Andrew Allison

Archive for the ‘Conservatives’ Category

Labour woes, part…? I’ve lost count.

In Brown, Cameron, Conservatives, labour on November 29, 2007 at 10:40 pm

And so it goes on. I said yesterday that Brown come become the most embattled prime minister in recent history. With events moving so fast, I think he has become just that.

An opinion poll in the Telegraph tomorrow puts the Conservatives 11 points ahead of Labour – 43 to 32. Two months ago, Labour enjoyed the same lead. The Met will be feeling the collars of Gordon Brown and his entourage. Harriet Harman has failed to register loans she received to help fund her campaign for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party. Peter Hain has admitted he has not declared £5000.

Iain Dale predicts Harman will be gone by Monday. I think he is right. If she has any honour, she will resign as Deputy Leader and resign as Leader of the House of Commons before she is pushed. She has so clearly broken the law. If a Tory had done that, I can just hear the condescending platitudes emanating from her. She will now have to swallow some harsh medicine. With worries that the economy it set for a downturn and Brown’s crisis management non-existent, Labour must now realise that their time in power is coming to an end; and it can’t come soon enough.

LibDem Defection

In Conservatives, LibDems on November 26, 2007 at 2:57 pm

In recent months, other parties have tried to portray the Conservative Party as the nasty, bigoted, racist party. I know there are those who will be all three, but that goes for any party or organisation.

Sajjad Karim – a LibDem MEP – has defected to the Conservatives and has spoken of how impressed he is with David Cameron’s views on immigration. He described them as sensible, rational and positive.

Of course, the LibDems not being very happy with him have stated that the reason he has defected is because he is only second on their candidates list for the North West Region at the next Euro election. Well, if they believe that, they believe in flying pigs. No-one switches party on that sort of a whim.

It proves that the Conservative Party is an all inclusive party for everyone in Britain. Welcome aboard Mr Karim

Conservatives and Education

In Conservatives, education on November 18, 2007 at 5:23 pm

The Conservative Party has announced that it intends to scrap Key Stage 1 and instead introduce a simple reading test. They also want to ensure that all pupils can read at the end of Year 1.

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with my party over this. Children should be encouraged to read from an early age; this is without doubt, but setting yet more targets and pushing reading down the throats of young children who are not yet ready for it will be counter productive. I believe we start formal education too early in Britain. Children prior to the age of seven – in my opinion – should be taught to read and learn basic arithmetic in an informal, fun setting, as well as in the home. If you want children to learn you have to make sure they enjoy it first and that they do not feel they are failures.

I hope this policy announcement will be open for discussion and then dismissed.

The party of the future

In Conservatives, Martine Martin, Steve Green on November 1, 2007 at 11:39 am

My good blogger friend, Steve Green, who writes the Daily Referendum blog, referred to an article published on Labour Home entitled ‘Show us your vision, Gordon.’ Steve says it is a real eye-opener, and it is.

I know Steve won’t mind me mentioning this, but he has become a Conservative Party member through blogging. He has become a Conservative after years voting for Labour. I too was born in to a Labour family and in my teenage years became a Conservative, as I could see that conservatism was the only way forward. I have referred to an article written by Martine Martin before, but I will let you read it again. It proves why the Conservative Party is the party of the future.

In that great old 1946 film A Matter of Life and Death, pilot David Niven describes himself as “Conservative by birth, Labour by experience” just prior to leaping from his plane with no parachute – an action I can sympathise with if that sentiment were true.

I, on the other hand, describe myself as the opposite; Labour by birth, Conservative by experience.

But what exactly does it take to turn someone from a fairly hard-up background (my dad was a Labour ex-coal miner and my mother ended up a single parent) into one of the “Tory Girls”? Here is a short step by step treatise on the making of a young Tory.

Step One – Education
The most important thing any government can do for any child is to give it the chance to succeed, whatever its social strata. The greatest mistake that New Labour has made with its culture of political correctness is to believe that by denying children the chance to compete (non-competitive sports days, anybody?) those with less aptitude in certain areas will be less discriminated against, and hence more will succeed in general. In practice the gifted ones lose out and the less academically talented are merely prevented from finding their real areas of skill and persuaded that they deserve everything they want without working for it. The result is entirely lose-lose.

