Wednesday, 27 February 2013

New Poll

Now that Matt Robinson has left the race to CF chair I would like to see how this has affected the standings of all the candidates. Please vote in the poll on the blog's sidebar. Retweet, share, tell people and send up smoke signals to make sure as many people as possible vote.

Weekly Poll Lowdown

Last Orders, Ladies and Gentleman, Last Orders! And now the bar has closed. Let’s tally up the takings for tonight. Well pretty comprehensively you do not want to see the government introduce any sort of minimum price on alcohol.

yes
  2 (8%)
yes, but at a lower level
  1 (4%)
no
 21 (87%)
unsure
  0 (0%)

This is the right decision on so many levels. Firstly this is a tax and essentially, as with any tax, the money could be better spent on other things. Also this is going to affect poorer people/students the most as they will spend more money on alcohol which essentially isn't the best thing as they need to spend money on living as well. Essentially the Government has put a tax on certain forms of enjoyment, it seems only knitting and reading books are the only proper ways to enjoy oneself in Britain now.

Also this won’t stop the ‘alcoholics’ either they’ll still drink the same amount they’ll just go bust quicker. The sad thing is is that people with alcohol problems can end up in huge debts and the Government is just speeding this process up. We need people to be more accountable for their own health. The Medicare system in Australia, the best health care system in the world according to the WHO, has a better record on this. You don't need to stop free health care to have some sort of accountability.

Vote in the next poll I’m doing a blog post on it too.

#behindenemylines

NUCA went to #drinkanddeabate last night. We were #behindenemnylines because this is a Labour event. Boo. Actually Labour was really nice, the Tories were allowed their own drinks table and they were good all round sports. Our thanks goes out to Labour leader Sally who should replace Red Ed, she is far better.

We debated positive discrimination, the royal family and Maria Hutchings in Eastleigh (there was an attempted debate on Europe but it didn't really work). The Left showed their true colours last night.



We were also going to debate the Pope but it never happened. However, just before Jamie announced he will be standing for election as the new Pontif. And this is his 1st campaign photo.

Our good President Barlow questioned how Sally could keep good order with a very large pencil.


But Sally's plans didn't go very well.


 The Labour society were very generous with the alcohol however.


We all took something back, but someone took something with them in keeping with the Socialism of the night.



At the end of the night we of course did our national anthems and this was followed by the Red Flag from Labour. We were not going to be beaten however and so we sang this.


This is the proper version.

Breaking News: Matt Robinson leaves the race

Under increasing pressure over issues of email corruption Matt Robinson is now no longer running for Chairman. Matt has come under fire recently because he allegedly used a CF database email, illegal under the Data Protection Act.

Sarah Jane Sewell says she is "gob smacked" but "I guess at the end of the day, CF does not pay the bills, and Matt has worked so hard at his Legal practice, that all comes first"


Apparently Matt has increasing professional commitments. Either he’s received a big promotion or has decided he can’t win. The fate of members of his slate has yet to be decided. His CF career may be over?

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Exclusive: Oliver Cooper responds to #emailgate

Oliver Cooper has been a busy boy recently having gone everywhere to campaign, including Eastleigh. Now that Sarah-Jane Sewell has given a statement on #emailgate (see http://thingselliottsays.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/exclusive-sarah-jane-comments-on.html ), in which Matt Robinson has alleged to have broken the Data Protection Act, Oliver Cooper, exclusively to #ThingsElliottSays, has done likewise.

"As someone outside the leadership clique, I don't have access to any Conservative Future membership data and I never have done.

"I would refuse to use the data if I did have access to it. It's been suggested that the other candidates should be allowed to use the same database. However, a second illegal abuse of members' personal information doesn't make up for abusing it in the first place. Two wrongs don't make a right.

"If we want to restore the trust of CF members, candidates have to be level with them, not just make it level between themselves. Because if the members lose, no candidate wins."

Exclusive: Sarah Jane comments on #emailgate

Sarah Jane Sewell has released a statement to #ThingsElliottSays commenting on #emailgate.

Matt Robinson has recently been involved with an email scandal in which many have accused him of using a central database of CF member's emails to contact them to canvass their votes. Rumours about Sarah Jane's involvement about this are not true as she has never been on a slate with Matt Robinson, she has only signed a piece of paper with him. She wishes to release this statement to dispel any rumours that she is involved with #emailgate and out of unhappiness to the apparent actions of Matt Robinson.

This is what she has said: "I do not have access to the Conservative Future mailing list, I have never done. You would have all received a lovely email from me if I did - but I don't, as I said in the hustings in the Old Bank of England, I do nit [sic] have access to Merlin, or the email lists for security reasons. Hence why I rely heavily on Facebook. If the National exec want to send a mass email to all members  it is done via CCHQ. I want to put a stop to any accusation of false misconduct. It is actually impossible to circulate something you don't actually have. I would like to point out that I am an independent candidate. I am not on a slate. Happy voting everyone :-)"

Monday, 25 February 2013

You ‘Great Supine Protoplasmic Invertebrate Jellies’

The Socialists of London have kicked off today by trying to stop Boris passing his budget. Essentially because Boris is an elected mayor he needs two thirds of the members of London Assembly to have his plans voted down. The Conservatives are only 1 seat away from anti-Boris Labourites, Illiberal Democrats and Green Autocrats actually being able to join forces and stop these votes.


