Prison food better than that for patients?

Well yes – according to this it is.I seem to remember there was the story of a Sheriff or something similar in the US who spent less on prisoners food that what he spent feeding his police dogs, as in his views the police dogs were more deserving. I of course wouldn’t like to comment.

I would however say I have been made aware on more than one occasion, of relatives in hospital who have been unable to feed themselves being left food and then having had it taken away as they have been unable to eat it. Hardly good when you should be trying to get better an increase your strength.

Of course in the strange world of the Labour party that may be taken to be unpatriotic and a sign I want the US Health care system.


Sony Vaio P11ZG… I want one

Ok as a “netbook” it’s over priced. I don’t need one. I have enough gadgets.

It’s been around a while. There are undoubtedly going to be better netbooks out before Christmas

But I want a Sony Vaio P11ZG

MMMMm Nice!

MMMMm Nice!

Primaries? What do you think?

There aren’t many issues politically where I dont have a strong view – yet the use of a primary in candidate selection is one where I really can see both sides of the argument. This is going to be a rambling post (no change there) and I would really welcome some views.

I am a firm believer in the rights of members of political parties – or else you have to ask the question why on earth should you join. One of those rights or at least one of the things you got to be invovled in was the selection of candidates be it for a parliamentary candidate right down to a council candidate.

In recent weeks and indeed months the party has seemingly been moved to favour the use of an open primary. Firstly I guess I have to ask the question are they really open primaries? I always thought that in a proper primary a candidate would have to actively campaign to get the nomination – possibly more so than in the actual election. In this sense the election actually became the primary and not the election if you get what I mean. Your SELECTION was the important thing. The election rumber stamped your victory.

In Totnes people as I understand it were written to and could choose their Tory candidate. Fine – but if as reported it cost £40,000 then frankly is is completely unworkable. When I stood for parliament the local association probably committed to spending a tenth of that on the whole campaign, so you can see how unworkable it is.

But then after the expenses saga, wouldn’t any party be wise to try and invovle the electorate in the selection of a candidate so that they feel some sort of ownership and therefore are much more likely to vote for them – as opposed to hold the view – Well you lot selected em… and you’re all crooked so I’m not going to vote.

Of course as a candidate I have experienced both methods of selection. I have been successful when chosen by members and also unsuccessful. I have (apparently) done really well in one primary but was ultimately unsuccessful. So what does that tell me?

The one nagging feeling I have is that on the one hand the party is constantly wanting current members to increase membership. I have always held the believe that if you are a member of a party you should look to getting funds, getting members and getting votes – everything else is almost secondary.

Now if someone asked me what was the benefit of being a member part of me would seriously think you could get many of the benefits, by NOT being a member, without any of the drawbacks. So where does that leave my thinking with regards the use of primaries. Yes I can see why they are being used. I  would be interested to see if there use has actually lead to an increase in memberhsip locally – as if they have the opposite effect – with members feeling neglected and then leaving the party, then come an election when you need ACTIVISTS, who are usually your hardcore membership, they could be counter productive?

What do you think about the use of primaries??

15th most popular Tory blog

According to the latest Total Politics rankings we are now the 15th best Tory Blog. Maybe we need some outside investment a’la Man City to get us in the big league eh!

Great google searches – No. 96

I do love some of the google searches that bring people to this site. Thankfully I’ve not had one yet that is “Jonathan Sheppard is a d**k head” There is always time.

The latest one that made me laugh is, “do the royal mail screen post for drugs?”

Hmmm.. If you have to go to google to get your answers you may not want to consider a career as an international drugs smuggler eh big boy?

Tory Radio makes it into the Championship

So Dale has finally published his much lobbied for must scrounged for and much awaited lists (doesn’t he love them) of the top right of Centre blogs, and this one (much neglected for a while this year) has come a decent enough 25th.

I guess that rules it out of the premier league (for now) and puts me as a top Championship site. God – does that mean I’m like Newcastle Utd?

Of course we may just make it into the preniership of top Tory blogs – and when it comes to podcasts – well you know who you love. Don’t you!

A structure built on sand

Whilst the Conservative Party has a commanding poll lead and looks long odds on to become the next Government, is it masking a fundamental weakness with the Party Structure. The membership issue was addressed in part in an illuminating article on Conservative Home by John Stafford, where he asked why would you become a member of the Conservative Party now. I think we need to have examine the Conservative Association model as well.
I’ve looked at the records of some of the Conservative Associations and it’s a very mixed bag. Whilst some continue to thrive with membership in the several hundreds, there are many more surviving on a membership of a couple of hundred and less. The problem with this is it’s the marginal seats, the seats that will take us and keep us in Government that are struggling for members and money. Now whilst Lord Ashcroft’s marginal seat unit has given life support and revival to these the campaigns in these Associations, what happens next time round when you can be sure even more members will have disappeared?
The sensible plan would be for wealthy associations to cross subsidise their poorer neighbours, to pool funds for county or regional campaign centres. To organise properly attended events with more professional fundraising and ensuring the money is spent where it‘s need to maintain a Conservative Government. Whilst sensible, it would meet huge opposition. I’ve sat in meetings where this has been suggested to the disgust of Association Officers from wealthy associations. They talk of the party spending their money. Money they would prefer to use adding a few hundred votes to a ten thousand majority.
It seems clear to me that future Chairs of the Party need to be as strong in sorting out our own house as we will need to be to sort out the problems of the Country. Wealthy associations need to realise that to return Conservative Governments, money needs to go where it’s needed. If not, we’ll still have an 1980s internal structure at least 20 years behind where is logically needs to be when we‘re defending seats in a tougher point of the political cycle.

Andrew Woodman

No holiday here

Really interesting to see more than one MP doing their casework in the Atrium of Portcullis House as opposed to their office. Surely it can’t be to show whoever is looking, including the press, that they are busy and definitely not on holiday.

Surely not.

Labour Still Isnt Working

5 million people have NEVER worked under this Labour Government.

Labour has always left office with unemployment higher than when it came to power.



National Express

Sat on a train just pulling into Peterborough. Wondering how come with all these commuters from Newark who pay over £8,000 for a season ticket, this franchise cannot make money? Answers on a postcard please.