Monday, 29 September 2008

Real leadership

The conference highlight for me so far was this afternoon's debate on "caring for an elderly population" with several highly moving contributions, including from the author Terry Pratchett who spoke about his battle with Alzheimer's. It demonstrated the commitment the Party is making to issues that touch the day to day lives of millions of Britons, including my own family, to see this discussion given so much time on the main conference agenda. The session was expertly led and closed by Shadow Health Minister Stephen O'Brien, who along with Andrew Lansley and the rest of the health team, shown throughout the health debates the sort of mastery of their briefs and leadership a future Conservative government will need to show to clear up the mess created by this failing Labour government.

Country before Party

We have made an excellent start to our conference in Birmingham. George Osborne made a strong statement of intent for a future Conservative government today. He showed the sort of leadership today so lacking from No 11 Downing Street as we move into increasingly uncertain economic times. He was joined by Alan Duncan who reminded the conference why we are considered the "party of business". He reminded us that businesses not governments create jobs and wealth.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Plan for change

I am in Birmingham over the next couple of days to attend the Conservative Party Conference. The country is looking to the Conservatives for answers over the next four days. Given the lack of leadership being shown by the Prime Minister, it is a big week for David Cameron and George Osbourne. I am sure they will deliver.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

The whole truth?

Ruth Kelly's decision to leave the government to spend more time with her family leaves a number of questions unanswered.

Is this the real reason for Mrs Kelly resigning from the government? Has this really nothing to do with her alleged concerns over Gordon Brown's leadership? Is it just a coincidence that Mrs Kelly is said to be very unhappy with the government's pursuit of the embryology bill through Parliament? Does Mrs Kelly really believe she will now be able to spend more time with her family given she will remain a Member of Parliament expected to be in London more days a week than in Bolton? One thing is for sure; it has taken the gloss off the Prime Minister's "triumph" in Manchester yesterday!

Party before country

Whilst Gordon Brown focused on his role as leader of the Labour Party yesterday, fighting for his job, the country continues to wait for the Prime Minister to show some real leadership during the current financial crisis. He may have pleased his Party faithful but he did not address the serious concerns that ordinary men and women up and down our country face. We had more of the usual combination of flashy gimmicks and flamboyant spending of public money (for cheap short term good headlines) but none of the solutions we need to move the economy forward.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Another relaunch

The Prime Minister launched another "fightback" today with an article in "The Monitor". In it he says there is a "need to forge a new kind of government". He's right. But the change the British people want is not another failed Labour relaunch but a general election to deliver real change for Britain.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Fiddling while Rome burns

Gordon Brown's package of measures to help restore confidence to the housing market and help us deal with higher petrol, food and energy bills is a further indication that he is completely out of touch with the needs of the British people. The Prime Minister has dithered all summer and for what?

He and his hapless Chancellor continue to throw half-baked, ill thought out, and ineffective measures at problems that require decisive, positive action. Real action is needed now on stamp duty (not tinkering at the edges), on excise duty on fuel, and on inheritance tax. How much longer does the country need to suffer this continued failure from the occupants of Downing Street?

60 days and counting

We are now inside the final two months of the US Presidential Election. The two conventions have come and gone and we are starting to get a feel for what an Obama or McCain Presidency would mean for America ,and the rest of the world. It looks to be one of the closest elections in recent times with any decision, speech, or "gaffe" being portrayed as the potential turning point or decisive factor.

One thing is for sure, Senator McCain's bold decision to ask Sarah Palin to join the ticket has had a dramatic effect on the race for the White House. The Democrats don't whether to complain about her lack of experience (a bit rich given Senator Obama's record) or to criticise her family circumstances (a bit rich for "liberals"). Her performance at this week's convention shows that she means business and is likely to continue to grow into the role. It will be fascinating to see how this particular story develops over the next few weeks. This race is a long way from over.