Saturday supper.


The 'Tweeting' pictured above got tBg thinking about the summer of 2008, and remembered a cracker of a story involving Ben... tBg is confused.

Big Brother is watching.


So, who's been reading Simons' emails? tBg doesn't really know whom Big Brother is here, the 'hacker' for guessing a password correctly, or Simon for tracking down the very road from where his account was accessed.


Turning Britain blue.


CF National Chairman candidate Ben Howlett has exclusively revealed his first major policy announcement to tBg. The policy focuses on Conservative Future campaigning and is dubbed; Turning Britain Blue.

The policy includes campaigning against the awful AV system and a rather adventurous pledge to hold 'Super Saturdays'. These campaign days will be held on the first Saturday of every month in each region. Ben also wants every Association to sponsor their local Conservative Future events.


Rock-ing legacy.


The new CF Constitution, or The Rock's legacy, has been revealed today with a message from the outgoing Chairman, Michael Rock.

"The following changes have been made to the document:

* To slim down the National Executive to just four elected positions, whilst keeping the flexibility of co-opting up to three more members.

* The Regional Chairmen positions were already in the document, but we wanted to ensure that in future they are always elected.

* To restructure the Area Chairman role so in future they exist as part of a regional executive under the relevant Regional Chairman.

* To remove specific quoted CF Committees (Membership & Constitutional), but to allow for committees to be established in the future if needed."


Schools Inc.


Craig Cox has today published an article on what he believes CF should be campaigning on for our schools.

Craig says: "Delivery of education should be down to professionals, charities, businesses, parent groups and local stakeholders.

The Department for Education should pick up the tab initially, but when free schools (and I mean free in every economic sense of the word) are up to full speed let’s encourage them to run efficiently, to make profit, and to improve the education they are providing."

Craig cites Sweden as a successful model where, "75% of Swedish free schools are profit seeking enterprises."

tBg got a little bit of a headache and few dizzy spells while reading Craig's argument on his white on red website. tBg would like Craig to expand on exactly how these schools are going to make monetary profit?

Read the full article.

Howlett focuses on student policy.


The Howlett campaign is expected to launch its first policy announcments tomorrow. tBg can tonight reveal one Howlett policy that will appealing to Students.

Ben said: "Over the last few weeks I have been engrossed in a mountain of emails from members asking what they want out of CF, busy addressing real policy issues and giving CF over the next few years some real substance.

My ideas have been integrated with their ideas to create a series of policy reviews that will get CF working again."

8. Howletts'; Campaigning for Students.

- CF must crush the monopoly that Liberal Democrats think they have over student voters

- Every Regional Chairman will be encouraged to work with their University Branch Chairman to run University specific campaigns

- Central resources and tool-kits will be made available to them and local associations will be able to access CF/student specific campaigning material

- If a University Branch wants to hold University specific campaigns on Graduate Tax or any other issue that appeals to students they will have the full backing on CF nationally.

Ben went on to say: "CF needs a clear agenda and this is the first step in producing a real plan and direction."

Barley Mow-Gate.



It has emerged that the member of Team Howlett, whom was involved in todays revealing email exchange between the two camps, was actually told on Tuesday that Simon was not accusing that person of any wrong doing, by the man himself.

In another leaked email Simon tells the CF member (and another whom is supposedly involved, and mentioned in todays email) that he had recieved a "bizarre text", and wanted to clarify that indeed he was not accusing that person of anything.

Read the email.

tBg is aware of allegations flying around but it seems Simon, also aware of these allegations, wants to distance himself from them and make it clear that they did not come from him.


Where's the love?



Now supporters from Ben and Simons' campaigns are at it. Team Howlett are fuming at comments made on tBg, that they might have questions to answer in regards to comments made at last Fridays hustings at Barley Mow, London. In no uncertain terms one member of Team Howlett has slammed the claims in emails sent between 27 and 28 July 2010, to an advisor of Simon Cavalier-Jones.

Email-1
Email-2

tBg must add that Simon Cavalier-Jones has never actually accused anybody in particular of wrong doing, other than saying his girlfriend was verbally abused, without mentioning what was apparently said...

"I am aware that a group of people in the room singled my Girlfriend out for abuse during the proceedings..."

"I did not hear the comment's I will not comment..."

++UPDATE 15:11:++

Simon Cavalier-Jones has just made this statement.

"I would like to make it very clear that they only people authorised to speak on behalf of my team are, myself and the joint campaign directors: Hamish Stewart and Philip Smith. No other individual has the authority to speak on behalf of the team.

Regards-

Simon


Cox caught (napping).



Congratulations to Andrew Stephenson has been appointed Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, responsible for the CF Under 30's wing of the Party. Craig Cox has burst out of the blocks to welcome him in a well scripted letter to the MP (@Tory Bear).



After tBg mentioned yesterday that Cox hadn't posted any news on his website, there has since been a flurry of action at Cox2010. Someone's arse seems to be in gear finally, and so it should be after the claim to improve communication within the CF in his letter to Andrew.



Would a LOL be appropriate?


Catching Cox.



Where is Craig Cox? Though he turned up to hustings and performed well, the prospective CF National Chairman has not had any news on his website since the 18 July. His last post on the 21st July on Facebook was his impressive campaign Launch video that was actually posted on his website on the 16th of July.

tBg has unsuccessfully tried to get hold of Craig so far. Will there be just as impressive second phase to his campaign, or are only two candidates actually taking the Internet seriously to keep in touch with CF members nationwide? It has been suggested by one Source that Cox only has support in London.

Poor online campaign management, or could it be cold feet?