Unfortunately for Boris one Tory member was late to the assembly meeting today, which was crucial in passing the £16.5 billion budget for London. So the opposition tried an opportunistic coup to stop the budget and voted to skip Boris’ question time in order to move quickly to the budget vote. However, this didn't quite work as you can see in the video as the Tory member dashes in at the end. The budget did pass.

Boris called the members of the assembly 'great supine protoplasmic jellies' and rightly so for their lack of political scrutiny on matters. Of course this is just politics and they don't like Boris or his budget that will grow London. This failure to stop the budget has been hailed as a victory by Jenny Jones, a Green Assembly Member with eco-maniac with communist tendencies. Bit odd that, weird concept of victory.

To me this could be seen as a growing confidence in Britain's Left boosted by success with the work programme and tax evasion, notably of Starbucks. All of these of course were brought to the attention of the public of the Socialist Workers Party who went into places of work and protested so that no business could take place. Of course there is also the action against all government cuts and this seemed to be the main focus of budget problems for Boris as he is having to close 12 fire stations in London. But it’s actually tough times. I’d rather central government shaved more off welfare than having to close fire stations but because it seems politically impossible because of the Liberals and a very confused George Osborne. Boris has taken the only right decision to make cuts.


N.B. I thought the 'supine' was a Latin grammatical term till Boris said this.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Liberal Democrats, Lying Here

In Eastleigh the Liberal Democrats have been trying to tell the electorate mis-truths about the Botley/Boorley Green housing development. It’s in their nature after all to be so conservative with the facts. Don’t forget the Liberals have a good history on tuition fees and now with Lord Rennard. Mr Clegg has now, despite the opposite being said earlier, come out and said he knew about he knew about his peer’s roaming hands.


The people of Eastleigh are quite rightly worried about the housing development of 1400 houses. This has been debated to the cows come home everywhere else so I won’t write about whether they should build it or not. However there has been a lot of Liberal spin and lies over the issue. The biggest mis-truth currently being told by Lib Dem activists on the doorsteps is that it is not the Liberal Democrat District Council who decided to build the houses. Actually planning, and thus building homes, are dealt with at a District Council level, which in Eastleigh is controlled by the Lib Dems, who have every seat. Indeed the candidate for the Liberals is a district councillor and thus partially responsible for the development. The Liberals however have tried to spin the issue and say that they are ‘protecting the green gaps between our towns and villages’. This is clearly not the truth if you are building on the countryside.

And on that point of protecting the countryside are the liberals good at it in general? It would seem not. Lib Dems are big wind power fans and want them built in greater numbers. Chris Huhne, being the Secretary of State on that matter, loved them. But as most people who have to live with them notice, in Fenland there are seemingly several thousand, they aren't exactly appealing in rolling fields. Also there is a lot of environmental damage done by the 1,000 tonnes of concrete underneath each one of them in order to stop the windmill from falling over.

We saw such Liberal care for the environment ourselves when in Eastleigh.

Liberal Democrtas, Littering Here. Don't mention that this is waste too.

So people of Eastleigh don’t listen to the lies. Vote Conservative, Vote for Maria Hutchings.

Out and About in Eastleigh

Yesterday #thingselliottsays went to Eastleigh for the by-election. From Nottingham it was about a 3 hour journey there and back by car (I thank James Poland very much for his driving) and a bit by train.

When we got there the amount of campaigning was amazing. The opposition was out in full force as I saw NUKIP, Lib Dems, the Independent and the National Health party out campaigning. notably Labour were too busy getting photos with Harriet Harperson to do much. The Tories had a very busy and great campaign with lots of literature and a huge amount of people helping with 27 MPs, 3 MEPs and 512 other activists on the campaign trail. When Maria campaigned in 2010 she had only 7 helpers and she almost won. The campaign was exceptionally well organised with bundles ready for activists to take and teams doing all sorts of data calculations as well as phoning.

Bundles ready to go out to all the areas of Eastleigh. I suspect they all went and that a new bunch will  be distributed today.

As a group we also met several leading members of the Tories. There was a fleeting sight from Adam Afriyie who was collecting bundles to go out into the streets of Eastleigh. We also met Sarah Newton MP, the deputy Chairman of our party, who was very pleased to know that we had come from Nottingham to help. We also talked to Micahel Fabricant, whose twitter account is in my opinion the best of any MPs because of all the ‘lad’ like comments he makes. And he was on top form when he met us saying the amount of photos he had been in this week meant that he was "now potentially a photo tart".  

Us with Sarah Newton MP who wants activists to be as dedicated as those from the ones from Lancashire who came recently to help win the by-election.

Michael Fabricant and Boris Johnson have never been seen in the same room together. Funny that. 

We also met Maria Hutchings and had a good conversation with her. She has been working very hard over the past few weeks making sure that the Conservative message is spread across the constituency. Maria wants to stress the importance of the government’s immigration cap and curving of benefits for migrants coming over from Eastern Europe. Important too is the EU referendum the country will get after 2015 if the Conservatives are elected, by voting for her we will be one step closer to achieving this. She wants to tell the Conservative residents of Eastleigh too that a vote for UKIP is a vote for the Liberal Democrats. The Lib Dem candidate is a Europhile who does not support an EU referendum, he also wants an amnesty for illegal immigrants in the UK. If he is elected we are one step back from solving the big issues of immigration and Europe, only Maria can stop that in Eastleigh.

Us with Maria. If we win here this will be the first time a government takes a seat in a by-election since Thatcher at the time of the Falklands.

Maria is a very sound Candidate, even the opposition think so comparing her to the Iron Lady herself.

