Over promising and undelivering – a lesson for politicians?

 Last week we decided to order our shopping from a leading supermarket. We had been extermely busy all week and my mum was coming over at the weekend following a family funeral – so thought this would be convenient.

Having ordered it online we were given a delivery slot of 7-8pm on a Friday. It may have come in the middle of Coronation Street – but I thought that a price worth paying.

8pm came and went, and staying in all Friday night isn't my idea of a good night, so we gave the Customer Services line a call. They were very apologetic and said we would get it by 9:00pm. 9:00pm came and went so we called again and they said it was on its way. At 9:30 or so we got a call from the delivery driver saying they now couldn't delivery – but would definitely get it to us by the new time of 10:00am the day after Saturday. To apologise we were given a code for £10 off our next order.

So…. on Saturday morning we called at 9:00am to check whether they would get here for 10. Oh yes, we were the first delivery. 10:00am went and no delivery so we call again. Oh they have just left Lincoln they will be there in five minutes. This time we decided to pull them up on it – given it would be at least 40 minutes to get here. Oh well – we think they will be there shortly. We tell then tell them we want a call by 11 to check our order has been delivered – as by now my Mum has arrived and we need to go out. 11:00am comes no delivey. The telephone rings and its a driver saying he is half an hour away, as he has just left the Lincoln store.

11:30 comes and the shopping arrives, The delivery men are good sports and all in all we are given £40 of vouchers.

Whilst that was nice, it really is a lesson in over promising and undelivering. Don't tell someone you can do something that will never happen. Why do you think Amazon says an item will be there in 7 days, and when it arrives in 3 you think what a wonderful service. Politicians could perhaps learn something from this. People are much more politically savy these days and over promising really isn't going to convince anyone when it comes to election time.

The Sainsburys van outside our house proudly stated that they promise to deliver in one hour time slots. Well we learned that's not always the case. Groceries coming  a day late is neither here nor there – but for politicians the danger or over promising can be much more severe.


Holyrood Sketch 19-23 March

As we edge closer and closer to May the 3rd the Parliament is growing increasingly empty as more and more MSPs and staff hit the campaign trail in pursuit of electoral glory.

Manifesto Launches
This week was certainly a busy week for the Scottish Conservatives who launched two parts of their manifesto for May, firstly the manifesto on affordable housing on Monday and secondly the party's attack on drugs and crime on Thursday. The Party have correctly identified that these two issues are massive issues going into May's election. Many activists across the country will have met more people wanting to talk about affordable housing and the rise in anti-social behaviour than people wanting to talk about any other issue.

The release of Thursday's manifesto on tackling drugs and crime got the party the most coverage with the manifesto being billed as a £1bn attack on drugs and crime in Scotland. This, along with affordable housing, has been identified as a crucial issue amongst the electorate in the lead up to May's Holyrood Elections. Within the manifesto the Scottish Tories pledge to put 15,000 more police officers on the beat across Scotland, invest £100m a year in drug rehabilitation

Question Time
One of the big talking points in Scotland this week was in regards to he claims of convicted armed robber Stewart Potter that his privacy is being breached due to the warning on his outbound calls from prison that he is calling from a prison. This was the issue that Annabel Goldie quite rightly led with this in FMQ's. While Goldie led with this her opposite number in the Nats, Nicola Sturgeon, attacked the First Minister over the fact that since Labour came to power Council Tax has increased by a staggering 60% in Scotland while the First Minister retaliated by branding the SNP's local income tax a second poll tax.

While Sturgeon and McConnell continue to use FMQ's to tear lumps out of each other it is left, as usual, to Annabel Goldie to tackle one of the bread and butter issues and this week it was in regards to prisoners feeling their human rights were being breached by the warning on all outbound calls. Time and time again Goldie has accused the First Minster and the rest of the Executive of being soft on criminals and this has again been proved by this whole fiasco. It is appaling that a criminal can claim to be embarrassed that the message is on all outbound calls, a complete embarrassment to the Labour and Lib Dem Executive.

This week saw the last speech by Lord James Douglas Hamilton in the chamber. Lord James was MP for Edinburgh West from 1974 until 1997 and list MSP for the Lothians since 1999. It was truly touching that members from all parties took the chance to thank and praise Lord James; it was especially nice of Margaret Smith, the MSP for his former Edinburgh West constituency, to thank Lord James for all of his work in Edinburgh West.

Lord James will be missed by all at Holyrood.

Craig Wilson

I'm leaving on a jet plane…..

I think those were the words of John Denver. Anyway, in spite of all the environmental information around at the moment, by the time you read this I will be in Portugal having taken a jet plane for a week away.

Some may say it's not an environmentally way to travel – but I'm not sure I have the energy to swim there! Why not take the poll and let us know how many flights you have taken in the last 12 months.

Guido vs Paxo

Click this link to watch in all its glory.


Blame the Bogs

I have just watched a story on the lunchtime BBC news coming from the Peak District – minutes away from me. Apparently the Peat Bogs in the Peak District and elsewhere store more carbon than the forests of the UK and France combined. When the peat gets exposed it actually gives out that carbon. Apparently this is a big issue. Now I know we shouldnt use peat on our gardens – but come on. Now they are saying we shouldn't walk in our national parks as we may disturb the peat. Whatever next – rationed breathing as humans are a big producer of CO2!

