The Freedom Zone

At the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham (Sept 28/Oct 1st), the Freedom Association (TFA), along with other like-minded partners, created the biggest fringe event in the history of politics.  Taking a small conference suite, Austin Court, a stone’s throw from the ICC, we set up The Freedom Zone, a full two-day programme of fringe meetings, social events and exhibition stands (where our own Rupert Matthews was selling his books, and handing out free buns).
Speakers included David Davis, John Redwood, John Whittingdale, Douglas Carswell and Dan Hannan, as well as Ruth Lea, Simon Heffer, Christopher (Viscount) Monckton, and a host of others.  Dan and Douglas conducted a book-signing for their new book “The Plan” — their vision for the localist programme of a new Conservative government.  We also conducted, with a number of euro-candidates from across the country, a debate for Party members on “What should go into the Conservative 2009 euro-manifesto”, which I shall write about separately.
John Redwood on tax and the financial crisis was superb.  In a session on climate change, Viscount Monckton wowed the audience with a highly entertaining but rigorous and forensic dissection of thirty scientific errors in Al Gore’s disaster movie — and I chaired the session, and distributed my new DVD “Straight Talking on Climate Change”.  (For your copy, please send an addressed A5 envelope to me at 9 Prospect Court, Courteenhall Road, Blisworth, Northamptonshire NN7 3DG).
In addition to all that, we offered the “Big Bad Breakfast” from 8:00 a.m. each morning (bacon and sausage butties and scrambled eggs), and the coffee lounge was buzzing with visitors through the day.
This was a huge success (thanks to Simon Richards and Vicki Stevens of the TFA who drove it and managed it), and provided a forum for some of the key issues that matter to Conservatives but which (some felt) were rather tip-toed around in the main conference.  Not only a major achievement for TFA, but a blow in the cause of freedom.

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5 Responses to The Freedom Zone

  1. Richard Hyslop says:

    I attended a couple of events at the Freedom Zone and was very impressed, well done to all involved! Will we have the same next year? Why also not take it to Labour and the Lib Dems as well?

  2. Roger helmer says:

    Thanks Richard! We’ll certainly look closely at next year. TFA has done the other conferences on a smaller scale — I did a fringe this year with the Lib-Dems in Bournemouth — but we could have a resource problem if we over-do it!

  3. I attended on Tuesday, not really knowing what to expect. I was most impressed. The debates were engaging, interesting and professionally presented.

    Roger, thank you for suggesting I attend.

  4. Eddie Ward says:

    I attended large chunks of the Freedom Zone programme and found it very well organised and informative. Thank you for arranging the event in such an ideal venue.

    More of the same please…..

  5. Malcolm Edward says:

    I very much enjoyed the Freedom Zone both the hospitality and listening to good speakers putting forward challenging and interesting ideas.
    Well done.

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