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Archive for the ‘Martine Martin’ Category

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.


Mentioned in dispatches

In Andy Percy, Hull Daily Mail, Martine Martin on April 20, 2007 at 11:43 pm

Last Saturday when I shot a video of Andy Percy in Rawcliffe, little did I know I would be mentioned in dispatches in the Hull Daily Mail. The Mail did a piece on Andy’s blog and the reporter looked at Martine Martin’s blog and my own. Although they cannot spell my name correctly, at least I got some publicity out of it. In the article in the newspaper there is also a quote from they have taken from my blog and in that they have spelt my name correctly. Unfortunately that quote is not on the online version. Click here to read the story.

Au revoir, but not goodbye

In elections, Martine Martin on April 17, 2007 at 11:46 pm

Martine Martin said she will not be blogging until after May 3, and I will say exactly the same. I will post some video blogs, but apart from that I will be concentrating on the election campaign.

This is my week. Monday: Canvassing in Willerby. Tuesday: Canvassing in Cottingham South. Wednesday: Canvassing in Kirk Ella. Thursday: Canvassing in Cottingham North. Friday: Canvassing in Dale Ward. The weekend? Leafleting all over the constituency. As you can see I am very busy. I will be back to normal blogging after the election.

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.