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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Knocking on doors again.

I have been out canvassing tonight, and it was one of those evenings where you think you didn't get anywhere. There were some extra Conservative votes, but there were some lost votes as well. I did get the general feeling of disillusionment in politics and Great Britain. People think this country has gone to the dogs, and I can't blame them. What we have to do is put pride back in to our communities and make Great Britain GREAT again. I really do think that is an important theme in this election. What is more important, is getting our vote out. The two are linked together like Siamese twins.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Local elections - May 3 2007

Five weeks on Thursday - May 3 - is the date of the local elections. Now that we have 'sprung forward' with our clocks, things are starting to get busier. Last night I was out canvassing and got some positive responses from the doorstep. Most people, however, have not really thought about the election. That is completely understandable. When the daylight ebbs away at an early point in the evening, you do not think of the lighter nights in May. This is changing now.

We were canvassing in the Cottingham South ward last night. Cottingham South - in the East Riding of Yorkshire - currently has two Lib-Dem councillors and there is a good chance the ward can become 'blue' this May. Click HERE for a full list of results from the last election. You will see how close it was in Cottingham South. Of course it requires a lot of work, but any Tory activist worth their salt will work to get rid of two Lib-Dems! Helen Green - one of our candidates - fed us last night too. It was an enjoyable evening, eating a home made lasagna. It is so nice to be waited on every now and again. Andy Percy - councillor on Hull City Council and candidate for Brigg and Goole - joined us too. He joined us after we had canvassed, as he was hard at work printing leaflets for the campaign, but he did say the offer of some food was too much to pass by!

If we can win this ward and Willerby and Kirk Ella, we stand a good chance of gaining control of the East Riding Council. I'm sure you can see where my efforts will be focused over the next five weeks. I will - given time - keep you all updated on what is happening. I hope to give you a video diary too, if I can get my head around the technology. This is where Martine Martin comes in.

I will let you all in to a little secret. Martine said to me a few months ago; if I teach her how to cook, she will teach me all these technical, computer things. Well Martine, you're on! I think I am going to need your help.

I would like to keep a video diary though, and when we get all our new Conservative councillors, I will give them a copy of the last five weeks of the campaign. It will be a great memento - I hope. That all depends on my video editing skills. As you can see I will be kept very busy.

I have said this before and I will say it again. If anyone out there in Hull and East Yorkshire would like to get involved, PLEASE contact me. The more, the merrier. We can always do with more help.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Campaigning in East Yorkshire

I was out leafleting yesterday in Cottingham and Dunswell. It was a cold, grey and depressing day. The typical East Yorkshire wind was out in force. What a lazy wind it is. Today, I'm not out leafleting and what happens? The sun is out, the sky is blue, there's not a cloud to spoil the view... I won't go on with the lines of that song, but you get the idea. The temperature is 11C and of course we will have daylight until after 7.00pm.

Extra daylight is - of course - good news. Mrs Jones doesn't want to open her door to strangers when it is dark outside. So now we can get out and knock on doors and hopefully get some more Conservative councillors. I too am standing for election in my ward in Hull. There's no chance of me getting elected this time around, but over the next two or three years we are hoping to build up the Conservative base in the ward. It was an area the Lib-Dems hijacked as soon as the estate was being built around 8 years ago. When I moved in here 6 years ago, regular Lib-Dem literature would come through my letterbox, and this is why it is such a strong ward for them. It could just as easily be Tory though. So watch this space, although you will be watching for a very long time; probably 4 years and beyond. If you want Conservative councillors, you have to work hard to get them. This is what we are doing here in East Yorkshire. All help gratefully received.

Super Casino

ConservativeHome is a wonderful resource. You can find out everything Tory at the touch of a button and without it I for one would be nowhere near as informed as I am. Okay, advertisement over.

So, as you may have already guessed, I have just got this story from ConservativeHome. I have never really understood why Labour support 'Super Casinos.' They on one hand warn us of the dangers of gambling, and on the other, allow new casinos to be opened all over the country.

They warn us of the dangers of 'binge drinking', then allow our pubs and bars to open around the clock. This really is a government of the most staggering double standards.

It's good to see that David Cameron has put a three line whip out, and is determined that the Conservatives oppose the new casino in Manchester. I wonder how many Labour MPs will walk through the 'no' lobby?

Ann Widdecombe speaks her mind.

I have just seen this link on Conservative Home.

Once again Ann Widdecombe lightens up a debate with her insight. The line I like the best is: So anybody imagining that it makes a jot of difference if Mrs Bloggs replaces her lightbulbs with low energy ones might just as well throw a sugar cube in Loch Ness and claim a serious contribution has been made to sweetening the water.

