I completely agree with Aaron’s analysis that we, the Conservative Party, do need a step change in how we engage with different parts of Britain – and that one of these areas is the North. However, while I recognise the mention of the Midlands, this article still speaks to an unfortunately growing idea among Conservative Future; North vs. South.
This notion of a Country of two halves, not only artificially divides us, but fails to recognise that Britain has a much richer regional heritage than North and South. The idea forgets that the North and the South have their own internal variations, and that there's more to the UK than these two regions; what of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland? But most of all this concept glosses over those of us in the centre of our country – the increasingly Squeezed Middle(Landers).
You may say I am just being pernickety – but my point has serious political consequences. I am a proud Midlander, and within that proud to be a Black Country boy. As Gavin Williamson MP said in his maiden speech to the House of Commons, we are a straight talking people. This has important implications on how to communicate on the doorstep; there is no point beating around the bush with highfalutin political language. The ladies and gentleman of South Staffordshire, Wolverhampton, Dudley and Walsall would rather hear the news, good or bad, told straight and to the point. This may not work everywhere; but it works for us.
What we must remember is that the National Chairman, and for that matter all the National Executive of Conservative Future, are there to serve the entirety of our Country. So you may think a Northern candidate for National Chairman will have interesting insights into winning seats in Liverpool and Leeds, but is that going to help us advance in the South-West, build membership in the Midlands or support the encouraging CF developments in Northern Ireland?
It is much more important we have a Chairman who identifies the differences across CF, and gives support accordingly, but also recognises what unites us as a whole; our will to see a Conservative majority in 2015. Politics has become too much about where someone is from; and not enough about what they do and where they are going. When the time comes to vote, it will be the person with a vision, a truly national plan that supports all of CF, that will be getting my vote; and I couldn’t care less about where they come from.