The Eastleigh campaign is very good and well worth going. It is seriously very close. the recent poll today has the Tories 5 points ahead but one a few days ago had the Lib Dems 7 points up. These are however in the margin of error it is likely to be equal or 1% either way. So if you’re a Tory get down to Eastleigh so we can secure a win, every activist matters!

Weekly Poll Lowdown

Well I’ve been away with proper politics recently in Eastleigh, but before I talk about that lets do the weekly poll lowdown.

We have replicated the question that the Nottingham SU will be using in less than a month’s time to decide whether the SU should adopt a pro-choice policy on abortion. Turnout was poor, very accurate to previous referenda, with only 14 votes (let’s try get it higher for next time). Anyway these are the results.

Yes
  2 (14%)
No
  11 (78%)
Unsure
  1 (7%)

Quite a clear majority want the SU not to have an abortion policy which is what I believe (see http://thingselliottsays.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/gone-but-not-for-long.html and http://thingselliottsays.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/the-madness-of-su.html). Because of the nature of the policy proposed by the SU, which allows the Women’s Network to counter demonstrate against anyone who is pro-life, this is a debate on freedom of speech not abortion (although the SU will say it isn't so). Freedom of speech is a matter of conscious and so you can’t be wrong; however I do find it very strange for someone not to agree with freedom of speech.

Please vote in the next poll.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Exclusive: More News on Matt Robinson's email issues

Matt Robinson, CF Chairman hopeful for this year, has just found himself in a bit of a pickle. Many people have been emailed by Matt today asking for his vote. However it seems he has emailed people whose emails are not public and never gave them to him.

One girl received an email from Matt Robinson to an account that was not public but strictly private. She said that her "email address is definitely not online" it is used only for "my bank account, my job apps" and "branch because of payment etc.". She made clear that the only link to the Conservative Party was her local branch as "even NUCA does not have it".

Even Oliver Cooper got the email from Matt too:


Others have also complained personally to Matt on his twitter and he has replied giving an explanation to how people have received the email:


However, the girl mentioned above has never met Matt Robinson. Many are accusing Matt of breaching the Data Protection Act as he would have had to have a Conservative Party mailing list to get access to these names.

Some in CF have also pointed to Ben Howlett, who has been involved in similar data protection problems during his time as chairman and lives with Matt Robinson. Ben Howlett exclusively told #ThingsElliottSays that he doesn't "have access to the database for obvious reasons (i.e. I stood for re-election in 2011) it would have been unfair on my competition". He also said about the girl mentioned above "I would have thought that [the girl] handed it out to someone at one of the events she went to?" and then added "I would focus on the bigger picture...an email address that someone may or may not have handed out at a reception is hardly newsworthy haha".

We'll be the judge of that Mr Howlett.

Nudge, Nudge. Wink, Wink.

Dave has taken a holiday this week and gone on a yomp around India. This is a sort of sequel to his first ramble with Vince Cable in 2010 aiming to get the Indians trading with Britain*. Apart from this waste of time in talking trade, because the tariff barriers cannot be reduced due to the EU, Dave has ‘dropped a hint’ (reminiscent of Monty Python giving a nudge and a wink) about part of the foreign aid budget being used to cover defence spending cuts.


Is this another one of Cameron’s ‘tantric’ policies in which he drops hints in order to make party members slightly happier? Or has David Cameron seen some sort of light on defence. Well let’s examine the facts.

The Department for International Development gets £7.9 billion, an increase to 0.7% of GDP, whilst the Defence Budget is £37.2 billion, a cut of 4.5%. Really then, in comparison to the defence budget, foreign aid if it was to be converted all into defence spending would barely cover anything. I don't necessarily think that every penny spent on defence rather than foreign aid is better, but what this shows is that Mr Cameron is making promises that don’t really make any difference. There is no need to see this as some victory.

Also Dave gave no figure and said could with this promise. So if he does fulfil this pledge it is likely to be millions more to be spent on defence (which is 10p to 20p in governmental terms) if he even offers that. So yet again Dave says stuff but not much actually happens. It’s just political nudging and winking.


* Notably this is the only significant thing Vince Cable has actually done except being the voice of socialist politics in a supposedly centre-right government.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

#lifemeanslife

Yesterday I attended the life sentences debate at Nottingham University, with a few other NUCA members, organised by the Howard League for Penal Reform. This was the motion:


It was an interesting motion. The proposition was made up of the sound MP Philip Davies (unfortunately Moya Griffiths the mother of a murder victim got lost in Nottingham because the council spends more on anti-Tory propaganda than road signs). The opposition was Ben Gunn, murderer and "allergic to stupidity", and David Perry QC.

The preliminary vote was 87 for to 159 against and as our President, Big Cheese Barlow, rightly said on twitter #shame.

The debate was very good and entertaining. Philip Davies based it on a case of honesty as we are "in Alice in Wonderland" over the fact life tariffs can mean as little as 3 years in 1 case. Also he pointed out that most of the time the basic and most common life tariff is ten years, which  means that unless there is extreme bad behaviour the sentence is automatically halved to 5 years under an Act from the last Labour Government. What Mr Davies proposed was to actually call each sentence by the number of years it gets so the country can have an honest debate about our criminal justice system. Out of this he would prefer to have longer jail sentences in more Spartan Jails, just like they do in Florida.

The opposition however did get out their violins and offered a more philosophical approach to prison life especially focussing on the suffering on the criminal, although they didn't mention the victims suffering. Also Mr Gunn was very intrusive asking for "points of reference" a lot, which reminded me of filibustering MPs. However, no Mr Bercow was there to call order, a pity.

