David Russell Walters
David Russell Walters, 44 – Tory Senior Central Office Executive and boss of anti-Europe Democracy Movement.
By night, orgy master tending to guests. Looked on as four girls, one a Dutch rowing champ, pleasured each other.
Fever Club parties first became notorious when senior Conservative Party strategist Douglas Smith was exposed as a founding member in 2003.
The 42-year-old, who preached the Tories’ morally-focused back-to-basics policy, was forced to cut his links with Fever and is now an adviser and speech writer to senior MPs.
The club started in January 1998 with a debauched launch party in a Central London penthouse.
The 2,500 worldwide members include captains of industry, celebrities and multi-millionaire tycoons.
Critics have accused the secretive organisation of being a sinister networking organisation.
Orgies for the rich and beautiful are hosted twice yearly in London and Manchester but there are parties over the summer in New York and Ibiza.
Fever receives over 400 applications for each party and the vetting process is extremely strict.
But the upper age limit of 40 was recently raised from 35 to take account of the advancing years of some of the organisers.
Russell Walters Was Chief of Staff to Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor.
Russell joined the Party in the Glamorgan-shire valleys in 1976, and was a Y.C. and university branch Chairman and Chairman of South East Region F.C.S.
On graduating, he took a year’s sabbatical at the Adam Smith Institute, and became a Vice Chairman of the National Association of Conservative Graduates and researcher in the House of Commons.
He has worked in both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors, was a political adviser in Central Europe and Africa and has run several campaigns, most recently the cross-party, anti-euro Democracy Movement. Walters is a Trustee of Conservative Way Forward.
4 October 1989 – Forsyth Tightens Grip On Scots party – But Russell Walters is In Charge, He Runs the Show”
Moderate Tories are becoming increasingly alarmed as party chairman Mr Michael Forsyth completes his right-wing revolution at Scottish Conservative Party headquarters in Edinburgh.
Mr Forsyth’s grip on the party is now virtually total with the appointment to senior Central Office posts of a string of young men with a background on the ultra-right, libertarian wing of the party.
The party chief executive Mr John MacKay is on holiday but he will not be returning to his desk at Chester Street.
Although he is to retain the nominal title of chief executive, he has been marginalised as a force and the real administrative power within the Scottish Tory Party now lies with Mr Russell Walters, the man appointed by Mr Forsyth to be his chief of staff.
Mr MacKay’s departure places Russell Walters firmly in the political spotlight. A Chester Street insider said: “Make no mistake, Russell is in charge. He now runs the show.”
Mr Walters was the first appointment made by Mr Forsyth who was himself the personal choice of the Prime Minister.
She perceived him as the man with the qualifications to run the new-model Tory Party in promoted stories recommended to Scotland.
Mr Walters, a Welshman, was hired as part of Mr Forsyth’s campaign to cleanse the party of those not in tune with his philosophy that “politics is a battleground” and that many Scottish Tories had forgotten how to fight.
Two senior Chester Street men, organisational director Mr Bob Balfour and director of campaigns Mr Peter Smith, were soon seeking terms which would allow them to leave.
Meanwhile, right-wingers Mr Simon Turner and Mr Douglas Young, in the Walters-Forsyth mould with a political past on the libertarian right, are also to be part of Mr Forsyth’s team.
The chairman has surrounded himself with zealous young men whose background is in the controversial world of the disbanded Federation of Conservative Students and similarly rightist groupings.
The FCS was subject to an internal inquiry after a rowdy conference at Loughborough in 1985.
Scottish Secretary Mr Malcolm Rifkind, in an interview with the Scotsman today, reaffirmed his authority within the Scottish Tory Party and denied reports of a rift between him and Mr Forsyth.
“When we are in government the Secretary of State is at the top. Michael is a friend and a colleague and a very loyal junior Minister in my ministerial team,” he said. “We work extremely well as a team.
Power in Scotland rests with the Scottish Office and I am in charge of the Scottish Office.”
