The Battleground of Ideas

Labour has chosen its new leader, and they’ll come at us with everything they’ve got.

One of the most important future battlegrounds will be over ideas. The competing, era-defining visions of what kind of country post-Brexit Britain should be. And the stakes couldn’t be higher, because the winners will define British society for a generation at least, like the post-war Attlee Government that founded the NHS and the modern welfare state.

The Conservative Policy Forum (CPF), the Party’s internal think-tank (which I chair) focuses on creating the ideas; we ask Conservative members what they think about key policy areas, tapping into the collective wisdom and experience of the Tory crowd on everything from health, education, and policing to foreign policy and defence.

Ideas are the raw material of politics. They give people the passion, energy, and zeal to do great things and support important causes. But that’s only half the story; the energy has to be harnessed in political campaigns to make change happen. Otherwise ideas never catch fire, and just gather dust on a shelf.

That’s why I’m such an admirer of Conservative Progress’ work to organise, train and improve the Party’s campaigning. Because you’re the other half of what we need. You’re the yin to CPF’s yang. Together, we can make the Conservative Party unstoppable.

So, if you’ve got a policy idea that you’re burning to get off your chest, we want to hear from Conservative Progress members like you. Almost half of the ideas in the 2019 election Manifesto had appeared earlier in CPF proposals, and our policy papers go straight to Cabinet Ministers and #10 policy wonks, so it’s the best way to get your idea in front of the people who need to see it.

All those campaigning skills will give you an edge in CPF’s market for ideas as well.

Joining CPF is free and, once you’ve signed up at, you can put your idea into our forum. Once they’re there, the way to push them to the top of our ranking league table is to persuade friends, colleagues and fellow conservatives to ‘like’ and comment positively about them.

The top-ranked ideas will get published by CPF each year, or you could even end up on the main stage at Party Conference this autumn, pitching your idea to Party members and Ministers in a ‘Strictly Come Politics’ (or perhaps ‘Political X Factor’) live event.

Conservative Progress members ought to be brilliant at campaigning their way to the top of our ideas rankings. It’s what you do, after all. So come on; it’s a competition that ought to be tailor-made for you.

Your Party needs not just your energy and campaigning skills, but your ideas as well.

John Penrose MP, Conservative Member of Parliament from Weston-super-Mare and Chair of the Conservative Policy Forum

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