Exclusive – John Redwood podcast on banking

John Redwood MP, regular podcaster here on Tory Radio has recorded his latest piece on the subject of banking. To listen to what he has to say click the play button above.

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Are twitter followers all that they seem?

Today tweetminster produced a little report about twitter and who was on it. Labour jumped on it suggesting the Tory tweeters were centrally controlled and they were all grass roots activists. Yeah because being an MP “twitter tsar” makes you oh so grass roots.

Now Tory Radio has been employing a little tactic for quite some time. We have been actively following as many people as possible in order to increase the number of followers we have. Slowly but surely we have built our following up to nearly 22,000. Why? Well firstly why not. But secondly to show that just as with facebook or indeed blogs, it isn’t necessarily how many visits or followers you have – its who is engaging and how.

So we ask Alberto at Tweetminster why Tory Radio hasn’t been included in their list and apparently its because we have been the only political “tweeter” to pursue such a path and their software apparently suggests that Tory Radio is, “following bots, meaning there’s actually nobody behind the account – each time you follow one, 10 more auto-follow you and so on – our scripts detect such patterns.”

Now I beg to differ that a majority of our followers are bots – and if they are – thank god because I’m not sure I could cope dealing with responding to anymore tweets. But then I would also suggest that a majority of followers of many MPs are not even from their own constituency – which kind of limits their value when it comes to an election.

For Tory Radio twitter is very useful – it drives traffic to the blog and is very helpful in sending out notices of new posts – to all our 21,770 followers… and growing.

Bank Security really worries me sometimes – HSBC

Literally five minutes ago I get a call asking to speak to me. They say they are from HSBC and will just run through security.

They give me the date of the month I was born on, and ask me to confirm the rest. Suddenly I think… hmmmm.. that isn’t too hard o find, and who says you are from HSBC so I make that exact point to them.

They then say that yes they appreciate that and I can call HSBC on a number known to me and proceed. Furthermore they only said it as a Customer Service call. So was it HSBC or was it someone trying to get my personal details??

To tweet or not to tweet – that's the question for Cameron

Well actually that was the question put to him by Tim Montgomerie and Cameron’s press conference today. Cameron seemed to be less than convinced.

Now Tim has put forward his case for twitter as a communications channel on ConHome. Now I like twitter much more than facebook. I get fed up of being invited to this that and the other. On twitter I can flag up a blog post put a brief comment and engage. But can you really debate in 140 characters? I mean can you really?

And then of course you have to ask yourself what’s the point. If I was an MP my priority is to my constituents. It is very hard to prove your followers are your electorate – and actually your priority is to them.

Then of course do we really want our Ministers spending thre do tweeting when they actually should be sorting the country out.

I’d really really like to know the views that people have.

Of course you can follow Tory Radio @toryradio – we have nearly 22,000 followers. (Size is everything you know)/

Should we care about a Leaders' debate?

Much has been written about whether there will be a leaders’ debate, how many, what format, who will be invited and so on. Political Betting asks whether the debates are now less likely. Of course Dizzy offers what some would regard as a sensible solution to the ‘problem’. But do you know what, I’m not sure it really matters.

I have previously suggested that whilst a debate would normally hurt an incumbent as  they have everything to lose, this time I think it is different. Everyone expects Cameron to be better than Brown. I do. I think he is better at that type of thing. If the debate was with Blair I may have concerns for Cameron. So given I think Brown has less to lose if  I were his team I would be pushing for this to happen, yet if I was advising Cameron, in all honesty, even though I think he is by far the better man, would be very wary of the set up as he has more to lose.

Yet even so, I am still not sure we should really care about a debate between the party leaders. In the US you can vote for the President. Here I can’t cast a vote for Brown Cameron or even Clegg at the General Election so it isn’t the same thing. Personally I would have more interest in what my local candidates have to say about what they do for the local area. But do you know what – when there are local debates during the election even they aren’t that vital. Some may disagree but I know I performed pretty well in the debates against my Labour opponent. Did it matter? Of course not as nearly everyone who attended were workers for the various campaigns and had already decided how they were going to vote. In all honesty it was a waste of time that took us away from canvassing and meeting undecideds.