Mr Rifkind said Mr Forysth’s chairmanship did not signal any policy change and he described Mr Forsyth’s changes at headquarters as a long overdue conversion of the organisation into a “modern professional fighting organ.
Inevitably that can involve some elements of controversy, but I have no doubt that the thinking behind it is absolutely right and justified,” Mr Rifkind said.
Over the years the libertarian wing of the party, which has had a solid base in Scotland — Mr Forsyth was FCS chairman in the mid-seventies — has gloried in its image as the Blue Trots with more radical elements advocating legalisation of incest, hard drugs, and much else besides.
Conservative Central Office has been unusually reticent about discussing Mr Walters’s background, even to the extent of declining a request for a photograph.
Details of his employment history have trickled into the public domain. Initially it was revealed that he had come from the Adam Smith Institute.
In 1987 Mr Walters was an unsuccessful candidate for vice-chairmanship of the Young Conservative wing of the party and he has also been an office bearer with Greater London Young Conservatives.
In his 1987 campaign material Mr Walters described himself as having served as an officer with the Association for a Free Russia and the International Society for Human Rights.
He stated: “You may have been misled by one of the scandalous lies put into circulation about the Thatcherite team: that we support apartheid and legalisation of hard drugs. Discount such propaganda . . .we are not nutters or extremists.”
The closed world which exists on the far right flank of the Conservative Party is a tangle of inter-connected organisations and personnel.
While Mr Walters was on the executive of the Greater London Young Conservatives a colleague and friend was one Mr Andrew Rossindell.
Mr Rossindell, 23, is a publisher who runs Britannia Press Features Ltd in Romford, Essex.
He has recently been admitted to the Scottish list of Conservative prospective parliamentary candidates.
Many of the pressure groups of the right, such as the Committee for a Free Britain, have links with individuals who were once active in the Federation of Conservative Students.
An indication of how inter-linked, casual or otherwise, this brotherhood of libertarians is can be gauged from the response to a telephone inquiry to the CFB office in London.
Asked if Mr Russell Walters was around, the man in the committee’s office first asked who was calling and then said: ”You won’t find Mr Walters here.
06 December 2002 – Liberty and Conservatives warn Downing Street on EU arrest warrant dangers
On Monday afternoon, Parliament opens the debate on the Government’s Extradition Bill, which will include the incorporation into UK law of the EU Arrest Warrant.
On Monday morning (shortly after 10am), Oliver Letwin (Conservative shadow home secretary) and John Wadham (Director, Liberty) will deliver a letter to Downing Street highlighting the serious concerns that they and others have about the Extradition Bill.
From 10.30am-12 noon, there will be a rally at Parliament to oppose the Bill – with speakers including Oliver Letwin, John Wadham, Russell Walters (Director, Democracy Movement). John Burnett MP – the Liberal Democrat spokesman on the issue will also raise his party’s concerns about the Bill.
Russell Walters Lead Researcher For the Right Wing Economic League
The London-based league is an organisation funded by business subscribers which compiles lists of so-called political agitators and trade union activists.
Subscribing companies use such information when recruiting.
Mr Walters was one of the senior operatives in the league’s intelligence gathering department.
Mr Michael Noar, the man who ran the league until this June, was unwilling to be interviewed.
However, he conceded that so far as he was aware Mr Walters had been with the organisation until mid-July.
“He was a much valued member of the research department,” said Mr Noar before concluding the conversation.
In April, 1988, Mr Walters was involved in a House of Commons row when it emerged that a list he was said to have compiled contained details of the alleged activities and affiliations of Labour MPs, including a number on the moderate wing of the party.
The Economic League was formed in 1919 to defend ”free enterprise, individual liberty, and parliamentary democracy.”
In addition to compiling lists of ”subversives”, it was also active in the propaganda war waged at the gates of strike-hit factories and saw it as its function to counter trade union and left wing literature with pamphlets of its own.
