Post exam holiday

June 19, 2009

 

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Now that the exams are over and all my work is handed in I think I am in need of a well deserved holiday, so I am off to Scotland for a week, tomorrow. This road trip around Bonni Scotland will involve a good deal of history, walking and whisky, but it will unfortunately mean that I will not be updating the blog. So please check back in a weeks time when blogging should recommence.


The Blue Blog

June 18, 2009

 

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I am now writing for the Conservative party’s Blue Blog in my capacity as the CF Area Chairman. I will be posting regular updates every fortnight on what CF is doing here in Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, and Rutland, as well as commenting on issues that are affecting our area. Here is my first post:

Well it’s certainly been a busy time in Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, and Rutland, with the recent County Council and EU elections earlier this month. As the Conservative Future (CF) Area Chairman I have been actively engaged in the campaigns across the counties, helping our candidates, and meeting the different CF groups. Because of this I  though it would be a good idea to use my first post on the blog to give you a brief insight into the work CF has been doing across the counties.

During the elections CF delivered thousands of leaflets and knocked on countless doors across the counties, and as a result we helped to achieve some great results. I must start by saying that I was extremely impressed by the commitment and dedication of all our members, and I would like to thank everyone who helped out during these crucial elections. Even if you only helped out for a couple of hours it was all very much appreciated.

I think it’s fair to say that the campaign was tiring but extremely rewarding, as we achieved a net gain of 16 County Councillors, strengthening further, our position on the councils. As for the EU elections we managed to increase our share of the vote by 3.8% in the East Midlands, which was by far the largest increase of the Conservative vote in any UK region.

If these elections have demonstrated anything they have shown that CF has become an extremely effective campaigning force. There is nothing that disheartens our opponents more than seeing car loads of CF members arrive at a target seat and blanket it with leaflets. One thing is for certain, we are ready for a general election, whenever it comes, so come on Gordon Brown, call that election.

James Deighton

 Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland CF Area Chairman


Nick Clegg you couldn’t be more wrong!

June 17, 2009

 

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Yesterday Nick Clegg broke ranks with the political establishment and said that Trident was no longer necessary and should be scrapped. He told Nick Robinson “We have to be realistic and candid about what we can and can’t afford as a nation”.

The Lib Dems have long been sceptical about replacing Trident, often citing the cost of the system, but up to now they preferred a “wait-and-see” policy.

However during the leadership contest of 2007, Mr Clegg clashed with his rival Chris Huhne – a firm opponent of Trident – over the subject, saying he supported the system.

Now Mr Clegg says he’s “changed his mind” over the issue. There’s a surprise! He went on to say that he believed that Trident was now clearly outmoded, 20 years after the end of the Cold War. So there you have it yet another flip flop from Nick – whichever way the wind blows – Clegg.

Answer me this Mr Clegg how can you put a price on our country’s defence? Trident renewal will cost an estimated £20 billion but it is a small price to pay for the ultimate deterrent. Trident works, pure and simple and to scrap the system is to lay our country open to attack. We may no longer face the great threat of a nuclear armed super power like the USSR, but what about a nuclear armed state like Iran? Trident would deter even the most determined dictator from attacking us because they know what the consequences would be.

I do not believe that Trident is a sacred cow, and I am open to the idea of a reduction in the number of warheads we have. However scrapping the system altogether is something I could never support. Mr Clegg might have finally come down from the fence, but he has yet again come down on the wrong side.


The protests in Iran show the neocons were right

June 17, 2009

 

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Daniel Finkelstein has written a seminal piece in the Times today, and I would urge you all to read it. Danny has always been one of my political idols the man is a genius – pure and simple. He was a great loss to the party, but at least we can still enjoy his insight and musings on programs like newsnight and in his Times articles.

I am sure you are all aware of the demonstrations that are going on in Iran right now, the people are in open revolt at the fraudulent election and they are yearning for change. Danny has this to say about what he sees is going on;

“I am a neocon, and this declares my belief in two things – that in every country in the world, wherever it may be and whatever its traditions, the people yearn for liberty, for free expression and for democracy; and that the spread of liberty and democracy (not necessarily through the barrel of a gun) is the only real way to bring peace to the world. I believe that what we are seeing on the streets of Iran now is a vindication of these neoconservative ideas.

For years we have been told, we neocons, that other cultures don’t want our liberty, our American freedom. Yankee go home! But it isn’t true. Because millions of Iranians do want it. Yes, they want their sovereignty, and demand respect for their nation and its great history. No, they don’t want foreign interference and manipulation. But they still insist upon their rights and their freedom. They know that liberty isn’t American or British. It is Iranian, it is human.

The protests for Mr Mousavi do not just expose the lie of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s landslide victory. They expose the lie that there is something Western in wanting democracy and human rights.”

