This week Birmingham was lucky enough to host the Conservative Party Conference, the first in government for 13 years. It was an exciting and vibrant conference with members humbled by the task facing our party in government due to the budget deficit but still excited about what 5 years with a Conservative Government could achieve for our country. BUCF were at the heart of the Conference and we started on Saturday attending the City Branch Drinks event followed by an entertaining evening with our good friends from Yorkshire CF and Liverpool CF.
Sunday marked the official start of Conference 2010 and a busy day for the BUCF team. We attended Baroness Warsi’s speech who as Andrew Stephenson commented is a fantastic supporter of our Party in the good and bad times. She thanked Party activists and voters who made this Government possible and who are responsible for putting Cameron in Number 10, and hit home that Labour had abandoned the Working Class with the gap between rich and poor the widest it has been in forty years and the longest recession for almost a century, what a legacy they have left for our country. In 1997 we left Government with a thriving, booming economy and the protestors have the nerve to blame us for taking the difficult decisions necessary to clean up Labour’s mess, if they were looking for someone to blame they should have taken their protest up to Manchester last week and demanded an explanation from Red-Ed! The Coalition is taking the hard but essential policies to secure Britain’s future, a theme which was continued later in the evening when BUCF joined the Bow Group for their Conference Reception with guest speaker Rt Hon. Ken Clarke, Justice Secretary, where he reinforced the good which can come from the Coalition.
Sunday evening kicked off with the Boris rally, amusing as always and the West Midlands Reception where we ran into the Prime Minister who congratulated BUCF for our high membership and the hard work we continue to do for our party. Monday, potentially the most exciting day for BUCF at Conference due to our event in the evening where we joined by numerous freshers, old BUCF members, CF members from around the Country, Tim Loughton MP and Chloe Smith MP. The event was a great success with a brilliant turnout and since the event we have had some fantastic feedback so a massive thank you to everyone who attended.
On Tuesday evening BUCF were invited on Newsnight to take part in an audience discussion with Paxman and Home Secretary Theresa May on issues such as Child benefit reform, Terrorism and the Criminal Justice System. During the show our very own Ed Newland commented on the need to introduce the changes suggested by Ken Clarke due to the fact that our prisons are not working and are instead creating serial criminals rather than rehabilitating criminals back into society.
Wednesday was the day which everyone at Conference had waited for, Cameron’s speech, the first speech to Conference a Conservative leader has made as Prime Minister in 13 years. And what a speech it was, I really believe that Cameron has come into his own after this speech. He has shown that he has the strength necessary to lead this country through the deepest recession and worse debt crisis we have ever faced, while showing the compassion to reassure the British people who are rightly concerned that we will always protect the most vulnerable in society. He drilled the reasons why Labour had failed the people of Britain;
“They left us a legacy of spinning, smearing, briefing, back-biting, half-truths and cover-ups, patronising, old-fashioned, top-down, wasteful, centralising, inefficient, ineffective, unaccountable politics, 10p tax and 90 days detention, an election bottled and a referendum denied, gold sold at half price and council tax doubled, bad news buried and Mandelson resurrected, pension funds destroyed and foreign prisoners not deported, Gurkhas kept out and extremist preachers allowed in”
However, he kept the message positive and optimistic for the future of Britain. He emphasised the progressive steps we had already taken in the 5 months of the Coalition to clean up after the 13 years of Labour incompetence;
“200 new academies, 10,000 university places, 50,000 apprenticeships, Corporation tax – cut, the jobs tax – axed, Police targets – smashed, Immigration – capped, the third runway – stopped, Home Information Packs – dropped, Fat cat salaries – revealed, ID Cards – abolished, The NHS – protected, Our aid promise – kept, Quangos – closing down, Ministers’ pay – coming down, A bank levy – coming up, A cancer drugs fund, vitally important, – up and running, £6 billion of spending saved this year, An emergency budget to balance the books in five years, An EU referendum lock to protect our sovereign powers every year, For our pensioners – the earnings link restored, For our entrepreneurs – employees’ tax reduced and for our brave armed forces – the operational allowance doubled”
The Prime Minister ended this Conference with a call to arms, stating that we are all in this together and how we need to work together for the National Interest. Our Party along with the Liberal Democrats have already answered that call. The question that remains is, will Red-Ed answer that call or will he more likely bow to the vested interests of his Trade Union masters, ignoring the National Interest?
BUCF Vice-President External
W.Midlands CF Deputy Regional Chairman