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The despatch box

We're you thinking what the Conservatives were thinking? Did you believe the Lib Dems were the real alternative? Is Labour moving forward not back? This blog will focus on all things political. It will be irritating, agitating and maybe just maybe it will get you thinking.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Helmer hits back!

All round good guy Roger Helmer, MEP for the East Midlands has hit back at claims that he is to join UKIP following the withdrawal of the whip. In a special edition of his newsletter he comments, "I was elected as a Conservative, I sit as a Conservative and I expect eventually to die a Conservative".

Having met Roger in both a personal and professional capacity I only hope differnces between himself and the party can be resolved quicly so that the real job of scrutinising what the EU if doing can continue.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Tax freedom day!


According to the Adam Smith Institute tomorrow (May 31st) is tax freedom day. Thanks to the Labour Government this is 3 days later than the year before. But remember - there are no plans to increase taxes .... not much!

Time to fight

At the last election the Lib Dems pretended to be offering a real alternative - yet in many seats their candidates failed to put a single piece of paper out. The Lib Dems aren't an alternative, and the Conservative party is now faced with a much weakened Labour party, with an unpopular Prime Minister.

The time has come for our big guns to turn them outwards onto New Labour and its failings (and lets be frank - there are plenty of them to have a go at).

Pressure needs to be put on Blair - Will we be getting a Referendum on the Constitution? If not why not. He may want time for reflection. I'm 30, and have never been asked for a view on Europe, so perhaps we've had plenty of time for reflection.

Lets take a look at Crime, and drugs. He wants to ban hooded tops - yet he downgraded cannabis. Lets fight him on that one. The list goes on.

Whoever has leadership ambitions needs to show that they are a street fighter - and prepapred to take the fight to Labour - not once they are in place - but now.

Were they thinking what the Conservatives were thinking?

Has anybody seen the NHS bill boards going up across the country with the childs text commenting "If you smoke I smoke" as part of the campaign against second hand smoke.

Not only has the Government used the Queen's speech to focus on the majority of campaign issues the Conservatives focussed on, but now they are even copying their marketing campaign. It can't just be me who thinks the billboard ads have an uncanny resemblence to the Conservative billboard campaign which hit home so well during the General Election.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Exit polls suggest France rejects the EU constitution

Exit polls are suggesting France has rejected the EU constitution. I have to say that if this is true I applaud their decision of rejecting something that certainly wasn't the tidying up exercise our Government would have led us to believe.

But where does this leave the UK? Will their be a constitution to vote on? Could the no vote actually play into the hands of new Labour by meaning they won't have to hold a referendum that they were always likely to use? Only time will tell, but perhaps a No vote is just what Blair wanted.

£300 per person ID card cost

Yet another rise in the cost of ID cards for us poor citizens if the LSE report is anything to go by. According to the report the cost of ID cards could possibly rise to £18 billion - with an individual having to pay up to £300 for their little bit of plastic.

And what response has the Home Office given? According to BBC News Online they have refused to put a figure on the cost of setting up the cards system, saying it is commercially sensitive.

How terribly convenient!

Support not there for Ken?

An interesting comment from an unnamed MP in a piece by Simon Walters in the Mail on Sunday. On the subject of Ken Clarke’s possible leadership bid the un-named Parliamentarian is said to have commented

“If Ken treated us as equals instead of as though we are not fit to lick his Hush Puppies, he would have been leader years ago".

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Clarke just waiting and seeing

Friday, May 27, 2005

Helmer has whip removed

Apparently Euro Realist MEP Roger Helmer has had the party whip removed due to signing a UKIP sponsored motion about the conduct of Commission President Barosso.

The Telegraph publicises a recent article Roger has penned in the latest issue of the "European Journal" on the Toy election campaign which I have to say is very interesting. Roger kindly sent me a copy in the post.

Unfortunately he didn't put enough postage on which mean I had to pay £1.36 to the local sorting office to collect the publication. Another example of the poor British taxpayer funding the EU?

(If anyone would like a copy of the article please let me know.)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

European Referendum farce

Apparently in the event of a ‘no’ both French and Dutch citizens should vote again until Europe gets the “right answer”, the EU presidency has urged.Luxembourg’s Prime Minister and holder of the EU presidency Jean-Claude Juncker also warned that a French ‘non’ would be a “disaster” for Europe and the whole world.

Glad to see he is a great believer in democracy and letting the people decide!

Davis and Dale Dream ticket

I think congratulations are in order for my friend Iain Dale who has announced that he is taking up the new post of Chief of Staff to the Conservative leadership favourite David Davis MP. On election night there were three results I was interested in. My own - which wasn't as good as I had hope. Andrew Turner's - who was rewarded for all of his hard work over the past few years with a vastly increased majority, and Iain Dale's.

I have to say that it came as a huge shock when the result of North Norfolk was announced given I know how hard Iain had worked. I have no doubt he will make an excellent Chief of Staff and will play an integral part in Conservative party politics.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Down to earth

Following an election campaign it's sometimes hard to get back into the swing of things. Not so in my case. Four days after the campaign I was drafting letters for the company I work congratulating all the new MPs and the returning ones on their election success. What joy.

