Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Too many are ending up struggling in civilian life - the Journal rightly highlights that we need to do more to help them. I have repeatedly been to prisons myself as a lawyer and seen the evidence of the wrong type of people being sent there. Put simply veterans need our support
Membership and involvement with the Hexham Conservative Association is significantly on the increase. We are getting more of the 16-25 age group involved. Well over 200 people will be actively involved in the first few weeks of the campaign.
All the youngsters want to do is canvass which is great!
The facebook campaign and this site are making a huge difference. Not a twitterer myself
Already since last weekend when we were canvassing in Ponteland new members have signed up and asked to get involved, but its not just there - in Haydon Bridge and in Haltwhistle we are getting lots more signed up from the Acres and on the hill in Haltwhistle, neither of which is traditional tory territory. One chap signed up nearly a year after I organised to have the hole in his road fixed just off HordleyAcres in Haydon Bridge
Monday, 29 March 2010
Sunday, 28 March 2010
All this to a background of escalating strikes, a bizarre budget from the world of "never never land" and yet more Stephen Byers / Geoff Hoon disasters
Even Gordon would not be so stupid as to call a general election on the day of the 4 day rail strike would he?
Thursday, 25 March 2010
There was a period of time [most recently told to me personally by Paddy on the 16th March] when he said he had no choice but to hold it in Cramlington - this was not going down well in Hexham, who hate the loss of Tynedale and the loss of local personality with the unification of Northumberland.
Expect a report in tomorrow Courant
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Saturday, 20 March 2010
In Northumberland the failure to build the A1 / improve highways / rail is key: I get asked about transport / highways more times on the doorstep than almost every other issue.
The spring has finally come but the legacy of the roads disater is everywhere - and our local Council wanted to cut the highways budget - it defies belief
Friday, 19 March 2010
Frank Field's interview yesterday, http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/5064018.Frank_Field___If_the_Tories_want_to_talk_to_me_about_a_job__I_will_be_happy_to_/ in which he said he would be happy to serve in a Conservative government, has predictably set the left and right alight. Frank Field is a great parliamentarian. He's an original thinker. He may not share my core politics, but he commands huge respect from people all over the political spectrum. I cannot say I am a fan of appointing politicians from other parties in to ministerial office, but if David Cameron chose to offer Frank Field a job, I suspect there wouldn't be many of us who would demur.
Thursday, 18 March 2010
What was best aout the evening was the cross section of people who came - from the fruit and veg man and garage owner in the village to representatives from the parish council. Many were not supporters but the fact that they came was great. One of the best evenings we have had - and we are in excess of 30 of these evenings so far!
A week ago the Home Secretary Alan Johnson was openly discussing the possibility of introducing compulsory insurance for all dogs. One week later after opposition from al parties and even Roy Hattersley (summed up in the attached poster) the idea has been dropped by Hillary Benn, Environment Secretary.
That must be one of the fastest u-turns in the dizzying history of this government.
Dog's dinner indeed. Alan Johnson is now retreating with his tail between his legs. More poodle than rottweiler. I'm sure you can think of a few more appropriate metaphors...as one Corbridge resident put it to me when I was canvassing on the weekend - "when he was a postman Alan Johnson must have been bitten by a lot of dogs to have this much against them!"
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Have spent ..
Sunday campaigning in Corbridge area and then going to the Tynedale Point to Point
Monday going through the responses to our survey and preparing the election plan; the survey has been great as it has been entirely run by local support [we had over 40 people stuffing enevelopes] and a very large proportion were hand delivered. We have had hundreds of responses so far - some bad but mostly very good, and lots of people signing up to help, particularly amongst young voters and in Haltwhistle.
Tuesday in Ponteland - went to the Western Area Committee about 02 mast in Darras Hall - not going as I had hoped in that the Article 4 application is not going ahead as yet, but that is because the Council are stalling us.The 02 fight goes on!