When we liberated the Iraqi people from dictatorship the people did not know how to deal with freedom at first because their rights had been so brutally oppressed by Saddam Hussein. This largely led to the insurgency, and the violence that engulfed the country for years. However once people worked out that they had to work together and respect each other in order to move things forward violence plummeted and people became happier.

Iraq is now a flowering democracy and an inspiration to millions of others across the Middle East who continue to suffer under oppressive regimes. I like Danny believe that what we are seeing in Iran is as a direct consequence of the situation in Iraq. However as Danny says:

“the frustrating truth is that there are limits to what can be achieved by outsiders. Instead we have to wait as national movements, one by one, stand up for their rights. And sometimes, tragically, we even have to stand aside as those movements are crushed by their oppressors.

We may now see that happen in Iran. But at least we know this. The people of Iran might not get what we have. But in their millions, that is what they want. Really, they are just like us.”


Osborne leads the way

June 15, 2009

 

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Labour have wanted a policy debate for a long time and now that we are fully engaged in a sensible debate about public spending they are trying to shy out of it instead preferring to throw up a smokescreen of Tory cuts. This debate was sparked by Andrew Lansley’s gaffe last week but we have acted swiftly to once again move onto the front foot. Writing in the Times today the shadow chancellor George Osborne has written the kind of article on public spending that is long overdue. He says:

“There is a moment in Nineteen Eighty-Four when Winston Smith realises that “in the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it…the logic of their position demanded it”. The Labour Party reached that moment last Wednesday when Gordon Brown told it that his plans to cut real spending on public services and halve capital spending equalled more “Labour investment”.

Gordon Brown was at it again this weekend, talking about the Tory’s 10 % cuts – only for the Institute for Fiscal Studies to point out that this is exactly what his own plans involve if he, like we Conservatives, promises to protect health spending. Why is Brown treating us all like fools, Gordon Brown’s claim that real spending will rise under Labour is akin to his claim that the 10p tax rise didn’t hit the poor.

“The big discussion in British politics for the foreseeable future will be how to tackle the debt crisis and deliver quality public services when spending is tight, and Gordon Brown has taken his party to the sidelines of that discussion.

The real dividing line is not “cut versus investment”, but honesty versus dishonesty. We should have the confidence to tell the public the truth that Britain faces a debt crisis; that existing plans show that real spending will have to be cut, whoever is elected; and that the bills of rising unemployment and the huge interest costs of a soaring national debt mean that many government departments will face budget cuts. These are statements of fact and to deny them invites ridicule.”

This is excellent stuff. Rather than fearing Brown’s “cuts vs investment” dividing line, we are taking him on, exposing the truth behind his rhetoric. The old saying that a house built on shifting sands can not stand, seem to ring true for Browns argument. Thankfully no one in the media is being taken in by Browns lies, not even the Guardian and everyone knows that there will need to be cuts in spending. As Peter Hoskin says “Brown is now in danger of losing what is perhaps the biggest pre-election battle there is.” Good work George, keep it up!


Bercow must bow out

June 15, 2009

 

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It may very well have escaped your attention with all that’s going on at the moment but we are now just one week away from the election of the next speaker. This is a very important election and the right decision needs to be made, we can no longer afford to waste time with reforms and we need someone who will be able to deliver them.

It is with this in mind that Ann Widdecombe has today warned the bookies favourite, John Bercow, that he should reconsider his nomination if he cannot secure more support from the Conservative benches. In today’s Daily Mail she said:

“I don’t want to take the job feeling that half the House doesn’t want me there, and John Bercow must consider that very, very carefully… He has got years ahead of him in the Commons. If that’s the situation then I think he must ask himself if this is the moment that he should be standing for Speaker.”

The “Conservative” MP Mr Bercow has next to no support from Conservative MPs. However Labour MPs are lining up behind him because they know they can’t elect another Labour speaker (3 in a row) so they will back Bercow, as they know his election will annoy the Conservatives. Many Conservatives have not forgiven Bercow for joining Brown’s ‘Government of all the talents’ as an adviser and they also dislike his strong backing for Labour measures.

This weekend the highly principled Frank Field ended his bid to become the next speaker because of his lack of support from his fellow Labour MPs. In a warning to Mr Bercow he blogged: “A Speaker must also, at the same time, command support amongst all the parties here at Westminster, including their own.” In my opinion Bercow should follow Field’s example and bow out of the race, we can’t afford another divisive speaker, the consequences could be too hard to bear.


Dale meets the Iron Lady

June 14, 2009

 

Iain Dale has managed to secure an exclusive interview with Margaret Thatcher, and you can watch it all below. Well it’s not really the Iron Lady but Steve Nallon, who did Thatcher’s voice for spitting image. The video is very funny and the impression is uncanny.