What more can I say?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Views from across the pond

Following up from my post yesterday, I can announce that MediaLizzy will be dropping by from time to time and giving us her views from the United States.

I like the idea of opening up my blog and getting different views, particularly from the US. So, I give her a warm welcome and look forward to hearing what she has to say.

Friday, March 23, 2007

An evening at school

Before I go off in to the land of nod - as I have to be up early in the morning, which does not lie well with me on a Saturday, I just want to tell you all about my evening.

I am a recent governor at Kelvin Hall School in Hull. Tonight we were celebrating, as the school has received International School Status for the third time. We have links in France, Ireland, Germany, Russia, Sierra Leone and many other places. Although the school is a specialist science college, there is also a very strong emphasis on modern languages, which quite naturally fits in with the links we have around the world.

I have never been a fan of John Prescott, but I must give credit, where credit is due. He used a PowerPoint presentation to tell us of his visit to our partner school in Sierra Leone and gave a good and witty speech.

The pupils told us of their experiences visiting different countries; did an international rap song, as well as a Chinese dance. They were great, and Mr Prescott really praised them. So good on him for that.

I also met my Labour MP - Diana Johnson - for the first time. She doesn't know my political views and tonight was not a night for politics, although I did get my views across on House of Lords reform!

Too many people criticise our young people. Tonight showed me what a talented bunch of kids we have in this country and well mannered too. When I left the school with another governor, there were a few pupils outside the main entrance. One of the boys said, 'Goodnight sirs.' There are many young people who still have good manners and respect for others. We should never loose sight of that.

The US perspective

For anyone who wants to read views from the right from the US, I recommend this site. Media Lizzy gives good and detailed analysis from that side of the pond. I too am doing some writing there. So check it out.

Tories step up hunt for defectors

I just got this from the BBC website. I don't really like this sort of thing. Call me old fashioned, but if I voted Lib-Dem and the Lib-Dem candidate was elected, I don't think I would be very happy if I suddenly had a Tory MP.

I know we have to live in the real world and a couple of defections from Labour in particular would be fantastic for us politically, but I still think it is up to those MPs who want to defect to make overtones to us.

If I look in to my crystal ball, I can foresee some defections in the future, but not now. I don't think there is a MP who would defect to the Conservatives until we have firm policies. This October the party conference will debate those policies and I hope we will then have something firm to offer the electorate.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The great budget con.

You have to hand it to Gordon Brown. I am sure he is a member of the magic circle. His sleight-of-hand abilities are as great as anyone.

My National Insurance is going up, the 10% starting rate of income tax is abolished, but the basic rate is going to be cut. What gets the headlines? The basic rate cut, of course. But what does this mean to me? According to my calculations; I am worse off. Now there's a surprise, as this has been the case in every Brown budget.

This budget has just made the tax system more complicated once again. Another typical Brown budget. This man just loves to tinker and meddle, giving in one hand and taking away with the other. If you are single and/or run a small business you are worse off. If you are on a low income, you will now start paying income tax at 20%, not 10%. So you are worse off.

I can only hope the electorate will see what this control freak is trying to do. He is trying to con you in to thinking you are paying less and in the process tax you more.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Bob Woolmer

As a cricket lover, I was very saddened to hear of the death of Bob Woolmer. He was a fantastic cricket coach and he was respected and liked throughout the world of cricket.

Friday, March 16, 2007

University squeeze on the children of graduates.

Last September, Martine Martin, posted an article on ConservativeHome, explaining why she is a Tory. If you have not read it, do so now. Click here.

Like Martine, I was brought up in a Labour household, and like her it has been experience that made me a Conservative.

You can therefore imagine my thoughts when I looked at the front page of 'The Times' today. Here is the scenario. You work hard and become the first person in your family to go to University. You graduate, get and job and continue to work hard in your chosen career. In the meantime, you get married and have children. You and your spouse encourage your children in every way possible in their studies. They get good GCSE passes and they are now studying for their 'A' Levels, and they are now filling in a UCAS application. UCAS want to know about your family background and if you went to university. You child answers yes, and immediately they are discriminated against because you worked hard.

This scenario is not 'Alice in Wonderland' stuff. This will happen and of course this Labour government thinks it's a great idea. They scrap the assisted places scheme, put tens of thousands of university students in to greater debt and now want to discriminate against bright kids just because their parents went to university.

Yesterday we heard how much the government think the Olympics will cost. I bet by 2012 it will be more like £20 billion. They will cream off 20% of the lottery money available to fund it, but they cannot fund higher education properly.

