Taxed and tested

 When deciding to work for myself one of the saddest things was having to give back my company BMW – which was a lovely graphite automatic little number.

But don't fear, Andrew Marr isn't the only one with a bit of taste. I've just got back from the garage and our Figaro has passed its MOT for another year – not bad for a car thats over 15 years old!

(OK so this isn't the photo of mine – but its waxed and polished and put back in the garage as its cold out there. Plus ours looks better than this one!)

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SKY called – but I just couldn't make it

 On both Wednesday and Thursday Sky News asked me to be on their show – fisrtly to talk about the new re-vamped website Prince Charles has launched (all for the next King having a website with viedo clips) and then last night they wanted my views on Australians (love the country, like their political in-correctness, and they have a good PM – though I hope they get one hell of a beating in the Ashes).

Unfortunately I wasn't able to do either slots – so I thought you would have to have my views here instead! I hope I get asked again!

Long Live Meritocracy!

There are times in politics when you get disheartened, and want to throw in the towel. I know it happened to the best of us. You think after being a member of the party for over 15 years do I want to give anymore.

You think, perhaps I could enjoy myself a little bit more, concentrate on a business career, have a holiday. You see people who you may not think are top notch being selected for great seats. Then something happens which reinvigorates you and makes you think it’s all worthwhile.

I know she won’t thank me for it – but that moment happened for me this morning when I learned that my good friend Priti Patel was selected for the seat of Witham.

Now we can debate the A list until the cows come home – but in Priti our party has a candidate who is Asian, young and female, and who has been selected in spite of those characteristics – not because of them. She isn’t a token ‘ethnic candidate’ and never will be. She has been selected for the sole reason that she is good enough, and was the best candidate on the night.

I joined the party when I was 16 because as a lad from Chesterfield I believed the Tory party was about meritocracy. It didn’t matter where you came from (although that shapes who you are) it was about where you were going.

Today that faith is restored.

Long live meritocracy!

YouTube to be regulated?

I thought I'd share my appearance on The Politics Show on Sunday. I have to say I'm not convinced that any amount of regulation from the EU can have much of an effect on the Internet.

In Praise of Ideology

I have been passed a copy of a paper written for the Centre For Policy Studies, written by Lord Saatchi entitled IN PRAISE OF IDEOLOGY, which is published today.

The pamphlet looks at "the necessity for 'ideology' and to the inadequacy of the 'centre ground'", both in the UK and US

For those who would like a bit more ideology, Lord Saatchi attempts to snmash the myth that elections can only be won from the centre ground. I don't want to spoil the pamphlet for those who want to get a copy.

I have to say this is well worth a read, and will leave you with Lord Saatchi's final sentence:-

So come on you Conservatives, in Britain and in America! Man the ideological barricades!

The pamphlet accompanies a lecture being given at the CPS at 7:00pm tonight (20th November)

State opening of Parliament

This is the first time I took the opportunity to watch the State Opening of Parliament. As you can see, I had a pretty good view of things!

How to Label a Goat

 I have been sent an advance copy of this excellent book by Ross Clark entitled How to Label a Goat.

Now I am hopefully going to do a podcast review of it over the weekend if I get chance to read it, but if you want to buy a copy visit the Tory Radio bookshop here

The book examines some of the most petty and bizarre rules and regulations out there.

A must read – and not just for grumpy young men like me (well not that young but certainly grumpy).

Get hold of a copy and read for yourself