Tories need to show their message works across generations
now, but, gratifyingly, I was given a fair hearing and Sir Patrick McLoughlin, the party chairman, even singled my speech out for praise.
Ian Hislop got a big laugh on Have I Got News For You? when, commenting on the reports that the average age of Tory Party members is now 72, joshed that was only so far as the Young Conservatives were concerned.
Very funny, but, hand on heart, I saw a lot of people my age and younger at the conference.
Talking to them, I would say we had a lot in common.
For many of us, the notion that each new generation should be able to build a better future, and do better than the one that preceded ours, feels increasingly at odds with the reality that we, as a demographic, face.
We are at an age when, despite working as hard as we can, and saving as much as we can, the aspiration of owning our own homes remains only that – an aspiration, and one that is likely to remain so for some years yet.
We are a generation that having voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union, feel pessimistic about what lies ahead for us as we enter what looks like a cold, hard post-Brexit world.
The older generations at the conference had big advantages over us.
The oldest – old enough to have seen the Second World War or been born not long after it – could, generally speaking, count on a job being for life and a good pension.
The ‘baby boomers’ that followed may not have had the same job security, but they could mostly afford to buy their own homes and see them rise in value over the years.
My generation has neither blessing, but we still want to realise our potential.
I told the conference how, if I have a fighting spirit, Birmingham has given it to me.
I want to fight for my generation and for Birmingham.
It is simply not acceptable that we have the lowest employment rate of any of the core cities, with the percentage of people out of work in some constituencies running into double figures.
There exists, too, a large discrepancy between wards in respect of life expectancy.
My own political patch of Edgbaston neatly illustrates the social divide that exists in my city. Stunningly large houses with a value of more than a million pounds, situated in an oasis of leafy suburbia, are separated by just a few hundred yards from communities living in deprivation and whose lives could not be more different.
It’s a reminder that despite the progress we have made, there are social injustices that still need to be tackled, poverty that still needs to be alleviated, and equality of opportunity that still needs to be available for everyone, irrespective of age, ethnicity, family wealth or postcode.
The Conservative Party has a great tradition of being able to address the challenges that have faced every generation before mine.
While I remain convinced that out of all the choices we have available, the agenda of a Conservative government remains the best placed to tackle these challenges, the stark reality remains that vast numbers of my generation do not share this view, as the recent general election result showed.
As a party, we must be able to demonstrate to voters of my age that we are on their side. Amil Khan is a Conservative Party
activist from Edgbaston
Despite the progress we have made, there are social injustices that still need to be tackled