When Tony Blair came out with his famous mantra, education, education, education, what he really meant to say was, discrimination, discrimination, discrimination and debt, debt, debt. All of this comes from a man who had a privileged education. While he has 'freebie' holidays around the world as guests of the famous and infamous, he is quite happy to discriminate against hard working families. But don't think it will be any better under Brown. No, things will get worse.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Celebrating Wilberforce

This is a nice little story from Hull about a young choir recording a CD celebrating the 200th anniversary of the slave trade abolition bill. We in Hull are - naturally - very proud of our William Wilberforce connection.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

They are all at it now.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the greenest of them all? That's what it seems like after David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Ming Campbell have been out proving their 'green' credentials.

I watched 'The Great Climate Change Swindle' tonight, and that confirmed what I already thought. Climate change is a natural phenomenon, and there are many eminent scientists ready to back that theory up. There are more CO2 emissions from the world's oceans than from anything we put in to the atmosphere. It is only when the temperature of the earth rises that CO2 rises. There is no link between climate change and CO2, but you are supposed to feel guilty every time you get in to your car or jump on-board an aeroplane. The environmentalists have hijacked this subject with dodgy science; lobbied and lobbied, and we are now in a position where you are seen as a freak if you do not believe their theories. No wonder many scientists across the world are annoyed. But many of those scientists are afraid to speak out, as their funding on other projects may be cut.

One of these days politicians will realise it is a con, although then they will have to come up with more new and imaginative ways of taxing us.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Climate Change

My views on our 'carbon footprint' are there for everyone to see. Read it here and here. Watching George Osborne on the television today made me look at the 'Register of MPs interests.' This is part of his entry.

Overseas visits
8-18 June 2006, to Canada and the United States. I attended a Bilderberg Conference in Ottawa 8-11 June, for which my hotel bill and a contribution to the cost of my flights was paid by the Canadian sponsors of the Conference. Between 15-18 June I attended the AEI World Forum, Beaver Creek, Colorado, who paid for my hotel and airport transfers. I paid for all my other expenses and travel. (Registered 8 July 2006)
30 August-3 September 2006, to Japan, to meet government and business leaders. Flights, transport and accommodation provided by Central Japan Railways Co. (Registered 10 October 2006)
4-7 September 2006, to India. Flight from Japan to India paid for by Central Japan Railways Co. Private jet from Mumbai Airport to Pune Airport, and return to Mumbai, provided by JCB. Private jet from Mumbai to Delhi, and from Delhi to London Heathrow, provided by Michael Spencer. (Accommodation provided by the Conservative Party for one night and by the British High Commissioner for two nights.) (Registered 10 October 2006)

Private jets, contributions or everything paid for by someone else. I am not trying to single out Mr Osborne - although he is the one today who is lecturing me. Every senior politician can boast a similar 'carbon footprint.' They all go on conferences and visits paid by someone else. Well, I do not have the luxury of travelling by private jets in India. I make occasional visits to the US, but the rest of my air travel is within Europe. If I want to go for a long weekend to Paris, I do not need a lecture on my 'carbon footprint' from Mr Osborne.

This is a party political broadcast from those of us in the Conservative Party who understand that the world was hotter in medieval times and then it got colder and now it is warming up again.

House of Lords Reform

In the United States it is a fallacy to say the House of Representatives is the Lower House and the Senate is the Upper House. Both have equal powers. The US Senate is not a revising and scrutinising chamber. The House of Lords is. An appointed House of Lords is not bad for democracy; indeed it is very good for democracy if a fair and transparent system is in place with regard to whom are appointed. We must ensure people with expertise in all areas of society are represented in the Lords. Above all we need people who will serve for life, not having to worry about constituents, and who will do the best for their country, even when that means voting against their own party. People who will do the right thing at the right time. Having an appointed chamber gives us that.

My fear if we have a predominately elected second chamber is that it will be packed with second rate politicians who cannot get elected to the Commons, and we will have over 500 of them! In one fell swoop all the expertise will have gone, replaced by politicians. How can this be good for our democracy?


Last Friday I was out delivering crime surveys in Kirk Ella. The Willerby/Kirk Ella ward on the East Riding council currently has three LibDem Councillors, but if you look here, you will see just how close the Conservatives came to winning in 2003. So it is vitally important we get our message accross. There is always plenty of work to be done and if anyone reading this living in the area would like to give us a hand then contact Haltemprice and Howden Conservatives.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The end of an era.

So that's it then - or so we are lead to believe. Their Lordships' House will be no more. The genteel debate and expertise will go and will be replaced by - what probably will be - an 80% elected element. Is this a good thing or not? Every time anyone comes up with a solution, it seems to pose more questions. So, here are few more.

