A distant dream, of course, but nevertheless I'm standing for the Conservative and Unionist Party for the ward of Chorlton Park in the Manchester City Council elections. My dissertation is due two days before polling, so I don't envision a very long campaign, but you never know.
Pleasing as that is, there are a few things I would like to change about the way the party conducts itself vis-a-vis local candidates and elections in the future.
1) The below image, first seen at last years conference, has effectively become the emblem of the Conservative Party. It is far superior to the old tree logo. Please hurry up and register it so that it can appear beside our names on ballot papers across the land.
2) The official name of our party is the Conservative and Unionist Party. Whilst the latter half of that might matter to some of us more than others, the fact remains that it is our official party name and we should be free to use it. Not having it registered to appear on the ballot outside Scotland is a disgrace.
3) I addressed it not many posts ago when discussing the state of the Conservative youth movement, but the party really, really needs to give its members a little more leeway. When I filled in the candidacy forms I was given advice on precisely what I should and should not fill in on the ballot paper. I was not allowed to indicate how I would like to appear on the ballot (Conservative & Unionist, obviously) or even how I would prefer my forenames to appear (although I did that anyway). Maybe its just a different political culture, but the Liberal Democrats at least trusted and respected their candidates enough to let them fill out their own forms in full. I just found being a candidate a remarkably dis-empowering process.
Still, I can't complain too much - I have now got my name on Wikipedia, at least. One thing that fascinates me is why Manchester has no Conservative presence any more, even in wealthy areas that used to return them, whereas other cities like Birmingham have seen a Conservative recovery since the Nineties. Topic for another article, perhaps.