Thursday, 14 March 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool Tory Youth Chairman defends focus on being sociable.

In the midst of a National Election scrap, a humdinger of a battle has commenced in the North-West of England amongst young Tories, tbg can reveal.

Liverpool Conservative Future (CF) and Wirral CF have very different ways of doing business and this seems to have caused each branch to defend their own strategies in the strongest terms.

Wirral CF seem to have the label of an 'envelope stuffing' branch whilst Liverpool CF are being touted almost as a drinking club. This has led to leading figures in both branches having verbal confrontation.

This all came about after the Tory Merseyside Area Chairman was revealed to be the Labour Liverpool Student Guild President candidates' campaign manager - and it didn't go down well with Wirral CF.

Liverpool CF Chairman, Aaron Ellis, has issued an apology exclusively to tbg, for remarks made to Wirral Conservative Future this week, whilst defending Liverpool CF's social style and community approach:

"There are few things as tedious as keyboard wars between student politicians, and my spat with Ms. Hewitt the other evening is no exception.

"I apologise both to her and to Wirral CF for my rudeness to them. Yet the wider argument that Ms. Hewitt and I were having is an important one for the future of Conservative Future. The only way for the youth wings of political parties to interest young people in politics is to offer them a warm, sociable, intellectual atmosphere and try to patiently build up a community of like-minded friends.

"Under my chairmanship, this is what Liverpool CF has been doing. In the last four months, we have put on events with high profile speakers discussing Tory policy, and have had debates with Liverpool Young Labour on issues like Europe, foreign policy, and the economy.

"Ms. Hewitt dismisses these as ‘just drinking’ and Wirral CF favours a more campaign-focused approach. It is a perfectly fair position to take, though we believe it is the wrong one: trying to press-gang students into campaigning in areas they have never even heard of, let alone never live in, without first building up that sense of community is the road to few members.

"Time will tell which of these two approaches is the more successful, but we both should make more of an effort to be civil towards one another in the meantime."

Aaron Ellis, City of Liverpool CF Chairman

Follow Aaron on Twitter - @AaronHEllis


Tara Hewitt said...

Hi, I don't wish to get into another spat but can I make clear I haven't dismissed "specific" events as described by Mr Ellis as just drinking, however I have stated very clearly that CF exists to support the conservative party and ultimately win elections and return a Conservative government and Local Conservative Councils to office. This has to be through a mix of socialising and active campaigning Simply one approach or the other achieves nothing and isn't helpful.

I am also un aware of anybody being "press ganged" into campaigning and find the assertion again damaging to the party and the local associations to suggest this is the case.

Claiming Wirral is somewhere people dont know the name or not even heard of is also a bizarre comment considering you can see the Wirral from the city centre and is closer to many CF members homes and the University only 2 mins on a train or a car than the wards that were targeted by the association in the City in May 2012 namley Woolton, which is on the outskirts of the city.

I want CF as a whole to focus on working together to create a positive environment in which people want to campaign and share views and I have had positive relationships with colleagues in associations in Liverpool and Wirral as well as surrounding CF branches and look forward to that continuing long into the future.

I am more than happy to be civil with people and at no point have I personally made this matter about personal abuse and my Self and Wirral CF executive will be meeting with Aaron Poole Merseyside Area Chairman to have a positive discussion about working together on Saturday after his attitude has been more open polite and engaging when it has come to resolving this issue.


Tara :)

Anonymous said...

Grow up. goodness me.

Emilio Chiquito said...

In all fairness, your rhetoric on social networking sites indicate Liverpool CF do nothing more than drink which is not the case. As a Liverpool CF member, I wouldn't like unfounded comments to harm our branch . I would also like to express that we have been asked to campaign during our examination period. As university students campaigning is not the first of our priorities and reading for a degree is not a small undertaking. I hope this disagreement can be settled at Merseyside level.

Tara Hewitt said...

I have a job I campaign outside of Work... unless you become a millionaire and lead a life of leisure you dont have a period where you have absolutely nothing going on up to individuals to take responsibility in balancing contributing to a cause they have signed up to support and their other responsibilities in their life.

Anonymous said...

This is all a bit embarrassing now.

Anonymous said...

I like how after his initial comments aaron has kept a dignified silence.

Tara is still banging on about it, on twitter earlier saying how she was out campaigning as thats what the conservatives should be doing or something along those lines.

Clearly a sly dig at liverpool CF.

Tara Hewitt is toxic to whatever party she is a part of.


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