we inhabit the schoolyard. We need to show a united front, but we also need to be united in our aim to get the Conservative Party elected.

Perhaps this is something the NME need to look at and possibly develop a way in which CF can air its grievances and concerns? The Blogs can then be used to discuss the more immediate concerns and worries – like what Labour is doing to this country, but gives the Bloggers more ability to do what they set out to, to hold proper debates.

The rest of the interview can be found on
London Spin
at some point today.

The Bear Necessities - Michael Rock

Tucking into a dim sum lunch Michael Rock is looking remarkably relaxed for a man trying to juggle a full time job, what should be a full time job and his marriage. TB found his famed easy-going style lived up to its reputation, but don’t let that fool you. Beneath that Michael is articulate and astute, a man with a plan…

From a man whose interests on Facebook are “lamenting the loss of liberty” you would expect him simply to do just that – lament, but Michael is one of what he calls the “new generation” on the libertarian wing of the party. Instead of being all talk over cigars and port in the Carlton Club, Michael is adamant he will stamp his lasting influence on Conservative Future. His libertarian, small government, no nonsense outlook on life is the backbone to his intended restructuring of CF. Using Europe as a vague analogy he claims CF “needs a better structure, needs to be more independent from CCHQ, and we need to be in a position where branch chairs have more autonomy.”

Although the exact details of the restructuring cannot be released to the members until they have been approved by the Party Board, we will know by conference exactly what they are. Michael describes the reforms as “radical – we are the radicals and we will always be!” The reforms however will not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the Rock4CF manifesto – a document that is being put into action bit by bit all be it “slower than initially anticipated because of the very slow bureaucratic nature of CCHQ.”

At 29 Michael is one of the oldest active CF members, he seems to have taken to his role as the big cheese, the leader, very well. His age provides him with a certain gravitas over the younger members but unlike many of the students who make up the core of the membership Michael has a job. Despite being full-time information consultant his day is dominated by phone calls and anything up to fifty emails concerning CF and that’s just before the social events in the evenings. Friday night is Mrs Rock time though! He brushes away TB’s suggestion that it can’t all be fun and games but is clearly a hard man to faze. Despite certain blogs having emerged focusing on CF in the last few months, the nastier and darker sides of CF come in attacks that are not always meant for the public eye. Just this week Michael has had to deal with a fake document that slammed his record so far and worst of all the attacker falsely claimed it was written by Patrick Sullivan, not only a very loyal NME member but a friend. The attack backfired though,

this sophisticated fake
has failed to sway the determined Chairman - Michael is extremely thick skinned “it’s incredibly hard to insult me. I don’t take attacks personally because most of the things that are offensive are inaccurate.” He is trying to spread this attitude to his NME - “Just don’t worry about it! I guess that the younger you are less thick skinned you are.”

Though he is ambitious for his term in office, Michael is realistic. He constantly stresses his concern with the relationship and role CCHQ plays over the organisation. “We’ll be ok” for a general election if it was called post conference – “the target seats ‘issue’ wasn’t the best way to do it – we accept the fifteen target seats in the same way accept any seat – we need to win.” Michael is adamant that the relationship CF has with CCHQ has to change. Firstly CF still has no access to the data of all its members; the Chairman can not send an email to all its members in one go- “come on this is 2008!” Secondly over yet more dumplings the staffing of CF is discussed. Michael would like to see two full time staff of CF age devoting their time fully and completely to the everyday running of the organisation, something that is clearly needed -“there are members of CF that don’t know they are members of CF!”

Although he is careful not to discuss successor to a job that is not yet vacant, by far the biggest grin of the afternoon comes at the suggestion of the chances of getting David Davis to take over Justine Greenings role as CF’s MP were she to be promoted. Freedom is high up on the Rock agenda and he accepts that as it is “it’s a territory that the party can’t really go… That’s why we need get the independence. We’re the next generation; we need to plan for the next twenty years. There’s nothing worse than a Party troll!” Michael is adamant the “the next generation” is a libertarian one and the structure of CF has to reflect this. He has completely uncomplicated views on tax and government but isn’t the sort to bore you to tears with his opinions on flat tax and cutting red tap.

So what next for Michael Rock? It seems the safe seat in the shires and a couple of rug rats are not on the agenda for anytime soon. He’ll be doing the PAB – but only because the Approved Candidate list will be closing soon, “just so it’s there” he claims. “There is no way in the world I would be able to even think about a seat while I am still Chairman.” Rejecting the idea of moving to a random constituency he dreams of fighting his hometown but still genuinely thinks he is too young to be an MP. Lighting a Marlboro, forced outside by the state he so opposes, Michael looks to the future;

“You can be very influential in politics without being an MP… no kids yet - I'm not that desperate for new members!"

Watching Rock disappear back to work through the crowds of Oxford Circus TB reckons this unpretentious and perceptive man will not only go far, but leave a lasting radical impression, on what is essentially a reactionary organisation.


Apologies for the lack of posts today.. been working on something big. Also interviewed Michael Rock over lunch. Will report on that in the morning.

In the mean time
has this hilarious little scoop... Team Brown are preparing to launch Number10tv, no not a cheap spin off of 18 Doughty Street but in fact GB's very own internet broadcasts from the Downing Street website....

You would have thought those running this glorious nation would have the sense to buy the domain name
though would you not?

Check it out for a laugh!

A very well timed prank by the
Freedom Fighters

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Letters from America

Donal Blaney is leading his annual jaunt across the pond at the moment. This time students of the Young Britons Foundation have enjoyed an exclusive tour of the White House, (surely the last for eight years if Obama wins?) as well as having fantastic courses in media training, TV technique, campus activism and campaign technology. All of this can be deployed in the UK to expand CF's presence and activity.

