St George's Day Celebrations

Well the cafe in Portcullis House has got into the spirit of things and put up a few English flags! Excellent. I think there should be more than a little celebration on this day.

Another reason to celebrate (well perhaps not) is that 32 years ago a newborn Jonathan Sheppard said hello to the world. Doesn't time fly!

Best of the Blogs

Understandably, the media was dominated this week by reports of the Virginia Tech shootings in America.  Bloggers were united in offering their condolences to the victims’ families, showing a side to political blogging that is often forgotten.  The following days saw The Appalling Strangeness get angry at the inevitable blame game that ensued, and A Tangled Web drew attention to the ‘gun-free’ zone that apparently operates on their university campus.  Needless to say, many people were quick to offer their ‘solutions’ to the problem of gun crime in America – Clive Davis found one of the more breathtaking schemes put forward.

After the horror of Virginia Tech, bloggers began to set about their normal business.  For Tory Radio’s more intellectual readers, have a go at Burning Our Money’s mental arithmetic challenge.  Tim Worstall posted on how statistics and headlines tend to get jumbled, especially when it comes to predicting nationwide health scares, and Dizzy is now convinced that the demise of the human race is just around the corner.  On the subject of disillusioned bloggers, whether Greg Dyke might or might not have been running in the London Mayoral elections had Praguetory holding his head in his hands.  The Lib Dems were also causing a stir in other places, to the point where Mr Eugenides was overwhelmed by a strong whiff of hypocrisy and Iain Dale was left wondering exactly how black Lib Dem pots and kettles were. 

Labour still managed to rear their ugly head in the blogs, despite being squeezed out a little this week.  Guido, like many others, pondered whether there are any credible leadership candidates left to fight Gordon Brown.  Miliband’s ‘change of heart’ led Paul Linford to conclude that his chance of running the Labour Party may never come round again.  Liam Byrne set a few chins wagging about immigration without grabbing too many headlines.  Man in a Shed is one of many bloggers who is getting more concerned about immigration, and even Newer Labour thought Liam Byrne was wrong (albeit for socialist reasons).  Boris Johnson’s suggestion of invading France to solve our immigration problems certainly lightened the tone.

 

And finally, Devil’s Kitchen was incensed about the new EU laws that will damage free speech forever, Recess Monkey enjoyed watching David Cameron’s charge towards 10 Downing Street come to a grinding halt at the House of Commons, Chameleons on Bicycles is struggling with the large number of Davids in the politics, the nationalists amongst you might be interested to know that St George is about to change his ethnicity, and Donal Blaney has a warning for anyone who is rubbish at putting out their rubbish.

Tom Richmond

Network Rail looking after those marathon runners?

Last year I foolishly took part in the London Marathon – my second appearance in the event. I suspect I was the only runner that set off aged 30 and by the time I finished I was 31. Yes I had a birthday that day – though the speed I went meant c couple even had time to get married on the course and beat me. My Grandad always used to say, “slow but exceedingly sure”, and that was certainly my approach.

This year I am thankfully not taking part – though I never say never again.

I had planned to go down to London from Newark – as its just over an hour away from Newark, however I have just checked the timetable and my god, there may well be some unhappy marathon runners tomorrow.

If they want to get back up North, only as far as Newark, as an example, they will have to take a train from Kings Cross Thameslink to Luton, and bus from Luton to Peterborough followed by a train for the rest of the journey.

Now I have to say the last thing you need after doing the marathon is being cramped up on a bus for 2 hours – but that will be what Network Rail will be inflicting on some of those tired marathon runners.

If you are quick enough to get a 14:43 train you may get back to Newark just before 19:00. It may be nearly as quick to keep on jogging!

Political Betting

 I shall be reading what looks to be an excellent book on political betting – written by Mike Smithson. If you want to get hold of a copy you can do so here.

MEP watch

With the party about to look at the issue of how it will go about selection it's candidates for the next European Elections, the guys and MEP watch have jumped into action once again to defend the rights or the ordinary members.

I have to say that I agree with the sentiments expressed in this letter. Now there are those MEP who will say it isn't fair that they have to be judged alongside all new candidate and they deserve to keep their place at the top of  regional list as a right. My argument would be that their ranking was given by the membership – therefore it should be the membership who continue to give that ranking. Voters at election time effectively vote for a party under the existing list system with a personal vote not existing in the same way as it may do in a 1 member constituency which exists in a UK General Election.

I have already had a fe few emails with questions for the Party Chairman, when Tory Radio interviews him early next week….. so watch this space

 

What Blair won't say!

We can have a Referendum on the attempts to revive a new Euroopean constitution.

I happen to agree with the comments of the European Foundation on this one:-

"The pitiful approach taken by the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on opposing a referendum on a new EU Treaty – which has been intended as a replacement of the Constitution – is both scandalous and undemocratic. Such an erroneous position towards the EU Treaty Referendum demonstrates only contempt for the British people."

 

What Blair says…

He says the Tories can't win the next election.

Well he also said something about no tuition fees, no weapons of mass destruction and no post office closures to name a few things.

So judging by that record, Conservatives should be very pleased with the Prime Minister's latest prediction.

CPS HONOURS FILE HANDED OVER – IN MIDDLE OF ELECTION!

Read the latest here! And Guido is away on his boozy lunch!

Battleground Seat 3 – Eastwood

Number 4 on the hit list for the Scottish Conservative Party for May's elections is Eastwood with the party seeing the chances of turning Eastwood blue ten years after the Tory wipe-out of 1997 as very high. The 1997 election saw Jim Murphy replace Allan Stewart as MP for Eastwood and become the first Labour MP in the area sine 1924 which shows how safe a Tory seat it previously was.

The current MSP for the area, Kenneth McIntosh, has a fight on his hands to stave off the challenge of Tory Candidate Jackson Carlaw and even though the majority that McIntosh has over his rival is over 3,500 with Labour being in apparent meltdown and with resources being used in other areas, there is every chance that come May the 3 rd Eastwood could be a Conservative gain.

As already mentioned Eastwood is historically a staunch Conservative area with only 4 elected representatives at Parliament level since 1886 not being Conservative, 3 Labour and a Liberal. The area is on the borders of Glasgow and is a predominantly of middle-class residential territory.

Not only have the Tories been working this seat for May's Elections as the Westminster Parliamentary candidate has also been chosen so it is clear to see that this is a seat the Party are intent on clawing back, both at Holyrood and at Westminster.

Although a swing of 4.76 % is required to win this for the Tories they have got a good group pounding the streets and with Labour in disarray, a recent press day with Ken McIntosh with entourage and the press had to be cancelled due to a lack of entourage, there is every chance that Eastwood could be picked up. It is a big ask, but also a realistic one. With Labour facing such difficulties this is as good a chance as any for this seat to be regained by the Scottish Conservatives.

Craig Wilson

Lib Dem in talking sense shocker!

"There are many problems with Ken Livingstone’s performance as Mayor, but the way to defeat him is not to have a ‘anyone-but-Ken’ candidate, it is to win the argument over issues that matter to the capital."

From this release. Never thought I would agree with the Lib Dems!