Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Its May 6th

Although 3rd June 2010 is the last date that the Prime Minister can call the next General Election, Bloomberg are reporting that Labour are urging activists to work to a timetable of 6th May.

A 34-page Labour document titled, “General Election Handbook Part 1 -- A day-by- day planner for your general election campaign,” was issued to candidates and local activists this week at the conference.

The document’s description of an April campaign suggests that Brown is planning to hold the general election the same day as voting for the local elections.

The handbook gives activists specific tasks to perform on every day, granting them 17 days off between Oct. 1 and March 31. On Thursday, March 18, it instructs them to “follow up budget coverage.” The Treasury usually publishes its budgets in March or April, though the date is a closely guarded secret until a few weeks before.

The detailed instructions stop at the beginning of April, when candidates are told “increase the campaign activity to a maximum level” and turn to the “Short Campaign Handbook,” which covers the final four weeks of an election.

The list of tasks for that month includes organizing a “Flying Start” blitz of activity for the first 48 hours after Brown names the day for voting. It orders activists to “correctly submit your candidate’s nomination papers

The document leaves open the possibility of an earlier election date, telling campaigners in that case to turn to the “Short Campaign Book.” That document has not yet been published.

The first item in the campaign schedule comes on Saturday, Oct. 3, when activists are asked to set up stands in their town centers to canvass for support. It’s followed by fundraisers, leaflet drops and evenings phoning voters. They’re given three days off in October, none in November, and a single Saturday, on Dec. 5, in the month before Christmas.

Can't wait to see how many signatures they get at their stall in Southend High Street!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside - Part 2

Following the Lib Dems in Bournemouth this week it is the turn of Labour at their Party conference in Brighton.

After an uncomfortable interview with Andrew Marr, things have started to go wrong on day one as the Labour faithfull desert the Prime Minister in his speech to a halk empty hall

The row over the Andrew Marr show overshadowed the Prime Minister's attempt to launch what has been dubbed 'Operation Fightback'. This 'Operation Fightback' slogan clearly displayed on banners, cauesed conference organisers some hedaches when it was pointed out that this slogan was deployed by the BNP earlier this year for a campaign against media slurs.

This of course follows Labour's infamous 'British jobs for British workers' slogan which was orginally used in racist literature by the BNP.

More news will follow from the asylum otherwise known as the 2009 Labour Party Conference throughout the week.

Is the Prime Minister Really Mental?

Followers of this blog will recall that I posted of a story by Fraser Nelson of the Spectator and columnist for the Sunday rag the News of the World alledging that Gordon Brown has used prescription drugs to cure depression.

I wondered who would be the first MP publically to raise this issue, but first off the block is Andrew Marr. On his Sunday morning show on BBC1 Marr asked Gordon if he is addicted to prescription drugs. Brown asnwered empathically no.

This now leaves two possibilities, one that Gordon may have used prescription drugs in the past as Prime Minister to cure depression which leaves a lot of questions to be answered or two, this may pan out like the Charlie Kennedy situation a few years back when he repeatedly denied that he had a drink problem.

One thing is for sure, the BBC could not have been happy with Andrew Marr for upsetting their New Labour love in. Don't be surprised if Marr is given his P45 or moved to 'lighter duties'.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

It's conference time and the Lib Dem's kicked the 2009 conference season off with their shindig at Bournemouth.

The conference didn't get off to the best of starts with Vince Cable embrassingly admitting in an interview with Andrew Neil for BBC programme straight talk that he made some 'errors of judgement' in the way the economic crisis panned out blowing poor Vinny's reputation as the 'best handler of the economic downturn'.

We also saw the unedifting site of one time Lib Dem leadership challenger Mark Oaten promoting his autobiography presumably trying to cash in on his rent boy sex scandle a few years back.

Lib Dem conference's always make interesting affairs due to their obsession with trivia. The best example was when a conference motion was passed making it party policy to abolish the sale of goldfish at fairgrounds.

Trying to make the Lib Dem's look more sensible Nick Clegg spoke of 'savage cuts' needed to public spending and the now under fire Vinny Cable announcing the flagship policy of a tax on homes over £1 million.

After being rounded upon by his own MP's the 'savage cuts' line was droped and Vinny was having round the clock 'talks' with MP's to get them to back his tax increase.

If things couldn't get any worse the Scottish MSP's were openly talking of backing the SNP in holding a referendum to break up the union.
The Scottish Lib Dem leader even accused his MSP's of spending too many late nights at the bar and having too much sea air.

We were then treated to the unedifying specticle of Nick Clegg in his unmemorable speech practically begging for anybody to vote for the Lib Dem's.

There was aslo a sinister side to the conference that went almost unreported. At the start of the conference The Times reported that an anti conservative attack unit was set up. This not the first time that the Lib Dems campaign techniques have been somewhat suspect. I posted yesterday of the disgusting Lib Dem leaflet which was produced for a by-election in Harlow but it is also worth a look at what their campaign manuals tell party activists to do.

