My Radio 4 comments on today's political storm in a tea cup

Click the link below to hear my comments on the PM programme hosted by Eddie Mair.

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Why a Conservative Government is needed

I spent about half an hour on the phone to Radio 4 who called to ask me for my take on the latest criticism of Cameron that has emerged today. Dizzy has written a piece on what we both listened to which you can read here.

My take on it is fairly simple. In 6 months we will undoubtedly be fed up with all the policy announcements coming from the party – so those who say there isn't enough policy should be satisfied fairly soon. Then of course there is the will to win. I'm 32 and the party hasn't won an election while I've been able to vote – a sobering thought isn't it!

And then of course I was asked well surely you don't want power for powers sake. Well of course not. I wrote the following on the Spectator's Coffee House blog as to why we NEED a Conservative Government.

It's because Conservatives,..

"…understand that businesses create jobs, not government; they understand families know best how to spend their hard earned money not the state; they understand the nation state still has a role, do not subscribe to a European superstate and would offer the people of this country a referendum on any change to that situation; they understand that you succeed in life becaue of what you know not who you know; because they understand power should be concentrated in the hands of the many and not the few and because only a Conservative Government would put in place policies to make these beliefs a reality."

So perhaps after today's media storm has died down we can remember just what a broad church the party is, and why we need to win the next election.



Time to duck and cover

There is no question that the media remain sceptical about David Cameron.  The amazingly varied coverage of his trip to Rwanda superbly demonstrated this point.  Some corners of the press think it was a fantastic idea, whereas some stuck the knife in about the floods (even though the trip was planned over a year ago).
Gordon Brown is probably right to remain fairly quiet during a rocky period for the leader of the opposition, and he's not the only one who seems to be benefiting in the polls.  Has anyone else noticed that calls for Ming Campbell's head have subsided greatly and that the Lib Dems are picking up a few more points in the polls, without them doing anything noteworthy?

Tom Richmond

Why Scotland is so important

As you may remember, Tory Radio did a very comprehensive job of covering the elections in Scotland earlier this year, but the issue of Scottish politics has slipped off the political radar again since that time.  However, in the Sunday papers Daniel Hannan found good reason to watch the actions of Alex Salmond very closely over the next few weeks, as he could well be the man who gets us a referendum on the EU.

Tom Richmond

Tory Radio Roundup – 29 July

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Click the link below to listen to the Tory Radio roundup of some of the weeks political news.. Hear Iain Dale's perspective on his recent trip to Rwanda.

Top of the blogs – VOTE NOW

In September Harriman House will publish the 2007 Guide to Political Blogging in the UK. It will contain articles on blogging by some of Britain's leading bloggers, together with a directory of UK political blogs, and a series of Top 20s and Top 10s. I hear there may even be a chapter on political podcasting. Now who could have written that??

Iain Dale, the author is asking fellow bloggers and blog readers to send him their Top 20 UK Political Blogs by email. He will then compile the Top 100 from those that you send in. Just order them from 1 to 20. Your top blog gets 20 points and your twentieth gets 1 point.

The deadline for submitting your Top 20 to Iain is August 15th. Please email him your list to iain AT iaindale DOT com and type Top 20 in the subject line. You don't have to send 20, but try to do 10 as a minimum.

Once all the entries are in, a lucky dip prize draw will take place in which the winner will win £100 worth of books and cds.

And if you really want to… you could always cast a vote for Tory Radio!

I love Frank Field

Well, not literally.  It's just that I have never heard someone in the Labour Party talk as much sense as he does.  Right back to when he was asked to look into welfare reform and came up with an excellent set of proposals, only for Blair to chicken out at the last minute, he has argued his case on every matter in an unassuming but intelligent manner which makes him stand out from most politicians.
Here is an excerpt from his article today in the Telegraph about the EU treaty:

"The politics of the treaty would be transformed if David Cameron committed his party unequivocally to the following stance. The Prime Minister keeps teasing him with the possibility of an election this year. Cameron's response should be to snatch up the gauntlet by declaring that, if an election was held during this year or next, he would commit a Cameron government to holding a referendum on the treaty.  As the parliament can run to 2010 it would be unrealistic not to time-limit such a pledge. But the European elections of early 2009 offer a clear cut-off point. At that point the election to the European Parliament would itself become the referendum. The election results were not good for the governing party last time. They would be truly horrendous if Labour went into those European elections denying people a direct say on the treaty that was being promised by the Opposition."

It seems so simple, and yet Cameron remains silent.  None of the six policy groups set up by Cameron will cover our relationship with the EU, and yet the most menacing statement from Cameron thus far has been to call for a referendum.  He would have voters from every party lining up behind him if he was just a little bolder.  A wasted opportunity, in the truest sense.

Tom Richmond

Labour quickly bury lots of bad news

Few incidents over the past decade have been more despicable than the 'burying bad news' story after the September 11th terrorist attacks.  Obviously Labour haven't learned their lessons as today they made 76 announcements to the Commons just before it closes for the summer, including an outrageous £6m increase in the cost to the taxpayer of ministers travelling by car.
But how can this be possible?  Are the controls over ministerial spending so weak that this is just accepted without any consequences for the government?  Doesn't this type of revelation cry out for an independent body (probably cross-party) to adjudicate over changes in allowances?  At the very least, a limit of the number of announcements being made to the Commons in one day (76 is ridiculous) would allow opposition parties to highlight any debatable actions to the public and media?

Tom Richmond

How crap are the BBC?

Now I never wanted Windows Vista – but hey, it was already installed on this laptop. I accepted the fact that I would have to use my other computer to use the printer as there weren't any new drivers for Vista.

I can listen to Tory Radio using Vista. I can watch 18 Doughty Street using Vista, yet when it comes to the BBC who I pay for (well a small portion) when they launch their new iPlayer with much fanfare – it is only available for Windows XP. How forward thinking BBC. Great stuff. And all you Mac users possibly feeling a bit superior at this luddite Microsoft user – hey you cant use it either!!

Providing a 'valuable' local service?

No-one really paid much attention to who had smoked cannabis in the Labour Cabinet a few days ago, but one wonders how you would feel as a local resident if you found out that your local councillor was a stripogram?  Have a read of this, courtesy of the Daily Mail.  Apparently it doesn't interfere with her work as a councillor – so that's alright then.  Morality and values, please step to one side.

Tom Richmond