Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tory Central Office in a Spin..............

Well, Bedford may be the centre of the universe, but this evening it may well be the seedbed of the demise of the Tory facade of being electable. News comes to me from a very reliable source that one Cllr Peter Hand, lately of Nadine Dorries office, has resigned as a councillor on both the County and Borough. Not only that, but he has set in motion a domino effect. Two more candidates have resigned and others are due to follow.

This is serious, not only for the Tories locally, but it could cause national embarrassment, hence my intelligence that Central Office is already involved. The word on the street is that activists and candidates are a tad peed off with their candidate Richard Fuller. Now, it is not unusual for MPs to represent constituencies they don't live in. Some live relatively near, 10, 20 miles, others rather further away......Richard Fuller has taken virtual representation to the nenth degree, he thinks he can represent Bedford from.....New York! I am not sure if this is the underlying issue for Bedford Tories. I actually get along with Richard rather well, he is always charming, chivalrous and engaging, so I have to admit to being rather surprised that he has allegedly become unpopular with his own kin. This turn of events is even more surprising given the formidable current leader of the Tories on Bedford Borough, Nicky (she who must be obeyed) Attenborough. Now for Nicky to lose control so spectacularly is astounding and paves the way for us to be the largest group on the new unitary authority in June.

It has to be confessed that Peter Hand, along with Andrew McConnell, is one of my "Tory Boys" - I may not share his politics, but I like him enormously. So, despite that fact that I have no truck with the Tories, I think they have shot themselves in both feet by peeing off such a talented and promising young man. This exposes the fault lines in the party in Bedford.........but I am very sure these fault lines extend far beyond Bedford.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Back in the warned!

Phew, at last I am feeling almost back to normal (OK James Graham et al I know you may consider that a contradiction in terms!). Being reminded that I am no spring chicken and unable to shake of bugs the way I used to (cue violins)........but I have managed a trip Belfast and back and have regained enough energy to return to throwing in my 10penneth on matters political once again. Not being arsed isn't something I am often prone to, but that would be an accurate description of how I have felt for the past three weeks.

So, what to chat about? Now there's the thing. We are rapidly approaching silly season, time for the next chapter of my fairy story methinks. I suppose what has been exercising me somewhat is how we muscle in on what has been a Tory Labour ping pong game with us still struggling to get a shot in. With, of course, the notable exception of Vince. But we can't build a credible alternative government without a team where all are pulling their weight. We have no choice but to do what Nick Clegg said we would do, be radical and To be honest I am a tad disappointed with our front bench, imagine if they all had the "Vince" factor, how formidable would we be then? OK, Vince is a man whose time has come, there is no doubt, but there are issues across the portfolios where we could be offering intelligent, reasoned and heavyweight analysis and ideas. We can't just blame the media, this is the media after all, who can't get enough of Vince. It is surely time for a shift in policy towards ideas that contrast sharply with both Labour and Tory, to offer the people of this country a truly radical alternative. To start with, of course, we will lose support, but in my view pruning is essential to strong growth. Can't we seek to build something along the lines that Labour did so successfully early in the last century, that was prepared to start small, to challenge, to draw clear lines in the sand, to give ordinary people something they could not only believe in but trust. I honestly believe we can, but it will mean some sacrifices. It may mean some of our MP's lose their seats because we are no longer fudging the issues we fear will alienate some of our supporters. But for me it is the only hope for us to ever truly become the force in British politics we all know we could and should be.

OK, well, indulge me, I haven't had a good rant for a while!

Well, that's it, my starter for ten, for the mo. Vintage readers will remember however the nightmare I had when I moved last time, well, all being well I am on the move again at the end of the week, so may enter into another period of enforced purdah. I will say no more about it until I am safely deposited in my new place, having had two fall through already, I am trying not to get too excited.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Taking a leaf out of Obama's book - Yes WE CAN!

He may not have managed to take the Henley seat, but Stephen Kearney is using his vast experience of community development to help us build this party.

Tonight Bermondsey and Old Southwark Liberal Democrats have Stephen and Julia Olson as their guest speakers following their AGM (8pm at the South London Mission).

During the late 1980s Stephen and Julia set up a charity that creates networks of individuals who take a role in changing the way public services are delivered and changing the priorities of politicians through social action. In 1993 they trained in Citizen Organising with Ed Chambers and Ernie Cortez from the Industrial Areas Foundation in the States, the same organisation that trained Barack Obama to be an organiser. Tonight they will be speaking about how they could apply their unique organising process and training to equip the most energetic "agents of change" in the Liberal Democrats, to transform and shape British politics in the next 5 years.

I am sorry, that since I am only slowly emerging from my duvet chrysalis I will miss it, but I know Stephen and Julia are committed to sharing their knowledge with the wider party and I am excited about the impact they can and will have on our grass roots organisation.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Hiding under the duvet - the end of Looz Muze?

I am shocked to note I last posted almost two weeks ago. I have a good excuse, having been unable to make the short journey from my bed to my PC - no emails, no Facebook, no Lib Dem Blogs - no Looz Muze...........perhaps the world is a shinier place with me hiding under the duvet coughing for England! But, I was given some wise advice a couple of weeks ago by a fellow blogger (who will remain nameless but a prize for anyone who picks up the clue!), who felt I should consider putting my blog to bed - not allowing it even the occasional cough or splutter, confining meself to anonymous comments on LDV et al whenever I found my knickers in a twist about this that or the other.

Well, I enjoy a challenge, it will be a bit like being on a diet - will I reach that unobtainable goal - or will I give in and indulge in the odd Blogger's Pavlova of light and airy musings toned down with a dollop of opinionated cream? It will be a difficult process for me - I will have to vent my spleen elsewhere.............hmmmmmmmmmmm

Anyway - I have until the end of the year to put in a few more tuppence worths. I intend to make the most of it!