Wednesday, 2 January 2013
EXCLUSIVE: Less Bus More Base - Holmes wants to focus on strategy.
Paul Holmes wants to lead the Youth Wing of the Tory Party, Conservative Future (CF)
In a Q&A session with tbg Holmes talks about Ben Howlett and his opponents in the upcoming CF election. Holmes also reveals his council estate roots, how he wants a strong CF campaign team in based in every region & his admiration for Harold MacMillan and Dr Pepper.
Simply, why are you a Conservative?
"For me, I joined the Conservatives because they are the true party of aspiration.
"I was born and my parents still live on a South London council estate. I attended an average comprehensive and studied hard. I became the first in my family to go to university and earn a degree.
"I believe that most people in this country want to be independent, responsible and work hard. This is why I am a Conservative, a believer that the state should only involve itself in matters where absolutely necessary and lets people get on with themselves most of the other times.
But the state should be there, as a barrier to harm and hardship, and the Conservatives have always believed in supporting those in need.
"This will be the message that runs through Conservative Future if I am elected."
What's you favourite fizzy pop beverage?
"Dr Pepper - served from the fridge."
Why do you want to be Conservative Future National Chairman?
"I joined the Conservatives aged 16, in 2004. I was working for Jacqui Lait, then MP for Beckenham, and set up Lewisham West & Penge CF.
"Now, Lewisham is not a traditional Tory area. However, from getting out there and speaking to voters – young and old, it was clear that most people shared our values.
"Since then I have wanted to help continue to break down the barriers that stop people voting Conservative.
"In Southampton, I chaired the university’s association before running as a city councillor. Several months later, I was promoted to cabinet member for children’s services and learning.
"The party’s youngest ever holder of a major local authority portfolio was quite a daunting task at first, but I persevered and the results followed.
"In order for the Conservatives to win, we need to be ready and able to fight across the whole of the United Kingdom.
"Conservative Future has an integral part to play in breaking down those barriers and so making sure that our infrastructure allow it to compete in that fight, is a job I’d relish.
"My knowledge of and experience in the Conservative Party will ensure the organisation successfully builds on its achievements while addressing the issues voiced by our members."
What do you think of your now seeming likely opponents Matt Robinson and Oliver Cooper?
"They have both served our party in different ways and I for one will not criticise the help that they have given to the party. But let’s not forget that neither has officially declared; only James Deighton has.
"I do not want the CF National Chairman campaign to be bogged down by perceived personal attacks.
"Individually, Charlotte and I decided to run over summer. But it was apparent at this year’s Conservative Party Conference that we could work better together.
"We took the decision to announce our intentions and kick-start the campaign in November rather than hold-off and work under cover so to speak. I said then and I’ll repeat it now: this will be a clean campaign, a campaign that focuses on the issues and the policies.
"Since then Charlotte and I have shown what can be achieved, in a short space of time, with the campaign gaining momentum day-by-day. We will not engage in personal politics and I hope that my fellow candidates also play by those rules. Only time will tell if they agree and stick to that."
Who is your greatest political inspiration and why?
"Two of my greatest political inspirations are linked: Harold MacMillan and Margaret Thatcher.
"MacMillan started the culture of spreading genuine aspiration to the many, in the 1950’s and 60’s, through his housing programme.
"Making this the beginning of a long journey, if people look after themselves and are responsible they can achieve prosperity and independence.
"Add to that perhaps one of the greatest political moves in this country’s history: Thatcher’s right-to-buy schemes.
"This single policy changed the demographics and ability of the Conservatives to attract people who had never voted for us before.
"I am delighted that the current government is developing this policy. We are showing that we are on the side of all hard working people."
Where do you see Conservative Future being as an organisation come the 2015 General Election and do you think David Cameron can achieve a Conservative majority?
"I do think that David Cameron can win us a majority.
"He must speak with clarity to our natural supporters while speaking sense to the forgotten majority in our country. We must win over ethnic voters but also working class voters, who we lost the support of from 1997 onwards.
"We need to better communicate how we are standing up for the average voter while reminding the country of the mess that Labour left us in.
"Conservative Future must be ready as both a nationwide campaigning tool as well as a policy-building organisation. Our manifesto addresses both."
Do you think Ben Howlett has been a good thing for CF?
"Ben successfully won two consecutive terms as National Chairman.
"During his time he has increased the number of supporters, mobilised the campaigning base and professionalized the organisation.
"If elected though, I want to make sure that instead of having to bus people everywhere from London, we have local strong campaign teams in every location in the UK.
"I wish him well in the future and I’m certain that CF members will be out campaigning for him one day soon.
"However I believe there needs to be change. We must become more focused, more strategic. That means working even harder. There’s still much more to do."
Do you believe in God?
"Well my family are Christians and while I believe in something - I’m still working that one out!"