Social conscience has always been a Conservative trait no matter what the Guardianistas would have us believe. I know this to be true because the Conservatives once gave me a precious gift which I will never forget; a way out. Their Assisted Places Scheme, which was created in 1982 to help underprivileged yet academically talented children go to a private school, helped me get out of the education which saw my siblings drop out without even gaining GCSEs and into a specialist music school.

Crucially, the money awarded wasn’t handed to me on a silver platter in the way Labour’s current money-grab deals are; I had to work, prove myself and get scholarships and bursaries off my own bat. Therein lies an important difference (it seems worthwhile to note that this occurred when I was almost 11. As John Prescott will no doubt tell you, that is the age at which long-abiding impressions of parties apparently form!).

Step Two – Education
In 1997 Labour scrapped the Assisted Places Scheme. They did not quite succeed in taking back my award but the possibility caused me great distress at the time. I learned in that year that Labour may purport to stand for the “common man” but if it conflicts with their rabid hatred of anything they perceive to be remotely upper class then the common man can go throw himself in front of a train. Perhaps they thought I had sold out by digging my way out of the poor trap rather than just trying to drag everyone else down into it in order to redistribute, I’m really not sure.

Labour has changed over time of course with the coming of New Labour. It is marginally less anti-elite nowadays, probably because those running it are from private schools themselves. The point is that it made me realise just how fortunate I had been and I still feel gratitude for the help I recieved today.

Step Three – Education
It was reported the other day that by the end of this decade Blair’s top-up fees are almost certainly going to hit £5000 a year. Currently I am a student at Blackadder’s third great university, Hull. However had I been an entrant for this year there is no way I would have even bothered going to University at all. Since the gap between rich and poor has not been altered under the New Labour government, there can be no doubt that the children of less well off parents will be the ones to suffer, just as Michael Howard predicted. Not since the Assisted Places Scheme was demolished have Labour made such a great push towards educational inequality.

There are thousands of places at various universities left untaken, and enormous levels of competition for relatively few others. Popular universities such as Leeds are not taking the top-up fee option. Others – coincidently the ones offering courses nobody in their right mind would take up – are already requesting further cash. The equation is not a difficult one. I only hope that when the renewed Conservative Party are ready to announce their policies, they will be able to do the maths and find the solution. Past experience tells me they will.

So there you have it. It’s really quite simple. Education is everything. Had Blair really meant what he said when he talked about “education, education, education” in 1997, and had they actually improved the state education system to a level at which the poor do not require a helping hand to get a decent education, perhaps I would be more sympathetic to his party.
The fact is, whilst they are simply too tied down into unworkable socialist policies to ever close the wealth gap, a future Conservative government could comfortably have the best of worlds; a helping hand for the poor-but-talented to get into specialist schools that will nurture their gifts set alongside a long term project to improve state schools as a whole with a deeper emphasis on vocational learning. I sincerely believe that the wholesale emphasis on academia is very harmful and causes those with more practical skills to get turned off by education, to the detriment of society.

At the Built to Last Roadshow in Leeds (which I reported on here) David Cameron hinted at the beginnings of a policy to bring more career-based learning into education from the age of 14. This would equip children with a much wider range of learning – the example he used was fixing car engines, I believe – and give them the skills to get a well-paid steady job without needing a degree and the heavy burden of debt it now brings.

The last Conservative governments created a new demographic of Tory Boys and Tory Girls from less well-off backgrounds who are now of the age to start making a difference in Conservative Future. Our next task is to prepare for the assembly of the next generation model… Conservative Future’s Future! Once back into power it is vital that our party makes fixing the education system at all levels a top priority and stand up to snide Labour suggestions that Conservatives only look after the wealthy. I and many others are living proof that this is simply not true.

Today has been cancelled

In Conservatives on November 1, 2007 at 10:27 am

Click on the image to enlarge

Yes, today could have been the date of the general election. The reason we are not voting is all down to the Conservative Party. If we had not had such a great conference, outlining sensible, popular policies, the British electorate could have had their say. On behalf of the Conservative Party, I wish to apologise for offering the British public an alternative to New Labour and therefore depriving them a chance of change.

