Thursday, 19 May 2011

Sweden YC's come to visit

The Swedish Young Conservatives, led by Vice-President Lisa Hogkill are coming over for a few days next week to visit us. MUF is the youth wing of the Swedish Conservative Party Moderaterna, which is led by the Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. 

London North Central Area South East, Richmond Park and Kingston CF Branch will be co-hosting a reception for them.

Guest speakers include: Greg Hands MP, Nirj Deva MEP for the South East and Marina Yannakoudakis MEP for London

Please make sure that you attend to welcome the Swedish Delegation.

Date: Friday May 27th
Time: 7.30pm-9.30pm
Location: CCHQ, 30 Millbank
Ticket: £5 entry 
RSVP: Due to security reasons you must register in advance with
Facebook link

Book Launch

Last night I went to the much anticipated book launch of The Cameron-Clegg Government by Simon Lee and Matt Beech of the University of Hull. It gives a frank review of the last year of the coalition government. 

The Daily Telegraph's Chief Political Commentator Peter Oborne spoke and it was interesting to meet a eclectic range of people.

I look forward to reading the book and giving you a review when finishing it. 

Monday, 16 May 2011

Having a baby- A Privilege or a Right?

On Wednesday 18th May the Conservative Women's Organisation is hosting another forum discussion on whether having a baby is a privilege or a right.

Guest speakers include Dr Daniel Poulter MP who before he entered parliament was a previous NHS doctor specialising in obstetrics, gynaecology and women's health and Lord Howard Flight who was an MP until 2005.

CWO provide this info about the discussion: 

With available and developing medical technology, there are more chances of couples previously unable to have children (e.g. homosexuals, post-menopausal women and medically barren couples) to be able to assist nature. Should everyone have free access to pregnancy assistance? Every day, children are removed from abusive parents and become wards of court. Should certain groups or individuals be prevented from having children?

Come along and join in the discussion!

To RSVP please email to register your attendance. 

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Future for China-EU Relations

Last Friday Conservative Future were invited to take part in a roundtable discussion with the Chinese Ambassador and his embassy officials as part of the EU-China Year of Youth. Other youth groups from political parties were invited to contribute to this discussion including; Liberal Youth, the Young Fabians and Young Labour. The discussion was stimulating, interesting and heated and looked at issues from educational links that both the EU and China can have to a topical debate on resolving climate change. 

Conservative Future’s Chairman Ben Howlett spoke on trade relations between the two countries: “Chinese-British trade relations have never been stronger and we want to see that continue and grow in the future. Younger people rely on a growing economy and a growth in trade between our two nations will result in more jobs for both of our economies.”

We would like to thank the Chinese Embassy and his excellency Ambassador Lui Xiaoming for his kind invitation to this event.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Guest Post: Cllr Peter Cannon

Dartford's newly elected councillor Peter Cannon has written this article which is excellent: 

The rejection of AV- another massive failure of the 'progressive majority'

With the monumental rejection of AV by the huge margin of 68% to 32% in the second UK-wide referendum ever in British history, the Guardianistas and Independent / New Statesman ‘progressive majority’ types have not had so much egg on their faces since they jumped on the Cleggmania bandwagon and backed the Lib Dems at the last election. Despite the ‘anti-politics’ mood, people voted overwhelmingly not to change our much-maligned electoral system. The Guardian, Independent and New Statesman largely justified their backing for the Lib Dems on the ‘historic opportunity’ for electoral reform – now the British people have crushed that dream. What can electoral reform advocates moan about now? They had their chance, and they blew it. The people said no, by more than 2 to 1. They can’t blame the voting system for that one.

It was amusing that the only ten areas (out of 441) in the whole of Britain that voted yes were university cities like Oxford and Cambridge, trendy-lefty London boroughs like Islington and Camden and the student parts of central Edinburgh and Glasgow Kelvin. I don’t know who it was who started the vicious rumour that Scotland and Wales were likely to vote Yes to AV: they both voted overwhelmingly No (regardless of the support of the SNP and Plaid Cymru for the Yes side). So did Sheffield and Doncaster, the cities represented by Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband.

An article by Tom Clark, leader-writer of the Guardian, says sadly: "No one ever claimed that Guardian readers were representative of the wider population, but compare the referendum result with the views you expressed in our own survey a couple of years ago, and you could be forgiven for thinking that planet Guardian exists in an entirely different universe." Indeed.

So who are the Guardianistas going to blame, and what are their excuses this time? As always, they obviously cannot blame themselves, or accept that the British people really didn’t want what they wanted.

Tom Clark claims: "But this is not, in fact, a case of a chasm between those branded the chattering classes by their detractors, and the wider population." Really? With a 68-32 No, despite all the condemnation of the No campaign? Clark goes on to hilariously blame leaflets from the Electoral Commission for "making AV look horrendously complex" and including "entirely superfluous information (aka the truth), such as the fact that the lack of an obligation to rank all of the candidates means an election can, in certain circumstances, be won with less than half the total votes." Ah yes, the fact that AV doesn't work.

So will the electoral reformers accept that they have lost? Not a bit of it.

Katie Ghose, the chair of the Yes to Fairer Votes campaign, lamented: "The referendum hasn't been the debate on issues of democracy that people would have hoped for. Too often the debate has been about party politics and the public has been shut out of discussing how we choose our MPs." Well, when they were finally ‘let in’, they made their views rather clear. She adds: "Over five million people voted for change - a tribute to our campaigners." And over eleven million voted against it.