However one young delegate has got himself into a little trouble it seems – nothing like a good sex scandal to further Anglo-American relations. A co-conspirator across the pond has got in touch with this little tale…

While the YBFers stay at George Washington University, Oliver Cooper has taken a leaf out of Hugh Grant or even Clinton's book and much to the apparent surprise of the other delegates, has shacked up with "the hottest girl".

This developing special relationship was however nearly over before it had fully bloomed…

Mr Cooper, 21, a leading UCL Tory, was caught and reprimanded by campus security for "indecent exposure" relating to what can only be described for some sort of naughtiness that took place late a night on a park bench…

The young lovers were escorted back to their separate dorms.


TB is waiting for a photo of the "hotty" - go on send it someone...

All good things come to an end...

RIP the source of gossip, bitchiness and general banter.

Submit your Questions...

"Bear Necessities" is a new series of interviews TB will be undertaking over the next few months.

Who better to launch it with than CF Chairman Michael Rock. TB will be sitting down to interview him this week. What do you want to know?

Submit your questions below or email them to TB...

Monday, 4 August 2008

By popular request...

Yes he really is called
Randy Gaylord

Hat Tip - The "Barrister"

Always a laugh...

In case you don't remember:

Haha, had forgotten quite how bad it was.

Blue Guerilla released back into the wild...

Where is the

The Blue Guerilla

It's been five days now since his last posting so TB thought he would investigate. "Ha. Iv been on a 5day bender mate!" was the blunt response... He still found time to comment on here it seems. Though there are few details of what this bender has consisted of, he is clearly away from his desk!

This was the last sighting reportedly from 2 AM Friday night:

Any one with any information to where tBg might be are asked to call 020 7722 3333.

Cheap gin and Travelodges

(click photos to enlarge)

picked up on a pretty significant point raised in the CF
FT article

So what did Tory Bear think?

Essentially this was a positive piece and dare it be said, an accurate portrayal of the how things are going in the CF world at the moment - there is a still a small old school possie and it's inevitable that this would get a nod. Let us not forget that this is the FT we are talking about- for the last few years it has been resolutely anti-Conservative and is the most pro-European of the Fleet Street rags. A couple of cheap shots aside, (plus the odd factual inaccuracy... A little harsh to describe the "sound" faction of the FCS as the ones with "eye-watering" extreme policy. That would have been the authoritarians surely?) it could have been a lot worse!

CF comes of pretty well - bar a few extraordinary clangers and the justified attack by Blackhurst on the usual cringefully obvious careerism that is the dark-side of CF. Unsurprisingly this is directed at one member and TB will leave you to work out who, lets just say had they had been born ten years earlier...

There is a definite element of gentle piss-taking involved- TB wishes he remembered Thatcher!

We should take pieces like this and learn from them. Next time CFers are in the presence of journos maybe keep the snuff in the jacket pocket, maybe not talk about getting naked and for fuck sake make your photos private on Facebook to avoid the likes of "Their social networking pages show pictures of an England of Pimm's, polo and county shows."

Michael was absolutely bang on with his description of the average member and comes of very well in the piece. Up until the very end (with the final paragraph reeking of editorial influence,) the piece does not go on a full out attack.

The member of the NME who threatened to resign over this is worrying too much... at the end of the day very few people read the FT weekend magazine!

Given what TB has heard of the drunken evenings spent with Rob Blackhurst from the FT this could have been a much worse piece, but TB believes it to be fair.

"...they can smell victory - and they want it very badly"

A friendly test...

In what was billed as "A friendly test between two historical institutions. Fifty overs between two teams of gentleman cricketers" The Carlton Club, despite being after revenge for last years narrow defeat were once again beaten by The Conservative and Unionist Cricket Club.

The Carlton failed to make the 155 set by a team made of of CCHQ staffers, prominent chiefs of staff and press officers.

Third year lucky for The Carlton perhaps...

Saturday, 2 August 2008

FT Article

Article is

... Seems pretty positive at first read.

More on this later... In the mean time TB is frolicking in the countryside.

Have to admit TB winced at some elements. In depth analysis and photos tomorrow but for now...

Rock - sound.
Sullivan - Not sure what that quote was about but came off well.
ABB- not sure where to start.
Liza - Good but the last line was a little dodge.
Morton - well one public school boy had to get a mention.

There is a definate element of gentle piss taking in the article but could have been a lot worse.

Going to sleep on this one.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Friday, 1 August 2008


BoJo has this afternoon

endorsed Obama
"Mr Johnson said an Obama win could boost the self-image of young black Londoners. In an interview for the August edition of Square Mile magazine, he said: "John McCain has many, many wonderful qualities, but I think a Barack Obama victory would do fantastic things for the confidence and the feelings of black people around the world." Asked whether his words constituted an endorsement, he replied: "Yes"

If TB were John McCain he'd be pretty pissed - after coming to Bournemouth of all places to talk to an empty hall while everyone was trying to get their passes, the least we can do is support the old codger...

ObamaCon is an oxymoron.

When will people realise despite the glossy campaign he is a socialist?

+++Jonathan Isaby quits Telegraph for ConHome+++

Announcement is apparently imminent but word on the street is that Three Line Whip editor and former CFer Jonathan Isaby has quit his post at the Telegraph to go work for ConHome.

More when it is announced.

UPDATE 12.37:

are playing this as quite a coup for Shakespeare and co. Isaby has been appointed co-editor. It's an excellent appointment and will be a huge boost to the site.

Now TB realises why he didn't get the job...