The final vote was 77 for and 161 against #shame.

My personal views are, as you can probably tell from my unbiased reporting of the event, life should mean life and criminals should get harsher sentences. The cost of prisons should be reduced dramatically and any other costs as Philip Davies rightly pointed out in the end should come from cuts to the foreign aid budget and leaving the EU.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Gone, but not for long

You may have noticed I have been away for a few days. This is because the real world has finally caught up with me so I have been oppressed by the tyranny of John Stuart Mill's Majority in an essay.

Meanwhile The TAB has posted an article I wrote about the Nottingham Abortion Referendum: http://nottingham.tab.co.uk/2013/02/19/pointless-su-abortion-referendum/

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Double Whammy Tax

The Lib Dems have hit the headlines again today for wanting to tax anything ‘precious’. Essentially Cleggers wants a fleet of taxmen to enter people’s homes and tax any jewellery, paintings, antiques and anything worth much. It seems the Liberal’s insatiable appetite for taxing anybody who has any success, something they are lacking nowadays, means he wants to tax everything twice. The dreaded Double Whammy Tax.

I don’t think this is right for two reasons. Firstly it means that taxmen can intrude into people’s homes and if they are stopped from entering the owners can be fined. Also is it right when you have bought an item, which will have some sort of direct or indirect tax attached to itm to tax it again? I think not.

No wonder then Vince Cable, who is by no means the most sane out of the nutty Lib Dems, has called the idea ‘whacky’ (at least he has some realisation on how popular his party is). However this is not so with all important party members, Tessa Munt MP thinks this is ‘an interesting idea’ and wants to put it to the vote at the Liberal Democrat conference. Knowing what the Liberals really think about wealth taxes, it has a high chance of getting through.

Why do the Liberals think that wealth taxes are a good idea? Well it goes back to that famous equality gap between the rich and poor, which of course is a stupid argument because this is a construct and not real money. This idea silly Lib Dem idea was very well put by Simon Hughes and here it is:


So essentially the Liberals want to tax everyone who they perceive to be ‘rich’. In the weird ideal world of the Lib Dem the definition of rich would also constantly change as the divide would get smaller and smaller with rich and poor becoming poorer and poorer. It is clear that the Lib Dems have no idea that money has a value, which is what really matters. Poor people need more money not a shorter gap between the wealth of them and their neighbour. People in poverty don’t take comfort in the fact that rich people are slightly poorer.

Think again Cleggers.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Weekly Poll Lowdown

It was a close run thing but, after a heated debate with the Speaker having to shout ‘Order’ a lot, I think the ayes have it, ayes have it.

Yes
  13 (52%)
No
  10 (40%)
Unsure
  2 (8%)

HS2 is very misguided. Like most government policies HS2 is going to seriously go over budget hitting £45.5 billion not £17 billion which will cost every family £1,000. And what is it for? so people can travel faster by 30 min across the country? Why? In the age of super fast broadband we need higher speed information streaming into our lives, that is where the money is nowadays. The Government should spend more on this surely (especially considering they said they would).

Railways are a shrinking business because of the high prices, you can see how bad it is when you sit in an empty carriage that is not running at peak times. It’s gotten so bad the Government has nationalised the industry virtually. The trains may be run by ‘private companies’ but they are at the whim of Westminster, who owns the line too. Apparently this will be worse in the future as well. The HS2 plans admit there needs to be a 27% increase in train fares in order for the Government's business plan to work.

The Government should invest in broadband not in HS2. But if they are committed to Victorian follies then I suggest they launch a Thomas the Tank Engine line. It will certainly make more money from the tourist trade.

Thanks for voting, make sure you do in the next poll

Thursday, 14 February 2013

I don’t think Ed has quite got it

Ed Miliband has been left clueless again, this time over the 10p tax rate. Ed in 2008 said scraping the 10p tax rate would ‘make the tax system fairer’ and now he wants to bring it back for a more equal society. Ed also got his MPs less than a month ago to vote against the Great Gordon Brown Repeal Bill which abolished the 10p tax rate. But ignoring this obvious hypocrisy let’s examine what he proposes.

Today Ed promised to cut the 10p tax rate which is a good thing. However he wants to pay for it with a Mansion Tax which is not so good. Without getting into the details of a Mansion Tax, which is essentially a wealth levy, it’s fairly silly to cut a tax and then introduce another tax to pay for it. This is not just because the government has to spend some of the tax on the wages of people to administer it, but it means that there is no net gain to the economy. Sure poorer people have more money which they can spend on more things but it’s taken from richer people who will spend it on things for themselves. As a result, because money has the same value whoever buys stuff with it, there is no extra growth to the economy and no new jobs (which is the best way to improve standards in living). Also because of the particular choice of a wealth tax, the move means the poorest, although able to buy more things, are less likely to invest their money as if they are successful they will be hit by the Mansion Tax.

If you want to introduce the 10p tax rate, which will cost around £7 billion, you have really got to do it by cutting Whitehall, cutting the welfare budget (I’d personally look into a downgrade on the cap for how much you can claim on benefits) or red tape around business. But just maybe Ed Miliband is doing this. Maybe Ed isn't as stupid as he looks because the Mansion Tax actually will only raise £2 billion, so there is a £5 billion hole to fill. Perhaps Ed has decided to take our economic problems seriously and cut benefits or Whitehall? there is a potential gap in the political market to do so because the Coalition hasn't taken this seriously yet.