So can I get that excited about a debate between the leaders? Well I would be interested to see it as Im interested in politics – but would the more ‘normal’ members of my family who have a passing interest in politics. I doubt it – and certainly not if it was televised at the same time as Coronation Street or a good football game.

But prison does work Alan.. it really does!

So it seems that Alan Duncan has done it again and created a bit of a fuss about whether prison works. According to this article by Brendan Carlin in the MoS Alan Duncan has said the phrase Prison Works is repulsively simplistic.

Well I guess I am repulsively simplistic because when an offender is locked up it means they are unable to commit more crimes. Their possible victims are safe from whatever crimes they may commit. Of course there are huge issues with drugs in prison; with prisoners being released with no education whatsoever which means they may well be draw back into a life of crime. But, and it’s a big but, when prisoners are locked up they are not able to inflict pain and suffering on potential victims, and because of that Alan, prison works.

Latest Seven Days Show now online

The latest Seven Days Show Podcast is now online. In this weeks episode we spoke about Have a go heroes – with particular reference to Munir Hussein; Cadbury and their takeover by Kraft; Broken Britain; plans for the manifesto, and whether Iain is going to add football club owner to his portfolio career.

To listen to the podcast click the player above.

Subscribe to Tory Radio in I-tunes here.

ComRes poll giving the Tories cause for concern?

Andrew Hawkins, CEO of ComRes spoke to Tory Radio about today’s poll for the Sunday Mirror.

The polls suggests the Tories have a  lead of 9 points – which would leave them 5 short of an overall majority. Is that an cause for concern for the party or just the thing they need to hear to make sure they go out and fight for every vote on the doorstep?

According to Andrew Hawkins:-

 (Not verbatim – any errors are Tory Radio’s)

There are three things we can learn from the political landscape.

1) There is all to play for. We are back to the exact position the Conservatives were in, in December last year.

2) For the Conservatives – their frustration at their lack of long term progress. Feels seemingly impossible to move ahead of Labour and breath a sigh of relief.

3) Interesting pattern – over the last couple of weeks, ComRes has been doing some analysis . Six out of the past seven polls the Conservatives have done much better among men than women. (11% ahead among men yet only 5% among women).

On the area of family policy the Conservatives aren’t winning the battle for voters hearts.

Yet 59% agree its fair to describe Britain as a broken society – so for the Tories that’s good news.

To listen to the full podcast click the player above.

Make sure you subscribe to Tory Radio in I-tunes here.

Exclusive interview with ComRes pollster coming tomorrow

Following the publication of the ComRes poll which seems to have labour supporters getting their knickers in a twist, Tory Radio will be speaking to CEO of ComRes Andrew Hawkins to get some insight into what the poll means. Is it bad news for the Tories? Make sure you come back to www.toryradio.com tomorrow

Alternatively to make sure you don’t miss any Tory Radio podcasts, subscribe on Itunes here.

Labour giving up on being able to form a majority

So there is a ComRes poll out which apparently indicates a hung Parliament. I was a little shocked. Not by the poll but by the Labour reaction of glee about a Hung Parliament. My god they really have thrown in the towel if that’s the light at the end of the tunnel for them.

Of course that poll doesn’t take into account all the work the Conservatives have been putting into the marginals.

And then of course we have the Brown factor. He visited the Labour held safe division I put my name down to fight at the last County Elections – and guess what. Within the constituency you saw the biggest swing to the Tories nationwide. Labour lost the counties of Notts and Derbyshire which has smashed their local infrastructure. Less County Councillors less troops to get their vote out in the General Election.

So the best thing for the Tories is for Labour to believe they are on the up. Of course Brown could take a low key approach to the election. But wait…. he has to appear in front of the Iraq Inquiry. Oh that will be oh so helpful won’t it!