Where are you?

So Iain Dale tells us that possibly thousands of people have applied to go on the candidates list.

As someone already on it, and who has fought a General Election campaign in the past I personally would launch a (not like Delia Smith) appeal that says, ” Where are ya”. The first question I would ask potential candidates is what did you do to help the Conservatives win the European and County Council Elections?


There is still plenty of time to get invovled…. so where are you?


Mobility scooters for all?

It being bank holiday Monday, we decided to have a trip over to Lincoln to do a bit of shopping. No one can have failed to notice the propensity of mobility scooters that are now zooming up and down the pavements of our high streets. Now I am not one of those people who think the things are awful. Undoubtedly they have changed the lives of thousands of people by giving them back their freedom when they may well have become housebound, and unable to get around.

What really worries me is that people who may well be just, well what can I say, lazy, are starting to use them as they cant be bothered to walk around town. Today I witnessed a rather over weight woman zoom past me (shouldn’t they have a maximum speed) before pulling up at a newsagents. Now I could be completely mis-judging her, but the way she jumped up and strolled into the newsagents made me think there wasn’t much wrong wth her, and that far from needing a mobility scooter, a bit of exercise may well keep her in rude health, rather than relying on her battery powered scooter.

Obvioulsy is someone wants to use a mobility scooter there isn’t much anyone can do. But if they are using it because they get out of puff walking around, perhaps it isnt the best medicine that should be prescribed.

Bah Bah "Brown" sheep

fleeceAn extremely creative friend sent me this… says it all really doesn’t it!

Effective campaign poster?

Ohh Matron.. how very saucy!


People regretting having their photo with MPs?

Following my previous post it is interesting that my opponent in the County Elections has included a picture of James Purnell on her leaflet. I wonder if she, along with many other candidates are now having second thoughts about recommendations from MPs?

MPs have given us all a bad name

Back at home again after another day getting leaflets out. Interestingly in strong Labour areas that I last did when I was PPC in the constituency there is much less hostility (in fact none to speak of) towards the Conservatives.

Having said that I have no doubt that turnout will be extremely low, apart from in divisions or in the Euros where a candidate can say they are not from the established parties. Why is that? Its because now everyone who has just a passing interest in politics believes anyone who is invovled, or indeed wants to be invovled is crooked. That includes Councillors, County councillors and mere candidates.

I have never been elected – so I guess that means I’ve never even been able to claim political expenses. I think when I worked for Boots we were allowed say £20 for a meal if there was an overnight stay, and once I made sure I spent the full £20 in M and S… though regretted it after stuffing my face on mini chocolate rolls if memory serves me correctly.

What politicians have done is the same, but on a huge huge scale. They have claimed for anything they can possibly get signed off, and they have claimed up the limit. Are they wrong. Morally yes. But what is worse is the system that allows for those expenses to be signed off. Who thought it was OK to sign off an expense to have a moat cleared? Who can honestly say they forgot their mortgage was paid off? Come on.. where are the checks and balances?

I really feel sorry for those MPs – and there are hundreds of them – who have done nothing wrong, but will get the same scorn from their local electorate.

I feel worse for colleagues who at the moment are pounding the streets in the county elections, and dare I say it even opponents, who are having their knuckles scratched by letter boxes, and having to avoid dogs sliding towards their fingers due to laminate flooring all because they may just believe in democracy. Will some be in it fto milk the system. Yes. Just like in any profession. But are they all bad. No.

So a  big thank you to all those MPs who have given us a bad name. You have made my efforts over the next few weeks so much harder!

Making a bit of money out of politics

It’s not only MP’s claiming expenses who can make a bit of money out of politics. With less than a year to the what I believe will be the election date of 6th May 2010, there are a few interesting betting opportunities in the seats markets. Although the odds aren’t huge, I believe the probability of winning makes these a better investment than your fund manager would have made of your pension in the last couple of years. Firstly there’s setting up your accounts. The bookmakers offering these bets are VC Bet, Skybet, William Hill and Ladbrokes. All of which will give you a free £25 bet when you sign up. That’s £100 up for a start.

Secondly where are the best opportunities. Achieving the best odds means deciding where you draw the winning line.  This far out, I think the 20% poll leads will narrow and come election day we’ll see vote shares of Con 42%, Lab 30% and LD 20% with a majority for the Conservatives of around 60.

So with a fictional £1000, I would divide into 10 bets Of £100 for the Conservatives to win

Gloucester 8-15 Skybet
Leicestershire North West 1-2 Skybet
Keighley 5-6 Skybet
Torbay 1-2 William Hill
Tynemouth 8-13 Skybet
Chorley Evs Skybet
Nuneaton 5-6 Skybet
Bolton West 4-6 Ladbrokes
Sefton Central 4-7 Ladbrokes
Harrow East 1-2 Ladbrokes

So if you agree with poll projections, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is. Will pay for a nice holiday to get over that General Election campaigning next year.

Andrew Woodman

Can you use a Union flag in UK politics?

A strange incident happened today when I was delivering leaflets. We had done a full day, and before I went to meet my wife I decided to do a couple of streets on my own. I was dressed casually in jeans, trainers (only comfy shoes since the marathon) and my 2009 London Marathon t shirt which as a Union flag on it.

As I approached one house a chap dressed in a suit next to his car stared and stared , so I went up to him and offered him a leaflet. His face was almost relieved when he saw it was a Tory leaflet, not because he was a supporter, but because he assumed I was a member of the BNP, and I think he would have given me a mouthful.

We had a brief conversation where I pointed out that it was about time people weren’t afraid of wearing the flag of our country, so that we can wrestle it off the extremists.

It really made me think though – why on earth should we be afraid of using our flag in elections (or indeed at any other time). It isn’t, shouldn’t and cannot be the sole preserve of extremists and it’s time to take it back!

Getting the vote out

Spent today in Worksop delivering lots of leaflets. Only 1 person didn’t want one… amusingly still thought Labour was virtuous. The words Damian McBride left them lost for words mind you.

From today I have no doubt Nottinghamshire will turn Conservative.

Getting the message out in Worksop

Getting the message out in Worksop