Howlett launches online campaign.



Ben Howlett.com has launched today as his online campaign tool. It's quite nice to look at, and does state clearly what Ben intends to do in a "contract with you". Take a looksy.

++UPDATE: 18:33++

tBg has recieved this statement from Ben about his online campaign.

"I am pleased to launch my website, www.benhowlett.com. I have worked with my web designer to make it a little more fun and eye catching. It includes my contract with CF which I launched on Friday, my contact details and news from the campaign. I hope you and evryone else will like it.

Videos will come, but I would say to people who want to follow my campaign to follow facebook and twitter. I have embraced the wonders of social media from the very start of the campaign and with so many members of my group already, I hope to see more and more following me on twitter and joining my facebook group.

Follow me on facebook:
www.benhowlett.com/fb

Tweet your support
@cllrbenhowlett
#backben

Email me
mail@benhowlett.com"


It's really good to see all candidates realising that reaching out to every single member of CF can only be achieved through the Internet. This race seems to revolutionising CF national elections forever.

Simon Cavalier-Jones hits back.



Simon Cavalier-Jones has been quick to refute Ben Howlett's suggestion that he has been calling Howlett a supporter of racism and says the Facebook conversation is a fabrication by Team Howlett.

Simon states:

"Dear tBg,

Good to speak earlier, in terms of your article...

I wish to comment as follows: I entered the contest to become the next National Chairman for three reasons, to work to build our Membership and improve our image as a party. To get more support for branches by way of resources, training and support and to get funding to deliver this.

Sadly it would seem that my competitor is more intent on Fabricating stories about me and dragging our Party's reputation though the mud. This is everything I stand against, this is not Politics it's puerile. This kind of behaviour does not represent Conservative Future. It is destructive, selfish and nothing else.

As for the event's at Fridays hustings, I am aware that a group of people in the room singled my Girlfriend out for abuse during the proceedings. Numerous allegations have been bought to my attention over what was said, as I did not hear the comment's I will not comment, except as to say that any form of abuse is unacceptable.

I like the rest of the Membership care about the Conservative Party. Our focus must be on winning the referendum on AV, Campaigning in the London and European Elections and of course building to win a Majority at the next General Election. Let's fight Labour not each other."


tBg is aware of drunken planks at CF hustings. Whether these people are associated with Howlett or not is yet to be proven but tBg and has heard rumours that the 'original incident' is on video. The hunt is on.

Fight Fight Fight.


Following reports on Tory Bear that; "Over the weekend one IP address attempted to post 30 comments in favour of one candidate and presented some pretty spurious and libelous allegations"

tBg has recieved some comments from a Facebook chat sent from Simon Cavalier-Jones to Ben Howlett...

"1:58pmSimon
So Mr Howlett, will you issue an apology on behalf of your supporters for the racist comments?
2:01pmSimon
ok that's fine, I will take this further as your supporters on video, clearly being encouraged by you to make racist comments to my girlfriend is totally unacceptable."


tBg also saw Simons Facebook status at the weekend that viciously attacked Howlett on Gerry Adams and anti-Islamic slogan chanting. Where's the beef Simon?

Howlett respects Gerry Adams.



Last night Conservative Future held a hustings at Mahiki, London. Ben Howlett was asked which Northern Ireland politician he related to and respected, Howlett said "Gerry Adams". He then described him as a "conviction politician".

"Security force assessments contend he has held a number of senior positions within the IRA, including membership of its ruling army council, but Mr Adams has never wavered in his denials." - BBC News

tBg can only imagine that this is the only politician Howlett is aware of in Northern Ireland, as support for an IRA member & representative at a CF hustings will not win him any votes. It may in fact actively encourage others to keep him out.


Criag Cox launches CF bid.



Craig Cox has launched his somewhat Team-Cameron style bid to be National CF Chairman. His platform of "Sound Ideology" is pretty vague at moment. However, tBg now believes there is a real race on between 3 solid candidates including Simon Cavalier-Jones and Ben Howlett.

A couple of years ago Cox held up a placard which said "Bring Back Slavery" at a Nottingham Trent event. Cox did apologise "unreservedly" for his "mistake" however. Are there some things you can say sorry for and just not be believed though?

tBg will be profiling all candidates in the coming days.


Ban the Burqa.



tBg thought it appropriate to begin his return with a post about an issue he holds dear, and that is personal freedoms and civil liberties.

It seems quite fashionable for Parliaments and Assembley's around the world to debate banning the Burqa at the moment. France has indeed brought in a ban while Spain recently rejected a ban citing personal freedoms.

A latest poll suggests 67% of Brits want a ban - without balanced debate.

Those in favour of a ban make points such as security, division and the rights of women. tBg can only see social division, probably due to negative media, as an issue. Anyone can put a mask on and commit a crime. And as far as the rights of women are concered, Tory MP Caroline Spelman was taken out of context all over the media, but she put it best:

"One of the things we pride ourselves on in this country is being free, and being free to choose what you wear is a part of that, so banning the burka is absolutely contrary I think to what this country is all about.

I’ve been out to Afghanistan and I think I understand much better as a result why a lot of Muslim women want to wear the burka.

For them, the burka confers dignity, it’s their choice, they choose to go out dressed in a burka. I understand that it is a different culture from mine but the fact is in this country women want to be free to choose whether or not to go out in the morning wearing a burka."


There are currently laws in place to stop domestic abuse. Therefore tBg wholey agrees with Carolines argument. Protection and expansion of personal freedoms and civil liberties is something that should be (and is) top of the current Governments agenda.
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