It achieved an unwelcome high-profile as a result of an investigative series by the World in Action TV programme.
Mr Walters also figured in this as the Granada team sought to highlight the link between the league and its activities and the Conservative party.
Mrs Maria Fyfe, Labour MP for Glasgow Maryhill, is concerned about Mr Walters’s involvement in the Economic League.
She has been a leading campaigner against the league and last year unsuccessfully proposed a Commons Bill which was intended to make its activities illegal.
She is astounded that Mr Forsyth should appoint one of the league’s principal research-intelligence officers to high office in the Scottish Tory Party.
She said, “Basically, we wanted to amend the Data Protection Act so that the Economic League could not keep card index files on individuals without their knowledge.
They have blacklisted thousands of people who know nothing whatever of it and they very often get things wrong.
”There are now 70 MPs who are members of our campaign.
We have representatives from all parties except the Tories. ”I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Michael Forsyth appoints someone like Russell Walters. They both belong to the hard right after all.
This will not go down well with the people of Scotland, though. Appointments such as these will backfire on the Tories because these people hold attitudes which are alien to most Scots.”
One Scot who has figured in the Economic League’s blacklists is Dalkeith High School history teacher Mr Derek Philips. He is an SNP activist and organiser of the party branch in Penicuik.
He appeared on the blacklist, wrongly, as a member of the anti-apartheid movement. He found out about it through the World in Action programme. Mr Philips said: ”As it happened, I wasn’t a member although I did once carry a Free Nelson Mandela banner during a miners’ strike march in Edinburgh.
I also wrote a letter about Nelson Mandela to the Scotsman.
I leave people to make up their own minds about how I then appear on an Economic League blacklist, not as an SNP activist, but as a supporter of the anti-apartheid movement.
It is sinister. ”I wish Russell Walters all the bad luck in the world as he begins his new job.”
23 October 2013 – Police Colluded In Secret Plan To Blacklist 3200 Building Workers
Police officers across the country supplied information on workers to a blacklist operation run by Britain’s biggest construction companies, the police watchdog has told lawyers representing victims.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has informed those affected that a Scotland Yard inquiry into police collusion has identified that it is “likely that all special branches were involved in providing information” that kept certain individuals out of work.
The IPCC’s disclosure confirms suspicions voiced by the information commissioner’s office last year that the police had been involved in providing some of the information held on the files.
The admission has been welcomed by campaigners for the 3,200 workers whose names were on the blacklist that was run for construction companies as “absolute evidence” of a conspiracy between the state and industry that lasted for decades.
Dave Smith, an engineer who had a 36-page file under his name and was repeatedly victimised for highlighting safety hazards on sites, including the presence of asbestos, said he was delighted that the IPCC had revealed “the truth”.
He added: “For the past five years, when we have been saying the police were involved, we were told we were talking nonsense and it was a conspiracy theory. They wanted it to go away.
Now we have the absolute evidence and this is no longer about industrial relations but is a major human rights scandal involving a conspiracy between the police and the industry.”
The blacklist, run by a company called the Consulting Association, funded by 40 major firms in the construction industry including Balfour Beatty and Sir Robert McAlpine, was discovered in 2009 after a raid by the information commissioner’s office.
Since then, the victims have fought to find out who was providing information against them. The IPCC’s correspondence is regarded as a major breakthrough.
However, the watchdog’s disclosure has been disputed by a subsequent letter to the victims’ solicitors.
This was sent by a recently appointed senior investigating officer for the inquiry into the activities of undercover police officers, known as Operation Herne.
In a letter, detective inspector Steve Craddock insists that the IPCC’s statement is incorrect and that he has seen “no conclusive evidence” that Scotland Yard shared information with the blacklisters.
The IPCC is standing by its correspondence, which it says was informed by discussions with the Metropolitan Police and that “developments since that … are a matter for the Metropolitan Police”.
In response, a spokesman for Craddock said Operation Herne’s investigating officer was “aware of the apparent contradiction and is looking into how that may have arisen”.
