Party Conference Season, September 2014
Party Conference season should be a critical, indespensible time in the British Political calender for the nation’s most prominent political movements to come together, listen to each other and the nation, remember core principles and make a pitch for better government.
The Bow Group won’t be taking part in Conservative Party Conference this year, because after a long campaign for greater freedom and democracy in the Conservative Party and at its Conference, we feel that a genuine forum for conservatism and for the freedom and democracy of Conservative Party members remains absent from the event, in favour of a corporate venue for press and lobbyists.
We won’t be the only absentees who have drawn similar conclusion as to the value and salience of the modern Conservative Party conference. Many MPs, MEPs Lords and members will also be noticably absent, and that must give the Party and broader conservative movement pause for concern and review.
We hope to return next year, under a conservative government, to a engage with a reformed Party and a reformed Conference. That is why we have produced our vision and blueprint for a conservative party, and a conservative Britain: A conservative Manifesto.
Even under the weak leadership of Ed Miliband, the current polls reflect that before conservatives can win elections, we must win arguments, and to do so we must have the courage of our own convictions.
As a the home for intellectual conservatism, the Bow Group has campaigned consistently for an end to the consensus politics of the third way that defined the Blair years.
Now it is clear that the era of centrism is passing, demonstrated by the rise of UKIP and the SNP, and the return of the recently absent conviction poitician.
This has lead to significant and often uncomfortable shift on the right in Britain, where conservatism now spans two major parties, with large elements of the debate taking place outside of either.
We embrace this change as necessary, and will adapt to it without any concession of the principles of conservatism that the Bow Group was founded to defend and promote – with the right vision and manifesto for the Party and nation, the Conservatives can do the same.