2015 General Election alastair wilson alexandra swann amy atkinson anastasia beaumont bott Andrea Jenkyns andrew mitchell andrew pelling andrew thorpe-apps andy burnham andy coulson angela merkel Annesley Abercorn anti muslim anti-gay argentina assault austin mitchell back boris back boris 2012 backbencher ban banned barack obama barley mow-gate bath cf bbc ben howlett benefit cap benefits bnp bob crow bob lanzer boris boris island boris johnson boston boundary changes Brexit brighton british rail budget bullying callum crozier cameron brown campaigning cannabis cardiff catholic cchq cf cf east cf election cf london cf policy forum cf poll cf wales cfelection11 channel 4 channel five charlotte argyle child benefit china chris grayling chris heaton-harris chris huhne chris pain christine emmett christmas Christopher Harries clare hilley cllr stephen west CLWCF coalition conference conservative future conservative future chairman conservative party conservative party conference Conservative Way Forward conservative womens organisation conservativehome conservatives corby council councillors craig cox craig lawton crawley crimes criminal cross keys homes croydon cuts cyril smith daily express daily mail daily mirror dan hannan danielle fleet danny alexander darius laws dashtory data protection david cameron david davis david laws david miliband dean hyatt death death penalty debt defect deficit democracy democrats deputy chairman disabled dominic mcdonough donal blaney donald trump donations downing street drunk DWP east midlands eastleigh economy ed balls ed davey ed miliband ed vaizey edl education eimhear macfarlane einy shah election Ellie Vesey-Thompson Elliott Johnson energy england english defence league environment epsom and ewell cf equal rights eric joyce eric pickles essex eu eu referendum europe evening standard exeter expenses facebook falklands feltham and heston film food food banks foreign aid foreign policy fox news france francis maude free press free schools freedom friends of Israel fuel funding fundraising funeral funny gagged gareth shanks gavin barwell gavin cook gay gay marriage gaza GE2017 general election geoff brooking george galloway george osborne gerald vernon-jackson geroge galloway Gerry Adams gordon brown gossiptory grant shapps grant tucker greenpeace gregg barker growth guardian guido fawkes gulf war halloween hampshire tories harry aldridge harry cole hartlepool health care heathrow help for heroes henry smith hollande holmes_argyle home office homophobia homosexuality house of commons howard bloom hugh muir human rights iain dale iain duncan smith ids immigration india industry inflation international aid IRA iran iraq war islam israel italy jack buckby jack whalley jacob rees-mogg Jacob Wilkinson james cleverly james deighton james morton james wharton jasmine rahman jeremy browne jeremy hunt Joan Ryan jobs joe cooke john bercow John Ferrett john hayes john mccain john peck john prescott john pye john redwood johnathan levy josh geddes julian assange justine greening karl mccartney karl williamson Kavya Kaushik KCL Tories ken clarke ken livingstone knife crime labour labour party labour youth laura-rose saunders law and order leadership bid lee gilroy leeds legal len mcCluskey Leon French leveson lgbt lgbtory lgbtq in ukip liam byrne liam fox Liam Walker lib dem lib dem rebellion liberal democrats liberal youth liberty liberty league lincoln lincolnshire lincolnshire cf liverpool liza chantelle lobbying london london 2012 london cf london spin loony left lord oakeshott lords lords reform louise mensch louise powell louth louth & horncastle lynton crosby mahiki mahiki-gate mahyar tousi mail on sunday manchester margaret thatcher maria hutchings maria miller marijuana mark clarke mark hoban mark reckless martin shapland matt robinson matthew robinson matthew wilson mayor of london michael champion michael fabricant michael gove michael mates michael rock micheal heseltine middle east mike hancock milton spies mitt romney mo metcalf-fisher Morley & Outwood mugabe muheed jeeran muslim nabil najjar nadine dorries national union of students nationalisation nazi neil hamilton netenyahu nhs nick clegg nick de bois nick southworth nicolas clark nigel farage north east north korea north west northern ireland nottingham notts county council nus oliver cooper olly neville ollyshambles olympics OUCA oxford university paddy ashdown palestine parliament parliament street party patrick mercer patrick sullivan paul holmes pensions peter mandelson peter smallwood peterborough petition philip smith phillip smith phone hacking piers morgan plotting PMQs police police and crime commissioner policy political scrapbook poll pop charts portsmouth portsmouth south posh poster campaign president hollande prime minister priti patal private sector privatisation protest public sector putin quit R.I.P. racism racist railways re-shuffle rebekah brooks rebellion recession red ed red nose day reece warren referendum religion republican party reshuffle revolution rich people richard farnell richard holloway Richard Williams richmond cf rob comley rob manning robert manning robin hunter-clarke ross butcher royal mail rufford rupert murdoch russia sacked salford samantha hoy sanctions sarah harding sarah palin sarah-jane sewell saudi arabia sayeeda warsi schools scotland scottish independence scottish tories secret society sex sexism shane moore Silvio Berlusconi simon danczuk simon harley simon hughes sir george young sky news SNP social action socialism south east south east cf south-west cf south-west regional chairman Southampton spending stacey bott stephen canning stephen hoffman steve hilton stewart jackson stoke-on-trent strike surrey cf swansea cf syria tara hewitt tax tax cuts tax payers alliance tbg tbg tv teamjasmine telegraph terrorists the commentator the guardian the hoff the old lion the pope the queen the sun the times the wright stuff theblueguerilla theresa may thorpe-apps tim farron toby elliot tommy robinson tony blair tory tory bear tory chairman tory reform group trade union transport trolls tuc tuition fees twitter ucl uganda uk ukip ukip conference unemployment unions UNISON unite Universal Credit usa victoria ayling vince cable violence violent protest virgin trains wales war wedding welfare welsh conservatives west coast rail westminster whitehall william hague wind farms wirral cf woolwich work and pensions working class working man worsester cf wwe yazdan chowdhury ybf yougov young independence yvette cooper zac goldsmith zahid raja zanu pf zimbabwe zionist federation