Thoughts on Spring Forum

Sunday morning I travelled down to Cheltenham for the Spring Forum. Having looked at the guide it seemed Saturday was thin on action so I thought I’d make a mere day trip, while giving me a chance to walk the racecourse ( a useful exercise for in running betting).

Before getting onto performances, I do have to wonder why Spring forum is a 2 day event. Most people on the Sunday morning will wandering about wondering what to do before the afternoon kick off, and I gather the Saturday felt a bit a washout as well. Surely a one day rally with a full morning would be a better option. I believe that there would be better attendance, as activists would not have to write off a whole weekend.

As far as the forum went, I thought George Osborne’s speech actually outshone David Cameron’s. Both warned of the dire economic position we face and set out a narrative of tighter public spending.  Dan Hannan set out the case for democracy instead of Euro tyranny and  Eric Pickles made a rallying call along with a couple of fat jokes.

Personal highlight, asking a passing Alan Duncan if he’d shot anyone today in light of his HIGNFY performance.

Andrew Woodman


Finished….. just

I finally have the energy to do a short blog post following my marathon attempt yesterday.

I can’t believe how hot it was. All the promise of light showers never came and I wearing black didn’t particularly help.

The first 13 miles where fine, but then by 15 miles I developed some really bad blisters, which when I finally removed my shoes once home, appeared to cover most of my feet.

Be warned, the following pictures are pretty disgusting.

I havent bothered showing you my sock and inside iof my shoe which is covered in blood…. but you get the picture.


Sole of left foot

Sole of left foot

Heel of left foot.. Ouch!!

Heel of left foot.. Ouch!!

Right foot...complete mess.. even more painful than the left!

Right foot...complete mess.. even more painful than the left! And how do I get a blister on top of another on the side?

What kept me going was the very encouranging emails and twitters from people (so thank you all) and the thought that I had to finish to raise the sponsorship.
So that means 4 London marathons entered, and 4 completed.
Time to retire? 

This is Tory Radio signing off for a painful weekend…

Look out for this man!

Look out for this man!


Think of me when you are tucking into your breakfast in bed on Sunday. I will be trudging (can’t call it running) round the London Marathon course, all to raise a bit of money for those great people at St. John Ambulance. Hopefully the fact that I will have their name all over my top means I may get a little special treatment when the blisters get too much!

Someone asked me when do you hit the wall? Well at my level of fitness after about 500 metres, and then it is pure mind over matter which gets me round the rest of the course. I suppose it is my own fault having yet again done no training whatsoever. Who really has time to do all that jogging over the Winter months. There are more important things in life!

Anyway – if you want to add to the pot, do visit here and give as little or as much as you want, as its all appreciated.

And for those who like to twitter , you will of course be able to get a few choice comments from me here.

I will not only have my Ipod keep me going, but my trusty blackberry – so do send messages of encouragement throughout the day!! – And if you happen to be at the event look out for number 45733. I’ll be all in black! The gun goes at 9:45, but I suspect I will have already done about 4 miles to get to the start… that’s my excuse anyway!

The Budget – whats in it for me?

I suspect that is the question most people ask when they try to analyse the effect the budget has had. What effect will it have on my household income.

Well I turn 34 tomorrow, so I don’t benefit from the money being injected to create jobs for the under 25s. It’s a shame this Governemnt still haven’t realised that small businesses create jobs not governments.

Then there is the 50% tax rate. Not the best message to send to entrepreneurs is it. Succeed and we will tax the hell out of you. Of course with NI contributions they won’t see anything like 50p in every pound at that level.

But lets move onto the less well off. Petrol up, Fags up, booze up. That isn’t going to hit the “rich” hardest, it will hit those with smaller disposable incomes.

Then savings. Was I right or was it just the over 50s who benefit from the increased ISA threshold this year? OK – so my mum who has more money, and has a bigger disposable income benefits solely down to what age she is compared to me?

Then we look at the idea of getting £2,000 for your clapped out 10 year old motor. And who will that benefit? Second hand car dealers and motor manufacturers (not many left in the UK are there).

So here I am, with a small business, no kids, trying to sell a house, still paying tax, still forking out £8,000 a year train fare, knowing that this budget hasn’t helped me, or thousands like me one bit.

Don’t work hard, don’t be an entrepreneur, don’t save, don’t create jobs… welcome to the UK under Labour!

Why we stand for election and don't run for office

On Sunday, I along with thousands of much fitter people will be doing the London Marathon. I use the word “doing” as opposed to running, as I think if I said run, someone would have me for misrepresentation or something similar.

I was always told that we in the UK stand for election as opposed to run for office as it is much more dignified. I think the same applies to proper running – so undignified. That got me to thinking. I wonder how many politicos will be doing, or have done the marathon.

