I’ve been around long enough to see more CF elections than I care to recall. The sad thing is that you can look back over the manifestos of Chairman and NME candidates from the day CF was formed (my own included) and you’ll see the same things popping up time and again. London centric, more power for Members, a bigger role in policy, etc, etc.
Frankly, none of it really matters.
The most important role for the CF Chairman and the Committee is to be a strong, clear and professional voice for the next generation of our Party.
Looking at the statements, press releases and manifestos this time round not much is different. I’ve struggled to find any new (and good) ideas other than Paul Holmes’ Social Outreach Programme, but as everyone has rightly said in one way or another the focus from day one for the new CF team will be on 2015 (and the council and European stepping stones along the way).
Conservative Future isn’t a national organisation in many senses. It is rightly about local activism and campaigns on the ground. The role of National CF is to support the grass roots and make it as easy as possible to deliver the votes on the doorstep this Party needs by providing our members with the resources they need (fresher packs, campaign resources, speakers, etc).
CF can deliver that much needed victory in 2015 but only if we have a strong voice in CCHQ fighting for the support and resources and the investment in our grass roots we need.
We are the future of the Conservative Party and of a Conservative Government, but like any investment it is not always clear at the beginning what the result will be. CF needs a strong voice at the top to fight for make the case for that resource investment in our youth wing.
Ultimate, perhaps the biggest challenge for whoever wins will be ensuring the talent that gets left out by the increasingly bitter process of this election isn’t lost to the Party forever at this crucial time.
For me the Holmes|Argyle ticket is most likely to deliver that.