Monday, 27 October 2008

Eight days out

We are just over a week from the US Presidential election and Barrack Obama looks to be on course for a historic victory.

It is incredible how the course of the campaign has changed so dramatically along with the economic turbulence gripping the world. As attention switched to the economy (stupid!) John McCain has struggled to convince America that despite all his experience and years of service he has the answers and can provide the change Americans are looking for. Given Gordon Brown's current poll ratings (despite the frankly ludicrously positive press coverage he has received in recent weeks) it may be that Britain will draw the same conclusion; to get real change you need to vote for it.

Economical with the truth

Despite living through the last 14 years of New Labour I admit to being surprised at the extent of the recent spin over economic policy. It is amazing (although I know I should not be surprised) that suddenly the Prime Minister and his Chancellor tell us that this was part of the master plan all along; the massive borrowing and mountains of debt was all for a logical, sensible reason. It was all because that's what Keynes advised governments to do in a downturn.

I think most of us are finding that a spin too far, even allowing for Peter Mandelson's recent return to the fold.

Friday, 17 October 2008


I am delighted to see Gordon Brown following David Cameron's lead in taking key meetings out of London with a proposed Cabinet meeting in Liverpool in early 2009. I do think however the people of Liverpool would be more impressed if the Prime Minister showed the sort of commitment to the city that David Cameron, Chris Grayling and the Conservative Party have been showing for the past three years. They have been listening to the people of Liverpool and proposing real solutions to our society's problems that would make a real difference across the city.

The people of Liverpool will not be fooled by this cheap political stunt by a desperate Prime Minister, who is more worried about lost Labour votes than tackling real issues for Liverpool.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Deckchairs on the Titanic?

Today marks an extraordinary day for Gordon Brown and his government with the re-appointment of Peter Mandelson to the Cabinet. As the country is crying out for answers and leadership in the face of the current financial crisis and following the Prime Minister's promise of an open and spin-free approach to government, he has turned to the twice-resigned, former spin doctor to revive his economic and political fortunes. This looks a desperate act from a desperate man.

In creating a new national economic committee, the Prime Minister claims to be "reinventing government". This is frankly bizarre. I believe the British people would simply settle for Gordon Brown managing the government as it stands and tackling the problems we face with clarity and purpose. Today is further evidence that Gordon Brown may know the questions we face as a nation but he has none of the answers.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Overdue change

I welcome the news today that Sir Ian Blair has resigned as Commissioner of the Met. I also welcome the role that the Mayor of London has played in bringing Sir Ian's increasingly flawed reign to an end.

What I do regret is that Sir Ian did not feel that his conduct in the role over recent months and years had warranted resignation before the Mayor's welcome intervention this week. As someone who lives in London and wants to see the highest standards in public life maintained, I have watched with growing despair as the Commissioner has limped (arrogantly in my view) from crisis to crisis undermining public confidence in the Force (not a Service!) and the office he has held.

I welcome this chance for fresh leadership. I hope that the Mayor and the Home Secretary can work together now to make a speedy and positive appointment. Call me old fashioned, but I would like someone appointed who focuses more on catching criminals and making London safer than political correctness and social engineering.

Come together

It was clear to those of us in Birmingham this week that the Party Conference was overshadowed by the global financial crisis. That was both understandable and right. Britain, along with many other countries, is facing uncertain economic times that don't just affect the bankers and the money men of the City, but our own financial circumstances, mortgages, and pensions. It is right for the media and the public to be concerned and look to the Conservative Party for it's response and ideas.

This week I have been very proud of my Party and our Leaders who have risen to this challenge and put the national interest before party politics. I hope to see this continue as we work with the government to steer Britain through these turbulent economic waters.