Marathon News has produced a list of MP’s who have completed the London course, and it’s journalist Matthew Parris who tops it with his time of 2:32:57 in 1985. Frankly that is just showing off. I prefer Bill Wiggin myself who did the course in a 6:32:43 in 2002. Dr Howard Stoate is a regular marathon runner, who I believe will be doing the distance again on Sunday, along with Chris Bryant and Alistair Burt.

I think the one thing we can safely say is that out of anyone with any connection to politics whatsoever, I will be finishing at the bottom of the league table, but finishing all the same.

Those who want to taunt me on Sunday can feel free by emailing, or just follow my rants on twitter (trust me I will have the time) during the day!. Feel free to dig deep given appartently you will be much richer after the budget. Honest – Gordon says so!

Matthew Parris – bloody show off!

No money, no jobs, no prospects

What the public think of the PM

What the public think of the PM


Tory Radio took a trip to the seaside – and went off the Bridlington, where I spent many holidays as a kid. Fish and chips were still the best, the beach was packed in spite of the weather, and as pictured above, the natives were now completely hacked off with the current Labour Government.

The T shirt reads, “No Money, No Jobs, No Prospects” What a legacy GB has left GB!

Smears and plots at the heart of Government

If anyone wanted further evidence that our Governemnt is discredited, out of touch, and concentrating on the wrong things you need look no further than the current McBride/ Draper fiasco. I use the word fiasco, as they have damaged their party, damaged the Government and damaged the Prime Minister. The firing of McBride will not be the end of it for Gordon Brown.

His premiership isn’t just holed below the waterline. His credibility and standing in this country has been blasted out of the water. The longer he continues in office the more the British people will want to punish the Government at the General Election. The Conservatives suffered from this sentiment when Major made the people wait for an election. Brown is no going to suffer the same fate, dirty campaign or no dirty campaign.

A prisoners life?

I have already had my two-penneth on the subject of prisoners votes. I am happy  to go on record and state that I really don’t support the idea of inmates being allowed to vote. They are in prison for a reason, and why should they have the same rights as people who have not broken the law.

I have also written about my personal grumble about having to pay 90% council tax on an empty property I am trying to sell. Apparently its allowed to be charged as services still have to be delivered to the property. How interesting that I learn that if you get sent to jail apparently you DO NOT have to continue to pay council tax.

Just so I understand this. I have a second property which isn’t used and I pay 90% council tax. If I own just one property and get sent to jail I wouldn’t pay any council tax, and hey, I’ll soon be able to vote.  Tough on crime tough on the causes of crime? Oh yeah!

It shouldn’t happen this time…but it will

At the last General Election a certain Labour MP sent a letter with the following text.

Arrangement during the General Election

It is likely that there will be a General Election in the near future. Once the election has been officially called the arrangements for handling on-going casework are as follows:

The day the election is called I am legally no longer an MP and cannot act on your behalf.

However my staff will still be available to continue working on existing casework. For example they will be able to pass on letters received about cases and advise on them. There will be a staff member available every working day between 10am and 1pm in my existing offices at XXXXXX XXXXX.

I will continue to pursue all matters until the election is called, of course.

I will not be allowed to take on any new casework during the election campaign period unless I am re-elected. Should I be re-elected I will be available all day on the Monday after the election between 10am and 6pm for urgent issues.

Should someone else be elected I will not be allowed to pass on files, due to data protection law and you will need to start afresh with him or her.

As far as I can ascertain the letter went to everyone who had ever been in contact with the MP in question, and went out on headed paper and in paid for postage. So the taxpayer paid for this letter. And I know someone raised it with the House authorities who said that such a communication was in order. Yet even more amazing was that an MP was effectively allowed to say to thousands of constituents that if someone else beat them, their issue would be back to square one with the words, “you will need to start afresh with him or her”. Now is it me or is that phrase actively being used to encourage a voter to cast their vote in one way as opposed to another? And the method of doing that persuasion was paid for by the taxpayer.

Of course to avoid this type of thing the £10,000 communication allowance was brought in. And will it stop it happening as we approach the next election. Will it hell. I advise any Tory PPC to be as proactive as possible and report any Labour MP bending the rules on what this public money can be spent on in an attempt to keep hold of their seat.

Is it me, or do you find this distasteful?

I read this on the BBC News online website and have to say that I found it distasteful to say the least. Voting rights for prisoners??

Why on earth should any prisoner have the right to the vote. The word “right” is interesting as with it comes responsibility, and the very fact that you are in prison surely means you have not acted responsibly. I for one am fed up of hearing more about rights of criminals, be they in prison or not, and nothing about the rights of law abiding citizens.

I’m sure the blogger jailhouselawyer (John Hirst) mentioned in the piece will have a very different view.