Wednesday all over the place - Hexham in the morning [thank you Sharon for the invite], Haydon Bridge for canvassing and meeting Haydon Bridge supporters [lunch in the Railway] which is going very well, and Haltwhistle in the afternoon. Campaigning today going very well in
Haydon Bridge. Haltwhistle is such a mixed vote; some strong Labour support but many switchers to us who hate the big government style.
Tomorrow starting in Hexham and then heading west - finishing with a canvass and campaign get together / grilling session in Wylam - over 50 confirmed to be coming from all parts of the village
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
The list of soldiers against the Labour government's failure to fund our troops is huge but a few more have been added today -for example, Andy McNab of the SAS http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/2892338/SAS-Andy-McNab-We-need-change.html#ixzz0iEKo9RBf
"After the way Gordon Brown betrayed the Forces, there's not a single person I've spoken to from my old regiment who's voting any other way than Conservative.
"For Gordon Brown to go to the Iraq inquiry and tell porkies was outrageous.
"How little he has given the MoD to help them fight five wars in 13 years is VERY clearly on record.
Saturday, 13 March 2010
Beautiful, crisp, sharp spring morning for the Hadrians Wall torchlit day - I wish Linda and the team a great success; they have been so lucky with the weather!
Off to Sunderland this morning with 7 of us to give Lee Martin a hand - he is fighting the key marginal of Sunderland Central.
Then home via some Corbridge canvassing and off to the torchlit illumination on the wall
Friday, 12 March 2010
Sunday, 7 March 2010
"Businesses need to be able to devote the maximum level of resources, including finance and manpower, to delivering growth in 2010. The public sector must avoid placing requirements on companies which will distract resources from core business priorities.
Immediate issues include:
Certainty over tax changes to be made in the next Parliament, allowing medium-term investment planning.
Abandonment of plans to increase employers’ National Insurance Contributions due to the additional cost this will place on employment growth.
Culture and practice in local planning authorities which seeks to enable development to go ahead and ends a ‘development control’ mentality.
Broader, simpler and smarter approaches to public procurement which makes the large public sector market as easy to access as possible for North East businesses."
Less government intervention is their key requirement - I could not agree more. Every businessman, doctor, teacher, and even parent says the same thing.
Saturday, 6 March 2010
For the sake of our soldiers I would like to believe him; however, how you can wage war against IEDs with a Land Rover is beyond me.
But today, Mr Brown gets both barrels from retired military chiefs in The Times and Telegraph.
“He’s dissembling, he’s being disingenuous. It’s just not the case that the Ministry of Defence was given everything it needed. There may have been a 1.5 per cent increase in the defence budget but the MoD was starved of funds.” - Admiral Lord Boyce, the Chief of the Defence Staff up to the start of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, quoted in The Times
"To say Gordon Brown has given the military all they asked for is simply not true. He cannot get away with saying I gave them everything they asked for, that is simply disingenuous." - Lord Guthrie in The Telegraph
“The real truth is the Armed Forces are underfunded.” - Major General Patrick Cordingley, quoted in The Telegraph as well.
Either the PM or the soldiers are lying; there is no other view.
Disregard whether we should be at war or not. Once we send the soldiers there we should give them everything they need. They have clearly been let down.
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
The best comment was by one businessman who asked why it was that government departments still did not get the chance to carry forward retained profits at the end of the year - all agreed this was a disastrous accounting malpractice.
A good morning. Was also pleased to give several business referrals: for example as I canvass so much I was able to tell the man with the internet mast business where he will do well as parts of the area's broadband reception is terrible.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
Our farming and rural action manifesto is set out by Nick Herbert MP below http://www.conservatives.com/News/News_stories/2010/02/A_New_Age_of_Agriculture.aspx
Monday, 1 March 2010
We had to put off the planned trip to Stockton South [apologies James - we will return I promise!] but ended up trying to canvass over the weekend locally in Whitonstall, south Tynedale and Prudhoe. Ended up looking like the abominable snowmen but got much credit for our effort from those we met - several Labour supporters admired our pluck if nothing else!