It seems this is not the case. If you watched PMQs you would have heard that Ed was due to make an economic speech today ‘with no new policies in it’. It’s unlikely he could just have the speech with nothing in it, considering as it was broadcast to the nation, so he just quickly came up with cutting the 10p tax rate without any thought. Also Ed realises he’s not too popular atm, the polls have him at just over half as popular as his own party (n.b. this is terrible). I bet he realises at the next general election he may need to form a coalition with the Liberals. So he’s taken the policy that they are mostly talking about and claimed it as his own. So Ed Miliband, short on the figures and relying on the Lib Dems for power.

Horsemeat, Obesity Miracle Cure

A very interesting set of statistics came out today. According to Sky News 58% of people have abandoned buying processed meat and sales at butchers have increased by over 20% due to the recent discovery that horse is the most eaten meat in the UK. This is obviously partially caused by there not being as much processed horse burgers about with half of them seemingly removed from the shelves. It is clear to see though that there is a genuine consumer switch to real meat products (even kebab houses are switching to real meat from the usual Donner to save their businesses). Perhaps it is too early to tell, but if this continues, we are in for some real government savings on the health budget.

This how savings could be achieved. People who shop at butchers/ buy real meat have to spend more money, because meat is more expensive. Even an increase in meat production from increased demand would not lower prices enough. People are thus on the whole going to be eating less red meat which is healthier. Also eating real/butchers meat is healthier than processed meat because it contains less hidden hydrogenated fats and all that malarkey. Now I predict that 58% in the next 5 years will not have stuck with abandoning processed meat, but a fair portion will have. 

Obviously there is going to be a saving on the NHS and welfare budget because of this. But it’s probably not going to be enough to stop their budgets growing experientially until the state is nothing more than a glorified wheelchair. So what I suggest is this. As people hate Horsemeat make sure, like the statutory 42% of meat needed to deem a sausage a sausage, that any processed meats that are not above say 50% in meat content contain 10% horse. That way people will eat less of this meat and this will save us billions. Not a very free market thing to do on the face of it but saving the public coffers a mint from a lot less fat people in the future as no one seems to want to gorge on horse.

If only the idea was workable.


P.S. For all those who actually want to know, I actually like Horse I had it in France and it was fine, I personally find it odd how the British public view it as the meat of the devil.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

#podcast

Well I somehow managed it. Having listened to the podcast of the last show I feel I did better than what I thought I was actually like when presenting. Interesting stuff on the Abortion referendum, there was great anger on the texts for not doing more on it, very sorry. Apologise also go out to Mrs Egg who didn't like being called Mrs, sorry Ms Egg.

If you missed the actual debate do listen to the podcast. My thanks for those who did manage to catch me and those who texted in, we got loads today.

Next week Seb is doing the hosting and so I will be shamelessly partisan against the Lib Dems.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Exclusive: James Deighton talks to #thingselliottsays

We have just received news from James Deighton who is running from Chairman of National CF. He wishes to stress the importance of campaigning in the Conservatives and how much this will be a part of CF under Deighton. This is what he had to say:


Last week we heard the dramatic news that Chris Huhne had finally accepted that the game was up and he pleaded guilty at his trail. Thus he was forced to step down from parliament, triggering a by-election in Eastleigh.  This is a crucial contest for both governing parties and it’s vital that we win this key target seat.

The Lib Dems have moved the writ extremely quickly with the election date set for Thursday 28th February. This does not give us much time and we must move quickly if we are to seize this opportunity. There can be no better way of getting back at the Lib Dems for their betrayal over the boundary reforms than by taking this seat from them.

As a National CF Deputy Chairman and a candidate for National Chairman I know more than most that at times CF can become all too introverted. People often lose sight of the bigger picture with members attacking each other and bickering amongst themselves far too often. We must never forget that the reason we joined the Conservative party was to get our members elected, defeat our ideological opponents, and enact our ideas in government.  Campaigning together in elections unites us like nothing else. It strengthens our belief in our ideas and allows us to put aside our differences to work on something that is far bigger and more important than ourselves.

I love campaigning and during my many years in CF I have been all over the country. Knocking on countless doors and pushing thousands of pieces of literature through letter boxes.  I have been to almost every parliamentary by-election since Crewe and Nantwich in 2008. From Bradford to Barnsley, and Haltemprice to Henley. 

Nothing quite stiffens the sinews and summons up the blood like a parliamentary by-election. They offer a great opportunity to meet new people, see a different part of the country, and to participate in a high tempo, energetic campaign.

Although I live and work in Yorkshire I will be travelling to Eastleigh this Saturday for a day of campaigning. I strongly encourage every member of CF to do their bit to help our candidate Maria Hutchings succeed. If you can’t make it in person then you can always do some phone canvassing from one of the parties campaign centre or even from home. If we all do our bit we can turn Eastleigh blue.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Weekly Poll Lowdown

The lobbies are closed. The votes are in. There were no abstentions. On the question of whether people are in favour of gay marriage the ayes have it, the ayes have it. The full results are below:

Yes
  18 (81%)
No, favour civil partnerships
  2 (9%)
No, favour no gay relationships
  2 (9%)
Unsure
  0 (0%)

I was expecting a result similar to this, it is very broadly representative of what the country thinks. Most polling data has between 55-70% of the public supporting gay marriage, depending on how the question is phrased. Obviously there were slightly more votes in favour of gay marriage in this poll due to most of readers of #thingselliottsays being young students. The % of people favouring no recognition of gay relationships is however very close to the actual view of the public.