She added: “Operation Herne will report on the ‘blacklisting’ matter to the Metropolitan Police commissioner in due course.”
The developments come as the group fighting for justice for the blacklisted workers has received confirmation of a meeting between undercover police officers and those running the blacklist in November 2008.
The information commissioner’s officers have confirmed in a freedom of information response that they hold notes from a meeting between the Consulting Association and officers from the police national extremism tactical co-ordination unit, which runs undercover officers.
The notes of the 2008 meeting are part of a haul of documents seized by the information commissioner’s office when it discovered the existence of the secret blacklist during a raid on an office in Droitwich, Worcestershire.
Sir Robert McAlpine, which was allegedly a major player in the establishment and funding of the blacklist, is currently being sued in the high court over an unlawful conspiracy to amass a database of information against thousands of people.
Last week, in a dramatic twist, eight major construction companies, including Sir Robert McAlpine, announced that they would compensate some of the 3,213 workers whose names had been on a blacklist.
A statement said: “The companies – Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci – all apologise for their involvement with the Consulting Association and the impact that its database may have had on any individual construction worker.”
Sean Curran, a solicitor representing 69 victims in the high court, said he cautiously welcomed the announcement but raised concerns over the involvement of the unions, which are also suspected of providing information to the blacklist operation in some cases.
He said: “We note that there has been reference to the consultation of Ucatt and Unite in the formulation of the proposed compensation scheme.
We express serious concern about the involvement of those organisations.
“We have seen evidence that implicates Amicus (which evolved into Unite) and Ucatt officials in the supply of negative commentary about the suitability of their members for employment.
That commentary frequently made its way onto the Consulting Association database and was no doubt one of the factors that led to denials of employment.
“It is also worthy of note that those unions refused to support their members in bringing a High Court claim so that they could seek redress for the hardship that they suffered.
Many of those that we represent are firm that they object to Unite or Ucatt playing any part in negotiations with the relevant companies for these reasons.”
Claire Windsor, solicitor for the victims in regard to the complaint over police collusion, said her clients had lost any faith in the ability of the police to investigate themselves and that the blacklist support group was now calling for a judge-led independent inquiry into blacklisting.
10 December 2013 – The Shrewsbury 24 Conspiracy
I apologise to you, Madam Deputy Speaker, and to the outside world if I sound somewhat repetitive, but I genuinely believe that the more people that say this and listen to it, the more likely we are eventually to get somewhere on the issue of transparency.
If we look at the Press Gallery, we see that there is very little interest in this issue from the press—apart from, of course, the regular and reliable Morning Star.
For some reason, other newspapers, apart from some in the Trinity Mirror group, are not covering it.
In a week when we have discussed the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill, we can see how difficult it is, when it comes to what happened 40 years ago, to get transparency from this coalition Government.
It is somewhat ironic that we are still discussing this issue in 2014.
To reflect on the Shrewsbury 24 issue, the conditions that existed in the building industry in the 1970s were a blight on our society.
Sites with hundreds of thousands of men were given two rat-infested, filthy toilets. There was nowhere to change, so if workers got soaked in the rain, they would either have to go home and lose their pay, or continue to work—sodden and freezing.
The health and safety conditions were appalling. In 1973 alone, there were 231 fatal accidents in construction.
When talking about this issue, I am reminded of why these people were victimised—it was because they were raising serious health and safety concerns to ensure that workers were safe in the workplace.
That is why the then employers turned against the trade unions—to make sure that health and safety issues were not raised at the appropriate time.
The employers’ agenda was not about looking after their workers.
We look on some of the working conditions in some countries with disgust, and we call on UK-based companies working in those other countries to look at their supply chains and improve their human rights records.
The Shrewsbury 24 were picketing in conditions that we would be horrified at today, so the calm and dignified protest they led is to be commended.
It was a difficult task—something that has not been repeated—trying to organise building workers who often moved to new temporary sites and it was a struggle to organise them on account of that.