Chris Huhne went further, writing in the Independent that "No reform now means bigger reform later". He writes: "When change comes, as it will, it is likely to be more radical. The problems to which electoral reformers are responding have not gone away and will continue to demand an answer." What breathtaking arrogance and contempt for the electorate – the British people have given you your answer. This reminds me of the argument that it was 'inevitable' that Britain would join the Euro - look how that one turned out.

In a ridiculous line of attack, Chris Huhne argued: "Last week, David Cameron proved that he is a real Tory, because he fell in line with the long tradition of Tory leaders who resisted devolution, votes for women, and even votes for all men." What a pathetic and spiteful argument - how is campaigning for people to vote No to AV in any way equivalent to denying rights to anyone?" Huhne, of course, conveniently forgets that it was in fact a Conservative government which introduced universal and equal suffrage. But that does not fit in with the simplistic left-wing fantasy version of history.

The Lib Dems, who are reacting to their defeat with childish outbursts against their Conservative coalition ‘partners’ must not be rewarded for this disgraceful behaviour. Nor should they be compensated for the verdict of the British people, or given a consolation prize for their losses at the ballot box – that would be a display of contempt for the electorate and an inversion of the logic of democracy. The Lib Dems are in no position to demand anything, nor do they have any right or mandate to. They had their big prize – a referendum on electoral reform – but the people voted no. It is absurd that they should feel aggrieved that the public voted ‘the wrong way’. They now seem to feel betrayed because they got it into their heads that part of the coalition agreement was not only that they would have a referendum but that they would win it – that the Conservatives would just sit back, say nothing, and let them win unopposed. That seems to be the Lib Dems’ idea of democracy. Not merely an electoral system stacked in their favour, but a referendum stacked in their favour as well. Thank goodness they have been denied the boost in power which AV would have given them.

Perhaps the other people who need to think again are those who go on about the so-called ‘progressive majority’. The argument from Vince Cable, Peter Mandelson and others that AV would bolster the ‘progressive majority’ against the wicked Tory minority, presumably with an endless future of Lib-Lab pacts, evidently did not appeal to much of the electorate. Perhaps they need to wake up to the fact that the ‘progressive majority’ does not exist beyond their own imaginations. The reality is that many Labour voters do not subscribe to the trendy ‘progressive’ causes of social liberalism, multiculturalism, European integration, pacifism, republicanism, secularism and nuclear disarmament. Labour and the Liberal Democrats are not the same. Did anyone really vote ‘progressive’ at the last election? I thought not. The AV referendum is a clear example of the majority of Conservative AND Labour voters uniting to reject the ‘progressive’ cause of the moment.

The ‘progressive majority’ myth died with AV.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

CCHQ launch new poster....


Thank You

On behalf of Conservative Future I’d like to say a big thank you to all activists across the country who have been campaigning tirelessly hard over the last six months.

We have had an solid set of results for what was always going to be a tough set of elections and we should be very proud of what we’ve achieved. The Conservative Party fielded council candidates in 94% of the seats up for election in England which was the largest of any political party.

I know that there are CF members across the country who stood as candidates so congratulations to those of you that won and commiserations to those that did not but remember that there is always next time.

Our vote share held up throughout England and we even gained seats across local councils such as Dartford where we gained 5 seats to Labour’s loss of 3.

The country nationwide also voted a resounding NO in the AV referendum. Turnout was higher than expected with 42% of the vote and with over 13 million people across the UK voting against it, AV was rejected by a 70% vote share to a YES vote share of just 30%

These results prove that the government is on track with their three main priorities in the first half of this year, growth, aspiration and modernising public services.

Speaking at CCHQ our Prime Minister said:
“The Conservative vote share has held up and I think that is because Conservative councils and councillors have done a good job up and down the country providing quality services and keeping their costs and their tax bills under control.”

In an open letter to all Conservative activists across the UK, our Co-Chairman Baroness Warsi said:
“I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your hard work over this election campaign.
Having spent the last few months touring the country, meeting thousands of you and taking part in your campaigns, I have seen at first hand the effort you have all put in and I am proud to be part of a party which has such devoted activists.
Because of your determination, dedication and drive our campaign has only got stronger as we have taken our message to the country: don't let Labour do to your Council what they did to our Country.
Above all, these elections were all about protecting a core British belief, an idea that has been the bedrock of our democracy for many years: One Person, One Vote. The campaign against AV is something that I am very passionate about and although we won't know the final results until later this evening, I can tell you now we have fought a strong, principled and proud campaign.
Once again thank you on behalf of everyone in the Conservative party for making every second count in this campaign.”

Thursday, 5 May 2011


Today in the first nationwide referendum for 36 years the nation has a chance to defend One Person, One Vote.

Even though the latest ComRes poll for The Independent gives the NO2AV campaign a 32 point lead among people who have made up their minds, voters need still to be encouraged to get to their polling station and vote NO today.

Five reasons why:

COMPLEXITY- Current system, First Past the Post is so simple it can be summed up in 7 words: the person with the most votes wins

UNFAIR- Under First Past the Post everyone gets one vote and that vote is counted once which is fair. Under AV, supporters of fringe parties can get their votes counted again and again which is unfair. It’s not right that the fifth vote of a Monster Raving Looney supporter counts as much as someone’s first vote.

GIVING YOUR POWER TO POLITICIANS- Under AV it takes power away from people and gives it to politicians. Under our current system we can vote out governments as in 1979 and last year. Under AV this is less likely and would give more opportunities for tired politicians to cling onto power long after their time.

COST- Current system is cheap to administer and under AV it will no doubt cost more and bring extra bureaucracy with it.

UNPOPULAR- First Past the Post is used by half the planet including India and America. AV is used in just three countries: Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.