Karen Allen

I fought South Shields at the May 2010 General Election for the Conservatives, gaining a 6.4% swing which was a 4% vote increase. The Conservatives polled 7,886 up from 5,207 in 2005. I was born in the North East and grew up in South Shields. I currently live in London and am employed as a Director at Lloyd's Broker Howden International.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A spot of canvassing

I'm looking forward to the Hustings tomorrow in Manchester. I was talking to several people at the Pitcher and Piano on Tuesday night and was really pleased to see how many people were planning to travel up to Manchester.

The only thing I found slightly unnerving was that many people were saying they hadn't received their ballot papers yet. As votes have to be in by noon on September 15th it's definetely worth contacting the ever helpful Richard Jackson at CCHQ, if you still haevn't received your paper by next week: richard.jackson@conservatives.com

On Saturday afternoon I'm doing some campaigning in Moston Ward which is a target ward close to Manchester City Centre. If you are interested in joining us before the Hustings to help out please let me know.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Who are you voting for?

Have you made your mind up? Has your ballot paper already gone back in the post?

If the answer is no, then I hope you will contemplate my manifesto and consider voting for me. If you don't know me, please email me or post if you want any further clarification or information on what I am about. I will also be at Mark Clarke's reception at the Pitcher and Piano, 40-42 William IV St, nr Trafalgar Sq on Tuesday 29th August from 7.30pm onwards.

In a nut shell my goals if elected would be:

I want to help organise more training sessions to give more opportunity to hone key skills.
I want to attract more 25+ members.
I want to raise CF's profile.
I want to help set up more branches in our cities and marginal seats.

If you are still on the fence, can I leave you with the thoughts of Iain Dale?


Hope to see you on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mine has arrived; Ballots Papers

So here it is, arrived safely; the ballot paper for the National Management Executive for 2006. I'm only sorry to see that Chris Wales is included on the ballot paper. Chris posted his comments on the CF Diary on Conservative Home stating his registration had been in error and he wished to withdraw from the election, as his entry had been by mistake and he wanted to stand as an Area Chairman.

Unfortunately as he is included as one of the eleven candidates standing for election to one of the six places on the National Management Executive , I fear the results could be unfair. I will try to hope however that the people who should be elected and indeed want to be elected to the Exec will be elected.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Have you got yours?

Ballot papers are out. If you haven't got your hands on yours yet, I hope you will soon. The contest for Chairperson is heating up, as are the discussion topics, as we approach the Hustings.

I'm looking forward to the Hustings, especially to get the chance to meet and speak to CF members who aren't normally able to get to the events in London. I trust that there will be a good selection of questions, some topics being a bit more probing than whether there should be alcohol served at the Hustings or why are the candidates endorsing each other?

Manchester: Saturday 2nd September
London: Friday 8th September

See you there!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Munish Chopra: Chairman of Cities of London and Westminster CF

I wish Munish very good luck in his campaign for Chairman of London West. He's very hard working and deserves to be selected. He's kindly given me the following endorsement:

'I have no hesitation in endorsing Karen for NME. She is highly
organised and a great team worker. She was part of the team that
delivered the fantastic Working Life Training Weekend. She will be a
real asset to CF."

Munish Chopra
Chairman of Cities of London and Westminster CF
Candidate for London North West Area

Gareth Thompson: London North East Chairman

"I'm really glad Karen is standing for the NME. We need more people with experience from the world of work and business involved in the NME and Karen fits that bill. It's vital that Conservative Future reaches beyond just the student age range and brings in those people in their mid and late 20s who seem to be missing from the movement currently. Karen has got my vote.

Gareth Thompson
Conservative Future Area Chairman
London North East"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Jonathan Ash-Edwards: Choice for NME

Karen would be a brilliant choice for next year’s National Exec. Although fairly new to CF, she has got herself involved by actually getting things done, such as helping organise the Working Life Conference, rather than moaning from the sidelines. Her business experience and professionalism are exactly what is needed to help drive CF forward. I completely endorse her election campaign.

Jonathan Ash-Edwards

CF National Exec 2005-06

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Compassionate Conservatism: Jesse Norman

Jesse Norman spoke very impressively at this evening's event at CCHQ, when he told us about the Cameroonian Compassionate Conservatism currently sweeping through the Party. We are the new Conservatives and FDA is our brand: freedom, decentralisation and accountability.
This session was also broadcast on CF TV, thanks to the endeavours of Andrew Young. I hope this is the first of several events along the same strand. It's certainly the sort of stimulating session I would want to be involved in organising; it was educating and prompted discussion.
It was also very interesting to see the mixture of attendees. Although this was a CF billed event the majority of the attendees seemed to me, on a cursory glance of the audience, to be aged 25-35.

Getting Our Youth Back: Manifesto

I want to be elected to the NME because I want to be in a position whereby I can change and improve CF. I have worked hard this year on the Committee organising the Working Life Conference in Loughborough. We attracted a largely increased number of women and first timers to this event which was widely perceived as a success.

