With our Brighton conference approaching (agenda and registration here), I've recently written the latest report back to conference on the Board's work. Here is a slightly expanded and updated version of that report.
The next general election
With a new Conservative Party leader nearly upon us, the range of plausible dates for the general election is wide open. As it now may well be much sooner than seemed likely at the time of our last conference, the Federal Board has been reviewing our general election plans.
We need bold and urgent action to help families pay their bills and heat their homes this winter. There is no other choice.
Families and pensioners across the country are in the grip of a cost-of-living crisis. We have already seen energy bills rise by £700 this year. They simply cannot afford another, even bigger rise of £1,400 in October.
There are reports that the Boris Johnson is planning to hand out 20 or more peerages to his supporters when he leaves office. His plan to avoid challenges to the party's legislation is corrupt and fails to understand the basic principles of a second parliamentary chamber.
David Cameron appointed more peers per year than any other prime minister before him and Boris Johnson is set to do more. This isn't just about appointments, but Johnson's willingness to break rules that don't suit him.
Guardian Money examined prices of popular items at pan-European retailers including Ikea, Apple, JD Sports, and H&M, as well as Zara and Decathlon. It compared prices in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Ireland.
It found that none of the retailers had generally lower prices in the UK, some, such as JD Sports, had prices broadly similar across Britain and the EU countries but others had prices in the UK that are markedly higher.
Liz Truss was once a passionate Remainer but is now an ardent Brexiter. She was right first time.
Rishi Sunak was always a Brexiter but from his time as chancellor he should have realised that the Treasury's hostility to Brexit was right all along.
Neither of them is facing up to the consequences of Brexit and have resorted to promising major tax cuts. They both inhabit a fantasy world while the truth that dare not speak its name in right wing circles is that improvements to public services will not come though tax cuts.
Sorry, I don't know. But I do know that the range of plausible dates is wide open - from only a couple of months away through to January 2025. And that whenever the date is, we also have a massive round of local elections in May.
Which is why we need to step up our campaigning, capacity building and planning through the second half of this year. Even if this Parliament goes its full term, the benefits of extra canvassing, member recruitment and training this summer will still be considerable.