In many ways, this two day course is something the party ought to be doing, but perhaps it is best for it to be run by an independent body. There was a fantastic line-up of speakers including the likes of DD, IDS, Ed Vaizey, Douglas Murray, Eric Pickles, Matthew Elliott, John Whittingdale, Jonathan Isaby and Nigel Evans. There was a real showcase of a range of conservative viewpoints - from Ed Vaizey's uber-modernising views to Douglas Murray's hawkishness, from IDS' social conservatism to the freedom agenda of David Davis.
Since 2003 more than 900 youngsters have graduated YBF training courses, with many of the now standing for local councils, parliament and active in the media. Donal Blaney and Christian May deserve congratulations for these type of courses, which really do seek to engage young people with the political process and create a hub of the next generation of Conservatives. If anyone wishes to attend future courses they can contact the YBF through their WEBSITE.
When I speak at events like this I usually drive away thinking I could have done a lot better. I really don't consider myself God's gift to public speaking, but I was truly gratified when Donal told me the 75 delegates attending had rated me in the top three speakers of the weekend. I guess it also guarantees I will do it again next year!