The Shrewsbury 24 wanted to highlight the issues caused by colleagues “on the lump”, but they did not get violent and did nothing illegal.
At this stage, I am reminded of what the Scottish Affairs Select Committee is doing on the issue of blacklisting.
Only yesterday I listened to some of the evidence that the trade unions gave to that Select Committee.
Even today, trade union organisers are refused access to building sites, simply because they want to raise health and safety issues that the employer does not want to listen to. Ordinary trade unions are still struggling to get recognition.
The Shrewsbury 24 hired six coaches and picketed large sites around Shrewsbury, which were chosen because they were not as well organised as some places in the bigger cities.
It was peaceful—there were no cautions and no arrests. They had the permission of site owners. Chief Superintendent Meredith even shook the hand of Des Warren and thanked him for the co-operation of the UCATT and the then Transport and General Workers Union.
For that reason, when 24 men were arrested on conspiracy charges months later, they were shocked and confused.
Six were sent to jail, and over four decades later, the pickets still deny that they were guilty of any of the charges levelled against them.
The sentences had a devastating impact on these men. While in prison, Des Warren was regularly forced to drink “liquid cosh”, which has been blamed for his death from Parkinson’s disease in 2004. These men struggled to get work afterwards.
Let me finish by saying that if there were any sort of national security issue, it would never be viewed as acceptable in this day and age that information for which people are looking should be denied to them.
Mr Tom Watson (West Bromwich East) (Lab): What lies behind this motion is a belief by many that there has been an abuse of state power and a subversion of the legal process.
Successive Governments have said repeatedly that there are just a handful of files relating to the Shrewsbury trials.
I would like to focus today on just one single file—PREM 15/2011, with which I hope the Minister can acquaint himself. It is described as “Woodrow Wyatt’s TV programme, ‘Red Under the Bed’”. On 27 August 2012, the National Archives website said that this file was “retained” by the Cabinet Office under section 3(4) of the Public Records Act 1958.
Why would such a file be kept back when it relates to a current affairs programme that was broadcast on ITV in November 1973?
Following a freedom of information request by the Shrewsbury 24 campaign’s incisive researcher in August 2013, the Cabinet Office finally conceded and released some of the papers.
Why is this file relevant? It is relevant because the film was broadcast on 13 November 1973, the day on which the prosecution completed its case against the pickets.
It was featured in the TV listing section of the local evening newspaper, the Shropshire Star, which would have been read by many of the jurors.
The film included a highly tendentious commentary by Woodrow Wyatt, interspersed with footage that showed the following: two of the six defendants, John Carpenter and Des Warren; Shrewsbury Crown Court, surrounded by police officers, with a group of demonstrators attending a meeting nearby; images of a march through Shrewsbury in which the defendants could be made out; violence and damage alleged to have been caused by pickets on building sites during the national building strike of 1972; and violence and damage alleged to have been caused by pickets during a recent coal strike and a recent dock strike.
The next day, the defence applied to the judge for the television company to be held in contempt.
The judge viewed the film and dismissed the application, even criticising the defence for raising the point.
The file shows that the film, which lasted for one hour, was followed by a studio discussion of 30 minutes.
Interestingly, the discussion was not broadcast in every ITV region—Granada, for example—but it was transmitted by ATV, the region covering Shrewsbury.
The final words of that discussion were from the then Conservative MP Geoffrey Stewart-Smith. He was asked by the studio chairman, the late Richard Whiteley:
“Can you give me one example in 1973 of blatant communist influence?” Stewart-Smith replies “The violence in the building strike was called by a group, The Building Workers Charter, operating in defiance of the union leadership indulging in violence and flying pickets and this is an example of these people operating, opposing free trade unions”.
Can you imagine anything more blatantly prejudicial to a trial than that, Madam Deputy Speaker?
Imagine what the reaction would be today. Just think of any current high-profile trial, and what a defence team would say, and how that would be reported in the print media now.