I support Gay Marriage, however I personally don’t think you can be wrong on a matter of consciousness, which all human rights are (marriage being one of them). This is mostly because it’s not based on facts but personal emotions. However facts that are used against or for gay marriage may be contested as wrong; I have previously wrote about this http://thingselliottsays.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/why-i-hate-this-equal-marriage-debate.html .

I have included as a picture a map of the UK constituencies with the MPs voting record on gay marriage. Lillian Greenwood, the Labour MP for Nottingham South which contains UoN campus, did vote in favour of this bill. However my home MP Steve Barclay of North East Cambridgeshire abstained because he was on paternity leave (cleverly arranged most likely). For all those Nottingham Students who live in Beeston or are mad enough to walk several miles and live in Trent Bridge, Anna Soubry MP and Ken Clarke MP both voted in favour of the Bill.


(keen students of counting will notice this polling info doesn't add to 100%, there has been some electronic rounding). Please vote in the next poll.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

#portandpolicy

This is what happened at Port and Policy last night told through the tweets.

At Port and Policy we make sure that everyone who makes a point is respected.


We had special respect to the 'interesting' ideas of the ex-treasuerer of the Nottingham University Labour Party, Anton.


(#ShutupAnton was the second most popular tweet of the night after #portandpolicy). Anton however returned the favour.


  I personally countered many points made by the Loony Left of Nottingham as Alex records.


Jamie, as recorded by Andy, also made sure the debate concentrated on what really mattered.


 With our drinking we made many toasts, the first one to the Queen of course but then ...


We then after drinking the port/wine we went to the after-porty at the Brass Monkey and then to the
many clubs in Nottingham. I think no one sums up better what we all thought of port and policy than our own President, Big Cheese Barlow.

Exclusive: Oliver Cooper launches campaign with NUCA

Yesterday NUCA was at one of their famous Port and Policys. Importantly we were joined by Oliver Cooper, who is standing as National CF Chairman, who used the event as his campaign launch in the East Midlands. Oliver gave a really good speech, contributed well to the discussion and told us what he will do if elected.

If elected Oliver Cooper plans to give activists national opportunities. Essentially Oliver thinks that for too long CF members put a lot into doing campaigning but get little out of it. He thus wants to reward members with advice through webinars on getting jobs and moving higher into politics.

Oliver also wants more national events as many CF members do not live or can easily get to London. Oliver gave an example of this with theECR East Midlands Conference in Nottingham. He said that this was one of the best events he has ever been to ‘this is the sort of events we should have across the country’.

Oliver believes national CF should play a key role in helping new branches because, as he rightly pointed out, many do not get any help and some branches never see anyone from National CF (my experience in FENSCF backs this up). Oliver would like to see a CF branch in every target seat the Conservatives have in 2015 as there was a larger swing to the Tories in all seats that had a branch.

Communication was another key area Oliver focussed on. Leading on from a lack of direct contact with national CF, many branches receive no information from National CF on what is going on. Oliver Cooper wants a weekly email to be sent out telling members what is going on across the country but also information on what lines to take when campaigning.

Oliver also told us that both his parents were student members of the Communist Party, there must have been some strong debate over free markets and state control around the dinner table.

#thingselliottsays also asked Oliver about whether he supported re-instating the 10p tax rate, Oliver actually does not support this. However he does agree that doing so would be a coup for the Conservatives giving people a better image of the party. Oliver Cooper believed that a cut to immediately 10p may be regressive in the short term and so should be slowly brought down, thus he would like a reduction to 17% as a start in the budget. A fair position which would still help the hardest and least well off workers in Britain.

Friday, 8 February 2013

The Madness of the SU

Today you may have got this message from the Nottingham University Students Union:

Dear members
A referendum has called regarding whether the Union should adopt a ‘Support the Right to Choose’ policy. A full copy of the policy that is the subject of the referendum can be found here:
http://www.su.nottingham.ac.uk/pageassets/makethechange/elections/The-Right-to-Choose-Policy.pdf
Objections
Objections to this referendum shall be submitted to suelections@nottingham.ac.uk by 6pm on Tuesday 12th February or be brought to the next meeting of Elections Committee. Elections Committee will next meet at 6pm onTuesday 12th February in Committee Room 1, Portland Building, University Park.
Location and Timings of Poll
The poll will open at 12noon on Monday 18th March and close at 3pm on Friday 22nd March.
Voting shall take place on the University of Nottingham Students’ Union’s Website at the following address: http://www.su.nottingham.ac.uk/

WHAT!!!!!! The Students Union wants us to have a referendum on whether it should support a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. Why?

Why on Earth does it want to do this? Has the SU suddenly decided that instead of pretending to look after the welfare of students it wants to open up an abortion clinic? Is the SU president and his staff wanting to perform abortions in the Portland Building? Unlikely. So why waste our money on such nonsense.

Is the SU deluded? Do they think themselves a mini-legislature ruling over University Campus where they dictate the rules? Or do they think that Nottingham University SU, a few over paid, unrepresentative and politically motivated students, are so influential that Mr Cameron (who by the way isn’t going to change the Abortion laws) is going to say ‘my God we must not change the Abortion laws a few nobodies in Nottingham say it is wrong’.  

