Friday, 30 April 2010
Thursday, 29 April 2010
Spent half a day last week helping John Stevenson [red tie] in Carlisle; he has a 5000+ labour majority to overcome and is a classic swing seat; we found the mood on the doorstep very strong and with little support for Labour save traditional labour supporters; he has interesting news today as Steven Tweedie, the Lib Dem candidate for Carlisle in 2005, is quoted in the Cumberland News:
“The electorate of Carlisle face an important choice. Do we stay with Labour yet again or embrace change and vote for John Stevenson – the only alternative candidate that can win the constituency? I firmly believe that Carlisle needs a new direction. Labour has failed to deliver for Carlisle and the Labour Government has been a disaster.
“Of all the candidates, John Stevenson is the least tribal and the most likely to advance the cause of our city. I wish to endorse him personally and would encourage others to give him their support.”
Carlisle has not returned a Conservative MP since the 1959 general election, but the redrawn boundaries mean that John requires a swing of 6.7% to overturn a notional Labour majority of 5,085
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made these walls dissolve away...and for the briefest of moments -- every last man at Shawshank felt free.”
On the subject of Hope Andy says: “Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."
Saturday, 24 April 2010
Friday, 23 April 2010
Campaign team growing by the day as well - we have the full cross section from 14 to late seventies!
Thursday, 22 April 2010
We were asked over 25 questions and scored a few real hits - particularly on local issues, support for local businesses [only Dr Ford and I are having our literature printed locally - the Labour party lealfets are printed by Trinity Mirror in Cardiff and the Liberals in Sheffield] and the way this government have run down our economy and starved our armed services. Dr Ford had a good night and came across well.
Best line of the night was Councillor Mattie Donnelly, who sat next to me in the choir stalls and said:
"I last came to this church 50 years ago. I was fined a shilling when I ate a sweet in the service." Then he leant in conspiratorily and said quietly, "Fancy a cough drop?"
Well done to the Abbey for organising this - these things take great organisation, effort and time and they should be applauded for this.
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
This Matt cartoon made me smile. Good luck to the Graeme and the team at Newcastle Airport now they are up and running again and as they try and navigate their way out of this bad week for everyone.
Still hoping that Iceland will send some cash to follow the ash as they owe Northumberland County Council a bob or two
So come along. I have never had to introduce a film before but I am looking forward to it, and it will be a pleasant alternative to the campaign trail for a night! Be there for 7.30
THIS IS HOW THE FORUM PUTS IT:
"As the country prepares for a general election Parliamentary candidates for the Hexham Constituency have been invited to introduce a film of their choice to be screened at the community owned Forum Cinema.
This is your chance to see the candidates and make your choice…….of films!"
Book your seat at http://www.forumhexham.co.uk/ or on 01434 601144
25th April 5pm – Dr Strangelove
introduced by Steven Ford
26th April 7.30pm - The Shawshank Redemption introduced by Guy Opperman
28th April 7.30pm - The End of Poverty – Think Again introduced by Andrew Duffield
29th April - The third Man - introduced by Antoine Tinnion
Monday, 19 April 2010
The likely nominations are all reported in the Courant this week
So far I have run into four BNP voters - 3 in Prudhoe and 1 in Haydon Bridge.
One lives in or around Highfield in South Prudhoe; I canvassed him and he refused my leaflet, said he was a BNP, and then loudly proclaimed to my back as I walked away, "all of you candidates, all you politicans, are corrupt." Normally, I do not get involved when someone is so directly opposed but maybe it was the long day on the hills of Prudhoe or the malicious comment to my back that made me see red but I turned and a fairly robust conversation ensued.
I tried to explain that I was leaving my job to do this, and that my fellow candidates were all fighting this campaign unsupported and unpaid in any way, and that whilst I disagreed with their politics, they were not corrupt. Again I pointed out that the candidates I knew were actually motivated by a desire to serve, to contribute to a country they loved and to try, in their own small way, to make things better. He tried immigration at length. I asked him if I was all right as an Englishman? He agreed. I left by pointing out that I was actually a descendant of immigrants who came to this land in search of a better life, and left.