What does the future hold for Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems?

In Blair, Brown, Cameron, Chris Huhne, Conservatives, labour, LibDems, Ming Campbell, Nick Clegg on October 16, 2007 at 4:39 pm

The past two and a half weeks have been the most politically volatile anyone can remember for a long time. The opinion polls are not to be trusted. They are jumping everywhere and yesterday we saw the first casualty of Brown’s ‘non-election.’

Now is a good time to pause and think. This is what the Lib Dems will have to do to make sure their new leader is the right one, and this will give them a problem.

When John Major became Foreign Secretary after the departure of Geoffrey Howe, the country said, ‘John who?’ He was in the cabinet, but the post of Chief Secretary to the Treasury is not a prominent job, but by the time he became Chancellor of the Exchequer a few months later he was a household political name. This gave him the springboard he needed to go for the leadership after Thatcher was pushed out.

Tony Blair was a leading light in the Labour Party long before he became leader. He had made quite a name for himself as Shadow Home Secretary. The electorate – at least those even with a passing interest in politics – knew who he was.

The same can also be said for Ming Campbell. We should not forget his performances in the House of Commons as Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesman. He has a fine grasp of world affairs and he made a name for himself before, during and after the invasion of Iraq.

When it comes to Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg, the same cannot be said of them. They are known to people who are actively involved in politics; but not to the public at large. If you are not well known, you have to be a natural leader, good at getting your point of view across. You have to be able to command a stage. David Cameron wasn’t really known when he became leader of the Conservative Party, but he is proving himself to be strong, cool under fire and has built a very strong team around him who look and sound like ministers; not shadows.

The future of the Liberal Democrats relies on either Huhne or Clegg doing a Cameron. From what I have seen, I don’t think they have it in them. They are both ambitious – which is not a sin – but they don’t stand out from the crowd. For the first time in over ten years the government has real opposition from the Conservative Party. Gordon Brown is right to be worried. What goes through his mind when he looks at his ministers and how they perform, and then looks across at the opposition front bench? Brown has to shoulder the responsibility though.

If he had allowed his ministers more than a few minutes to speak at the party conference, instead of pouring all the attention on his very dull speech, one or two of them may have shone. He didn’t and they didn’t which gave George Osborne, Liam Fox, David Davis, et al, a head start. And they took advantage of this with devastating effect. It was a coming of age for many of the Conservative front bench team and the public can also see that David Cameron isn’t threatened by the talent he has around him; unlike Gordon Brown, who would rather be surrounded by ‘yes’ men. You can see this by his choice of Chancellor of the Exchequer and how he performed last week. We know who is in charge at the Treasury and his name isn’t Alistair Darling.

When all the dust settles and the Lib Dems have their new leader, we will see three party leaders who will lead their respective parties into a general election. David Cameron and his team are the strongest now and I can’t envisage that changing. Gordon Brown’s dithering has cost him dearly and judging by his body language of late, he knows it better than anyone.

Over 900 new councillors!

In Conservatives, elections on May 8, 2007 at 6:11 pm

The Conservatives have broken through the 900 barrier. We have 905 new councillors now, having gained seven seats in Warwick and we have taken control of Warwick District Council. No doubt the BBC will say we haven’t done that well!

Counting is still under way in Breckland, Norfolk.

UPDATE: We have gained six new councillors in Breckland. I make it 911 new councillors in total.

The East Riding turns blue

In Conservatives, East Riding, elections, Hull on May 4, 2007 at 12:54 pm

It is nearly 2.00pm and I just got up around half an hour ago. Nearly 24 active hours in politics takes its toll and my whole body was crying for a rest.

As I was just a paper candidate in the KingsPark ward of Hull City Council, I didn’t go to my count, instead concentrating on the East Riding where I knew we could make gains. I managed to get the princely sum of 150 votes. Although that is not very many, I am pleased to say I nearly tripled the Conservative vote from four years ago. You can see what such a low base I am working from, so at least I have a start. The KingsPark ward should be natural Tory territory, however when the new housing estates were being built a few years ago the LibDems rushed in and hijacked the place. The electorate are now fooled in to thinking their LibDem councillors are are a hive of activity and are doing wonderful things for them. Well this next year I have a plan, which naturally I am not going to reveal, however there will be quite a few of us working on it.

