Ever since the Young Britons’ Foundation crashed and burned in the aftermath of the Tory bullying scandal and the death of young activist Elliott Johnson, the party has been missing that organised and indeed influential presence. There has been an opening out there on the right, and it seems someone is moving to fill the void.has now emerged. What’s it about? “Blue Beyond is [a] grass-roots initiative created to engage Young Conservatives from across the United Kingdom. We aim to promote greater engagement within the youth wing of the Conservative Party … We are a movement run by young Conservatives, for young Conservatives”. Well, for some value of young Conservatives.
BB’s Director is one Luke Black, sometimes called Luke Robert Black. He is a young Conservative, but not as young as the apparent target audience, given BB is trying to get itself established at Universities around the country. Black was working as a teacher back in 2015, and is evangelical in his promotion of Tory education successes, whatever they are. But he is now working in the City. He is not the only post-education presence.
Also leaping off the page is the face of Deanna Hallett, “Strategy Lead”, who interned for Bloomberg while still at Uni, and is now working there. Her CV includes the rather grand title of “Operations Coordinator to the Prime Minister” in the run-up to last December’s General Election. Young professionals recruiting younger Conservatives.
But who is putting up the money? Are we to believe that BB is simply self-funding? The YBF was believed to be privately funded. One interesting common thread is that BB’s first University presence is at Kent University, where they and the Conservative Association have “entered a partnership”. Kent was good territory for the YBF. Thus far, the only other Uni presence is at Nottingham Trent, “helping to establish a … Conservative Society”.
She tells “We also help the societies connect with other societies. Blue Beyond offers societies help when they want and need it, along with the chance to connect with other YCs, societies and associations across the UK. These connections open doors”.
Thus far, there is no sign of those who were behind the YBF being anywhere in the background at BB. But if all those young Conservatives want to be able to make the connections and open the doors, it will help immeasurably if someone stumps up some cash along the way. And it’s not as if Tory donors are broke right now.
So the question has to be asked again: who’s behind Blue Beyond? As in, who’s prepared to donate to it? And are any of the YBF mob lurking behind the scenes? More later.