Thats why we need to debate with the BNP - if you argue the case with them extremism will not win.
Sunday, 18 April 2010
- in Hexham in the morning, then Acomb in the afternoon - meeting around 2pm Redburn Crescent in Acomb
- then down to Allendale and Catton with the pub meeting in the evening - apply to the Crown Inn for tickets
Thursday: in Hexham in the day - debate at the Abbey at 7.15, preceded by 6.30 evensong
Friday: Haltwhistle at 8am - meet in the station car park, then canvass in Haltwhistle; then 1 team will go to Carlisle and 1 will stay in Haltwhistle.
All converge at Gilsland at 4pm by the village shop
5pm in Greenhead by the tea shop, followed by slow journey back to Haltwhistle
Then meet at Haltwhistle station at 6pm
7.15pm Meet in Melkridge by the junction; slow journey back to Haydon Bridge and the Railway thereafter
9am Ponteland - meet outside Merton Way shops
12 noon Lunch in Hexham; meet in Fore Street
3pm Corbridge - meet outside Tea and Tipple
Finished up by canvassing Headley on the Hill with local councillors, meeting several members of the aprish council there. Rested sore feet in the Dr Syntax pub in New Ridley before finishing up in Barrasford in the early evening.
Had started between 9-11.30 in clear sunlight on the Broadway as teams of helpers led by Councillor Richard Dodd and Veronica Jones fanned out on Middle Drive, the Lairage / Ladywell and Duns Green. We spoke to hundreds of voters in Ponteland alone; saw my first Liberal poster in the Ladywell.
Slept very well!
Saturday, 17 April 2010
Last vestiges of sunlight in Corbridge after a long day; started at 9am with breakfast in Wylam - the cafe there does the best bacon roll in the county.
Visited all the shops, then met with local residents who are facing eviction, and finished by canvassing - had a 15 minute chat with a great teacher from Prudhoe
Then on to Ovington [bumping into Councillor Paul Kelly] and Ovingham, where we canvassed the big estate.
In the afternoon we briefly canvassed in Horsley and then spent 3 hours in Corbridge on the Croft estate and Aydon Gardens. Finished in the Angel pub with sore feet. Home at 10.30
Friday, 16 April 2010
Highlight of the day were 2 comments made on the doorstep =
- one man said that God was sending us the ash cloud as the Icelandics could not spell. The message he had sent was "send the cash back to england not ash"
- one lady on being asked how she was that afternoon said "Well we don't have any orgies anymore!" Michael and I were taken aback by this.
- Then in Stannington we met lots of supporters, with Mel Armstrong on fine form
Missed the debate by and large and heard most on the radio. Off to wylam for breakfast and canvassing
Thursday, 15 April 2010
This is clearly wrong. Am going to follow this story up
HEXHAM ON TOUR BATTLE BUS [ok it is beaten up Ford Fiesta normally]
If you want to get involved in other locations there are teams of volonteers that are going to help in
- Tynemouth - on several occasions; simply turn up at 5 Albion Road, Tynemouth. Some are going today. There is always someone there
- Carlisle - off on 23rd April from 11-4pm to help John Stevenson
- The Borders -27th April to help John Lamont leaving via Kielder [9am] and Deadwater and coming home via Byrness [4pm] and Otterburn [5pm]
- and Sunderland Central - Monday May 3rd in the afternoon; described as David Cameron's "wild card" Lee Martin will win. His is a unique campaign that is redefining local politics; simply email in or call if you want to help or just turn up!
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Very good reviews in the Sun and Times and even the Journal, who are being surprisingly fair and even handed in their coverage
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
Monday, 12 April 2010
Not so many numbers out in force today but still a good day
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Saturday, 10 April 2010
Friday, 9 April 2010
Wednesday, 7 April 2010
also note a further 37 names added today and not one leading businessman will say it is good idea http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thetorydiary/2010/04/another-thirty-senior-business-leaders-back-the-conservatives-on-national-insurance-.html
"The Government's proposal to increase national insurance, placing an additional tax on jobs, comes at exactly the wrong time in the economic cycle. In a personal capacity, we welcome George Osborne’s plan to stop the proposed increase in national insurance by cutting Government waste. In the last two years, businesses across the country have cut their costs without undermining the service they provide to their customers. It is time for the Government to do the same.
