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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cameron must be a great reformer

A quick question for you. This is something I was discussing last night. Will David Cameron become a great prime minister? My answer is he has to be, otherwise the country is screwed. I also think he has the makings of a great reforming prime minister. He is not Margaret Thatcher, but who is? There is only one Margaret Thatcher and Cameron has to be his own man.

The economy he will inherit if the Conservatives do win the next general election will give him very little room for manoeuvre. Labour inherited a buoyant economy in 1997, and taking a world problem into account, Brown has still managed to wreck it. Where Cameron will have to be great is in reforming the way government conducts its business. He has promised a bonfire of Quangos. Good so far. What about direct democracy though? Are we going to have the opportunity to decide if we want elected mayors and elected police chiefs? Are we going to be able to decide on parliamentary candidates in truly open primaries? Are councillors going to be able to run councils (as opposed to officials running councils) with less interference from central government? What about the EU? Is Cameron going to do nothing and maintain the staus quo. or is he going to allow the people a say on whether Britain stays in Europe or opts for the more favourable position that Switzerland finds itself in?

There are many questions, and many more answers. Tax cuts are not going to happen in the near future. We need to balance the books at some stage. Cameron will need to have a war on waste in the public sector and reign back spending in every government department. Although we must equip our troops with everything they need as the fight for their country (something Brown has failed to do), we must also realise that the MoD is one of the most wasteful departments in Whitehall.

Cameron must be a great reformer of government, returning power from the centre, back to the people. This will engage more people in the democratic process. This is not desirable, it is essential.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

You Top Ten Political Blogs

It is the time of year again when Iain Dale compiles his list of top political blogs. I know I have been quiet in the past month, however, if you have enjoyed reading this blog over the past year, then please remember me when you vote. The e-mail address to send your votes to and some essential information is available on this link.

Thank you in advance.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

After Norwich North

I seem to very good at underestimating Tory support in by-elections. When I was canvassing in Crewe last year, i knew we were going to win, but I never got the feeling it would be by quite as much. Although I have not participated in the campaign in Norwich, I have been keeping up-to-date as a friend of mine has been actively campaigning in Norwich North. He told me a couple of weeks ago the Labour vote had crumbled, but I never thought it would be as much.

Labour - naturally - has tried to spin this out as a bad result for the three major parties. A 16% swing to the Conservatives is appalling for Labour; no doubt about it. By-elections always throw out freak results. It the time some lucky voters have the chance to give the prime minister of the day a bloody nose. Will it be as disastrous for Labour at the next general election? No, it won't be. Labour will poll more votes than it did in Norwich, and both the European and local elections. What is very likely is Labour polling around 25%; maybe a percentage point or two higher. The Conservatives will probably poll around 15% more than Labour. I don't think the Liberal Democrats will increase its share of the vote. The LibDems will be lucky if it keeps the same amount of MPs it has now.

I predict April next year as the month a general election will take place. Chloe Smith's job is to get busy with constituency casework during the next three months and beyond and prove herself as a hard working MP. She has big shoes to fill. Ian Gibson was very popular with his constituents, but from what I have heard of Chloe, she is more than up to the job. She knows her new constituency well and understands its problems. I wish her well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Defence

The issue of defence dominated prime minister's questions today. Once again Brown found himself unable to answer a question - is that's what you want to call it - without trotting out meaningless statistics. The fact is our troops do not have the equipment they need. This is not me playing party politics. These facts have been told to me by many people in the armed forces over the years.

I am sure the prime minister knows this and before more troops are killed in action, he should admit there has been problems and problems still exist. He should inform us how he is going to address the problems and put measures in force to make sure the same problems do not occur in the future. Our troops deserve nothing less.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Edward McMillan-Scott is expelled from the Conservative Party

I never thought I would see the day I would be defending Edward McMillan-Scott, however, the day has arrived. Although standing against your party for an elected office normally deserves an automatic expulsion from your party - and any political party would do that - these are not normal circumstances.

The EPP does not represent my interests in the European Parliament. I want Britain to have an agreement with the EU in the same way Switzerland has. The EPP does not want that and neither does Mr McMillan-Scott. The Conservative Party was right to try and create a new group in the European Parliament. I have not disagreed with David Cameron on that point. But what have we got? The Conservative Party is now in coalition with some of the biggest loony tunes in European politics. Surely Cameron could see this coming? He should have stuck with the EPP and stated a new coalition could not be created.

As a Eurosceptic, I would not want to be in this new group if I was a Conservative MEP. Despite his Europhile views, Edward McMillan-Scott has served the Conservative Party for many years, although I wonder how any Conservative can hold his views on Europe. On a PR front, this is bad for Cameron, and during PMQs tomorrow, Brown should be able to score in to an open goal. Cameron has displayed a lack of judgment in this enterprise. He should have allowed McMillan-Scott to be the official candidate for Vice-President and gone from there. The last thing he needed was this debacle. It is a mess of his own making.