What I would do on the NME:

 Provide more training and guidance to our members. I believe we fundamentally need to equip our activists to be the best and most successful campaigners. We can achieve this by training. I would organise more skill grounding and development sessions on “tactical” campaigning and the “art” of campaigning; essentially how to influence voters. I would also arrange media training sessions.
In addition to knowing how to campaign, it’s vital our members are educated on the Party’s key issues and Policies (as they are formed). I would organise informal sessions for discussion on topics such as David Cameron’s Six Key Challenges.
I also want members to get more opportunity to practice debating and public speaking. A breakfast meeting could encompass discussion / debate of key issues with an MP or member of the Shadow Cabinet. I would look to have these sessions broadcast, thereby reaching out to members of CF who live in other parts of the country or are not able to attend the session.

 Organise more campaigning groups. The under 30s vote can win elections. The natural next forward step to compliment training is to organise more campaigning and canvassing for our members. Campaigning should be at the heart of the group.

 Cater for all of our members. This year’s Conference was geared towards “Working Life” members and it worked very well. We were able to attract more people as it was specifically targeted and I do believe in the case of some sessions it is more productive to target in this way. However, if I was on the NME I would ensure there are a variety of events for our Student members to join as well as sessions specifically geared towards them. I would ensure our Students got the Conference they deserve.

 Work to attract more members aged 22 and over. CF has attracted a vast number of new members aged 18-24, but we have seen fewer members 24+. I work in an environment where there is a network of twenty somethings which puts me in a good position to attract these new members we are lacking

 Develop the image of CF. I think in the past CF has been wrongly and unfairly. Although the group has worked very hard to change there is still some way to go. By attracting a wider range of new members and being involved in a range of activities I think we can achieve this.

 Set up new branches. This is absolutely key to our success. I would work to set up new branches not only in target seats but in our cities, where there is a drought of opportunities and resources for our young voters. I am from the North East originally, an area where the Conservatives have historically not be very strong, I have been extremely encouraged on recent visits to Newcastle by growing interest in the activities of the Party and want to develop this in Newcastle and other cities.

Vote for me because I am dedicated to improving CF. I joined CF in 2004 at the grand age of 25. As a late joiner I think I can provide fresh input, from a solidly professional background to appeal to a wide range of voters under the age of 30. I want to be in a position where I can maximise my input to CF. Vote for me to join the NME to give me this opportunity. I believe CF is the Future of the Conservative Party.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Vote for me !!

After some thought and consideration I have decided to stand for the NME. I want to be able to use my experience and the fresh outlook I have to improve CF. I hope you will vote for me, as I am very keen to open the group out to those it is not currently appealing to, as well as providing more opportunity for training and development.

Bid to be elected to the National Executive

Since living in London I have been involved with my local Conservative Associations, canvassing at the General Election, By Elections and Council Elections. I started to receive some correspondence from Conservative Future, as I was a member aged under 30. In 2004 at the grand age of 25 I started to become more involved with the activities of CF. As a late joiner to CF I was aware I was entering a group where many members who were around the same age as me had anything up to ten years of experience. I do think, however that I was able to provide a fresh input, as I had no preconceived opinions, but came from a Professional Background and only wanted to become more involved with people under 30 who are keen to promote and campaign for the Party.

Although we have been attracting more new members since the appointment of David Cameron we are still a long way from the Heydays. The bulk of new CF members have been aged 18-24. I would look to attract more members aged over 22 and believe I am in a good position to do so, working in an environment were there is a vast network of twenty somethings. CF is being wrongly perceived by the first or second jobbers, who have not previously been involved with the group as a student. I want to change this. I also believe many first or second jobbers think they do not have enough time to “get involved.” Indeed I thought I would not have the time, but have found that working with teams of dedicated activists, whom I have met through CF, it’s been possible to use concentrated time productively to achieve some great results.

I believe training and development is fundamental and an area which has been lacking in CF. The social evenings organised at present are excellent and a good way of networking and speaking informally on Party views and issues. I think it is important to continue with these events and I would indeed look to organise more. However I would concentrate on hosting more breakfast meetings which step across into training type sessions in which debate can be successfully engaged. It is this sort of “training” in debating and public speaking I would focus most on. These meetings could also be broadcast opening them up to members of CF who are not able to attend the session, this further extends into the arena of media training, which is another area we have not supplied enough of to our members. Debating is fundamental training which I would look to organise in working groups and sessions which are broadcast.

I was a member of the committee for the Working Life Conference 2006 which was held in Loughborough. Through publicity and liaison we successfully attracted many “first timers” to attend this conference which was dedicated to the first and second jobbers, interested in becoming involved in politics. Using a network of contacts we were able to schedule sessions with excellent speakers, with objective of equipping attendees to become stronger activists, by providing guidance on local issue campaigning and learning how community projects can make a real difference to the Conservative Party, as well providing Media training and a session on how to use presentation to influence people. The Committee is already working on ideas for new events, including follow up sessions as post conference outlets for those who want to further develop their skills.

Coming originally from the North East, an area where the Conservatives have historically not be so strong, I have been extremely encouraged on recent visits to Newcastle by growing interest in the activities of the Party and indeed the success of CF. I would look to attract further members and open more branches in this area. I believe it is also fundamental to open new branches of CF in target seat. The Young vote can win elections. We are the voters of tomorrow.

I ask you to vote for me because I am dedicated to improving CF and want to be in a position where I can maximise my input. CF is the Future of the Conservative Party.