A fun evening coming up.
The first week as Chairman of the Cambridge Conservative Association has been interesting and very encouraging.
A number of people have read my speech, to the AGM, and been in contact to offer help and support. I have had offers of financial help and had a chat with a potential new candidate.
On top of that progress has been made in kicking off the search for a PPC.
Great start. Got to keep the momentum going.
Today the Prime Minister will give a speech setting out the values that underpin our long-term economic plan.
Labour’s Great Recession made our country poorer and left Britain in a mess.
That’s why this Government has a long-term economic plan to build a stronger, more competitive economy and secure a better future for Britain by:
1. Reducing the deficit so we deal with our debts, safeguard our economy for the long term and keep mortgage rates low.
2. Cutting income taxes and freezing fuel duty to help hardworking people be more financially secure.
3. Creating more jobs by backing small business and enterprise with better infrastructure and lower jobs taxes.
4. Capping welfare and reducing immigration so our economy delivers for people who want to work hard and play by the rules.
5. Delivering the best schools and skills for young people so the next generation can succeed in the global race.
As the Prime Minister will say later today, we are working through our plan so that we secure a better future for our country and peace of mind for hardworking people and their families.
Analysis by YouGov has found that, aggregating their daily polls month by month between last September and January, the Tory vote share among men was 33 per cent, while among women it was just … 33 per cent.
The Lord Ashcroft polls show that the three most popular answers were identical for men and women: “getting the economy growing and creating jobs”, “controlling immigration” and “managing the economy overall”.
There was a difference in the number four slot, however: for men it was “cutting the deficit and the debt”, while for women it was “improving the NHS”.
The most positive attribute for a party is “willing to take tough decisions for the long term”.
Lord Ashcroft research shows that the five most important drivers for Conservative voters are:
1. Believing the party “shares my values”,
2. That it is “on the side of people like me”,
3. A positive view of David Cameron, and the
4. Belief that the country would be better off after five years of Conservative government than under Labour.
5. Tories “want to help ordinary people get on in life”.
When it comes to the Liberal Democrats the key factors are:
1. They are “on my side”
2. They are “competent and capable”.
Unfortunately, so few people think that this opinion inevitably goes hand in hand with a Lib Dem vote.
Lord Ashcroft asked people for the first word or phrase that came to mind when they thought of David Cameron. “Competent” was the first positive word.
Miliband attracted concerns over ideology and aptitude (“unions”, “out of his depth”, “geek”, “red”, “inexperienced”, “socialist”).
Nick Clegg was thought of as “spineless”, “wet”,“soft”,“two-faced” “lapdog” and “opportunist” . Another strategic dilemma for the Deputy Prime Minister.
We Conservatives should concentrate on the key issues of economic security, public services, character, motivation and leadership – not a bad platform for a campaign.
Read more from Lord Ashcroft here
Here is my address to the AGM. Unusually I stuck to over 75% of it when I was speaking. :}
Thank you for letting me say a few words. Firstly, I would like to congratulate Linda on her three year term in office.
She has run a tight ship, the finances look in order, Shapour was elected, as a Cambridge City Councillor and our under Linda’s leadership our conservative family has stayed together and fought together, and so it must continue.
Lord Balfe of Dulwich and I have joined your team to put our shoulder to the wheel. A wheel that is moving and but needs a jolly good shove. I hope you will find me full of energy, enthusiasm and positive. Never mind cups being half full, mine is always full and is there to fill others.
Together we can make inroads into returning this fine city into Conservative hands. Together we can get more councillors elected. Together we can build the vote for the European elections and together we can press for a Conservative MP in Cambridge.
We have much to do but key to everything is to set a vision and a plan to get there. We must all understand this journey and how we can play a part. We must put together a plan for the next 6 years and always turn towards that plan never away.
I would like to involve all of you and the many that are not in this room, those quietly waiting in the wings, waiting to stand up and be counted as proud Conservatives.
It is time to raise our profile. It is time to be seen and heard, not just in are target wards but right across the city.