Also why do they wish the whole of the University to be ascribed with a massive tag of we are pro abortion and pro women’s choice? Why bother? The campus has many religions the SU isn't asking the student population to vote on whether the SU is Church of England Christianity. Indeed the SU quite frequently says how this is a multi faith campus so why on abortion do they wish to make Nottingham University speak with one voice on an issue people really care about? Surely this is against people’s freedom of expression. Whatever the result of the referendum we will either support women’s right to abort or not which either way is an attack on the other people’s beliefs.

Sadly the SU are fools. They waste a fair portion of the £9,000 I pay to come here on discussing politically motivated motions like whether we should bring back the death penalty (an idea voted upon in the past) instead of making students lives better. This abortion referendum is more of this same lunacy.

Quite frankly there is only one word to say to the SU. Resign! We are hard working students and we will not pay your near £20,000 a year salary in order for you to be feckless towards your real job. We do not want you to debate your own political beliefs and how they can be applied to the university and waste our money on referendums on issues that students do not want you involved with. You live in Cloud Cuckoo land, you’re not the government, I want my money back!

Please Share this blog post. People need to know what is going on. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

#thebigpicture

Yet again I'm live on air. You can listen to me debate politics on the Big Picture on URN. I'm putting this post up just before I start talking at 6pm. Today up for chat is the recent horse/halal meat problems in burgers and jails, the Israeli elections coupled with recent displays of anti-Semitism and Fishing sites online.


Please listen in. You can do this and send in texts on the URN website which is http://urn1350.net/

Happy Birthday Ronnie

I’d just like to say one big happy Birthday to Ronald Reagan who would have been 102 today. Considering how old he actually was  when doing the job, he showed quite a lot of youth and energy as President notably showing up Gorbachev several times. Why however should we be praising Ronald Reagan? Well I bet most of you know roughly already but I'm going to give a brief synopsis of why he’s one of the greatest Presidents of all time.

Reagan was a lover of the free market, personal freedom and his own country. America’s economy grew significantly under Reagan, through a period of prosperity that Republicans keep going on about today. And you know they are right to say that if you deregulate businesses, cut taxes, and most importantly shrink the state the economy will expand. Furthermore, Reagan tackled the world wide inflation problem in the US by reducing the money supply whilst in Europe they decided to begin losing their own economic freedom by pinning their currencies to the Deutsche Mark. The greater economic freedom led to more personal freedom, something Ronald Reagan rightly believed America should stand for. He was very proud of this and consequently very proud of the US. It was said of him that he was always happy and looked like that at any moment would turn around to say ‘God Bless America’ and truly mean it.

Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War. Although others helped, the primary reason why we don’t have the USSR and Marxist-Leninism around anymore is because of this chap. The Soviet Union was a mess of the state in 1980 when Reagan became President, it was backward in every way. But the country had a stable system of government just like North Korea is now. Ronald Reagan hated Communism and knew that if the world did not act it would still be around for many years to come.

The best thing about how Ronnie dealt with this problem though is that there wasn't a shot fired in the European hot zone. He challenged the USSR to an arms race knowing that the US could win economically without there ever being a war. Indeed, Reagan started STI not a weapon but a destroyer of weapons, for the use of peace only. Reagan also helped set the tone for the USSR.

There are some things I do think Reagan got wrong. I'm not sure that in Afghanistan he was paying much attention to who exactly he was arming. Nor do I think with such ferocity should he have attacked central and South American Communists because it has partially led to US-phobia (although there is some elements of jealously there). But long term thinking on what were smaller issues in the 1980s is hardly a very fair criticism when giving an overall verdict for Ronnie.

However, I believe it is a bit of a myth that Reagan was a massive social conservative, seen as a positive and a negative by some. I doubt if he were a politician today Ronald Reagan would have the same ideas about gay people, rape and the Bible as some Republicans have. He was certainly not a nutter.

But was Ronald Reagan good? Yes, he was great. I feel to celebrate the great man we can legitimately get on our Stetsons and listen in to Luc Chignell’s country and western show on URN (Saturdays 11-1). But after that make sure you take them off, we’re British unlike you Luc.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Why I Hate This Equal Marriage Debate

I support Equal Marriage, I just do. Like everyone who doesn't or does agree with me they feel strongly that what they think is right. It’s a matter of consciousness and a human right. There is no right answer and the only person who can answer the question is yourself. There are some very good reasons not to back gay marriage: you could not support marriage at all, you may be very traditional or deeply religious. However, and quite obviously if you read the previous lines, I don’t personally buy any of these.

What I can’t stand is the debate over this issue. A minority, but a sizeable one, on both sides are attacking each other in a way that is upsetting people and in some casing making lies. I'm going to give a brief synopsis on both sides and why this debate, not the idea or Bill itself, is just so bad.

Some in the campaign against gay marriage have been quite impolite to say the least and very hurtful. Cardinal O’Brien of Scotland likened gay marriage to ‘slavery’ and said that it was ‘grotesque’. Clearly this is rabble rousing rhetoric from the cardinal to try show how wrong  he believes equal marriage is. Cardinal O’Brien clearly, and rightly, has very religious reasons not to back gay marriage and that’s fine. But what is very rude is to use rhetoric like this on an issue and in a way that upsets many people. Even the Bible doesn't use words like this when describing gay people and I think it’s quite insensitive to use them.

There have also been lies spread about how gay marriage will impact on the Church, forcing them to carry out gay marriages. The case of Gas and Dobouis v France was highlighted as a case from the ECHR by the Telegraph to show that equal marriage would be forced on religious institutions. However, this legal case doesn't deal with gay marriage but legal rights of adoption in civil partnerships. The case actually resulted in France winning as the court held the right of the autonomy of France to decide on what extent it allows gay adoption. The Telegraph has every personal right to disagree with gay marriage but it shouldn't seek to lie in order to make people vote against gay marriage on the grounds of religious protection.

