Thursday, 31 July 2008

Ground work

It is clear to me that David Miliband is preparing the ground for a leadership bid. His appearance on Radio 2 today was notable for a number of reasons, including an apparent inability to remember the name of the Prime Minister!

The current situation shows the Labour Party in a very bad light. It's members seem to have accepted the inevitable view that Gordon Brown has to go but seem to lack the courage to remove him openly and democratically. Most of the country agree that the Prime Minister needs to be replaced; not with another Labour Party stitch up, but with a General Election.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Time for a General Election

It is very clear that Labour has lost the confidence of the British people. Last night's defeat in Glasgow, following its humiliation in Henley, defeat in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election, the victory of Boris Johnson in the London Mayoral Election and the crushing losses in the local elections in May, illustrate the point.

It is now time for Gordon Brown to call a General Election and give the British people an opportunity to give its verdict on his year in office and have a full debate over the future direction for our country.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Answers please!

I was at an event last night with fellow Conservative Party parliamentary candidates. David Cameron spoke to us for a few minutes and I was struck by the contrast of his message on the economy with that of Gordon Brown's.

Whilst Gordon Brown talks endlessly about the global economy, the credit crunch, and the world economic downturn, David Cameron actually addresses the day-to-day concerns of all of us; the cost of filling the car with petrol, higher utility bills, rising food prices and the impact of higher mortgages payments. It is clear to me that Gordon Brown doesn't really understand how the economic problems we face as a country are hurting all of us each day. He seems instead only concerned with ensuring that any blame for the problems are laid elsewhere and not at his door. The British people expect a little more leadership, insight and answers after 11 years of living in Downing Street.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Taking a lead

I welcome the move today by (most) Conservative MPs to publish their expenses and related office and staffing details. I hope now that all MPs, from all parties, will follow their lead.

It is disappointing that seven Conservative MPs have decided (so far) not to make this information available to the voting and paying public. All of us involved in politics lose credibility and respect as a result of the poor example which is set by a small minority of our representatives in Westminster and Europe. This level of transparency is the very least voters have a right to expect.

Friday, 11 July 2008


Many will wonder if it is a coincidence that the government is delaying the debate and vote on the controversial Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill in the run-up to the Glasgow East by-election? I guess the strong feelings in the constituency may have played on the minds of worried Ministers. Perhaps it will have the same effect as the sudden change in government policy over the 10p tax rate as we approached the Crewe and Nantwich by-election!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Congratulations David Davis

Congratulations to David Davis on his victory in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election.

Like many others, I raised an eyebrow when he resigned his seat to force a by-election on the issue of 42 days detention and the erosion of civil liberties in Britain. However his principled stance in the face of this craven government, and his passionate defence of the values of freedom, liberty and justice, is to be applauded. I hope the wide coalition he has mobilised will continue to work together to keep this vital issue alive.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The broken society by-election

David Cameron is right; the Glasgow East by-election is about Britain's broken society. Although the oft-quoted statistics about poverty levels, life expectancy and educational failure in the constituency are shocking, more damaging for Labour, and for politics generally, is that the people of Glasgow East have been so badly let down by its representatives and leaders.

Despite expensive social programmes and soaring public spending the situation has worsened, not improved since 1997. The failure to mend our broken society (not just in Glasgow East, but in an increasing number of parts of Britain) is a shocking indictment of a government that just doesn't understand what has gone wrong (or won't accept it) and as a result, it doesn't know how to put it right. Like many of the problems we face in Britain, Gordon Brown and Labour believe the answer lies in spending more and more money.

The result in Glasgow may end the debate over the future of Gordon Brown, but more importantly it should start a serious debate about how we tackle the problems that afflict large parts of our society which is increasingly racked with division and dogged by a lack of hope.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

The fight goes on in Liverpool

City of Liverpool Conservatives are continuing to fight back as part of the Party's drive to reach out into all parts of the country. Liverpool and parts of the Mersey region have been included in the Party's City Seats Initiative (CSI) which is breathing new life into the Party in those major towns and cities formerly seen as virtually "Tory-free" zones.

The CSI works by forming a team of candidates from the approved list to work with local party members and supporters to encourage those who are currently applying and other local people to get involved and work together for the Party. In Liverpool the team has been in place for twelve months and is making huge strides forward in building Party membership, raising funds, creating a higher and more positive profile for the Party in the city, and most importantly, in increasing support at the ballot box.

The Party fielded candidates in every ward in the city on May 1st and made huge inroads into the Liberal Democrat’s majority in the key target ward of Woolton, as well as making great progress in other wards including Allerton, Mossley Hill and Cressington. Across the city the Party's total vote was up 37% on last year. The Party ran a positive and energetic campaign across the City and received excellent local press coverage for its alternative vision of change for Liverpool.

With a huge increase in membership (up over 50% in the last twelve months) optimism is high that in 2010, the date of the next local elections in Liverpool, the Party can take further giant strides forward. Richard Downey, the Party's excellent candidate in Woolton said:

"It was a pleasure to meet so many residents whilst canvassing in Woolton and to discuss some of the problems we experience under a Liberal Democrat run council and a Labour Government. Our campaign team knocked on every door in Woolton and Gateacre and we discovered that an overwhelming number of residents share our views".

Many of these residents had not heard from the Party for years but were receptive to our message of social responsibility and our ideas for mending Britain's broken society.

As Liverpool-bred Nadine Dorries MP wrote at the time, in 2007 the five Conservative Associations in the city (Wavertree, Walton, West Derby, Riverside and Garston) amalgamated and became "The City of Liverpool Conservatives". They elected a new chairman, the local entrepreneur behind the Caldeira cushion empire Tony Caldeira, and an executive to run its campaigning, all but two of whom are in their twenties.

Since that reorganisation, which breathed new life into the Party in Liverpool, the City of Liverpool Conservatives has been very busy. The team also has a hugely committed Shadow Minister for Liverpool in Chris Grayling MP, who is working hard on behalf of the Conservatives and the city; making monthly visits to promote the city, listening to local people and talking about key issues facing Liverpool. The team has also been offering support to local target seats such as Wirral West and Sefton and has held events welcoming David Cameron, George Osborne, Mark Prisk and Nadine Dorries to the city.

Following the May elections the City of Liverpool Conservatives are developing a campaign plan for the 2010 local elections and the next general election, under the umbrella of the Party's CSI.
The City of Liverpool Conservatives will soon select their candidates for the next General Election but between now and then the group will continue to work as team taking on Labour and the Liberals across the city and the region.

The City of Liverpool Conservatives do not underestimate the size of the challenge- the first being to get a Councillor elected to the city's Council- but they are committed and ready to meet the challenge and present a loud, relevant, and local Conservative voice on behalf of the people of Liverpool.

Author's note: I am on the candidates list and the Liverpool CSI team, explains the progress being made by the Party in Liverpool. Picture: Some of the Liverpool CSI team campaigning in May with Chris Grayling MP and Den Dover MEP.

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