We have to ask ourselves why that film was made, and why it was shown on that particular date.
It is my contention that the file reveals the highest level of collusion between the Government, the security services and the producers of the film.
The first document in the file is a memo from Mr Thomas Barker of the Information Research Department to a Mr Norman Reddaway.
For the benefit of younger Members, I should explain that the IRD was formed after the second world war as a covert anti-communist propaganda unit operating within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and was closed down in the late 1970s. Mr Barker boasts:
“We had a discreet but considerable hand in this programme….In general, this film, given national networking, can only have done good.”
He praises the studio discussion after the broadcast. The file contains more documents, including a note from the Prime Minister, Ted Heath, supporting the film after being sent a copy of the transcript by the Cabinet Secretary.
23 January 2014 – Who Was It Who Funded the Economic League’s Secret Committee?
Who was it who funded the Economic League’s secret committee—a secret committee in a secret organisation? Lord McAlpine.
Even I was put on a blacklist. Who put me on it? I believe that it was one Russell Walters, who today works as Tory researcher, and who was chief of staff for that would-be Tory leader, the hon. Member for Windsor (Adam Afriyie). He was working for the Economic League.
There was also a bloke called Ned Walsh, a liar, who said throughout these events that he worked for the unions.
In fact, during the 1960s and 1970s he was working for the Economic League, infiltrating the unions. That is the conspiracy.
Blacklisting in Employment. Caprim Ltd. Jack Winder. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI1mh2N7OOg (90 minutes in parliament)
Multinational construction companies have been illegally blacklisting trade unionists in the UK building industry for years using the Consulting Association blacklist – the successor to the notorious Economic League. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRB9DjmhBHg
15 Apr 2013 -Union News reports on the findings of an interim report by MPs on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee into the practice of anti-union blacklisting in the construction industry. The MPs say “major construction firms caught in illegal blacklisting are still dodging responsibility” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UGdffWtzEE
Published on 21 Feb 2014. Police attend Victoria offices of Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd today as an arrest warrant is served on Cullum McAlpine for human rights violations relating to blacklist scandal. This weekend is 5th anniversary of the Information Commissioners Office raid on the Consulting Association, when files on over 3,214 construction workers and environmental activists were found. Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd. played a key role in setting up the Consulting Association to deny these workers employment, most of whom were simply raising concerns over health and safety. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KuR-QhUXes
Walters listed as the sole director, (from 2003) of Second Circle Symposia Ltd, (a media company)
Walters listed as a director of the Democracy Movement (from 2006) A right wing Tory Think Tank
Behind the heavy wooden doors of House of Commons committee room 10, a little-known group of young Tories gathered in private on Wednesday to rally their forces ahead of the general election.
The chintzy decor provided an incongruous backdrop for the Young Britons’ Foundation, which has begun to earn a reputation in Tory circles as “the Conservative madrasa”.
Evoking al-Qaida indoctrination, the name has stuck because the offshoot from Conservative Future, the party’s official youth wing, harbours an extremist edge.
The YBF’s leader, Donal Blaney, is on record expressing what could be viewed as extreme positions on everything from the NHS to waterboarding.
So what were leading members of David Cameron’s top team, including party chairman Eric Pickles and shadow defence secretary Liam Fox, doing at their annual gathering?
The answer may lie in the group’s influence within the Conservative party and its growing role in training young Tories and even some parliamentary candidates who will stand against some of Labour’s big guns at the election this spring, including the foreign secretary, David Miliband.
The organisation was formed in 2003 by Blaney, a Kent solicitor and former leader of Conservative Future, the party’s official youth wing.
Ideologically, his heroes are Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and he encourages his young charges to hark back to their free-market, libertarian, low-tax ideals.
He has managed to carve out a niche in the Conservative movement training young members and activists in handling the media and is now also offering training in right-wing policy issues.