Few would argue that the state cannot improve. In the last few years, the private sector has improved its productivity by around 20 per cent, while productivity in the public sector has fallen by three per cent. Savings can be made by removing the blizzard of irrelevant objectives, restrictive working practices, arcane procurement rules and Whitehall interference. Mr Osborne’s announcement marks the beginning of this debate. As taxpayers we would welcome more efficiency in government.
As businessmen we know that stopping the national insurance rise will protect jobs and support the recovery.
Cutting government waste won’t endanger the recovery – but putting up national insurance will.
Sir Anthony Bamford (Chairman, JCB) Bill Bolsover (Chief Executive, Aggregate Industries) Dominic Burke (Chief Executive, Jardine Lloyd Thompson) Ian Cheshire (Chief Executive, Kingfisher plc) Neil Clifford (Chief Executive, Kurt Geiger) Mick Davis (Chief Executive, Xstrata plc) Aidan Heavey (Chief Executive, Tullow Oil plc) Lord Harris of Peckham (Chairman and Chief Executive, Carpetright plc) Justin King (Chief Executive, J Sainsbury plc) Sir Christopher Gent (Chairman, GlaxoSmithKline plc) Ben Gordon (Chief Executive, Mothercare plc) Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou (Founder and Chairman, easyGroup) John Lovering (Chairman, Mitchells & Butlers plc) Graham Mackay (Chief Executive, SABMiller plc) Alistair McGeorge (Chief Executive, Matalan) Nicolas Moreau (Group Chief Executive, AXA UK) Stephen Murphy (Chief Executive, Virgin Group Ltd) Alan Parker (Chief Executive, Whitbread Plc) Sir Stuart Rose (Executive Chairman, Marks & Spencer plc) Paul Walsh (Chief Executive, Diageo Plc) Joseph Wan (Group Chief Executive, Harvey Nichols) Simon Wolfson (Chief Executive, Next plc) Zameer Choudrey (Chief Executive, Bestway Cash & Carry)
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
Deliverers out in force all across the county - we have over 150 volunteer deliverers in this campaign all giving their time and energy for free and members / helpers coming from everywhere.
I spent the evening in Humshaugh and the late afternoon north of Alston, tracking the villages that follow the South Tyne river and the Pennine Way; then stopped in Halton Lea Gate, which is a great village right on the Cumbrian border, where we have spent a lot of time fighting the open cast mine.
Much to be done
Spent yesterday writing the campaign plan and ringing round 30+ volonteers to get them going this weekend when we will be in Prudhoe in force
Meet Prudhoe station car park 4.45 Friday afternoon and then Saturday at 10 am if you want to come and get involved and change your country.
Monday, 5 April 2010
Dust to dust
Labour have employed a 24 year spin doctor / ad guru who has gifted free advertising to us - as all the surveys, voters and polls show their latest attempted negative ad has actually increased voter support for us.
Saturday, 3 April 2010
Todays Guardian makes it clear that even it is tired of the maladminstration and corruption at the heart of this Government.
Friday, 2 April 2010
Read and weep -
Things will change!
Defra will once more work for farmers not against them
Thursday, 1 April 2010
After nearly 13 years of a Labour Government
- Almost five million people are on out of work benefits.
- Over one million violent crimes were recorded last year.
- The poorest families are paying a higher share of their income in tax than anyone else.
- Government debt is growing by millions every hour - with the Government spending more on debt interest than on educating our children.
And in the time it has taken you to read this blog Gordon Brown will have increased the country's debt by a further £360! It's time he stopped spending our taxpayers money, and is held to account at the ballot box. Go on Gordon - go to the Queen