One would think that family would be there to commisserate you on not winning - and perhaps congratulating you on your efforts. Upon finding my result on the BBC website whilst on holiday in Florida my brother promptly called me up and left the following message;-

"Hello butt-head it's me. Well done. Can't believe 12,000 muppets voted for you!"

One way to bring you down to earth.

Finally it's arrived

I finally got hold of the book I have been after for some time.

"Winning Elections - Political Campaign Management, Strategy & Tactics" by Ronald A Facheux

Just 6 weeks too late! D'oh

Monday, May 23, 2005

How many men does it take to change the time on a clock?

I caught the 5:30am train down to London today. Below is the actual text of the customer notice explaining why the clocks were all displaying the wrong time:-

"Midland Mainline would like to apologies for the incorrect time being displayed by the station clocks. Due to a complicated fault it is proving difficult for the problem to be solved.

This stations monitors in the Booking Hall are also out of order due to a fault on the main server. Monitors on the platform are working normally.

Thales the maintenance company is working hard to rectify these faults as quickly as possible.

Once again many apologise for any inconvenience this may cause."

Doesn't Thales build warships and the like? And they can't add 1 hour to a clock? Very worrying!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Conservative Reforms

Many of the Sunday papers run stories on the proposed reforms to the Conservative party which are due to be announced on Monday. From what is being written it seems clear that these reforms won't come without a certain amount of bloodletting and angst. I wonder whether when we see the details there will be a seismic shift of power between Association and Central Office.

One thing is clear, Associations have traditionally been very reluctant to allow any more power to be centralised. Perhaps a bigger problem is that ever since I have been able to vote( and Im 30 now) the party hasn't won an election.

There are those who say we shouldn't go down the road that New Labour took. What we can do is look at what they had to do in order to reform their party in the 80's and 90's whilst also learning from their many mistakes. We can't afford to thrown the baby out with the bath water, just as we cant afford not to make reforms.

Too many associations have been surprised that by doing the same thing election after election, we keep getting the same result. After three defeats the Conservative party should be feeling feeling a hunger for electoral success.

As Delia Smith put it, "Lets be 'aving you!"

Saturday, May 21, 2005

My election mug shot. I wonder how many votes this won or lost!!! (Given Labour actually increased their majority perhaps the statistics speak for themselves).
Posted by Hello

Election campaign shot
Posted by Hello

Meeting David Davis during my time as PPC in Bassetlaw
Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Lynton Crosby interview

An extremely interesting interview with Tory Campaign guru - Lynton Crosby:-

Labour's "potty" drugs policy!

Anyone would think this Government was high as a kite given the number of U-turns it seems to be doing on drugs. Cannabis was downgraded to a "C" drug - a move supported by many "anti drugs" Labour MPs, yet recent developments seem to indicate that it could be reclassified once again, back to being to a "B" drug - but this time depending on its strength.

Now what bright spark in the Home Office came up with this one? The question on everyone's mind must be just how our police officers will determine the potency of cannabis if the drug is found on a person. Tough on skunk, tough on the causes of skunk??

Another one for Davis

In an article in today's Telegraph, David James, the architect of the Conservative plans to make Government more efficient has thrown his weight behind David Davis for Tory leader.;sessionid=S0ZB1EY3UHJ4HQFIQMGSM5OAVCBQWJVC?xml=/news/2005/05/19/njames19.xml&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=3784

According to Mr James, "If the Conservatives can identify a better candidate than him then they will be rich in resources indeed." The blogger tends to agree.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Posting a profit!

As an ex-Royal Mail employee its good to see the business turning a profit once again. It worries me that while I was there the company changed its name to Consignia and racked up massive losses, yet know it seems to be getting back on a more sound financial footing.

What is perhaps more worring is the Post Office side of the business (the bit that runs the post office branches) has yet again posted a huge loss, which could lead to the possible closure of yet thousands of more rural and urban post offices. The Government have never got to grips with what they want the Post office to be - a commercial organisation, or a social service. Perhaps the man at the DTI - ex postman, Alan Johnson MP is best place to deliver on this one!

Anyone for Europe??

Campaigning for the vote on the European constitution appears to have already kicked off. See the link below:-

I wonder whether the result of the Referendum (whenever it happens) will be Blair's finest hour, or could it be that losing the vote will be just the opportunity Mr Brown is waiting for.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Queen's Speech - forward not back?

Well the Prime Minister Gordon B.... I mean Tony Blair has written New Labour's speech, and our Queen has dutifully set out the legislative agenda for the next parliamentary session. Some interesting Bills - however one thing that really struck me was some of the more intolerant measures that may well be included in some of the fine detail once they are published. Mandatory ID cards' a smoking ban and so on. This is the area where there is a distinct difference between the two major parties. One believes the state knows best, and one trusts the people. Interestingly it look like we can look forward to a vote on our relationship with the EU - the first time such a vote will have been held in this 30 year olds lifetime.


Welcome to the despatch box, a blog that will provide you with political comment and opinion on the issues of the day as and when they happen. Feel free to leave your comments and any feedback you may have. The political scene after the General Election on May 5th is perhaps the most interesting political landscape since the Labour party came to power. In the coming days and months there will be a leadership election within the Conservative party, while Blair tries to manage a party who owes his less loyalty, and with a reduced majority.

Who said politics was boring!
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