As Gordon Brown also found to his cost when discussing Mrs Duffy in the 2010 General Election, always assume the camera and mic are still on. This Congressman forgot that golden rule last night…
The way the ranch had been preserved from when Reagan was last there was amazing. Walking round the ranch as it was when he lived there gave me a valuable new perspective on Reagan and his values, which I think can only really be gained by being there. This was definitely the highlight, although frankly the whole trip was immensely enjoyable – visiting the Nixon Presidential Library, the Reagan Presidential Library and, of course, soaking up the weather in Santa Barbara. I will remember it for a long time to come!” – Stephen Hodgson
Join us in California this Easter by applying by 31 January here.
James attended the first three YBF conferences having already achieved a level of notoriety by securing a strong media profile in the final days of Iain Duncan Smith’s leadership of the Conservative Party. Witty and kind to his friends, James was one of the most fervent and Machiavellian activists even before he came to YBF and few who were there will forget his memorable performance at YBF3 when he won the debating competition under the tutelage of Andre Walker that was held over a typically liquid YBF conference dinner.
James also worked hard for Conservative Way Forward and for Conor Burns MP and Greg Hands MP before moving into a career where he undoubtedly belonged – the interface between politics and the media. My thoughts are with his family at this tragic time. RIP James.
Every Monday Matters is the title of a new book written by YBF Chief Executive Donal Blaney and which is being published in the Spring. Here is the first chapter, setting out concrete steps for activists to take this week…
The conservative movement in Britain is far broader than many activists might realize. In December 2007, Matthew Elliott of the TaxPayers’ Alliance launched a monthly meeting of the leaders of Britain’s conservative movement. Prior to the launch of the Wednesday Meeting, Matthew and I came up with a list of over fifty organizations that were movement-oriented, ranging from think-tanks and discussion forums to pressure groups and campaigning bodies
The Conservative Party alone cannot win the next general election. For conservatism to flourish it needs a broad-based movement to create the intellectual and political climate in which it is then seen as being both acceptable and desirable for conservative ideas to be embraced and enacted. Continue reading
Being a young conservative activist can be a lonely and unrewarding experience.
Often young activists will find themselves persecuted for their conservative views by schoolteachers or university lecturers. Booking facilities can become difficult. So can accessing funds. Continue reading
The first political organisation that I encountered was the Adam Smith Institute thanks to the efforts of my politics teacher, Russell Tillson. As sixth formers we were taken by train to enjoy the Independent Seminar on the Open Society (ISOS). It was a revelation and I have been a fan of the work of the Adam Smith Institute ever since and its President and Director, Madsen Pirie and Eamonn Butler, have in turn been mentors and supporters of the Young Britons’ Foundation (and now the Margaret Thatcher Centre).
Over the next few days, we will be publishing photos taken by YBF’s official conference photographer, Rory Broomfield – beginning with photos of the speakers who educated, entertained and informed the delegates, continuing with some of the less incriminating photos of students enjoying the refreshments before and after the two banquets… and concluding with photos taken during the banquets.
As part of YBF’s tenth anniversary celebrations, testimonials were obtained from a number of prominent political figures in Britain and elsewhere who wished to congratulate YBF on its first ten years of achievements – and to wish us well as we embark on our second decade…
As Margaret Thatcher observed, “Politics at its purest is philosophy in action”. Those who address YBF tend not to be those battered by the winds of prevailing opinion or contemporary orthodoxy. But rather those who believe in the eternal truths of Conservatism that speak to the human heart. I believe all young people who have attended YBF events in these last ten years have found the experience enriching and the value enduring.
I will be proud to be with Donal and the YBF team again this year as we embark on our second decade”.
YBF has played an important role in the past decade in the growth of a broader conservative movement in Britain. The development of such a movement – independent of the Conservative Party and yet sharing many of its aims and ideals – has helped to change the climate of debate among young and old on a range of issues and policies and represents the flourishing of civil society.
I remember from my time as a young conservative activist how important it was to develop friendships with my comrades-in-arms – and those alliances remain strong even to this day”.