The guide advises:

“Go into the middle of a council estate and shout at all the kids ‘any of you lot want to help deliver all these?’.
Then proceed pied-piper like doling out badges, toffee’s and leaflets with the last to be pushed through the door by the shouting, squealing quarrelsome horde.”

Thier campaign guide is also worth a close look as well. It tells activists and candidates to:

“Be wicked, act shamelessly, stir endlessly” (p.21)

“Oppose all service cuts...No cut is going to be popular and why court the unpopularity that goes with the responsibility of power.” (p.25)

“Positive campaigning will NOT be enough to win control of the council.” (p.4)

“Don’t beafraid to exaggerate. For example, responses to surveys are always ‘massive'.” (p.23)

Let's hope we do not hear of any Lib Dem moaning about dirty tricks. As the saying goes, what goes around comes around.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Being the political animal that I am, there is a fantastic website which lets residents up and down the country put pictures of political literature that they receive through their letterbox.

It is interesting to look at the differing local campaigns but also at how nasty some of the literature is. Here is a Lib Dem leaflet from Harlow which actually looks like a Labour leaflet.

Let's hope we never hear the Lib Dems complaining of dirty tricks

Councillor Points at Pothole Shocker

It is not without hypocrisy that I point you towards Glum Councillors – a collection of hard-working councillors working hard at pointing out potholes.

I confess I was impressed by the care taken by some in donning high-visibility clothing before venturing onto the road.

The ‘councillors points at pothole’ is a classic, and seems to be something of a Lib Dem favourite.

Some cynically suggest they even get lists of work programmes from their local councils to take photos just before they are repaired.

But however it’s done, you can’t deny it presents a, um, memorable image. I don’t think I’ve ever pointed at a pothole, but I’m sure I’ve committed other councillor photography sins (I’ve certainly watched a phone box being removed, and pointed at a wall that I cleaned which had graffiti on it).

My favourite, however, is the one featured above..."We’d managed to get a fairly grubby patch of land on Falcon Lane (the road that runs between Lavender Hill and Falcon Road past Asda) cleaned up".

What better way to celebrate this than have three men stand on the now clear patch of mud. In front of an ‘Out of Service’ bus!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Overdue Enquiry into how rape victims are treated

The BBC are today reporting that the Government has orderded Baroness Stern is to conduct an enquiry into how rape victims are treated.

This has been long overdue in my opinion and welcome the fact that ministers are looking into the matter, although it seems that Health Secretary Allan Johnston and Justice Minister Jack Straw were somehow oddly opposed.

As I posted yesterday, action needs to be taken to push up rape conviction rates and and a thorough examination is needed as to why conviction rates presently are so low.

Whilst I'm not this Government's biggest fan, a lot of work has been done on this area but more is desprately needed.

Lets hope the government manage to stay united on this issue.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Katie, It's time to name

It seems that one or two people have got a little bit hot under the collar following a tweet that I made on twitter yesterday regarding Katie Price.

Since her split from husband Peter Andre the tabloids have been dominated by who is the celebrity who is alledged to have 'raped' Katie Price.

Let me be absolutely clear, the tweet wasn't designed to poke fun at Katie or rape suffers. The reason why I made the tweet is because there is a serious element which shouldn't be ignored but hasn't been mentioned to date in the media but hope it has been provoked as I don't find celebraties making rape allegations in newspapers funny or makes intersting reading.

Firstly is that the alledged 'rape' was supposed to have happened years ago but has only come into the spotlight as Katie embarks on a charm offensive following her well publicised public ending of her marridge.

Secondly this has the hallmarks of the John Leslie incident some years back when Ulrika Johnsson made a rape allegation in her autobiograpry.

Thirdly and most importantly, Katie Price is doing no favours to those that have genuinely been victims of rape in encouraging them to come forward, report the incident to the police and bring those guilty to justice.

The police at present find it very difficult to take rape cases through the courts and gain a successful conviction. At present less than half of rape cases result in a successful conviction.

Many people follow Katie's antics on TV and through the media and Katie for me, isn't presenting herself as a beacon for rape victims.

The stat that I mention above is disturbing and does need addressing which I think allowing victims to remain anonymous has helped but more clearly needs to be done. What we can not have is trials by media as this not only hinders any successful conviction. This is why it is time for Katie to name.

I have always said that I would never shy away from talking about the serious issues of the day. We politicians are regularly accused of not giving an answer or having a view on issues but criticised when we do. This for me is why a lot of us politicians have been dubed bland.

Update: Had a intresting chat with Echo reporter Geoff Percival who believes that the Katie Price alledged rape allegation is bogus. I wonder if he will add this into the piece that he puts into tomorrow's Echo?

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The unaswered questions on the new Shoebury Health Centre

Earlier this week I attended a regular briefing with all 6 Shoebury councillor's from the PCT on the proposed new Shoebury Health Centre on the Garrison development.

Following the appaling consultation originally undertaken by the PCT the PCT should be congratulated in keeping all the Shoebury councillor's up to date with developments on this project - although it still hasn't altered my opinion that on balance this a poor, ill judged development and in my view not a good use of public money.

