David Blackburn

He who would valiant be

He who would valiant be
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If you are about to jet-off on your holidays, beware. This summer, determined missionaries are being sent out across Europe. They will hound you on your sun bed, collar you at the airport, harass you in the tavernas, and lecture you at places of local interest. And this is no ordinary evangelical movement. The proselytisers preach a new creed. They do not want your soul or your money; it’s your vote they’re after.

The Standard’s Londoner’s Diary reports that members of an organisation called Conservatives Abroad received an email to stoke their fervour. It goes thus:

“As the summer recess approaches you may be preparing for a holiday abroad,” the missive reads. “In March, Party Chairman Eric Pickles set Conservatives Abroad the challenge of getting 60,000 British citizens living overseas registered to vote before the next General Election.

“You can help us achieve this target and help tip the balance in critical marginal seats if you encourage any British citizens you meet while on holiday, or on any parliamentary delegation overseas, to register now so they can vote whenever the election is held.”

The Standard thinks being one of Conservatives Abroad’s foot soldiers sounds a baleful existence, but I am not so sure. According to their website, ‘Being a member of Conservatives Abroad provides a forum for like-minded people to socialise and gives a platform for political discussion on matters of mutual interest.’ Members can also attend a two day quasi-party conference in Mallorca, which let’s face it is more glamorous than Manchester’s GMEX, the venue for the actual conference. The only downside I can see is that you have to be the political equivalent of a Jehovah Witness.