The Week That Was

Check out the latest issue of our 'Week That Was' newsletter, including must-read articles, upcoming events, and our 'Heroes of the Week'.


This Week on the Forward! Blog 

Connor Donnithorne - Voting to leave the European Union will be good for my generation

The European Union has been anything but good for young people. In fact, it has already created the lost generation on the continent that Nicky Morgan was warning may happen to us. The eye-watering high youth unemployment figures in Greece, Spain and Portugal serve as an indicator that if we want to protect our futures we should use our vote to reclaim our independence.

Joe Porter - Sensible tax planning doesn't make you a bad person

Very few people seem to understand the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. Tax avoidance involves the use of legal methods to modify your financial situation in order to lower the amount of income tax owed, whereas tax evasion is the illegal non-payment or underpayment of tax. One is illegal, whereas the other is not. The Prime Minister is guilty of neither. 

Dr Martin Parsons - Conservatives should support Baroness Cox's bill to ban Shari'a courts in the UK

Shari’a courts are not only incompatible with the basic principle of British law - equality for all before the same law, they are also the start of a very dangerous, slippery slope. In this country, our freedom of religion means you can, if you wish, choose to live by those aspects of shari’a that solely affect you as an individual. But, when it comes to the law, it is fundamental to our historic national values that we have one law for all and all are treated equally by the law, and that law is decided by our elected representatives in parliament – not by shari’a judges. 

Five Must Reads

1. THE TELEGRAPH: Boris Johnson MP - We can’t let the Corbynistas plant the red flag back on top of City Hall

In less than a month’s time, there is a real danger that the Corbynistas will capture the London mayoralty. Who nominated Jeremy Corbyn for the party leadership? Sadiq Khan. How did Khan himself secure the mayoral nomination? By ruthlessly outmanoeuvring the favourite – Blairite Tessa Jowell – and sucking up to the Corbynistas. And now – unless we can elect Zac Goldsmith – they will plant the red flag back on the top of City Hall. 

And, yes, it matters desperately. The Mayor of London has a spending budget far bigger than many Whitehall departments and he runs an economy bigger than most EU countries. He has unilateral power to raise or cut the council tax. He has absolute control over fares on public transport. He can sack the police chief; he can set the law enforcement and recruitment priorities of the biggest police force in the country. If he wants to build a bridge or a cable car or a tunnel – he can. If he wants to introduce a new low carbon bus, or a new bike hire scheme or a new Olympicopolis cultural centre, he can. He has sole power to greenlight skyscrapers, and he can use his vast planning authority for good or ill.

2. EVENING STANDARD: Richard Tice: Let UK embrace the world, not just Europe

Britain is a country of extraordinary creativity, ingenuity and opportunity backed by a long-standing legal tradition of fairness and stability. The referendum on June 23 is a critical moment in determining, perhaps for a generation or more, the path we want to take.  

3. FOUNDATION FOR ECONOMIC EDUCATION: Sarah Skwire - Capitalism Will Abolish Laundry Day

In the 1920s, the average housewife spent about 11.5 hours per week on laundry and ironing. By 1965, that had dropped to just under 7 hours. In 2014, that average housewife (and her spouse) spent about 20 minutes a day on the task, or just over 1.5 hours per week.

4. CITY AM: Priti Patel MP - We've given over a million people a pay rise. Now here's how we'll achieve full employment

There’s no denying that the UK job market is in a far better place than it was in 2010, with a record 31.4m people in work, more than 750,000 vacancies at any one time and with the number of people claiming unemployment benefits at its lowest level since 1975. 

We cannot afford to stand still and, with so much positive work underway, the time has come to build on the success of previous employment schemes.

