The other night I attended the King's College London Conservatives' Freshers' Party - all in all an enjoyable night. Whilst there I met for the first time Mark Clarke the new chairperson of Conservative Future. I was stunned to see how candid he is about the problems facing the organisation and he impressed me well, even though I endorsed a different candidate in the election. (He did, however, make two mistakes by forgetting to get me a Corona at the bar - although he did his best to make this up - and since then referring to my university as "London University". Given the controversy about this at his own alma mater I wonder if I should let this one go...)
Amidst this Mark challenged me to post on my blog what I think are the three defining purposes of Conservative Future. This isn't the strangest request I've ever had in Soho at 0100 but here's what I came up with that night, in no particular order:
*To serve as a forum and network to engage younger members of the Conservative Party.
*To provide younger members with the opportunity to influence policy (but notably not to be a potential platform for any faction in the Party to try and seize).
*To support and encourage local branches.
Perhaps there should also be:
*To teach bloggers how to better answer this question in the small hours.
I'll give it another go soon but what do others think a political party's youth wing exists for?