We must exploit the media and the internet and become experts at communicating. We must pop up wherever and when ever we can. People must believe in us and believe that we are there for them.
We must understand our key principles and make sure we tell others about them.
Let me remind us all about some of them:
Conservatives must help people fulfill their potential. People are not all equal, never have been and never will be but they can be treated fairly. They can be encouraged to achieve more. Even the person who can only speak one word can be encouraged to speak two.
We believe in people.
We must encourage our young to strive, to achieve everything that they possibly can, not holding back, not compromising.
Ambition must be encouraged not flattened by the damp blanket of socialism.
We must not be frightened of success. We must encourage it.
Conservatives have long been the leaders, the catalyst for change, the dynamic force that brings success.
People often care more today for feelings rather than thoughts and actions. It is thoughts and actions that will improve this country.
We must refocused on what we Conservatives believe in, what differentiates us from the socialists, the Lib Dems and the rag tag and bob tails.
We must galvanize the people of Cambridge with the promise of opportunity, not regulation. We must trust them to spend their own money where ever it is possible, not taking it off them for the state to spend.
We must promote personal responsibility and personal choice rather than dictating to our citizens.
Self pride, strength and courage are good attributes that we promote to give us the energy to support the weak and infirm. Right will prevail over wrong.
Those who have worked hard, worked themselves up, achieved, must not be let down.
We are proud to be Conservatives. We are proud to be British. We want others to be proud as well.
So those of you who are on the executive get those sleeves rolled up, those of you that want to join let me know.
I look forward to a busy year.
In the 2010 General Election 12829 Cambridge people voted Conservative and pushed Labour into third place.
We are at the start of a revival in Conservative fortunes in Cambridge. Already a number of individuals have contacted me offering help, some financial, some with expertise and some with time.
This is incredibly helpful and demonstrates the latent Conservative energy in the City.
But I want more.
I want as many of the 12829 people as possible to get in touch with offers of help.
You might be willing to deliver 20 leaflets in your street, every so often. You might fancy leading a team across a ward or helping with fund raising events. For the less mobile helping to stuff envelopes is a big help and can be a social event in itself.
You might want to help develop policy or have some great suggestions you would like considered. You might just want to donate a few pounds to help the cause.
I am not concerned about if you are a party member or not. That is old fashioned thinking. What is important are people. We need the energy and support of conservative thinking people to allow us to help this great City thrive yet further and to shape thinking on the national stage.
Conservatives believe in opportunity for all, encouraging everyone to reach their potential and to protect the weak and infirm through the success of the strong.
If you can help in any way please contact me. This email address will find me and colleagues who will welcome you as a friend.
Today was my first day as Chairman of Cambridge Conservatives and it has been a busy day.
Top of my list of things to sort out is the selection of a candidate to stand as MP for Cambridge. The selection is complicated by the coming MEP elections but needs to be resolved quickly.
Today I met with two senior members of Conservative central office, in Cambridge, to discuss the process and how it might be accelerated. A great start.
Interestingly, the process is thorough and really well organised, but lengthy. Not just any candidate will do for Cambridge so we need to get this right but equally we can’t take all year about it. Some interesting possibilities already in the pipeline.
Ahead of the official advertising I would be very interested in talking to those who might have an interest in standing in Cambridge.
Other parties need not apply
At the Cambridge Conservative Association’s AGM tonight it was my honour to be elected as Chairman of the association for the coming year. Lord Balfe of Dulwich is now the President.
See below for the press release.
News from Cambridge Conservative Association
28 Feb 2014
TWO POLITICAL HEAVY WEIGHTS JOIN CAMBRIDGE CONSERVATIVES TOP TEAM
Cambridge Conservatives have recruited two political heavy weights to lead the association as they seek to shake up politics in Cambridge.
At the AGM, Lord Balfe was confirmed as the new President of the association and Nick Clarke was elected as the Chairman.
The move signals a determination to back business and opportunity for all rather than bandwagon politics and indecision which has held back Cambridge and been the hallmark of the local Liberal Democrat and Labour parties.
