Friday, 18 November 2011
EXCLUSIVE: Chairman Candidate Nick Southworth speaks to tBg.
Conservative Future candidate for National Chairman, Nick Southworth, has today released his first FIVE policies to tBg. Nick was in a very relaxed attitude and told tBg: "Here are the first five. I will be releasing more as the campaign goes on. Quite simply I want CF to be the best platform ever provided for young conservatives. My policies are ambitious but essential if as a group we are to become a mature, unified and powerful force. Enjoy."
Nicks first five policies:
1. CF elections should be moved to the conservative party conference. More people will get to meet the candidates and we can hold a live webcast hustings for everyone nationwide to watch. People should be allowed to make an informed decision. Currently people running for a position as chairman or on the national executive know that to win you have to travel across the country to meet the branches and universities which make up our membership. For many excellent candidates this is too expensive, and a block against standing.
2. CF is about ideas and opinions. That we have no national debating competition and no online forum to meet others and express opinions is therefore the antithesis to what we should be. Yes people say that online discussions can lead to embarrassment for the party potentially, but we need this outlet. If the party can’t trust us to have mature and sensible debates, how can we trust the party? Debate, debate, debate. Ideas and opinion are what make us the future, I want to see more inter-branch debating, regional debating competitions, leading to a national debating competition at either the spring forum or national conference. London Conservative Future have lead the way with their recent highly successful London Wide great debate competition, and it’s time to follow their lead.
3. What does CF offer to you? Why should normal people join? Beyond the political CF doesn’t offer enough to its members. I want membership to mean something. In the South West to high effect they have negotiated discounts, VIP entry and a host of other benefits which give CF currency. If you want to expand membership, expand what your offering.
4. More openness. If you elect me, I want to know when you think I’m doing a bad job. I don’t want back biting, I don’t want grumbling, I want productive discourse. Furthermore If the Chairman is doing terribly, there should be a right to recall. Find two hundred members who want a recall, and the Chairman must resign and either fight again or leave. Accountability is the key and a similar model must be created for regional and local chairs.
5. The CF Trust and CF Social Hub. My Great Aunt is in her 90’s, she still campaigns and was asked to stand as a councillor only a few years ago. She joined the conservatives when she was 14 years old, because they were the only place near her which had a ping pong table. These basic attractions have not changed. Right now CF is criticised for lacking a soul. I propose the most radical concept in CF history. The establishment of the CF Trust with the long term ambition of the creation of the CF Social Hubs, properties held by CF for CF so we can have a tangible heart. All money will go into the CF Trust, and every regional chairman, and one chairman for universities will be appointed trustees controlling how this money is spent. The money will be accessible for all regions to apply for. This way we can bring power to our northern regions bringing them closer to the heart of CF, as well as bringing our universities into the fold. This will also gives weaker regions the chance to access funds to help them grow and develop in areas where money shortages are a problem.
Nick said: "The ultimate aim of the CF Trust is the establishment of the CF Social Hub. The senior party has CCHQ, other affiliated Tory groups have the Carlton Club, the Commonwealth Club etc we need our own. This will become our social home, and I want in the long distance, every major area with a large conservative membership to have one and to aspire to have one. This is not a short term project, we must fundraise, we must meet donors, conservative business owners, entrepreneurs, anyone who can help. This requires an immense effort from every young conservative to make this a reality. The social hubs will serve as a focus for our movement, hosting televised debates, socials, networking events and guest speakers.
There will be no costly membership fees which price people out, there will be no swindling of members through high bar costs, they are for all our members. If possible these hubs will have accommodation, and if you’re visiting an area with a CF hub then you have the option to spend a cheaper night there than at a hotel. They will become our mecca of political thought, where we can remember our history and mould our future through ideas. This is a big idea, but it is an exciting idea, the sign of a maturing society thinking bigger and better than ever before.
Within conservative future we have the talent and ingenuity to make this our reality, to overcome the myriad of obstacles which face us, and so I put this and the CF Trust as my keystone policies to all of you."
Nick added: "I want your ideas. How can we make CF better for you. Throughout my campaign we will be releasing more policies so watch this space."
You can follow Nick on Twitter; @Nic_Southworth
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