Don't leave your vote at home

The following website has been set up by Conservatives Abroad to encourage overseas voters not to lose their votes. Whilst the sentiments are good I'm not convinced of the need to for a party organisation to link to the main websites of our rivals, but maybe I'm wrong? I was always taught it probably best not to give your opponents any publicity – has that rule changed?

Digital Switchover – hidden environmental cost?

 I have written about the cost in energy terms of the switchover to digital TV before on Tory Radio. I can across the following PQ asked by Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner which interested me:-

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the effect of digital switchover on energy consumption levels. [108441]

Margaret Hodge: I have been asked to reply.

Digital switchover is expected to have an impact on both transmitter power usage and consumer power usage.

Digital transmission is more efficient than analogue in terms of power usage. Replacing the analogue terrestrial transmission network with a nationwide digital terrestrial television network will lead to a significant net reduction in energy usage by the transmission networks, estimated to be 186 GWh per year.

Consumer power usage is expected to rise as a result of switchover, primarily because of the rapid increase in the take-up of set-top boxes, particularly for second sets, which would not be otherwise converted until replaced. The predicted level of the increase is dependent on a number of assumptions about the usage and the design of equipment in the market at the time of switchover. DCMS, DTI and DEFRA economists have estimated that the increase in consumer energy use attributable to switchover in 2012 is likely to be between 966 GWh and 2,816 GWh per annum. The increase is equivalent to a 0.37 per cent. increase in domestic electricity consumption.

The central estimate for the total impact of switchover is a net increase of 1,705 GWh per year, but this would be reduced if industry makes more energy-efficient products. Work on this is being taken forward as part of the DTI usability action plan.

Further details are contained in the ‘Regulatory and Environmental Impact Assessment: The timing of digital switchover’, published on 16 September 2005. This was placed in the Libraries of the House at the time of publication, and is also available at



Now can any energy experts tell me just how much electric 2.816GWh is? Am I right in thinking that 1GWh is equivalent to to 1 million kilowatt hours – in which case that's a fairly large amount of electric.

So the switch to digital isnt very environementally friendly is it 

Cameron a toff?

Well I watched the much anticipated Dispatches programme on David Cameron and I have to say Peter Hitchens certainly loved to have a go at the party leader. Hitchens whole argument seemed to be based on the fact that Cameron has apparently changed his views on policies he has previously stood on, and now Labour and the Conservatives are so close the electorate have no choice.

Well I'm sorry to disappoint Mr Hitchens, but I don't agree. Firstly, the Conservative Party was, is and always will be a broad church with a variety of views. Then we have to look at the argument that Cameron is for want of a better word posh. Well so what – do you know something, so is Anthony Blair, and actually if we get down to it, Ming Campbell and even Nigel Farage. I don't see any crime in that. Come to think of it, I think Peter Hitchens is rather posh too!

Then we could disect some of the arguments about, say for example, stressing green credentials. Hitchens pointed to the fact that apparently Cameron was anti wind farms, yet he has a wind turbine on his house. Well do you know what – I too campaigned against a wind farm being built in the constituency I fought, yet I too believe that we can do something to help our environment. Now I don't believe having a wind turbine on your house is either cost effective, or will actually make much difference – but that's my personal choice. I do believe Steve Hilton is spot on in putting Environmentalism at the heart of Conservative thinking.

Apparently the Shadow Cabinet have a lot of Old Etonians in it – and yes that does worry me a bit, but as long as we have the most capable people in the top jobs then I am fine.

The programme talked about the A list – and Tim Montgomerie from ConservativeHome talked about how the A list didn't look at other ways of being more representative – say having more Northerners, or people who worked in the Public Sector (I quite like that concept – but I would wouldnt I).

At the end of the programme I was left with the feeling that if that's the best they can throw at the party, well bring on the General Election.


Can blogging pay?

You wouldn't believe it – bit since it's inception the podcast bandwidth here at Tory Radio has increased 15 fold! Yes 15 fold. All that has a price and I cant subsidise it with that well paid job now I have set my own company up. Following Dizzy's lead I have signed up for Blogvertise which effectively allows you to get paid for writing posts on topics that may interest you, but are about advertisers products. Signing up for Blogvertise is pretty similar to writing book reviews when you get sent the book to read or having wrote a post about a certain product – getting sent the product to review it – which recently happened to me when I was sent a Vodafine 3G USB widget, after moaning about how my datacard woudlnt fit in new laptops.

Anyway, I dont expect I will be doing a huge amounts of stuff on Blogvertise stuff – but a few pennies will certainly help to go towards paying for the podcasts…. unless you know anyone who wants to donate out of their love for Tory Radio!


Milibands blog assistant on over £60k pa??

David Miliband has mounted s strong rebuttal on the stated costs of his blog here yet something struck me as not quite right. He points out he has an official effectively acting as his blogging assistant who does about 10 hours work a month at a cost of £300.

Now if that was equated to a full time equivalent that would be say 40 hours a week at £30 an hour for 52 weeks which is a whopping £62,400 salary.

David are you saying the official who helps you blog is on over £60k a year. That's more than an MP gets! Does your blogging assistant really need to be so highly paid? Mind you it is just an estimate……like the Olympic costs were I suppose!