Back to the East Riding. There was an electric feeling to the count. The Dale ward which always has had our councillor Rita Hudson topping the poll with two LibDems following, became completely blue. Willerby and Kirk Ella had three LibDem councillors who all lost. Snaith, Airmyn and Rawcliffe had two Labour councillors, who both lost their seats to Conservatives. I know of many gains elsewhere and the net result is the Tories sweeping to power in County Hall. In one night both the Liberal and Labour leaders lost their seats and by some considerable margin.

You simply couldn’t take the smile off any of our faces last night and it was a smile and not a smirk. Andrew Percy led a strong campaign to get our victories in Willerby and Kirk Ella, and we worked the ward more strongly than ever. We deserve our success. I am still waiting for all of the figures for the East Riding and I will be interested to see exactly what the percentage turnout was.

On a sadder note, I was disappointed Helen Green was not elected in Cottingham South. She run a fantastic campaign, and no-one could have worked harder than her to get elected. If she had been elected, it would have been the icing on the cake.

I am now looking forward to a rest. I don’t want to see another driveway or letterbox for quite some time, although I think after a few days I will miss it.

UPDATE: I have just seen the whole results for the East Riding. At total of 18 Conservative gains, to put us on 47 seats, LibDems 12, Labour 3, Independent 4, Social Democratic Party 1.
A Conservative majority of 27. Click here for the full results.

Knocking on doors again.

In Conservatives, elections on March 29, 2007 at 9:51 pm

I have been out canvassing tonight, and it was one of those evenings where you think you didn’t get anywhere. There were some extra Conservative votes, but there were some lost votes as well. I did get the general feeling of disillusionment in politics and Great Britain. People think this country has gone to the dogs, and I can’t blame them. What we have to do is put pride back in to our communities and make Great Britain GREAT again. I really do think that is an important theme in this election. What is more important, is getting our vote out. The two are linked together like Siamese twins.

Local elections – May 3 2007

In Andy Percy, Conservatives, East Riding, elections, Martine Martin on March 27, 2007 at 6:27 pm

Five weeks on Thursday – May 3 – is the date of the local elections. Now that we have ‘sprung forward’ with our clocks, things are starting to get busier. Last night I was out canvassing and got some positive responses from the doorstep. Most people, however, have not really thought about the election. That is completely understandable. When the daylight ebbs away at an early point in the evening, you do not think of the lighter nights in May. This is changing now.

We were canvassing in the Cottingham South ward last night. Cottingham South – in the East Riding of Yorkshire – currently has two Lib-Dem councillors and there is a good chance the ward can become ‘blue’ this May. Click HERE for a full list of results from the last election. You will see how close it was in Cottingham South. Of course it requires a lot of work, but any Tory activist worth their salt will work to get rid of two Lib-Dems! Helen Green – one of our candidates – fed us last night too. It was an enjoyable evening, eating a home made lasagna. It is so nice to be waited on every now and again. Andy Percy – councillor on Hull City Council and candidate for Brigg and Goole – joined us too. He joined us after we had canvassed, as he was hard at work printing leaflets for the campaign, but he did say the offer of some food was too much to pass by!

If we can win this ward and Willerby and Kirk Ella, we stand a good chance of gaining control of the East Riding Council. I’m sure you can see where my efforts will be focused over the next five weeks. I will – given time – keep you all updated on what is happening. I hope to give you a video diary too, if I can get my head around the technology. This is where Martine Martin comes in.

I will let you all in to a little secret. Martine said to me a few months ago; if I teach her how to cook, she will teach me all these technical, computer things. Well Martine, you’re on! I think I am going to need your help.

I would like to keep a video diary though, and when we get all our new Conservative councillors, I will give them a copy of the last five weeks of the campaign. It will be a great memento – I hope. That all depends on my video editing skills. As you can see I will be kept very busy.

I have said this before and I will say it again. If anyone out there in Hull and East Yorkshire would like to get involved, PLEASE contact me. The more, the merrier. We can always do with more help.