If you conduced a poll and asked local Shoebury residents if they would like better health facilities no sane person would say no.

There is a general anti feeling from local residents on this project for a number of reasons but the real disaster facing Shoebury if this project goes ahead I feel has been hidden.

I have worked tirelessly over the past three and a half years to attract investment into Shoebury and it is easy to be fooled that this proposal is exciting and will regenerate the area.

What is not widely known that if this development goes ahead it will leave prominent sites in Shoebury empty and desolate and set Shoebury back years.

For example, the health centre on Campfield Road will be closed as well as Deejay Pharmacy and the the Ambulance station.

Gone will be Shoebury House on Ness Road. The Cambridge Dental practice in West Road will close as well as the opticians. Thorpedene Clinic will also be forced to close

Whilst it is admirable that the PCT are looking to reduce operating costs by housing all these services under one roof I believe that they also have a social obligation to Shoebury as well.

This project has been delivered as a fate accompi but I main aim is to ensure that large parts of Shoebury are simply not just boarded up with 'Danger Keep Out' signs.

Labour Lies Exposed

Today leaked documents to the Conservatives have exposed that Labour are planning 9.3% cuts in public. Whilst we all agree that public spending needs to be reduced it has exposed the lies if not at best mistruths that Gordon Brown has been peddling at PMQ's for weeks before the summer recess and makes a mocery of his line that the next election will be down to "Labour investment over Tory 10% cuts.

Just after the local elections few will have seen the Downing Street media briefing which Gordon explicited said that there will be no cuts in Public Spending under Labour.

For those who didn't see it here is the link below

Roll on the next general Election!

Is The Prime Minister Really Mental?

One of the most successful and popular political blogs is by Guido Fawkes aka Paul Staines who operates For the past year or so Guido has been convinced that Gordon Brown has been suffering from a Psychological Personality Disorder and has dubbed him the Prime Mentalist.

Having just returned from a nice week with the family in Turkey I have been trying to catch up with all the news. Whilst I have been away rumors have been awash over the internet that Gordon is suffering from depression.

It is rumoured in Westminster that the Prime Minister is said to be taking powerful mood altering anti-depressants, specifically Mono Amine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) which are very rarely prescribed since the arrival of Prozac derivatives, used only sparingly when dealing with severely depressed patients.

We all know the stories of rages, flying Nokias, smashed laser printers, tables kicked over and crying Downing Street secretaries subjected to foul-mouthed tirades. We have seen the deranged YouTube performances, the bizarre facial contortions, the incongruent emotional responses – smiling when offering condolences, frowning when giving best wishes but Fraser Nelson in his News of the World column last Sunday tells us quite bluntly how it is:

Rumours are swirling around Westminster. Our PM is cracking under the strain, it is said, and may quit on health grounds. …

First, the rumours are true. Brown is shouting, screaming, hurling objects around the room, behaving like a maniac. In other words, business as usual. This is how he operates — and has done since he cocooned himself in the Treasury 12 years ago.

It may seem bonkers to promise free healthcare to the Nepalese when so many British kids can’t read and write. But he’ll do so this month. It seems crazy apologising for the way gay computer pioneer Alan Turing was treated in 1954 — when Gordo was three years old. Our PM was 49 when he sold the nation’s gold reserves for $275 an ounce. It passed $1,000 last week. Where’s our apology for that?

It’s amazing that he dares to speak about the economy at all. Because for him to keep on spending like this IS a form of madness. … The national debt was £340 billion when Labour came to power. Next year, £970 billion. In four years’ time, £1,370 billion. We will NEVER be able to reduce this burden on our families to pre-Brown levels. A trillion-pound debt may be with us forever.

The impact of this debt on ordinary households — higher tax bills, worse schools, worse healthcare — will just be incalculable. It’s an act of vandalism — on the prospects for future generations.
All because a PM could not bring himself to cut spending now. This is the real insanity. Throwing mobile phones around the room is the least of it… But it will do nothing to change his place in history . . . as a man whose economic madness brought a country to its knees.

As Guido puts it, I wonder when Parliament resits shortly who will be the first MP to ask Gordon at PMQ's "Prime Minister, have you been taking medication that may have affected your judgement?"

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Lies, dammed lies & the Independent Party

In true New Labour fashion Commie Anne has once again been telling porkies on her Shoebury News website to engineer support for her doomed East Beach parking campaign.

Now residents have seen the scheme taking shape one of the things local residents have been saying is the parking improvements are not as big as they thought - well they wouldn't be because of the mistruths told by Commie Anne and Louise Wilcox on their leaflets.

Anne mischieviously tells residents on her Labour come Independent Party website that over 84% of residents on an online on the website are against the scheme.

The overall poll actually showed that over 65% of residents backed the scheme. What Commie Anne did was a screenshot of the poll on just one day when there was a majority for the no campaign.

We here time and time again from the leader of the Independent Party Cllr Terry that trust has been removed from the main political parties and that there is a shift to Independent politicians. I trust Cllr Terry will haul Commie Anne over the coals for this - I thought not!