This was the third area Richard focused on in his series of thoughts on his website. Undoubtebly, my point of view will be colourful and controversial.
First of all, I am very greatful for the appreciation Richard provides for CFS. Its lovely to see that CFS members are making a difference for the better in the life and soul of the Scottish Conservative party. But CFS still has many problems it must correct if its to become a better and stronger part of the Scottish Conservative party.
CFS has many talented people within the organisation. It has many active members, it has many members who like to be observants of the activity around them and it has also have many non-active members. Some even go on to become Conservative party candidates themselves at election time. But personally, CFS needs to have stronger influence on the life of the party and that influence is not as high as it should be. Why? Because currently, CFS doesn't feel like a cohesive unit. There are those branches that do actively participate in the life of the whole organisation and there are those branches that do next to nothing or where we hear very little from. I will not name names on here because I think that's just unnecessary but there are certain parts of the country where we hear very little from or where certain branches don't represent themselves at national events. Its sad really, because its their loss and a hinderance on CFS.
But then again, if you flip the coin onto the other side maybe those inactive branches or members have their reasons for not wanting to take part in the national activity of CFS. Sometimes they have other things going on in other areas of their own lives. That you cannot challenge and I accept that.
But the biggest problem in CFS is communication. Now I know many may challenge that. I'm not suggesting people don't talk to each other in the organisation, because that's not true. But some in CFS seem to have difficulty in even making the slightest bit of communication with their fellow members on Action Days. Certain groups of people tend to keep themselves to themselves and not actually mix with their fellow members. This is not good for relations between branches in the organisation. There are some branches that communicate well with each other and tend to get on well and form most of the activity in CFS but there are some branches who just don't want to communicate at all. You send them an e-mail or try and telephone one of their representatives or members of their committee to build good relations and either they don't reply or ignore your communication. That sends a very bad impression.
There are also some members of some branches turn up to events and they make a minimal contribution to the life of those events. That's not good enough. They create a bad impression and create unnecessary dissent about the fact they don't mix with their fellow members across the country. We need a CFS that involves EVERYBODY, not just a few branches. There is no place for stuck up attitudes and adopting shy attitudes. They are barriers to much needed cohesion within the organisation and those barriers must be broken. Whoever becomes the new committee of Conservative Future Scotland needs to address those problems and immediately.
I also think the website needs improvement, despite the efforts made in the past year to update it on a regular basis, which is good by the way. I'm not trying to demonise anybody or sound unappreciative. They really should look to the Conservative Future website (England and Wales) for inspiration. It has many features and regular blogs, links, maps of where branches are and even a regularly updated calendar of events.
CFS has played a major part in the campaigns of many candidates for our party. And it will continue to hopefully do so. But Conservative Future Scotland as a whole needs to improve and reform if it is to remain an influential part of the life of the Scottish Conservative party.