Sunday, 20 November 2011

Reflections on Conservative Future

With Ben Howlett, Lord Feldman & David Cameron discussing
the past year of CF's achievements at conference
As December’s approaching I’ve been reflecting over the last year as my time on the National Executive for Conservative Future is coming to an end. It’s been an incredibly exciting 12 months as Deputy Chairman, Membership, meeting activists and pushing through changes that our organisation so badly needs. After late nights, early starts, many working weekends, I am proud to say that CF is now a more professional, efficient and respected movement, fit to enable a new generation of bright stars as they climb the political ladder.

Last summer, I ran for the position of membership because I fundamentally believe that each and every volunteer makes CF great. I immediately began restructuring the resources available for new and existing members to make processes simpler and more effective.

With Boris and Syed Kamall MEP at a NO2AV boot camp

Over the last year, in terms of training, we’ve held CF’s first ever one day conference and several candidates training workshops at CCHQ to get our activists media savvy and ready for the political spotlight. We’ve pooled all membership data from local branches and created a centralised CF database, in order to make communication easier with our members which culminated with the Prime Minister thanking all CF Chairmen for their efforts with this huge task.  Most importantly, as promised, you will be able to vote online in this year’s elections, a remarkable step forward.

But CF isn’t always about policies and procedures – the huge number of candidates from the Midlands and the North standing in the elections proves beyond doubt that CF is a truly national organisation, bursting the traditional London bubble to which it is traditionally associated. We’ve also seen a huge rise in the number of women candidates in the running, a sure sign that CF is a vibrant, forward looking organisation and a perfect starting platform for young people in politics.

With Serene, Sarah & Lewis outside No.10
after a Project Umubano reception

Like all areas of politics, youth elections can be a bumpy ride, so there will always be one or two bad eggs around, relishing the opportunity for smears and dirty politics. My advice is simple; keep smiling and carry on. Be happy in yourself, and don’t for one second let them make you as unhappy as they are. And always remember, these character traits will lead to their own undoing, whether that be now or in the future, it’s only a matter of time.  

Completing a gardening project

When people ask me why I have decided not to stand again, the answer is simple. After being involved with CF for over 13 years I believe that it’s time for a new generation of activists to step up to the mark, and take our organisation forward to even greater achievements. The last 12 months working with Ben, Serene, James and Peter has been an absolute privilege, and their hard work and commitment proves what can be achieved when you have a stable, professional team working with members to take CF forward. I have had a brilliant time this year and my proudest moment was launching the Birch Memorial School Appeal after teaching 70 street children in Sierra Leone.

Good luck to each and every candidate standing this year, the future of our organisation will be in your hands soon, and I know you’ll make us proud.

1 comment:

  1. It was a real pleasure working with you Clare and we will really miss your dedication and professionalism. I know you will go on to great things and I wish you the best of luck for the future.