This weekend I did some media training in Berkshire for an organisation called The Young Britons' Foundation. I like to call it a ‘Conservative Madrassa’, as it seeks to radicalise young Conservatives to become more political, and not treat their membership of the Conservative Party as some sort of social deal. It’s interesting that Conservative Future now has far more members than the Labour and LibDem youth organisations put together. This sort of training course teaches them debating skills, media skills and how to campaign. It may sound dull to those not involved in the political process, but this sort of thing is vital for young people from all parties if they are to acquire the skillset to become our politicians of the future. Some people believe we’d be better off without political parties at all, but whenever I speak at these sort of events I leave feeling very optimistic about our political future.
The YBF is run by my two colleagues at 18 Doughty Street, Donal Blaney and Shane Greer. They put on a terrific conference with a lineup of speakers the like I have never seen before. The seventy-odd under 30s who attended can count themselves very lucky indeed.
Donal’s work with the YBF is vital in building a wider conservative movement in the UK and has now decided that’s where he wants to concentrate his efforts. He’s leaving 18Ds at the end of the month to concentrate more on expanding the YBF and I really wish him well in his efforts. If this weekend’s conference is anything to go by, he’ll be amply rewarded by the future political success of YBF graduates.