Posts in Conservatives
Understandably, a lot has been written recently about Margaret Thatcher and her political legacy.
I did not mourn her passing and found some of the exultation at her death understandable but distasteful.
What is indisputable is that the UK has seen eight successive general election victories for Thatcherism, three of which she won herself.
Thousands of minimum wage earners around the UK are due to take to the streets in protest tomorrow, disgusted at the plight of their fellow low paid - and the derisory pay rises offered to them.
This afternoon Secretary of State for Hard Graft and popular bowel bloating disorder IBS put his foot down on a section of the workshy not commonly challenged.
'Too many pop stars think they can just sit on their arses and not get cracking,' he said. 'It has to stop.'
It appears David Bowie - The Thin White Duke himself - has jumped to it at IBS' words, unexpectedly announcing today the release of his first new material for a decade.
Common digestive ailment (and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions) IBS will today issue his New Year statement.
The word is, IBS is about to enforce an 'open curtains policy' to all Britons, anyone found with closed blinds after 6am in the morning will be put in the stocks. If your town or city has no stocks then the offending blinds owners will be required to build their own.
IBS will also say, '...and don't just get on your bike to look for work, build the bike from scratch first. Bear in mind if you refuse to use it to look for work, we will be forced to deduct the cost of materials and labour from your benefits. And none of this part-time nonsense, either.'
Cath Bore is an author, and gob for hire. You can follow her on Twitter here
Cath's website is here and blog Mersey Writer About Town here
My previous post on the result of the November 2012 Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner election included a pie chart showing how the number of registered electors who 'abstained' vastly outnumbered those who took part.
I've now updated this graphic so that it includes an estimate for the total number of eligible, but unregistered, electors in Merseyside. It looks like this:
I've posted two graphs below, both of which I circulated on twitter earlier today, shortly after the Police and Crime Commissioner results for Merseyside were announced.
The first is a simple bar chart, showing the number of votes for each candidate. As any reader of this blog probably knows already, the Labour candidate Jane Kennedy won by a huge margin, securing 56% of the first preference votes.
It was in May, following disappointing turnouts in the English local elections, that I was first asked to predict how low turnout might be in today's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) ballots. I've been asked many times since, always confident to predict that less than one-third of registered electors will cast a ballot. The Electoral Reform Society has predicted that overall turnout will be less than 20%, and I wouldn't bet against that possibility.
Scanning comments on twitter this morning, there were plenty of reports of empty polling stations (see my twitter feed for examples). There were also plenty of people indicating their intention to spoil their ballot, as a protest against the whole idea of elected PCCs, and urging others to do the same.
For months now, the lack of enthusiasm about the impending PCC elections has reminded me of the scenes in Jose Saramago's (2007) novel 'Seeing'. Having returned from an empty polling station myself earlier today, I couldn't resist re-reading the first few chapters.
Exhausted but excited after an excellent conference, I went to the ICC in Birmingham at 8am for an early briefing for potential candidates on plans for the next general election. (I'm sure it was a test of our resilience as to whether we would make it so early on the last day!)
When everyone had finished their bacon butties, we heard that the general election campaign preparations had already started and that the Conservatives are looking to govern without the Liberal Democrats in 2015.
I started the day with a visit to the Conservative Party's Social Action area, where Conservative activists from around the country help a deserving cause. This year's project is to help "Support Our Soldiers". It was a privilege to be able to offer a contribution to the project by packing one of many care packages to be sent to our troops in Afghanistan during the Christmas period.
The first major political event of the day was in the main hall with the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. He began his speech with the reassurance that he was ruling himself out of any challenge for the party leadership. He confirmed his support for David Cameron and backed the Prime Minister to lead the Conservative party to a general election victory in 2015.
Day two of the Conservative Party Conference here in Birmingham, and it's matching up to expectations. It has been a day of big announcements, particularly by the Chancellor, George Osborne.
The first event I went to was on Sunday evening, and this was hosted by ResPublica and CoreCities. The speakers included Greg Clark MP and scouser Phillip Blond (ResPublica).
Liverpool was used as an encouraging example of how the City Deal is working, and the importance of other great cities in the UK and how they should follow the lead of Liverpool.