5. CONSERVATIVE HOME: Dan Hannan MEP - The referendum campaign has begun, and Leave has the positive message

We don’t care for our country being run down. We know that the United Kingdom is the fifth largest economy in the world and the fourth military power, a leading member of the G7 and one of five permanent seat-holders on the UN Security Council. Britain has created more jobs in the past five years – this is a truly extraordinary statistic – than the other 27 EU states put together. We managed pretty successfully for a thousand years before the EU came along, and we bridle at the suggestion that we owe our prosperity to Jean-Claude Juncker.

Action Today

Have something to say? We are always looking for contributions to our 'Forward!' blog. Please e-mail our Commissioning Editor, Theodora Dickinson, with any ideas for articles! 

Upcoming Events


TODAY - Saturday 16th April:

Come and join Conservative Way Forward and the Rt. Hon. Iain Duncan Smith in Chingford and Wood Green as we continue to campaign for victory on May 5th.  

We will be supporting local GLA candidate Sam Malik and Conservative Mayoral Candidate Zac Goldsmith. As we enter the last month of the campaign, it is vital to hit every street and every doorstep, in a bid to ensure our fantastic Conservative Assembly and Mayoral candidates are elected.

Tickets are just £10 and include dinner and drinks with Iain. 

Book your ticket here. 

Tuesday 26th April:

Come and join us on our crusade to find and train the leaders of the future with our 5th special edition CWF Academy with Adrian Pepper of Pepper Media.

Adrian Pepper was the copywriter who created the Nine Principles of CWF, subsequently heralded by David Cameron as “the common ground of the Conservative Party today”. Adrian served as a Special Adviser in the 1992-7 Conservative government, has twice stood as parliamentary candidate, and was a European parliamentary candidate in 2014.  

Adrian’s training will be on the theme of Thatcherism and the Use of Powerful Communication. It should be attended by any Conservative candidate or campaigner wanting to understand more about how to translate political theory into practical political success.

Come and join us for just £10, and enjoy a glass of wine and nibbles too. 

Book your ticket here.

Thursday 5th May:

Get out the Vote with Greg Hands and Conservative Way Forward on Polling Day!

After what will have been a furious five-month battle, CWF are descending on Fulham and Chelsea to get out the vote for our candidate Zac Goldsmith on polling day in London – 5th May 2016.

Sign up to join us here.

Saturday 21st May:

Conservative Way Forward's next Academy will be with Peter Botting, in a central London location.

This is a 4-hour, intensive public speaking workshop - with practical training in a small group. It is designed to help leading Conservative activists to build up their confidence about speaking to large crowds and on TV/radio.  Tickets include dinner and drinks afterwards!

Book your ticket here.

Heroes of the Week

Conservative Way Forward's 'Heroes of the Week' are Ruth Davidson, Andrew RT Davies, and Harry Cullen, the leaders of the Conservatives in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. 

This week saw the launch of the Scottish Conservatives’ manifesto for the upcoming Holyrood election. Davidson has described this manifesto as ‘a programme for strong opposition’ to the SNP, in contrast to Scottish Labour - a party who has had six leaders in the past nine years, and ‘no success in holding the SNP to account’.

In Wales, Andrew RT Davies has pledged that 2016 offers the chance of a fresh start, and an opportunity for Wales to achieve its full potential. Wales has benefitted hugely over the past six years from the Conservatives in government at Westminster, but after 17 years with Labour at the helm in Wales, the country is failing to reach its full potential. Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party is now asking for another five years to make the same mistakes over again. While Britain’s economic recovery is strengthening, Wales is falling behind, and voters across Wales have a clear choice between real change, or sticking to the same old ideas from Welsh Labour that simply aren’t working.

Speaking at the Northern Ireland Conservatives manifesto launch in Belfast this week, the NI Conservatives Chairman Harry Cullen has pledged a ‘real fresh start’ for Stormont and a unique alternative to its sectarian politics, in a poll which is a ‘pivotal moment for the governance of Northern Ireland’. The established parties in Stormont have ‘lost control of expenditure, failed the NHS, and are deadlocked over education’ and ‘Stormont must abandon theatre politics and embrace the politics of Britain’.