Yesterday NUCA was at one of their famous Port and Policys. Importantly we were joined by Oliver Cooper, who is standing as National CF Chairman, who used the event as his campaign launch in the East Midlands. Oliver gave a really good speech, contributed well to the discussion and told us what he will do if elected.
If elected Oliver Cooper plans to give activists national opportunities. Essentially Oliver thinks that for too long CF members put a lot into doing campaigning but get little out of it. He thus wants to reward members with advice through webinars on getting jobs and moving higher into politics.
Oliver also wants more national events as many CF members do not live or can easily get to London. Oliver gave an example of this with theECR East Midlands Conference in Nottingham. He said that this was one of the best events he has ever been to ‘this is the sort of events we should have across the country’.
Oliver believes national CF should play a key role in helping new branches because, as he rightly pointed out, many do not get any help and some branches never see anyone from National CF (my experience in FENSCF backs this up). Oliver would like to see a CF branch in every target seat the Conservatives have in 2015 as there was a larger swing to the Tories in all seats that had a branch.
Communication was another key area Oliver focussed on. Leading on from a lack of direct contact with national CF, many branches receive no information from National CF on what is going on. Oliver Cooper wants a weekly email to be sent out telling members what is going on across the country but also information on what lines to take when campaigning.
Oliver also told us that both his parents were student members of the Communist Party, there must have been some strong debate over free markets and state control around the dinner table.
#thingselliottsays also asked Oliver about whether he supported re-instating the 10p tax rate, Oliver actually does not support this. However he does agree that doing so would be a coup for the Conservatives giving people a better image of the party. Oliver Cooper believed that a cut to immediately 10p may be regressive in the short term and so should be slowly brought down, thus he would like a reduction to 17% as a start in the budget. A fair position which would still help the hardest and least well off workers in Britain.