If those members who are elected are done so by PR on party lists - as in the EU elections - aren't we just getting appointed members anyway?

If the elections are on a constituency basis, surely those who will seek election will be those who can't get in to the Commons currently?

The proposed one term of 15 years seems ridiculous. It is far too long. There cannot be another country in the world that has a system like that, or indeed would contemplate it. It is likely that the average age of members in the second chamber would be older than the average age of MPs.

So there are likely to be more members snuffing it during their 15 years I think. Does this mean we will be subjected to endless by-elections?

The new chamber will have 540 members. This is far too large. Why does the white paper not call for a much slimmed down second chamber? Maybe something like the size of the US Senate?

The questions are endless and no-one really has any answers. I was watching BBC Parliament last night and watched a debate from the House of Lords. All I can say, is when it goes, I will miss it

Patrick Mercer

Is Patrick Mercer a racist? I don't think so, but as a front-bench spokesman, he should have chosen his words more carefully. If he had just said, that was what army life was like then, however it was unacceptable and things have now changed and moved on, he would have been alright. I know things are very different in the army now. Any form of bullying is not acceptable, and the army goes to great lengths to prevent it. It has many procedures in place and soldiers are encouraged to report anyone who is bullying them
Never mind. Mr Mercer will have plenty of time to muse over his remarks when he has a little more time to kill on the backbenches. This was the last thing the Conservative Party needed at this time. This is a lesson on the importance of engaging your brain before opening your mouth.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Merkel plans to revive the EU constitution

These Europeans just can't help themselves. The people don't want it, but as always, they think they know better than the rest of us. Read the full story here.

Gordon Brown and charisma?

In the opinion poll in The Times today, 22% of those questioned thought Gordon Brown was charismatic. Who are these people and why are they allowed to vote?

Although this poll does make good reading for the Conservatives, we must still remember we are probably at least two years away from the next general election, and if a week is a long time in politics, two years is an eternity.

For those of you who would like to view in the poll in full, click here.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Margaret Thatcher is alive and well!

What do you think of Recess Monkey? I agree with the majority of bloggers on this. He has been despicable. James Callaghan was a disaster of a prime minister. He let the unions take over and presided over economic meltdown. Did I gloat after he died? Of course not. That is disrespectful, cruel to his family and is not in the spirit of politics.

For Alex to post this story about Lady Thatcher, then go to bed and not even verify his story, is even worse.

I see the Monkey is on 18DoughtyStreet tonight. Let's see what he has to say.

UPDATE: Alex now has a prior commitment. What a surprise!

Does David Cameron stand a chance at the next general election?

'Gordon Brown has the charisma of a coffin lid.' Sorry, not my words, although I do wish I had come up with them. This is quoting Michael Portillo from yesterday's Sunday Times. Read the article in full HERE.

Michael raises some interesting questions and I think it is important for all Conservatives to read what he has to say. I read some comments on ConservativeHome last night and there were too many derisory comments. I don't think he is a bitter man. He certainly doesn't come across to me that he is. He has got 'out of the box.' He is looking at the Conservative Party as an outsider would.

All major parties today lack 'political heavyweights.' All parties have them, but they do not seem to be there in any great numbers. I have always had a worry that the Conservative front bench team look a little 'green.' And this is coming from someone who is 36! Although I am not planning on becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer.

There are too many career politicians. Too many people who go to parliament for almost instant preferment. Serving your time on the back-benches is something that has never crossed their minds. Ed Balls was elected a Labour MP at the last election and he may have a Cabinet job under Gordon Brown. He may become Chancellor after only two and a half years in parliament.

Margaret Thatcher served her apprenticeship and above all she loved the House of Commons. It was - and still is - in her blood. She has a respect for parliament that too many of the newer breed of MPs do not have.

If David Cameron is to become prime minister, he has to be, firstly, seen as a leader. Secondly he has to have a team around him with more gravitas. Finally, even if he is seen as a leader, he has to prove that he not a new form of Blair.

I don't think Brown will wait the full, five years of this parliament before going to the polls, but the longer he leaves it the better. Conservative candidates recently selected for seats will have time to get themselves known locally. This is vitally important. If you can be seen in your prospective constituency, campaigning on local issues for local people, you are more likely to get their vote than if you are just another name. It will also give David Cameron a few years as leader and a chance to prove himself as worthy of being voted in a PM. Hopefully in those intervening years, Labour will descend in to even more chaos.

There is still the chance, however, that the electorate might vote for the devil they know. Perhaps Gordon Brown is banking on that. If I was David Cameron, I would be making a few changes in my team. When it comes to youth versus experience, experience will usually win when it comes to deciding who runs the country.

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