With strong links with the American neo-conservative movement, the YBF regularly sends activists on subsidised trips to conferences in the US. “We go into schools and we proselytise conservatism and we get hold of the best kids and train them up,” Blaney has said. “We have been described as a Conservative madrasa, so we bring the next generation out to the States and bring them back radicalised.”
Blaney even takes his charges on firearms training courses. In 2008 he took activists and young Conservatives to the Blue Ridge Arsenal in Virginia, reporting that the feeling of “hot brass, gun recoil and smell of gunpowder was incredible”.
There are also partnerships with American right-wing think-tanks and foundations. The trips are all part of a plan to place “young radical free-market Anglosphere Conservatives in public life”.
Supporters stress the leadership’s own views are rarely directly espoused.
Michelle Donelan, 25, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Wentworth, who has attended the YBF’s training weekends, said it would be wrong to characterise it as extreme and indoctrinating.
“What Donal says, he says,” she said. “I have never heard these kinds of views expressed at a YBF event. It is a wonderful organisation. It brings young people into politics and is a forum for discussion.”
Donellan said that contrary to Blaney’s position and that of the YBF’s executive director, Matthew Richardson, she is “wholeheartedly” in favour of the NHS.
The organisation has also won endorsement from Cameron’s top team.
Even though the audience was modest at this week’s conference, it revealed strong support from the Tory hierarchy. As well as Pickles and Fox, speakers included Cameron’s former chief of staff, Alex Deane, and Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford.
But for all the credibility these speakers give the YBF, a closer look reveals that the views of its chief executive move quite dramatically off-message,.
Perhaps most shockingly for a man who claims responsibility for training young politicians in the UK, Blaney appears to suggest on his website, Blaney’s Blarney, that waterboarding is acceptable. He also argues that the UK should adopt America’s liberal gun ownership laws.
In another article headlined “Scrap the NHS, not just targets”, he asked: “Would it not now be better to say that the NHS – in its current incarnation – is finished?”
It is the exposure of such views that will worry Tory high command.
Former deputy prime minister John Prescott said: “It shows the conflict between the smiling, liberal face of Cameron and the real gut feeling that some Tories have,” he said.
Tory party officials repeatedly stress that the YBF is independent from the party.
But Blaney has secured a place close to the party’s power-base. The YBF claims to have trained 2,500 party activists and sources familiar with Conservative central office said there is an informal understanding that the YBF is the main provider of training for young Conservative activists.
But most significantly, at least 11 Tory parliamentary candidates have either been delegates or speakers at its courses since 2003.
With many in winnable seats, it seems the graduates of the “Conservative madrasa” could be about to take power.
10 October 2009 – Political War games For Young Tory Activists – Russell Walters Now With Right Wing Conservative Way Forward in Attendance
This year’s YBF Conference will be much more interactive, with students working closely with mentors as they discuss how to handle a political war-game over the course of the weekend.
Students will also get the chance to devise campaign strategy and design campaign materials, debate issues with conservative movement leaders and hone campaigning skills in readiness for the general election next year.
All very useful stuff for any budding activist!
- Eric Pickles MP, Conservative Party Chairman
- Daniel Hannan MEP, Co-Author of The Plan
- Rt Hon Lord Forsyth, Former Secretary of State for Scotland
- Gerald Howarth MP, Shadow Defence Minister
- Andrew Rosindell MP, Shadow Home Office Minister
- Greg Hands MP, Shadow Treasury Minister
- Paul Goodman MP, Shadow Local Government Minister
- Douglas Carswell MP, Co-Author of The Plan
- Paul Staines, Guido Fawkes
- Iain Dale, Blogger & Publisher
- Jonathan Isaby, Conservative Home
- Nick Wood, Former CCHQ Head of Communications
- Matthew Elliott, TaxPayers’ Alliance
- Douglas Murray, Centre for Social Cohesion
- Simon Richards, Freedom Association
- Alan Mendoza, Henry Jackson Society
- Russell Walters, Conservative Way Forward
- Peter Whittle, New Culture Forum