I’d like to also cite the problems with the pro gay marriage campaign too. It is wrong on a matter of consciousness to demean other people’s personal views on an issue so sensitive. This is what Ben Howlett had to say to Steve Baker MP when he disagreed with gay marriage:


What an utterly stupid and hurtful comment to make. Steve Baker has every right to disagree, especially considering how pro-liberty he is. Steve Baker has quite clearly outlined religious objections on the grounds that there needs to be greater acceptance in the Church of England. I don’t agree with Steve Baker, I think the Church of England has been given sufficient safeguards, but this gives Ben Howlett no right to say stupid things about votes for women. 

We can’t treat people who disagree with gay marriage as harking back to a Victorian past. My advice is don't demean anyone who opposes gay marriage as some mad fool. Nor can we treat people who disagree with gay marriage as bigots as many who support gay marriage have done. This is putting your system of values on to someone else, more dictatorship than liberalism I think. Unlike Gordon Brown, I can’t actually think of a situation when someone can be at all bigoted on a matter of consciousness.

So there you have it. A brief synopsis on both sides of why this debate has plunged into distaste and is quite frankly repulsive. I support the Bill and equal marriage but my advice to any passing MP who should read this blog, if I’m lucky enough to have an MP read it at all, is to vote with your heart not on silly arguments or fear of being called a bigot.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Problems down tut Eastleigh

Trouble is ahead for the Coalition, which is obvious considering both parties are about to go to war over a small part of Hampshire.

The Liberal Democrats have been spoiling to attack the Conservatives for some time. To be fair this could be said the other way but at least Conservative Ministers are not briefing their Conservative colleagues to oppose the 'wicked Liberals' on almost everything. The air will be most foul. The Liberals feel aggrieved for not getting Lords Reform, although there seems to be some agreement on flaws in the legislation in the first place. Also many Lib Dems are not happy with the welfare reforms the Conservatives want, this is the line I think they will use on the campaign in Eastleigh ‘vote for us or the wicked Tories will get in’. The Conservatives are equally not happy with the Liberals deciding the new boundary changes are not fair all of a sudden. Nor do they like the seemingly timid Conservatism that the coalition government is pursuing in most cases (although I would also point to DC on that one for some blame).

Both parties are obviously going to vent their furies on each other and it will be unrelenting. It will be even worse because the Conservatives will throw everything into this by-election. For some this is a test of not only recent benefit cuts and the EU referendum pledge but of David Cameron’s leadership. If Cameron loses here it will be a huge loss in confidence in the party and him, especially considering that Eastleigh used to be a Tory safe seat. I’d watch your back Mr Cameron.

Personally I think this is a nail in the coffin for the Coalition, regardless who wins. The fighting will be very tense and will continue on after the by-election. However, as Cameron keeps saying the coalition is united on economic policy. But again, looking how the Lib Dems are now starting to refuse to cut areas, particularly on benefits, I doubt this will last much longer either.

He’s not the Messiah; he’s a very naughty boy!

Well as we all expected Chris Huhne is guilty of perverting the court of justice. Today he changed his plea in court and will probably be sentenced shortly for an offence that he is 90% likely to go to jail for. Chris Huhne, as you might remember, was the man once praised and virtually worshipped by the Liberal Democrats. He was almost their leader and took on the problems of fossil fuel energy so that we have no power for the next decade or so. Now his career is in ruins, his MP role is untenable. This means really only one thing. A by-election.


Here are the results from Eastleigh at the General Election 2010.

Party
Candidate
Votes
%
+/- %
Lib Dems
Chris Huhne
24,966
46.5
+8.2
Conservative
Maria Hutchings
21,102
39.3
+2.1
Labour
Leo Barraclough
5,153
9.6
−11.5
UKIP
Ray Finch
1,933
3.6
+0.2
English Democrats
Tony Pewsey
249
0.5
N/A
National Liberal Party- Third Way
Keith Low
93
0.2
N/A
Majority
3,864
7.2

Turnout
53,650
69.3
+4.9
Lib Dem hold
swing
3


This is a winnable Conservative Seat. The Lib Dems will lose many votes because they are very unpopular, only the core party will support them (and at the recent by-elections this wasn't enough to win back a deposit). That being said there will be a larger core Lib Dem vote, as they currently hold the seat, so I wouldn't expect them to receive less than 20% of the vote (but who knows). Some of the previous Lib Dem voters will not turn out at all. Many of them however will turn to Labour but will it be enough? Labour’s core vote in Eastleigh is at most 26% or 14,000 votes, this is the result from 1997 which the Labour party in no way could match today. They are likely to double the % of the vote they got in 2010 and will be pushing for a slim win.

The Conservatives at this point will not be in as good a position as 2010. Many voters will not turn out and some will vote UKIP. But I think due to the EU announcement and a slight increase in Conservative popularity due to the recent benefits votes and EU referendum I do not see the Conservatives doing so badly that the Lib Dems or even Labour takes the seat.

To combat UKIP there would be a strong argument of a vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour. This will not work for some people, UKIP’s vote share I predict will double at least. I believe though that we have a good chance of winning this seat but we must be very active in this area in order to win it. I think I’ll explore later what fighting a by-election in Eastleigh would mean for the Coalition in another Blog Post soon, because it’s going to be bloody.