The pair will help spearhead the Conservative campaign to enhance Cambridge’s world status as a place to live in, invest in and do business in.
Richard Balfe has been a member of the Greater London Council and was an MEP for 25 years before becoming a Conservative life peer in 2013. Richard lives in Cambridge.
Richard said “I am delighted to be part of a vibrant growing team that seeks to promote positive Conservative values and return elected Conservatives to our city. Cambridge businesses and its universities are at the cutting edge of this countries economy and need to be supported”.
Nick Clarke was, until recently, the Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council and is a successful local businessman.
Nick said “Cambridge is a can do city with a unique historic setting and a vibrant mix of communities but hampered by can‘t do politicians who lack vision and embroiled in bandwagon politics. We lead the UK and the world in ideas and innovation that attracts some of the largest international companies as well as giving opportunities to the very smallest. I see a local Conservative group eager and energised to help grow the success that is Cambridge while protecting this unique city for its residents and families. We want to deliver our vision, based on back to basics Conservative values that gives everyone a chance to succeed and stand on their own two feet while helping support those that can’t. Those who have worked hard, worked themselves up, achieved, must not be let down.
“There is growing momentum and support for what Conservatives have achieved locally when others had put them for decades in the too hard to achieve pile. Local Conservatives have led on the new rail station for Cambridge, county wide superfast broadband and upgrading of the A14.
What excites is that at the last General Election 12,829 good folk of Cambridge voted Conservative. This was a positive swing of 8.3% in only a five month election campaign. This is why I am looking forward to this new role and helping give Cambridge residents a true Conservative choice and team that is working on their behalf to bring jobs, prosperity and opportunity while protecting our most vulnerable.”
Notes for editors:
For further information, contact: Sarah Carrick on 07808 047452 firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Clarke on 07876 561781
At the 2010 General Election Conservatives came second polling 12,829 votes (25.8%) beating Labour into third place.
Cambridge was a Conservative constituency from 1967 to 1992, when it was taken by Labour’s Anne Campbell, who held onto the seat for 13 years (in this case three Parliamentary terms). In 2005 it was taken by David Howarth of the Liberal Democrats; his successor, Julian Huppert, held the seat for the Liberal Democrats in the 2010 general election.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor Merkel share a determination to secure a better future for their countries by building stronger, more competitive, more open and more flexible economies. Both agree that Europe needs to change if it is to succeed in the modern world.
We’ve already shown what is possible. Since David Cameron became Prime Minister he has:
- Cut the EU budget to protect British taxpayers
- Vetoed a new EU treaty that would have given more power to Brussels
- Refused to spend British taxes on bailing out the Euro
We have set out a plan to deliver the change the EU needs so that it works for Britain. We will negotiate a better deal for the British taxpayer and our country. When these negotiations are complete we will give the British people a say in an in-out referendum on whether Britain should remain in the EU under the new negotiated agreement.
Only the Conservatives can deliver for Britain on Europe. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats oppose our plan and would refuse the British people a say, and UKIP simply cannot deliver.
This Friday is the AGM for Cambridge Conservatives. All of us paid up members get to select the officers for the coming year.
The next couple of years will be important for all of us. In May we have elections for the European Parliament and at the same time Cambridge City elections are held for a third of the seats.
In 2015 we have the general Election which is going to be very significant for the country.
There will be a choice between a Conservative government, focusing on sorting out the economy and Labour who got us into trouble in the first place.
The Lib Dems are likely to be put to the sword by the electorate for a whole host of reasons in different parts of the country. What we have all learnt is that coalition compromise politics doesn’t really please anybody.
Cambridge has yet to select its candidate for MP but a selection process will start shortly after the May elections. The association is the organisation responsible for organising the selection of the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate PPC.
We are all ramping up our processes and policies to ensure we make an impact and provide the very best support to our candidate.
It is also the associations responsibility to harness and direct the enthusiasm of Conservative thinking people. And there seems to be a lot of it about. I am looking forward to the AGM.