Quote of the Day: Peter Mandelson

"I am told I am the PM's Willy, but he already has a pair of Balls in the Cabinet"
The Prince of Darkness, the Lord High Everything Else, attempts to be the King of Comedy.

Win a prize with Conservative Future

I've just received a little tit-bit of information, courtesy of my twitter feed. If you are a member of Conservative Future (I'm too old, I'm afraid), you can win a prize. Before your collective pulses start racing, and you beg me to tell you what it is, I must first inform you not to get too excited. If you log-in the most hours in GenEVA (which apparently is in CCHQ, not Switzerland), you will win the prize of a curry with Eric Pickles! I'm sure you are all calmer now.

Chris Ostrowski - the unpaid steward on Labour's sinking ship

For 10 years, John Prescott acted as a steward on the high seas. It seems as Labour steers its very unsteady ship over the troubled waters of Norwich North, its candidate in the by-election, Chris Ostrowski, is following in the former deputy prime minister's footsteps. Whilst the Labour big-wigs plot and scheme over lunch in a local hostelry, Mr Ostrowski is busy going backwards and forwards to the bar, carrying drinks and attending to their every need. Not so the Conservative candidate, Chloe Smith, who is at the heart of the party's campaign. An attractive woman she may be, but the Tory Party doesn't expect her to act as an unpaid waitress. What does this say about Labour's view of Mr Ostrowski?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Woodmansey Parish Council

I've been looking through the accounts of Woodmansey Parish Council. Where and why, you may ask. Woodmansey is near Beverley in East Yorkshire and my future mother-in-law requested a copy. Okay, there is nothing earth shattering about the accounts, but it does make you wonder. As a charitable parish, they decided to buy a bicycle for the local PCSO. What a lovely gesture, you may say, but at nearly £900, it does make me wonder if the guy is training for a cycling competition. All these little things add up to higher taxes and they tend to be the very things overlooked by the taxpayer.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Better government and a better deal for the taxpayer

I have been neglecting this blog of late. I have been very busy with Taxpayers' Alliance work and this has taken up all of my free time. It has been time very well spent though and the branch is starting to grow and we are getting some positive media hits.

These past few weeks have reinforced my opinion that the way we do government in this country is fundamentally wrong. I have received cooperation from the LibDem Leader of Hull City Council, Carl Minns, but unfortunately he is an exception to the rule. I wouldn't go as far as saying finding a council leader who is willing to be open is like finding a needle in a haystack, however, they are not in plentiful supply. The East Riding of Yorkshire Council is a local authority that needs to let the light into its proceedings. It has 48 out of a total of 67 councillors who claim a special responsibility allowance. I am starting to get to the bottom of this, but it has only been with the help of the local press. Transparency is needed and transparency we will get, no matter how long it takes.

There are too many people in public life who feel it is their God given right to spend public money in any way they see fit. They do their best to hide their spending from the public. They authorise expensive consultations, when a little common sense could solve a problem. They just don't seem to understand the money they spend is not their money, although I am sure they control their personal purse strings in a more conservative way, than they do the public purse.

In this time of recession, we have to tighten our belts. We will have to put up with higher taxes. All the Taxpayers' Alliance wants, is for the taxpayer to get the best deal possible. We want to cut out waste. We want public spending to be kept at a minimum. This is something - as a dyed-in-the-wool Tory - I believe passionately in. Join us in our campaign for transparency, lower taxes and better government.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day

A very happy July 4th to all my American readers. Have a great day!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Sarah Palin resigns as Alaska Governor

Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin is going to resign this month. Speaking in the royal 'we', she said she can effect positive change outside of government at this moment in time.

In other words, she is going to raise her profile on a few campaigns, making sure she is ready to run for president. She has prayed about this. Perhaps we will hear God told her the world could not survive without her. Watch this woman. She doesn't have the brains, but she has the guile. Read a little more HERE.

The Public Sector needs cutting

I have stated on this blog many times before a samurai sword needs to be wielded to the client state. We simply spend too much money on public services. There is too much waste. There are too many of our citizens in non-jobs. There are too many of our citizens claiming state benefits.

One would have thought this was obvious to anyone, even those of a socialist persuasion. Gordon Brown knows this, and he is steadily cutting back on public spending, hoping no-one will realise and calling David Cameron Mr '10%' in the process. There are rumours those nasty Tories will be cutting the NHS budget, freezing the pay of doctors and nurses in the process. Well, I hope this is not a rumour. I hope this is true. We spend far too much on health in this country. The NHS is cumbersome in the extreme. Too many managers and support staff. The NHS doesn't get a good deal on its drugs budget. Pharmaceutical companies know they can more or less charge what they want and the good old taxpayer will pick up the bill. For those who have lost their jobs, or like me, wonder if they will still have one in a few months time, the idea of a pay freeze for a couple of years sounds like a good deal.

Now more than ever is the time for honesty in politics. There will have to be cuts in public services. If the cuts are thought through, the public will not see a significant reduction in services. Now is the time to cut out waste. If you have any doubts we can do it, read the Taxpayers' Alliance's book, 'The Bumper Book of Government Waste.' It can and must be done.

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